No matter how often Urban Meyer was asked about the BCS, Michigan State or any other subject on Tuesday’s Big Ten football coaches teleconference, he circled back to one thing: Michigan.
“This is a one-game season for both teams,” he said.
The stakes are obviously much higher for the Buckeyes. A trip to the national championship could be hanging in the balance. At the heart of it is Carlos Hyde and the offensive line.
Meyer lauded Hyde for how he’s handled his business since a three-game suspension, explaining that sometimes it takes a situation where the game is taken away for a player to break out. On the offensive line, he credited Jack Mewhort and Corey Linsley’s leadership, as well as coach Ed Warinner on the unit’s transformation.
- Meyer said Devin Gardner looked like the best quarterback in the country when he watched the Indiana game film.
- A good way to grade recruiting is counting the NFL players, Meyer said. According to him, there are several future NFL players on the Buckeyes’ defensive line.
- Meyer said he would describe this week as “intense,” not fun.
- “It’s an exciting week. There’s a buzz because of the great rivalry and the respect we have for Ohio.”
- Hoke called the OSU-Michigan game the best rivalry in all of sports. He added that he might be biased.
- Hoke said he won’t coach any differently Saturday just because Michigan doesn’t have a Big Ten championship hanging in the balance.
- “It’s a big challenge, we all know that. They’re a good football team.”
- Hoke said Braxton Miller's made huge strides throwing the football, especially his mechanics.
- Hoke raved about the development of Ohio State freshman defensive lineman Joey Bosa.
- “Carlos Hyde is a key element to their football team, period.”
- Andersen praised the senior class for all they’ve accomplished at Wisconsin and quickly accepting the new coaching staff. “We’re forever indebted to them.”
- Chris Borland was not a finalist for the Butkus Award, something that came as a shock to Andersen. “I’m sure there are some great players on that list…but Chris Borland is the best I’ve ever been around.”
- Andersen said he believes Borland will be held in the highest regard by fans. “For me, his legacy will be just as important in what he’s done off the field.”
- Pelini said it’s business as usual as far as his recruiting goes. He is thinking about beating Iowa, not whether his future at Nebraska is in doubt.
- The Cornhuskers season has been filled with adversity, Pelini said. He’s happy with how the players have handled it and continued to regroup. Pelini said excuses have been nonexistent.
- “It’s a good veteran group. There is a lot of leadership in there, from not only the seniors but the guys who’ve been around here several years. This is a close-knit group.”
- “That would mean Ohio State would have to beat us.” -Dantonio asked about Rose Bowl picking Michigan State over Wisconsin.
- Dantonio was asked several times about the Big Ten title game and BCS possibilities. He shot each question down and said Michigan State’s focus is on Minnesota. Dantonio did admit that is hard, though, because of the anticipation for next week.
- Dantonio said punter Mike Sadler has been “irreplaceable.” He was disappointed Sadler wasn’t a finalist for the Ray Guy Award.
- Iowa’s had six coaching staff changes in the past two seasons. Ferentz said everything is finally getting settled, hence the improvement.
- “All of us are better versed on what we are doing on offense this year. We’ve gone through a lot of change the past two years.”
- The Hawkeyes and Nebraska play on Friday. Ferentz said he would prefer to play Saturday or not during Thanksgiving Week at all. But he said he’s embraced it because he has no other choice.
- Ferentz said he likes the Nebraska rivalry but said Iowa needs to win to liven it up a little bit.
- Kill on Michigan State: “They’re tremendous on defense. Not good – tremendous.”
- Michigan State is a program Minnesota is trying to emulate, Kill said. The Spartans’ model has been to recruit players to fir their system. Kill said people don’t understand how good a job Dantonio’s done in East Lansing.
- Illinois ended the second-longest losing streak in Big Ten history last Saturday. Beckman said he’s proud of the way the team has handled adversity, said he’s especially happy for the senior class.
- “It’s about a process and the process was to continue improving this football team. I’m proud of the way we’ve made strides.”
- Beckman said he’s particularly excited about the future on offense and mentioned quarterbacks Wes Lunt and Aaron Bailey.
- Hazell said the feel of the week is completely different with the Old Oaken Bucket up for grabs. “You’re going to feel great if you win it and not very good if you lose it.”
- True freshman quarterback Danny Etling will take Purdue to great heights, according to Hazell.
- On OL John Urschel: “He stands for everything that’s right about college football, not just at Penn State.” Urschel actually teaches a math class at Penn State.
- O’Brien said Saturday is strength against strength with Penn State’s defense going against Wisconsin’s rushing attack.
- Quarterback Kain Colter’s status for the Illinois game remains unknown, according to Fitzgerald. He said it’s all up the medical staff.
- “This is a staff that has done a terrific job here of winning a ton of football games.” Fitzgerald said they’ll be much improved next year.
- Wilson said offseason focus begins on himself and then turns to development of players, schemes, etc. The staff is not his focus.
- Asked if he believes he will return, Wilson noted he has a seven-year contract and the financial support behind the program.
- Wilson said he expects the Purdue game to be a "flat out battle."