Five Big Ten Media Days Storylines to Watch

By Tim Shoemaker on July 24, 2017 at 10:10 am
Last year's Big Ten football coaches.

Monday marks the unofficial kickoff to college football around these parts.

Big Ten Media Days have finally arrived. 

Eleven Warriors will have you covered all week from Chicago, and you can get things started with Dan Hope's primer here.

Urban Meyer and Ohio State players Tyquan Lewis, Billy Price and Chris Worley will make their rounds with reporters Monday. In addition to the Buckeyes, however, there are plenty of storylines to look for around the rest of the Big Ten.

Here are five Big Ten Media Days storylines we'll be keeping an eye on.

How will Ohio State's offense look under Kevin Wilson?

We'll start with the Ohio State-related storyline and it's the biggest one for the Buckeyes this season. With the way the 2016 campaign ended, it's what many fans want to know.

Ohio State's offense was rather pedestrian last season and it eventually culminated with an overhaul that saw Ed Warinner and Tim Beck move on as Urban Meyer hired Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day as replacements. Wilson, the former Indiana head coach and one of the most well-respected offensive minds in college football, is expected to bring some fresh ideas to a Buckeyes offense that lacked explosion.

Of course, we won't actually see the results of this until games begin and there hasn't been much on-field work since the spring game but it'll be interesting to hear thoughts from Meyer on the situation.

Can Penn State handle expectations?

Penn State took the Big Ten by storm last season after a mid-year upset over Ohio State sparked the Nittany Lions to a strong finish that eventually led to a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl berth.

The good news for James Franklin and Co.? The majority of last year's team returns for the 2017 campaign.

However, Penn State won't be sneaking up on anybody this season like it did a bit last year. The Nittany Lions are widely regarded as a top-10 team in the preseason and are one of the favorites — along with Ohio State — to win the Big Ten.

It'll certainly be interesting to see how Penn State handles expectations of this level.

P.J. Fleck and the rest of the Big Ten's new faces

Minnesota's P.J. Fleck headlines a list of three new head coaches in the league this season. In addition to Fleck, Purdue hired Jeff Brohm and Indiana promoted Tom Allen.

The charismatic Fleck comes from Western Michigan where he led the Broncos successfully for four seasons and took them to the Cotton Bowl last year. He's wild and crazy but it could be the perfect fit for the Minnesota program.

Brohm was hired from Western Kentucky to try and revitalize a Purdue program that's struggled — that might be kind — in recent years. Allen was promoted from defensive coordinator after the Hoosiers parted ways with Kevin Wilson, who is obviously now the offensive coordinator at Ohio State. 

Michigan State Scandal

It's been a long offseason in East Lansing as Mark Dantonio's program was rocked by a sexual assault scandal that saw multiple players dismissed from the team. Dantonio hasn't said much on the case all summer; expect a ton of questions in Chicago.

Who knows if he'll have any answers, though.

Stars absent

There was a lot of discussion about big-name players who wouldn't be at Big Ten Media Days. No J.T. Barrett. No Saquon Barkley. No Trace McSorley. Many of the stars won't be in Chicago.

Our Dan Hope outlined a list of those players who would be in attendance and there's still plenty of talent around the league. However, there's no question the Big Ten missed the boat a bit by not having some of its best players in town for this event.

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