Updates From Day Two Of Big Ten Media Days

By Colin Hass-Hill on July 19, 2019 at 9:16 am
Jim Harbaugh

CHICAGO – Ryan Day and Ohio State's three player representatives spoke at the first day of Big Ten media days on Thursday, and the event rolled into Friday with seven other teams teams talking about their respective programs.

Seven head coaches speak to the media on Friday. Here's a look at the schedule of speakers.

  • Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz (8-8:15 a.m. CT)
  • Purdue coach Jeff Brohm (8:15-30 a.m. CT)
  • Penn State coach James Franklin (8:30-45 a.m. CT)
  • Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald (8:45-9 a.m. CT)
  • Wisconsin Paul Chryst (9-9:15 a.m. CT)
  • Rutgers coach Chris Ash (9:15-30 a.m. CT)
  • Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh (9:30-45 a.m. CT)
  • Big Ten coordinator of football officials Bill Carollo (9:45-10 a.m. CT)

The seven other Big Ten head coaches, along with Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and BTN president Francois McGillicuddy addressed the media on Thursday.

You can follow along here for live updates from each press conference as the day progresses.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

  • He says the attitude of his team and leadership base has improved the most this offseason.
  • How close are you to winning a Big Ten championship? "We'll find out. We have a chance, an opportunity." Iowa has to win close games and be "improvement driven," Ferentz said.
  • On the players Iowa lost: "Any time you talk about losing a first round player, that's a pretty special accomplishment."
  • He says the team won't be as deep as it was last year due to graduations and the players who left for the NFL draft.
  • Ferentz says Nate Stanley has been out on the field in tough circumstances, which will benefit him this season.
  • On Iowa's series against Nebraska, which didn't go well for the Hawkeyes early in his career: "It's to the point now where it's a series." He says he knows the Cornhuskers will be a "really tough team."
  • If he could make a change, he pinpoints the speed of recruiting, which he called "really concerning." He wishes players could finish their careers before coaches have to make decisions in order to be more accurate. However... "That's the world you're living in, so you just adjust to and adopt it."
  • He says clarity on who gets a waiver through the transfer portal should "get cleaned up a little bit." He thinks how the transfer portal is used "should be for the best of the players."

Jeff Brohm, Purdue

  • He thinks his team has to develop more consistency. Last year, he said, his team beat itself at times.
  • He says Markus Bailey is a versatile, active linebacker who plays with high energy and whom teammates feed off. He knows Bailey wants to finish his career with a strong season. Bailey is a Columbus native.
  • Many of the freshmen will have chances to play this season, Brohm said. Namely, the wide receivers, including David Bell, who had an Ohio State offer.
  • On the preseason hype for Rondale Moore: "Rondale's a guy we don't have to worry about." He said he had high expectations for Moore entering the season and he has already exceeded them. Moore added some weight and strength in the offseason. 
  • On Moore: "When the lights come on, it doesn't faze him one bit."
  • He thinks Purdue needs to give him more room in the return game.
  • Brohm says Purdue needs to help quarterback Elijah Sindelar eliminate turnovers.
  • He says the Big Ten West has gotten better every year. "With our schedule, there's not an easy week."

James Franklin, Penn State

  • "We probably have more question marks than we have over the last couple years." He mentions the loss of quarterback Trace McSorley.
  • He thinks this is the fastest team he has coached in his nine years.
  • He believes Penn State has a chance to be "as good as any team in the country" at defensive end.
  • Franklin says Penn State has been fortunate to "recruit very well" at quarterback, which gives the coaches confidence at the position.
  • On the decision of who starts at quarterback: "We'll make the decision when the decision's been made, when it's obvious to everybody."
  • On the Big Ten not making the College Football Playoff each of the past two years: "When you're left out of the playoffs two years in a row, I think you need to have discussions." He thinks the Big Ten East is much stronger, and "you have to look at that." He thinks there being nine conference games needs to be discussed. Games versus FCS opponents should be discussed too. He thinks it's a "fair question and a fair discussion that needs to happen."
  • He used to sit between Les Miles and Steve Spurrier at SEC media days for the hilarity.
  • Franklin on the comment after losing to Ohio State last year that Penn State was great but not yet an elite program: "I think a little bit of that comment was misinterpreted a little bit." He says 90 percent of programs across college football would like to be where they're at, but they need to take the next step.
  • He says Penn State has been as competitive as any team in the conference against Ohio State.

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

  • Fitzgerald opens his press conference: "Morning, everybody. You guys awake? Wow. I hope my team reacts better in a couple weeks."
  • He welcomes Ryan Day to the conference and says he knows he'll do a great job. "I've got a ton of respect for Ryan."
  • Says Northwestern is winning at the highest level it ever has and hasn't sacrificed any of its academic standards.
  • He mentions compares a coach to a couple WWE wrestlers, and then he says, "FOX will love me," since the network signed a deal with the company.
  • On Clayton Thorson: "He's just the all-time winningest quarterback in program history." He doesn't want whichever player becomes the next quarterback to be compared to Thorson.
  • He thinks there needs to be "serious discussions" about the Big Ten not making the College Football Playoff. He thinks every team in the country needs to play the same amount of conference games, and he thinks strength of schedule needs to be weighed more. 
  • On the playoff system: "It's not any different than the BCS. It's just a different name."
  • He thinks playoff expansion is "inevitable."
  • Will he use low projections as motivation? "Yeah, absolutely."
  • "We're not great clickbait, so picking us first isn't sexy."
  • "You know how I feel. Stats are for losers."

Paul Chryst, Wisconsin​

  • He says Graham Mertz has handled the buzz and hype well. "I appreciate he's the same person."
  • On Wisconsin's quarterbacks: "We're going to have one. We're going to have four."

Chris Ash, Rutgers

  • He says it's the 150th anniversary of college football, and Rutgers is excited to celebrate that.
  • Ash says Rutgers has to figure out how not to lose games.
  • Ash opens the press conference for questions: "Not everybody has to raise their hand at the same time."
  • He says he doesn't think the Big Ten can be realigned to make everybody happy.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan

  • "So I guess I'm the warm-up act for Bill Carollo to follow."
  • On the Wolverines: "We're young, we're an enthusiastic team. But we have guys who have played in a lot of games, have a lot of experience."
  • "With that, we'll open it up for questions, as they say."
  • He was asked about the Big Ten missing last two playoffs and what needs to change: "Was the a drop the mic?" He says he doesn't have the answers and it would be worthy of the reporter researching it.
  • On getting the team to accomplish its high goals: "But like an anaconda, you want to just keep squeezing it tighter and making it better."
  • He says Josh Gattis, the new offensive coordinator, has been "excellent." He says he has a great system, which led to him making the "decisive" hire.
  • "I have not coached with a better coach than Don Brown."
  • He says he has a group of assistant coaches in their 30s that are among the best in that age group in the country. He says he would put his son Jay Harbaugh in that class, but humility prevents him from doing so.
  • On the staff: "You feel like you're lock-armed with 10 other guys and attacking the world." He says his staff is the best it has been.
  • On his comment about Urban Meyer being successful but having controversy follow him: "No context you should know about. But I don't think it was anything new or a bombshell. It was many things you all understand and have written about."
  • He says he doesn't have any more thoughts on Greg Mattison or Al Washington leaving for Ohio State.
  • He thinks any player should be able to transfer one time without sitting out a year. Then, if someone wanted to transfer again, they'd have to sit out.
  • On Michigan getting picked first to win the Big Ten: "That's where I would pick us."
  • On playing for championships: "That's the goal. That's what drives you."
  • On possibly playing a game in Mexico City: "Sure. We like travel. Mexico City would be great."
  • Harbaugh says Michigan is close to announcing a game on "foreign soil." He doesn't name the opponent or country, though: "Have you heard anything about this? Then I probably shouldn't say it."

Bill Carollo, Big Ten coordinator of football officials

  • He says 2019 is an "off year" for rule changes.
  • Carollo says all elements of targeting have to be confirmed. If not, the player remains in the game, which he says was about 10 percent of plays last year. Thus, he expects about 10 percent less targeting calls this fall.
  • If somebody commits three targeting calls, the player will sit out an additional game.
  • You cannot commit a blindside block in open field, which often happens on kickoffs, change of possessions, punt returns. That'll be a 15-yard penalty.
  • By the fifth overtime, the ball will be moved to the 3-yard line, and teams will have one shot to score.
  • He says the officiating staff in the Big Ten is the best it has ever been.
  • Carollo calls targeting his toughest calls, and he says he spends most of his time on the penalty.
  • "We tell our officials, 'When in doubt, throw the flag,'" because they can rely on replay for targeting calls.

This will continually be updated throughout the day.

View 94 Comments