Big Ten Media Days Roundup

Sights, sounds, and reaction to the festivities

Data Points, Clarification of the Rules, and Thank You might have been the most widely used terms by the fourteen Big Ten coaches at this weeks media days in Chicago.

After a couple decades at the helm, the Big Ten started the long goodbye for outgoing commissioner Jim Delany, who is retiring as of as January 1, 2020. In his time, his biggest accomplishment might have been the inception of the Big Ten Network. The conference specific channel set off sweeping changes across our TV dial and inadvertently started the entire conference realignment mayhem over the last decade.

Every coach at one point or another expressed some sort of contempt for the unbalanced-ness of college football claiming that the league is hurting itself by playing an extra conference game compared to the others in the Power 5 conferences. Considering the league has missed the College Football Playoff in two consecutive seasons, it would appear that the coaches are toeing the company line in hopes they can a) sway the powers that be either at a conference level or the NCAA level can enact some changes or b) make themselves feel better about being on the outside looking in. No one in the league though seemed to remember when Ohio State backed their way into the playoffs when they won the title in 2015.

Having an equal number of data points cannot happen until the conferences are balanced, most everyone would like the governing body of the sport to have a bit of a backbone and dictate rules for how it determines a champion, but its so addicted to the network TV money that it has not had much of a sense of direction for a number of decades now.

The terms Transfer or Transfer Portal were also a point of contention. Most every coach had a negative and positive comment about the transfer rules, but most of the hubbub comes from the rules/judgements about immediate eligibility for those transferring, and how players can be contacted when they are still on campus, yet are in the portal.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh made use of his time on the podium talking about transfer rules.

“Where we’re at right now is in a limbo period, in my opinion. The NCAA decides who is eligible immediately. Who has to sit out a year in residence. It used to be you could sit out a year (and then) be eligible. Now we see guys get eligible immediately. It’s not really clear on what makes someone eligible immediately and what doesn’t. I don’t like the gray area of that. I think it cleans it up of saying ‘everyone has one year where they could be immediately eligible.’ If you do it a second time, that’s getting a little hippity-hoppity.”

We spoke with a number of coaches, players, and media personalities throughout the week, but here are two of the best, first Illinois junior corner Nate Hobbs telling us that despite his best efforts to recruit Rondale Moore, his coaches and recruiters believed he was “too small”.

and lastly we spoke to Fox College Football analyst Joel Klatt and asked about who is closest to closing the gap to Clemson and Alabama.

Next up is the Pac 12 media days from Hollywood.

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