July 26, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Etienne Sabino speaks to reporters during the Big Ten media day at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE
While it doesn't have the same media circus and blatant hero worship of its SEC counterpart, Big Ten Media Day is still a big, big deal in these parts. Penn State aside, there were some real newsmakers attending and giving interviews. Etienne Sabino, John Simon and Zach Boren were the Ohio State player representatives, and as always, Urban Meyer gave a stirring interview. Other coaches, such as Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Penn State's Bill O'Brien, had some noteworthy quotes. Here are ten interesting quotes from Big Ten Media Day, transcribed and taken completely out of context for your reading pleasure:
10: "No." Bill O'Brien, when asked whether he had additional information on Silas Redd's potential transfer.
Of course he's not going to say anything! Honesty is the worst policy when it comes to these rumors, especially when the transfer of one player could cause the rest of the Penn Staters to jump ship. Despite Michael Zordich's rousing speech at the Penn State players' press conference prior to Media Day, not all of the players may believe. If Penn State's best player transfers, it may lead to a domino effect. Thus, Bill O'Brien's answer to this question was short, sweet and to the point.
9: "I think we have the best defensive line in the country." Etienne Sabino to Paul Keels, when asked about how much fun it is to play behind John Simon and Johnathan Hankins.
Many Buckeye fans out there share his sentiment. I would say that South Carolina's defensive line is probably the best at rushing the quarterback, and Alabama has the extremely intimidating Aussie, Jesse Williams. Good Lord. But the Buckeyes are certainly up there with the best of them. John Simon ain't no slouch, y'all.
8: "I think it's time to step up and become one of the elite quarterbacks in the nation." Illinois' Nathan Scheelhaase.
/tries not to snicker
//falls out of chair laughing
7: "Whoa." - anyone who saw Northwestern's new uniforms.
If you all haven't seen these, Yahoo has them.They're interesting, I suppose. Northwestern switched to Under Armour after dropping Adidas, and this is what the good folks at UA came up with for them. The rugby stripe in the middle of the jerseys is a bold look and certainly will cause some controversy. The typeface is ug-ly. However, the white on white combination really works, and I think 17 year old recruits will like them. Hey, at least they aren't Maryland's!
6: "The thing I don't understand or have a real grasp of is our opposition, our opponents. I don't know the league real well." Urban Meyer, asked about his first group of players.
Don't worry, Coach. You've got a whole season where you don't have any postseason play to learn. Expectations are low.
Just kidding. This is Ohio State.
5: "Curt Phillips has emerged from his injury history and will compete with O'Brien." Wisconsin's Bret Bielema, on his quarterback situation.
Well then, there's a surprise. Remember Curt Phillips? I thought Wisconsin could only start transferred quarterbacks. We'll see how much Phillips is actually in the mix, if at all.
4: "I have a problem with that. Yeah, I have a problem with that." Urban Meyer again, on whether he has a problem with the way schools are recruiting Penn State's players.
It's a bit refreshing to hear him say that, considering that Tim Beckman's basically pulling a John Cusack, holding up the boombox outside of the Penn State football players' dorms. Maybe Urbz thinks he doesn't need the PSU talent with what he's got in-house.
3: "We have a very, very good relationship." Urban Meyer AGAIN, on his spring squabble with Wisconsin's Bret Bielema.
Call me crazy, but I don't think the beef over Urban Meyer's recruitment of Kyle Dodson (remember this?) is squashed yet. Both Bielema and Meyer were pretty upset with one another, and this newfound "great relationship" seems to be more of Bret tucking his tail between his legs when Meyer bared his teeth or some sort of mutual PR push after a tongue lashing from Papa Delany. We'll see these two alpha dogs battle it out in the Big Ten over the next few years.
2: "I don't feel like calling those guys." Indiana coach Kevin Wilson, explaining whether he will actively pursue Penn State's players or not.
Wilson noted that he would wait until contacted by any Penn State players to talk about a transfer. Honestly, that might be the most Indiana football thing ever. "Eh, we don't really care if we get players here. We're just collecting a paycheck and waiting for basketball season."
1: "We have to go win some bowl games." Urban Meyer appears for the fourth time, answering a question on how the Big Ten can return to being the best conference in the country.
We've come full circle here to the beginning of the article. The Big Ten is not the SEC - not yet. Currently the SEC has better, faster defensive front seven players and better overall coaching. Until this changes, the SEC will be the top conference in college football. Urban Meyer, Bret Bielema, Brady Hoke and the other coaches of the Big Ten are actively looking to change this by using the history of their programs and the championship bling on their fingers to bring in better recruiting classes year by year. Last year was a decent stepping stone to the Big Ten having the best conference in the nation, but as Meyer said, they must win some bowl games, especially more head-to-head ones against the SEC, to gain the respect of the national media and great recruits across the nation.
Let us know some of your favorite quotes in the comments.