I admit to jealousy at times when we hear coaches from other conferences talking at their respective media days. If only the Big Ten had personalities like Steve Spurrier, Les Miles and Mike Leach who weren't afraid to say whatever crossed their minds.
Unfortunately, the best zingers and one-liners from Big Ten coaches usually come in the summer when they are speaking to their alumni and other highly supportive crowds. The latest example comes from Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Addressing a crowd of fans gathered after a golf outing, Fitzgerald got some pretty good lines in at the expense of Nebraska and Cal coach Sonny Dykes, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Fitzgerald said he wanted to make sure Wildcats fans dominated the stands when Nebraska -- which always brings a big crowd and turned Ryan Field into a sea of red two years ago -- comes to town on Oct. 18 for homecoming.
"It’s a pretty boring state, so they’re really excited to see Chicago,” Fitzgerald said. “I talked to the state senator about putting state troopers out on I-80 [to block them].”
No one keeps Huskers fans from traveling, and Fitzgerald was obviously just joking around. There appeared to be a bit more animosity for Dykes, who accused the Wildcats of faking injuries to slow Cal's hurry-up offense in last year's 44-30 win by Northwestern in Berkeley. The Bears play in Evanston for the Aug. 30 opener.
“The way it went last year,” Fitzgerald said, “I look forward to shaking that coach’s hand after we beat 'em.”
Thanks for providing a nice subplot to that game, Pat. We can only hope that you and other Big Ten coaches saved some of your best material for media days next week.