Print and Go Back Big Ten [Print without images]

Thursday, July 24, 2008
Things to watch on Day 1, schedule of coaches

By staff

Posted by's Adam Rittenberg

CHICAGO -- Illinois coach Ron Zook will step on the dais shortly, as Big Ten football media days get under way. The coaches and league commissioner Jim Delany talk from 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., so I'll check back as often as I can.

Here are five things to watch Thursday:

1. Rich Rodriguez makes his debut: Media days featured three new coaches (Mark Dantonio, Tim Brewster and Bill Lynch) last year, but none of them will draw attention like Rodriguez, who enters his first season at Michigan. He'll most likely address his legal settlement with West Virginia and the upcoming quarterback competition between Steven Threet and Nick Sheridan.

2. Joe Paterno: The 81-year-old coach has no contract beyond the season, and his coaching future will once again be discussed. Paterno is always entertaining on the dais. He might get annoyed with the how-much-longer-will-you-coach crowd, but that will make it all the more enjoyable.

3. Terrelle Pryor: The acclaimed incoming freshman quarterback isn't here this week, but Ohio State coach Jim Tressel surely will be asked about the nation's No. 1 recruit. Don't know how much Tressel will reveal about his plans for Pryor this fall, but he might dispel some theories.

4. Iowa situation: Kirk Ferentz checked in with this morning, and the Iowa coach will have to rehash things when he takes the dais at 1:15 p.m. Perhaps he'll comment more about the specifics of how university officials handled the alleged sexual assault case involving two former football players and a female student-athlete.

5. Tiller talk: Purdue coach Joe Tiller makes his final appearance at Big Ten media days, and most reporters will miss having him around. Tiller should have some interesting stories and thoughts to share when he takes the dais at 11:15 a.m.

Here's the schedule of coaches/officials at the dais today:

Illinois coach Ron Zook -- 10:30-10:45 a.m.

Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald -- 10:45-11 a.m.

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema -- 11:15-11:30 a.m.

Purdue coach Joe Tiller -- 11:30-11:45 a.m.

Ohio State coach Jim Tressel -- 11:45 a.m.-noon


Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio -- 12:30 p.m.-12:45 p.m.

Minnesota coach Tim Brewster -- 12:45-1 p.m.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno -- 1-1:15 p.m.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz -- 1:15-1:30 p.m.

Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez -- 1:30-1:45 p.m.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany -- 2-3 p.m.

Also a quick nugget: