What You Need to Know From Day 2 of Big Ten Media Days
Photo Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

What You Need to Know From Day 2 of Big Ten Media Days

July 24, 2018

While Nebraska's day at the podium was Monday, there was still plenty of news from Day Two of Big Ten Media Days. You can find all of our stories from Chicago here, but if you're just looking for Tuesday's major news, here's a handy guide.

Nebraska's Gains

According to the Nebraska media guide that was released prior to Big Ten Media Days, 56 returning scholarship players have added a combined 800 pounds. While these listings may not be 100 percent accurate, there's plenty to be learned from them.

College Football Playoff Expansion

When it comes to College Football Playoff expansion talk, Big Ten coaches are all over the board when it comes to what's best. It probably doesn't matter what they think, though.

Gina Lehe, the Senior Director of External Relations and Branding for the College Football Playoff, put the speculation to rest. As of now, there is no discussion about expansion.

“We’ve got a pretty solid system in place,” she said. “We signed this and gave it longevity intentionally. Right now there’s no discussion amongst our leadership. We feel confident that four is the right number. All of the constituents have expressed that they feel the same way. 

“There’s going to be media and fan banter about expansion, it’s what you do when you’re talking about college football but from our perspective, there’s been no discussion about it whatsoever.”

Nebraska "Elite"

The Big Ten Network announced Tuesday that 1997 Nebraska will be the next team featured on the network's "Big Ten Elite" program. BTN and National Networks at FOX Sports President Mark Silverman was the one to make the announcement, but he was excited about more than just the show.

“We are thrilled to have him here. He’s a fantastic person to work with," Silverman said of Scott Frost joining the Big Ten. "His success speaks for itself. We are looking forward to it. Maybe not as much as Nebraska fans, but pretty close, to having them return to being the kind of program I think we all expect Nebraska to be. It feels like it’s moving in that direction.

"We are ready to show Nebraska fans as much of their team as possible. We are very happy and we want to try to make Coach Frost as successful as possible in our own little way.”

It's also worth noting that the Big Ten Network may not have selected Nebraska for this season's "Big Ten Elite" had it not been for Frost.

Very Official Rankings

How did the ties of Big Ten coaches stack up against one another? The official rankings have arrived.

Other Observations

  • Socks are forgotten. The accessories are forgotten. You can wear a bland suit with dope accessories (yes, I said dope, get over it) and the suit gets upgraded. Iowa's three players all wore bland navy suits with bland ties and shirts, but defensive lineman Matt Nelson stood out with pineapple socks. Michigan State running back LJ Scott also had some cool palm tree socks. Maybe a larger sort-of-rankings post will come of it, but for now, just know guys were too safe with socks. — Derek Peterson
  • Ohio State coach Urban Meyer knew what he was walking into when he took the podium Tuesday morning. It's likely why his opening statement was so brief. Meyer admitted Monday that he was aware of the 2009 abuse allegations involving former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith (who was officially fired Monday). He spent most of his 15 minutes at the podium addressing Smith and what he knew, and I assume spent even more time discussing it in the breakout room (I didn't go near because the number of reporters was significant). I'm not sure yet if I think Meyer handled it all well or not, but I appreciate the Ohio State media contigency holding him accountable. — Erin Sorensen
  • Lovie Smith made an interesting comment Tuesday about the bar he's setting for his program. ("I don't think you should ever say this is how many wins we have to have or we're going to get. But for us, when we say improvement, when you talk about the young players, first time on the field, I just know behind the scenes they've gotten so much better.") This caught my attention because I've

    Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports
    A man and his beard.

    heard this story before. ("The actual goal is to win all the games, but as you go, you'd like to think you're getting better through the year and playing your best ball as you go.") Here's what I'll say: When the expectations start to shift from the wins and losses of a season, it typically isn't a good sign. — E.S.

  • Lovie's beard is cool, though. — D.P.
  • I don't know how tired Iowa's Kirk Ferentz is of the perception around the league that he is a bit surly. What I do know is that he was very cordial and even cracked some jokes during both his initial press conference and during his media scrum. Typically, a good mood at media days can be attributed to feeling good about your team for the coming season. So does this mean don't sleep on the Hawkeyes or was he just happy to be in Chicago? — Greg Smith 
  • Tom Allen quite possibly had the line of the day on Tuesday. During his opening statement he used the phrase "Before there's a reality, there is a mentality." I thought that was genius. If you don't believe me, here is the video. — G.S.

  • I've asked plenty of non-Nebraska people about Nebraska. I asked Iowa players about whether Nebraska is a rival (it is) or if the game staying on Black Friday matters to them (it does). I asked Wisconsin players about whether the Huskers have been close to catching them (they said NU has) or if Nebraska and Wisconsin are similar (safety D'Cota Dixon half-smiled and said, "They used to be").  I asked Maryland coach DJ Durkin about playing Scott Frost's Central Florida team last season. He called the defense one of the team's strengths and one of the best front sevens they played. More coming. — D.P.
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