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Highlights from Day 1 of Big Ten football media days

Big Ten media days kicked off on Thursday in Chicago with seven of the 14 football conference members in the spotlight. Here’s a glimpse of what coaches were talking about and highlights from Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio State:
 
• New Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst on the Badgers’ depth and his return to the program:
“There are players at Wisconsin that know how to win and what it takes to win. And our challenge and our opportunity is for this year’s team to be able to do that. And we’ve got great leadership from the seniors, juniors, and we’ve got a young group of players that I think are anxious and ready to follow their lead. And again, being back, there’s so many great things for me coming back to the University of Wisconsin. But the best part of coaching to me always has been working with the players and helping those individuals be the best they can be, and then getting a group of individuals to be the best team that we can be.”
 
• Ohio State coach Urban Meyer on handling lofty expectations and overcoming setbacks:
“Every coach is concerned about that. There’s no perfect team. There’s no perfect program. And everyone deals with stuff. You know, when you’re Ohio State or some of these other big-time programs, stuff becomes a major deal. … All we can do is watch the indicators, watch it closely, and then dive into it with a sledgehammer if we start to see something that’s disrupting the team. And we’ve dealt with one [the suspension of four players including All-America Joey Bosa for the season opener]. And I knew this was coming for a while. And at some point, we’re going to have to address it and we did.”
 
• Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio on the Big Ten’s national status:
“I’ve said all along that great football is played in the Big Ten Conference, as it is played in all these other conferences. Great football. There’s a lot of parity in college football. Things hang by the inches. When people get hot, great things can happen. And I think you saw that last year [with Ohio State].”
 
• Illinois coach Tim Beckman on university investigation and allegations that he mistreated players:
“The philosophy that we continue to use is what these football players believe in. … We’re fathers. I think that each one of our coaches would say the same thing. We’re in the process of providing avenues for our football players to become better men, become better football players. We want the best. We want a relationship for a lifetime as we talk to them. We want to be able to communicate with one another throughout their lives. So, as a football coach and as being the part of a football program, I think those are very essential parts of leading young men.” 
 
• Wisconsin's new coach Paul Chryst familiar, confident with returning talent, read more.
• Iowa getting comfortable in new football facility, searching for depth on the field, read more.
• Urban Meyer's indicators show No. 1 Ohio State handling lofty expectations well, read more.

Meyer's indicators show No. 1 Ohio State handling expectations well

Urban Meyer’s biggest challenge this season will be managing how the Buckeyes handle their No. 1 ranking and lofty expectations. The Ohio State coach explained at Thursday's Big Ten media day in Chicago that it won't be easy, despite much of last year’s national championship team returning to defend its title. Another challenge will be transitioning Braxton Miller from quarterback to the wide receiver position. However, Meyer is confident that Miller can become an impact player in this role while J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones battle for the starting quarterback job.  

Interesting quotes: 

On the battle for the starting quarterback job:
"We’ve already started [assessing]. We started the leadership component. Coach Mick [Marotti] has been evaluating them all summer, and then we’re going to chart everything imaginable.”

On maintaining focus with such high expectations:
"Every coach is concerned about that. There is no perfect team, there is no perfect program. Everyone deals with stuff. … The indicators [academics, work ethic and socially, show that] it’s not been good, it’s been great. But tomorrow is another day so we keep pushing forward.”

Preseason Big Ten players to watch: Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State; Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State

Amway coaches poll ranking: No. 1.

Last year: 14-1 overall record, 8-0 Big Ten. Won Big Ten championship with 59-0 shutout of Wisconsin in conference title game. Selected as No. 4 seed for inaugural College Football playoff. Won Allstate Sugar Bowl semifinal against No. 1 Alabama, 42-35. Won National Championship against Oregon, 42-20.

Big news of the day: Ohio State announced it suspended All-America defensive end Joey Bosa, receiver Corey Smith and H-backs Jalin Marshall and Dontre Wilson for its season opener with Virginia Tech.

Links: Urban Meyer press conference, Ohio State BTN Twitter feed and 2015-2016 schedule.

Coming Friday from our Joe Christensen in Chicago: Ohio State is poised for another national championship run. Can the Buckeyes repeat, though? They have three quarterbacks battling for the starting job and kicked off the season with the announcement of several suspensions.

TV Listings

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Today's Scoreboard

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  • Washington

    Miami

     

    - F

    1

    0

  • San Diego

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    8

    7

  • Detroit

    Baltimore

     

    - F

    9

    8

  • Atlanta

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    1

    4

  • Kansas City

    Toronto

     

    - F

    2

    5

  • Chicago White Sox

    Boston

     

    - F

    2

    8

  • Pittsburgh

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    5

    15

  • Colorado

    St. Louis

     

    - F

    8

    9

  • NY Yankees

    Texas

     

    - F

    6

    7

  • LA Angels

    Houston

     

    - F

    0

    3

  • Chicago Cubs

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    5

    2

  • Seattle

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    5

    9

  • Cleveland

    Oakland

     

    - Bot 7th

    3

    1

  • Phoenix

    Tulsa

     

    - F

    78

    66

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