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Iowa celebrates new football facility, searching for depth on the field

The biggest thing coming out of Iowa City entering the college football season is arguably its new football facility. Kirk Ferentz, entering his 25th year in the Big Ten, kicked off his media day press conference on Thursday in Chicago by celebrating the $55 million Hansen Football Performance Center and the effects it should have on recruiting entering its first full season of operation. On the field, Ferentz said the Hawkeyes need to develop depth. Junior C.J. Beathard was named the starting quarterback in January, but the veteran coach expects healthy competition to fill the rest of the roles.

Interesting quotes: 

On naming C.J. Beathard the quarterback so early in the year:
"The story is on C.J.'s development ... it's been the growth and development we've seen [that earned him the job]."

On developing depth:
"What we do in the next month is going to be really important for our development as a football team and representative of our development of a football team and how some of the these young players come on. … Offensively, our focus right now is develop a starting offensive line and develop depth at the position. We need to develop depth at the quarterback position and receiver position, as well.”

Preseason Big Ten players to watch: Drew Ott, DE, Iowa

Amway coaches poll ranking: Not ranked. Complete poll.

Last year: 7-6 overall record, 4-4 in Big Ten. Lost to Tennessee in TaxSlayer Bowl, 45-28.

Links: Kirk Ferentz press conference, Iowa BTN Twitter feed and 2015-2016 schedule.

Wisconsin's new coach familiar, confident with returning talent

New head coach Paul Chryst kept the focus on Wisconsin’s returning talent, players and coaches, during Thursday afternoon’s press conference at the Big Ten media days in Chicago. He touched on his relationship with quarterback Joel Stave, which began during Chryst's time as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He recalled recruiting running back Corey Clement. He also emphasized the importance of maintaining Dave Aranda in the defensive coordinator role and operating a 3-4 defense.

Interesting quotes: 

On maintaining a high-powered offense:
"They know what we’ve done and what this offense has done. It’s easy to buy into it, but we gotta go out and do it. … What we’ve done has helped us, but we got to be able to do it each day, each game."

On Corey Clement taking over as the starting running back:
"It has been an important position for a long time. I had a chance to get to know Corey recruiting him out of high school. .... He's had [great] mentors at the position. ... I think Corey has clear expectations of what it is to be the running back at Wisconsin. ... He knows who he is and knows he doesn’t have to be Melvin [Gordon] or James [White]. I like where he’s at right now and I think he’s excited for this next step."

Preseason players to watch: Michael Caputo, S, Wisconsin; Corey Clement, RB, Wisconsin

Amway coaches poll ranking: No. 18

Last year: 11-3 overall record , 7-1 Big Ten. Lost in the Big Ten championship game to eventual national champion Ohio State, 59-0. Won the Outback Bowl in overtime, 34-31, against Auburn.

Big news of the day: The Badgers also learned Thursday that a former recruit is planning to stay in the Big Ten. Jordan Stevenson, a four-star running back who was denied admission to Wisconsin last week, announced via Twitter that he'd be attending Nebraska. Wisconsin and Nebraska meet on Oct. 10. 

Links: Paul Chryst press conference, Wisconsin BTN Twitter feed and 2015-2016 schedule.

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