2011 Big Ten Media Days kicks off this morning, perhaps the first real sign that college football season isn't too far away. Media Days are heavily controlled, more theatre than anything, but for fans starving from a long period of no football, it's like an oasis.
I wouldn't place high expectations on the 15 minutes each coach is given in front of the media. Most will use as much of their 15 allotted minutes as possible making a prepared speech, and with Nebraska joining the conference, they've got even more inane material to work with. (Nebraska joining the conference inane? Yes, by now, it's old news. Let's get on with football talk, shall we?) Coaches really don't want to reveal any more about their teams than Tim Beck does about Nebraska's offense, so they'll do their best to limit getting caught off guard by media trying to find a story.
Look for the BTN to announce something called BTN2GO, which is a live, 24/7 simulcast of Big Ten Network, plus VOD, available via computers, tablets and mobile exclusively for authenticated BTN customers through their cable, satellite or telco subscriptions. Think of something like ESPN3.com that you can get on your iPhone, Droid, or iPad.
After the jump is the schedule, as well as online resources you'll want to follow if you're unable to watch the festivities live on BTN, as well as some other topics that will be widely covered.
Expect Joe Paterno to be entertaining as always as he'll probably avoid the speech and go right into answering the same questions he gets asked every year, i.e., "How long are you going to coach?", "How's your health?", and "Who's your successor" and so on.
The concept of divisions is new to everyone in the B1G with the exception of Nebraska. As such, expect a lot of coverage around that, along with this new whiz bang idea of a conference championship game.
The network's online coverage will include the press conferences streamed live from start to finish on www.BTN.com. Fans can also track the day's activities by following BTN.com's Brent Yarina on Twitter (@BTNBrentYarina). Nebraska's media outlets will have a host of reporters, most of whom are on Twitter, and amazingly, have learned how to use it as well.
BTN will also re-air the press conferences beginning at 6:30pm CT on Thursday night.
All Times Are Central
LEADERS DIVISION COACHES
10:00 AM Ron Zook (Illinois)
10:15 AM Bret Bielema (Wisconsin)
10:30 AM Danny Hope (Purdue)
10:45 AM BREAK
11:00 AM Luke Fickell (Ohio State)
11:15 AM Kevin Wilson (Indiana)
11:30 AM Joe Paterno (Penn State)
11:45 AM BREAK
LEGENDS DIVISION COACHES
12:00 PM Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
12:15 PM Brady Hoke (Michigan)
12:30 PM Bo Pelini (Nebraska)
12:45 PM BREAK
1:00 PM Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
1:15 PM Jerry Kill (Minnesota)
1:30 PM Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)
1:45 PM Bill Carollo (Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials)
2:00 PM Mark Silverman (BTN President)
2:15 PM Jim Delany (Big Ten Commissioner
BTN will also air a 60-minute Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon Special at 11:00 AM CT on Saturday, Aug. 6. Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith will be joined by all 12 coaches.