CHICAGO — Retiring commissioner Jim Delany gave his farewell address and seven of the Big Ten’s coaches, including Ohio State’s Ryan Day, talked about their teams’ prospects in the upcoming season on Day One of the Big Ten football media days on Thursday.
• Delany talked about how the Big Ten has gone without a representative in the College Football Playoff for the last two seasons and how its champion has not made the final four the last three seasons.
Obviously, this did not please him.
“Our last three champions were ranked 5, 5, and 6, I still don’t know how Ohio State was ranked sixth last year, by the way. But regardless, they were ranked sixth behind a divisional runner-up,” he said.
“I think we’re really built to win championships. When you look at what it takes, we recruit nationally, we have national television second to none, we have resources, we’ve reinvented our stadiums, we have world class, national class coaches who have demonstrated success before they ever came here. I think I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see more of a dominating presence for Big Ten football over the next half decade to decade.”
• Delany also said he would like to see the Big Ten play international games in the future.
“This particular conference is regional. It’s national to some extent, as international as any probably, and I think it would be a great idea to take a look at and either having a preseason game — not a preseason game but an early-season game and a bowl game. It would be a terrific idea,” he said.
• Illinois coach Lovie Smith might have had the line of the day when he compared players entering the transfer portal to a divorce.
“Sometimes divorce is a good thing in life in general, so for players to take that approach and have an opportunity to move on, as long as we’re all going by the same rules, I’m okay with whatever we have in place and okay with the current rules that we have in place,” Smith said.
• Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio thinks playing at Soldier Field might not be the pinnacle of the Spartans’ defensive lineman Raequan Williams’ aspirations in his hometown of Chicago.
“His goal is to be mayor of Chicago. I look forward to that campaign. He will do great things in his life,” Dantonio said.
• Nebraska coach Scott Frost expects big things from his sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez.
“I wouldn’t trade our guy for anybody in the country at that position, at the quarterback position. On top of being a great player, he’s just a great individual, exactly what we’re looking for to run our offense. We’re probably going to go as far as he can take us this year,” Frost said.
“I played the position, not as well as he plays it, but I played the position. And from personal experience and coaching experience, I think particularly at that position, your biggest jump comes from your first year of playing to your second year of playing.”
• Former Ohio State linebacker Keandre Jones, who transferred to Maryland this year, and Maryland coach Mike Locksley were reunited by that transfer.
Locksley was an assistant at Maryland who recruited Jones in high school.
Asked about Jones on Thursday, Locksley said, Obviously I had a very personal strong relationship with Keandre. He had committed to Maryland when I was there back in ‘15 along with Dwayne Haskins. And when I left to go to Alabama, I know they decided to go elsewhere. But what Keandre brings to the table for us is just having been a part of a winning program, I like to say success leaves clues, and Keandre has been able to bring some of those clues with him.”