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Big Ten Media Days Coaches Notes and Quotes

Bret Bielema, Wisconsin

- Liked that he got to have a rematch against Michigan State and likes the new rivalry that's built with the Spartans.
- Danny O'Brien, the new Wisconsin transfer quarterback, arrived in June.
- Bielema said he never said anything about a "gentleman's agreement" when he was angry about Urban Meyer talking to Wisconsin recruits.
- Wisconsin won't actively pursue any Penn State players.

Danny Hope, Purdue

- "We have a lot of accomplished quarterbacks." They actually have nine on the roster.
- On recruiting Penn State players: "As long as we're compliant, we're going to exercise every opportunity we have to enhance our football team."
- Hope emphasized staying healthy and being more disciplined as keys to making the next step. "We have a lot of talent."
- "All the pieces are there. We have to put them all together as a team."

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

- "The SEC the last few years is kind of the kingpin with the success they've had in the BCS."
- "The Big Ten, for many years, was the No. 1 conference in America. Right now we're not, but we have a lot of players and coaches who are intent on making it the best conference."
- "I have a problem with (coaches soliciting Penn State players)." Interestingly, he benefited from a lot of recruits switching over to OSU from PSU before the sanctions came out.

Tim Beckman, Illinois

- Beckman said Illinois didn't go onto the Penn State campus to recruit players. They were in State College, but not on campus. "We went to some establishments and called individuals and if they wanted to come by they could come by.
- Illinois notified the Penn State staff of who they were recruiting.
- Illini will run a dual-threat offense. Sometimes there will be two running backs and "sometimes you'll even see two quarterbacks."
- "Rivalries are something that make college football so unique... We call (Northwestern) the team upstate. We're going to make it a rivalry and we're going to make it a very important part of our football season."

Kevin Wilson, Indiana

- Indiana only scored points three out of every five times it crossed the 40-yard line in 2011. Wilson said it was one of the worst offenses he'd been around.
- "We're not going to play great defense yet, but we have to get some third down stops."
- "When you're a 1-11 football team, no job is safe."
- Wilson doesn't understand why teams are allowed to go over the scholarship limit with Penn State players. He thinks that's a competitive advantage."
- Wilson said he's talked to his team about "how to Twitter."

Bill O'Brien, Penn State

- In the team meeting after the sanctions came out, O'Brien had a team meeting and told the players about the education they're getting at Penn State, their commitment to each other, development for the NFL and dealing with adversity. Basically, he gave his own recruiting pitch.
- "I have no idea what schools were on campus, nor do I care. And that's about all I have to say on that."
- Question: "Hey coach, can you give us an update on the Silas Redd situation?" O'Brien: "No."
- On player transfers: "It's like NFL free agency without the rules."

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

- "Offensively we feel very strong... across the board."
- "Most importantly on defense we have to affect the quarterback more."
- "I'm a fan of eight and I'm sure most coaches are a fan of eight conference games. It would affect our non-conference scheduling if we went to nine."
- "We gave up way too many explosion plays a year ago."
- On going to four straight bowl games: "That's not the destination of our program."
- "We're proud to be part of the Under Armour brand."

Jerry Kill, Minnesota

- On MarQueis Gray: "I think he'll be a very exciting player to watch... We needed to get (more) people around him."
- Not focusing on Penn State players, focusing on his team.

Brady Hoke, Michigan

- "We had a disappointing year a year ago, when you do not win the Big Ten Championship." His team went 10-2 with a BCS Bowl win.
- "We don't put much stock in (preseason predictions)." Michigan was picked to win the Legends Division by the media.
- On the Legends Division being tougher than the Leaders Division: "Life isn't fair."
- "I'd be lying if I said I didn't look at the (Penn State) roster to some degree." However, they decided they aren't going to do much recruiting of Penn State players.
- On SEC vs. Big Ten: "I think that's a big mistake, when people make the mistake of lumping a conference in as not having speed." Prefers to focus on team by team match-ups (Michigan plays Alabama to start the season).

Bo Pelini, Nebraska

- Since the bowl game, Pelini "tried to up the attention to detail."
- On getting Penn State players: "You never say never." They won't actively pursue Penn State players, but if someone was going to transfer and wanted to got to Nebraska, they'd take a look.
- On (lack of) competitive balance: "I thought they set (the divisions) up well... You couldn't have foreseen what's going on. Whether they adjust them for a year, that's way over my head."
- Pelini thinks Taylor Martinez has progressed a lot at quarterback. "My expectations for Taylor are high... He's had a tremendous offseason."

Mark Dantonio, Michigan State

- "We have some unfinished business in (not getting to) the Rose Bowl." Happy that they're in the conversation now, though.
- On William Gholson: "He is a force. No question."
- On Michigan being favored: "I would just say, they've been favored the last four years, but it only matters if they're favored and they won't be favored in our locker room." MSU has won four straight against Michigan.
- On recruiting Penn State players: "I've tried to treat (the situation) with integrity, but at the same time we still have a job to do." MSU has been approached by PSU players. They won't reach out to anyone, but will listen if someone calls.

Kirk Ferentz, Iowa

- Ferentz had the same coordinators for 13 seasons and now is replacing both. They stayed in house and promoted Phil Parker to defensive coordinator and hired former Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis for the same position at Iowa.
- Calls Penn State situation "complex" and "confusing." He was asked about his contact with PSU players and basically said nothing in a lot of words.
- "I think our running back situation, it's very likely (one or two true freshmen) could end up playing."