Training camp for Rutgers football begins in two weeks, but the first true event of the 2019 season takes place this week with Big Ten Media Days. Here is a full preview that includes how to watch all the press conferences, when Rutgers head coach Chris Ash will take the podium, as well as five things to watch for at the annual event from a Rutgers point of view.
2019 Big Ten Football Media Days Preview
When: Thursday, July 18 & Tuesday, July 19, 2019
Where: Hilton Chicago (Illinois)
How To Watch
TV: Live on BTN
Stream: All coverage can be streamed via tablet or mobile device via the Fox Sports App.
Thursday, July 18 - Noon ET – 2:50 p.m. ET: BTN Live: B1G Football Media Day Press Conferences; 2:50 p.m. ET – 6:50 p.m. ET: BTN Live: Football Media Day Special
Friday, July 19 - 8:45 a.m. ET – 11:15 a.m. ET: BTN Live: B1G Football Media Day Press Conferences; 3 p.m. ET – 7 p.m. ET: BTN Live: Football Media Day Special
Media Address: Chris Ash will take to the podium on Friday, July 19th at approximately 10:15 a.m. ET
Players Representing Rutgers: Tyshon Fogg, Zach Venesky, Tyreek Maddox-Williams
Full Press Conference Schedule
Thursday, July 18th (all times eastern standard ET)
12:15 p.m. - Commissioner Delany
12:45 p.m. - Big Ten Network President Francois McGillicuddy
1:00 p.m. - Scott Frost (Nebraska)
1:15 p.m - Lovie Smith (Illinois)
1:30 p.m. - Mark Dantonio (Michigan State)
1:45 p.m. - Tom Allen (Indiana)
2:00 p.m. - P.J. Fleck (Minnesota)
2:15 p.m. - Michael Locksley (Maryland)
2:30 p.m. - Ryan Day (Ohio State)
Friday, July 19th (all times eastern standard ET)
9:00 a.m. - Kirk Ferentz (Iowa), followed by at
9:15 a.m. - Jeff Brohm (Purdue)
9:30 a.m. - James Franklin (Penn State)
9:45 a.m. - Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
10:00 a.m. - Paul Chryst (Wisconsin)
10:15 a.m. - Chris Ash (Rutgers)
10:30 a.m. - Jim Harbaugh (Michigan)
10:45 a.m. - Bill Carollo (Big Ten Coordinator of Football Officials)
What To Watch For
Jim Delany will be passing the torch to Kevin Warren officially on January 1st, 2020, but the two will begin working together in September. Media Days kickoff with Delany giving his annual address and the transition ahead will surely be a major focus of his talk and questions asked of him. Warren spoke about at length during his introductory press conference here about his background and future goals in leading the Big Ten. His vision for the future and how it aligns and contrasts from Delany’s tenure will likely come more into focus after this week.
Everyone Loves Nebraska
The Cleveland.com preseason poll hasn’t been released yet, but that hasn’t stopped Nebraska and second year head coach Scott Frost from becoming the trendy pick to win the West division this season. The division as a whole should be even tougher this season if the Huskers can regain form, along with Iowa, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Purdue all having title aspirations as well. Expect Frost to be the media darling this week.
The Wolverines have the most returning all-conference players from the Big Ten last season with 15. After Ohio State with 13, no other team has more than 8. SuperBookUSA lists the odds of Michigan to make the college football playoff at 9 to 4, with only Clemson, Alabama and Georgia given better odds. Entering head coach Jim Harbaugh’s fifth season at the helm, this season brings with it a lot of urgency for Michigan fans. Urban Meyer, who went 4-0 against Harbaugh, has left Ohio State. The Wolverines have perhaps its most talented team since Harbaugh arrived and there is a clear opportunity to supplant the Buckeyes. While Harbaugh has gone a respectable 38-14 over four seasons, he hasn’t met the high expectations that have been with the program for decades. Is this the year they break through? I’m sure Harbaugh will be asked that in some form a couple dozen times this week.
Ryan Day at Ohio State and Mike Locksley at Maryland will attend Big Ten Media Days for the first time. Both have done well on the recruiting trail this offseason, but the real work begins in a couple of weeks once fall camps are underway. There is obviously a lot more pressure for Day at Ohio State to uphold the winning tradition of the Buckeyes, who went a ridiculous 83-9 over the previous seven years. Locksley inherits a program with some solid talent but a group that has encountered extreme adversity after last years death of Jordan McNair and subsequent fallout, which lead to the removal of former head coach DJ Durkin. Both coaches have their chance to make their first impressions on the league this week.
Chris Ash’s Message
Rutgers won’t likely be on the radar of much of the media in Chicago, but the local beat reporters will be there to speak with Ash for sure. Although Ash typically sticks to a tight script, it will be interesting to see how he speaks about the program and the season ahead entering his fourth campaign in charge. He is certainly on the hot seat after a 7-29 start to his Rutgers career. He will likely field some challenging questions beginning this week at Media Days, so his tone and how he responds will be something to watch for. And while he will likely be asked about the quarterback competition, don’t expect much clarity before the first couple of weeks of fall camp take place.