5 things to know about Big Ten Football Media Days

Football season starts for Big Ten teams Aug. 31 when Nebraska plays at Minnesota.

Talking season starts Wednesday when the league begins its 51st annual media days in Indianapolis.

Here are five things to know about the event:

1. The Circle City is the host city.

Various different facilities in Chicago hosted of the event for decades, but it moved to Indianapolis in 2021.

That was done to allow for social distancing at Lucas Oil Stadium while the COVID-19 pandemic was ongoing, but someone in the league must have decided they liked the format because it returned last year and year three is on tap.

Where the event is held next year when USC and UCLA join the conference remains to be seen.

2. The new commissioner will make his first appearance at the event.

Tony Petitti had an introductory press conference in April, but far more eyes figure to be on him this week when he gives a state of the league address at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

He is the seventh Big Ten commissioner and took office officially in May after Kevin Warren became president and CEO of the Chicago Bears.

Like Warren, Petitti came from outside the league, having worked for Major League Baseball, CBS Sports and ABC Sports among other jobs before taking this one.

3. There should be no lack of topics.

Petitti will have a chance to lay out his vision for the conference and share some of his philosophies of leadership, but more tangible topics figure to come up as well.

Those include the coming integration of USC and UCLA into the league for next year, more potential league expansion, the league’s new television deals, a new scheduling format for football, the evolution of name, image and likeness opportunities for athletes and more.

4. The Buckeyes talk on Day 1.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day is scheduled to speak at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday after Illinois coach Bret Bielema, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, Michigan State coach Mel Tucker, Northwestern interim coach David Braun, Penn State coach James Franklin and Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz all get their 15 minutes at the mic.

All of the coaches also do 45 minutes in smaller groups in the afternoon. Day is scheduled to take questions from 3:30-4:15.

Ohio State players Marvin Harrison Jr., Cade Stover and J.T. Tuimoloau will also spend 30 minutes meeting with reporters from 1:15-1:45 on Wednesday.

5. Jim Harbaugh and three of the league’s new coaches will speak on the second day.

Harbaugh inspired snickers in 2021 when the Michigan head coach declared the Wolverines would beat Ohio State and win the Big Ten or die trying.

Two years later, Michigan is alive and well with a pair of Big Ten titles and eyes on a third.

He is scheduled to conclude day two on the big stage at 12:30 p.m. Thursday with an appearance immediately following Luke Fickell, who is entering his first season as head coach at Wisconsin.

Ryan Walters will also make his first Big Ten Media Days appearance as head coach of Purdue on Thursday right before Matt Rhule does the same for Nebraska.

Indiana’s Tom Allen, Maryland’s Mike Locksley and P.J. Fleck of Minnesota also will speak Thursday.

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