Coaches are excited about the addition of divisions, which will lead to a Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis Dec. 3.
Wilson stressed the Indianapolis area is very fortunate to have the game so close.
“I don’t think you guys in Indianapolis and our region understand the power of that game in our yard, for our community,” Wilson said. “With our fan base in the Big Ten, that’s going to be like the Super Bowl the first week of December.”
Addition of Nebraska
The consensus from coaches and players was that adding the University of Nebraska to the Big Ten will be good for everyone involved.
“I think it’s tremendous for the Big Ten,” University of Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said. “I mean, you’re talking about a storied program with a great history.”
Many of the coaches and players expect Nebraska to be a tough game on the schedule, and Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini said he is excited to play against the new Big Ten opponents.
“It’s going to be an honor to be a part of this conference, to be a part of the tradition, all the things that the Big Ten represents, the tremendous institutions we’re going to be joining in the conference and playing against this year and into the future,” Pelini said.
“We’re looking forward to that.”
New head coaches
Wilson, Pelini, the University of Minnesota’s Jerry Kill, University of Michigan’s Brady Hoke and Ohio State University’s Luke Fickell are all Big Ten head coaches for the first time this season.
“I’m looking forward to being a ball coach, getting out on the field, being around the kids,” Kill said. “That’s why you’re in the profession.”
The situation at Ohio State is a bit different because the staff has mostly stayed the same with the exception of the head coaching position.
“I think and believe the number one most important thing for our program is the stability that we’ve had in our coaching staff,” Fickell said.
“The experience that we have had as a staff over the last eight, nine, 10 years is invaluable.”
Director of Officials Bill Carollo mentioned there are 17 rule changes this season, focusing mainly on new taunting and clock policies.
In the past, a taunting penalty was assessed after the touchdown on either the extra point or the kickoff.
Now, if a player taunts an opponent or draws attention to himself prior to entering the endzone, the penalty is like a clipping penalty, Carollo said.
The touchdown is taken away and a 15-yard penalty is assessed from the point of the foul.
Carollo also pointed out when there is less than a minute remaining in the game, penalties will now result in a runoff of 10 seconds.
Problems for the Buckeyes
NCAA violations created scandal in Columbus this offseason; but despite that, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson still sees Ohio State as a tough test.
“At the end of the day, they’re still going to be Ohio,” Robinson said. “They’re still going to compete, and they’re still going to be that team that we want to play at the end of the season.”
Hoke also refuses to see Ohio State as wounded or vulnerable.
“That’s a tremendous program with tremendous tradition, just like we have,” Hoke said. “When you have schools that have that quality about them, have those legacies, I don’t see anybody as wounded.”
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