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CHICAGO – These are things Big Ten football coaches said while giving 15-minute addresses at their league’s media days Monday and Tuesday:
“We’re excited about starting our football season.” – Illinois’ Lovie Smith
“I think the values of our program are in line with the values of UnderArmour.” – Maryland’s D.J. Durkin
“I think we’re 36-5 in the last three years, 24-2 in the Big Ten Conference,” – Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, who probably knew those numbers were accurate instead of simply thinking they were.
“I used to drive up I-65 northbound side used to be a billboard that sat on the side of the road and the first year I saw it I said: ‘It’s OK.’ The second and third year I said ‘You know what, it’s starting to bother me a little bit. And the sign said the train is coming. And the back of my mind I said at some point in time the train has to get here. It has to arrive.’ That sign’s no longer there. I think you’re going to like what steps off the train this year.” – Purdue’s Darrell Hazell, whose 3-year record at Purdue is 6-30.
“If it’s one percent better, each guy or we got one percent better as a team each day, then after 30 days we’d be 30 percent better. After 60 days, we’d be 60 percent better. Now, even if it’s can we get .01 percent better each day, then that would be something that would be worthwhile. That would be worth pursuing, aspiring to. Another way to say is look at the NASCAR boys. They will try to stay up all night long to get one mile an hour faster. Can we get one mile faster each day?” – Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh
“The chains come off pretty soon and we’re going to find out what we’ve got.” — Ohio State’s Urban Meyer
“I’m excited about the players we have.” -- Smith
“We are encouraged where we are at. We are not pleased where we’re at.” — Indiana’s Kevin Wilson
“We’ve been in a lot of close games. I can’t tell you why.” – Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald.
“Right now there’s an excitement for the season. There’s an excitement for the season.” – Penn State’s James Franklin
“We all know that it was great to win a bowl game for the first time in seven years and be a part of the Quick Lane Bowl, but that’s not our goal.” – Minnesota’s Tracy Claeys
“Our coaching staff is pretty excited.” – Smith
“We’ve got some guys that should be on first and have been born on third.” – Dantonio
“We’re excited about the football team that’s in our locker room.” – Hazell
“There’s no rivalry with Michigan yet. They’ve done some things that we have not been able to do.” Rutgers’ Chris Ash
“The big thing for us each and every year we want to win every game just like every team does. That’s our goal at the onset.” – Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz
“Michigan State’s always been about the process.” – Dantonio
“There is no games or tricks or politics or what class are you in, what year are you, are you on scholarship, are you not on scholarship. It’s based upon a meritocracy, the way it should be. Did I make that word up, too, by the way? Is meritocracy a real word or did I make it up? I thought I made it up.” – Harbaugh
““I’m excited about Garrick McGee leading our offense and Hardy Nickerson leading our defense and Bob Ligashesky leading our special teams as our coaches. So again a lot of excitement.” – Smith