Big Ten media days primer: Jim Delany, Ohio State among key storylines

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Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany will likely address growing discontent with the NCAA. (Jason Szenes/Getty Images)

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany

By Zac Ellis

The saga of preseason media days continues with the Big Ten's version taking place July 24-25 at the Hilton Chicago. Here are three key storylines to watch as the event kicks off Wednesday in the Midwest:

1. Jim Delany takes the stand. Conference commissioners taking the NCAA to task has become the theme of this month's media days. SEC commissioner Mike Slive took shots at the NCAA's leadership at the SEC's event last week, saying that while he supports the NCAA, "we will continue to push for changes we believe are in the best interest of our student-athletes." Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was more direct on Monday, saying that the NCAA member schools who bring in the most revenue want to govern themselves. Will Big Ten boss Delany follow suit? He's one of the most influential leaders in college athletics, and he's often outspoken on issues concerning the sport. College football fans and media members alike are clamoring to hear Delany's take on Bowlsby's "Division 4" speech as well as Delany's perspective on the impending College Football Playoff and the O'Bannon v. NCAA antitrust lawsuit.

2. Trouble in Columbus? Ohio State entered the offseason as a popular national-title contender following a 12-0 regular season in 2012. With quarterback Braxton Miller and most of last year's potent offense returning, and with an NCAA postseason ban in the past, the Buckeyes looked like a team capable of challenging the SEC. But coach Urban Meyer now faces questions surrounding more than just preseason preparation after legal troubles surfaced for two key Buckeyes this week. Senior running back Carlos Hyde and junior cornerback Bradley Roby both reportedly got in trouble with the law over the weekend. Meyer has faced questions about his disciplinary policies amid the Aaron Hernandez saga, as the incarcerated tight end had run-ins with the law while playing for Meyer's Florida Gators. The coach has since stressed accountability, so he will no doubt face questions surrounding the atmosphere of his program amid the Hyde and Roby news.

3. A logjam of Legends. While the Buckeyes are largely expected to top the Leaders Division, the outcome of the Legends Division race is far less certain, and several teams could be fighting for divisional supremacy. Michigan hasn't won a league title in eight seasons, but a manageable schedule could work wonders for the Wolverines and starting quarterback Devin Gardner. Meanwhile, Bo Pelini could claim his sixth straight nine-wins season at Nebraska if the defense improves. And Pat Fitzgerald continues his underrated coaching job at Northwestern, where the Wildcats could challenge the traditional big boys of the conference. Legends Division coaches and players will certainly be asked about expectations heading into the season, and many teams will have legitimate cases to make for themselves.

Players in attendance


DL Tim Kynard

OT Corey Lewis

QB Nathan Scheelhaase


K Mitch Ewald

S Greg Heban

WR Kofi Hughes


LB Christian Kirksey

LB James Morris

OL Brett Van Sloten


QB Devin Gardner

S Thomas Gordon

LT Taylor Lewan

Michigan State

LB Max Bullough

CB Darqueze Dennard

OG Blake Treadwell


DT Ra'Shede Hageman

RB Donnell Kirkwood

S Brock Vereen


WR Quincy Enunwa

CB Ciante Evans

QB Taylor Martinez


QB Kain Colter

RB Venric Mark

DE Tyler Scott

Ohio State

OT Jack Mewhort

QB Braxton Miller

CB Christian Bryant

Penn State

LB Glenn Carson

OG John Urschel

S Malcolm Willis


CB Ricardo Allen

DT Bruce Gaston

TE Gabe Holmes


WR Jared Abbrederis

LB Chris Borland

James White