In a perfect world, truth serum wouldn’t be necessary.
B1G coaches would answer questions completely and totally truthful without any sort of filter. It’d be great. There would be transparency like no other sport would have.
Unfortunately here in the real world, that’s not how it works.
Questions that get asked at B1G Media Days are often met with politically correct answers that swerve around the matter at hand. It’s not to say all coaches lie, but after last year’s Urban Meyer situation in Chicago, it’s fair to be more skeptical than ever about what’s said and what isn’t said by coaches.
I thought it’d be fitting to do an interesting little exercise. Let’s pretend we do live in a perfect world. That is, B1G coaches have to be 100% honest because they were given truth serum.
Here’s what I’d ask each one of them:
Lovie Smith, Illinois
Question — What was every detail of the Jeff Thomas situation?
It was a mess. That much we know. As for the conversations that led to the back and forth — even dating back to his recruitment — that’s a different discussion. All we know is that the Miami (FL) receiver did to Illinois what Ben Wyatt did to the accounting firm in “Parks and Rec.”
Tom Allen, Indiana
Question — What was the worst thing you witnessed Kevin Wilson do back in 2016?
Credit Indiana because I think a lot of people forget how well the university handled an extremely awkward situation with the player mistreatment allegations surrounding Kevin Wilson that led to his sudden post-2016 departure. I’d love to know what Allen actually witnessed when he was the defensive coordinator back then.
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Question — Do you love punting more than your kids?
ANSWER THE QUESTION, KIRK.
Mike Locksley, Maryland
Question — What was the price for Jalen Hurts?
Two Dodge Chargers? Three? Call me crazy, but I tend to think Hurts had the deal sweetened a touch during his hotly contested grad transfer recruitment.
Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
Question — What’s the exact situation that it would take for you to go back to the NFL?
This is just so the talking heads can stop firing off awful takes about the matter every November. I think we’d all be better if we had a real answer out there.
Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
Question — What do you dislike most about Jim Harbaugh?
His glasses? His round-the-clock cleats? The khakis? Those would all be in play. My guess for Dantonio would be that he dislikes Harbaugh’s arrogance — I’d call it confidence — more than anything else.
P.J. Fleck, Minnesota
Question — Do you believe everything you’re saying?
I mean, he just says so much. I’m more of a Fleck believer than a doubter, but at some point, I have to wonder if Fleck just says certain things publicly because he believes they’ll sound good. I’m not saying that makes him a bad dude. It would just be interesting to hear him admit it if that were the case.
Scott Frost, Nebraska
Question — What was the price it would’ve taken for you to stay at UCF?
Frost was bumped up to $2 million annually before the magical 2017 season, so obviously that’s nowhere near his Nebraska money. But still, I’ve always been curious if money actually played a part in this. Obviously home/Tom Osborne won over Frost in ways that UCF never could, but what if we lived in a world in which UCF came over the top with some $8 million offer?
(I realize no world exists in which UCF could outbid Nebraska. Still an interesting question, though.)
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
Question — What’s the closest you ever came to leaving Northwestern?
Fitzgerald has been rumored to be a candidate for the likes of USC and most recently, the Green Bay Packers. Fitzgerald always says that he’s at home and that he’s never leaving. I’d love to know if he ever even followed up with one of those teams upon hearing of their interest. Don’t worry, Northwestern fans. The guy clearly isn’t going anywhere and I doubt it ever got very serious.
Ryan Day, Ohio State
Question — What was your actual initial reaction when you found out Urban Meyer was retiring?
Fist pump? Actual sadness? I don’t know. But Day, who served as the interim coach during Meyer’s suspension to start the 2018 season, had to at least think “oh man, am I about to become the next coach at Ohio State?” Maybe Day really found that out in the same exact sentence that he heard of Meyer’s departure, in which case, he probably didn’t have time for an initial reaction. Whatever the case, I’d like to know.
James Franklin, Penn State
Question — Who said the worst thing about you in negative recruiting and what did they say?
Remember in 2016 when Franklin went on record complaining about negative recruiting against him and then tried to walk it back? Well, I’d love to know what he heard from someone during that process. Dabo Swinney said that Urban Meyer was on the back end of his career in order to land 5-star offensive lineman Jackson Carman. Who knows what was said about Franklin or Penn State, which at the time was still trying to rebuild itself in the post-Jerry Sandusky sanctions period.
Jeff Brohm, Purdue
Question — What would it have taken for you to have accepted the Louisville job?
I thought he was a goner. Purdue stepped up and paid a hefty price to keep their guy after his alma mater came calling. I’m not sure Brohm had a number in mind for what it would’ve taken to accept the Louisville job. They had some funds tied up with owing Bobby Petrino and Rick Pitino a pretty penny, so I actually do think there was a limit. But hypothetically, $6 million? Maybe $7 million? I’d love to know that number.
Chris Ash, Rutgers
Question — How many wins do you think you need to keep your job?
The PC answer here is “well, I don’t worry about things that are outside of my control.” The irony to an answer like that is how many wins Rutgers gets in 2019 is very much something in Ash’s control. He could actually believe he’s safe, but if we’re talking about a 2-win season, it’s hard to call that actual progress.
Paul Chryst, Wisconsin
Question — What was the one time when you completely lost it and is there video?
If it’s happened, I gotta know.