Tiller Love Fest in Chi-Town

Today was media day up in Chicago. So, coach Tiller put on a golf shirt, packed up the station wagon, and took Greg Orton, Anthony Heygood, Curtis Painter North a few hours for a dog and pony show.

In most years, the talk will revolve around the potential Heisman candidate player or a coach that had a surprising, exceptional season the previous year or new players and coaches alike. This year though, nearly every coach was asked at least one question about Joe Tiller...You know- How did you meet Joe? -Where was your first kiss with Joe? -Do you think he's more handsome with or without the big sun hat that he wears away from gameday? Important, hard-hitting stuff. Talk also focused on JoePa's future in Happy Valley.
Paterno delighted and entertained the press crowd with an assortment of "ehhhhhs", "ahhhhs", inadvertant gas-passing and other old guy-isms. But, like a seasoned politician, Paterno never really answered any of the questions directly about his future at the program that he first started coaching in the late 1890s.
Tiller himself answered questions about fishing, his successor and his the state of the team that he'll be leaving at the end of the season. One point of interest, at least to this knucklehead, was the fact that Tiller blames the poor view of the Big Ten on people like J, Tim and I. I guess EspN's lemmings constantly bashing on the Big Ten doesn't matter, but sites like BS, with a readership in the hundreds are really hurting the perception of the league. Rrrrrright.

Another thing Tiller talked about was Wyoming...Ahhhh, Wyoming. The air's a bit sweeter there, the rivers flow with golden honey and are stocked with steelhead that jump right into your boat, and when it rains, monarch butterflies and lilacs fall softly from the sky. It's a pretty great place- we get the point. Like most years, Purdue's head man has spent the three weeks prior to the Big Ten presser away from campus. Oh, I know what you're thinking- I'm sure Tressel has a place in Montana where he lives the majority of the summer...Wait, no he doesn't, he's in Columbus or at speaking arrangements in the state like nine of the other coaches in the league. Hey, I'm just saying.

While I can't say I blame him for wanting to take it easy, I can say that it's probably not the best way for a CEO to lead. The tireless efforts and general hustle from Purdue's basketball coach is a refreshing departure from Wyoming Joe's way of running his ship. I've said it before, I'd probably love Coach Tiller as a neighbor...But I am pretty happy he's decided to follow his heart back West. He knows it's time, so do we. That said, even if he's not as excited about football as he used to be, I'm still excited to see what his team looks like in the first Saturday of September.

Recruiting Notes
While much of the Big Ten, and major programs elsewhere have 10-15 verbal committments at this point, Purdue only has three. But, they're in the final five schools for a bunch of kids- hopefully half of these four or high-three-star guys can end up in West Lafayette.

All three of the verbals are Florida kids- all three seem to be very athletic, but each seems to have an asterisk of sorts that is keeping interest in each player low.

-Aristide is coming off of a knee injury
-Bush has some academic questions
-Henry's only played QB for one season

As the old adage says, "It's not how you start, but how you finish..." That's true, but if signs of life don't start coming in the form of some August verbals, Coach Hope may have trouble filling his first class with Big Ten-type talent.

Get There...Slowly

Media Day -- Tilleriffic