The new college football season begins in less than a month, with many questions waiting to be answered before crowning an FBS champion at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the Big Easy on Jan. 13, 2020. Just a couple of weeks ago, we tried our best in obtaining some answers to just a few of those inquiries as we took to the road to get our coverage of the 2019 season on the gridiron started.
Today continues our coverage of “The ‘A Lot of Sports Talk’ Podcast” special from Chicago, home to the 2019 Big Ten Football Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon at the Hilton Chicago. The two-day event earlier in July featured each of the 14 teams of the Big Ten Conference bringing three players and their head coaches to meet and greet with the assembled media, and ALOST made good with our reserved spot on radio row to have sit-down, one-on-one interviews with a number of the top returning performers in the Big Ten.
This episode, the second in a two-part series, focuses on the West Division of the conference, one which promises to be a wide-open affair, something this division has been since its inception as opposed to the Ohio State hegemony in the East Division. But before chatting with any current players, we had the honor of having an extended conversation with FOX Sports and Big Ten Network color commentator Matt Millen, who will be back in the broadcast booth this season just a few months after undergoing a successful heart transplant. In the conversation, Millen explained how the game of football helped him before and after his procedure, the friendships he made during his time at the hospital and how the game of football has changed since his playing days.
As far as current players are concerned, four of the seven teams in the division are featured in this episode: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska. The Cornhuskers, 4-8 last season in the first year under head coach Scott Frost, are expected to make a quantum leap in 2019, and we spoke with Nebraska defensive lineman Khalil Davis about what makes Coach Frost tick. All of the other interviews are with running backs, and you’ll hear a number of topics being broached, from the importance of Minnesota’s coaching staff understanding the religious faith of running back Mo Ibrahim in his recruiting to the book report that Illinois running back Reggie Corben wrote while in elementary school about the man who now is his head coach, Lovie Smith.
Please enjoy the podcast, and leave us any and all comments that you have. Click here to go to The ‘A Lot of Sports Talk’ Podcast page on Apple Podcasts, or click here to find the podcast on Google Play Music. From there, you can download this show as well as subscribe to our podcast page and receive new episodes on your device the second it is posted. You can also open iTunes, and in the Podcasts section, type in “A Lot of Sports Talk” in the search box to find our shows.
Interview Order: Intro (0:00 – 3:25); Matt Millen, Big Ten Network (3:29 – 23:37); Reggie Corben, Illinois (23:32 – 34:54); Khalil Davis, Nebraska (34:59 – 40:03); Mohamed Ibrahim, Minnesota (40:09 – 52:24); Toren Young, Iowa (52:29 – 1:00:18); Wrap-up (1:00:23 – 1:04:07)