Big Ten Notebook: Is Jerry Kill Closer to a Return to Coaching for Minnesota?

Andrew CoppensContributor IOctober 22, 2013

Sep 21, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Jose State Spartans quarterback David Fales (10) and Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill talk after the game at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers won 43-24. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

After missing the Michigan game due to another seizure, Jerry Kill and his doctors decided it was time for him to step away momentarily from the game he loves so much. 

Momentarily it was, as ESPN cameras picked up Kill in the coaches box at Ryan Field in Evanston this past weekend. However, it won't be the only time he'll be involved in the program. 

Acting head coach Tracy Claeys confirmed on Tuesday's coaches teleconference that Kill will be in attendance this weekend as well. 

Minnesota fans can also rest easy knowing that between his doctors and himself, Kill will be giving whatever he thinks he can to this team moving forward. 

It sure sounds like Kill is more involved than just standing and watching the game from the coaches box, to say the least. 

Could it be just a matter of time before Kill makes a return to the sidelines on a Saturday? 


Urban Meyer has a Growing Love Affair With 'Philly' Brown

/Getty Images

No, I'm not kidding with that headline. Urban Meyer has been searching for an emotional leader for his team now that safety Christian Bryant is done for his career at Ohio State. 

Apparently he's found it in Corey "Philly" Brown: 

Meyer indicated following the game on Saturday after the game that he thought he would be the leader of this team going forward, per Doug Lesmerises of The Plain Dealer:  

I keep looking for that next guy and I found him, I think. It's No. 10, Philly Brown. The emotional guy that's in that locker room and the kickoff team. He was outstanding. I'm saying Philly Brown. Philly Brown I would walk across the street from him last year. Now he's a guy is an incredible leader. I just looked at him: Don't let me down. He was phenomenal today. He was picking up the slack that Christian Bryant

Those are some big words of praise for a guy that was in the doghouse less than 12 months ago. It will be interesting to see how his leadership role affects this team going forward. 


Illinois has a Wide Receiver That Almost Never Was, and He Came Up Big Against the Badgers 

Steve Hull isn't exactly a household name in Illini circles, let alone the rest of Big Ten country—yet his story is one that deserves to be told. 

Hull never gave up his love for the game of football and worked with multiple doctors from the NFL level. 

They helped him medically, and the Illini allowed him to switch to wide receiver and give it a go. He's been able to be healthy and on Saturday he had a massive game in the loss to Wisconsin—with six catches for 105 yards. 

On the year, Hull has 13 catches for 281 yards and a touchdown. 

These stories of courage and playing for the pure love of the game don't get told enough, and this is a good one. 


Penn State, O'Brien have BCS or Bust Bowl Mentality 

Yes, Penn State is still serving a bowl game ban and you'd expect them to spin some positive thing out of not playing in the postseason, but this actually happened during Tuesday's teleconference: 

O'Brien actually started off being asked about not playing in a bowl game and how he motivates his players and answered this way...

...before stopping short of saying he doesn't care about the other bowl games.

Could it be that O'Brien is trying to not only spin a positive from a negative situation but also build some expectations for this program when they do become bowl eligible again? 


*Andy Coppens is the Big Ten Lead Writer. You can follow him on Twitter: @ andycoppens.