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You rarely get to see head coaches having fun, so these 13 Big Ten ads are cool

Your first look at Pat Fitzgerald with a bunch of cats! Paul Chryst jumpin' around! Kyle Flood sharpening an axe!

The Big Ten Network managed to get something actually fun out of Media Days this year. The conference network created a series of silly ads starring Big Ten football coaches, playing off the traditions of each school in the conference.

"The coaches, all day, they're basically talking about Xs and Os," Michael Peeples, director of creative services and marketing at the Big Ten Network, said."So we really wanted to have some fun with them this year."

"Everyone sees these coaches in like one very specific light, so all of the spots, part of their charm is you would never expect these coaches to be doing these things," Josh Combs, Creative Director at creative agency Fallon (and director of the videos), said.

Here are all of them, exclusively revealed by SB Nation.

Indiana: Indiana has a historic rock on campus, which students guard. The state is also known for its natural rocks and minerals.

Combs: "Probably the trickiest one might have been Indiana, just because we wanted to do something with Hep's Rock. But at the same time, you can't move a boulder into a conference room."

Iowa: The student section is called the Hawk's Nest.

Combs: "Surprisingly enough, Kirk Ferentz was pretty game on the hawk's nest, which we were definitely pleasantly surprised about."

Maryland: The Terps shoot a cannon in College Park before each game.

Combs: "It was tricky, because we were confined to a single square banquet room in a convention center where we created two makeshift sets. We were kind of limited to what we had with props, because a lot of the school's traditions kind of depend on very large items. "

Michigan: Jim Harbaugh tips his hat to his mentor, Bo Schembechler.

Peeples: "We really kind of wanted to do something a little more unique, so that the 13 schools would know as soon as they saw it or heard it, 'That's my school' or 'That's my alma mater' or 'That's my team.'

Michigan State: If you ever ask someone from Michigan where they're from, they will show you on their hand.

Peeples: "I think one of the guys that had a lot of fun was actually Coach Dantonio from Michigan State. When we were getting ready to put the stamp on his hand, he was very specific with the placement of that star."

Minnesota: "Ski-U-Mah" is the Gophers' rally cry.

Combs: "We tried to pick maybe not the most obvious ones, but one that was still sort of well known enough that everyone could get it."

Nebraska: Nebraska fans release red balloons at every home game.

Combs: "They literally would walk into the room, I would explain to them what we were going to do, and we had about 12 minutes to do it."


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Northwestern: The Northwestern mascot is the Wildcat, making Pat Fitzgerald the ultimate cat person.

Peeples: "Coach Fitz at Northwestern, he was so excited he actually had his wife come in and sit in on the shoot. He couldn't believe that was our ask of him and thought that was a fun way to kind of have fun with the Wildcats."

Ohio State: Duh.

Peeples: "Urban Meyer was excited to polish that championship trophy."

Penn State: Lots of schools do whiteout games, but it's really a thing at PSU.

Combs: "I think you want to be insider to a certain degree, but at the same time, you want every college sports fan to be in on the joke."

Purdue: Purdue's logo is a train.

Peeples: "I think you can see in the creative the look on Coach Hazell's face of Purdue. When he's using the toy trains, his face is lit up."

Rutgers: "Keep chopping wood" is a phrase Kyle Flood's kept going.

Combs: "There was definitely an element of uncertainty once we got to the day because they didn't really have the kind of information on what they were going to be asked to do. So to all of their credits, they were great sports."

Wisconsin: At every game, the entire stadium takes the song "Jump Around" literally.

Combs: "They all got the jokes really quickly."

An Illinois spot was originally filmed with Tim Beckman, but there hasn't been time for a reshoot since the coach's dismissal. It was funny, too.

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