Lovie Smith's A+ beard is the biggest news from Big Ten Media Days thus far
Illinois will now certainly win the Big Ten under Smith
Media days have a propensity for being on the bland side. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh wouldn't tip his hand on where his offseason quarterback battle stood, for example.
Besides, just about everything a coach will tell you this time of year, well, you've already heard it before. The state of the program has never been better. The new freshman class is adjusting well to life on campus. There are great competitions everywhere. That one four-year player has really emerged as a leader and ambassador for the team. This first-year coach is already changing the culture in the locker room so that the team will get back to playing "[insert school] football." So on and so forth.
Look at how majestic this facial hair has become. It is ultra-classy, and there's almost no room for classy in football.
Here's an even better look.
This beard is a display of sheer wisdom and grit. You half-expect Smith to spend the rest of his time in Chicago on an old recliner, pipe in mouth, telling the media stories of years past with life lessons at the end. Afterward, maybe he'll show everyone how to split wood with an axe or re-do your old electrical wiring so that your house is up to code.
Smith has had a tough go of it at Illinois with a 5-19 record in two seasons, but he also inherited a program that would have struggled to compete in the MAC. Rebuilding that in the Big Ten takes time. With a beard like this, however, Smith has left no doubt: Illinois will be Big Ten champs in the next two to three years.
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