The Fray. It’s a quixotic concept. Some coaches elect to stay above it. Some enter reluctantly. Others dive right in and start fraying.
We took a look at where Big Ten coaches have positioned themselves relative to The Fray in 2017. Here’s the breakdown:
Above The Fray
Mike Riley: Riley’s unsullied robes have never so much as skirted the fray, and never will. He has no reference to that.
Paul Chryst: With his aw-shucks demeanor, Chryst sets a great example of a coach who is completely unafrayed.
Lovie Smith: The Fray? Life’s too short for that dumb bullshit.
Tom Allen: Bless him, Allen is less above the fray than slightly ignorant of it. He claims not to be afrayed of anything, not even Kevin Wilson’s shadow. But his association with Hugh Freeze brought him this much closer to the fray. We’ll take him at his word that Freeze’s consorts with women of easy virtue came as a shock.
Jeff Brohm: Lurking above the fray, Jeff Brohm’s innovative offensive mind is nicely offset by his unobjectionable personality.
Toying With The Fray
Jim Harbaugh: Harbaugh’s desire to mix it up is balanced by his holier-than-thou attitude. Frankly, he wants to have it both frays, which is why his jaw rests squarely on the boundary of the fray.
In The Fray
Urban Meyer: You can’t coach Ohio State and remain above the fray.
Kirk Ferentz: While many see Ferentz as better than the fray, Coach Kirk flirts with the fray’s temptations as one of the conference’s consummate shit-talkers behind closed doors. Brian had to have gotten it from somewhere.
Michigan OL Coach Greg Frey: The standard against which all frays should be measured.
James Franklin: Franklin jumped right into the fray in his first year as coach, trash-talking Maryland and Rutgers’ ability to recruit locally, and he hasn’t taken his foot off the gas since…which may be why no one hesitated to talk shit about his OC’s offense. By winning the Big Ten, he has a firm hold on the fray.
Trying to Enter The Fray
D.J. Durkin: Vegas likes Durkin’s chances at breaking into the fray this year.
P.J. Fleck: Bits of fray have been discovered around the Twin Cities since Fleck rowed his boat to town. But he has yet to show he will do more than tickle the fray’s edges.
Not Above The Fray
Pat Fitzgerald: Definitely not.
Chris Ash: Fray?