Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Spring practice is blooming across the Big 12 this week with workouts beginning Monday at Baylor. There's unbridled excitement over the Bears following a 4-8 season that saw them lose three games by a touchdown or less.
The Bears' spring work will be dotted by fewer unanswered questions in Art Briles' second season directing the Bears, the Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner writes. And the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Dwain Price writes that the Bears have legitimate hopes to make their first bowl trip since the 1994 Alamo Bowl.
Ah, the enthusiasm of the start of spring practice. It's catching across the conference.
Here are a few other stories around the Big 12 that struck me as interesting this morning.
Maybe it was the return of Mike Leach. Eric Boyd of the Texas Tech Daily Toreador reports that since the Red Raiders' coach signed his contract extension two weeks ago, ticket sales have jumped.
Oklahoma's ability to replace four starters along the offensive line will be the Sooners' primary challenge during spring practice, the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter reports. Included with the story is a projected depth chart when the Sooners start practice on Tuesday.
With only one returning starter in the secondary, Oklahoma State's biggest defensive question will be finding production from a group of inexperienced players, the Oklahoman reports.
A kinder, gentler Will Muschamp with fewer YouTube moments? Texas players say the fiery defensive coordinator is calmer and more in control as he starts his second season working with the Longhorns, according to Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls.
Nebraska redshirt freshman tight end Ben Cotton, son of Cornhuskers offensive line coach Barney Cotton, was ticketed in a campus incident for trespassing, minor consumption and disturbing the peace, the Omaha World-Herald's Jon Nyatawa reports.
The Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton writes that few realized the starpower that was on display at Floyd Casey Stadium last August 28 when Baylor and Wake Forest met.