Yesterday, the Big 12 unveiled its team-by-team lineup for Big 12 media days, which begin on July 23 at the Westin Galleria in north Dallas.
Here's a few things of note:
Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas State, Texas Tech and TCU will be meeting with the media on Day 1, July 23. Texas, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Baylor and West Virginia will meet with the media to close out Day 2.
The programs who bring an extra stowaway always attract a little more attention, but it never means very much. This time, it's West Virginia and Baylor, who are both bringing four players to Day 2, instead of just three.
Oklahoma State is sticking to its policy of not allowing first-year players to speak to the media. That's no surprise. Coach Mike Gundy expressed that earlier this offseason, but true freshman starter Wes Lunt won't be coming to media days. Oklahoma State joins Texas and Iowa State as the only three teams not bringing a QB to media days. Texas hasn't officially announced a starter, and Iowa State has a legitimate battle between Steele Jantz and Jared Barnett in fall camp next month.
The most memorable media days absentee? Remember when Baylor didn't bring RG3 in 2010? Turned out to be pretty interesting.
Speaking of media absentees, no TCU players spoke to media throughout spring practice following a campus drug sting that resulted in four players being removed from the team. That's got to change now. The questions couldn't be asked then, but you'd better believe it's going to come up a whole lot at media days. It'll be interesting to see how players respond. (That said, I feel bad for the endless string of "So, how do you think you guys can handle the new conference?" questions WVU and TCU will face).
A little surprising to see Oklahoma State bring Cooper Bassett, a relative unknown across the league, though he's a senior who has put in a lot of work in Stillwater.
Kansas didn't get very much attention last year, but expect that to change this year. Charlie Weis will be a hit with the horde of media, and the media outside of Lawrence hasn't had a real chance to get to interact with newcomer Dayne Crist, who could morph Kansas into a respectable squad this year. Those two won't be twiddling their thumbs much in Dallas. Bring water and prepare to talk a whole lot.
Texas' defensive duo of Alex Okafor and Kenny Vaccaro is missing this year after an offseason run-in with police
The star power isn't as high this year. Oklahoma's contingent last year was a complete zoo. Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles and Travis Lewis could hardly go anywhere last year without being hounded, but this year, Jones is the player with the biggest profile in the league among players.
The West Virginia folks in town should be a hit, especially coach Dana Holgorsen, who coached in the Big 12 but never needed to attend media days since he wasn't a head coach. The Big 12 media will learn very soon that Geno Smith is a great interview, arguably one of the best in the Big 12. He's my pick as the guy who'll leave media days as a new star, even if folks are well aware of what he brings on the field.
I know it's a little hokey and in today's media landscape, probably a bit unnecessary. Still, I can't help it. I love media days. It's always fun, and good to see the league's players and media in one place, if only for a few days. I'm looking forward to it, and you know we'll have wall to wall coverage right here. Want to know what you can expect? Here's a sampling of our coverage from last year.