Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
I love nicknames and always have. I think it started when I was a kid playing APBA baseball and football and found the occasional nickname found on a player card. It always seemed to give a player a little more color and pizzazz back in those pre-cable television days when I'd be lucky to watch one or two games a week.
Today, those nicknames don't seem to be nearly as prevalent. But when they come, it still sticks out to me.
That's why I liked Dugan Arnett's notebook so much this morning in the Lawrence Journal-World where he discusses the play of Kansas wide receiver Kerry Meier.
It seems that Kansas quarterback Todd Reesing has christened Meier with the nickname of "Old Faithful" because of his reliability to the Kansas offense.
"I don't know about the 'old' part," Meier told Arnett, "but 'faithful' is good."
It's not surprising that Reesing would be the one giving the nicknames. Reesing is known by his teammates as "Sparky," bestowed to him by Kansas coach Mark Mangino because of his fiery attitude.
They are bonded by more than their nicknames. "Sparky" and "Old Faithful" are going to be integral parts of the Jayhawks' upcoming charge to the Big 12 North Division title.
Here are some other stories from across the conference today.
Missouri kicker Jeff Wolfert is utilizing mental focusing skills honed as a competitive diver for his football career. It's helped him convert 90 straight kicks against Big 12 foes since 2006.
Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin is dreaming of competing for Olympic gold in track and field at London in 2012.
Oklahoma State could be in line for a record crowd Saturday night at expanded Boone Pickens Stadium when Texas A&M visits. The Cowboys decided to play the game against the Aggies on Saturday after turning down a lucrative opportunity earlier this year to move the game to Thursday night for national television purposes.
Terrance Harris of the Houston Chronicle writes that Texas A&M could be challenged to stay out finishing in last place for the first time since 1970.
Is Colorado coach Dan Hawkins changing in his dealings with the media? Signs appear to indicate so, according to the Boulder Camera's Kyle Ringo.
With six teams in the Big 12 ranked and none of them playing another ranked foe on Saturday, Oklahoma columnist Berry Tramel writes that it's time for the Big 12's power teams to show their mettle this week. Five of the conference's six ranked teams are on the road this week.