- David Ubben, College Football
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Let's take a look back at the week that was at Big 12 media days.
Best overall performance: Art Briles, Baylor. Briles has a reputation as the king of the podium, and he delivered during his 20 minutes in front of the few hundred print media in the room, and kept going during his two hours of breakout interviews. A few choice cuts:
On having two first-place votes in the Big 12 media poll for the first time ever: "I don't know how many people vote, I guess 25. I was wondering why those other 23 didn't believe in us."
On Baylor's all-gold helmet on stage: "There's two shiny things up here, that helmet and my head, probably."
Also on the gold helmets: "If it was made of actual gold, it probably wouldn't still be here because somebody would conveniently put it in their bag."
On expectations of QB Bryce Petty: "Break every Baylor record there is offensively, which is what we expect him to do and what he plans to do."
On the final score of Baylor's bowl game: "49‑14. 49‑19. I'm sorry. I don't want to cheat them out of five points. 49‑19, Baylor. "
On the Big 12 title race: "It's wide open and the wind is blowin'."
On his preferred playoff format: "One with Baylor."
That, folks, is how you win media days. Truth. Wit. Optimism. Self-deprecating humor that doesn't lessen your accomplishments.
Second-best overall performance: Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 commissioner. Bowlsby delivered a solid blow to the NCAA structure, but did so with a good mixture of class and memorable quotes that will stick out while this debate rages in the months to come. He campaigned for NCAA transformation and better enforcement, while stopping short of an unrealistic split from the organization. Considering past Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe's poor national perception, that was good news for the Big 12 as a whole.
Best trash talk: Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia. Asked about Alabama coach Nick Saban and Arkansas coach Bret Bielema's complaints about up-tempo offenses in college football, Holgorsen lobbed some strong words in the direction of the SEC. "I'd tell him to get over it because it's not going to change. It's going into the NFL, for crying out loud," he said. "Don't see it changing any time soon. So you'd better learn to adapt to it." We'll get a chance to see it on the field soon. WVU faces Alabama to kick off the 2014 season.
Best quote: Charlie Weis, Kansas. Weis made all kinds of headlines when he talked about his recruiting pitch. "Have you looked at that pile of crap out there? Have you taken a look at that? So if you don't think you can play here, where do you think you can play?"
Best dressed: Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech. Kingsbury's gray suit fit him perfectly, and the lavender touches were a nice accent. I was always partial to Tommy Tuberville's red and black look and suits for his players as well, but Kingsbury lived up to the hype when it came to his fashion sense.
Best one-liner: Mack Brown, Texas coach on preseason expectations. Asked about being picked fourth by national pundit Phil Steele versus the Big 12 media picking his Longhorns fourth in the league, Brown didn't mince words. "I really like the first guy better," he said.
Best anecdote: Bill Snyder, Kansas State. Asked about his first coaching job, Snyder revealed that when he was an assistant at Gallatin High School in Missouri, he thought he'd "died and gone to heaven," despite a mountain of responsibilities. "I was an assistant football coach and assistant basketball coach and assistant women's basketball coach, assistant track coach, drove the school bus, taught four units of Spanish, which I knew nothing about, and I made $6,000 a year."
4dDavid M. Hale