Big 12 morning links

August, 27, 2014
Aug 27
8:00
AM ET
"Hot feet Hart?"
  • Sad news from Cyclone country as former Iowa State running back Hiawatha Rutland was found dead near Lake Erie on Monday. Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register reports that his death continues a unfortunate trend of former Cyclones losing their lives. ISU's leading rushers from 2000-2006 have all died, a total of three former Cyclones ball carriers (Ennis Haywood, Stevie Hicks).
  • Kansas State released its first depth chart of the season but it doesn't mean much writes Kellis Robinett of the Wichita Eagle. While Tyler Lockett, Jake Waters, Ryan Mueller and the rest of the Wildcats' stars would appear safe, the competition continues at several positions, most notably at running back. Charles Jones sits atop the depth chart but I'm betting DeMarcus Robinson and Jarvis Leverett will have their say before a bell cow is anointed in K-State's backfield. The most interesting part of the running back battle could be an expected redshirt for true freshman Dalvin Warmack. I was hoping to get a look at Warmack this season, particularly with an open competition to replace John Hubert.
  • KUsports.com's Matt Tait gives you a few percentage predictions for the Kansas' win total and seven Jayhawks to keep an eye on this fall. Tait puts KU's chances for four or five wins at 51 percent and while I'd imagine many people scoff at that percentage it made more and more sense the more I thought about it. KU has several experienced upperclassmen and seems to be upgrading the overall talent on the roster under Charlie Weis. I've had my reservations about the Jayhawks but I'm starting to agree with Tait and think Weis' squad could be better than people expect this fall.
  • Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy can't seem to commit to quarterback J.W. Walsh, despite the fact all signs point to the junior being the Cowboys' starting quarterback against Florida State on Saturday writes John Helsley of The Oklahoman. As the season gets closer and closer it becomes clearer that the Pokes could have two different offenses this fall with a run-heavy approach with J.W. Walsh and an approach that leans more toward the pass when Daxx Garman or Mason Rudolph get their chance behind center. It's not unlike what the Pokes did to knock off Mississippi State in last season's opener, when Walsh entered the game for Clint Chelf and the Pokes used the read-option to confuse and exploit the Bulldogs defense. I'm expecting more of the same against the Seminoles on Saturday.
  • Good news for Texas fans as receiver Jaxon Shipley has been deemed "ready to roll" by passing game coordinator Shawn Watson and is expected to play against North Texas, reports Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News. A healthy Shipley could be a critical asset for the Longhorns this season as the senior receiver led the Big 12 with 23 third-down receptions in 2013. He is a quarterback's best friend and proven clutch performer for the Longhorns.

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