Monday, July 26, 2010
Welcome to Big 12 media days...kind of
By ESPN.com staff
Today begins the Big 12's three days in the spotlight, but the first team to take the stage, Nebraska, won't do so until 2 p.m. ET, so I won't be making the short trek to Irving, Texas until a little later.
One quick note, defensive tackle Jared Crick has replaced Prince Amukamara as the Huskers representative. Amukamara stayed in Lincoln so he could take an exam, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.
Here's your full guide to media days.
And here's who'll be up first on Day 1. (all times ET)
2:00 Nebraska: Coach Bo Pelini, WR Niles Paul, DE Pierre Allen, DT Jared Crick
2:45 Baylor: Coach Art Briles, LB Antonio Johnson, OT Danny Watkins, DT Phil Taylor
3:30 Iowa State: Coach Paul Rhoads, QB Austen Arnaud, RB Alexander Robinson, DE Rashawn Parker
4:15 Texas A&M: Coach Mike Sherman, QB Jerrod Johnson, LB Von Miller, DT Lucas Patterson
Remember, you can watch each team's time on the podium live at Big12Sports.com.
What should you expect?
- Nebraska will obviously be asked plenty about the coaches and players' perspective on leaving the Big 12, along with the intensified rivalry with Texas. On the field, the situation at quarterback is the obvious conversation piece, but expect coach Bo Pelini to elaborate on why this year's defense could be better than the Huskers' top-ranked unit last season, as well as sophomore Rex Burkhead's role in the offense.
- Baylor QB Robert Griffin III won't be making the trip, but that won't stop the room full of reporters from asking coach Art Briles about Griffin's progress, both physically and mentally from last season's knee injury. Also, expect the words "bowl drought" to surface early.
- For Iowa State, it's continuing to progress from last year's success in the face of one of the toughest schedules in the Big 12. The Cyclones return just four starters on defense, so the new guys should be discussed at length. Parker should be one of that defense's stars. Good money says some reporter will try to bait coach Paul Rhoads into making some quotable comment about being picked last in the North, but I wouldn't expect any Sabanesque one-liners. Iowa State's been the subject of one of the biggest news stories in the Big 12 in the past week, the investigation surrounding an incident involving the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year, defensive back David Sims. Depending on how much Rhoads knows -- or can disclose -- about the case, expect an update there. At the very least, he should be able to update those in attendance on Sims' status with the team.
- Lofty expectations, thy name is Aggie. This should be an entertaining session. Both Jerrod Johnson and Von Miller can be funny and insightful, and at the end of the day, the room will thank them if the bright lights don't change that. Texas A&M wasn't shying away from the league's expectations of them this spring, and there's no reason to think that'll change.
- Barring breaking news between now and this afternoon, agents won't be making headlines like they did at SEC Media Days last week, considering no Big 12 schools are currently being investigated for sketchy contact (that's a technical term) with agents by the NCAA. But the issue will surely come up several times during the week.
- Don't expect fireworks. The coaches and players didn't have a ton of pull in the decisions that were made this summer, and I'd be surprised if anyone spoke candidly on the record about their thoughts surrounding this summer's realignment, especially after Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville's public reprimand and possible fines looming for future violators. Like I said then, there's little for coaches to gain from brutal honesty on the issue. I expect everyone to play nice.