Monday, August 11, 2008
Big 12 links: Baylor's Briles tailors teaching to video-age players
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The quote of the day comes from Scott Wright of the Oklahoman, who caught up with Troy coach Larry Blakeney and asked him about Oklahoma State's aim for revenge after losing at Troy last season. "They might have a bonfire and burn some of T. Boone's money to get ready for the game," Blakeney said, referring to the megabuck Oklahoma State booster.
Meanwhile, new Baylor coach Art Briles has shucked a traditional playbook in favor of his new team learning his philosophies by seeing and doing rather than reading. It's targeted to a younger generation that doesn't have the attention span to sit and learn by reading a book.
"It does require a lot of film study, because you've got to know what to do in live action in case anything happens," junior receiver Ernest Smith told the Waco Tribune-Herald. "If there's a check or an audible, you've got to be able to react fast. I've watched a lot of U of H film ... just getting familiar with it all."
Briles was successful with his new-age strategy, at least if four bowl appearances in the last five seasons at Houston is any indication. We'll see how it works at Baylor this season.
And for those readers out there who are too impatient to wade through 20 newspapers that cover the Big 12, I've take something from Briles' approach. Here's a condensed version of what's happening around the conference in about 20 quick links.
- Kansas sophomore RB Carmon Boyd-Anderson has opted to transfer from the program for "personal reasons," the Kansas City Star reported.
- A massive offensive line has prompted a new word around the Colorado team to describe them: "gifreakinnormous."
- Des Moines Register columnist Sean Keeler has to cover Iowa State and Iowa relatively equally. That's why he listed his top 23 ranking for a combination of the Big Ten and Big 12 conferences on his blog. Hope that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany doesn't see this. He might get an idea for some kind of "gifreakinnormous" super-conference.
- The Topeka Capital-Journal's Tully Corcoran unearthed an interesting nugget buried deeply in Ron Prince's new contract.
- Colorado DE Drew Hudgins will miss the season with a knee injury. Hudgins told the Denver Post he plans to petition the NCAA for a sixth season of eligibility.
- Massive Texas A&M FB Jorvorskie Lane tells the Houston Chronicle's Terrance Harris that he's come to terms with his lessened role in the Aggies' backfield.
- New Texas director of high school relations and player development Ken Rucker is credited for the Longhorns' lack of off-the-field incidents this summer, according to Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls.
- Mike Leach's European vacation is fodder for the San Antonio Express-News' Mike Finger's report on Texas Tech. Leach earlier described the trip as something like the Griswolds might have made.
- Kansas coach Mark Mangino is sorting through a variety of options as he tries to find a new kicker and punter. He's even considering using versatile WR/QB Kerry Meier as a punter.
- New Kansas defensive coordinator Clint Bowen is determined to boost pass-rushing production from his line this season after starting defensive ends combined for only four sacks last season.
- Projected starting Kansas State OLB Olu Hall, a transfer from Virginia, will be playing in his first game in nearly three seasons in the Wildcats' opener.
- Omaha World Herald columnist Tom Shatel, product of Missouri's class of 1980, picks the Tigers to win their first Big 12 championship this season.
- Not a good sign for Nebraska coach Bo Pelini as he prepares for the opener. Western Michigan assistant coach Jake Moreland told Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple that the Broncos are "geeked" to be playing the Cornhuskers in the opener.
- Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford will be gunning for history this season as he attempts to become the first Big 12 quarterback to win back-to-back league titles.
- The state of Oklahoma has become a no-huddle zone with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State both employing the offense, writes Scott Wright and Jake Trotter of the Oklahoman.
- Eileen Roddy of the Lawrence World-Journal had an interesting profile of Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins, who admitted to looking for bargains all of his life because of his hard-scrabble background in Chelsea, Mass. Perkins told Roddy he gave his wife, Gwen, a basset hound as a wedding present.
- More than 4,000 fans attended Missouri's annual Fan Day. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported the line to get Heisman Trophy candidate Chase Daniel's autograph stretched from one goal line to the other.
- Missouri will be counting on the development of P Jake Harry, who failed to challenge incumbent Adam Crossett last season after arriving from junior college. Harry could be the biggest potential question mark for the Tigers this season.
- The daily reports from The Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter almost make you feel like you can hear the whistles and taste the Gatorade at practice. And his quotes of the week provide a little levity of what he's heard so far in camp.
- Quote of the day comes from Scott Wright of the
Oklahoman, who caught up with Troy coach Larry Blakeney and asked him about Oklahoma State's aim for revenge after losing at Troy last season. "They might have a bonfire and burn some of T. Boone's (Pickens) money to get ready for the game," Blakeney said, referring to the megabuck Oklahoma State booster.