Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Big 12 links: Are prying eyes on the Jayhawks?
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Kansas coach Mark Mangino is notoriously reclusive, preferring to prepare his team behind locked gates to maintain some semblance of privacy.
That's all changing after the Jayhawks moved to the new Anderson Family Football Complex, which provides a more expansive viewing by spectators outside the complex of Mangino's practices.
And according to Lawrence Journal-World columnist Tom Keegan, it's providing the Kansas coach with a tough decision. He can practice behind closed gates, irritating fans who want to watch the proceedings. Or he can open his practices and allow all the world to see.
I've known Mangino a long time. I first met him back when he was working as an offensive assistant for Bill Snyder at Kansas State. That same Bill Snyder who used to order his players to huddle around injured teammates along the sidelines at games to keep the prying lens of television cameras away so they couldn't provide a picture that could determine the severity of the injuries.
Considering every one of Snyder's coaching proteges has shared a similar disdain for open practices, I'm betting you won't teach the Jayhawks coach new tricks. And that's why I would imagine some kind of barrier will be erected to keep unwanted eyes from watching Kansas' practice.
On the other hand, these links are present for your enjoyment. Don't be satisfied with just one reading. Come back many times throughout the day. Tell your friends about them.
Read them often. They're good for you.
- Colorado LB B.J. Beatty (fractured bone in left leg) and CB Cha'pelle Brown (fractured left hand) continue to participate in practice drills despite their injuries. Beatty originally thought the injury was a bad bruise and spent one practice pushing wheelbarrows full of sand for Colorado strength coach Jeff Pitman, according to the Boulder Daily Camera.
- John Helsey of the Oklahoman delves deeply into the background of how Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione hired Bob Stoops in 1998. And a healthy dose of pragmatism helped convince Stoops to come to Oklahoma rather than take an open job at his alma mater at Iowa.
- Iowa State TB Alexander Robinson is bracing for a lot of work as the Cyclones break in two new quarterbacks.
- Veteran Wichita Eagle columnist Bob Lutz admires the moxie of Playboy sports editor Gary Cole, who ranked Kansas State 22nd in his preseason top 25 poll. It's the only top 25 mention the Wildcats have received this season.
- As a team, Kansas watched the movie "The Express," about 1961 Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis of Syracuse. And Mangino gave it a solid endorsement. " 'The Express' was both inspiring and educational," Mangino told the Kansas City Star. "It is a movie not just for sports fans, but for everyone. It was outstanding."
- Missouri's experienced linebackers should provide the backbone of the Tigers' rapidly improving defense.
- Tad Stryker of the Web site huskerpedia.com writes that Nebraska must reclaim its home-field advantage. The Cornhuskers were lucky to escape with a 4-3 home record last season. Hall of Fame Nebraska coach Tom Osborne lost 15 home games in his 25-year coaching career.
- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy will put his team through a "mock game" on Friday, practicing every detail of game day. "[We'll practice] putting the game uniform on, substitutions," Gundy told the Oklahoman. "Everything."
- Oklahoma WR Ryan Broyles has been waiting two years for his chance to play with the Sooners, Tulsa World beat writer John Hoover writes.
- Austin American-Statesman columnist Cedric Golden calls T Adam Ulatoski the Longhorns' most important offensive starter, considering he has the job of protecting Colt McCoy's blind side.
- Houston Chronicle reporter Joseph Duarte had a busy day as a multitooled reporter Tuesday in Austin. He captured Texas LB Sergio Kindle for a video interview and provided one of the first glimpses of the Longhorns' new wall of fame at Darrell K. Royal/Texas Memorial Stadium's Ring of Honor, which honors five players with retired jersey numbers.
- Starting Texas Tech CB L.A. Reed was carted off the field with his right knee and right ankle iced after suffering an injury at practice Tuesday afternoon. Tech coach Mike Leach declined to release any information about his injury. Sophomore LaRon Moore took Reed's spot for the rest of the practice.
- Backup Oklahoma SS Quinton Carter will miss at least two weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Freshman Joseph Ibiloye will take his place.
- Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple says that Nebraska hasn't has this much depth and talent along its offensive line since the 2001 team that played for the national championship.
- Texas CB Deon Beasley said the Longhorns didn't always play with passion during their 10-3 season last year.
- Missouri WR Danario Alexander was running routes and doing catching drills after being cleared for light practice as he recovers from a torn ACL.
- Kansas State S Chris Carney was so disappointed in his team's late-season collapse, he failed to watch any bowl games last season.
- Des Moines Register beat writer Andrew Logue breaks down the Cyclones in his weekly chat. Logue said that QBs Austen Arnaud and Phillip Bates remain even in the battle for the starting job and calls the Big 12 North more competitive this season than in any previous year.
- Baylor extended a four-year contrac
t with former Southwest Conference rival Rice. The series begins in 2013 in Houston, with games in 2014 and 2015 in Waco and 2016 in Rice.
- Nebraska coach Bo Pelini still hasn't distributed "Blackshirt" jerseys to his top defensive players and said there's no timetable. "When I feel it's right," he told reporters. "It's not right yet."
- Nebraska CB Armando Murillo promises a more aggressive secondary under Pelini. "We're going to attack the ball this year," Murillo told the Lincoln Journal-Star. "That's what we're going to do -- no ifs, ands or buts about it."