Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Best of Big 12 Media Days: Day 2
By David Ubben
Big 12 Media Days have come and gone, but it's time to look back and pass out a few awards from Day 2 at Media Days.
Best performance: Art Briles, Baylor. Briles repeated as the hit of media days, cracking jokes with nearly every question and drawing constant laughs. Mixing in meaningful answers with funny and interesting analogies helps, too. The WVU Mountaineer owned Day 1, but Day 2 was all about Briles. His response to a question about life on the recruiting trail for Baylor getting more difficult with TCU crashing the Big 12 party? "Shhhh!"
Biggest attraction: Mack Brown, Texas. Nothing new here, perhaps, but Brown drew by far the biggest crowds of the entire week. Brown can talk with the best of 'em, and reporters were lined up to hear it. Part of it comes with the territory of being the Longhorn in charge, but Brown's personality only intensifies the attention.
Best quote: Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia. Holgorsen quipped that he didn't need to make any halftime adjustments in the 70-33 Orange Bowl win over Clemson, and instead elected to take in the halftime show, feature the band Train. "I'm a big fan of Train," he said.
Most surprising revelation: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State. Gundy never told his team that true freshman Wes Lunt would be their starting quarterback. "I didn't have to. Twitter and all that took care of it for me," Gundy said. "We met -- (offensive coordinator) Todd (Monken) wanted to meet with the quarterbacks individually, so I let him do it -- and they can no more get out of your office and everybody knows."
Best critique: Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia. Holgorsen hadn't seen the Big 12 preseason media poll on Tuesday, but when informed that Kansas State was sixth, he had a simple response. "Ridiculous. They're pretty good."
Biggest cliffhanger: Charlie Weis, Kansas. Weis held court well in his introduction to the Big 12 media, but casually noted that yes, he came to Kansas, but he had other job offers that were paying more money. Which begged the question: Which ones? "It's not important. What's important is why did I take this job," Weis said.
Most unexpected gesture: Mack Brown, Texas. Brown invited 10 opposing cheerleaders up to the stage with him for his time in the print media room, the largest contingent at media days. "I asked the ladies to come in so if I had any hard questions, I would let them support me," he said. "So we’ll just ask them to step up and answer any questions that we need here." Brown got thrown a curveball, though, when the first question of the session was posed to the cheerleaders, asking who they wanted as the new Texas quarterback. "They'd want the worst one," Brown said.
Best first impression: Dayne Crist, QB, Kansas. Crist was honest like his coach, but impressive in handling the Big 12 media for the first time. Crist also noted that this was the first conference media days he'd ever attended. Notre Dame, where Crist played before transferring, is an independent. It was easy to see how his teammates took to their new quarterback so easily.
Best composure: Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State. In the middle of Gundy's time at the podium, West Virginia's mascot and cheerleaders began a noisy chant next door that drowned out Gundy's answer to a question. He finished, though, unfazed. "I handled that pretty well, that's a pressure situation," Gundy said, adding he hoped his true freshman quarterback could do the same this fall.
Best hair: Joe Madsen, center, West Virginia. Madsen out-Mohawked TCU quarterback Casey Pachall, who had a much milder version on Monday. Madsen had a few inches gelled up and made his way around with a microphone, interviewing cheerleaders and media members for West Virginia's account of the day.
Biggest compliment: Mack Brown, Texas. Texas is known as a place for special defensive backs, but Brown laid out some special praise for Carrington Byndom, his returning cornerback. "Carrington will be one of the best defensive backs we've had," he said. That? That's a pretty big deal.