Big 12: Artrell Woods

Gundy pleased with offensive development

March, 9, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

A depleted receiving group missing many of its top players was expected to be Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's biggest concern this spring.

But so far, Gundy likes what he sees from a unit that is missing leading receiver Dez Bryant, as well as Bo Bowling, Damian Davis and Artrell Woods. Bryant is recovering from surgery to his left knee. Bowling was suspended after his arrest on drug possession charges. Woods quit the team after horrific weight-lifting accident last summer and Davis was kicked off the team for an unspecified violation of team rules.

The Cowboys are also looking for a replacement for tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who declared early for the NFL draft and is expected to be a first-round draft pick.

The remaining players have shown well early in preseason conditioning drills, Gundy said.

"The wide receiver group has done a nice job," Gundy said. "Hubert Anyiam, Justin Blackmon, Josh Cooper, Isaiah Anderson and some of those younger players. (Tight end Justin) Horton and Jamal Mosley have done a nice job."

The Cowboys began their spring workouts Monday afternoon with a strong returning nucleus on offense except for the receivers. Key players like quarterback Zac Robinson, tailback Kendall Hunter and tackle Russell Okung are back from last season's 9-4 team.

"There's obviously more continuity on the offensive side of the ball right now. And the majority of the staff has been together for a long time. We have a somewhat mature offense," Gundy said. "There will be a certain part of what we do that will be new. But overall, we expect the players to grasp it and be able to execute it next fall."

Bowling's suspension bigger loss than expected

February, 11, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

The suspension of Oklahoma State wide receiver Bo Bowling after he was earlier arrested on drug possession charges could have a larger impact for the Cowboys than initially appears.

Bowling was set to challenge Damian Davis for a starting position opposite Dez Bryant when spring practice begins for the Cowboys on March 9.

After a strong showing in his first season at Oklahoma State after transferring from Northeast Oklahoma Junior College, Bowling was expected to receive a scholarship from the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State was more dependent on Bryant than any team was on a single receiver in the Big 12 last season. Bryant's team-leading 87 receptions made up a whopping 41.4 percent of all Oklahoma State catches last season. The other wide receivers on the roster combined for 40. The Cowboys also are wrestling with the loss of tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who declared for the NFL draft after last season.

The Cowboys reliance on Bryant was obvious in the Holiday Bowl when he sustained a knee injury against Oregon. Oklahoma State's passing attack couldn't recover as the Ducks charged back for a 42-31 victory.

Davis, DeMarcus Conner, Hubert Anyiam, Josh Cooper and Artrell Woods all will be featured in the Cowboys' spring work at wide receiver. Heralded wide receiver Jeremy Broadway was kicked off the team in December, shortly after the regular season ended.

Bowling's suspension will hurt him in terms of repetitions with the No. 1 offense, his familiarity with quarterback Zac Robinson and his hopes for earning playing time.

Tim's mailbag: Has A&M's talent really diminished that much?

January, 23, 2009

Posted by's Tim Griffin

I received a bunch of good letters this week, telling me that Big 12 fans are observant about their football even when the season is over. Here are some of the more notable ones.

Ryan from Austin writes: Tim, Did I read that right? Only one, repeat one Texas A&M player made Dave Campbell's Texas Football's All-Texas list for 2008? Not a knock on Justin Brantly, but has A&M's program really fallen that far, or is it a reflection of the massive amount of talent in the state?

I would also like to point out how many Texas Tech players made the list, and it was especially exciting to see Texas Tech running back Baron Batch on the first team. I think he will (if Leach gives him the touches) take a huge load off of a new QB next season. If Batch touches the ball 20-25 times a game, I could see Tech having 9 or 10 wins. Think Westbrook in Red and Black.

Tim Griffin: Ryan, it does speak to how far the talent level has dropped at Texas A&M when you saw no players other than Brantly on the Dave Campbell team. I do think that coach Mike Sherman got some production from players like Jerrod Johnson, Ryan Tannehill and Jeff Fuller. The line struggled and there wasn't a single player who emerged as a top defensive player, other than maybe Michael Bennett. Considering A&M's 4-8 record, it wasn't a surprise the All-Texas team wasn't stocked with many Aggies.

Batch was a big producer for Texas Tech after missing last season with an injury. But he did have Shannon Woods who spelled him in a tailback-by-committee rotation. It will be interesting to see what Batch does as a truly featured back next season. Is he durable enough to thrive in that role? We'll see.

Chuck from Omaha writes: Could you please share any knowledge as to why Iowa State is taking so long to hire a defensive coordinator? Is Coach Paul Rhoads filling that role and I missed it, or does no one want the job? No one in the Ames area is reporting anything. Thanks.

Tim Griffin: As of the time I write this, Iowa State hasn't hired a defensive coordinator yet. I don't know why it's taking so long. Maybe it's because somebody has given Rhoads a qualified answer and might be waiting on another job. Maybe it's because Rhoads is putting more attention on building relationship with meeting with his new players and recruiting. Maybe he has a line on somebody who is still coaching in the NFL and will make an announcement after the Super Bowl.

But it is curious that it's taken so long to fill this position. I'll be interested to see who he chooses and his explanation for why it took so long to fill the position.

Eric from Denver writes: I don't think Colorado's recruiting class this year will have much - if any - effect on if they win 10 games in 2009. They may land one or two junior-college players who can help but the majority of these kids will be freshman and won't be counted on to contribute immediately. The only exception to that is defensive end Nick Kasa, but as Darrell Scott showed us, counting on a true freshman is a risky proposition.

Tim Griffin: You are right, but a truly special freshman player -- like Scott was supposed to be and Kasa apparently is as well -- can lift the play of an entire team because of his athleticism. And Colorado desperately needs that kind of boost if they are going to come close to fulfilling Dan Hawkins' 10-2 prediction for next season.

Kiko Thomas from Los Angeles writes: Ever since Ricky Williams and even before him, Texas has not had a prolific runner. Save for maybe Jamaal Charles. I wonder of your opinion on Chris Whaley who some compare to Darren McFadden from Arkansas. I see he has had many 400 yard-rushing games. No ways to tell how good he will be in college, but the remaining running backs that Texas has now are O.K. at best. Your thoughts on if he could get some time or really make an impact.

Tim Griffin: Kiko, first of all Texas has had some backs like Earl Campbell, Chris Gilbert and Hodges Mitchell who were pretty productive when they had their chances. I think that Campbell even won a Heisman.

But you are right about the needs for a running back at Texas. It was noticeable all season considering that Colt McCoy was the Longhorns' top rushing threat in 2008.

They certainly need more balance in the future. It's tough to project high-school backs into college players. But I would expect Whaley to receive every opportunity to emerge as a featured back once he arrives at Texas. I don't know if it will happen right away. But I expect he'll have that opportunity during his college career.

Korey from Midland, Texas, writes: Tim, Oklahoma plays Sept. 5 and the Big 12 Championship will be held in the billion-dollar new Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. How long until the OU-Texas game gets moved to the new stadium?

Tim Griffin: I think that as long as DeLoss Dodds and Joe Castiglione are calling the shots at Texas and Oklahoma, there's a good chance that the game remains at the Cotton Bowl. I think both realize how special the game currently is in its current location. Obviously, Dallas owner Jerry Jones can offer them more seats in his stadium. And it certainly will be a palace, from everything I'm hearing. But by keeping the number of seats at their current levels, both schools can drive interest in priority seating because there is more demand than tickets.

Maybe, some day the game gets moved. But to be honest with you, I think a more likely scenario might be that the game would be moved to campus locations in the future. Alabama-Auburn played at Legion Field forever before moving to campus sites for good in 1998. I could see the same thing happening to Texas-Oklahoma one day -- but likely after Dodds and Castiglione are gone.

Chris Watkins from Lawrence, Kan., writes: Tim, I know ESPN selects a team each spring to broadcast their spring game. Two years ago it was Oklahoma, this past spring it was Florida. Is there enough buzz around the ESPN networks or the nation about Bill Snyder's comeback that they would consider broadcasting the Kansas State spring game? If it's still in the brainstorming process, it might be something you might want to suggest for the spring of 2009. I think it would be a fabulous idea, and if they did, I would bet a large crowd would turn out.

Tim Griffin: Bad news, Chris. Apparently the network has chosen to go to Georgia. The information is related in this story in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and other Georgia papers this morning.

I agree that the trip to Manhattan would have been interesting. But I also think that Kansas State's 5-7 record wouldn't qualify them with some powers that might be a little closer to challenging for a national title. I think that was a major determiner in who got the ex
posure for their spring game.

Adam from Broken Arrow, Okla., writes: I enjoyed your list of 2008 moments and realize this might be a little late now. But how could you forget Artrell Woods of Oklahoma State making his first reception in a game against Iowa State after a spinal injury that nearly caused paralysis and sidelined him for more than a year. Boone Pickens Stadium gave him a standing ovation afterwards. It was a big moment for Oklahoma State football.

Tim Griffin: Adam, forgive my oversight on leaving Woods out. I saw an ESPN story on it and it absolutely brought chills to me when I saw how hard he worked to get back from injury and back into the lineup. I should have mentioned it.

Derek from Salina, Kan., writes: I enjoy reading your Big 12 coverage. I usually agree with or at least understand the things you post. Then I came across your prediction that Nebraska will win the North in '09, and more importantly that you don't think Kansas will win in Lubbock. Are you serious, and if so, why?

Tim Griffin: Derek, again I choose to respectfully disagree with your assessment of the Jayhawks. I think if Nebraska can find a serviceable quarterback from one of their potential starters, the Cornhuskers should be in good shape. Quentin Castille and Roy Helu Jr. give them a nice running attack. They'll be running behind a veteran offensive front. And the return of Ndamukong Suh might be the biggest factor in the reason why I think the Cornhuskers' defense should be stout.

And the reason I think Texas Tech will beat Kansas can be found in past history. I know Michael Crabtree and Graham Harrell won't be back next year. But Texas Tech has beaten Kansas 10 out of 11 times in the previous games of the series. The Red Raiders did hang 63 points on Kansas in Lawrence in 2008, didn't they? And Mike Leach's offense has averaged 40 points a game in the last five contests against the Jayhawks.

I think the Jayhawks will struggle in Lubbock, although I think that will be the crossover game they should have the best chance to win. I think Oklahoma will beat Kansas in Lawrence and Texas will be the Jayhawks in Austin.

Again, thanks for all of the great questions this week and keep them coming. I'll check back with more from my mailbag next week.

Big 12 internal affairs: Quigley poised to emerge

September, 10, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

Here are some tidbits from around the conference that will shape how teams play their games this week.

1. Kansas: TB Angus Quigley, a third-stringer before the start of the season, has emerged as the team's most consistent rushing threat. Despite big expectations for Jake Sharp and Jocques Crawford before the season, it's been Quigley who's been the best runner. The Jayhawks need some kind of consistency rushing the ball for any kind of success against South Florida on Friday night.

2. Missouri: Coaches are hoping the return of S William Moore and LB Van Alexander will help boost their defense's production. The Tigers allowed 250 yards passing against Southeast Missouri State and surrendered 15- and 11-play drives in the first half of the game. That unit must improve before Big 12 play begins.

3. Iowa State: Look for the team to use Phillip Bates more against Iowa than in his first two games as he's backed up starting ISU QB Austen Arnaud. Bates' athleticism could give the Iowa defense some problems, particularly on option plays and other outside runs. Remember, Bates' 38-yard reception last season against the Hawkeyes was the key play in ISU's game-winning drive.

4. Oklahoma: Don't be surprised if top defensive recruit R.J. Washington gets his redshirt pulled this week. The Sooners' depth at defensive end is lagging as Frank Alexander recovers from a stab wound. And Washington has been routinely wowing coaches with his performance in practice. They believe it's about time for him to be tested in a game.

5. Oklahoma State: Despite Dez Bryant's huge game last week against Houston, look for Oklahoma State to try to develop other receiving threats this week against Missouri State. With Artrell Woods gimpy with a knee injury, players like Jeremy Broadway, Damian Davis, Josh Cooper and DeMarcus Conner need to produce to keep offenses from concentrating on Bryant.

McGee's is 'day-to-day' with sprained shoulder

September, 8, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

After three hours on various conference calls this morning, here are some early tidbits from around the Big 12.

  • Texas A&M QB Stephen McGee suffered a sprained right shoulder against New Mexico and his condition is listed as day-to-day, A&M coach Mike Sherman said. "We thought there was an outside shot he might have torn his labrum," Sherman said. "But it [the prognosis] was more positive than that."
  • Of a more pressing concern to Sherman is the condition of QB-WR Ryan Tannehill, who sustained a sprained ankle later in the game. "It will probably keep him out every day this week," Sherman said. "Then, we'll have to take it day-to-day next week. It wasn't a mild sprain."
  • Sherman said that although he didn't get to see Brett Favre's debut Sunday with the New York Jets, he was impressed with his performance. "I text-messaged him and told him he did a great job," Sherman said.
  • Kansas coach Mark Mangino said that CB Kendrick Harper is recovering after he was hospitalized for an apparent neck injury sustained in the Jayhawks' victory over Louisiana Tech. "There's nothing new today, other than what I mentioned last night," Mangino said. "He's been released from the hospital and is feeling fine."
  • Elusive West Virginia QB Pat White provides a difficult defensive challenge that has already caught Colorado coach Dan Hawkins' attention as he prepares for the Sept. 18 game. "There's just so much running from the quarterback position," Hawkins said. "Pat is explosive and electric."
  • Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has been pleased with the progress of his no-huddle offense that has produced more than 80 plays in both games and scored 109 points in victories over Chattanooga and Cincinnati. "I like the fact we've been productive running and throwing the ball," Stoops said. "I haven't been as concerned about that as much as moving the ball, scoring points and resting the defense. And, fortunately, we've been able to do that."
  • Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said WR Artrell Woods sustained a mild sprained knee that caused him to be removed from the Cowboys' victory over Houston. The injury is not related to Woods' neck injury that sidelined him for the entire 2007 season. Gundy said he expects Woods back in the lineup for the Cowboys' game against Missouri State.
  • Kansas State coach Ron Prince likes his team's open date this weekend that will carry into their nationally televised game Sept. 17 at Louisville. "I think our situation is very unique because we have so many new players," Prince said. "We have about 28 new players who saw action in our first game. [The bye] comes at a good time for us. This is a very unique, 21-day period and we want to get them ready. It's important not to overwork them."

Big 12 links: Sundays with Barry and Fred

August, 29, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

TEMPLE, Texas -- I'm venturing back to my journalistic roots this morning, so to speak.

I started my career here a long time ago. It was so long ago, in fact, that SMU was a still a dominant football program back then. Jerry Moore was just starting his program at Texas Tech. Big 12 director of football championships Donnie Duncan was roaming the sidelines at Iowa State, with a young assistant named Mack Brown at his side.

But it's always fun to return to my simpler days when I lived off of Rahmen noodles and four or five television games during the course of a Saturday. 

Which made those Sunday night highlight shows for Texas and Oklahoma on the Dallas independent station must-see television every week. Not only because there weren't there wasn't a regular schedule of NFL games played, but because the dichotomy between Fred Akers and Barry Switzer always was so pronounced.

Watching football sure is a lot better these days.

Here's a stack of steaming links to get you ready for Saturday's games.

  • The Baylor era under Art Briles starts with a thud.
  • Iowa State set a school record with 202 interception return yards en route to a 44-17 victory over Division I-AA South Dakota State. It was the largest victory in Gene Chizik's coaching tenure.
  • Redshirt sophomore Brian Lockridge, hampered since the spring recovering from hernia surgery, will redshirt because of Colorado's depth in the backfield.
  • Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star has Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe's take on the SEC's new television deal along with is weekly ranking of Saturday's games.
  • Kansas LB Mike Rivera has been picking up nicknames since he's played with the Jayhawks. But instead of calling him "Mr. Kansas" or "The Caveman," teammates are now calling him "Big Time Mike."
  • Missouri QB Chase Daniel's mushrooming fame has resulted in his mother and girlfriend sometimes being besieged by autograph seekers.
  • Kansas State WR Ernie Pierce is hoping to emerge as Kansas State's big-play receiving threat.
  • New Nebraska coach Bo Pelini finally tackles the challenge of coaching in a football game.
  • The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel goes interactive as he calls Oklahoma's game against Chattanooga the biggest mismatch in school history.
  • Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World provides the definitive scoop on Oklahoma State WR Artrell Woods' amazing comeback.
  • Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman predicts another 10-win season for Texas this year. Among other items he foretells that the Longhorns will beat Oklahoma, lose to Missouri and Texas Tech and meet LSU in the Cotton Bowl.
  • Texas Tech has cleared an unspecified  player on the possibility of an NCAA rules violation in a "possible compliance problem." The school didn't release the player's name, but the Lubbock Avalance Journal said that speculation has centered on All-American WR Michael Crabtree.
  • Texas A&M FB Jorvorskie Lane has returned to practice this week, although RB Cornell Tarrant has transferred to Stephen F. Austin University.
  • Kevin Haskin of the Topeka Capital Journal goes out on the limb and picks Missouri and Texas Tech to win division titles this season.

25 things I can't wait to see in the Big 12 this season

August, 27, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

The Big 12 season will unfold with many things I can't wait to watch. Here are 25 of the most special to me.

1. Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin streaking into the secondary moments after returning a punt.

2. Oklahoma RB DeMarco Murray getting loose on a sweep.

3. Listening to one of Texas Tech coach Mike Leach's postgame news conferences.

4. Watching the young Texas secondary grow up before my eyes, starting Saturday night against Florida Atlantic.

5. Experiencing the crunch of Kansas' linebackers swarming style from the sidelines.

6. Watching Colorado TB Darrell Scott likely earn a starting position over the course of the first few weeks of the season.

7. Rooting for a good kid like Oklahoma State WR Artrell Woods to make a complete return from an injury last year that nearly ended his career.

8. Watching Nebraska and Bo Pelini make their first steps onto the field at Memorial Stadium during the Cornhuskers' "Tunnel Walk."

9. Judging how much better suited Texas A&M QB Stephen McGee is to run Mike Sherman's offense than Dennis Franchione's. I bet McGee is, too.

10. Maybe having a chance to see Kansas State QB Josh Freeman uncork a ball 70 or 80 yards -- on the fly.

11. Waiting to see Iowa State coach Gene Chizik's decision on who is better -- Austen Arnaud or Phillip Bates.

12. Waiting for a chance to see Baylor QB Robert Griffin and Texas QB John Chiles play a position other than quarterback.

13. Seeing the Sooner Schooner march up and down the field. Something tells me a good night would be Saturday against Chattanooga.

14. Waiting to see the records that Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree can set this season.

15. Chase Daniel chewing out an offensive lineman who might have missed a block -- or maybe a coach he doesn't agree with.

16. Catching a few replays of Texas' mammoth Godzillatron scoreboard and wishing I had one just like it in my living room.

17. Seeing the "Waving of the Wheat" after a Kansas victory. This never gets old.

18. Ralphie the Buffalo leading Colorado on the field. Simply the best mascot in all of college sports.

19. The Texas A&M Marching Band in one of their stirring, patented halftime shows.

20. Watching how much playing time Marlon Lucky will receive with Nebraska this year. Bet he still is among the conference's rushing leaders.

21. Seeing how Texas Tech's young defense reacts to excitable coach Ruffin McNeill.

22. Standing next to Kansas State TB Keithen Valentine and judging if I'm really taller than he is.

23. Watching the pads pop when Oklahoma running backs run behind the mammoth left side of their offensive line keyed by T Phil Loadholt and G Duke Robinson.

24. Standing close -- but not too close -- to the Baylor bear mascot and Bevo the Longhorn along the sidelines.

25. Waiting for another big return by Kansas State so I can see Ron Prince happily stomp down the field in jubilation.

Big 12 morning links: Can the Big 12 finally match the SEC?

August, 25, 2008

Posted by's Tim Griffin

How good will be the Big 12 be this season?

With an armada of strong quarterbacks and concentrated power at the top of both divisions, the conference could produce something really special this season. The Associated Press' preseason poll is stacked with five Big 12 teams among its top 14 teams. That respect is coming after four Big 12 teams finished in the top 10 last season and a Big 12-record eight consensus All-Americans were selected last season.

Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star speculates today that the Big 12 finally can come close  to matching the SEC this season. Keys, he mentions, will be the performance of the Big 12 in tough nonconference games like Missouri-Illinois, Kansas at South Florida, Kansas State at Louisville and Virginia Tech at Nebraska. The Big 12 should win its only matchup this season against the SEC when Arkansas visits Texas.

The conference's true reputation will be built in bowl games. After struggles early in its history in bowls, the Big 12's 5-3 bowl record last season was its fifth above .500 in history and third in four seasons.

That trend will have to continue to help the conference's burgeoning reputation to keep growing. And it probably wouldn't hurt for Oklahoma to win a bowl game, too.

But those games are more than four months away. The season is approaching in a mere three days.

To whet your appetite for that start, here's a power-packed stack of morning links. Enjoy them.

  • Chip Brown of breaks down the 10 best decisions of Mack Brown's coaching tenure at Texas.
  • Boulder Daily Camera columnist Neill Woelk can't believe that Mark Mangino is making $2.3 million per season -- considering he's had two winning seasons in his six-year tenure as a head coach at Kansas.
  • Baylor's three quarterbacks discuss battling for their starting job as coach Art Briles' decision appears no clearer.
  • Four newcomers dot Kansas State's depth chart. RB Keithen Valentine, CB Blair Irvin, OLB Olu Hall and ILB Ulla Pomele all will be in the starting lineup Saturday against North Texas.
  • Missouri sports information director Chad Moller has "something big" planned in his pitch for Chase Daniel's Heisman hopes, according to the Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond. Moller says cost of his surprise will be about $50,000.
  • The Omaha World-Herald has virtually everything you'd ever want to know about the Cornhuskers in its preview edition. Among the highlights include World-Herald beat writer Jon Nyatawa's story on Bo Pelini's building plan, Tom Shatel's column on football motivation, a Husker inkblot test that shows how the Cornhuskers can finish 8-4 and  Shatel's 14 predictions for the coming season.
  • Not to be outdone, the Lincoln Journal-Star had a preview section with Bo Pelini as a superhero with "Bo Wonder. Villains, Beware!" shouting from the cover. Columnist Steve Sipple explains his rationale for the cover. Beat writer Brian Christopherson details the Cornhuskers' 1-2 offensive punch in QB Joe Ganz and I-back Marlon Lucky, and Curt McKeever's list of Husker villains for the 2008 season.
  • The Big 12 is heavily represented on John Walter's 50 most intriguing people in college football. Included on the list are Baylor QB Robert Griffin, Missouri WR/KR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri K Jeff Wolfert, Nebraska I-back Marlon Lucky, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State WR Artrell Woods and Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell and WR Michael Crabtree .
  • Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel speculates on the chances that Bob Stoops will remain at Oklahoma for 10 more years.
  • Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy still hasn't announced who'll be calling plays for the Cowboys in their season opener Saturday against Washington State.
  • Des Moines Register beat writer Andrew Logue interviews Iowa State quarterbacks Austen Arnaud and Phillip Bates.
  • Wichita Eagle columnist Bob Lutz writes that Ron Prince's junior-college laden recruiting class is nothing like Bill Snyder's recruiting strategy.
  • Jake Trotter of the Oklahoman breaks down Sam Bradford's Heisman hopes.
  • Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler predicts a 12-0 regular season for Oklahoma, capped by a loss to Missouri in the Big 12 championship.
  • Terrance Harris of the Houston Chronicle has an extended sit-down with new Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman.
  • Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman considers how the Texas roster would be broken down after a 44-man NFL-style draft.
  • Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News produces an interesting comparison between Dallas-area natives Chase Daniel of Missouri and Matthew Stafford of Georgia.
  • Kansas QB Todd Reesing tells the Fort Worth Star
    -Telegram's Mike Jones about his interest in dancing and life in the fishbowl in Lawrence, Kan.
  • Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal "there's a good possibility" the Red Raiders will face Oklahoma State in Dallas in 2009.
  • Texas Tech coaches still haven't decided on starters at running back and center heading into Saturday's opener against Eastern Washington. Daniel Charbonnet has won the starting job at free safety, with the right corner and kicker jobs still open.
  • The Tulsa World's Guerin Emig profiles TB DeMarco Murray, a key offensive weapon for Oklahoma's success this season.
  • J. Brady McCullough of the Kansas City Star details the changing expectations around the Jayhawks' program.
  • Heralded Colorado running back Darrell Scott has lost 17 pounds since arriving at college. He's now down to a trim 210 pounds and hopes to play close at close to 205 once the season begins.
  • New Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman is emphasizing speed in his rebuilding process, Randy Riggs of the Austin American-Statesman writes.
  • Colorado is preparing for uncertainty in its season opener against Colorado State. The Buffaloes will be facing an opponent featuring a new coach, new offensive coordinator and new starting quarterback.