Big 12: Jamelle Holieway

Saturday spring games primer

April, 16, 2010
4/16/10
5:00
PM ET
Seven teams in the Big 12 will be playing their spring games on Saturday. Here's what to expect:

Iowa State Cyclones

  • Game begins at 3 p.m. ET.
  • Four 15-minute quarters will be played and the fourth quarter will have a running clock.
  • Free admission and parking
Missouri Tigers

  • Missouri will only use its confusing scoring system and offense versus defense in the second half.
  • The first two quarters will be first-team defense and offense versus the second-team offense and defense.
  • In the first half, the second-team will be spotted 14 points.
  • The second half will be filled with third-team and fourth-team players and the scoring system will revert back to the offense versus defense system. The system gives points to the offense for things like first downs, and the defense can earn points by forcing punts or causing turnovers.
  • Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET.
  • Admission is $3 or three items of canned food for a local food bank.
  • A fan zone with interactive exhibits and activities will take place in the North end zone from 11:30 until kickoff.
Nebraska Cornhuskers

  • All players will be competing with full contact, with only injured quarterback Kody Spano (knee) donning a green, protective jersey.
  • The teams were divided evenly by coaches and will play four, 15-minute quarters. The clock will run continuously at some point in the third or fourth quarters.
  • The athletic department expects more than 80,000 fans.
  • Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET.
  • More than 10 high-profile recruits are expected to be in attendance.
  • A handful of former Nebraska players in the NFL like Ahman Green, Correll Buckhalter and Josh Brown will be on campus for several events.
Oklahoma Sooners

  • Senior players held a draft earlier this week to divide the red and white teams evenly, and Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles came off the board as the top picks on offense. On defense, Frank Alexander and Travis Lewis were the first picks.
  • The winning team gets a steak dinner after the game. The losers get hot dogs and baked beans.
  • Sooner legends like Brian Bosworth, Rufus Alexander and Jamelle Holieway will take part in a flag football game at 2 p.m. ET on Owen Field before the spring game begins at 3 p.m. ET.
  • Tickets are $10.
Oklahoma State Cowboys

  • Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. ET.
  • Admission is free.
  • No time will be kept, and the scrimmage is expected to last around 120 plays.
  • The offense can score in traditional ways, but points will also be awarded for plays of over 12 yards and if the offense and get three first downs on one drive.
  • The defense can score by forcing turnovers, making tackles for loss, or forcing three-and-outs.
Texas A&M Aggies

  • Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET, but the team will be signing autographs in the Gilliam Indoor Track Center from 10-11 a.m. ET.
  • The Aggies will use a complex scoring system similar to Oklahoma State's. Details are here. Expect big points.
  • Two students will be guest coaches alongside coach Mike Sherman.
  • Quarterback Jerrod Johnson hopes to play, but his status is in doubt.
Texas Tech Red Raiders

  • Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET, and admission is $5.
  • Offensive and defensive coaches have scaled back the playbook for the game.
  • Players will sign autographs and talk to fans after the game.
  • The Red Raiders will be without quarterbacks Steven Sheffield and Taylor Potts, who underwent spring surgeries for foot and hand injuries, respectively.

Big 12 lunch links: Can OU's defense be great?

July, 22, 2009
7/22/09
1:43
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

And now, for your lunchtime dining pleasure, a few tasty morsels from across the Big 12.

  • The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel predicts that Oklahoma's defense can be great at every position this season.
  • Veteran Kansas City Star reporter Mike DeArmond writes that those predicting Nebraska will win the Big 12 North are "abso-tooting-lutely nuts."
  • Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy talked up the Cowboys during a two-day trip to the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., the Oklahoman's Scott Wright reports.
  • Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman was blunt in his assessment of what his program needs to do to keep up with other national contending teams at his school, according to Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle.
  • Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins is almost as confident as his father about his team's chances heading into the upcoming season, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.
  • Baylor coach Art Briles tells the Temple Daily Telegram's Craig Meister that Robert Griffin will be much improved by concentrating on football this spring rather than running track.
  • Former Oklahoma quarterback Jamelle Holieway and a female companion were arrested on shoplifting charges at a large discount store in McAlester, Okla., the Tulsa World's John Hoover reports.
  • The Topeka Capital-Journal's Rick Dean provides the definitive story about Bill Snyder's return to coaching at Kansas State.
  • Lawrence Journal-World sports editor Tom Keegan writes that incoming Kansas freshman running back Toben Opurum looks and sounds a lot like former Jayhawk standout Brandon McAnderson.
  • Massive 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive tackle Anthony Gatti from Parkway North High School in the St. Louis area has committed to Missouri over offers from Mississippi and Wisconsin, the Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter reports. Gatti is the Tigers' 10th commitment in the 2010 recruiting class.
  • Lincoln Journal-Star staffers Steve Sipple and Brian Christopherson break down the storylines for next week's Big 12 media days.
  • Former Georgia coach and Oklahoma assistant Jim Donnan talks to the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler about the unrealistic expectations of Oklahoma fans.

It's the golden era of quarterbacks in the Big 12

June, 11, 2009
6/11/09
4:54
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Most of the preseason magazines have hit the newsstands.

I know. I've read most of them cover-to-cover. I'm still awaiting a few more to devour.

But one thing has struck me as I look at the Big 12 and analyze rosters and returning players.

Namely, it's amazing how good the quarterback talent has been in this league over the last few years. I don't know if I've ever seen anything like it.

It really hit home when I saw a story from Oklahoma about a summit of almost holy proportions last weekend when Oklahoma's five national-championship quarterbacks appeared at the same autograph signing party. Claude Arnold, Jimmy Harris, Steve Davis, Jamelle Holieway and Josh Heupel remain some of the most noteworthy signal-callers in school history.

But for all of the talent there, I think Sam Bradford will go down as the greatest quarterback in Oklahoma history. He hasn't won a national championship yet, but he is in the process of obliterating the Sooner record book. He's already won a Heisman and could win another. And if he stays in school for two more years, he could end up as themost proficient quarterback by any measure in college football history.

And he's not alone. At other places around the league, we can see other quarterbacks who I think will be similarly remembered.

At Texas, Colt McCoy hasn't duplicated the national championships that have been won by Vince Young, James Street and the others. But McCoy already has most of the record book and could finish this season by doing something none of the other Texas quarterbacks have accomplished by winning the Heisman Trophy. And he could win the national championship, too.

At Oklahoma State, Zac Robinson has accomplished feats no other quarterback is school history has done. Another big statistical season could make him the greatest quarterback in OSU history. He's in the discussion right now, along with his Mike Gundy and Josh Fields. But Robinson can distance himself with a big season.

Todd Reesing at Kansas has quietly developed into the top record-holder in Jayhawk history. He's already led them to the first BCS bowl berth in school history, along with a share of the Big 12 North title in 2007. And a big season could make him the consensus top quarterback in school history. He's being mentioned with players like Bobby Douglass, David Jaynes and Frank Seurer.

Right now, those four quarterbacks can make strong claims to being the top quarterbacks in school history. And with big finishes to their respective careers, it won't be close.

And three other Big 12 quarterbacks could have a chance at one day being considered the greatest quarterback at their respective schools.

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin did some magical things last year as a combination rushing/passing threat after a mind-blowing freshman season. If he takes the Bears to a bowl and keeps them winning at that level, he's the kind of player who might have statues built outside Floyd Casey Stadium in his honor.

And two others have a chance with strong growth and development.

Iowa State quarterback Austen Arnaud had a strong freshman season. If he can grasp the concept of new coordinator Tom Herman's offense and keep piling up statistics over the final two seasons of his career, he might merit mention as the top quarterback in Cyclone history.

And it wouldn't be beyond the realm of possibility that Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson could develop into that type of player with two huge statistical seasons. He showed flashes last season when he threw for a school-record 419 yards against Kansas State. He also set the school single-season record for touchdown passes with 21. If he can lead the Aggies back into bowl contention, it might not be a stretch to group him among the very best in school history.

That means there are four quarterbacks who I believe have legitimate arguments to be considered as the best quarterback in the history of their respective schools. And three others with a shot to earn that distinction if they keep progressing during the rest of their careers.

Two schools will be replacing quarterbacks who I believe will go down as the greatest quarterbacks in their school's history. It won't surprise me if Chase Daniel at Missouri and Graham Harrell at Texas Tech are remembered that way.

With all of that talent at quarterback, it's no wonder that we've seen so many big numbers posted offensively in the Big 12 in recent years.

Remember that when you're watching quarterbacks in the league. Because we may never see anything like it again.

Big 12 lunch links: OU QBs remember their national titles

June, 8, 2009
6/08/09
1:53
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The glory days of Oklahoma football were remembered this weekend in a personal appearance where all five national championship winning quarterbacks for the Sooners appeared.

Hundreds of fans from across the state lined up for several hours for the chance to meet the players who quarterbacked those seven national championship winners -- Claude Arnold, Jimmy Harris, Steve Davis, Jamelle Holieway and Josh Heupel.

Unfortunately, scheduling conflicts could not allow all five players to be present at the same time. But the Oklahoman's Berry Tramel wrote an interesting story about reliving so much Sooner history in one place on Sunday with all of the quarterbacks.

Sam Bradford hopes to be able to join that fraternity this year. He's already made history by becoming one of two Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks with Jason White. And Bradford already is the only Sooner quarterback to lead his team to back-to-back Big 12 titles.

But before that plays out, there's plenty of time for some lunchtime links. And we have a strong collection for this afternoon.

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