Big 12: Josh Williams
- Gary Patterson talks about his quarterback battle, his team's expectations and says he'd have Oklahoma State as his Big 12 favorite in an interview with Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman has a note on what the Big 12 is doing for WVU's travel troubles, and Texas' shameful move in recruiting.
- Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News says Geno Smith isn't showing any signs of being a diva in Jets minicamp.
- Texas Tech safety Cody Davis could catch on with the Rams, writes Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Davis blogs about his experiences.
- Is Clint Chelf the Big 12's best quarterback? A panel of Athlon writers weigh in.
- An Iowa State sports channel is close to becoming a reality. The Cyclones' latest commit is drawing comparisons to A.J. Klein already, too, writes Bobby La Gesse of the Ames Tribune.
- If you missed it on Friday, Oklahoma quarterback Kendal Thompson was arrested on complaints of public intoxication and interference with the official process. The details of the arrest aren't flattering.
- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy invited the Duck Dynasty crew to a game in Stillwater, and opened up a bit more about Wes Lunt's departure.
- Bryce Miller of the Des Moines Register tells you what the fight against Alzheimer's disease means to Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. He spoke with the Register in an exclusive offseason interview. He's not satisfied with six- and seven-win seasons.
- Bob Hertzel of the Times West Virginian looks at WVU's trio who headed to their rookie minicamps last week. Dana Holgorsen talked about the future of the program at a recent caravan stop.
- Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman explains how Oklahoma beat Alabama on the recruiting trail for a running back.
- Big 12 teams are preparing for $22-25 million payouts, reports Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com.
- Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman writes about Oklahoma State's chase for a quarterback in its 2014 class, and looks at players who might be breaking records for the Pokes this year.
- Kansas defensive end Josh Williams is gone, but he already left his mark on the program, writes Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal-World.
- TCU dedicated its new stadium on Thursday. Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram was there.
- Good news, Cyclones fans. The experts love your chances on Saturday. (I kid, I kid. Legitimately should be a great game.)
- Oklahoma State's defensive depth took a hit with some injuries to a pair of talented freshmen, but the mystery man from last week's win over Savannah State has been identified.
- Steve Greenberg releases his Big 12 power rankings, with K-State on top. Here's how I ranked the league this week for comparison.
- Nick Kosmider of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal takes you to San Marcos, where Texas Tech will encounter a feverish atmosphere at Texas State.
- A big defensive line recruit for Kansas won't be able to enroll at KU until the winter semester. Josh Williams is already making an impact after transferring from Nebraska. Rustin Dodd of the KC Star tells you about his journey.
- Iowa State's defensive line does things a little differently. Andrew Logue of the Des Moines Register explains how.
- West Virginia's offensive line, meanwhile? Getting it done, writes Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette.
- Get to know Texas running back Malcolm Brown a little better with this Q&A.
- Kansas quarterback Brock Berglund will continue his career at North Texas.
- Kellis Robinett of the Wichita Eagle revisits the play a year ago that made Tre Walker an unforgettable name at K-State.
- TCU is champing at the bit to make their Big 12 debut, writes Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News.
More fresh faces:
Next up: Kansas.
Josh Williams, DE: Williams transferred to Kansas from Nebraska this spring and is already making a big impact on the defensive line, where the Jayhawks badly need reinforcements. He started two games for the Huskers last season and made 15 tackles, as well as blocking a kick. The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder has coach Charlie Weis and defensive coordinator Dave Campo raving, and Williams has already earned a starting spot entering the season. He's a fifth-year senior who just may find his way into the NFL with a big year in 2012 after starting over in Lawrence.
Kale Pick, WR: Quarterback Dayne Crist needs weapons in the passing game, and Pick's proving to be one of the best. Coaches pegged Pick as the player who's been most impressive during fall camp, and he could be a big beneficiary of some much more solid play at quarterback with Crist in town. Pick is an instinctive former quarterback who knows both ends of the passing game, and came on strong late last season. He caught six balls against Kansas State, and 15 of his 34 catches came in the final four games. The 6-1, 205-pound senior could make good on much of his promise this fall.
Mike Ragone, TE: Ragone's another player who could be a big beneficiary in the Notre Dame exodus. Weis and Crist got all the headlines this offseason, but Ragone made his way to Lawrence, too, along with Anthony McDonald, who will likely start at middle linebacker. Knee injuries limited Ragone's production in South Bend, but if he can stay healthy this year, there's plenty of room for him to haul in passes in KU's offense. He was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, and chose to transfer to Kansas. Look for the 6-4, 255-pounder to make it count. He's plenty confident, but he says he's grown and learned from having to deal with the knee trouble. He's also got the added advantage of knowing Weis' offense, as Crist does, and knowing what to expect once the season begins.
See more fall camp previews.
Next up: Kansas.
Media's predicted finish: Tenth.
Biggest story line: The climb begins. Kansas has won just five games the past two seasons, and just one Big 12 game. Along the way, it endured plenty of lopsided losses that were anything but competitive. Enter Charlie Weis, whose tenure at Notre Dame started with a pair of BCS bowl berths, but plummeted to three sub-par seasons before being fired. He's back in his first head coaching job since, and the announcement turned heads and brought on plenty of criticism. Now begins Weis and Kansas' road back, both equally invested in one another. How will Year 1 look? Step one is getting back to being competitive, just five years removed from a BCS bowl win in Lawrence.
Biggest question mark: Defensive line. Kansas brought in Keon Stowers and Nebraska transfer Josh Williams to help bolster a defense that was gashed often last season. The defensive backs are somewhat underrated and the linebackers are pretty good, but none of them had a chance when the D-line was getting blown off the line on running downs and getting zero pass rush (nine sacks, seven fewer than any Big 12 team) in a pass-heavy Big 12. Hope has arrived in Lawrence. Now, it's time to make it happen.
Setting the stage: Kansas coach Charlie Weis set a strong precedent early on, announcing the removal of 10 players all the way back in January, including big-time talents like safety Keeston Terry, running back Darrian Miller and quarterback Brock Berglund. Sorting out the cause/effect is messy, but the Jayhawks saw a huge boost in GPA for the Jayhawks this spring and a clear message sent from Weis to his team: This is serious business. Take your responsibilities seriously or get out.
On the mend: WR Daymond Patterson. Patterson might be the top target in the Jayhawks' passing game, but he's back this year after sitting out with a medical redshirt because of a groin injury suffered in the season opener last year. He's back, healthy and ready for a good run at his senior season.
Who needs to step up: QB Dayne Crist. Crist's career arc has brought him to Lawrence, and last year's 12-game starter, Jordan Webb, transferred out to Colorado when Crist arrived with Weis. He's the guy now. Jake Heaps is in line for this team in 2013, but Crist has no legitimate backup with any real experience, and if he doesn't play well or gets hurt, it's going to be tough for KU to be much better than it was last year.
Breaking out: DE/LB Toben Opurum. Kansas' leading rusher in 2009, Opurum's career has been pretty crazy since, and full of position moves. Now, he's playing a hybrid linebacker/defensive end spot, and when I was filling out my ballot for All-Big 12 preseason nods, Opurum wasn't far from it. The 6-foot-2, 250-pound senior has emerged as one of the team's leaders, and could help lead a renaissance for the Kansas defense.
- Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal-World writes about the new high-profile transfer at Kansas: Defensive end Josh Williams, who came from Nebraska.
- Oklahoma State's J.W. Walsh lost the QB competition this spring, but he should still get time on the field. Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman explains how.
- Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby talks about the TCU, WVU additions and the future of the league with Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News.
- Matt Tait of the Lawrence Journal-World explains Kansas' efforts to recruit inside state lines.
- Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram tells the story of "the other Robert Griffin" on Baylor's team now making his NFL dream come true.
- Colleague Ivan Maisel offers up a reminder of just how dominant Darrell Royal's teams at Texas were.
- Texas Tech announced the first three inductees into the school's brand-new Ring of Honor.
Josh Williams was dismissed by Bo Pelini from Nebraska's team in February after an unspecified violation of team rules, but Williams plans to transfer to Kansas to play for Weis, according to multiple reports.
Like KU quarterback Dayne Crist, Williams already received his undergraduate degree from his previous school. That means he will be eligible to play immediately in 2012 if he enters a grad program not offered at his former school.
The 6-foot-4, 260-pound Williams plans to arrive on campus in May.
A native of Denton, Texas, Williams played in all 13 games for the Huskers last year, including two starts on the defensive line. He finished with 15 total tackles and one tackle for loss. He also blocked a kick.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Missouri soon will begin its promotional blitz for Chase Daniel's Heisman bid. Several newspapers have detailed how the school plans to send out 2,500 View-Masters to voters and other media members. Cost of the promotion will be about $25,000.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Daniel's best selling tool will be continued on-field success.
"Everybody is aware of it and he more than anybody understands his play at a high level is what we need to win," Pinkel said. "And that (the Heisman) will not happen unless we win at a high level, too."
Daniel finished fourth last season in the Heisman balloting behind eventual winner Tim Tebow of Florida, Darren McFadden of Arkansas and Colt Brennan of Hawaii. Daniel's bid has helped galvanize his team into helping him winning college football's top individual award, Pinkel said.
"We don't talk about it at all," Pinkel said. "But they (his teammates) think it's pretty cool that we have a player thought of highly enough that he's in the race."
Here are some other tidbits:
- Missouri S William Moore will return to practice Tuesday after missing the Tigers' victory over Southeast Missouri State with a sprained right foot. Pinkel said that Moore's return to the lineup in the Tigers' game Saturday against Nevada is "very probable." "We think he's going to play. He's feeling a lot better," Pinkel said. "All the swelling's completely gone off his foot. We'll get him out in a red pullover tomorrow and hopefully he's going to be 100 percent. ... We'll know a little bit more after tomorrow's practice."
- Two botched fourth-down plays were still a topic of conversation for Texas Tech coach Mike Leach after his team's victory over Nevada. The Red Raiders tried twice on fourth-and-short situations inside their own 30, leading to two Wolf Pack field goals. "I thought we would make it," said Leach, who described the two calls as "not smart decisions." said. "You hate to punt. We like our punter, but we'd like to keep him out of business as best we can."
- Tech QB Graham Harrell marked his career low for completions in a game as a starter against Nevada, hitting 19-of-46 passes for 297 yards. It marked his fewest yards since passing for 250 yards in a loss to Oklahoma on Nov. 11, 2006. "I think he had an off night, but our defense really played tough," Leach said. "And he was really patient and composed and worked his way through it. It was a good learning experience."
- Baylor coach Art Briles wasn't surprised by the smooth performance by freshman quarterback Robert Griffin in his first career college start. Griffin passed for 294 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 42 yards and another score to spark the Bears' victory over Northwestern State. "I think he handled it really well," Briles said. "He's really poised for his age but he's been situations before, going to the state championship twice and being here since the spring. He wasn't wide-eyed and we tried to give him some comfort early."
- Iowa State leads the nation with 10 takeaways and is tied for second nationally with a plus-3 turnover ratio per game. The Cyclones' success is inexplicable to Coach Gene Chizik. "They are kind of an enigma to me," Chizik said about the turnover binge. "They come in bunches. Sometimes there's a bunch of them and sometimes not too many. I think it's a product of couple of things. We've been opportunistic at the right times and we've taken advantage when (opposing) quarterbacks, running backs and punt returns are swinging the ball outside."
- Most Texas coaches didn't sleep on Sunday after the Longhorns returned back to Austin at about 5:30 a.m. after their late-evening game at UTEP. "Because they were already here (at the Texas football office) when we got back, most of our coaches didn't go to bed," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "It makes it a short week for us this week. And it's something we have to look to see if we're doing what's best for the kids."
- Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said that Barry Turner's likely season-ending injury with a broken leg not only moves Pierre Allen into the starting lineup but will likely pull a new player into the rotation along with starter Zach Potter and backup Clayton Sievers. Likely players involved could include Nick Covey, David Harvey, Will Yancy and freshmen Cameron Meredith and Josh Williams.
- How engrossed was Pelini in coaching the defense at LSU last season? When asked if Nebraska's three-pronged I-back rotation of Roy Helu Jr., Marlon Lucky and Quentin Castille reminded him of the Tigers, Pelini had an honest answer. "I don't know what they used at LSU," Pelini said. "I really can't think back to how they rotated their backs. I didn't pay attention to it."
- Pelini said he's aiming to keep all three of his I-backs refreshed and involved in the game. "We're starting to get a little more consistency in when we're subbing them and how often. They're all similar talents and all make plays," Pelini said. "You want to make sure all three of them get a chance to make touches and make sure all three are fresh when they do get those touches."
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:00 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State