Big 12 morning links

I don't know about you, but he had me convinced he really was that thankful.

  • Kansas coach David Beaty is set to round out his staff with the hire of TCU cornerbacks coach Kenny Perry. I can't wait to see how this staff comes together, as Beaty has made recruiting prowess a priority with his hires including Perry. With recruiting starting to heat up in the next few weeks, we should start to see signs of the type of recruiting staff the Jayhawks and Beaty have put together.

  • Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy named Mason Rudolph the Cowboys starting quarterback heading into the spring, which I didn't realize was in question, on Wednesday. Overshadowed in that news was the tidbit that the Pokes may use veteran quarterback JW Walsh in a "change of pace" type of role while taking advantage of Walsh's running skills. If it works, it could cause defenses plenty of headaches as they'll have to prepare for a package featuring a running quarterback like Walsh while at the same time having to worry about Rudolph and OSU's talented receiving corps.

  • Speaking of the Cowboys, OSU is one of five teams that could be on the rise in the Big 12 in 2015, according to Athlon Sports. The Cowboys have all the ingredients to be the Big 12's surprise team. But I think there are several Big 12 teams who could surprise with Texas ranking pretty high on the list. Much like the Cowboys, I think the Longhorns took some lumps this season that will pay off in 2015.

  • Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes will split time between football and baseball during the spring. This is something everyone expected when Mahomes decided to play college football for the Red Raiders but its taken on a greater significance with Mahomes' late season performance. In a span of a month the true freshman went from clear backup to the future behind center in Lubbock. Davis Webb remains very much in play at the quarterback position but Mahomes brought an "It" factor to Tech's offense that is hard to duplicate. And with Jarrett Stidham's decommitment, Mahomes has become even more important for Kliff Kingsbury's program.

  • New offensive coordinator Rob Likens will be installing an up-tempo "Air Raid" style attack at KU. It will be a simplified attack with the hope of improving a Jayhawks offense that hasn't averaged more than 20 points per game since 2011. It will start at the quarterback position and the Jayhawks don't appear to have the perfect candidate to run that style of offense on campus. KU and Oklahoma are looking to mimic the transformation of TCU's offense but dynamic quarterback Trevone Boykin was at the heart of that change and I'm not sure either program has a guy on campus that can match Boykin's excellence.