Big 12: Memphis Tigers
Here are some of the conference's most notable headlines for your noontime edification.
- The Oklahoman’s Jake Trotter ponders whether Jim Jeffcoat, Ruffin McNeill or Jim Leavitt could be joining Bob Stoops’ staff.
- Top recruit Jackson Jeffcoat, the son of Jim Jeffcoat, tells KRIV-TV in Houston that he is considering Oklahoma, Houston, Texas and Arizona State.
- The Sporting News’ Russ Lande analyzes what Darrell Stuckey, Larry Asante and Keith Toston need to do to impress NFL scouts at this week’s East-West Shrine Game.
- The Memphis Commercial-Appeal’s Phil Stukenborg reports that former Texas Tech assistant coach Brian Mitchell has joined Larry Porter’s staff at Memphis.
- Among the more notable assistant coaches from Nick Saban’s coaching tree include Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and Texas Tech defensive coordinator James Willis, ESPN.com’s Ivan Maisel writes in his three-point stance.
- Texas running backs coach Major Applewhite, Oklahoma State assistant head coach Joe DeForest and former Texas Tech defensive coordinator/interim head coach Ruffin McNeill are among the names that have surfaced for the vacant head coaching job at Louisiana Tech, Jimmy Watson of the Shreveport Times reports.
- The Daily Texan’s Robert Rich shares a few memories from his trip to the Citi BCS National Championship Game.
- Texas Tech has lost a recruiting commitment from linebacker Fred Harvey of Memphis, Tenn., after the coaching change to Tommy Tuberville, Adam Zuvanich of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports.
- The College Football News’ Pete Fiutak writes that Colt McCoy’s injury in the championship game put a capper on a disappointing 2009 college football season.
- FoxSports.com’s Pete Schrager has Nebraska and Texas making BCS bowl trips next season and Oklahoma ranked in the Top 25 among Big 12 teams.
- Sam McKeown of the Nebraska State Paper analyzes where Ndamukong Suh goes from here.
- The Omaha World-Herald’s Tom Shatel expresses some trepidation about the Nebraska-Boise State series.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Enjoy your lunch with the accompaniment of these tasty lunchtime links from across the Big 12.
It will help build strong bodies 12 ways -- for those of you who still remember those old Wonder Bread commercials.
And provide a pretty good glimpse of where we are in the Big 12 with less than three weeks until the season openers finally roll around.
- The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel explains why Oklahoma State is the only Big 12 school without an indoor training facility dedicated specifically to football.
- The Sporting News figures out that the Big 12 South is the toughest division in college football.
- Omaha World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel writes what Ndamukong Suh needs to do to be included at the top of Nebraska's greatest defensive linemen.
- Colorado kicker Aric Goodman learned a lesson about perspective after he and several teammates helped save a Colorado student's life after Jacob Dana was involved in a serious bicycle accident, CUbuffs.com's B.G. Brooks reports.
- Baylor's hopes of playing Notre Dame in 2012 in the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans are appearing to fade, the Waco Tribune-Herald reports.
- Former Texas Tech walk-on wide receiver Landon Hoefer jumped at the chance to start his career as a graduate assistant on Tommy West's staff at Memphis rather than complete his eligibility with the Red Raiders, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal's Phil Stukenborg reports.
- Des Moines Register columnist Sean Keeler predicts that Iowa State could flirt with bowl eligibility as the Cyclones finish in a three-way tie for fourth in the Big 12 North. And Keeler also writes how important early success will be for the Cyclones' fragile confidence.
- The loss of Jeremy Maclin and Jeff Wolfert -- arguably the most productive returner and kicker in Missouri history -- is causing a huge transformation to Missouri's special teams, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Vahe Gregorian reports.
- Kansas tailback Jake Sharp tells the Kansas City Star's J. Brady McCollough that he remains motivated, despite a strong foothold on the starting job.
- Idaho State vs. Oklahoma and Tennessee Tech vs. Kansas State make the Orlando Sentinel's ranking of the top five "Christians vs. the Lions" matchups of 2009.
- Texas A&M's quarterback battle between Jerrod Johnson and Ryan Tannehill likely will be settled sometime this week, the Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News' Brent Zwerneman reports.
- The Kansas City Star's Paul Suellentrop writes that Kansas State's defensive line be key to any defensive growth.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Having teams competing for national championships helped Big 12 markets rank highly in a detailed study of Nielsen television ratings for specific major sports events developed by the Houston Chronicle.
The Chronicle's study indicated that the Big 12 had no "home markets" that were classified among the top 10 for overall sports viewership among the 56 major metered markets in the country. In fact, the conference had the worst market for sports viewership in Houston and three others in the bottom 15.
But for college sports, Big 12 markets ranked highly -- mainly because Oklahoma played Florida in the recent FedEx BCS National Championship Game and Kansas defeated Memphis for the NCAA men's basketball championship.
Oklahoma City ranked No. 1 nationally with a 52.6 Nielsen rating for the BCS title game and Tulsa was second at 47.8. Austin, Texas, was seventh for the Oklahoma-Florida game with a 30.3 rating.
Kansas City ranked second nationally among Nielsen metered markets for the NCAA men's basketball final with a 33.7 rating. Oklahoma City was third at 26.0 and Tulsa was seventh at 19.6.
The study shows that markets such as Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Austin, where college sports have been predominant for many years, carry that appeal when conference rivals are playing for national championships.
One other number might make the marketers for Oklahoma and Oklahoma State smile a little bit. The fledgling Oklahoma City Thunder, the state's only big-league franchise, ranks 23rd among the 30 NBA franchises in Nielsen average with 1.3 for their games.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Bo Pelini has taken Nebraska to 8-4 this season with an underrated element that has kept his team in most games during the second half of the season.
Namely, Pelini has learned that his team's best chance for success comes with keeping his defense off the field.
The Omaha World-Herald came up with several interesting trends for the Cornhuskers' ball-control offense this season.
- Nebraska held the time of possession edge over 10 of 12 foes, including all eight in Big 12 play. In conference games, the Huskers' time-of-possession average was 36 minutes, 27 seconds, more than 2½ minutes per game better than second-place Texas.
- The Huskers held the advantage in time of possession in 15 of 16 halves in Big 12 play. They lost the clock edge only in the second half against Oklahoma, a game in which conventional play-calling was abandoned after the Cornhuskers trailed 49-14 at halftime.
- Nebraska defended only 740 defensive plays in 2008, down 201 from last season.
Such offensive work has been greatly appreciated by Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini.
So what does it mean?
"It's the greatest thing in the world," Carl Pelini told the World-Herald.
An interesting trend can be gleaned by examining the NCAA team statistics. All teams that rank in the top 15 in fewest defensive plays allowed and offensive time of possession have made bowl trips this season.
Here's a look at the seven teams that have accomplished that statistical feat this season, including the Cornhuskers.