Big 12: Mike Anderson
In between all of the signing announcements and the analysis throughout the day, how about some stories from across the Big 12 to keep you occupied throughout your lunch hour and before the news conferences later this afternoon?
- ESPN.com retells some memorable stories from previous National Signing Days, including how Missouri lost Mount San Jacinto Junior College recruit Mike Anderson to Utah.
- Ruffin McNeill has added former Texas Tech coaching staff members Brandon Jones, Clay McGuire and Dennis Simmons to his staff at East Carolina.
- The Topeka Capital-Journal’s Tully Corcoran relates how Turner Gill recruited Keeston Terry and Brandon Bourbon out of the state of Missouri. And the St. Louis Globe-Democrat’s Alvin Reed wonders why Brandon Bourbon turned down Stanford to attend Kansas.
- Defensive backs Lavaughn Whigham and Phillip Warren from Miami Southridge High School, appear ready to commit to Texas Tech, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal’s Don Williams reports.
- The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Wiilliam Wilkerson details the story lines of the final day of recruiting.
- Dallas-Fort Worth-area receivers Mike Davis, John Harris, Darius Terrell and Darius White are determined for success once they hit college at Texas, Mark Dent of the Dallas Morning News reports.
- New Kansas State recruits say that the stability fostered by Bill Snyder is a major reason for choosing the Wildcats, Austin Meek of the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.
- The Denver Post’s Tom Kensler talks with Colorado quarterback recruit Nick Hirschman about arriving early at college and his tutorial work with quarterback guru Bob Johnson. And Hirschman tells the San Jose Mercury-News’ Dennis Knight that he's arrived at Colorado intent on contending for early playing time with the Buffaloes.
- The Lincoln Journal Star breaks down Nebraska’s recruiting class commitments.
- The Boulder Camera’s Kyle Ringo reports that Colorado will learn Wednesday if it can seal a recruiting commitment from quarterback Munchie Legaux of New Orleans. Legaux gave the Buffaloes an early commitment last fall, but is still considering the Buffaloes and Cincinnati.
- Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News has some sobering information about recruiting success that might stop some of the excitement about the top classes that schools will announce today.
- The Dallas Morning News’ Laken Litman analyzes Case McCoy’s chances for playing time at Texas -- as he follows in the footsteps of his older brother, Colt.
- The Des Moines Register’s Randy Peterson reports that Iowa State will have its best recruiting class since 2002 with 26 commitments expected.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
There are all kind of trinkets that are valuable to sports memorabilia collectors.
But how about this for an ultimate conversation starter -- a cellular phone that was once used by Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel, men's basketball coach Mike Anderson and other members of the school's athletic department?
Columbia resident Mike Bellman thought he was buying a box of old cell phones he hoped to resell as parts. Instead, he would up with a collection of electronic information from Missouri's athletic department, according to the Columbia Tribune.
Photos of Anderson's phone show text messages between Anderson and Pinkel and Missouri athletic director Mike Alden.
What made the purchase especially sticky for Missouri athletic department officials was the phones were never cleared before they were sold. They have hundreds of contact phone numbers, e-mails and text messages still on them.
Bellman told the Tribune he bought the phones at a university surplus sale. According to an e-mail exchange between Bellman and the Athletics Department acquired by the Tribune, Bellman paid $190 for the phones.
Bellman said he offered to sell the phones to the department for the price he believes they would have brought as workable phones and parts on eBay. According to an e-mail exchange, he estimated the market value at about $1,000.
The school wouldn't budge on their original $190 offer, which is why the phones are available on the open market.
Bellman believes the phones are worth plenty to Missouri sports fans.
“There’s going to be somebody very interested in this stuff as collectible items,” he told the Tribune. “I’m looking for that crazy collector who wants to take these phones and read about what happened when it happened.”
Bellman is offering the phones to Columbia and Tigers fans first. But if they don’t sell by later this week, the collection will be auctioned off on eBay.
“I was going to put them on eBay first, but I thought I probably better offer them to Columbia first,” he said. “There are people who like to do opposition research. I imagine there are people in 11 other cities that would love to get hold of this stuff.”
Somewhere, I bet Pinkel and Anderson -- among others -- are cringing about these products being available on the open market.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
With the men's and women's college basketball season approaching their peaks with the tournament, it's interesting to think about what might be considered the flagship sport for each Big 12 school.
Here's a look at what I consider to be each institution's flagship sport, and what football will have to do -- both in the immediate and long-term future -- to become the school's most important sport.
First, we'll look at the North Division
Flagship program: Football.
Why: Even though the football program has made only one bowl trip in the past three seasons, none of the other programs at Colorado has made much of a national dent in its place. The struggles of the men's and women's basketball programs are especially noteworthy in the past season.
Football's future: If the Buffaloes can return to a bowl and into contention in what should be a balanced North Division, there won't be much doubt what program commands the most attention in the Flatirons.
IOWA STATE CYCLONES
Flagship program: Women's basketball.
Why: Bill Fennelly's program has developed into the most consistent winner at Iowa State, qualifying this season for their 10th NCAA tournament berth in his 12 seasons coaching there. The Cyclones' dominance in the Big 12 is a marked contrast from most of the school's athletic programs.
Football's future: Paul Rhoads was a good choice and has a lot of history around the program and his recruiting area. But it won't make his job any easier, considering the Cyclones still haven't won an undisputed conference football championship and last shared a conference title with a pair of back-to-back championships in the Missouri Valley Conference in 1911-12. It will be a long trip back for him to bring the program into contention.
Flagship program: Men's basketball.
Why: Remember that shot Mario Chalmers made last season at the Alamodome? I thought so. That dramatic championship brought the third national championship to Lawrence. Kansas has won nine regular-season Big 12 championships and will be making its 20th straight trip to the NCAA tournament. It's the best basketball program in the Big 12 and among the five or 10 best in the nation on a consistent basis.
Football's future: Mark Mangino has taken the Jayhawks to back-to-back bowl games in the past two years, and their first BCS bowl game in history in 2007. It hasn't ever been much better than this in Kansas' recent gridiron history. And basketball still remains dominant. But Mangino has the Jayhawks at an increasingly strong position after the recent growth.
KANSAS STATE WILDCATS
Flagship program: Men's basketball.
Why: Bob Huggins started it and Frank Martin has continued it with three straight postseason appearances. The Wildcats' recent success has come as the football program has hit a lull in recent years, bottoming out with the firing of Ron Prince late last season.
Football's future: Bill Snyder turned the Wildcats around once. He's headed for the Football Hall of Fame because of his earlier work in taking the Wildcats to the 2003 Big 12 title and 11 straight bowl games from 1993-2003. Only one bowl game and one winning season in the last five seasons has dropped the Wildcats' football program from that perch. But if anybody can get the Wildcats back it will be Snyder, although he will be challenged more today than his first turnaround because it will be in the Big 12 rather than the old Big Eight.
Flagship program: Football
Why: The Tigers have claimed back-to-back North Division championships for the first time in school history and have made bowl trips in the last four seasons for the first time since 1978-81. Mike Anderson has the Missouri basketball team headed in that direction, but not nearly as consistently as Gary Pinkel.
Football's future: It will be interesting to see if Pinkel can keep his team's run of North titles coming without Chase Daniel, Chase Coffman and Jeremy Maclin -- along with two new coordinators. The North Division figures to be down next season and balanced, but Missouri's talent level appears to have dropped, too.
Flagship program: Football
Why: Because it's Nebraska. The Cornhuskers have claimed five national championships, 46 conference championships and been the big dogs in the state since Bob Devaney came to the state from Wyoming in 1962. Nebraska hasn't won a men's conference basketball title since sharing the Big Seven title with Kansas and Kansas State in 1950 and hasn't won an outright conference title since winning the Missouri Valley Conference in 1916. But Nebraska has been very successful in the National Invitational Tournament over the years, prompting some Nebraska pundits to dub the Devaney Athletic Center as "The Orchard" because of the number of NIT banners that once were displayed in the facility.
Football's future: Bo Pelini has the Cornhuskers pointed in the right direction and should have them among the Big 12 powers for the immediate future. Doc Sadler has done a nice job with the men's basketball program, but please. It's Nebraska.