Big 12: Steve Davis
- The sand pit made famous under Mike Leach at Texas Tech won't be making a return under Kliff Kingsbury, writes Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. The offensive line is coming into shape, too.
- Stewart Mandel of SI.com writes about Texas coach Mack Brown fighting through criticism and his excitement for 2013.
- If Casey Pachall wins his QB job back at TCU, it doesn't sound like a position switch is in Trevone Boykin's future, writes Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
- Mike Casazza of the Charleston Daily Mail writes about one Mountaineer's return to his roots. Positionally speaking, of course. Dave Hickman of the Charleston Gazette writes about a WVU player trying out a whole new position.
- Mike Gundy apparently made a big impact on Clemson's team.
- Oklahoma offensive lineman Gabe Ikard sounds like he's going to be out for the rest of the spring, reports Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman. He talked about the injury after Monday's practice.
- Colleague Ivan Maisel wonders what the new football Final Four will do for coaching security in the sport.
- Randy Riggs of the Austin American-Statesman gives you an idea of what Texas's pro day means today.
- Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes about OU legend Steve Davis after his funeral and saved a bunch of notes and thoughts for his blog.
- Oklahoma State's Lyndell Johnson is on the move with a surprising switch to safety. Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman has more.
- K-State needs volunteers for football games.
- Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz defended coach Mack Brown on Twitter.
- Lots of WVU talk in this Solid Verbal podcast, and a hilarious discussion of TCU's new frog statue at the top of the show.
- Texas Tech looks like it's found its answer to replacing Cody Davis at safety, and it involves a position change. Called that one. Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal has more and looks at the hubbub surrounding Kliff Kingsbury's input on uniform decisions.
- Baylor's bringing a guy to campus next year that is an absolute monster. Click at your own risk.
- Minnesota hoops coach Tubby Smith credited Texas football coach Mack Brown after the Golden Gophers' NCAA Tournament win. Brown stopped by to offer some inspirational words to Smith's team this week. Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the report.
- Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones says Blake Bell has the edge in replacing him this spring, writes Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman.
- Get a closer look at West Virginia's quarterback competition.
- How will Oklahoma State replace Joseph Randle? Gina Mizell of The Oklahoman looks at the Pokes' three-headed monster and writes about Mike Gundy's high expectations for a pair of second-year juco transfers.
- Could Oklahoma lineman Lane Johnson crash the top five?
- Is Texas Tech's defense coming into shape a bit more?
- Former Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis will be buried today. Bill Haisten of the Tulsa World tells you more about what he meant to some.
- Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman has more collected wisdom from the late Steve Davis and the Tulsa World's John Hoover eulogizes him after the two-time national champion died in a plane crash on Sunday. Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman says he lived an Oklahoma life.
- Colleague Ivan Maisel has more on Davis, and an odd curse on the hardwood for BCS title winners.
- Dan Beebe is back! And he's helping the Big East. Mark Blaudschaun has more on his website.
- The NCAA has suspended two rule changes to recruiting.
- Bob Hertzel of the Times West Virginian writes about the key to success for West Virginia's new running backs coach.
- Oklahoma State picked up a linebacker commitment.
- Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register has an interesting story about one future Cyclone's odd side job.
- Athlon has five players to watch across the Big 12 this week.
- How would former West Virginia QB Geno Smith fit with the Buffalo Bills?
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.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It would hard to imagine the day that Tom Osborne totally walks away from working for Nebraska.
Sure, he had that dalliance with politics for a few years earlier in this decade, but we always knew he would be back at Nebraska in some role.
So his announcement yesterday that he will remain in his job as Nebraska's athletic director wasn't that much of a surprise.
In fact, Omaha World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel expects Osborne to stay in his job for at least five more years. He said that Osborne looks refreshed being around coaches and athletes again, mentioning how robust he now appears compared with how he looked as a political candidate or U.S. congressman.
And Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple reports that Osborne still will be challenged by bringing several projects on his bucket list to fruition, including an expanded learning center for the athletic program, a new basketball training facility and a new downtown arena in Lincoln.
Getting them won't be easy. But Nebraska couldn't have a better man pitching for them than Osborne.
Until then, here are some links from across the conference.
- The Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond writes that Missouri athletic director Mike Alden is getting the last laugh after nearly losing his job three years ago.
- Venerable Oklahoma play-by-play announcer Bob Barry Sr. is recovering from replacement surgery on his right hip that was performed on Wednesday. Barry, 78, had replacement surgery on the other hip performed in April, the Oklahoman's Mel Bracht reports.
- The Sporting News college football guys disagree on which Big 12 team is headed for the biggest fall. Dave Curtis predicts it will be Texas Tech and Matt Hayes has tabbed Missouri.
- Robert Cessna of the Bryan Eagle discusses the importance of the next year's Kansas-Texas A&M game.
- The Boulder Daily Camera's Neill Woelk advocates the NCAA utilizing some "frontier justice" to punish miscreants in college athletics.
- An $11.5 million renovation to concourses on the east side of Jack Trice Stadium should result in a better experience for spectators at Iowa State games this season, Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register reports.
- The Heisman Pundit writes that Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford's accomplishments make any comparisons with former Oklahoma quarterback Jason White faulty.
- Former South Florida quarterback Grant Gregory has officially arrived at Kansas State, Austin Meek of the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. Gregory will compete with Carson Coffman for the Wildcats' starting position.
- Former Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis tells the Oklahoman's Berry Tramel that he's humbled by the adulation he still receives from Sooner fans, more than 30 years after his career ended.
- The Williams and Hyatt Sports Blog isn't buying TCU as a fantasy matchup for Texas Tech for a lot of reasons.
- Massive 287-pound center Ryne Reeves of Crete, Neb., has become Nebraska's first commitment of the 2011 recruiting class, Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald reports.
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.
- Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads isn't buying the dire predictions being forecast for his team, Des Moines Register columnist Sean Keeler writes. And Keeler predicts that Rhoads will be a 'quote machine' at his press conferences during his coaching tenure with the Cyclones.
- Tully Corcoran of the Topeka Capital-Journal wonders who's the biggest man on Kansas' campus -- Todd Reesing or Sherron Collins.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's staff kicks around some comments about the apparent end of the Missouri-Illinois rivalry.
- The Oklahoman's Jake Trotter lists five players who are poised to emerge for the Sooners this season.
- The Williams and Hyatt Show Blog has a great take on the Mike McKinney vs. Elsa Murano showdown taking place these days in the Texas A&M administration.
- The Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter ranks the Big 12's top 12 receivers.
- The Omaha World-Herald's Jon Nyatawa catches up with Kenny Wilson, once a heralded Nebraska I-back prospect before injuries ravaged his college career.
- Missouri quarterback Blaine Dalton paid $387 in fines on three misdemeanor charges of possessing an unopened can of beer, failure to stay on the right side of the highway at all times and failure to register his car in Boone County. The Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond reports that Dalton's suspension has been lifted and he has rejoined the Tigers' football program.
- Colorado and Colorado State are mulling a 10-year extension of their football rivalry, Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Camera reports.
- The Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson lists the top 64 players in Iowa State history.
- Iliana Limon of the Orlando Sentinel ranks Oklahoma as one of the 12 teams she loves to hate.
- Standout Cahokia (Mo.) wide receiver Jimmie Hunt has committed to Missouri, Nate Latsch of the St. Louis Post-Disptach reports. Hunt caught 34 passes for 905 yards (26.6 yards per catch) and scored 18 touchdowns last season as a junior -- including one on a kick return.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
It's already been well chronicled how rare it is for an opponent ranked higher than Oklahoma to play at Owen Field. Saturday's game against No. 2 Texas Tech will be only the third time in Bob Stoops' coaching career that a higher-ranked opponent arrives to battle the Sooners.
But Oklahoma's previous history has been dotted with other big victories on Nov. 22. Twice in the last 33 years, the Sooners have stunned a higher-ranked opponent. Here's a look at a little bit of the background from the Barry Switzer era.
Nov. 22, 1975: No. 7 Oklahoma 35, No. 2 Nebraska 10 (Norman, Okla.) -- The Sooners turned five Nebraska turnovers into touchdowns, erupting for 28 second-half points to capture a share of the Big Eight title with the triumph. A fiery Oklahoma defense keyed by middle guard Dewey Selmon limited the Cornhuskers to 70 yards rushing. His brother Lee Roy's Selmon's fumble-producing hit on Nebraska quarterback Vince Ferragamo set up Horace Ivory's 5-yard touchdown run that put the Sooners ahead for good. Oklahoma quarterback Steve Davis rushed for a game-high 130 yards to key the Sooners' wishbone attack.
Nov. 22, 1980: No. 9 Oklahoma 21, No. 4 Nebraska 17 (Lincoln, Neb.) -- Quarterback J.C. Watts directed a gritty 80-yard drive in the final three minutes capped by Buster Rhymes' game-winning 1-yard touchdown run. Rhymes set up the score by streaking for a key 43-yard run earlier in the drive. Nebraska squandered an early 10-0 lead and had gone ahead earlier in the fourth quarter on Jeff Quinn's 1-yard touchdown run. It was Oklahoma's ninth win during a 10-year period in the series.