Big 12: Terrence Newman
But there's still plenty of news from across the conference to keep you occupied during your lunch hour.
Here are some lunch links for today.
- Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe tells the Omaha World-Herald’s Lee Barfknecht not to automatically assume that Cowboys Stadium will be the permanent home of the Big 12 championship game.
- The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel thinks the Sun Bowl is a no-win scenario for Bob Stoops.
- USA Today’s Steve Wieberg writes how one extra second in the Big 12 championship game inexorably altered the 2009 season.
- Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy tells the Mobile Press-Register’s Gentry Estes that he was more of a fan of Texas Tech than Texas while growing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
- Scott Ferrell of the Shreveport Times writes about the contrasting styles of Texas A&M and Georgia that will be matched at the Advocare V100 Independence Bowl -- the Big 12's first bowl game on Dec. 28.
- Adrian Peterson, Michael Crabtree, Tommie Harris, Ndamukong Suh, Roy Williams, Terrence Newman and Daniel Sepulveda were among Big 12 players on the College Football News’ first-team All-Decade squad.
- Derrick Washington predicts to the Columbia Journal’s Dave Matter that Blaine Gabbert will be the Big 12’s best quarterback in 2010.
- Bill Snyder tells the Manhattan’s Mercury’s Joshua Kinder his thoughts about his first season back in coaching.
- Great story from the Kansas City Star’s Bill Reiter about Turner Gill’s coaching trek to Kansas.
- The Tulsa World’s John Klein wonders if Oklahoma State would move to the Big 12 North Division if Missouri ever left the Big 12.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Big 12 defenses needed to strike back.
And after Monday's announcements, it appears that a little of the balance is returning to the conference in terms of personnel.
The return of key defensive players like Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston and linebackers Sergio Kindle and Roddrick Muckelroy will mean several potential All-Big 12 players are returning for another season.
Their announced returns are coming on the heels of the already announced departures of Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman and Missouri wide receiver/kick returner Jeremy Maclin to the NFL draft, the expected Tuesday announcement of Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree's departure for the NFL draft and the potential declaration of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford before the Jan. 15 deadline.
Not too long ago, the Big 12 was known for its defensive prowess where players like Roy Williams, Rocky Calmus, Derrick Johnson and Terrence Newman made teams think of defense first and everything else later.
But that all changed over the last several years -- particularly this season when the conference became known for its pinball-like scoring numbers as record totals for points and total offense have been produced across the conference.
It will take time for that perception to change. But maybe some of Monday's personnel decisions will help the pendulum swing back and Big 12 defenses won't be an afterthought in the future.
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
12:00 PM ET 4 Oklahoma Tulsa 12:00 PM ET 20 Kansas State Iowa State 3:30 PM ET Missouri State Oklahoma State 7:00 PM ET Southeast Missouri State Kansas 7:30 PM ET BYU Texas 7:30 PM ET Towson West Virginia 7:30 PM ET Northwestern State 10 Baylor 11:00 PM ET Texas Tech UTEP