Big 12 media days primer
When: July 22-23
Where: Omni Hotel, Dallas
Who will be there: All of the Big 12 coaches, of course, and Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk headlines a list of three to four players from every team in the Big 12. Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat will make the trip, as will TCU cornerback Jason Verrett and Kansas State safety Ty Zimmerman. Compared to most years, the star power across the Big 12 is down a bit, but it still should be a fun few days.
Who won't be there: Lots of quarterbacks, but we'll get to that soon.
Five storylines to watch:
- Where are the QBs? Only two teams are bringing a quarterback, and one hasn't played a down of Big 12 football: Texas' David Ash, and Kansas' Jake Heaps, a BYU transfer. TCU's Casey Pachall isn't making a return appearance after attending last year, and Oklahoma State's Clint Chelf won't, either.
- Will they sing Kumbayah? Realignment has been a huge talking point at Big 12 media days since 2010, when Nebraska and Colorado attended for the last time, knowing they'd be leaving the league in a few months. Last year, the addition of West Virginia and TCU provided lots of fodder, but the conference lineup has not changed this year, and the realignment waters are as calm as they've been in a long time.
- Balancing act. The Big 12's preseason poll will be released next week. Expect lots of talk about the top of the league and the lack of a true favorite. But don't expect much talk about the lack of a national title contender or the fact that the Big 12 may start the season without a team in the top 10 for the first time.
- Lobbing bombs at the SEC? Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made a lot of headlines this offseason and not many friends in SEC country after talking about SEC "propaganda" and trumpeting the depth of the Big 12. The league's coaches likely would agree with him on the depth of the Big 12. That should be a hot topic, and I'm sure no one around the SEC will take notice.
- Changing tides? Oklahoma and Texas haven't represented the Big 12 in a BCS bowl since the 2010 season, because Oklahoma State and Kansas State captured league titles the past two seasons. It's the first time since 1999 that Oklahoma and Texas have gone two years without winning the Big 12 (no, I'm not counting Oklahoma's "shared" title). The competition level at the top of the league is rising. Texas and Oklahoma should contend, but Oklahoma State, TCU and Baylor will be in the mix again, and I wouldn't count out K-State, either. Expect lots of conversation about the national powers' place in the conference.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.