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Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Big 12 morning links: QB controversy at Texas A&M?


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

New Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman isn't ready to name his starting quarterback for his team's Aug. 30 season opener against Arkansas State. Sherman told the Houston Chronicle Monday at the Big 12 media days that incumbent Stephen McGee and backup Jerrod Johnson will battle for the job during spring camp. "I think it would be unfair to walk in and just hand Stephen the job," Sherman told the Chronicle. "I told him he's going to have to earn it. In fairness to him and Jerrod, they both have to work against one another and earn the job." I guess that's the reason that McGee didn't accompany Sherman to Kansas City.

Lots of stories from lots of places after the first day of the Big 12's annual summer media gathering.

My take -- Morris swore to me that he weighed 172 pounds when I talked to him on Monday. I don't know, maybe a couple of extra Keebler cookies in his pocket.

My take -- Pelini is saying it now, but it could be a different story when his defense starts lining up against Chase Daniel and Todd Reesing in the Big 12.

My take -- Leach has been better, but it was still a solid media day performance that was better than any other coach so far. My favorite Leach line Monday came when the overhead lights blinked on during his media availability at the podium with several reporters. "I guess it must be last call," he responded.

My take -- Sherman's old-school philosophy wouldn't work at a lot of schools, but is ideal for a tradition-bound program like A&M. It might take him a couple of years to get his players, but when he does it will be interesting.

My take -- Daniel's confidence around his program is palpable. He's the top candidate to win the Big 12's first Heisman Trophy since Jason White in 2003.

My take -- Maclin still is the one player in the Big 12 that makes me hold my breath every time he touches the ball. He can make something exciting happen on every play.

My take -- I remember when Laymance started his career as a prep reporter in Dallas in the early 1980s. Even though he's spent most of his recent time working in the ivory towers of newspaper management, he still hasn't lost his touch. But I bet he hopes to hire a new Missouri beat writer to replace my new ESPN.com colleague Graham Watson -- sooner rather than later.

My take -- Are you really surprised? Kansas officials went to court last week trying to say the school had copyrighted a shade of blue. A presidential candidate? Small potatoes.

My take -- That might be a tad extreme, but Stoops should expect to hear that question in a variety of forms when he arrives at the Big 12 media days on Wednesday. Consider that to be his fair warning before he arrives.