NCF Nation: Cody Glenn
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
We just thought the Texas Tech-Texas A&M rivalry couldn't get any more vituperative and nasty.
Tech coach Mike Leach, who in the past has teased the Aggies with his plans of starting "Mike's Pirate School," modeled along the lines of A&M's Corps of Cadets, has added some more fire this week with his comments about A&M quarterback Stephen McGee.
Leach was angry about how his own quarterback, record-breaking Graham Harrell was not drafted while McGee was picked by Dallas in the fourth round of the draft. McGee saw action in only three games as a starter last season.
Leach's barbs at the Aggies and McGee provided much fodder for day-after draft stories across the Big 12.
Leach remained unapologetic about his remarks about McGee, Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and McGee's draftability, Dallas Morning News reporters Brian Davis and Chuck Carlton report.
Bryan Eagle columnist Robert Cessna writes that Leach was wrong in his pointed criticisms of McGee and A&M's handling of the quarterback.
And Austin American-Statesman beat writer Randy Riggs has Sherman's response to Leach, where the A&M coach says the Tech coach is in no position to comment about his relationship with McGee.
All of this only ensures that the Oct. 24 game in Lubbock between the two bitter rivals will be that much more anticipated.
Here are some other stories from across the conference, with a lot less indignation.
- The Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson reports that some ticket prices to the Iowa-Iowa State game on Sept. 12 in Ames will be going down to $60 per seat.
- Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com wonders if Harrell was too productive for his own good.
- Colorado's season-ticket sales are holding steady, despite a rise in some ticket prices and the declining economy, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.
- The Omaha World Herald's Tom Shatel weighs in on the alleged Cody Glenn ticket- scalping case and the free-agent competition between Chase Daniel and Joe Ganz for playing time with the Washington Redskins.
- Sam Bradford and Zac Robinson shared their faith together at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Banquet in Oklahoma City and also planned an upcoming golf game, the Daily Oklahoman reports.
- The Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter reports that Chase Daniel went against his rooting instincts as a fan when he opted for a contract offer from the Washington Redskins.
- Iowa State tackle Doug Dedrick had already agreed to a free-agent contract with the Houston Texans before the NFL draft was completed, Ames Tribune reporter Bobby La Gesse writes.
- Nebraska officials told the Lincoln Journal-Star's Brian Christopherson they found no evidence to back up Cody Glenn's claims of ticket scalping.
- It was understandable that former Kansas linebacker Mike Rivera ended up signing with the Chicago Bears, the Kansas City Star's Brady McCullough reports. Rivera has owned a jersey of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher since high school.
- Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel reports that Sam Bradford is the clear No. 1 pick among quarterbacks in the 2010 draft.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Nebraska athletic department officials denied claims made by former Nebraska linebacker Cody Glenn that he was kicked off the Cornhuskers' team late last season for scalping tickets.
Glenn told the Washington Post that his Nov. 11 suspension from the Nebraska team was because he was caught scalping tickets, which would have been an NCAA violation.
But Gary Bargen, Nebraska's assistant athletic director for compliance, told the Omaha World- Herald that he spoke with Glenn after the story broke and concluded there was no violation.
"I don't know all the particulars of the suspension, but I am aware that it doesn't involve any NCAA violation," Bargen told the World-Herald.
NCAA bylaws indicate that athletes are not allowed to receive money for the four complimentary tickets provided to them for each home game by the athletic department. Student athletes also are forbidden to purchase tickets for an intercollegiate event and then sell them for more than their stated face value.
And Nebraska assistant athletic director for compliance Josh White also told the Lincoln Journal-Star that Glenn's story was a revelation to him.
"It was news to us too," White told the Journal-Star. "I don't think it's the case. ... I think Cody was trying to represent himself better."
Glenn was a fifth-round draft choice of the Redskins, despite switching from I-back to linebacker before last season and missing the final two games of the regular season and the Cornhuskers' Gator Bowl victory over Clemson.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The NFL draft is over and spring practice is almost finished when Kansas State finishes up.
Most head coaches take the month of May off as they can't recruit anymore.
But there's still some stories from across the Big 12 to analyze this morning.
Here are some of the more notable:
- Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World predicts that Oklahoma State could start the season 11-0 next year.
- Michael Crabtree tells Tom Monkovic of the New York Times that boxing workouts help condition him for football.
- Stephen McGee tells Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News that if he had been playing in a pro-style offense all four years in college, he guarantees he would have been a first-round draft pick.
- Former Nebraska defensive end Jason Peter candidly talked with North Platte Bulletin reporter James Parrish about his recovery from drug addiction.
- Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News shows how recruiting services can whiff on their evaluations coming out of high school. How much? Consider that both Jason Smith and Michael Crabtree were two-star recruits coming out of high school.
- Texas fans expecting a cakewalk for their game at Wyoming might notice this: The Cowboys' No. 1 offense racked up three touchdowns in their spring game on Saturday.
- The Omaha World-Herald provided an extensive post-spring practice wrap-up of Nebraska.
- Mack Brown won't change his approach as he attempts to snap Oklahoma's record-breaking streak of three-straight Big 12 titles, John Hoover of the Tulsa World reports.
- John Hillman of realfootball365.com writes that Texas A&M leaves spring practice with many unanswered questions.
- Former Nebraska linebacker Cody Glenn tells the Washington Post's Jason La Canfora that his three-game suspension at the end of the 2008 season was a punishment for ticket scalping.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are some of the things I'll be watching for in Big 12 games tomorrow.
1. Kansas State fans' reaction to Ron Prince: The lame-duck Kansas State coach -- whose tenure will end up as the second-shortest in Big 12 history behind only Baylor's Dave Roberts -- will make his first home appearance since his dismissal last week. KSU fans seemed to have little excitement for the program during blowout home losses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma earlier this year. Will that attitude change against Nebraska, a traditionally bitter rivalry that once was the prime North Division battle? It would be hard to tell this season, considering there are still seats available for Saturday's game.
2. Kansas' beleaguered offensive line against Texas' athletic defensive front: The Jayhawks allowed five sacks against Nebraska last week and 13 in the last four weeks. Texas pass-rushing specialist Brian Orakpo is back to create havoc for starting Kansas freshman tackles Jeremiah Hatch and Jeff Spikes. But a bigger worry might be Texas defensive tackle Roy Miller against Kansas senior guard Chet Hartley, who struggled mightily against Nebraska bull-rushing nose tackle Ndamukong Suh last week. More of the same might be waiting him again this week against Miller.
3. Todd Reesing challenging his childhood favorites: The Kansas quarterback was reared in central Austin only a couple of long touchdown passes away from Royal Memorial Stadium. He grew up watching Texas games with his father, a Texas alumnus. Like most Big 12 schools, the Longhorns didn't recruit Reesing heavily in high school because of his size. He's left the state to flourish as Kansas' career passing leader. And a bigger career achievement for him personally might be knocking the Longhorns out of the BCS race.
4. Baylor in a rare position as favorite in a Big 12 favorite: The Bears will be coming into Saturday's game against Texas A&M as a favorite for only the fourth time since 2002, according to football guru Phil Steele. Their pregame point spread is also the highest for the Bears in a Big 12 game since a 1996 game against Missouri. The Bears shouldn't assume anything just because Vegas expects them to win, considering they are 1-20-1 in the last 22 games against the Aggies.
5. Missouri's trip to a traditional snake pit, Iowa State: The Tigers could have a shot to wrap up the Big 12 North if Texas beats Kansas earlier in the day. But Missouri has traditionally struggled against Iowa State, losing three of its last four games there, including a 2006 game that was the Tigers' most recent loss to a Big 12 North foe. But this matchup appears to decidedly favor the Tigers, particularly if Chase Daniel is on. A struggling Iowa State pass defense that has been blistered for an average of 358 passing yards and given up 13 touchdown passes in its last three games. The Cyclones will be supremely challenged by all of Missouri's offensive weapons.
6. Texas playing without starting center Chris Hall: The Kansas defensive front has not been a particular challenge for most teams this season. But the Longhorns' depth will be lessened after Hall suffered a knee injury in practice earlier this week that will keep him out of Saturday's game. The Longhorns' depth at the position already is depleted after Buck Burnette was kicked off the team last week for posting an inflammatory comment about President-elect Barack Obama on his personal Web page. It means freshman center David Snow will make his first career start with starting tight end Greg Smith serving as his backup. It's not the best of situations, especially if Texas has to rely on shotgun exchanges in a tight ballgame.
7. Oklahoma State's reaction to the crushing Texas Tech loss last week: The Cowboys' blowout loss in Lubbock snuffed out their BCS hopes. But they still have an opportunity for a New Year's Day bowl appearance with a strong finish. On Saturday, they must beat resurgent Colorado, which still has bowl hopes, too. It will be important for the Cowboys to use the same balanced offense that has typified their season. And it wouldn't hurt to get playmaking wide receiver Dez Bryant off to a quick start after his early struggles last week.
8. Jerrod Johnson vs. Robert Griffin: Two of the Big 12's most spectacular young players will spice up "The Battle of the Brazos" between Texas A&M and Baylor. We could be seeing this personal battle continue for the next several seasons. It will be interesting for both players on Saturday as they try to rebound from ugly performances last week.
9. The Colorado quarterback rotation: Cody Hawkins is expected to get the start Saturday night against Oklahoma State after his second-half rally helped the Buffaloes storm past Iowa State last week. Freshman Tyler Hansen is still expected to get some snaps as a change of pace against an Oklahoma State defense that has had trouble pressuring opposing passers throughout the season.
10. Nebraska's defense after receiving its Blackshirts: Coach Bo Pelini finally presented those coveted trinkets to his defense after it racked up five sacks against Kansas last week. The Cornhuskers might be in for a stiffer challenge than expected against quarterback Josh Freeman, a one-time Nebraska commitment who spurned the team to attend Kansas State. The Cornhuskers will be limited defensively without starting linebackers Cody Glenn (suspension for a violation of team rules) and Phillip Dillard (ankle). The backups need to pick up the slack against an underrated Kansas State offense that ranks 17th nationally in passing, 20th in scoring and 28th in total offense.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
There was more to the Big 12 this morning than just Ron Prince's dismissal and the upcoming Texas Tech-Oklahoma State game. Here are some links of other stories from across the conference.
- Cedric Golden of the Austin American-Statesman sees several vital signs of a turnaround in Art Briles' program at Baylor only 11 months after he was hired.
- Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables' potential as a head coach was dissected by the Tulsa World's Dave Sittler.
- Missouri's 2008 senior class, the backbone of Gary Pinkel's transformation project at the school, will play at home for the final time on Saturday, the Houston Chronicle's Joseph Duarte writes. And the Kansas City Star's Mike DeArmond provides a tribute to the memory of the late Aaron O'Neal along with the other class members in his video log.
- Heralded Colorado running back Darrell Scott's threshold of pain is about to be tested as he is set to receive his most substantial playing time of the season, B.G. Brooks of the Rocky Mountain News writes.
- Converted I-back Cody Glenn's transformation to a starting linebacker has come with some frustrations along the way for Nebraska coaches, Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal-Star writes.
- Suzanne Halliburton of the Austin American-Statesman talks about the physical and emotional condition of the Texas defense, which ranks 116th nationally in pass defense after being ravaged by Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas Tech in recent weeks.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are a few tidbits from across the conference heading into this week's games.
1. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel evoked a deeper pledge of accountability from his team in the week between the Tigers' loss at Texas and last week's game at Colorado. The Missouri coach made each player visit his office and pledge their best effort against Colorado. The ploy worked as the Tigers responded with a 58-0 shutout over the Buffaloes -- Missouri's first shutout in a conference game since 1986.
2. Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray, projected by many to be the best back in the conference before the season, finally appears back to form after two strong weeks of play. The main reason, Murray said, is his confidence in making sharper cuts on the field is finally returning. Murray sustained a dislocated kneecap late last season and had trouble bouncing back from the injury for mental and physical reasons. But not any longer. Murray has accounted for 287 yards rushing and receiving and scored six TDs in victories over Kansas and Kansas State.
3. Texas Tech coaches are gaining confidence in walk-on kicker Matt Williams, who was used only for extra points last week against Kansas. Tech coaches are finding that Williams' range is strong for field goals of up to about 40 yards and may consider using him for those kicks in Saturday's South Division showdown against Texas. Donnie Carona remains their choice for longer field-goal attempts.
4. Expect converted freshman wide receiver Daymond Patterson to remain at cornerback for the foreseeable future at Kansas. Coach Mark Mangino said the position switch was made because of lack of personnel at the defensive position. Patterson got a tough baptism last week as he faced off against Texas Tech's high-powered aerial attack. And it won't get much easier this week when he faces Kansas State.
5. Nebraska linebacker Phillip Dillard's recurring ankle injury will result in a variety of players likely filling his position if he can't go Saturday against Oklahoma. Tyler Wortman, Colton Koehler and walk-on freshmanMatt Holt will get some of the playing time. But the most likely scenario could be that Cody Glenn would slide to the position from his starting weak-side position. The Sooners' run-heavy philosophy likely will keep the Cornhuskers from sliding an extra defensive back into the position in their base defense.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The worst scheduling week in Big 12 history might be approaching.
Four Big 12 teams will be playing opponents from the Football Championship Subdivision in contests that have euphemistically been termed by many coaches as "body-bag games."
Coaches of those FCS schools know what they have to do in these games. Mainly, collect a big check and hope they emerge out of the game relatively unscathed for the rest of the season.
A 12-game season makes these games more necessary for the big boys from the Football Bowl Series, even if they aren't necessarily appealing, according to Texas coach Mack Brown.
"It's probably better if we didn't," Brown said, "but I don't know if it's possible right now."
Brown knows about these games after once coaching at Division I-AA Appalachian State, which then played two games against Division I-A teams as financial salvation for the rest of the school's athletic department.
"As tough as it is with the score and kids being mismatched sometimes," Brown said, "it is a positive for the university from the standpoint of exposure.
"And a lot of the kids I've talked to like the experience of going into big stadiums, even though they lose."
But try telling that to fans who pay full price, with increasing full costs, to travel to stadiums in order to watch these glorified exhibitions.
The difference is more than just the 22 extra scholarships that the FBS teams have -- 85 scholarship athletes on a roster compared to 63 for FCS teams.
During the first week of the season, FBS teams went 31-1 against their siblings from the FCS. The lone FCS victory was Cal-Poly's 29-27 triumph over San Diego State, coached by former Oklahoma assistant Chuck Long.
Baylor, Colorado, Kansas State and Missouri can only hope not to join the Aztecs on that dubious list this week.
Until then, here are a few morning links that are always competitive.
- Colorado can't afford a reprise of the last visit by a Football Championship Series when Eastern Washington visits on Saturday. The Buffaloes lost 19-10 to Montana State in their 2006 opener. "It's almost surreal when you look back and you think about it," DT George Hypolite told the Boulder Camera.
- Texas A&M may consider a change in kickers after Richie Bean shanked two short attempts in the Aggies' loss to Arkansas State last week.
- Natalie England of the San Antonio Express-News writes about Texas QB Colt McCoy's emergence as a running threat.
- We now know who wears the pants in Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's family. If you don't believe it, check the 7:43 mark of this Oklahoman video to find out.
- Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal-Star writes about the development of Nebraska LB Cody Glenn and QB Joe Ganz, two seniors who have hardly played most of their college careers.
- Oklahoma WR Manny Johnson is filling the void after Malcolm Kelly's departure to the NFL.
- The Columbia Tribune's Dave Matter writes about improvement necessary for Missouri's leaky secondary, which allowed Juice Williams to squeeze them for 451 passing yards.
- Missouri beat writer Mike DeArmond of the Kansas City Star writes and has video on the development of Missouri TB Derrick Washington.
- Baylor CB Dwain Crawford, a converted safety, tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Dwain Price about his enjoyment of his new position's challenges.
- Des Moines Register beat writer Andrew Logue chats about Iowa State's extra rest from playing on Thursday, the Cyclones' memories of Kent State from last season and the Cyclones' looming rivalry game against Iowa next week.
- Iowa State RB J.J. Bass will suit up for his first game this season after being suspended for the opener.
- Kansas coach Mark Mangino isn't expecting Louisiana Tech to be a cupcake.
- Oklahoma State WR Dez Bryant's athleticism makes him effective in jump-ball situations.
- Texas Tech inside receivers coach Lincoln Riley is responsible for providing Mike Leach reports from the press box. It's not a surprising evolution, considering Riley has been Leach's right-hand man since he was 19 and helping coach quarterbacks as a student assistant.
- Kansas State's passing game was effective -- as QB Josh Freeman predicted before the start of the season -- even without graduated WR Jordy Nelson.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Teams and coaches were back at work Monday for perhaps the least-inspiring schedule of games in Big 12 history. Conference teams will play only one opponent from a BCS-affiliated conference when Oklahoma meets Cincinnati. Other than that, it's time for a visit to the pastry wagon for most schools.
As such, dive in and enjoy these tasty morning links.
- Want the best indication of how the attitude has changed around the Missouri program? The Topeka Capital-Journal's Kevin Haskin details how the Tigers won by 10 points against Illinois and still were disappointed.
- Wichita Eagle columnist Bob Lutz is alarmed by Kansas' running-game struggles and how many passes QB Todd Reesing had to throw to beat Florida International.
- The cancellation of New Mexico State's game against Nicholls State this week means that the Aggies will open the season Sept. 13 at Nebraska.
- The Omaha World Herald's Lee Barfknecht bemoans a weak slate of Big 12 games this week where four Big 12 teams will play Football Championship Subdivision teams.
- Tom Shatel of the Omaha World-Herald writes the biggest difference he could detect in Nebraska's defense was that they were playing harder and faster. But LB Cody Glenn, who led the team with 12 tackles and broke up three passes, lamented too many mistakes.
- Backup Oklahoma G Frank Alexander and basketball player Ray Willis were stabbed in an off-campus incident on Sunday morning. Also, coach Bob Stoops said senior DE John Williams has left the team and freshman OL Alex Williams has gone back home to New Orleans to help his family evacuate from Hurricane Gustav.
- Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell passed for 536 yards against Eastern Washington, but still was flummoxed by the Eagles' tricky defense.
- Mike Sherman accepted the blame from Texas A&M's disappointing season-opening loss to Arkansas State.
- Converted DE Aaron Lewis will face the challenge of filling in for suspended Texas DT Lamarr Houston -- at least for the Longhorns' game with UTEP on Saturday.
- Dez Bryant could be poised to become Oklahoma State's next standout at wide receiver.
- The Kansas City Star's Blair Kerkhoff says that lack of game preparation is the biggest culprit why mistakes were so prevalent during the first week of the season.
- Despite an impressive 45-6 rout over North Texas last week, Kansas State coach Ron Prince saw a lot of negatives.
- With injuries to Jeremy Maclin and Danario Alexander, Tommy Saunders has emerged as Missouri's most productive receiver.
- The Des Moines Register's Andrew Logue lists five items that Iowa State must do differently this season to beat Kent State. The Cyclones dropped a 23-14 decision to the Golden Flashes last season in Gene Chizik's first game.
- Colorado coach Dan Hawkins indefinitely suspended reserve OL Ethan Adkins after he was arrested for driving under the influence and suspended G Devin Head for one game for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
- Oklahoma State was among Berry Tramel's 10 biggest winners of the opening weekend of the season.
- The Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner compares and contrasts the Big 12 coaching debuts of Art Briles, Mike Sherman and Bo Pelini.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Here are players I feel are deserving of special mention after their games on Saturday:
Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell: Completed 43 of 58 passes for 536 yards and two TDs to lead the Red Raiders' 49-24 victory over Eastern Washington
Texas QB Colt McCoy: Sparked Texas' 52-10 victory over Florida Atlantic, rushing for a team-high 103 yards and a TD, and passing for 222 yards and three more scores. He set Texas' single-game consecutive completion streak by hitting his first 13 passes and 19 of his first 20.
Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon: Contributed nine tackles (including one for a loss) and two interceptions to key the Tigers' 52-42 victory over Illinois. He punctuated his big effort with a clinching 35-yard interception return for a touchdown with 3:18 remaining to ice the game.
Oklahoma State's special teams: Produced a 42-yard punt return by Dez Bryant, a 68-yard punt return by Ricky Price and a 90-yard kickoff return for a TD by Perrish Cox to spark the Cowboys' 39-13 victory over Washington State.
Nebraska LB Cody Glenn: A converted I-back who made the most of his first career start at linebacker. Glenn notched nine tackles, three assists, 2 1/2 tackles for losses, broke up three passes and forced a fumble in the Cornhuskers' 47-24 victory over Western Michigan.
Kansas State QB Josh Freeman: Produced five touchdowns -- three passing and two running -- and 255 yards of total offense in the Wildcats' 45-6 conquest of North Texas.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
New Baylor coach Art Briles is facing the challenge of his coaching career as he attempts to resuscitate a program that hasn't made a bowl trip since 1994.
The Big 12's South Division will never be a picnic for the Bears, who face the yearly challenge of playing schools like Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
So it's understandable that a relatively problematic quandary like picking his starter for the Aug. 28 opener against Wake Forest isn't that big of a deal for the new Baylor coach.
Briles has a lot of ways to go in deciding whether to start record-breaking QB Blake Szymanski, transfer Kirby Freeman from Miami or heralded freshman Robert Griffin as his starter.
All have shown flashes in training camp.
Waco Tribune-Herald beat writer John Werner thinks Briles' wavering as far as choosing a quarterback is a good idea. It will make Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe prepare in a lot of different ways when he considers whether Szymanski (the better passer), Griffin (most explosive runner) and Freeman (best combination quarterback and most experienced) will get most of the snaps.
I agree with Werner on this. Indecision might be the best decision for the next couple of weeks. And maybe even up to game time against the Demon Deacons.
Hope there's no hesitancy in diving into this steaming pile of hot links. Dig in, because dithering means you miss out.
- Jake Trotter of the Oklahoman went back to Youngstown,Ohio, to delve into Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops' early football background. "He probably would be the ideal symbol of Youngstown," his old coach Don Bucci told Trotter. "I hate to say that, because I'm sure he thinks he was pretty talented. But he was someone with just very average talent, but had a competitiveness and a toughness that nothing was going to stop him from being successful. That's Bobby Stoops, and that would be Youngstown."
- The Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo addresses the state of the Buffaloes in his weekly chat, with particular attention to uniforms, Darrell Scott and the crowded battle at cornerback.
- Iowa State struggled mightily last season with its special teams. That's leading coach Gene Chizik to considering using leading 2007 rusher Alexander Robinson as his prime kickoff returner.
- The Kansas City Star's J. Brady McCullough profiles Kansas WR/backup QB/P Kerry Meier, who might be the conference's most versatile player.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Stu Durando writes about the amazing stability on Missouri coach Gary Pinkel's staff. No assistants have left Pinkel's staff since he took over in 2001.
- If it's Tuesday it's got to be time for "First downs and second guesses" from the Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel. Among the topics are the remembrances of how Tampa Bay All-Star OF Carl Crawford was almost a Cornhusker and the recent collective struggles of formerly dominant programs Miami, Florida State and Nebraska.
- Missouri offensive linemen were feeling pretty good after Monday's practice. The unit held up reasonably well against the Tigers' No. 1 defensive front and they were treated to popsicles after practice.
- Oklahoma All-Big 12 DE Auston English returned to practice Monday after missing all of the Sooners' previous work this summer while recovering from an appendectomy.
- Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy says he won't decide until the weekend whether he or co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer end up calling plays this year. Former offensive coordinator Larry Fedora, now coach at Southern Mississippi, was the Cowboys' playcaller last season.
- Some things never change -- like hard-nosed fullbacks populating the Nebraska program. Thomas Lawson is No. 1 at the position and sophomore Joseph Mackovicka appears ready to continue his family lineage at the position, following older brothers Jeff and Joel.
- Healthy WR Adron Tennell could be ready to crack Oklahoma's receiving rotation, according to the Tulsa World's Guerin Emig.
- Veteran Omaha World-Herald Big 12 reporter Lee Barfknecht picks Missouri to win the national championship.
- Massive 250-pound converted high school quarterback Orie Lemon has emerged as Oklahoma State's likely starting middle linebacker.
- Kansas' kicking depth has taken a hit after projected starter Stephen Hoge left the team to concentrate on academics and Jacob Brandstetter's status is iffy because of eligibility issues transferring from the Air Force Academy. That leaves Grady Fowler or P Alonso Rojas as the most likely survivor at the position.
- Competition remains tight between Fozzy Whittaker, Vondrell "The Bulldozer" McGee and Chris Ogbonnaya for the starting tailback job at Texas.
- Kansas State will likely use a committee of wide receivers to help replace Jordy Nelson's school-record 122 receptions.
- The Associated Press' Eric Olson has a good story about Cody Glenn's transformation from I-back to linebacker.
- Kansas lost to Missouri in the showdown for the North Division title last November at Arrowhead Stadium. Yet Kansas still is displaying its co-championship trophy for the division title at its football complex, according to the Kansas City Star's Jeffrey Flanagan.
- Denver Post beat writer Tom Kensler blogs about the alleged Parade All-America jinx haunting Colorado this season. Watch out Darrell Scott.
- The Bryan-College Station Eagle's Robert Cessna reported that QB Jerrod Johnson was getting some work as a tight en
d in some formations. And third-string QB Ryan Tannehill made several nifty catches in the team's scrimmage. Sounds to me that Stephen McGee has a hammer lock on the starting QB job.
- Left-footed K Donnie Carona, who rushed for more than 800 yards last season in high school, is looking forward to concentrating on special teams at Texas Tech. He's in a tight battle with senior Cory Fowler to replace Alex Trlica as the Red Raiders' kicker.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
New Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's attitude is all about swagger. But it's hard to build that kind of confidence playing some of the weak sisters that will dot his future nonconference schedules.
It seems that Pelini isn't exactly excited about the schedule he inherited from former athletic director Steve Pederson and former coach Bill Callahan.
Nebraska assistant athletic director for football Jeff Jamrog told the Omaha World-Herald that he's actively seeking upcoming games -- and only against Division I opponents.
The Cornhuskers will be playing Florida Atlantic, Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State next season, and Western Kentucky, Idaho and Football Championship Subdivision power South Dakota State in 2010.
"It looks like they wanted to schedule a bunch of wins," Jamrog said. "We can't do anything about it. We can't do anything about the guarantees that were set, unless you want to cancel the contracts. But we aren't interested in doing that."
Pelini is in favor of taking on all comers in the future.
"That's what the fans want to see," Pelini said. "That's the shame of the BCS. Fans aren't seeing the games they used to see in September. We want to play those games. I don't want to shy away from anyone."
Assuredly, this is very refreshing attitude for a new football coaching staff to have. But something tells me that Pelini will prefer his schedule of Western Michigan, New Mexico State and San Jose State this season before facing Virginia Tech than if he had switched to a tougher one.
Hope that Pelini is up to the challenge of tackling a few morning links, too.
- Versatile WR Quan Cosby has had to argue to convince Texas coach Mack Brown to use him as a punt returner in the past. But his role looks assured heading into this season.
- Converted QB Jeremy Sanders has thrived at his new position at RB, Waco Tribune-Herald reporter John Werner writes.
- Colorado LB Jon Major, one of the top two in-state recruits for Colorado last season, has been lost for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament.
- One of the real treats of covering the Big 12 each week is Kansas City Star beat writer Mike DeArmond's priceless Vlog from Missouri's camp. But how come I always think of "Sex, Lies and Videotape" when I watch his sometimes brutal weekly assessments of the Tigers?
- Kansas State DE Ian Campbell is back at his original position after an abortive stab at linebacker last season. I wonder what took KSU coaches so long to move him back, comparing his performance last season to the previous one.
- Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell showed quick dexterity with the new clock rules, running a no-huddle offense during all of his snaps in the Red Raiders' first scrimmage. Harrell needed only 14 plays to produce three 60-yard scoring drives, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.
- Converted RB Cody Glenn is getting a few extra tips in his conversion to linebacker from a long-lost relative, legendary former Nebraska LB Broderick "The Sandman" Thomas.
- Joe Kines, a 64-year-old coaching veteran with 40 years of experience, is facing an ultimate challenge of trying to resuscitate Texas A&M's "Wrecking Crew" defense, Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News reports.
- It seems Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is a big fan of the Olympics. "All of them, I like watching all of it," Stoops told the Oklahoman. "What's so neat about it is you get that one moment to be at your best. That's what I love about boxing as well. You get that one shot. And if you happen to have over-trained, or you don't hit it just right..." Sounds a bit like playing in a bowl game, doesn't it?
- Oklahoma State WR Jeremy Broadway appears to be making the most of his last chance with the Cowboys after his suspension last November.
- Tulsa World reporter John Hoover wonders if Oklahoma WR Juaquin Iglesias is the most underappreciated player in the Sooners' football history. Hoover's statistics make a good case.
- Veteran Nebraska offensive line coach Barney Cotton told Lincoln Journal-Star that his current group might be the deepest in talent he's ever coached.
- Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News profiles Oklahoma's defense. Buried deep in the story is the quote of the day from Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who isn't exactly enthusiastic about the development of his young linebacking corps. I'm not ready to puke yet," Venables said.
- Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler said Kansas' rapid ascension last year is providing hope to Oklahoma State players. "After what Kansas did last year, everybody realizes just how close the Big 12 [race] is and no games are given to you anymore," Oklahoma LB/S Andre Sexton said. "We're pretty much in the same situation now as they [the Jayhawks] were in last season."
- Construction-worker-turned OLB Mike Balogun has been thrust into the mix as Oklahoma scrambles for a replacement for injured Austin Box.
- If new Troy WR Josh Jarboe is declared immediately eligible at Troy, he still might play in the state of Oklahoma this season. The Trojans will face Oklahoma State Sept. 27 in Stillwater.
- Tom Timmerman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch breaks down the battle to replace Tony Temple in the Missouri backfield. Sophomore Derrick Washington from the strangely-named hometown of Peculiar, Mo., appears to have nailed down the starting job -- mainly because of his receiving skills. "
- 5-foot-6 freshman RB Rodney Stewart is t
urning heads at Colorado's practice -- despite his diminutive size and the presence of heralded RB Darrell Scott in the Buffaloes' camp. And along with fellow freshman Ray Polk, all apparently will receive playing time this season.