NCF Nation: Illinois State Redbirds

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

And then there were three.

Big 12 teams, that is, who will have begun spring practice after Tuesday afternoon (Baylor and Texas are the other two). Oklahoma's practice begins today.

Bob Stoops will be busy trying to rebuild an offensive line that loses four starters and finding a few new receiving threats for Sam Bradford to throw to. It should be an interesting spring around his team over the next several weeks.

Here are some stories around the Big 12 for your lunchtime perusal this afternoon. Enjoy them.

  • The Miami Red Hawks are trying to get out of their Sept. 12 game against Colorado in order to play a potentially more lucrative game against Kentucky in Cincinnati, Boulder Daily Camera beat writer Kyle Ringo reports. If the move is made, the Mid-American Conference will work to find a suitable replacement for the Buffaloes that could be Akron, Bowling Green or Toledo.
  • The Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner writes that converted Baylor running back Jeremy Sanders can help the Bears at his new position of safety due to his athleticism.
  • Oklahoma redshirt freshman linebacker Austin Box was cited by Norman police for urinating in public early Saturday morning, the Tulsa World's John Hoover reports.
  • The Kansas City Star reports that Illinois State athletic director Sheahon Zenger, a Kansas State graduate and a former associate athletic director for development at KSU, could emerge as a leading candidate for the vacant athletic director job at his alma mater. The school announced an eight-member search committee that will help KSU president-elect Kirk Schulz find the president, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal.
  • Austin American-Statesman columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden have video breakinf down what they've seen at Texas' first two spring practices.
  • Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson's experience in developing quarterbacks in his previous coaching history should be invaluable as he attempts to find a new starter for the Cornhuskers this spring, Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple reports.
  • Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler turned down a restructured offer from South Florida coach Jim Leavitt to become a defensive co-coordinator for the Bulls, Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times reports. The Tampa Tribune's Brett McMurphy reported that Ekeler, who had earlier turned down a similar offer to join Leavitt's staff, was offered a co-coordinator position along with Iowa State secondary coach Chris Ash.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

The Big 12's news has been dominated by Mike Leach's contract saga the past several days. But we are equal-opportunity Big 12 pundits and believe in keeping our readers informed about stories across the conference.  

Here's are a few Big 12 bits for your lunchtime enjoyment.

  • The impasse between Texas Tech and Leach continued Tuesday as a deadline passed without Leach accepting the school's contract terms. Leach told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's Don Williams" he couldn't fathom why" he could be fired by school officials. Leach told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Dwain Price he would rather not head into the season working on his existing contract, but it's out of his hands. And Dallas Morning News blogger Tim McMahon assesses the potential long-term damage for the school if Leach leaves.
  • Alex Jamison of Dawgman.com writes that Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes might be targeted as a potential replacement if Texas Tech makes a coaching change.
  • Former Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove tells Nadine Babu of Gopherhole.com to look at his overall coaching record rather than his tenure as the Cornhuskers' former defensive coordinator. Cosgrove now works as Minnesota's defensive coordinator after sitting out the past season.
  • Funeral services for former Texas standout defensive back Noble Doss will be Thursday in Austin, John Maher of the Austin American-Statesman reports. Doss, who still holds a share of the Longhorns' career interception record, died Sunday at the age of 88.
  • The Lincoln Journal Star's Steve Sipple advises Nebraska coach Bo Pelini to take the green jerseys off his quarterbacks in the spring game -- at least for a few plays.
  • The Boulder Camera reports that former Illinois State coach Denver Johnson has been hired as Colorado's new offensive line coach. An announcement is expected on Wednesday.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Good afternoon. Here are some Big 12 links to go with your lunch today.

  • The Sporting News details a few of former Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman's favorite things, including the movie "Braveheart," LeBron James and Jessica Alba.
  • Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera reports that former Illinois State coach Denver Johnson and former Army coach Stan Brock are among those who have interviewed for the vacant offensive line coaching position at Colorado.
  • Scott Wright of the Daily Oklahoman speculates that Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy might give up some of his offensive play-calling control to do more work with the Cowboys' defense next season.
  • Former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost has been hired to coach receivers at Oregon, Rob Moseley of the Eugene Register-Guard reports.
  • Topeka Capital-Journal reporter Austin Meek reports that Kansas State has filed a petition for declaratory relief in a contract dispute against three members of former head coach Ron Prince's staff -- defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar, quarterbacks coach Warren Ruggiero and linebackers coach Cornell Jackson.
  • Robert Cessna of the Bryan-College Station Eagle notes that the biggest standing ovations during Saturday's Texas-Texas A&M basketball game came when the Longhorns' football team and Texas quarterback Colt McCoy were introduced separately to the crowd at the Erwin Center.

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