NCF Nation: Sam Keller
Big 12 plays officiating guinea pig
Conference officials approved the use of eight-man officiating crews for the 2013 season. It'll be a one-year experiment that's revisited at the end of the season, and the Big 12 will be the only league in college football to use the additional official, who will be located in the offensive backfield, on the side of the quarterback, opposite the referee.
The crews, which will cost an additional $2,000 per school, will be used for all conference games and four selected nonconference games.
"Most people think our officials are as good as any in the country, and [Big 12 coordinator of officials] Walt [Anderson] is a seasoned and successful coordinator and an innovative guy. I think that's why [the national coordinator and other league coordinators] thought the Big 12 was a pretty good place to try it out."
Bowl tie-ins getting straightened out
Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the Big 12 won't officially announce its bowl tie-ins this week, but the picture is coming into shape during the week of meetings, and the Alamo Bowl could replace the Cotton Bowl as the top Big 12 game for teams who don't qualify for the four-team playoff.
"We're not finished with that yet, but it looks like it's going to work that way," Bowlsby said. "We're not quite there, but we're not far."
He reiterated his stance that the Big 12 wants its bowl games to remain anchored in Texas but also have games out west (i.e., Arizona and/or California) and a game in Florida (possibly the Russell Athletic Bowl or Gator Bowl), as well as a game with a destination within driving distance for fans. That sentiment was driven in part by 25,000 Iowa State fans showing up at last year's Liberty Bowl in Memphis.
NCAA briefs Big 12 on lawsuits
NCAA attorney Donald Remy updated Big 12 officials on class-action lawsuits filed by former players claiming the NCAA used their images in video games without their permission. Former Nebraska quarterback Sam Keller and former UCLA basketball player Ed O'Bannon are among the plaintiffs.
"This is years away from being resolved, and there’s probably an appeals process after that," Bowlsby said.
He declined to speculate on what a loss for the NCAA might mean, citing "too many moving parts" in any fallout from the lawsuits.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Ed Warriner only thinks he has it tough making third-and-long calls against tough defenses on Saturdays during the fall.
The Kansas offensive coordinator and his family will have an interesting dilemma Thursday afternoon when his two daughters, Madisyn and Merideth, will be on different sides of the field when their respective high schools play for the Lawrence city soccer championship.
Madisyn, a sophomore, is a forward for Lawrence Free State High. Merideth, a freshman at Southwest Junior High, has been called up to the varsity team at Lawrence High School, where she plays in the Lions' midfield.
It will be the first time the Warriners will face each other on opposite in a soccer game.
The Lawrence Journal-World provides an interesting profile of both players and their upcoming
"Come Wednesday night, there might be a little tension in the house," Madisyn told the Journal-World.
As Warriner juggles that potentially ticklish situation, here are a few lunchtime links from across the conference.
- Austin Meek of the Topeka Capital-Journal touts Nebraska associate athletic director Mark Boehm as a strong potential candidate for the vacant Kansas State athletic director's job.
- Paul Rhoads is traveling across the Midwest this month pressing the flesh with Iowa State fans. Steve Batterson of the Quad City Times reports that Rhoads is set to visit Quad City fans on Wednesday night.
- The Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel weighs in on several football topics, including Sam Keller's case against EA Sports and the Big 12's tiebreaker rule recommended by the coaches.
- The Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo and Neill Woelk go on video to break down Colorado's recent spring practice.
- Tom Kensler of the Denver Post has some musings about arriving Colorado quarterback Clark Evans and Colorado coach Dan Hawkins' ability to uncover recruiting "diamonds in the rough."
- New Iowa State quarterback commit Jared Barnett should be in good shape when he arrives at college. His high school coach at Garland High School, Jeff Jordan, told the Ames Tribune's Bobby LaGesse that he runs the same offensive system in high school as the one favored by new ISU offensive coordinator Tom Herman.
- The Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter writes about Missouri's new $3.8 million scoreboard at Faurot Field.
- Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman writes about what a big gamble it really is for Bob Stoops to bring Justin Chiasson into his program.
- Paul Myerberg of the New York Times' blog "The Quad" provides a detailed breakdown of Iowa State, ranked as the nation's 112th best team coming out of spring practice.
- Colorado's Dan Hawkins earns honorable mention status on the Orlando Sentinel's list of fittest head coaches posted on its College Gridiron 365 blog.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Wasn't it the Bangles who sang about "Manic Mondays" way back when?
But Susanna Hoffs can't top these smokin' hot links for the first day of the work week.
Here they are. And you don't even have to put up with a bunch of cheesy VH-1 videos to read them.
- Former Oklahoma quarterback and former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts has pocketed $620,000 over the last five years as a lobbyist for the Bowl Championship Series, Daniel Libit of the political Web site Politico.com reports.
- The Omaha World-Herald's Lee Barfknecht projects Texas and Kansas as his Big 12 divisional favorites coming out of spring practice.
- Kelly Beaton of the Waterloo Courier analyzes the importance of new Iowa State strength coach Yancy McKnight to the Cyclones' program.
- Kansas State still hopes to be able to hire a new athletic director by June 1, incoming president Kirk Schulz told Joshua Kinder of the Manhattan Mercury.
- Oklahoma State recruit Colton Richardson of Ada, Okla., was arrested at his high school and charged with possession of marijuana, the Tulsa World's Bill Haisten reports.
- The Topeka Capital-Journal's Tully Corcoran thought it was a little strange that Sam Keller was the player suing EA Sports and the NCAA in a class-action lawsuit. But the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel's Michael Cunningham hopes that Keller's suit will lead to college athletes sharing in the wealth that the NCAA makes from marketing them.
- Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tells the Omaha World-Herald's Rich Kaipust about his expectations for the upcoming season.
- Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel weighs in on various Oklahoma football topics, including Justin Chaisson's legal dilemma and the spiraling price of Oklahoma football season tickets and parking.
- Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal-Star writes that Shawn Watson's offensive philosophy provides the best of both worlds. Quarterbacks are trained in an NFL-friendly West Coast passing offense combined with a running offense that encompasses some elements of the spread, including zone reads.
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
While the coaches are away in Phoenix playing golf, the Big 12 links keep rolling in.
Here are some of the most notable to get us ready for the weekend.
- Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman writes about Bob Stoops' difficult decision in terms of Oklahoma recruit Justin Chaisson. Tramel writes that he believes in second chances, but he also believes in keeping screwdrivers off girls' necks.
- Ready for the continued parade of top prospects in the Big 12? Among the top 15 on the Sporting News' list of top national recruits, six go to high schools in the Big 12's geographic footprint.
- Quarterbacks Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen expect more involvement in the Buffaloes' offense with new coordinator Eric Kiesau in place, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo writes. And the Camera's Neill Woelk predicts that Kiesau will keep the Buffaloes' offense humming and maybe even give it an extra boost.
- San Diego State athletic director Jeff Schemmel, a Kansas State graduate, refused to confirm or deny whether he had interviewed for KSU's vacant athletic director's job, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Brent Schrotenboer reported.
- Boone County assistant prosecutor Stephanie Morrell told the Columbia Daily Tribune's Joe Meyer that no decision has been made on whether to charge Missouri freshman quarterback Blaine Dalton with felony drug possession.
- Sam Keller's class-action suit against Electronic Arts for using student-athlete likenesses in video games is detailed by Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal-Star. Sports business expert Darren Rovell of CNBC calls the former Nebraska quarterback's suit" the best case I've ever seen constructed" by a student-athlete.
- The Oklahoman's Scott Wright ventures to Tonkawa, Okla., to check out the background of Oklahoma State wide receiver Bo Bowling, who will stand trial Friday on felony and misdemeanor drug charges, including possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of an anabolic steroid.
- The Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter gives his take on Missouri's strong APR scores.
- The Omaha World-Herald's Jon Nyatawa details some of the lessons that Bo Pelini learned while coaching in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers.