Archive for Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Big 12 Football Teleconference: Cyclones content watching openers

August 28, 2001


The wait for the first kickoff is getting tiresome at Baylor, Kansas State and Texas Tech, especially after seeing three Big 12 teams already play their openers and five more scheduled for this weekend.

Then there's Iowa State, which is embracing its late start.

"I'm very appreciative for the chance to have more time because we're not ready yet," coach Dan McCarney said Monday. "We need as much practice and preparation time as we can get."

Ready or not, the Cyclones who will be relying on several young and inexperienced players open a week from Saturday at home against Northern Iowa.

That day, Sept. 8, can't get here soon enough for folks in Waco, Manhattan and Lubbock. It's an especially long wait for K-State fans, who attended home games on Aug. 26 and Sept. 2 last year.

"I think everyone gets anxious," Wildcats coach Bill Snyder said. "Our players are certainly anxious about having two weeks to go."

Baylor players are looking forward to hitting someone not wearing green and gold after doing plenty of that in recent weeks. Coach Kevin Steele has put his team through three mini-scrimmages and three full-fledged scrimmages, including a 129-play workout last Friday.

"The worst part about it was we had to go home Saturday and Sunday and watch all those other teams play," Steele said, "and we still don't play for 13 days."

Steele warned the players in March that this was coming. That doesn't make it any easier, though.

There has been some benefit.

"I think it's made us a little fresher," he said. "We've gotten our legs back sooner than you usually do."

NCAA rules allow 29 practices prior to the opener. How those are spread out depend on when school starts.

However many days classes are in session before the opener counts against that 29. Whatever is left is divided in half and that's how many two-a-day sessions are left.

What that basically boils down to is that teams with late starts have fewer two-a-days.

"Last year, we had 13 days of two-a-days that's 26 practices and actually only about 18 days to get ready," Snyder said. "This one's going to go almost a full month. So we have almost twice as many days until we play our first ballgame."

K-State opens at Southern Cal., Baylor has a home game against Arkansas State and Texas Tech will be at home against New Mexico.

Oklahoma and Nebraska opened with victories Saturday, while Colorado started with a loss Sunday night.

The Buffaloes will try bouncing back Saturday against Colorado State. The Sooners go to Air Force and the Cornhuskers play host to Troy State.

Teams opening this weekend include the Big 12 coaching debut of Gary Pinkel at Missouri, coincidentally against Bowling Green, a rival during his previous 10 years at Toledo, and Les Miles of Oklahoma State at Southern Mississippi.

Also, Texas plays New Mexico State, Texas A&M; plays McNeese State and Kansas plays Southwest Missouri, all home games for the Big 12 schools.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I didn't sleep last night after watching that. It scares you," Missouri coach Gary Pinkel about Colorado committing five turnovers, three of which led to 17 points for Fresno State, in the Buffaloes' 24-22 loss to Fresno State on Sunday.

EXTRA POINTS: Texas A&M; is looking for a few good legs. Redshirt freshman Chris Sims, who was expected to be the Aggies' kicker the next four years, has had to give up football because of an injury. Emergency auditions have been held at Kyle Field, but so far punter Cody Scates has emerged as the likely placekicker. Coach R.C. Slocum is worried because he's never used one person to handle punts and placekicking, and because if Scates gets hurt A&M; would be in real trouble. Scates missed some practice last week with a sore leg. "I'm not concerned as long as Cody's healthy," Slocum said. "The question is what happens if he gets hurt during the season. We're looking for someone who can develop into a backup or starter at kicker." ... Colorado coach Gary Barnett is amazed at how seriously Colorado State takes their rivalry. "It's their motto, they've got it on their Web sites 'Beat CU.' Before this year, I don't think CU gave them that much attention," he said. He doesn't mind a little extra intensity. "I think it's good for our state," he said. ... Kansas State's depth chart at quarterback "hasn't changed one iota," coach Bill Snyder said. That means sophomore Ell Roberson is holding off junior Marc Dunn. "I think they're both making improvements in some areas and there's some areas where improvement hasn't been as rapid as you would like," Snyder said. "By the same token, I'm not unhappy with their efforts, with the progress they've made."

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