Upon returning from the Big 12 Conference's football media days this week, I figured I'd try something a little different this year.
Instead of the traditional column about the size of media guides individually they don't look that big, but try lugging 12 of them bad boys through Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport from Terminal A to Terminal C I figured I would share the top 10 quotes of the weekend.
Note: These are in no particular order, except for the best three, which I saved for last.
l Colorado coach Gary Barnett, on the Buffaloes' goal this season: "On the way back to the airport (after media day) we're going to stop by Texas Stadium, and we're going to walk through Texas Stadium because our goal is to come back down here on Dec. 1 (for the Big 12 championship)."
l Texas junior quarterback Chris Simms, on Oklahoma winning the national championship last season: "The thing I would say is Oklahoma is great for the conference. It helps me to verify that I believe the Big 12 is the best conference in the country. I'm having a hard time telling that to my friends up in the northeast because they think of the SEC or whatever else. I think last year finally proved to the whole country that we have a great conference."
l Oklahoma senior linebacker Rocky Calmus on the Sooners wearing a bull's-eye after winning the national championship last season: "Last year in the first part of the season, you might call it a little bit lighter schedule. But once we got to Texas, that's a bull's-eye every year. It's Texas-OU. We go in there every year with a bull's-eye on our back. Same thing with K-State. Our coach has coached there and other coaches, they've been looking for us for two years they said.
"After we beat them we've got the OU-Nebraska game. It's a rivalry, (Nos.) 1 and 2. Emotions are going to be high there. Throughout the rest of the season we're No. 1. It's not like we didn't have it on our back so I guess we're used to it."
l Oklahoma State sophomore quarterback Aso Pogi, about life in Stillwater, Okla., now that first-year coach Les Miles has arrived: "It just smells different in Stillwater now. That's good, right?"
Asked what his QB was talking about, Miles responded, "I don't know if he's talking about personal hygiene or what."
l Nebraska coach Frank Solich sounded defensive when asked if he felt like a dinosaur relying on the running game when the current trend is to air it out more: "It might be fair that I sound like a dinosaur. I certainly don't feel like one. We had 79 plays of 20 yards or more. I think you would be hard-pressed to find many teams around the country that could do that. We have big-play capability."
l Texas coach Mack Brown on the high expectations for the Longhorns: "When I first asked coach (Darrell) Royal the best thing about coaching at the University of Texas he said, 'There's a lot of interest of 20 million people in the state of Texas about what happens to the Texas football program every day.' And I asked him what's the toughest thing about coaching at Texas, and he said, 'There's a lot of interest of 20 million people in the state of Texas about what happens to the Texas football program every day.'"
l Baylor coach Kevin Steele on how it felt to see starting quarterback Greg Cicero go down last season: "I've seen a broken collarbone and I've felt a broken heart, and I think a broken heart's more painful than a broken collarbone."
And the winners are
No. 3 Iowa State coach Dan McCarney on why he's been around six years, making him third in seniority in the Big 12: "I'm just a helluva guy."
McCarney also quipped in response to a question about how hard it is to stay on top ("I pray to God it isn't harder to stay here than it took to get here.") and what winning means for his team's schedule ("We've cut down on our homecoming games on the road. We used to play I think seven homecoming games a year.").
No. 2 Kansas State coach Bill Snyder when a reporter said it seemed to be a tradition to ask him about the Wildcats' supposedly weak schedule every year: "I like tradition. We're trying to establish tradition. Have at it."
Snyder also took a playful jab at a reporter when he said, "The only thing I heard was 'BCS,' which tells me it's a bad question."
And, as for scheduling Southern California this season, "They just got me in a weak moment."
No. 1 Missouri coach Gary Pinkel on why he didn't buy his wife a big diamond ring after she persuaded him to take the Mizzou job: "You know why? She won't let me have a motorcycle. She doesn't get her ring until I get my motorcycle."
Pinkel also uttered such philosophical gems as, "Losing hurts a whole lot more than winning feels good," and, "Fear is a motivator for me, fear of losing."