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Archive for Friday, July 28, 2006

Wood: Zaniness rampant in Big 12

July 28, 2006

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Three days. Twelve coaches. Thirty-five players. Some 60 million questions with the words "confidence," "momentum," "outlook" or "Kerry Meier" somewhere in it.

This was one hectic week at Big 12 Conference media days, held Monday through Wednesday at the Marriott Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo. Being closer to the rest of civilization, the Kansas City crowd was much thicker than last year's Houston bunch, and with it came zaniness that only a couple hundred workers who make a living around sports can create.

Consider:

l Missouri, with new media guide restrictions forcing the books down to 208 pages, still managed to mismanage its precious space. Before the restriction, Mizzou had guides the size of Jupiter. Now, it just sliced out statistics, historical records and anything else the media might need in a media guide.

In its place, among other weird things, is 10 pages of pictures of all the equipment Tiger football players are issued. That includes four chinstraps, two shoulder pads, 35 pairs of shoes, 31 T-shirts, 12 different hats and 20 variations of face masks. Remember, every variation of every piece of equipment is represented by a photo. Eleven different pairs of gloves have page 67 all to themselves, but don't you dare ask the career win-loss total for Bob Stull. It ain't in here.

l Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, while butting heads with reporters from time to time, has the weirdest sense of humor among the Big 12 coaches by far. When asked if there's a dream job for him outside of Texas Tech, Leach talked about his love of Lubbock's heat without the humidity. He then invited the reporter to come visit.

"I'll show you a great steak place, and pretty soon you'll move to Lubbock," he said. "You'll have to keep that to yourself, otherwise everybody will be there, and you and I will both want to move."

Guess that answers that. Or not.

l Most coaches and players are asked to go on one of dozens of radio stations with remotes set up in the main hallway. Coaches usually hit a bunch of them in a row, and I wondered if some of the subjects did an interview having no clue where the airwaves were heading.

Well, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins confirmed it. On Kansas City radio, Hawkins started the interview over the air by asking "Now what city is this?"

l Seems every year the national media remember one Kansas University game and asks endless questions about it nine months after it's played. Last year, the 27-23 loss to Texas in '04 - and Nick Reid's missed tackle of Vince Young - was beaten to death. This year, KU's 40-15 victory over Nebraska won the prize.

Coach Mark Mangino called it "marquee" because, among other things, "we finally ended the streak that was really getting on my nerves."

Nebraska cornerback Zackary Bowman predictably wasn't as thrilled, saying, "I thought the world was going to end. That had to be the longest bus ride ever back to Lincoln."

Little did he know, the reporters had a salt shaker ready, almost one year later, to sprinkle on the wound. Gotta love us.

Comments

rhs2362 8 years, 1 month ago

"When asked if there's a dream job for him outside of Texas Tech, Leach talked about his love of Lubbock's heat without the humidity. He then invited the reporter to come visit."

Why would someone assume Texas Tech couldn't possibly be Leach's dream job, much less ask Leach about it at media day?

Think about the wasted effort on that reporters part when considering the following:

Tech is returning 8 starters on offense and 4 primary backups on O. 3 of the starters were All-Big 12 last year, 2 first team. Two of the returning OL starters are on watch lists for their positions and a WR is a preseason All-American one one list. We are adding the most prolific passing QB in Texas school boy history and a former top rated OG in the country who started 8 games at BYU as a true FR then transferred to Tech via a JUCO.

On defense, Tech is returning 5 starters from the D front 7, getting a starter and a top backup back from missing all last season injured. The new starting CB was a spot starter last year and started the OU game, where he played well. Safety is really the only question and we roll out a blue chip at one position and upgrade speed in the secondary.

Tech has their best recruiting class since 1997 and improving recruiting every year since Leach took over. Over the next 3 years, Tech will have the most talented teams since the 1070s.

All of this, and the only thing reporters could think to ask was "What would it take to get you out of here?" And Ryan Wood thinks Leach's response is zanny?

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Raider 8 years ago

rhs2362:

Thanks for summing up Tech for this upcoming season. You hit the nail on the head. It should be a very fun season for us Red Raider alumni and fans.

I don't think Ryan said that Leach's comment was "zany". He said that Leach is known for his humorous comments, and then he quoted Coach Leach. You have to admit, the quote from ML was a fun one. I assume you're a Tech fan b/c you wrote such a sterling summary. If so, then you know all about the famous "Leachisms". This is just another example of them.

Guns up!

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