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LIVE FROM: Big 12 Media Days
5:45 p.m. updateThanks to all who checked out today's blog. Be sure to check back in tomorrow for action from Day 2. We're at a considerably earlier time tomorrow. Kansas coach Mark Mangino will speak to the media at 9 a.m., so wake up early like you did last weekend for the British Open and check KUSports.com for the latest on the Jayhawks at Media Day. I'll leave you with some audio clips from Day 1. For interviews with Mizzou wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, Nebraska quarterback Joe Ganz and Texas Tech defensive back Jamar Wall, check out [this link].I thought the Maclin interview was particularly interesting. He gives his opinion on who he thinks the best athlete is on the Missouri roster, along with who he modeled his game after as a kid.3 p.m. update So if you had to compare Missouri all-purpose threat Jeremy Maclin to one football player, who would it be? According to Maclin, it's Rams receiver Torry Holt.Comparing only the basics, Holt is 6 feet tall, 190 pounds, and Maclin is listed as 6-foot-1, 200 pounds. Not a big difference.You make the call. It's fair to say from this clip that Maclin possesses blazing speed.
Holt isn't so bad of a [playmaker] himself. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel just finished taking questions. He explained how he first thought to incorporate the spread offense in Columbia, Mo."Originally, I felt we needed an edge," Pinkel said. "I looked at (coach) Mike Leach, what he did at Texas Tech, his version of spread offense, going to bowl after bowl after bowl. I contacted a lot of defensive coordinators, and asked what offense they hated playing the most. They said it was the spread offense."OK, so it's no secret a number of Big 12 teams are incorporating the spread offense. My question is who will be the most explosive offense in the conference next season?Will it be Missouri and its deadly combination of Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin and company? Texas Tech, with Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree? Oklahoma with Sam Bradford and an entire offensive line of returning starters? I haven't even mentioned Colt McCoy and Texas. If I had to guess, I'd say Texas Tech or Missouri. Too much experience and enough fireworks to make your favorite 4th of July skylight encore seem yawn-worthy.2 p.m. update Nebraska's interviews just concluded before 2 p.m. First-year coach Bo Pelini talked about how he planned to stop the spread offenses that are so prevalent now in the Big 12."Florida's spread offense is different than Kansas or Missouri's," Pelini said. "You have to develop a game plan to offset what they're trying to accomplish ... We have an offensive mentality on defense. We want to attack and we want to dictate to the offense as much as they dictate to us."Quarterback Joe Ganz said that Pelini is a players' coach and is just like one of the guys. An interesting tidbit: On the plane ride to Kansas City, Ganz and Pelini sat near each other and held a conversation for the duration of the plane ride. Football was mentioned only twice.Ganz said he joked around with the coach much of the time about Major League Baseball. Apparently, Pelini is an Indians fan and Ganz is a Cubs fan. Ganz said he was disappointed that Pelini's team traded ace CC Sabathia to the Brewers, one of the Cubs main rivals in the NL Central.Texas Tech is about to start, so I'm off. Be back soon.1:26 p.m. update [Day One of Big 12 football Media Day] at the Marriott Downtown in Kansas City, Mo., will feature the following teams: Nebraska, Texas Tech, Missouri and Texas A&M.Not a bad lineup for today's slate. For reference, Kansas is scheduled for Tuesday morning.This lineup should generate a plethora of topics. Among them:For Nebraska: Can first-year coach Bo Pelini resurrect a suspect defense that gave up close to 40 points a game last season? As the former defensive coordinator of the national champion LSU Tigers, one would think he has the resume. But how long will the transition take?For Texas Tech: Can the Red Raiders legitimately challenge Texas and Oklahoma this year? This might be the highest the expectations have ever been for coach Mike Leach. In case anyone forgot about the juggernaut status of the Red Raiders' offense, take a look at this:Michael Crabtree was my pick for Big 12 Offense Player of the Year. Watch him get hurt in the first play from scrimmage.For Missouri: Can Chase Daniel win the Heisman Trophy? Are the Tigers a legitimate top five team in the nation?For Texas A&M: How Will first-year coach Mike Sherman fit in? How will his NFL knowledge blend with the team?I'll be back throughout the day to update the blog with audio from interviews with players and coaches.In the meantime, what do you guys think is a better combo? Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree or Chase Daniel to Jeremy Maclin? Or maybe even Todd Reesing to Dexton Fields? Discuss. : http://www2.kusports.com/audioclips/ : http://youtube.com/watch?v=WOHmQXYpkcQ&feature=related : http://www.big12sports.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/footbl-media-day-central-08.html