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Big 12 media days, Day 1: Wrap-up video, plus KSU linebacker Tre Walker says MU's departure has made KU-KSU rivalry stronger
8:07 p.m.: By Jesse Newell
Here's a final wrap-up video from Day 1 of Big 12 media days, where Matt and I talk about the biggest takeaways we had from Monday's interviews.
With that, we're going to wrap up our live coverage from here in Dallas.
Be sure to check back tomorrow for Day 2, as KU and new coach Charlie Weis take the podium at 11:30 a.m.
4:43 p.m.: By Jesse Newell
If you're just tuning in ... don't forget to vote in our poll: Who do you think has the best hair on the KU football team?
The photos of the five finalists are below in the 10:05 a.m. update.
At last check, Dylan Admire had a commanding lead.
4:24 p.m.: By Jesse Newell
I asked Kansas State linebacker Tre Walker if he believed that Missouri leaving the Big 12 might add to the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry.
The Olathe native said he thought that had already become the case, saying, "Things we're hearing from KU right now are things we never thought we'd hear before. And it's all in good fun."
Check out Walker's full response in the video below.
4:04 p.m.: By Matt Tait
Just getting finished up with player and coach breakout interviews and here are a few things that caught my eyes and ears.
- Yes, I did say eyes, because while today's five coaches were positioned at their stations talking to different groups of reporters, three Texas Tech student-athletes - quarterback Seth Doege, running back Eric Ward and defensive back Terrence Bullitt - put on quite a display for a Texas television station.
With Doege lined up under center and Ward split wide, the camera crew announced and filmed a mock play that featured Doege firing a pair of rolled up socks to Ward in place of a football.
The first pass fluttered and fell incomplete. But the second was flawless and even inspired Ward to begin his end zone celebration.
That moment won't mean much when it comes to Texas Tech's season, but it shows you how much fun these guys have when they come down to these things. It's a fair amount more than their head coaches who have been through it dozens of times and, though cordial, always seem to just want to get in and get out. Can't blame 'em.
I talked with quite a few defensive players in the room about the addition of Crist and Weis to the Kansas offense, and it's obvious, already, that the league has a lot of respect for that duo. More on that in a story sometime in the next week, but it's definitely something that the players have noticed.
Like new KU quarterback Jake Heaps, K-State QB Collin Klein recently got married. Klein, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2011, was married last Saturday to the former Shalin Spani, daughter of legendary K-State athlete Gary Spani. KSU coach Bill Snyder, whose own daughter was married two weeks prior to that, said the wedding was wonderful and that he had all the confidence in the world that Klein would be able to balance his duties as a husband, athlete and student during the coming season.
3:55 p.m.: By Jesse Newell
A couple more AP photos from here in Dallas ...
3:35 p.m.: By Jesse Newell
A few notes from listening to TCU coach Gary Patterson's talk with reporters during one-on-one interviews.
• Expect him to be prepared for KU's offense Week 3. Patterson said he had just finished watching cut-ups from each Big 12 offense for the fourth time this offseason.
In KU's case, he had to do extra studying. Patterson said he watched cut-ups from KU coach Charlie Weis' offenses at Notre Dame (when Weis was a coach there), Florida (when he was offensive coordinator last year) and KU (from TV highlights of this year's spring game).
• Patterson said has has tried to calm down TCU's fanbase's excitement regarding its move to the Big 12, but he jokingly said it wasn't working and that they hadn't listened to him for 12 years on anything anyways.
Patterson said getting to the Big 12 wasn't the accomplishment, though. His goal is to win in the conference.
• Patterson said his favorite two weeks of the year were two-a-days, because during those weeks, he focused on football from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.
He said his players probably disagreed with him, as usually, those two weeks weren't their favorite ones of the year.
• Patterson, who is 52, said he'd like to coach about 10 more years. He said he still wants to be able to scuba dive when he retires.
He also said that he's never tailgated at a football game ... an activity he thought he'd like when his coaching career is done.
1:57 p.m.: By Matt Tait
The West Virginia Mountaineer mascot teaches a group of Big 12 cheerleaders the words to John Denver's "Country Roads" at Big 12 media days.
12:44 p.m.: By Jesse Newell
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said he didn't have a positive experience against KU coach Charlie Weis when Weis was the coach at Notre Dame while Rhoads was defensive coordinator at Pitt.
Rhoads tells the full story below.
12:21 p.m.: By Matt Tait
Third-year Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was the final coach of the day to step to the podium. Although the Red Raiders have made strides since Tuberville took over, they still appear to be trying to get over the hump.
Tuberville seems to think that could come this year, as long as the offense stays productive and the defense progresses.
Here are a few of his specific thoughts:
Tuberville believes the Red Raiders have doubled their talent on the defensive side of the ball and, under new defensive coordinator, Art Kaufman, he thinks TTU should be better on defense. Last year, he said, Tech tried to hide its defense with the running game.
Tuberville: This is a points league. We scored close to 40 points a game last year and won five games. Defensive coordinators are going to earn their money.
Running back Eric Stephens is close to returning but may not play in Tech's non-conference games just to be safe. The main thing for Stephens is, to regain and rebuild his confidence. Back-up running back DeAndre Washington also should be back soon.
Defensive lineman Brandon Jackson red-shirted last season, largely because Tuberville beileved he could be a heck of a player but wanted to build depth. He's excited for him to hit the field this year. Also, Tuberville said he thinks good teams have to be three-deep at almost every position. You don't have to have great players, but you have to have enough players to be able to recover if you suffer an injury and the Red Raiders are getting closer to being at that point.
That's the end of the coaches on the podium for today. More from the player and coach breakout sessions to come later.
11:51 a.m.: By Matt Tait
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder just wrapped up on the podium. As usual, Snyder was long-winded with each answer, but he did give some good insight into where KSU stands after last year's 10-2 season.
Snyder says he's not worried about being the underdog or the favorite in the league. His Wildcats were picked sixth in the league by the media this preseason, but he says he's more worried about the game-to-game favorites and that kind of thing.
One of the things KSU has to concern itself with this year, Snyder said, is making sure they don't take anything for granted after last year's success. So far, he believes they've handled that very well.
Snyder becomes the first to make mention of Texas A&M and Missouri, but does not mention them by name. Says the league lost two very fine programs but replaced them with quality programs, as well. Also says he feels the league is in a very strong position and he had nothing but good things to say about both Chuck Neinas and Bob Bowlsby.
Asked if quarterback Collin Klein's play last year surprised him, Snyder says, "First of all, I'm too old to be surprised." Snyder then went on to praise Klein in every aspect, from family man to football player. Paints him as a player and person who strives to improve every day. Also says those traits have rubbed off on a lot of Klein's teammates.
Wide receiver Tyler Lockett did not participate in spring game because of a hamstring tweak. He was not seriously injured and he did practice for the first 14 days of spring ball. Snyder said Lockett has recovered fully and is having a good summer.
Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville is up next.
11:40 a.m.: By Jesse Newell
Here's our first AP photo from the event of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby in front of a picture ... of himself.
11:22 a.m.: By Matt Tait
The always entertaining Paul Rhoads was a little more subdued during today's session at the podium.
Rhoads believes that the Cyclones will put their most talented team on the field this season. Questions remain about the always-difficult schedule that the Cyclones play, but Rhoads said everyone is excited about the prospects for 2012.
Win over Oklahoma State last year was huge for ISU in terms of national exposure, national branding and recruiting.
Cyclones need better play from QB position if they're going to become a better football team ... especially in terms of accuracy. "If we're going to be a better offensive team, which is very important in this league, we have to get better quarterback play." ISU QBs Jared Barnett and Steele Jantz both still batting for starting job.
Rhoads on Penn State: First and foremost this is a matter for the legal system and the courts and there's more of that to come. I can't say anything or give my opinion about anything that's going to help the victims or their families.
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder is up next.
11:17 a.m.: By Jesse Newell
TCU coach Gary Patterson talks in this video about one of the advantages of playing in the Big 12, which will be playing in front of full stadiums.
10:49 a.m.: By Matt Tait
Nothing too surprising from OU coach Bob Stoops.
Here are the highlights:
He's excited for the upcoming season and believes OU has a chance to get back to competing for championships.
Stoops is looking forward to the return of his brother, Mike, (formerly the head coach at Arizona) not only for personal reasons, but also for football reasons. Stoops hopes brother Mike can help get the OU defense back to the level it was during OU's more dominant years.
In order for QB Landry Jones to have a monster year, the Sooners will have to run the ball better and everyone around Jones will have to elevate their game. Stoops believes Jones played well last season but that the rest of the offense may not have done its job. One other note on Jones: He got married in the offseason. When Stoops was asked if he would coach a married guy any differently, he laughed and said, "Good for him. He's got a special wife, too. We'll coach Landy just as we always have and he's got a great mentor and coach in Josh Heupel."
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is up next.
10:23 a.m.: By Matt Tait
TCU coach Gary Patterson just finished up at the podium and here are a couple of quick thoughts on his Q&A session.
Patterson and TCU feel very honor and privileged to be a part of the Big 12 and they are planning on making the Big 12 glad it invited them both on and off the field for years to come.
Patterson knows that his schedule just got a heck of a lot tougher, but he's not too worried about it. His guys will work the same, play the same and believe they can compete.
Speaking of the schedule, Patterson gave KU a little love twice during his comments. First, he said he expects Charlie Weis' crew to be 2-0 when TCU comes to Lawrence for the Week 3 Big 12 opener. Second, he said the games start to get tough beginning in Week 3 at KU and don't stop being tough until the end of the season.
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is up next.
10:08 a.m.: By Matt Tait
Just kicking off the team portion of today's session at Big 12 media days. TCU and head coach Gary Patterson will get things started today and, in a similar manner, West Virginia will begin things tomorrow. Nice welcome to the Big 12 gesture there.
Anyway, earlier we had the opportunity to hear new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby address the media on a number of topics and a few things stood out.
First, Bowlsby was exactly the kind of image the Big 12 would want to project up at the podium. Calm, confident and very in control of the room and his message. Seems like he was an outstanding selection for this role and everyone we talk to continues to confirm that thought.
As for Bowlsby's general message, he talked a little about expansion (it's not happening any time soon), a lot about the Champions Bowl and college football's four-team playoff system and how that will not only change college football but also impact the Big 12.
He did not stand up there and fire off sunshine and rainbows. He was happy to admit that there remains a lot of work to be done and also admitted that the landscape of college athletics, both in and out of the Big 12, was far from a perfect system. There is work to be done and one of the main reasons he was attracted to the opportunity to be this league's commissioner was that it gives him a chance to help right the ship on a grand scale.
From here, Bowlsby will be heading to London due to a previous commitment to the Olympics and he's already very well versed in the presence of the Big 12 at this year's summer games. Bowlsby said 93 former Big 12 athletes will be competing in this year's Olympic games and he was very proud of that number.
While Bowlsby is away, former interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, who was surprised today to hear that the Big 12's college football coach of the year award is now named in his honor, will remain on call for the Big 12, should the league need anyone to speak on its behalf while Bowlsby is busy.
If I had to sum up Bowlsby's address in a couple of sentences, I would go with this: The Big 12 Conference is in great shape, heading in the right direction and ready to flourish. It's going to take some work to get where everybody wants the league to be, but everyone is committed to the same vision and the league is as strong and stable as ever.
I know that sounds corny, but Bowlsby gave a very strong and clear address, something that even the biggest critics would have a hard time breaking down.
10:05 a.m.: By Jesse Newell
With the release of the KU football media guide, let's take a light-hearted look at the KU player's bio photos.
I've come up with five candidates for best hair on the KU football team.
The candidates are below.
Just for fun, here's a poll: Who do you think has the best hair on the KU football team?
My vote is in for Dylan Admire.
9:25 a.m.: By Jesse Newell
Bowlsby announces that from this point forward, the Big 12 football coach of the year will be honored with the "Chuck Neinas Big 12 football coach of the year," named after the recent conference interim commissioner.
9:18 a.m.: By Jesse Newell
Here are a few Tweets from KU football beat writer Matt Tait, as he gives updates from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby's address, which began at 9 a.m.
• Bowlsby re: Big 12 expansion: "I don't know that we'd get 2 votes for moving to a larger number."
• Bowlsby says one of the reasons he took Big 12 commish job was b/c it gives him opportunity to make a difference on national level. #KUfball
• Bowlsby says Big 12 is "salty from top to bottom." #KUfball
• Bowlsby: "Talent pool in the Big 12 conference takes a back seat to no organization." #KUfball
• Here they are: 2012 #kufball media guides. Pretty plain. KU takes turn at B12 media days Tues but 5 others go today. pic.twitter.com/thHcBUUE
Original post: By Jesse Newell
Dallas — Welcome to KUsports.com's live coverage of Big 12 football media days, live from the Westin Galleria in Dallas.
Today marks the first of two days here in Dallas. TCU, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech will all have their own time at the podium today.
In case you were wondering, Kansas and new coach Charlie Weis will be up on Tuesday, with Weis' time at the mic set to begin at 11:30 a.m.
Obviously, one of the big stories of today will be TCU's first year with the conference. In fact, the Horned Frogs are the first team that will meet the print reporters today at 10 a.m. They will be followed at the podium by the Sooners (10:30 a.m.), Cyclones (11 a.m.), Wildcats (11:30 a.m.) and Red Raiders (noon).
Be sure to check back throughout the day, as KU football beat writer Matt Tait and I will be posting updates to the blog. which will include videos, photos and audio. You can also follow our updates on Twitter at our handles @jessenewell and @mctait.