LJWorld.com weblogs Conference chatter
Big 12 media days blog: Matt, Jesse provide their takeaways from Day 2 in Dallas
4:58 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Matt and I just finished up this video chat, talking about the biggest takeaways we had from Day 2 in Dallas.
With that, we're going to wrap up our coverage from Big 12 media days. Be sure to check back to KUsports.com for all your KU football coverage as the team begins practices in August.
4:25 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
You can find the news of the day in Matt Tait's notebook below. Also included in there is the latest on KU football signee and offensive lineman Pearce Slater.
3:26 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Was going through Big 12 media days photos from the Associated Press and couldn't resist posting this one.
I'll let you guys determine who is the best dressed of the two.
3:08 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
I wanted to give you guys a glimpse of what Matt was talking about with Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk's personality.
Here's a video I shot of him where he says Baylor should be seen in the same light as the Texases and Oklahomas of college football. He also says he's tired of only hearing about Robert Griffin III when people talk about Baylor.
Much like KU coach Charlie Weis yesterday, I have no problem with Seastrunk avoiding cliches and saying how he really feels. It makes days like this much more interesting.
2:12 p.m. update: By Matt Tait
Just got my first taste of Baylor running back Lache (pronounced Lake) Seastrunk, who has made waves this preseason by predicting a Heisman Trophy victory for himself at the end of the year.
Don't confuse Seastrunk's bold prediction for cockiness or arrogance. It's not. It's more a general feeling of, if that's what you believe, why not say it, because saying it can only help you visualize it and then attain it.
The Bears, picked to finish in the middle of the pack in 2013, have been doing a lot of that today, with the words "Big 12 championship" and "national championship" coming out of the mouths of all four BU representatives here today.
Personally, I like it. Having talked to them and listened to their explanations for why they believe those lofty goals are attainable, it seems perfectly legitimate for them to think big like that. The only time when it became an issue was when BU coach Art Briles was asked what he wanted from his defense this season. His answer? One word.
"Shutouts," Briles said. "Why would we want to shoot for anything else. We want to score 60 on offense, throw up shutouts on defense and win the Big 12 and national championships."
Briles went on to say that he understood that hoping for shutouts in a league as offensively advanced as the Big 12 was a bit of a reach, but it all came back to that philosophy of why not say what you believe.
"We're never going to go into a game saying, 'Let's hold them to 21 and hope that's enough,'" Briles said. "If we hold 'em to zero, we know that'll be enough to at least get us to overtime."
I like this Baylor team. Good dudes, confident guys, no-nonsense approach. I wouldn't bet against them this season.
As I was typing this up, I overheard Mack Brown talking about KU coach Charlie Weis a little more:
"Charlie Weis, to me, is a great coach, not a good one," Brown said. "And I think it's only a matter of time before he gets Kansas going again because he knows what he's doing and he's passionate about it."
1:07 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
The breakout session is just starting, with players and coaches from today's five schools available to media members. Not surprisingly, Texas and Oklahoma are drawing the biggest crowds.
Going to go listen in. Here are two more KU videos from yesterday, in case you missed 'em:
12:14 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads had high praise for his punter Kirby Van Der Kamp during his time at the podium.
"We believe we have the best punter in college football," Rhoads said.
Like KU men's basketball coach Bill Self, Rhoads will get the opportunity to coach his son, Jake, who is on the team as a long snapper this season.
"I've already seen him mature and grow in the five weeks he's been a part of our summer training," coach Rhoads said. "It will have its trying moments, but I'm sure it's going to be a lot of fun."
11:49 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Baylor coach Art Briles, on his team's new gold helmet: "There's two shiny things up here: that helmet and my head."
Briles also didn't seem concerned with this quote from running back Lache Seastrunk in the offseason: "I'm going to win the Heisman. I'm going to win it in 2013. If I don't, I'm going to get very close."
"I'd rather have players wanting to win the Heisman than clapping for the one that does," Briles said.
11:24 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell
A few KUsports.com videos in case you missed them yesterday.
11:17 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was asked what he thought about coaches — like Arkansas' Bret Bielema and Alabama's Nick Saban — that have publicly complained about what the spread offense has done to college football.
"I'd tell them to get over it, because it's not going to change," Holgorsen said.
While on the podium, Holgorsen also complimented former KU running back signee Dreamius Smith, who ended up going to Butler Community College before signing with WVU.
10:59 a.m. update: By Matt Tait
It was obvious Monday that KU football coach Charlie Weis' comments about using the phrase "have you seen that pile of crap" in recruiting took the Big 12 media by storm.
Here's a quick look at some of the reaction from around the league as well as my take on why it's not such a big deal.
10:53 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Texas coach Mack Brown had some interesting things to say:
• Brown had high praise for Kansas, which nearly knocked off Texas last year. Brown noted that KU nearly beat every Big 12 team it played at home last year. "Charlie's doing a tremendous job, and Kansas will be back soon, in my opinion," Brown said.
• Brown says Texas quarterback David Ash has grown up and says at times last year, Ash played like former UT quarterbacks Vince Young and Colt McCoy.
• Brown defended his defensive coaches, who took some fire a year ago: "They didn't just get stupid."
• Brown said he'd like for his team to get 80-plus plays per game. Texas ran 68 plays per game a year ago.
10:20 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops just finished his time at the podium. Here are a few notes:
• Stoops has not announced a starting quarterback as of yet, but he likes what he has with Wichita native Blake Bell. Though Bell is known mostly for coming in for OU's "Bell-dozer" goal-line packages as a run-pass threat, Stoops said he "does throw the football well. We have have a history of having excellent throwers ... and Blake fits that mold."
• Stoops says if you're going to go no-huddle, you have to be able to stay on the field and score. It's a balancing act with the no-huddle, hurry-up offense, as sometime that adds pressure to your defense.
• Stoops says he feels appreciated by OU's fans and administration. He's never going to be appreciated by everybody, and that was even the case during the 2000 national championship season. He also was asked if his wife was participating in the Mary Kay convention in this same hotel, and he said yes. "Get your wives into it," he told media members with a smile.
9:56 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell
Quick note: Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson was showing video of the correct ways to hit an offensive player that is not considered "targeting."
Anderson showed a play of former KU safety Bradley McDougald hitting a TCU receiver last year, saying it was the correct way to hit a receiver. McDougald, as you might recall, was flagged 15 yards on the play. Matt even talked about the hit in this blog.
The biggest thing to remember: "Targeting" this year will carry an immediate ejection. Anderson said there were 17 instances of targeting in the Big 12 last year, and five were found later to be incorrect calls.
Interestingly, Anderson said if a player was flagged for targeting, but after the play is reviewed in the booth and it's determined the play is not targeting, an ejection will be avoided, but the 15 yards will still be penalized.
9:27 a.m. update: By Matt Tait
Charlie Weis, Jake Heaps, James Sims and the rest of the Kansas University football team may have left Dallas Monday evening after their five hours of media responsibilities ended at the Omni Hotel.
But that does not mean that KU will not be represented today, when the Big 12 Conference's five remaining schools — Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia, Baylor and Iowa State — take their turn in front of the 475 media members who obtained credentials to this year's Big 12 media days.
That's where KU sophomore Kiley Dombroski enters the picture. Dombroski, a second-year member of the KU dance team known as the Rock Chalk Dancers was the lone member of KU's spirit squad — other than Big Jay the mascot — who was chosen to attend the two-day event in Dallas, which features cheerleaders and mascots from all 10 schools drumming up enthusiasm and excitement throughout the week.
Dombroski, a Lakewood, Colo., native, showed up Monday in full crimson-and-blue uniform, with a signature Kansas sunflower tucked behind her left ear and a huge smile on her face.
“Mostly travel is done by seniority so I was pretty surprised and really excited when my coach called and said, 'We talked it over and we want to see you to the media days,'” Dombroski said. “It's really a great experience for me.”
Though surprised by the invitation, Dombroski, one of 46 members of KU's dance and cheer squad, said she did everything she could as a freshman to get noticed for her passion for KU.
“I had a great year last year and I love appearances,” she said. “I did everything there was to do, whether it was sitting outside of HyVee promoting the KU chicken bucket or whatever. When you do all the little small things, it builds up and then you get to do big things like this, which has been amazing. You get to meet everybody else and hear their stories and their experiences at their universities.”
Dombroski, who performed at both KU basketball and football games last season, said she had a good feeling about the fall.
“I am looking forward to football season,” she said. “We have great fans, a great atmosphere, a great coach who's so enthusiastic about the team. So we're looking forward to it and hoping for a great year.”
Original post: By Jesse Newell
Welcome back to Big 12 football media days at the Omni Hotel here in Dallas.
Here's the schedule for the podium today:
10 a.m. — Oklahoma
10:30 a.m. — Texas
11 a.m. — West Virginia
11:30 a.m. — Baylor
Noon — Iowa State
Just in case you missed it, here's a video from Matt and me discussing Kansas coach Charlie Weis' controversial "piece of crap" comment Monday.
I'd also invite you to look back to Monday's live blog in case you missed any of our KU coverage, which included player videos, a short podcast with defensive back Cassius Sendish, photos and notes from Dallas.