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Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 23 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference. 

 

September, 2009

Wednesday, September 30

Big 12, Big East to play in Yankee Stadium bowl game
The New York Yankees have announced that Yankee Stadium will host an annual college football bowl game between the Big 12 and the Big East Conferences, with the first game slated to be played at the conclusion of the 2010 college football regular season.  

The yet-to-be-named bowl game will pit the Big 12's seventh selection against the Big East's third or fourth selection and will take place sometime between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.  It marks the first NCAA football bowl game in the Bronx since the Gotham Bowl on December 15, 1962, when Nebraska edged Miami (Fla.), 36-34, at the original Yankee Stadium.

"This is a great day for New York City and the Bronx, as we bring a premier college football bowl game to Yankee Stadium," said Yankees Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner.  "When we constructed this Stadium, it was our intention to create a first-class baseball stadium as well as a venue capable of holding a variety of unique and memorable events."

A vote to approve the bowl game was passed by both conferences with a four-year agreement in place (through 2013).  The NCAA is expected to formalize the four-year bowl agreement in April 2010.  Should the Big 12 representative not qualify for bowl eligibility under NCAA guidelines, Notre Dame has agreed to take part in the Yankee Stadium bowl game against a Big East opponent, barring Notre Dame's availability to participate.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for the Big 12 Conference and its member institutions," said Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe.  "The commitment to postseason college football being made by the Steinbrenner family, the Yankee organization and the city of New York will provide our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and fans a truly unique bowl experience.  It is with great anticipation that we look forward to participating in this bowl game and forging a relationship with one of the sporting world's premier organizations."

Tuesday, September 29

OU volleyball to honor Javi Restrepo
Oklahoma's volleyball team will honor Javi Restrepo during Wednesday's match with Nebraska at 6 p.m. at McCasland Field House in Norman. Javi, the son of Sooners coach Santiago Resrepo and his wife Heidi, passed away July 31 after a courageous three-year battle with leukemia.

The match is dedicated as Leukemia Awareness Night and will be televised on ESPNU.

In Javi's memory, the OU volleyball team is wearing uniform patches and Big 12 volleyball officials will wear a pin during Wednesday's match.

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops and women's basketball coach Sherri Coale are signing autographs for $10 each with the proceeds donated. Fans can designate a donation for ever ace, dig, kill and/or block Oklahoma records during the match.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Jimmy Everest Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at the Children's Hospital at OU Medical Center.

Monday, September 28

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach suspends Carter, bans Twitter
Texas Tech coach Mike Leach has indefinitely suspended senior offensive lineman and team captain Brandon Carter on Sunday. On Monday Leach said on the Big 12 coaches conference call that, "Anyone who wants to play for us doesn't have a Twitter page."

Here's what the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported Monday.

Asked about Williams' Twitter post from Sunday, Leach said: "Anybody who is a malcontent doesn't stay very long. ... Interestingly enough he doesn't have a Twitter page anymore."

When asked about the reason Carter was suspended, Leach said: "Well, that's not privy to the media. He was suspended for violating team rules. Anything he needs to do to get back is pretty much between me and him."

Leach added that he didn't think there was a problem with team unity or morale.

Baylor adjusts without Robert Griffin
Less than 24 hours earlier, Baylor coach Art Briles had heard the bad news: Sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin would be lost for the season after suffering a partially torn ACL in his right knee Saturday night against Northwestern State.

During Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference, Briles talked about how the Bears would have to move on.

"What we'll do is we'll rally up, we'll fight and we'll compete," he said. "That's what you do as a player, it's what you do as a coach and it's what you do as a program; and we've got a job to do and we're going to do our job. Our guys, they'll adjust. And they'll fight."

Senior quarterback Blake Szymanski, who has experience as a starter, will replace Griffin. But Briles is concerned about Szymanksi's health. He suffered a bruised shoulder in Saturday's game and is "day-to-day."

"Sure, I'm concerned," said Briles, whose team plays host to Kent State Saturday. "He took a pretty good shot the other day so we're just monitoring his progress. He wasn't quite as far along (Sunday) as I would have liked him to be but he was a little bit better (Monday). If he's not good to go, we'll manage the game, we'll be competitive and we'll go out there with a chance to win the football game."

Szymanski's backups are both freshmen - Nick Florence and Brody Trahan

OU, Stoops will wait to decide on Bradford
Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops isn't being coy. There is no gamesmanship. The Sooners' coach doesn't know if quarterback Sam Bradford will be ready to play against Miami (Fla.) Saturday.

"We just have to feel comfortable that he's healthy, that he feels good enough to make the throws we need to make and he's ready to do it," Stoops said Monday on the Big 12 coaches conference call."I would think we would know here later in the week what Sam's able to handle and where we feel we're at with it. I would think it would be earlier than (a game-time decision)."

Bradford suffered a sprained AC joint in his right (throwing) shoulder in Oklahoma's season-opening loss to BYU on Sept. 5. The initial diagnosis was that the Heisman Trophy winner would be out four to six weeks. Bradford did some throwing during practice last week.

Stoops said that Bradford's recovery and rehab has been "positive" and that the team and training staff has received "multiple opinions" regarding Bradford's progress. Over the weekend Bradford visited Dr. James Andrews, a noted sports and orthopedics specialist, to get his opinion.

If Bradford isn't ready to play, redshirt freshman Landry Jones would get the start against the 21st-ranked Hurricanes. Stoops said Oklahoma's game plan wouldn't change regardless of who plays quarterback.

"I'm not much on - maybe some people would disagree - on being coy or evasive on stuff. I pretty much usually call it as it is and when we don't know, I say we don't know just yet," Stoops said. "I'm not smart enough to deal with all of that, so I just kind of call it as it is and that's what I will (do) here. We'll just see how the week goes."

Television for next week
The Big 12 has announced the televison schedule for the second week of October. The network for the Colorado-Texas game will be announced next week. All times are CT:

Nebraska at Missouri 8 p.m.* ESPN
Oklahoma State at Texas A&M 11:30 a.m. FSN
Iowa State at Kansas 11:30 a.m. Versus
Baylor at Oklahoma 2:30 p.m. ABC
Colorado at Texas 6:15 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2

* - Thursday game.

Links to start your week
Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins is seething over the damage to the
school's reputation caused by last week's fights between members of the football and basketball teams.

A nice read by Jenni Carlson of the Oklahoman on Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy's zest for life.

And Carlson's Oklahoman colleague Berry Tramel writes about Oklahoma State tennis coach James Wadley, who is going into 38th year on the job.

Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News writes about how Texas A&M has taken a big step in the national marketing of its athletics teams.

According to the Oklahoman, Oklahoma State has signed J.P. Olukemi , a 6-7 junior-college forward.

 

Sunday, September 27

Baylor QB Robert Griffin out for season
Baylor's promising season and hopes for the school's first bowl bid since 1994 took a severe blow Sunday. Sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin, who was injured in Saturday night's game with Northwestern State, has an isolated tear in his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The injury occurred during the first quarter of Baylor's 68-13 victory.

Senior backup quarterback Blake Szymanski, who replaced Griffin after halftime, had x-rays taken Sunday and has a contusion to his right (throwing) shoulder. He is listed as day-to-day.

Mikail Baker, a senior defensive back and return specialist for the Bears, also suffered a season-ending injury during Saturday's contest with what an MRI revealed to be an ACL tear and a tear to his medial and lateral meniscus.

Baylor unsure of Griffin's injury severity
From the Associated Press, here's the latest update on Baylor sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin:

WACO, Texas - Baylor is still waiting to find out the extent of quarterback Robert Griffin's's right knee injury.

Coach Art Briles says he is hopeful "it will not be anything major" and that he was encouraged that Griffin was able to finish the first half after getting hurt on the opening series Saturday night.

Briles said during his Sunday teleconference that a planned MRI hadn't yet been done and that he hadn't yet seen Griffin, though he had traded text messages with the standout sophomore.

Griffin got hurt on a fourth-down play in the Bears' 68-13 victory over Northwestern State when his leg bent under while being stopped for no gain on a fourth-down play.

After getting his knee heavily wrapped, Griffin led Bears to four touchdowns.

Poll watching
Here's the Sunday news from the rankings front: In the coaches' poll, Texas remained No. 2 while Oklahoma is No. 8, Oklahoma State No. 12, Kansas No. 16, Missouri No. 23 and Nebraska is No. 24. In the Associated Press poll, it's No. 2 Texas, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 18 Kansas and No. 23 Nebraska. Missouri is 26th in the media rankings, 10 points out of No. 25.

 

Oklahoma at Miami (Fla.) in prime time
The Oklahoma-Miami (Fla.) game this Saturday has been selected by ABC as its 7 p.m. CT prime-time telecast. Both teams come into the game with 2-1 records. For the Sooners, it will be their final nonconference game before starting their Big 12 Conference schedule.

Saturday, September 26

No. 2 Texas knocks off No. 6 Nebraska in volleyball
Second-ranked Texas' volleyball team knocked off No. 6 Nebraska Saturday and ended the Cornhuskers' 82-match winning streak in NU Coliseum that dated back to 2004. It was the Longhorns' first victory in Lincoln since 1988. The last time a Big 12 team won in Lincoln was Missouri in 2003.

The Longhorns won 3-1 on scores of 25-22, 18-25, 25-17, 25-17. UT's Destinee Hooker totaled a match-high 15 on .308 hitting and added a team-high 12 digs for Texas, which out-hit the Huskers. .239-.132. Nebraska's Muller was one of three Huskers to record at least 10 kills in the loss, as Lindsey Licht totaled 12 kills, while freshman Hannah Werth added 11 kills.

Thursday, September 24

Saturday a big day for Nebraska volleyball
Saturday Nebraska's football team will celebrate its ongoing NCAA record 300th  career sellout. Earlier in the day there will be another sold out sporting event in Lincoln when second-ranked Texas takes on the sixth-ranked Cornhuskers volleyball team at 1 p.m..

According to Nebraska coach John Cook, the word on the street is that someone paid $400 for a pair of tickets to the game.

Former head volleyball coach Terry Pettit will be presented with the 2009 Dr. Barbara Hibner Trailblazer Award during the volleyball match and will also be honored during the Cornhuskers' football game. The Trailblazer Award is given to honor outstanding support and generous contributions to women's athletics at Nebraska.

Impact transfers
ESPN.com's Bruce Feldman's top 10 list this week is about transfers who are making the biggest impact. He has two Big 12 players listed No. 2 and No. 3.

No. 2. Daniel Thomas, Kansas State running back: Bill Snyder dreads the thought of what his team might look like without the big JC transfer. Thomas ran for 240 yards in State's first two games. He didn't light up UCLA in a Week 3 road loss with just 54 rushing yards -- but he still caught four passes for 61 more yards, flashing some of the versatility that recruiters loved so much about him. A few schools had targeted him as a big safety or linebacker. In actuality, he probably would do well at every spot on the field except the five O-line roles and the interior tackles spots on the defense. How many other guys in college football could we say that about? Probably none. A punishing runner at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, Thomas (a one-time QB as well) also could prove lethal in the Wildcat formation. He is 2-for-2 with a touchdown pass so far.

No. 3. David Sims, Iowa State defensive back: A 5-9, 208-pound Gainesville, Fla., product who was scooped up from the JC ranks by the new ISU staff, Sims had an interesting path to Ames. According to The Des Moines Register, he was recruited by Oklahoma and received an offer, which OU later rescinded because it wouldn't wait until he finished an online course. The Sooners' loss has been the Cyclones' gain. Sims has three interceptions, is second on the team in tackles with 23 and is averaging 29 yards per kickoff return for a 2-1 team.

Wednesday, September 23

Flu forces Texas Tech volleyball postponement
Texas Tech has postponed Wednesday's Big 12 Conference volleyball match at Kansas State Wednesday because six Red Raiders have the flu. Until scheduling arrangements can be made, the match is considered postponed. Texas Tech's next scheduled match is Wednesday, Sept. 30, when it plays host to Iowa State.

This is a must see
Perhaps you've wasted some of your on-line time watching "beer pong" (where folks bounce ping pong balls from myriad angles and off everyday objects with the ball eventually landing in a plastic cup). Maybe you've clicked on clips where basketballs are launched from various places in an arena or gymnasium.

Well, Texas A&M students have posted what they're calling the longest basketball shot ever. The ball is launched from the third deck at Kyle Field to a basket at field level. Click here to see what happens. And, no, there's no report as to how many attempts were made.

Tuesday, September 22

News and notes
* Texas quarterback Colt McCoy battled the flu last week, missing practice Tuesday before the Longhorns' 34-24 victory over Texas Tech. To overcome feeling weak at halftime, McCoy had some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and drank some grape Pedialyte. (See what details the media desire when you're a Heisman Trophy contender)? In the first half of UT's last two games, McCoy has been 26 of 45 (57.8 percent) for 236 yards with two interceptions. In the second half of those games, he went 28 of 36 (77.8 percent) for 306 yards and one interception. "It seems like he's pressing some," UT coach Mack Brown said.  "He has set the bar so high," UT offensive coordinator Greg Davis said, "that he thinks anything short of perfection is failure."

* Cornhuskers Nation had to deal with a heart-stomping last-second loss to Virginia Tech and then worry about the health of Nebraska junior quarterback Zac Lee. Lee missed practice Monday but his left thumb was heavily taped. Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said that Lee was being rested while coach Bo Pelini said that the tape job on Lee's thumb was "no big deal" and that Lee had taken some medication that prevented him from practicing. "He'll be out here tomorrow,'' Pelini said. "There's no issues here. It was a medication deal. He took some medication and he shouldn't exert himself when he has that medication.''

* Freshman defensive end Nick Kasa, considered the top player in Colorado's freshman class, hopes to return to practice this week. Kasa suffered a torn MCL in his left knee on Aug. 17. The injury didn't require surgery and has been idled since then. A Parade All-American, Kasa said he doesn't think he'll spend this season as a redshirt but that decision still depends on how well he can perform.

* Texas senior linebacker Jared Norton, who was injured in the Longhorns' season opener, will undergo shoulder surgery and is out for the season. Norton will apply to the NCAA for a medical hardship, which would allow him to return next season. Roddrick Muckleroy has replaced Norton at senior linebacker in UT's last two games and was named Big 12 defensive player of the week after the Horns' Texas Tech victory.

* The NCAA will not re-instate the eligibility of Oklahoma linebacker Mike Balogun. The NCAA claims that the 25-year-old Balogun, who played for the Sooners last season after transferring from a junior college, played in an amateur football league after his 21st birthday. "They made the finding that Mike played in 2004, 2005 and 2006," Woody Glass, Balogun's attorney, told the Norman (Okla.) Transcript. "For them to have reached that decision they have to have totally disregarded sworn affidavit testimony and decided the facts based on unverified information that we have argued is not worthy of belief."

* Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman is taking part in "Coach To Cure MD, a national charity project of the American Football Coaches Association that culminates Saturday. Coaches are joining forces to raise awareness and stimulate research funding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. James and Veronica Evans, whose 17-month-old son Max has the disorder, were guests at Sherman's Monday press conference and will be his guests for Saturday's home game with UAB.

Linked up
The
controversial season ticket plan at Oklahoma State devised by athletic director Mike Holder is resulting in record crowds.

The Big 12's next wave of stars is starting to emerge, writes Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera.

Kansas players say that freshman Xavier Henry has been impressive during the pick-up games among Jayhawks players.

Iowa State basketball players are starting to feel at home in the school's new 29,000-square-foot, $8 million practice facility. Cyclones' men's coach Greg McDermott says the facility "exceeds our expectations."

Texas Tech's men's basketball team receives a verbal commitment from point guard Javarez Willis, whose uncle is Karl Malone.

Colorado men's basketball coach Jeff Bzdelik signed freshman Alec Burks after Burks fell in love with the school during his visit to Boulder - which included CU's overtime defeat of West Virginia in football last season. 

Monday, September 21

OU's Bradford does "light" throwing
Injured Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was "doing more (Monday) than he's done," Sooners offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson said after Monday's practice. It was the first time Bradford went through team drills since he was sidelined by a shoulder injury.

No. 9 Oklahoma doesn't play Saturday and returns to action at No. 13 Miami on Oct. 3.

"I didn't see him just all the way extend, but I've seen him throwing some little 5- or 10-yard passes. That's promising," sophomore wide receiver Ryan Broyles said.

Bradford suffered a sprained AC joint in his throwing shoulder in OU's season-opening loss to BYU on Sept. 5. He was expected to be out two to four weeks. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops didn't offer any update on Bradford during Monday's Big 12 coaches teleconference.

Oklahoma, Missouri get verbal basketball commitments
Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com reports that Oklahoma has a verbal commitment from
Cameron Clark, one of the top wing players in the country. Phil Pressey, ranked No. 31 in ESPNU's Top 100 list of prospects, have given a verbal commitment to Missouri.

News and notes
* Kansas coach Mark Mangino said that senior running back Jake Sharp did some light work Sunday. The trainers think that Sharp's treatment and rehab will take the entire week and Sharp's status for Saturday's game with Southern Miss will be a game-time decision. "We have to be careful about pushing him because we need him for the long haul," Mangino said.

* Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman said that sophomore receiver Jeff Fuller (cracked fibia) will be out at least a month, perhaps six weeks. Freshmen Brandal Jackson and Kenric McNeal plus junior Terrence McCoy will see more playing time in Fuller's absence. Sherman said that freshman running back Christine Michael has a knee/calf strain and should return to practice by Wednesday or Thursday. Senior offensive lineman Lee Grimes has bruised ribs and is "day to day."

* Two more Oklahoma State starters are slowed by injuries. Wide receiver Dez Bryant (hamstring) and cornerback/returner Perrish Cox (shoulder) are listed as "day-to-day." Running back Kendall Hunter, who missed Saturday's game with Rice, is not expected to play when the Cowboys face Division I-AA Grambling State at 6 pm. Saturday.

* Nebraska coach Bo Pelini believes that his team's gut-busting 16-15 loss at Virginia Tech will be valuable in the long run. "I think we'll be a better football team because of it," he said. "You've got to finish things off, execute for four quarters. We didn't do that and it cost us."

* Pelini said he didn't use a coach's challenge when Menelik Holt's apparent touchdown catch was overruled. "We didn't have a good look at it," Pelini said. "I asked the (official), 'Are you reviewing it?' ... He said he was clearly bobbling it going out-of-bounds. ... So what are you going to do? I didn't want to use a timeout on that play because I was told he was clearly bobbling it. ... Honestly, I'm green enough, I'm not exactly sure what I'm allowed to comment on and what I'm not allowed to comment on. I think it's pretty obvious from watching the replay (that he caught the ball)." By the way, here's the rulebook explanation on a play like Holt's non-catch: "Any receiver going to the ground on his own in the process of making a catch must maintain control of the ball when he hits the ground."

* After winning two games by the combined score of 109-0, Oklahoma has an open date Saturday before playing at Miami (Fla.) on Oct. 3. "It probably comes at a good time," coach Bob Stoops said. "It gives us a chance to get our legs back under us and work on some areas we want to emphasize." Stoops declined to specify what areas the Sooners will concentrate on."

* Kansas State played at UCLA in a game that kicked off at 9:15 p.m. CT. The Wildcats' team played arrived in Manhattan at 5:45 a.m. Sunday morning. "Those aren't the kind of games I'd prefer to schedule," said Kansas State coach Bill Snyder, whose team plays host to Tennessee Tech Saturday. "That trip and getting back home when we did created some concerns and issues. It slowed us down but we're back on track." After a quick stop at his home, Snyder was in his office at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.

* Missouri and coach Gary Pinkel also will deal with an unusual schedule. The Tigers play at Nevada Friday then don't play again until hosting Nebraska in a Thursday night game on Oct. 8. "We took quite a bit of time in the summer to organize these three weeks," he said. "Playing on a Friday isn't as big a deal as playing on Thursday. We took Sunday off and we just moved everything up a day. There are some class adjustments for some players."

* Missouri has moved sophomore Beau Brinkley to first-team tight end on this week's depth chart. "It's something he deserves," Pinkel said. Brinkley, a 6-5, 230-pound sophomore who also is the team's long snapper, takes over a position that has eight receptions in the Tigers' three games.

* Texas Tech travels to No. 23 Houston to face the 2-0 Cougars, a team that won at No. 5 Oklahoma State on Sept. 12. Houston offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen was Texas Tech's offensive coordinator for three years. "They're very similar to what we do on offense and do a lot of good things," Red Raiders coach Mike Leach said. "They use motion more than we do. We've got to worry about being the best team we can be, not worry so much about how they play."

* After a momentum-building season opener, Baylor fell to 1-1 with Saturday's loss to Connecticut. "We had better react with a lot of determination and will power," said coach Art Briles, whose team plays host to Northwestern State Saturday. "We played a good team and didn't take care of business. We allowed them to control the tempo of the game and dictate how the game went."

* Iowa State ended a 17-game road losing streak. Coach Paul Rhoads like that quarterback Austen Arnaud bounced back from throwing four interceptions against Iowa and an early turnover in Saturday's victory at Kent State. "Our first series, he had three straight completions and we get a field goal," Rhoads said. "Our second series, he fumbled and they scored quick to go up 7-3. Then he leads us down the field and scores a touchdown. He's a competitive football player who takes coaching extremely well."

* Iowa State plays host to Army Saturday and fans at Jack Trice Stadium are encouraged to applaud the Cadets before the game. "I think it's a super attitude to have toward the academy," Rhoads said. "It's a sign of sportsmanship and everything they stand for and what they do for our country."

* After chalking up the first victory in 2009, Colorado is idle Saturday before playing at West Virginia on Oct. 1, a Thursday night. Buffaloes coach Dan Hawkins isn't concerned that his team might lose momentum. "We'll start working on West Virginia and we'll take the schedule as it comes," he said. "I've said before that I'd love to play every game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in our stadium. We just have to roll with it."

TV schedule announced
The Big 12's football television schedule for the first week of October has been set but for the game time of the Oklahoma at Miami (Fla.) game. That game will be televised by ABC and will either start at 2:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. CT. The game time announcement will be made this Sunday. Here's the telecast schedule (all times CT):

Thursday, Oct. 1    
Colorado at West Virginia 6:30 p.m. ESPN
Saturday, Oct. 3    
Kansas State vs. Iowa State* 2 p.m. Fox College Sports
New Mexico at Texas Tech 2:30 p.m. FSN
Oklahoma at Miami (Fla.) TBA ABC
Texas A&M vs. Arkansas* 6:30 p.m. ESPN2

* - Kansas State vs. Iowa State in Kansas City, Mo.; Texas A&M vs. Arkansas in Arlington, Texas.

Friday, September 18

Links for a Friday
Former Nebraska defensive lineman Jason Peter wants the Cornhuskers' Ndamukong Suh to get "meaner" on the field.

Interesting story by ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel on the satisfying the "fit" when hiring football coaches. Texas A&M, Texas and Nebraska are mentioned.

Nice story about former Texas quarterback Vince Young and how he is reaching out to the sons of the late Steve McNair.

College basketball coaches are battling agents who are trying to contact high school and college players to "build relationships."

Missouri sophomore forward Kim English entertained the crowd during an open mic portion of a regular poetry reading session (video link). 

 

Thursday, September 17

Hot links
Former Colorado coach Bill McCartney expresses his complete support of current coach Dan Hawkins.

Suzanne Haliburton of the Austin American-Statesman writes that revenge has not always been a wise motive for Texas.

Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World writes that going into its third game, Oklahoma is still a team searching for its identity.

Interesting story in the Washington Post about the spread ... not the spread offense, the spread of swine flu.

Baylor is eager to put on a show for its fans in Saturday's season opener.

Wednesday, September 16

Linked up
Colorado's Scotty McKnight says the players are
100 percent in support of coach Dan Hawkins.

Oklahoma used seven different offensive line combinations in Saturday's victory over Idaho State.

Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr. is averaging 7.1 yards per carry but calls his performance through two games "average."

Missouri's offensive line was a key factor in the Tigers' come-from-behind victory over Bowling Green.

Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts has closely followed the high school and college careers of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy.

Iowa State hopes to end its 17-game road losing streak at Kent State Saturday.

Robert Cessna of the Bryan Eagle writes that Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman turned to a former Aggie who is a Texas high school football coach to help speed him A&M's offensive attack.

Monday, September 14

Links to start the week
Tulsa coach Todd Graham says his team is
"out to win" Saturday at Oklahoma.

After two nonconference victories, Texas Tech needs to get ready for Big 12 game at Texas.

Kansas' young players are growing up quickly.

Baylor coach Art Briles says don't call his trick plays "trick plays."

Texas' only loss of 2008 will be on the Longhorns' minds when they play host to Texas Tech Saturday.

Nebraska will be able to measure its progress when it plays at Virginia Tech Saturday.

Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman writes the football teams at Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have been clawed by Cougars.

Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News assesses the Big 12 after two weeks and says Baylor might be the Big Story.

Football news and notes
* Kansas State coach Bill Snyder continues to be concerned over the quality of quarterback play. "It's quite obvious we need to have substantial improvement," he said. "We need to make better decisions, throw the ball more accurately and get in and out of the best plays. We have to improve at every position but the quarterback position stands out dramatically, as it does on any team."

* Snyder also said that he's sticking with junior kicker Josh Cherry, who missed two field goals and an extra point in Kansas State's 17-15 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette. "He's practice well, hit the ball well in practice," Snyder said. "I think he's gonna be OK. The major thing is to reestablish his confidence. He's pained by (Saturday's game)."

* Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said that running back De'Vion Moore (high ankle sprain) is questionable to play against Furman. Also, junior linebacker Jeff Gettys, a former walkon who earned a scholarship, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Gettys was a key performer on the Tigers' special teams.

* Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, whose team plays host to Nebraska Saturday, said the Cornhuskers are vastly improved from last season. Nebraska coach Bo Pelini isn't buying it. "We're a little bit better," he said. "We still have a ways to go.  We'll see how we stack up this week. We'll have our hands full."

* Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said that Kendall Hunter, who missed the second half of Saturday's game with a leg injury, is doubtful for this week. Reserve running backs Keith Toston and Beau Johnson each scored a touchdown against Houston. "We're fortunate to have a couple of backs who can make plays for us," Gundy said. "We won't change much in the offense; they both understand the system."

* After Saturday's loss Gundy said that senior quarterback Zac Robinson has been "average" in the first two games. "We have a lot of confidence in Zac," Gundy said Monday. "He has to take better care of the ball and do a better job on the zone read in the running game." Gundy also said that Robinson is healthy, dispelling any notion that his so-so performances are related to an injury.

* Art Briles is in his second season at Baylor and previously coached at Houston. He recruited Cougars quarterback Case Keenum, who helped UH upset No. 5 Oklahoma State Saturday. "I saw a little bit of the game and it's a really good win for Houston," said Briles, who was 34-28 in five seasons coaching the Cougars. "Those guys had played Oklahoma State three of the last four years and they knew what to expect. Case has an uncanny ability to keep the ball alive and never have a dead play. That's why we recruited him."

* Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said junior quarterback Cody Hawkins (his son) is "fine" after suffering a concussion while scoring a late touchdown against Toledo. Hawkins also said that sophomore wide receiver Markques Simmons (ankle injury) should be able to play against Wyoming Saturday.

* This Saturday Texas A&M faces Utah State, which lost its opener to Utah and like the Aggies also had an open date Saturday. In a matchup of Aggies nicknames, coach Mike Sherman said that two teams facing each other in Game Two after a bye week is like starting the season over. Utah State also has a first-year coaching staff so Texas A&M has done a lot of research on its coordinators to get more game plan info for Saturday.

* Sherman said last week in practice involved reviewing fundamentals. There was particular attention paid to offensive line play. "We tried to sort some things out on the offensive line," Sherman said. "I was concerned about some protection issues in the opener. We worked with our younger kids and they're more ready to step in than they were before."

* Texas plays host to Texas Tech Saturday and ESPN's College GameDay will be in Austin. Longhorns coach Mack Brown filmed a promo commercial with the GameDay crew over the summer in Los Angeles. In the clip, Brown is strumming a guitar and teaching the GameDay crew to sing "Texas Fight." Who knew Brown was a picker? "I've had some requests from Nashville to get the tape," Brown joked. "But I'm gonna hold off on signing another contract."

Sunday, September 13

UCLA ends Nebraska's volleyball streak
One record was set and another ended Sunday afternoon at Nebraska's Bob Devaney Sports Center. The fifth-ranked Cornhuskers saw their NCAA record home winning streak end at 90 as No. 8 UCLA pulled a five-set upset. An NCAA regular-season record crowd of 13,870 was stunned by the outcome.

The Bruins (8-1) triumphed 18-25, 25-17, 25-22, 24-26 and 15-7. UCLA's Dicey McGraw had a match-high 18 kills as the Bruins became the first team to defeat the Huskers on their home court since Florida A&M accomplished the feat in 2004.

Nebraska (7-2) was paced by Tara Mueller (team-best 17 kills, 13 digs). Hannah Werth had 14 kills and 23 digs while Brooke Delano had 10 kills.

Sunday's crowd of 13,870 broke the NCAA regular-season record crowd of 13,412 set last year between the Huskers and LSU, as Nebraska has now played in front of the eight largest crowds in NCAA history.

Poll watching
The second week of college football polls Sunday featured some movement for Big 12 teams.

In the Associated Press poll, Kansas moved up from No. 24 to No. 22 and Nebraska moved up three spots to No. 19. Missouri, which was No. 25 last week, dropped out following its 27-20 victory over Bowling Green (the Tigers are No. 26). Oklahoma State, upset by unranked Houston, dropped from No. 5 to No. 16. Texas remained No. 2 and Oklahoma moved up one spot to No. 12.

In the coaches' poll, Texas held steady at No. 2. Oklahoma State dropped from sixth to No. 17. Oklahoma moved up two spots to No. 12. Nebraska maintained it No. 18 position, Kansas moved from No. 25 to No. 23 and Missouri debuted at No. 25.

Bad bounces, bad breaks
No. 5 Oklahoma State's 45-35 loss to Houston Saturday had several plays that went the Cougars' way. Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman summed it up nicely in this story:

STILLWATER - The ball didn't bounce Oklahoma State's way Saturday. Four times the ball bounced off the Cowboys and into Houston hands, resulting in momentum-changing plays:

* After Houston took a 17-7 lead with 1:37 left in the first half, the Cougars squib kicked - and the ball caromed off walk-on Taylor Sokolosky. UH's Tim Monroe recovered at the Cougars' 38-yard line, and Houston drove 62 yards in six plays to take a 24-7 halftime lead. Houston squib kicked all day to avoid returns by Perrish Cox or Dez Bryant.

"If it's hot like that, chances of catching it aren't good," OSU coach Mike Gundy said. "You gotta get out of the way."

* On fourth-and-goal from the OSU 6-yard line, scrambling Houston quarterback Case Keenum threw into the end zone. Linebacker Donald Booker deflected the pass high into the air. Tailback Bryce Beall dove and caught the ball for a touchdown to give UH a 38-35 lead with 6:42 left.

"That's football," said OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young. "Obviously, you'd like to spike it and knock it down. Don't tip it up, knock it down."

* With 5:05 left, OSU quarterback Zac Robinson muffed a shotgun snap on third-and-three from the Houston 45.

"It's a snap I catch most of the time," Robinson said. "I tried to catch it wrong with my hands, instead of going down a little bit."

* With 3:24 left, OSU took over at its 20, trailing 38-35. On first down, Robinson's slant pass deflected off the hands of split end Dez Bryant. Houston cornerback Jamal Robinson intercepted and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown. Bryant hobbled off and said he cramped up on the play.

"It's better to be lucky than good," said Beall. "Earlier, someone was saying to Case, 'Good luck,' and someone else said, 'We don't need luck,' then Case said, 'We do need luck.'"

Tuesday, September 8

Oklahoma's Gresham out for year after surgery
Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma's All-American tight end who returned to the Sooners instead of declaring for the NFL Draft, will miss the season after undergoing knee surgery Tuesday.

During an arthroscopic procedure, doctors determined that the cartilage damage in his right knee needed to be repaired. He faces a five-month recovery period.

Gresham was injured during practice a week ago. He missed Oklahoma's 14-13 loss to BYU Saturday. Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a sprained throwing shoulder in the game and will be out a minimum of two weeks.

 OU's Greshman to have knee 'scoped
A day after receiving encouraging news about quarterback Sam Bradford's injury, Oklahoma was discouraged about tight end Jermaine Greshman's status. The senior All-American will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his injured right knee to determine the severity of cartilage damage.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Tuesday that Gresham could return in a couple of weeks or he could require surgery that involves five months of recovery.

"The scope will tell us whatever it is that's making his knee lock," Stoops said. "It could be a loose body or sometimes the cartilage just needs to be stitched together. But until then, we won't know."

OU moved Brody Eldridge, who started at center in Saturday night's 14-13 loss to BYU, back to tight end, his former position. Ben Habern will take over at center. Eldridge, a senior known for his blocking, has 11 receptions for 79 yards in three seasons. Gresham had 66 receptions for 950 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

"It changes it significantly," Stoops said of Gresham's absence. "He's such a target that it changes everything. Not having him changes your run-blocking, with him out in routes and especially in the red zone. But you just have to work through it."

Poll watching
The first regular-season polls of the 2009 season saw a couple of significant moves for Big 12 teams.

Oklahoma State moved up to fifth in the Associated Press (media) poll. That's the highest ranking for the Cowboys since Oct. 8, 1985. Oklahoma State has been in the top five on only four previous occasions. The Cowboys were No. 6 in the coaches' poll.

Oklahoma, which was upset by BYU dropped from No. 3 to No. 13 in the media poll. It's the first time since 2006 that the Sooners have been out of the top 10. OU was No. 14 in the coaches' poll.

Nebraska was No. 22, Kansas No. 24 and Missouri moved into No. 25 in the media poll, giving the Big 12 six ranked teams, more than any other conference. In the coaches' poll, Nebraska was at No. 18 and Kansas at No. 25.

BYU's Clawson sorry for Bradford's injury
BYU linebacker Coleby Clawson delivered the hit heard 'round college football Saturday. If he had a chance to talk to the player he injured on the tackle, he would tell Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford words to the effect of "(I'm) truly sorry."

Late in the first half of the Cougars' 14-13 upset of the third-ranked Sooners, Clawson came free on a blitz and tackled the Heisman Trophy winner just after he delivered a pass. Bradford was a bit off-balance and Clawson's clean tackle drove the OU quarterback into the turf on his right shoulder. Bradford suffered an AC sprain that will keep him out of action from two to four weeks.

"I really do feel bad, because he's a great player," Clawson told the Salt Lake Tribune Monday. "Sam Bradford is a great player and a good person, too. I feel bad that he got hurt, and I hope he can get back soon. As far as our game, it probably helped us win.

"I am always trying to get big hits, but I am never trying to put anybody out or hurt somebody."

Clawson said his Facebook account has received some messages from Sooners fans.

"I think it was mostly sarcasm, but there was a few OU fans who kind of told me where to go," he said. "But I think there was sarcasm in there, though. Overall, everybody has been really good and really classy about it."

Lots of links
Oklahoma State, which was featured on the regional cover of Sports Illustrated's college football preview, is on the cover again. This week's issue has a cover photo of Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

In this Q and A with The Sporting News, offensive coordinator Dave Yost talks about Missouri's offense and sophomore quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Neill Woelk of the Boulder Daily Camera writes that there are no excuses for Colorado's season-opening loss to Colorado State.

After a three-year absence from the sideline, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder had to make some adjustments in Saturday's season opener.

Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman asks The Question: Did Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford make the correct decision in returning to college football this season.

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads won his first game with the Cyclones and he is winning over the team's fans.

Nebraska's men's basketball team will have 14 scholarship players - one more than is allowed. The NCAA granted the school a waiver to allow for the extra scholarship.

ESPN.com's offseason "Shootaround" updates on college basketball checks in on the Big 12.

The Denver Post surveyed 120 Division I-A football coaches on 10 different questions; 42 responded.
 

Monday, September 7

No surgery for Bradford; could return in 2 to 4 weeks
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford won't knee surgery on his sprained right shoulder. Sooners coach Bob Stoops said after Monday's practice that Bradford could return in two to four weeks which means he could be playing by the time OU starts Big 12 Conference play on Oct. 10 against Baylor.

"Everyone's different in how they heal, the soreness, how they handle it and how quickly it dissipates where he can move and be comfortable again throwing the ball," Stoops said. "Anywhere from two to four weeks is what we're anticipating."

Stoops said the initial evaluations by doctors showed that Bradford did not suffer any damage to his collarbone, rotator cuff or other parts of his shoulder when he sprained his AC (acromioclavicular) joint in Saturday night's 14-13 loss to BYU. Bradford will get another doctor's opinion is due in on Tuesday.

"In my mind, (surgery is) completely out. That's probably a little biased because obviously I want to be out there playing," Bradford said. "After that opinion does come in, I probably will have to sit down with the coaches and my family one more time just to make sure that getting back out there is the right decision for me."

Bradford said he spoke Sunday with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who had a bruised AC joint during his team's run to the Super Bowl two years ago. Bradford has been told he has a Grade 3 sprain. He already started rehabbing Sunday, trying to improve the range of motion in his shoulder.

"It does feel a lot better today, not nearly as painful as it was Saturday," Bradford said. "Hopefully I can keep progressing like this."

Bradford has also received get-well wishes from the quarterbacks who finished second and third in last year's Heisman Trophy balloting - Colt McCoy of Texas and Tim Tebow of Florida.

Oklahoma waiting on Bradford's assessment
The only news on regarding Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford's injured throwing shoulder involved the level of the AC (acromioclavicular) joint sprain. Coach Bob Stoops said Monday on the Big 12 coaches teleconference that the sprain is believed to be a "grade 2 or grade 3."

Football news and notes
* Tim Griffin, ESPN.com's Big 12 blogger, reported that Texas quarterback Colt McCoy sent Bradford a get-well text message. The two became friends during the Heisman Trophy ceremonies last December and the friendship strengthened last summer when they were roommates at the Manning Quarterback Camp. "I told him I'd be praying for him and hope that he gets better soon. ... I wish him the speediest recovery possible," McCoy said. "I hope that he gets back and plays as soon as he can, whether that's for us or next week. I want him to be able to play because he's a great football player."

* Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on his rebuilt offensive line. "The major issue is penalties. We had too many penalties that took away and destroyed so many drives. The physical aspects, playing hard, that was there. We need to show the discipline necessary to eliminate penalties."

* Stoops on his defense that played well but couldn't prevent BYU's game-winning touchdown drive: "We had many opportunities on that drive to come up with a play, a sack, a tackle to get us out of it. The defense forced four turnovers and played well for the most part but it wasn't good enough."

* After winning the Big 12 North Division the last two seasons, Missouri was picked to finish third - mainly because it had to replace nearly two dozen seniors. The Tigers opened the season with a victory over Illinois and a chip on their shoulders. "I think so, I also think that's OK," coach Gary Pinkel said. "I mean, there's some other national programs that when they lose a lot of players and have a lot of players drafted, people just assume they're going to reload. But you have to earn that. That's what I told my players, 'You have to earn all those things.' I think they certainly did have a chip. My approach to them is it's our opportunity to show we have a pretty decent football team. And I'm proud of the way they played."

* Second-ranked Texas plays at Wyoming Saturday. The Cowboys won their opener for new coach Dave Christensen, defeating Weber State, 29-22. Longhorns coach Mack Brown isn't concerned about his team being motivated. "Wyoming beat Tennessee in Knoxville last year and beat Virginia in the opener two years ago," he said. "They've got a new coach from Missouri and they can move the ball on anybody, they're 1-0 and we're going on the road for the first time this season. ... I don't think we need any more motivation."

* Texas will be without starters Michael Huey (offensive guard) and Jared Norton (middle linebacker) for Saturday's game. Huey was carted off the field during last Saturday's season opener while Norton re-injured an ankle. Tray Allen, who had been moved from the offensive line to defensive tackle, will move back to left guard to take Huey's place. 

* Oklahoma State follows up its victory over No. 13 Georgia by playing host to Houston Saturday. Last season in Stillwater, the explosive Cougars jumped to a 16-7 lead and led at halftime 16-14. "We have to be up front with them," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said of his players. "We had a great win on Saturday and we've got a very good team coming in here. Houston is very capable of playing at a high level. I think because of the success they had last year that our players will understand what they have to do."

* Texas Tech coach Mike Leach wasn't happy with the running game in the opener. "We didn't run the ball as well as we'd hoped. ... (Junior) Byron Batch played very average to below average. He tried to make too much happen, do too much. He just needs to do his job and not worry about everybody else's jobs. ... (Redshirt freshman running back) Harris Jeffers was a bright spot, playing in his first game, he ran the ball well."

* Iowa State Paul Rhoads said last week that his defensive coaching staff has emphasized improved tackling. "We did see improvements (in the opener)," he said. "We only had 12 missed tackles and I think anytime you can be in single digits in that stat, you've done a good job. The problem was that some of the tackles we missed resulted in long plays."

* Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said that junior offensive lineman Keith Williams should return to practice this week. He didn't play in Saturday's opener with an injury. Pelini said that Williams might be held out of Monday's practice to make sure he's ready to go Tuesday.

* Baylor started two Canadians, junior Danny Watkins and sophomore Philip Blake, as its offensive tackles Saturday at Wake Forest. It was the first college game for both. "We're really proud of those guys," coach Art Briles said. "In their first start in big-time football, they were outstanding. They're really talented and bring a lot to the table as offensive linemen."

* After an impressive victory in the season opener, Texas A&M has an open date Saturday before playing host to Utah State on Sept. 19. "(Practices) are going to be a continuation of preseason," coach Mike Sherman said. "We're going to get back to basics, work more with our younger players on fundamentals, do a lot of game planning in relation to our next couple of games."

What they're writing:
Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com:
Really, OU isn't out of it. No way. Look, if Ohio State can lose its last game at home and still play for the title ... if LSU can lose twice, giving up 50 in its last regular-season game and still win the title (both in 2007), then anything is possible.

Are Florida and Texas feeling fat and sassy? Absolutely. The bigger question for Oklahoma is whether the offensive line improves enough to keep Bradford upright when he returns. It let him down on Saturday night.

Tom Dienhart, Rivals.com: Oklahoma State, Missouri and Baylor scored big non-conference wins. But none was as impressive as the Pokes' triumph over Georgia. Some felt Oklahoma State would be run down by a speedy SEC defense, but the Pokes played surprisingly tough defense and handled Georgia 24-10. This may just be a Texas Tech-like season in Stillwater.

Pete Thamel of the New York Times: The Baylor program appears to be turning a corner toward competitiveness. The Bears' upset victory at Wake Forest showed that there is more to Art Briles's program than quarterback Robert Griffin. Baylor's victory against a solid Wake program shows that its days as a Big 12 pushover are past.

Matt Hayes of The Sporting News: He was named after Tom Landry, the face of the Dallas Cowboys franchise. How fitting that his introduction to big-time college football came Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium. Maybe that's why it ended sour-you know, the whole Tom Landry/Jerry Jones karma thing.

Now it's up to Landry Jones, Oklahoma's redshirt freshman quarterback whose eyes looked like Thanksgiving serving platters in the final minutes of the Sooners' season-opening loss to BYU, to right the ship. Or at least keep it straight until All-American Sam Bradford returns from a sprained shoulder.

Thankfully, there's Idaho State this weekend, which should translate into a 300-yard, four-touchdown feel-good
performance for Jones before a significantly tougher game in Week 3 against Tulsa. What better way for one of the game's more underrated coaches (Tulsa's Todd Graham) to get his name on the short list of BCS athletic directors than to roll into Norman and put another dent in the Sooners' season.

And if Bradford hasn't returned by the Oct. 3 showdown at Miami, Oklahoma's hopes of reaching the national championship game for the fifth time this decade will be damaged for good by the Hurricanes. Frankly, Miami may pull the upset even if Bradford makes it back.

Matt Hayes of The Sporting News: Don't think it can't happen. Oklahoma State, coming off the huge season-opening victory over SEC heavyweight Georgia, plays poorly this week and loses to Houston.

The Cougars have the best offense among all non-BCS teams, and no matter how many times you tell 18-, 19- and 20-year-old kids that any team can win any game at any time, there are natural letdowns week after week. Check out Houston quarterback Case Keenum: By the end of the season, no player will have better passing numbers.

Sunday, September 6
   

Details on the debuts
Four Big 12 teams had quarterbacks making their first starts Saturday. Here's a look at how they fared:

Player, team Comp. Att. Yds TDs Int    Rush Att. Yds TDs
Carson Coffman, Kansas State 14 27 182   2 1      9 12 1
Blaine Gabbert, Missouri 25 33 319   3 0     10 39 1
Zac Lee, Nebraska 15 22 213   2 1       2 14 0
Taylor Potts, Texas Tech 34 48 405   2 3       5 -7 2

Saturday, September 5

Oklahoma State 24, Georgia 10
The Cowboys' first sack of the season helped set up the touchdown that might have sealed the victory. Shane Jarka sacked and stripped Georgia quarterback Joe Cox and Nigel Nicholas recovered at the Bulldogs' 32. A personal foul penalty on Georgia helped the drive, which was capped by Zac Robinson's 12-yard TD pass to Dez Bryant, his second scoring pass of the day. The Cowboys have a 14-point lead with 7:59 remaining.

Oklahoma State 17, Georgia 10
Georgia's Blair Walsh drilled a career-long 53-yard field goal to pull the Bulldogs within a touchdown with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter. Georgia started on its own 8-yard line and moved into scoring position. Faced with a third-and-17 from Oklahoma State's 46 and a 10-yard run put the visitors in position to try the long field goal.

Oklahoma State 17, Georgia 7
The Cowboys' Perrish Cox took the second half kickoff back for 74 yards to set up Oklahoma State's touchdown. The Cowboys had to grind 24 yards in eight plays. A fourth-and-one by Kendall Hunter barely earned a first down and two plays later Zac Robinson scored on a quarterback sneak to give Oklahoma State a 10-point lead with 11:26 remaining in the third quarter. 

Three Texas players sidelined
Three Texas players are being withheld from Saturday night's season opener with Louisiana-Monroe. Cornerback Deon Beasley, receiver Brandon Collins and safety Christian Scott have unresolved academic issues with the NCAA. The academic questions might center on NCAA academic progress rules.

Oklahoma State 10, Georgia 7
A holding penalty wiped out Zac Robinson's 1-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal but Dan Bailey's 28-yard field goal gives the Cowboys a 10-7 halftime lead. The points were set up when safety Lucien Antoine forced a Georgia fumble that was recovered by Terrance Anderson at the Georgia 12. A personal foul penalty gave Oklahoma State first-and-goal at the six but the Cowboys - who had 10 penalties for 61 yards in the first half - had to settle for three points.

Oklahoma State 7, Georgia 7
The Cowboys finally got its offense untracked, going 68 yards in three plays for the game-tying TD. Dez Bryant beat two defenders on a post pattern and made a diving over-the-shoulder catch of Zac Robinson's 46-yard heave. Just over two minutes remaining in the first half.

Too many flags
Oklahoma State trails 7-0 with 5:16 remaining in the first half. The Cowboys have 103 total yards on 25 plays and have nine penalties for 51 yards.

Georgia 7, Oklahoma State 0
The Bulldogs took the opening kickoff and drove 80 yards in 10 plays. Senior quarterback Joe Cox, making his second career start, hit A.J. Green for 29 yards on third-and-four to kick-start the drive. On third-and-goal from the Cowboys' four, Cox found flanker Michael Moore with a fade pass for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead with 9:42 remaining in the first quarter.

Welcome to football, 2009
Greetings from Stillwater, Okla. It's the first full day of the 2009 season. Your Humble Correspondent will have a complete report on the Georgia-Oklahoma State game on Big12Sports.com. Also check for game updates here and on Twitter (Twitter.com/Big12Conference) for updates during the day.

Friday, September 4

Links for a Friday
Iowa State's coaching staff had to improvise when the headsets that provide communication from the coaches box to the sideline didn't work for the first half of the Cyclones' 34-17 victory over North Dakota State. The victory made a winner of coach Paul Rhoads in his debut and ended Iowa State's 10-game losing streak.

Texas sophomore safety Blake Gideon is probably best known for the interception he dropped one play before Texas Tech stunned the top-ranked Longhorns last season.

Oklahoma State has had to deal with off-field distractions this week as it prepares to face Georgia Saturday.

The Quad Blog at The New York Times ranked all 120 Division I-A teams in a daily countdown that started four months ago. Texas was ranked No. 1.

Check out the key factor for each Big 12 team this season, according to Tim Griffin, ESPN.com's Big 12 blogger.

Colorado running back Darrell Scott is ready for his sophomore season after struggling through his freshman year in Boulder.

  

Thursday, September 3

Ranking the Big 12
Seven different media outlets produced preseason rankings of all 120 Division I-A teams. Here's how the Big 12 teams stacked up. (Highest ranking for each team in bold; average ranking is rounded up or down.)

Team SI.com  Rivals.com   NYT.com    CollegeFBNews.com   Lindy's  Athlon   TSN Avg.
Iowa State 90 87 112        74 91 81 91 89
Texas A&M 78 74   72        71 63 66 84 73
Kansas State 69 89   70          66 79 68 74 72
Baylor 61 67   79        54 54 52 66 62
Colorado 55 41   43          39 60 49 51 48
Missouri 31 42   53          20 46 37 42 39
Nebraska 34 27   22        38 22 16 29 27
Texas Tech 16 21   29        33 26 31 20 27
Kansas 23 16   32        30 21 26 25 25
Oklahoma State   7 10   15          8 10   9 10 10
Oklahoma   3   4     4          3   3    2   3   3
Texas   2   2     1          4   2   3   2   2

Wednesday, September 2

Nebraska volleyball sets win streak record
Sixth-ranked Nebraska set an NCAA record with its 88th consecutive home victory Tuesday night. The Huskers (2-1) swept Creighton 25-19, 25-23 and 25-16 at the Nebraska Coliseum.  Nebraska, which last lost at home in 2004, broke the record set by Penn State from 1995-2000. Junior middle blocker Jordan Wilberger had a career-high 10 kills to spark the Cornhuskers.

Oklahoma State's bad luck continues
The Oklahoman and GoPokes.com are reporting that Oklahoma State senior linebacker Orie Lemon tore an ACL in Monday's practice and will be lost for the season. Senior Donald Booker probably will replace Lemon in the starting lineup Saturday when the Cowboys host Georgia. Senior cornerback Perrish Cox was arrested over the weekend for driving with a suspended a license; his status for the opener has not been confirmed but he is expected to play. And on Tuesday starting tight end Jamal Mosley left the team for personal reasons.

 

Tuesday, September 1

Hot links, served fresh
Pete Fiutak of CollegeFootballNews.com breaks down the 2009 Heisman Trophy race; he has six Big 12 players in the discussion.

Gunter Bower, Oklahoma State co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach, coached Randy Moss at Marshall. That makes him qualified to compare Moss and Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.

Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald writes about the success of Nebraska's walk on program.

Rivals.com ranked its top 20 offensive and defensive coordinators. Four Big 12 coordinators made the offensive list while three made the defensive list.

Colorado believes its depth and talent at cornerback is unmatched in the Big 12.

Missouri heads into Saturday's season opener knowing that it must improve on last season's woeful pass defense.

The veteran coach of the season-opening opponent for Nebraska is familiar to Cornhuskers fans.

At look at how Texas answered five important preseason questions.

Oklahoma State benefactor Boone Pickens will get to see an initial return on his football investment when the Cowboys open the season Saturday against Georgia.

 

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