The Big 12 will provide updates including news, stories and behind-the-scenes coverage from the 2008 Big 12 Football Media Days starting on Monday, July 21 through Wednesday, July 23. Check back here to catch up on the latest action from Kansas City, site this year's Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Talking the talk

Baylor coach Art Briles has yet to coach a game in Waco and the Bears' program has won fewer Big 12 games than any team. But that didn't keep Briles from speaking his mind Wednesday:

* On how he hopes to build Baylor into a winning program:

"We can operate on faith and hope for a little while but it has to turn into reality. What we've got to do is notch a couple of victories that make people look at the paper twice and say: 'That happened?' So we've got to do something that's unexpected then you earn a little credibility and then you get respect and then you have an opportunity to get bowl level and win the championship."

* On if it excites him to take the job at Baylor, a place where some people believe it's impossible to win:

"Yeah, it does. Stupidly it does. If 18 people say no, I'm looking for the one that says yes. That does inspire me. Is that stupid, dumb, and ignorant? Probably, but it's also motivational and inspiring and intriguing at the same time."

And:

"I feel like when people haven't had a lot of success, a lot of times they're scared of success. And so what we can't be, we can't be a university that's scared to be successful."

And:

"I like to walk down paths nobody else wants to walk down. To me, with our recruits, with our coaches, with our fans, I want pioneers. I want people that are not afraid to step out there and go. It's easy to walk down a path that's clear and pristine and you know it's just perfect. Our path's not that way."

* On Baylor being the only Big 12 team playing three BCS schools in non-conference:

"The Baylor people want to be first in something, so we're first in the toughest schedule in the Big 12. So we're jumping out there already as a number one."

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Colt on the run

Texas quarterback Colt McCoy has been friends with Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel since their high school days in Texas. This week, their paths have crossed again.

McCoy and Daniel are roommates and counselors at the Elite 11 camp for high school quarterbacks in Southern California. Like Daniel, McCoy flew from Los Angeles to Kansas City to attend the Big 12 media days.

Daniel said Monday that McCoy was the second-best quarterback in the Big 12.

"He probably would say that," McCoy said with a chuckle Wednesday. "But we're having a blast working together and we're really enjoying hanging out with each other in the summer."

After finishing his interviews Wednesday, McCoy was scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles to complete his camp duties.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Under Horns?

Texas coach Mack Brown is already trading on the fact that Oklahoma is an overwhelming choice to win the Big 12 South Division and that the Longhorns aren't in their usual pre-season spot _ the top 10.

"Well, it sounds like some people don't think we're going to win the conference,'' Brown said Wednesday. "Some people don't think we're going to be a Top 10 team.

"This is the first time we've been considered an underdog for a while. And it's a different role for us and it seems to be motivating our guys to work really, really hard."

Brown pointed out how difficult the Big 12 is and the fact that Texas has nine bowl teams from 2007 on its sechedule. Also, a number of "experts" are saying that 2009 will be the Year of the Longhorn.

"It looks like a very, very difficult task for us," Brown said. "And I think there's a little buzz within our team and our coaches about the fact that some don't think we're ready for that."

Texas wide receiver Quan Cosby doesn't believe UT will be able to sneak up on anyone.

"You can see burnt orange from a distance," he said.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Self analysis

Iowa State coach Gene Chizik made sure that he kept track of his first year as a head football coach. Starting with two-a-day practices before last season through last spring's practices, Chizik kept a journal. He got the idea from his former boss, Texas coach Mack Brown.

Asked about his eight months of note taking, Chizik indicated with his hands that it ended up being about a foot thick.

"I wanted to know all the things we did wrong,'' he said Wednesday. "We checked our ego at the door. We got embarrassed last year and more than once. We've trouble-shot a lot."

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Short yardage

Texas coach Mack Brown is encouraged by the team's summer workouts. He said the players have told him the turnout for the "voluntary" conditioning drills is the best it has been since the 2005 national championship season.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said running back DeMarco Murray is looking great and on schedule as he rehabs his knee injury. "We have to get him the ball," Stoops said of the sophomore who is expected to be the Sooners' No. 1 running back. "Not only run him but passing the ball as well. He's got great hands. We're expecting great things from him."

Iowa State coach Gene Chizik on the 3-9 record in his first season coaching the Cyclones: "That is unacceptable. That's unacceptable to our coaches. It's unacceptable to our players. It's unacceptable for our fans who come out and watch us every week who are some of the greatest fans in the country."

There was more talk than usual during the three days of Big 12 media interviews. There were 24 radio stations with tables set up for their sports talk shows. The "radio row" was bigger than anyone could remember.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Getting offensive

Interesting story by Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle that chronicles (sorry, couldn't resist) the rise of offense _ particularly passing attacks _ in the Big 12.

Duarte's nuggets:

* The Big 12 had six of the top 13 offenses in Division I-A last season, led by Texas Tech (529.6 yards per game) at No. 2 and followed by Missouri (No. 5), Oklahoma State (No. 7), Kansas (No. 8), Nebraska (No. 9) and Texas (No. 13).

* Eight teams in the Big 12 averaged 30 or more points last season, compared to only two in the first year (and no offenses in the top 10 nationally) of the conference in 1996.

* Five teams -- including Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas and Kansas State last season -- have set their single-season passing records in the last two seasons, and all but Texas have done so since 2002.

* In the conference's inaugural season, Colorado's Koy Detmer passed for a league-high 3,156 yards. That number was eclipsed by five quarterbacks _ Harrell, Daniel, Kansas' Todd Reesing, Kansas State's Josh Freeman and Texas' Colt McCoy _ last season.In all, the Big 12 had seven 3,000-yard passers last season, the most of any Division I-A conference.

* "It's been amazing how many yards and how well the quarterbacks have done," Ganz told the Chronicle. "Graham Harrell throws for 30,000 yards a year, Chase is always up there and Todd never throws a pick in his life. This is becoming more of a passing league as opposed to how it used to be with the power running game."

* _ Wendell Barnhouse


More to come

Check back later this evening for more news and notes from the final session of the Big 12 Football Media Days.