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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.
Monday, July 21, 2008

 


Absenteeism

When it was Mike Leach's turn in front of the print media during Monday's Big 12 media days, the first question he was asked had nothing to do with football.

The question: "A lot of us were wondering why Harrell and Crabtree aren't here?"

As mentioned during a previous blog posting, Texas Tech didn't bring senior quarterback Graham Harrell or sophomore wide receiver Michael Crabtree to Kansas City. Leach made that decision. Here's his answer to the question:

"Harrell and Crabtree get a lot of attention, deserve a lot of attention and will continue to get a lot of attention and the important thing to us and our team is the fact that football is the ultimate team game. And our effort this year, really any team, is going to be how every member does as far as fulfilling their role.

"That being the case I've got three guys that I think are team leaders that are emerging. So I wanted to have the three I brought go to the forefront.

"And then the other thing is I think a lot of times, because there's so many guys that play football, there's a temptation to isolate the emphasis around a couple guys and create an identity of an entire team around a couple of guys.

But our team is far more than a couple individuals who really play well. And everybody on the team is important. And anybody that wants to talk to Graham or Michael Crabtree or Darcel McBath or those guys, you can do it in their natural habitat in Lubbock, Texas.

"I recommend Love Field because DFW can be a confusing mess. ... Love Field, (flights) about every hour go to Lubbock, Texas, where we have some great steak places. And we'd love to see you, and we all know you by your first names, so it'd be good to renew our friendship."


Daniel's take on absenteeism

Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel, a Heisman finalist last year and a strong candidate this year, busted his butt to make sure he could attend Monday's media session.

Daniel is an instructor for the Elite 11 quarterback camp being held in Southern California. That meant he had a 4:30 a.m. wakeup call for his 6 a.m. flight to Kansas City. After about four hours on the ground, it was back on the big ol' jetliner to return to SoCal for Tuesday's QB camp.

Daniel believes that Texas Tech should have brought Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree to Monday's interviews.

"You've got to bring your best players here," Daniel told CBSSports.com. "It's the best thing to do. Coach Leach is a smart guy. He's been in this business a lot longer than I've been alive. He can do what he wants.

"(But) you look at it: You have a guy like Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, both are legitimate Heisman candidates. You've got to get them both out in the limelight."

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Monday's quoteboard

* Texas Tech coach Mike Leach on senior quarterback Graham Harrell's devotion to film study in the school's football offices:

"Initially ... you'd have to kick him out of the office because the building was going to close. Now that we trust him and know him pretty well, we just leave him there. For all I know he lives there.''

* Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel on his memories of last year's Big 12 Conference championship game loss to Oklahoma:

"Nothing. Nothing at all. That's totally washed out of my mind. They were the better team that year, or that day. They deserved to win. They deserved to go to the Fiesta Bowl. We didn't play as well as we should have. Bottom line: they were the better team.''

* Nebraska first-year coach Bo Pelini:

"We want to play physical football in Nebraska. We want to be able to run the football when we want to and not let people dictate to us but dictate to the defense what we want to do and impose our will on the opposing team."

* Nebraska offensive lineman Matt Slauson, echoing his coach's football philosophy:

"At Nebraska, we like to go against the grain. We don't like trends. We like to keep things simple. We like to go with the power game. We're going to pound guys, and pound guys and pound guys.''

* Missouri coach Gary Pinkel on why and how he decided to adopt the spread offense:

"I contacted a lot of defensive coordinators around the country that I respect and asked them what offense they disliked playing the most. What absolutely drives them crazy _ and the spread offense came up (most often)."

* Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman on Jorvorskie Lane's switch to fullback:

"He gives us a double threat as a runner and also as a receiver. Obviously his blocking, he's not had to do that very often. But because of his size he should be able to engulf people as well just mass on mass. And he's had some pretty devastating blocks in the springtime.''

_ Wendell Barnhouse


U R not using proper grammar

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman says he can text message. But one thing he won't do is use a common type of short hand.

"I refuse to go 'U R' for you are," Sherman told ESPN.com. "I was an English teacher in high school and an English major in college. I just can't bring myself to do that.

"And it makes me very upset when my children do that to me. Spell the word out. I know it drives them crazy because I'm slow when I type everything out."

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Tuesday's lineup

Here are the four schools and the representatives who will be appearing at Day Two of the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days:

Kansas coach Mark Mangino, LB Mike Rivera, QB Todd Reesing, S Darrell Stuckey.

Colorado coach Dan Hawkins, DT George Hypolite, S Ryan Walters, C Daniel Sanders.

Kansas State coach Ron Prince, QB Josh Freeman, DE Ian Campbell, S Chris Carney.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, QB Zac Robinson, LB Andre Sexton, S Ricky Price.

_ Wendell Barnhouse
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