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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.
Sunday, July 20, 2008


Unofficial kickoff

The 2008 season is over a month away, but the talking about the season starts Monday with The Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Kansas City.

Four teams will have the spotlight over each of the next three days. Each team's head coach plus three to four top players will be grilled by members of the print and electronic media. A record turnout of reporters is expected.

Here's the foursome for Monday:

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini, QB Joe Ganz, OL Matt Slauson, DE Barry Turner.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, WR Eric Morris, DB Jamar Wall, S Daniel Charbonnet.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, QB Chase Daniel, WR/KR Jeremy Maclin, FS William Moore, TE Chase Coffman.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman, OL Travis Schneider, DB Devin Gregg, DB Jordan Pugh.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


News you can snooze on

Media days rarely produce headlines. At times, though, the gab fests can produce some interesting story angles.

Two stories are sure to be explored Monday.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach decided to leave senior quarterback Graham Harrell and sophomore wide receiver Michael Crabtree in Lubbock. Those two are the nationally known names on the Red Raiders' roster. Why not give them added exposure at Big 12 media days.

Leach will no doubt expound on his reasoning Monday. However, Leach told Bruce Feldman of ESPN.com that he decided Harrell and Crabtree would get enough "pub" all season and that for the good of team morale he chose to bring four other players to K.C.

First-year A&M coach Mike Sherman also is likely to be quizzed on the absence of senior quarterback Stephen McGee. Did McGee stay in College Station because his status as the Aggies' starter is shaky? Check back Monday for more details.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Crystal ball, part one

Say what you will about my colleagues in the media business, but they are paid to know what they're doing. For instance, four out of the last six seasons, the pre-season media voting correctly tabbed the winners in the Big 12's North and South divisions.

The 2008 pre-season prognostications have Missouri winning the North and Oklahoma winning the South. If the media choices are correct for the fifth time in seven years, the Big 12 championship game in Kansas City for the first time will have a rematch of the previous year's title game.

Also, a composite polling of 10 pre-season preview magazines and national web sites shows that Missouri and Oklahoma are the unanimous favorites to win their divisions.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Crystal ball, part two

Austin Murphy, one of Sports Illustrated's college football writers, went limb walking and made a number of predictions that appeared on SI.com.

Murphy predicts that Texas Tech will reach the Bowl Championship Series title game but will lose to Ohio State. Can't say which forecast is more bold _ the Red Raiders playing for the national championship or Ohio State winning (instead of flopping) in The Big Game.

Murphy's crystal ball also says that Missouri will be undefeated going into its Oct. 18 game at Texas ... and that the Tigers will still be undefeated come Oct. 19.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Their hometown

Youngstown, Ohio doesn't exactly qualify as Big 12 country. But there are a number of folks there who have an affinity for Big 12 coaches who attended Youngstown's Cardinal Mooney High School.

New Nebraska coach Bo Polini, his brother Carl the Huskers' defensive coordinator and Tim Beck, Nebraska's running backs coach, are all Mooney grads.

So is the Stoops' clan _ Oklahoma coach Bob, Arizona coach Mike and Wildcats' defensive coordinator Mark.

Ron Stoops, the eldest Stoops' brother, coordinated a fund raiser this summer to raise money for scholarships at their former high school.

"Cardinal Mooney means a lot to me," Bo Pelini told Tom Dienhart of Rivals.com. "There is a brotherhood among us. It's important to us, and I think it's important to Youngstown."

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Dynasty talk

Dennis Dodd, the national college football writer for CBS Sports.com, recently wrote about USC as the sport's current dynasty. He listed seven other schools that have produced dynasties and two Big 12 teams made the list: Nebraska (1970-1999) and Oklahoma (1948-1958, 1971-1985).

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Friday, July 18, 2008


Teagarden's week to remember

A nice week for former Texas baseball standout Taylor Teagarden.

Sunday he played in the Futures Game in New York as part of All-Star weekend. On Wednesday, he was named to the 2008 United States Olympic Baseball Team. On Friday, he was called up by the Texas Rangers and made his major-league debut.

Teagarden went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Teagarden's stay in The Bigs could be a short one. He was an emergency call up because Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia will be out for a few days with a stomach virus.

The Olympic team roster must be finalized by Tuesday. It is expected that Teagarden will be back in the minors by then and will thus be eligible to make the trip to Beijing.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Friday, July 18, 2008


Texas to retire nine jersey numbers

Texas formerly had a policy that it wouldn't retire a player's number unless he had been a national player of the year. That had limited the Longhorns to retiring the numbers of just four players _ Heisman Trophy winners Earl Campbell (20) and Ricky Williams (34), Wooden Award winner T.J. Ford (11) and Roger Clemens (21).

The school has changed its policies and announced Fridya that during the 2008-09 season it would honor nine players will have their jersey numbers retired.

Vince Young (10), Bobby Layne (22) and Tommy Nobis (60) in football; Slater Martin (15) and Kevin Durant (35) in basketball; Burt Hooton (20), Greg Swindell (21), Brooks Kieschnick (23) and Scott Bryant (25) in baseball.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Friday, July 18, 2008


Godzilla, Part II?

Missouri fans nicknamed former defensive end and sack master Justin Smith "Godzilla." Brian Coulter, a former Florida State signee who is now on the Tigers' roster, says he's fine with it if Mizzou fans refer to him as "Godzilla II." And Coulter is also confident that by season's end he'll join the seven Tigers who were selected to the Big 12's pre-season all-conference team. Read the rest of Mike DeArmond's story in the Kansas City Star.

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Friday, July 18, 2008


Pre-season All-Americans

A total of 22 Big 12 Conference players have been selected pre-season All-Americans according to five preview publications.

Oklahoma offensive linemen Duke Robinson and Texas Tech wide receiver Michael Crabtree are consensus first-team pre-season All-Americans. The Sooners had eight players receive pre-season All-American mention while the Tigers had seven players make All-American lists.

Pre-seasaon magazines Phil Steele, Blue Ribbon, The Sporting News, Athlon and Lindy's were used to compile the pre-season list. Steele selects a first through fourth team; The Sporting News and Athlon select first through third; Lindy's selects first and second; Blue Ribbon selects only a first team.

Oklahoma

TE Jermaine Gresham (1st team Phil Steele; 3rd team Sporting News); OL Duke Robinson (1st team Phil Steele; 1st team Sporting News; 1st team Blue Ribbon; 1st team Athlon; 1st team Lindy's); OL Phil Loadholt (2nd team Phil Steele; 2nd team Sporting News); DE Auston English (2nd team Sporting News); KR DeMarco Murray (3rd team Sporting News); SS Nic Harris (1st team Phil Steele; 3rd team Athlon; 2nd team Lindy's); DT DeMarcus Granger (2nd team Phil Steele); DT Gerald McCoy (1st team Athlon).

Texas Tech

WR Michael Crabtree (1st team Phil Steele; 1st team Sporting News; 1st team Blue Ribbon; 1st team Athlon; 1st team Lindy's); OL Louis Vasquez, (2nd team Phil Steele; 2nd team Athlon).

Missouri

KR Jeremy Maclin (2nd team Phil Steele; 1st team Sporting News; 1st team Athlon); WR Jeremy Maclin (1st team Blue Ribbon; 2nd team Athlon; 1st team Lindy's); TE Chase Coffman (3rd team Phil Steele; 2nd team Sporting News; 2nd team Athlon); QB Chase Daniel (4th team Phil Steele; 3rd team Sporting News; 2nd team Athlon; 2nd team Lindy's); FS William Moore (2nd team Phil Steele; 1st team Sporting News; 2nd team Athlon; 1st team Lindys); LB Sean Weatherspoon (2nd team Sporting News); K Jeff Wolfert (3rd team Athlon).

Kansas

KR Marcus Hereford (1st team Phil Steele; 2nd team Athlon); LB Joe Mortensen (3rd team Sporting News; 2nd team Athlon).

Colorado

DT George Hypolite (2nd team Sporting News; 3rd team Athlon; 2nd team Lindy's).

Kansas State

PR Deon Murphy (1st team Phil Steele)

Nebraska

WR Marlon Lucky (3rd team Phil Steele)

_ Wendell Barnhouse


Friday, July 18, 2008


Quarterbacks galore

Much of the off-season and pre-season buzz regarding the Big 12 has been generating by quarterbacks. When 10 of 12 starters are returning, when one of those was a Heisman finalist, another led the nation in passing efficiency and another is setting records faster than he blinks, it's understandable the buzz is louder than a Metallica concert.

The Year Of The QB was supported when the pre-season watch list for the Davey O'Brien National Quarteback Award was released this week. There were 31 on the list and five were from Big 12 schools _ Oklahoma's Sam Bradford, Missouri's Chase Daniel, Texas Tech's Graham Herrell, Texas' Colt McCoy and Kansas' Todd Reesing.

No conference had more than the Big 12's five. The Big East, Atlantic Coast and Pacific-10 conferences each had four on the watch list.

_ Wendell Barnhouse
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