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News, Notes And Quotes From Football Media Days
July 23, 2013
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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 25 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.

News, notes, quotes and updates after the second and final day of Big 12 football media days wrapped up Tuesday in Dallas.

Seen And Unseen
Fans attending Big 12 games this season will see one of Conference’s innovations but the other will be hidden under players’ shoulder pads.

Concerns abound about declining attendance. The high cost of tickets plus the fact that almost every game is televised apparently are two factors influencing fans to be more selective in the number of games they attend. The lure of saving money while staying home in front of the plasma TV is strong.

To make the in-stadium experience more appealing, the Conference will bring in-game highlights from other games to Big 12 stadiums this season. The goal is to give fans the video experience they’re accustomed to getting at home.

"College football has experienced declines in overall attendance over the last four or five years, and I think bringing highlights in will take into account and help one of the things that really is getting to be a challenge for us," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. 

"We see people that have a 60-inch television and they can have their mobile device with full wi-fi on their lap, no lines at the restroom, no charge for concessions, they can have a cold beer when they want to, and they don't have to spend six to eight hours traveling to and from the stadium."

The other Big 12 experiment involves gathering data on player’s movements and collisions during games. Each player will have an RF (radio frequency) chip embedded in their shoulder padsl.

“This is a partnership with an organization called Sportvision. It will allow us to track players, their velocity, their path around the football stadium on a real-time basis,” Bowlsby explained. “To be quite frank about it, we're not sure what we will do with the technology or what Sportvision will do with the technology, but we think it's a very interesting innovation that developments in other areas outside of sports have accommodated.

The Big 12, the Southeastern and Pac-12 conferences are partnering in the study.

Quick Hits
The Big 12 and Pac-12 conferences have a new six-year deal with the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Previously, the bowl was aligned with the Big 12 and the Big Ten conferences. Starting after the 2014 regular season, the bowl will match the sixth selection from the Pac-12 against the fifth pick from the Big 12, after selections by the College Football Playoff. The Big 12 has been affiliated with the game since 2006.

* During the Bob Stoops Era (first season, 1999), Oklahoma has 149 wins. That’s the most of any BCS AQ team. In Stoops’ 13 seasons, Oklahoma has never lost consecutive regulars-season games.

* Iowa State running back Shontrelle Johnson has been cleared to resume full practices. Johnson, the Cyclones’ second-leading rusher last season, suffered a torn ACL last December during practice for the Liberty Bowl.

* Texas has completed its new player personnel department by hiring a familiar name - Greg Robinson. He previously coached at Texas in 2004 and is joining the program as a football analyst. He'll contribute to quality control evaluation, film review and data collection for the Longhorns. Robinson was the defensive coordinator in 2004 before leaving to become Syracuse’s coach for four seasons.

Quote, Unquote
Oklahoma State wide receiver Josh Stewart on the Cowboys being selected to win the Big 12 championship:

"Understanding what we have at stake, our athleticism is the most we have ever had in OSU's program. All we have to do is be coachable, we have one of the best coaching staffs in the business. I don't see why this season wouldn't turn out like we want to and that is be Big 12 champs with a national championship." 

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby on not being asked about changes in conference membership:
“I’ve been here about 30 minutes, and I haven't had a realignment question yet, which is the first time that's happened in the entire time I've been (commissioner).”

Kansas coach Charlie Weis on quarterback Jake Heaps, who transferred from BYU, a school he attended after Weis tried to recruit him to Notre Dame:
“I had recruited him out of Skyline High School out in Seattle, where he was the top-ranked player in the country, and he really wanted to come to that school I was at (Notre Dame), but he thought I might get fired, and he forgot to tell me that he was going to be right. He had better foresight than I did.”

TCU coach Gary Patterson on the Frogs’ tough non-conference schedule – they open the season against LSU in Cowboys Stadium:
"You're already playing great programs within your conference, but I truly believe you've got to cross over every once in a while," Patterson said. "Obviously, is it more of a risk for a head coach win/loss-wise? Yes. … For us to recruit the kind of kids to win a Big 12 title, to win a National Championship, you have to have some the best players in the nation come to your place. So the only way you can prove that you can do that sometimes is to go play - you can play a program like LSU."

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