Big 12 Media Days finished with Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and the Oklahoma Sooners closing things out in Dallas. The Sooners’ contingent of coach Bob Stoops and the star-studded trio of quarterback Landry Jones, wide receiver Ryan Broyles and linebacker Travis Lewis took the festivities by storm.
The group was put through the wringer, first meeting with local and national television crews, print media and finally put through numerous radio interviews.
Just like Day One, the hot topics were the Longhorn Network and how the conference will move forward now down to 10 members.
Not normally one to go out of his way to give the juicy quote, Stoops was absolutely on fire today. Cool and confident about the upcoming season, he even had time to throw a few barbs in the direction of chief rival Texas.
When asked in his formal interview with the print media for his thoughts about the Longhorn Network, Stoops replied, “We either all recruit by the same rules or we don’t… if not, then lets change the rules so we all do it the same way.”
Sooners spokesman Kenny Mossman tweeted later in the afternoon that when Stoops was asked how he maintains relationships with Texas high school football coaches, he replied, “Well, we’re going to put them all on television. Give ‘em their own shows.”
Travis Lewis also had a few choice things to say when asked about Texas TV. Lewis claimed that he wasn’t concerned with it, as he was starting his own channel, TLN: Travis Lewis Network. His station will feature king crab fishing and alligator wrestling, Lewis quipped. Also in the lineup: a baking show with the ‘Stache and ice skating with Broyles, both of which should definitely play right to his core Oklahoma audience.
OU’s quote machine then gave us another gem when asked if OU needed Texas to be good. Lewis’ response: “Does Obi-Wan need Darth Vader?”
The Big 12′s preseason defensive player of the year also went out of his way to point out the rather large Big 12 championship ring that he was sporting.
Some other interesting notes from Day Two:
*Three of the four former Big 12 North schools were on the docket today, and all were asked about the difficulty of playing all of the south teams annually. This new rivalry concept is really being pushed by the league, but I’m just not seeing how anyone is going to manufacture a feud between Texas Tech and Iowa State.
*Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads on whether he’d like to continue playing two BCS-level opponents out of conference: “My wife likes our job, and I sort of do, too, so, no, that’s not a direction I’d like to move – playing 11 BCS opponents every year.”
The Cyclones face Connecticut and Iowa this year outside the conference slate.
*Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville weighed in on dropping TCU from Tech’s schedule, offering a ringing endorsement of his squad: “That’s really probably not the type of team we want to play right now.”
With Tech breaking in a new defensive scheme and that sort of confidence from its head man, I would expect more of the same in the second year under Tubs’ watch.
*Last year, Tuberville drew some fire for speaking out about his pessimism regarding the Big 12′s long-term future. He gave it another shot today.
“I don’t know what the future is, but I don’t think there’s any doubt we can sustain with 10 teams and we can make the best out of it and even become a stronger conference, maybe, than what it was,” Tubs said.
“That’s a political answer, right?,” he added, before admitting he had practiced that line earlier.
That wraps up the official precursor to the 2011 season in the Big 12. The players have finished their summer workouts and now have a few days off before reporting for fall camp next week. Damn that feels good to write; we’re almost there!