Monday marked the pseudo beginning of the college football season as the Big 12 team representatives and the media took the show to Dallas to kick off Big 12 media days. The conference welcomes two new schools, one of which met with the media yesterday. Five teams total held their sessions on Monday and five more will step up today.
Kansas is set for 11:30 AM CST with Charlie Weis, Dayne Crist, Toben Opurum and Tanner Hawkinson. We'll have notes and recap from Kansas and the other day two sessions, but first let's recap Monday at Big 12 media days.
New Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby kicked off the event with a statement and was asked about the playoff picture and the effect on college football realignment and conference expansion.
Will it have that effect? You know, I think the effect it will have is it will allow everybody to see the cards on the table. I think you'll be able to say here's what we have available to us. Here's how much we can make from it, here's the competitive upsides and downsides, and I think part of the reason for the mad scramble in conference alignment was the fear of the unknown. And I think this diminishes the fear of the unknown. And I think that's a positive thing.
TCU was the first team to meet with the media and Gary Patterson talked about TCU's journey to the Big 12 and the mentality as TCU joins a BCS league.
And so my biggest as a head football coach is to make the Big 12 proud of inviting us into the league and make sure we have a product on the field, which is what I'm in control of.
Our goal has always been to win a conference championship no matter what, if you look in our pyramid, no matter what our league is, and that's going to be our strive in this league to do so also, and also someday play for a national championship.
When I was -- in 2004, which is the only year we didn't go to a Bowl game, a lot of people talked about -- I was still telling them we wanted to play in a BCS game. They said: We love this guy's passion, but we think he's crazy. And now we've played in two.
So for us as a program, on behalf of my players, I wanted to tell you thank you for helping us get to this point because it's taken a lot of different people between alumni, they raised the money and given us the kind of facilities we have, to a university that supported us, to the players and the high school coaches that have helped us get to where we are, because really great players make great coaches.
Bob Stoops and the his Oklahoma Sooners are once again favorites to win the league. It's a familiar position for OU as a program and those expectations are always going to be there.
But we're looking forward to the season. Hopefully we can be back to have a chance to once again compete for the Big 12 Championship. I think it's fair to say our league, when you add West Virginia and TCU, two teams coming off bowl wins, two ranked football teams, you put them with the rest of what we've been doing here in the Big 12, that our league is every bit as strong as it's ever been, if not stronger.
So it will be a challenging year. Also the non-conference schedule for us, when you add Notre Dame into the equation with the rest of the league, it's a challenging and tough schedule. But one I know it's got the attention of our players and it will be exciting to work our way through it.
Some are questioning whether Paul Rhoads can maintain his steady progress at Iowa State and what has really been some surprising success. Rhoads believes this year he might have the best group yet and with the way he motivates his teams that could make Iowa State someone to watch.
Our football team through three seasons has experienced great growth and development, and I think as we head toward this season we'll put our most talented football team on the field as we once again face a schedule that all if not most will rank as one of the top five toughest in college football.
We have two players that are up for about every preseason honor they could at linebacker in A.J. Klein and Jake Knott, both very deserving of the attention. Plenty of support and excitement as we move toward the start of the 2012 season.
Bill Sndyer isn't exactly known for being a media darling but he is a great coach, Kansas State is a good team and yet they once again find themselves in a position of having to prove people wrong.
So one of the things that we have to be concerned about this coming season is that very simple concept of not taking anything for granted. And I think sometimes underdog or favorite, the favorite role is one that's more complex because it's easier to kind of take it for granted.
I think our youngsters have responded well in regards to maybe not so much dealing with the fact that they are an underdog or they're ranked lower, that it may be more so in the day-to-day improvement just trying to compete every single day to get themselves a little bit better and realizing the rest of it takes care of itself.
However you want to be ranked, you gotta be willing to pay the price today in order to make that happen six months down the road.
Tommy Tubberville enters year three with Texas Tech and talks about the pressure building in Lubbock.
Every year you put pressure on yourself. We're starting to now get more depth, play with our recruits. Seemed like I just got here yesterday.
But this is a fun sport. Sometimes you make it tougher than what it is. A lot of times some of the other teams have something to say about how good you are.
We're making progress. That's what I look for as a head coach, are we making progress in recruiting, are we getting our guys.
Just being here a couple of years, everybody said: You're on the hot seat. I'd like to coach a few of these guys I recruited. So hopefully we can get this thing going a little bit better each year. We're not there yet. I'll be the first to tell you but we're much closer than we were three years ago.