Every Monday, Big 12 coaches answer questions for the Big 12 coaches teleconference. Here are the highlights for Dec. 2. Because only four teams—Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas—are playing this weekend, only those coaches were made available.
Art Briles responds to the Gary Patterson tirade (sort of)
The big story from Week 14 was TCU coach Gary Patterson's postgame tirade directed at Baylor head coach Art Briles and safety Ahmad Dixon. The source of the comments came from Dixon's targeting hit on TCU's Trevone Boykin and how Briles apparently handled the situation.
Patterson was not available on the teleconference Monday since TCU's season is over, but Briles was asked if he had any comment on the, um, comments. Not surprisingly, he didn't.
"I hadn’t paid attention [to Patterson's comments]...I know there's been some buzz around the office," Briles said. "You can’t control what other people say about you, or think about you.
"I grew up in West Texas, and was taught that if you don’t have anything nice about somebody, don’t say anything at all.”
It would have been out of character for Briles to expand on those thoughts any further. It looks like he's ready to let the matter die.
About that mini-playoff
There's no conference championship game for the Big 12 in Week 15 and no national title implications. Still, there's a lot to play for and the schedule sets up beautifully.
"Whoever put together the schedule is looking pretty smart right now," Briles said.
The Bears will be one of three teams playing for a chance at an outright conference championship and a Fiesta Bowl berth. Baylor hosts Texas at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday, right around the time the Bedlam game between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma will be ending. If the Cowboys beat the Sooners, they win the Big 12 outright. If Oklahoma wins, Baylor and Texas will play for that Fiesta Bowl spot.
Understandably, neither Briles nor Texas coach Mack Brown is acknowledging the importance of the Bedlam game.
"It doesn't have any bearing on our game," Briles said. Brown added that it was paramount to keep players focused, citing Texas' upset at the hands of Colorado in the 2001 Big 12 title game when the 'Horns were thinking about a national title.
Practicing field-goal returns in light of the Iron Bowl
Saturday's Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn had one of the most memorable finishes you'll ever see. Auburn's Chris Davis returned an Alabama 57-yard field goal, which came up short, 109 yards the other way to score a game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock.
So how often do coaches practice those types of situations?
"Not often" was the general consensus among the four coaches questioned Monday, "although it makes you want to," said Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops.
More specifically, the coaches said they physically practice that scenario once every two or three weeks, though Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he and his players "talk about it" all the time.
Brown added that he sprinkles it in when practicing the kicking game. By putting a speedy returner back in the end zone, though, teams lose a player who could potentially block the field-goal attempt. It's all about what coaches see on the field.
Ben Kercheval is the lead writer for Big 12 football. All quotes obtained via teleconference unless noted otherwise. You can follow Ben on Twitter @BenKercheval.