Mack Brown is gone, and for the fifth time in as many years, there is a new Big 12 champion.
That is the state of affairs with the two-day spectacle known as Big 12 media days. While it can't match the magnitude of the four-day session put on by the SEC, the conference has plenty of intrigue surrounding it going into the 2014 season. It should go without saying that it is two days fans will want to set aside to see what the 10 teams and their representatives have to say.
For some, it's a simple task of rebuilding. Others have more lofty goals, with the conference crown seemingly up for grabs each year.
Let's take a look at how to watch the conferences, those who will participate and more.
What: 2014 Big 12 Media Days
When: July 21-22, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Where: Omni Dallas Hotel, Dallas Texas
TV: Fox Sports
Live Stream: Big12sports.com
|Monday, July 21||Baylor||Art Briles||QB Bryce Petty||WR Antwan Goodley||LB Bryce Hager||DE Shawn Oakman|
|Kansas||Charlie Weis||WR Nick Harwell||LB Ben Heeney||TE Jimmay Mundine||S Cassius Sendish|
|TCU||Gary Patterson||S Sam Carter||DT Chucky Hunter||C Joey Hunt||WR David Porter|
|Oklahoma State||Mike Gundy||WR Jhajuan Seales||CB Kevin Peterson||LB Ryan Simmons|
|Texas Tech||Kliff Kingsbury||WR Bradley Marquez||LB Sam Eguavoen||RB Kenny Williams|
|Tuesday, July 22||Oklahoma||Bob Stoops||QB Trevor Knight||LB Geneo Grissom||DT Chuka Ndulue||OT Daryl Williams||S Julian Wilson|
|Iowa State||Paul Rhoads||OL Tom Farniok||DE Cory Morrissey||TE E.J. Bibbs||LB Jevohn Miller|
|West Virginia||Dana Holgorsen||WR Kevin White||CB Daryl Worley||P Nick O'Toole|
|Kansas State||Bill Snyder||WR Tyler Lockett||QB Jake Waters||DE Ryan Mueller||LB Jonathan Truman||OL B.J. Finney|
|Texas||Charlie Strong||C Dominic Espinosa||RB Malcolm Brown||CB Quandre Diggs||DE Cedric Reed|
Storylines to Watch
Baylor's Defense of the Crown
After an 11-2 record and eight wins in the conference before a loss in the Fiesta Bowl against UCF, Baylor coach Art Briles has a lot to answer for come Monday.
Of course, keep in mind it could be a lot worse. He could have entered without Heisman contender Bryce Petty, who threw for 4,200 yards and 32 touchdowns to three interceptions a year ago.
But there is certainly plenty to talk about, starting with Petty. Can he, despite all of his staggering numbers last year, be even better? There were hiccups last season after left tackle Spencer Drango went down with an injury, and there are new pieces in place at a few different spots.
Briles himself has already stated a goal for his senior signal-caller, as captured by Matt Musil of KHOU-TV:
Outside of the usual questions concerning a title defense, Briles will have to deal with an intensified rivalry with Texas after Longhorns linebacker Steve Edmond called the program "trash" this spring.
Perhaps the biggest spotlight will fall on the fact Baylor will play in a new home this season. The new McLane Stadium comes equipped with a statue of Robert Griffin III, and it can be presumed the features of the stadium will be heavily detailed, as most have nothing more than a press release to work with so far.
All things considered, it is a good time to be on top of the Big 12. For now.
A new era has begun for one of the most prestigious football schools in the nation.
Charlie Strong is the head man at Texas now, and the boots he has to fill make for quite the steep climb.
Known as a bit standoffish with the media, Strong has already held some interesting interviews, to say the least. This can be noted by his reaction to expectation questions after landing the gig, as noted by Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman:
We have everything available, and I don't know why we can't be successful. There's no reason for us not to be. Now, I can't tell you how soon it’s going to be. Don't hold me to that. Don't say, 'Ooh, coach said next year we'll be in the national...' We will not be in the national championship game.
Speaking of the gig itself, Strong's candidacy will be a major topic, especially with allegations that those around the school were willing to whip out in the neighborhood of $100 million to lure Alabama's Nick Saban to town.
Suffice it to say, Strong is not in an enviable position. Expectations are rampant, although the job in front of him with a roster fresh off an 8-5 season is certainly an issue. That's not to say he can't eek out a winning season in his debut, but matching expectations that won't be tempered in reality could turn out to be an exercise in futility.
Most notable among Strong's football-related tasks is the situation under center. David Ash is the presumed starter, but he's been on a media hiatus all offseason while recovering from an injury—and the senior signal-caller is not among the four players Strong will bring to the media day itself.
Strong has a talented defense in place and perhaps the best stable of backs in the nation thanks to runners like Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron.
But he also has plenty of questions that need answers, both about his job and on the field. As the new kid on the block at the most notable program, no spotlight will shine brighter than the one leveled at Strong.
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