Oklahoma Sooners: Mack Brown

Athlon ranks the Big 12 coaches

April, 10, 2014
Apr 10
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Athlon Sports has always been big on lists. And this week, Athlon’s Steven Lassan ranked all 128 FBS coaches. He also pulled out the top 10 Big 12 coaches.

As a disclaimer, this is NOT our list. This is Athlon’s. So forward all hate tweets and emails to them. Not me. I already get enough.

[+] Enlarge Art Briles
Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT/Getty ImagesArt Briles' status has grown in the eyes of Athlon.
Without further ado:

1. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

2. Art Briles, Baylor

3. Bill Snyder, Kansas State

4. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

5. Gary Patterson, TCU

6. Charlie Strong, Texas

7. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State

8. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech

9. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia

10. Charlie Weis, Kansas

Some observations:

  • Athlon prefers coaches who win conference championships. Briles, Snyder, Gundy and Stoops, the top four on this list, have won the past four Big 12 titles.
  • I went back and checked and noticed some interesting changes. Snyder was No. 1 in 2013, but dropped two spots this year (why, I’m not sure; K-State did win six of seven to close out the season). Mack Brown was No. 6 -- the same slot that Strong opened up here. Kingsbury moved up only one spot after going 8-5 in his first season.
  • In the eyes of Athlon, Patterson’s stock is falling. He was the No. 2 coach going into his first year in the Big 12 and was ranked third going into last season. On the flip side, Briles has made the biggest rise in the last two years, going from sixth to second after winning the Big 12 last season.
  • Athlon actually had Snyder fifth in 2012, which is hard to believe. We’re talking about one of the best coaches of all-time, right?
  • As you can see, I have a bigger beef with the 2012 and 2013 rankings than the 2014 one.
  • Kingsbury has the potential to ascend the most of anyone on this list. I don’t know that the No. 8 spot is completely unfair, considering he’s only been a head coach one season. But if he can turn Texas Tech into a Big 12 contender on a quasi-regular basis, he could jump several spots.
  • This is obviously not an easy list to compile. How do you weigh what Briles has done the last five years against what Snyder has the last 25? It’s all a matter of subjectivity.

Best and worst of the Big 12 bowls

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
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Below, we break down the best and the worst of the Big 12’s bowl season:

Best win: The Oklahoma Sooners have been searching for a victory that would signal their return to the nation’s elite. They finally got such a victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, as Oklahoma smoked the two-time defending national champs from Alabama, 45-31. With tons of young talent returning, notably quarterback Trevor Knight and linebacker Eric Striker, the Alabama victory could propel Oklahoma toward a national title run in 2014.

Worst loss: Baylor had a chance to put the finishing touches on a fabulous season. Instead, the Bears lost to UCF, one of the biggest underdogs in BCS history, 52-42 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl as the conference champion Bears ended their season on a sour note. It was still a great season for Baylor, yet one that didn’t end so great.

Best offensive performance: Texas Tech’s Davis Webb and Kansas State’s Jake Waters and Tyler Lockett were all terrific, but nobody had the bowl game Knight did. Oklahoma’s redshirt freshman quarterback completed 32 of 44 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns. He did have one interception, but even that pass bounced off his receiver’s hands. Those would be great numbers against anybody, and Knight didn’t produce them against just anybody. He produced them against Alabama.

[+] EnlargeEric Striker
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesOklahoma's Eric Striker dominated Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Best defensive performance: Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker was an absolute menace in the Sugar Bowl. On top of a team-high seven tackles, he sacked Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron three times and forced a fumble in the game’s final minute that sealed the victory. Striker was virtually unblockable all night.

Best special teams performance: Texas Tech dominated most of the National University Holiday Bowl. But the game became tense early in the third quarter when Arizona State scored on a 44-yard run to cut Tech’s lead to 27-20. Those tense moments lasted for just moments. That’s because Reginald Davis returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, putting the Red Raiders back up by two scores. Arizona State never threatened again as the Red Raiders cruised to a 37-23 upset victory.

Best play: With just a minute to play, Alabama got the ball back at its 18-yard line with a chance for a game-tying touchdown drive. Instead, on the first snap, Striker came barreling around the edge and crashed into McCarron’s blind side. The ball popped to the ground, and defensive end Geneo Grissom scooped it up and rumbled eight yards for a game-clinching touchdown. It was Oklahoma’s seventh sack of McCarron.

Worst play: The Big 12 had a similar play go the other way. Down 34-31, Oklahoma State drove into Missouri territory with a chance of – at worst – lining up for a game-tying field goal. Instead, the Cowboys called a pass on third-and-7, and before quarterback Clint Chelf could unload the ball, he was sacked from behind by SEC defensive player of the year Michael Sam, who knocked the ball loose. Missouri’s Shane Ray gobbled up the fumble and raced 73 yards for the touchdown, as the Tigers won the game 41-31.

Best catch: On second-and-goal from the Michigan 8, Kansas State wideout Tyler Lockett was lined up across from Michigan cornerback Raymon Taylor. Lockett drove right into Taylor, then looked back to quarterback Jake Waters. The ball came sailing low, but Lockett went down to get his hands under the ball before it touched the ground, giving him his third touchdown catch of the game and putting K-State ahead 21-6.

Worst play-calling: The Cowboys were just 9 of 22 on third down against Missouri, and curious play-calling from offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich seemed to be a big reason why. Twice on third-and-3, Yurcich called running plays up the middle, which Missouri’s powerful defensive line stuffed to snuff promising Oklahoma State drives. Yurcich called another running play up the middle on third-and-1 at the end of the quarter, which the Tigers obliterated again. With the Cowboys defense dominating Missouri through the third quarter, Oklahoma State missed an opportunity to take command of the game. Third-down play-calling was a big reason why.

Best bounce-back performance: The Texas Tech defense had capitulated during a five-game losing streak, giving up 38, 52, 49, 63 and 41 points. But finally healthy again, Tech bucked up in the National University Holiday Bowl, holding Arizona State to 18 points below its season average.

[+] EnlargeArt Briles
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesArt Briles and the Baylor defense had a nightmarish evening in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Worst disappearing act: Baylor had claimed its defense was actually the best in the Big 12. But in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Bears were lit up by UCF for 52 points and 556 yards. UCF had six touchdown drives of 75 yards or longer, the most long drives Baylor gave up in a game all season.

Best quote: “So much for the big bad wolf, huh?” – coach Bob Stoops, after Oklahoma defeated the two-time defending national champion Crimson Tide.

Worst official’s call: With the AT&T Cotton Bowl knotted at 24-24 in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma State cornerback Tyler Patmon appeared to have delivered the play of the game. He stepped in front of Missouri's Dorial Green-Beckham to intercept James Franklin’s pass and returned it 37 yards into the end zone. Officials, however, flagged Patmon with pass interference – a ticky-tack call at best on Patmon, who on replays appeared to be going for the ball. With new life, Missouri capitalized to drive for a field goal, and the Tigers eventually won the game.

Best fan showing: The Longhorns didn’t have the kind of season they had hoped for. But in Mack Brown’s final game, burnt orange filled the Alamodome, turning the Valero Alamo Bowl into a sellout. The bowl game didn’t go the way the Longhorns had hoped, either -- a 30-7 loss to Oregon. But Texas fans sent out their coach in a classy way.

Big 12's lunch links

December, 31, 2013
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The final day of 2013 is upon us. Here's the latest from the Big 12.

Big 12 predictions: bowl edition

December, 26, 2013
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I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is having a happy holiday. I would have a happier holiday if I could emerge victorious over all you guest pickers.

Like Texas Tech, I suffered a late-season slide to fall behind in the standings. Like Tech, I’m hoping to make it all better here during the bowl season with a big win.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, I charitably selected a final guest picker whose team sadly did not qualify for a bowl. Justin’s submission:

I’m from Iowa and have been a Cyclone fan all my life (Look out for the Cyclones in next year’s bowl picks – we’re going to be a dangerous team in the next few years with Grant Rohach getting more comfortable in the pocket). I have been in the Air Force 11 years and stationed all over the place. My wife Kassie (a Duck fan) and I have been stationed in Turkey for two years and will be getting stationed back in the U.S. next July. I read the Big 12 blog daily and would love the chance to be the guest picker.

To the bowl picks:

SEASON RECORD

Trotter last game week: 1-1 (.500)

Guest picker (Bookworm Jason) last game week: 1-1 (.500)

Trotter overall: 55-19 (.743)

Guest picker overall: 43-14 (.754)

SATURDAY

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: Kansas State 35, Michigan 30: The Wildcats surprisingly have lost five straight bowl games, including Bill Snyder’s last four bowl appearances. For that reason, this game appears to mean more to Kansas State than it does to Michigan, which had a disappointing season overall. More times than not, the more motivated team prevails in these midlevel bowl games. With Michigan QB Devin Gardner ailing and questionable for this game with turf toe, the Wildcats win a bowl game for the first time in 11 years, and defensive Ryan Mueller makes good on his promise to dump Gatorade on Snyder with the victory.

Justin’s pick: This will be the least exciting Big 12 game. Snyder will have the Wildcats ready for this game, but Michigan will be too much at the end with a game-winning field goal. Michigan, 27-24


MONDAY

Valero Alamo Bowl: Oregon 44, Texas 28: The Longhorns will play hard in coach Mack Brown’s final game. But Texas faced a version of Oregon (Baylor) just a few weeks ago, and got blown out. Just like they did in Waco, the Longhorns will hang around through halftime. But without the adequate offensive firepower, the game will eventually get away from them again.

Justin’s pick: Texas needed a miracle no-call from the refs to bat my Cyclones. Not even a miracle can save the Horns here. Texas will play with a lot of emotion. But talent wins over emotion every time. Oregon, 48-17

National University Holiday Bowl: Arizona State 48, Texas Tech 31: Other than Texas, no Big 12 team has endured more December drama than the Red Raiders. First, QB Baker Mayfield stunningly decided to leave the program. Then, coach Kliff Kingsbury’s right-hand man Sonny Cumbie bolted for TCU to coach quarterbacks. Now comes a difficult bowl matchup with a team that has legitimate top-10 talent. The only teams that have given Arizona State problems this season have been mashers (Stanford, Notre Dame, Stanford again). The one thing Tech cannot do is mash.

Justin’s pick: Tech comes out scoring in the first half, but Arizona State proves to be too much. Tech has a late surge but comes up short. Arizona State, 31-24


WEDNESDAY

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Baylor 56, Central Florida 33: The only comfortable favorite among Big 12 bowl teams, Baylor must win for the conference to have any chance at a successful bowl season. UCF, however, is better than people in Big 12 country think, with road wins at Penn State and Louisville, and a near upset of South Carolina. Blake Bortles is a big-time QB, and he has playmakers around him. But Baylor has a big-time QB, too, in Bryce Petty. And he has more playmakers around him, including Tevin Reese, who is back from a dislocated wrist. As a result, “America’s Top Offense” goes out with a bang.

Justin’s pick: A lot of people think Baylor is going to smash UCF, and I’m one of them. Bryce Petty has a huge day and the Baylor D smothers the Knights. Baylor 52-24


JAN. 2

Allstate Sugar Bowl: Alabama 41, Oklahoma 17: Bob Stoops has often thrived when his team has been the underdog. Just ask Kansas State and Oklahoma State, whom the Sooners vanquished as road dogs the final two games of the season. Alabama, however, is not K-State and Oklahoma State. And unlike the 2008 Sugar Bowl, when the opponent was Utah, the Crimson Tide should be motivated for this one. The Sooners -- with their quarterback carousel -- struggle to move the ball against the Tide, and Alabama runs the ball at will against an Oklahoma run defense that’s been suspect all year.

Justin’s pick: As much as I love the Big 12, this isn't an Oklahoma team that can hang with a team many feel is still the best team in the country. AJ McCarron gets hot and throws all over Oklahoma's secondary. Alabama, 38-17


JAN. 3

AT&T Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State 31, Missouri 30: Coach Mike Gundy has been terrible against Oklahoma. But he’s been stellar in bowl games, with three straight bowl wins and a 5-2 record overall. Missouri’s defensive line has gotten plenty of publicity this season, and deservedly so. But Oklahoma State’s defense has been prolific, too. The Cowboys also boast the perfect cornerback to match up with Dorial Green-Beckham in Justin Gilbert, who might be a first-round pick in the spring. Quarterback Clint Chelf also bounces back from a subpar Beldam performance, and the Cowboys land the Big 12 a solid victory over the SEC.

Justin’s pick: Oklahoma State can put up big numbers on any team, but Mizzou has proven itself by beating up on the SEC. The Cowboys won’t be able to handle the pressure from Missouri’s defense. Mizzou, 41-38.

Big 12 mailbag

December, 20, 2013
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In today's mailbag, we discuss Mack Brown's future, TCU's defense, OU's quarterbacks and Kansas State's chances in 2014.

To the 'Bag:

J.J. in Tumalo, Ore., writes: All I want to know is this: will the Big 12 add BYU and UCF or 2 other worthy teams? And a championship game? If not, please break up so we can have four 16-team conferences.

Jake Trotter: The Big 12 is in no apparent hurry to add anyone or implement a conference championship game. And I think we’re ultimately headed in the direction you suggest. But will it be the Big 12 that ultimately breaks up, or the ACC? Those have been the two most vulnerable conferences. If we end up with superconferences, it will probably occur when one of those two leagues dissolve.

[+] EnlargeBryce Petty
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesThings worked out just fine for Bryce Petty and the Baylor Bears.
Chris in Dallas writes: Knowing how all the games played out on championship week, would Baylor have been better off if OSU had won Bedlam and gone to the Fiesta Bowl? Would the Bears be in the Sugar? Is it really worse to be co-champs?

Trotter: The bowl opponent would have been better, but a “co-championship” would not have been as satisfying. It’s more fun to be the outright champ than to have a sexy bowl opponent. At least, that’s what I think.

OU fan in Ponca City, Okla., writes: With two previous Big 12 teams having success in the SEC, and with the possibility of OU beating Alabama and OSU beating Missouri, could the argument be made that the SEC has been and still is overrated?

Trotter: The Bedlam schools winning their bowls would help narrow the perception gap between the Big 12 and SEC. But until the SEC loses a national championship game, any argument downplaying the SEC is difficult to make.

Mitch Connors in Fort Worth, Texas, writes: Why only one TCU player on your first-team defense? I hope y’all realize that TCU still had the No. 1 defense in conference games. Y’all aren’t giving them any love.

Trotter: TCU did not have the best defense in the Big 12 this year. Sorry. It just didn't. We considered Chucky Hunter at defensive tackle and Sam Carter at safety. No one else stuck out as deserving. And we just felt there were more deserving players, like Calvin Barnett and Ahmad Dixon, at those positions.

Omar in Flower Mound, Texas, writes: Hey Jake, I love the blog. I'm wondering why I haven't heard Bobby Petrino's name come up for the Texas job? I know, they probably won't hire him, the whole motorcycle ordeal, which is why Arkansas fired him. But don't you think he's done tremendous jobs turning multiple schools around? Texas doesn't really need someone to come in and overhaul the system, but they just need someone who can come in and coach (and win). Your thoughts?

Trotter: I appreciate the outside-the-box thinking, but Petrino would be a terrible fit in Austin. Because of all that will be required of the job, Texas is looking for a CEO and a football coach. Petrino certainly fits the latter. The former, not so much. The Texas job is above taking in reclamation projects, regardless of how well they can coach. And Texas ought to be able to hire a coach as prolific as Petrino -- without the baggage.

[+] EnlargeLes Miles
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesWould Les Miles trade in LSU's purple and yellow for Texas' burnt orange?
Mark in Arlington, Texas, writes: With all the Nick Saban speculation now moot, there are two names that I haven't heard once in connection with the Texas job that I would love to see: Les Miles or Kevin Sumlin. Les obviously has a pedigree that should appease the boosters, and I can just imagine Bill Powers grinning from ear-to-ear if they were to hire away the Aggies' head coach. Your thoughts?

Trotter: I don’t believe Texas would ever resort to hiring an Aggie to be its head coach. Just can’t see it happening. Miles is way more intriguing. He has a national championship. He can recruit Texas. He would be great on the Longhorn Network. And he knows how to beat Oklahoma. Don’t rule him out.

Desert Wildcat in the Valley of the Sun writes: With the circus coming to a close around Mack Brown's future at UT, what do you think of the idea of tabbing Mack as a replacement for Bill Snyder at Kansas State?

Trotter: I think Brown is done coaching, but I would love it if he gave it another go somewhere else. Your K-State idea is interesting, though I hope Snyder has several more years coaching in the Big 12. Here’s another idea -- Nebraska next year. Anyone think Brown couldn’t win there?

Bryan in Yukon, Okla., writes: Who you think will be the starting QB for OU in 2014?

Trotter: Trevor Knight is my pick. They tailored the offense to fit his skill-set before the season even started. I think the plan all along has been to make him the long-term starter, and the last month he’s beginning to show he’s up to the challenge.

Jeremy Hanes at Peterson Air Force Base writes: What is it going to take for OU to pull off a win against Bama?

Trotter: For starters, an exceptional game from Jalen Saunders. OU probably can’t beat Bama straight up. But Saunders in special teams is a great equalizer, as Oklahoma State found out. If Saunders can off some big plays in the return game, like he did in Bedlam, the Sooners could hang around.

Patrick Minter in Abilene, Kan., writes: In reference to your mailbag answer to someone's question on preseason picks for next year, I agree about Baylor being the favorite. But I would advise you to research Bill Snyder’s track record when he has a returning quarterback. They were right there in all four of their conference losses this year. The 'Cats will be better. They might not win the league but will compete for the title.

Trotter: I can’t disagree. Kansas State should be better on defense, Tyler Lockett is a superstar and the Wildcats have the best returning situation at quarterback north of Waco, Texas. I can’t see myself picking them to finish first in the preseason. But I could definitely see myself picking them in the top three.

Big 12 lunchtime links

December, 20, 2013
12/20/13
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The New Yorker on the best movies of the year:
  • The Austin American-Statesman's Danny Davis reported that former Texas Tech QB Baker Mayfield is planning to enroll at Oklahoma, and walk on in January. According to The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey, that was news to OU coach Bob Stoops, who said the Sooners weren't pursuing any transfer QBs. This story keeps getting stranger and stranger.
  • The Texas players described to the Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton the scene as Mack Brown told them of his resignation. The Austin American-Statesman compiled some updates on the Texas coaching search. Former Texas safety and current Seattle Seahawk Earl Thomas has one name he doesn't want to appear in the Texas search.
  • Baylor coach Art Briles was asked what he would do if the Longhorns came calling. Briles' response? "The grass is green here" at Baylor.
  • Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he's had no contact with Texas about the Longhorns' job, and more interestingly, said he has changed agents.
  • The Charleston Daily Mail's Mike Casazza says there's no denying attrition was a problem for West Virginia this season. The Charleston Gazette's Dave Hickman examines what West Virginia will do next at quarterback. The paper chronicles the odyssey of defensive end recruit Terry Ayeni, who is considering the Mountaineers.
  • Kansas coach Charlie Weis said firing himself as offensive coordinator was best for the Jayhawks, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal's Jesse Newell.
  • TCU lost a recruit back to Arkansas.
  • The Longhorns made the cut to stay in the mix for blue-chip linebacker Solomon Thomas.
  • Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson is down to his final recourse in his effort to get a fifth season of eligibility from the NCAA.
  • Iowa State is looking for instant help from its four junior college signings, writes the Ames Tribune's Bobby La Gesse. The Des Moines Register's Chris Williams wonders who will replace Kirby Van Der Kamp at punter.
  • Coach Bill Snyder calls Kansas State wideout Curry Sexton "Google." The Garden City Telegram's Arne Green has the story.
  • Sophomore offensive lineman Tony Morales could return to practice next week after missing the regular season with a torn shoulder labrum, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's Don Williams reports.

Big 12 lunchtime links

December, 19, 2013
12/19/13
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Mario Chalmers best be careful:
  • A grand jury cleared Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon of wrongdoing in an incident in which he was accused of assaulting a man he believed stole his television set, the Waco Tribune-Herald's Tommy Witherspoon reported.
  • The Dallas Morning News' Tim Cowlishaw suggests the Longhorns aim lower in their coaching search. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, a former Big 12 counterpart, called Mack Brown "legendary."
  • Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads discussed when he hopes to have an offensive coordinator hired.
  • Linebacker Jonathan Truman has added to Kansas State's walk-on legacy, the Topeka Capital-Journal's Corbin McGuire details.
  • TCU made the Sonny Cumbie hire official. Cumbie will be co-offensive coordinator and coach QBs.
  • Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops talked trick plays with The Oklahoman's Berry Tramel.
  • Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said he would draft Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel No. 1 overall.
  • Oklahoma State center Jake Jenkins will face the team he de-committed from in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. The Tulsa World's Jimmie Tramel has the interview.

What Big 12 coaches made per win

December, 18, 2013
12/18/13
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Kansas’ Charlie Weis was the sixth-highest paid FBS coach this year.

In pay per victory.

Weis, in his second season, was paid $2.5 million, or $833,333 for each of his three victories, according to a database assembled by USA TODAY.

The survey did not include private schools or others whose compensation figures were not available.

Texas’ Mack Brown and West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen ranked ninth and 10th in cost per victory. Brown was paid $674,063 for each of Texas’ eight wins; Holgorsen, $657,500 for West Virginia’s four wins.

The most cost-efficient coaches in the Big 12 were Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy and Texas Tech’s Kliff Kingsbury. Gundy earned just $345,000 for each of his 10 wins. Kingsbury made $265,000 apiece for Tech’s seven victories.

The survey did not include private schools (Baylor or TCU) or others whose compensation figures were not available.

Big 12 signing day storylines 

December, 17, 2013
12/17/13
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Consider the countdown a go.

With 50 days from national signing day, a lot of questions about star players have been answered. Some questions, however, are still left to be answered.

Here are 10 signing day storylines that could affect recruiting classes throughout the Big 12:

Weekend recruiting wrap: Big 12 

December, 16, 2013
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If all eyes weren’t on the Heisman Trophy race Saturday, then they were on Mack Brown's impending resignation as head coach of the Texas Longhorns. Add that in with the multiple junior college pledges to Big 12 programs, and you have a pretty solid weekend of recruiting as we approach the middle of the month.

Official visits and in-home visits were major topics of discussion last week. Here are some of the top storylines over the weekend:


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Big 12 lunchtime links

December, 13, 2013
12/13/13
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Check out this interview with Maurice Clarett. Good stuff here.

Big 12's lunch links

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
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In case you missed it on Wednesday, the Big 12 has released its all-conference honors.
Thanks for the questions during my chat. You can find the full transcript here.

Stability, Please (Austin-ish) In his tenure at Texas, Mack Brown has garnered a national championship, the 09 Big XII title, another 4 Big XII South titles, 15 bowl appearances, and this year came within a game of winning the Big XII outright. If UT fires/retires him, doesn't that just repeat the blunder Texas made when they fired Fred Akers and entered the Dark Ages for a decade?

Brandon Chatmon The potential for that to happen is there, no question. I'd agree sometimes you don't realize how good you have it until things change. It all depends on who would be the replacement hire.

Coach Claus (North Arctic State) OK, so I gave FSU and Auburn a chance at the NC, I gave millions of fans what they wanted and kept 'Bama out of the NC, the Buckeyes were on the naughty list so I gave them coal from Michigan State, I gave a couple schools their first-ever BCS bowls. What's left on the list?

Brandon Chatmon My million dollar check. I haven't got that yet, but you have until the 25th, Coach Claus, so make it happen.

Bobby (Waco) Bedlam obviously shuffled the BCS slots a bit, but do you think Baylor would have a better chance against Alabama than OU?

Brandon Chatmon Probably. The Baylor Bears are the Big 12 champions for a reason.

Tony (Richmond, CA) How surprised are you that OU left Stillwater with a victory?

Brandon Chatmon I was very surprised. Particularly with the way they did it, having the offense cruise down the field at the end. Impressive win for the Sooners.

Chuck (WVU) The Mountaineers play a pretty tough schedule next year. What record does Dana Holgorsen have to get to keep his job? If we go bowling, I think he stays. Even we if we go 5-7 and are competitive against the top schools, I think he still might get another year. Your thoughts?

Brandon Chatmon I think WVU needs to make a bowl game next season, so 6-6. I like the young players on the roster but they really need a quarterback. I do think Holgorsen is a good guy for the job though, he understands what it takes to win, particularly in the Big 12. I wouldn't be in a hurry to cast him aside if I'm WVU.

Joseph (Minnesota) When the Big 12 has a high scoring game, there is no defense. When the SEC has a high scoring games, then it is just a great football game with great offenses. What gives?

Brandon Chatmon I've wondered the same thing. Though I don't really hear people trying to play the "SEC defense is second to none" card too much anymore.

Chase (Dallas) Gaze into your crystal ball and tell was what the Big 12 record will be for the bowl games.

Brandon Chatmon Good question, I'll say 3-3 but could easily be 1-5 in my opinion. Baylor is my lone lock.

Big 12 lunchtime links

December, 11, 2013
12/11/13
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In case you missed anything, here are some highlights from the final week of Big 12 football.

Big 12 lunchtime links

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
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I would love to see this guy as a head coach in the FBS sometime soon.
  • With the school's first Big 12 title in hand, Baylor's Art Briles has his eye on making the College Football Playoff as one of the nation's top four teams next season, writes John Werner of the Waco Tribune.
  • Texas head coach Mack Brown's status is unclear for a lot of different reasons, writes Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News.
  • Iowa State is preparing to hire a new offensive coordinator but will likely continue to run the "Pistol" offense, reports Bobby La Gesse of the Ames Tribune. And what took ISU's latest commitment so long to pull the trigger?
  • Nick Saban to Texas would transform the Big 12, making success against UT harder to achieve, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, writes Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman.
  • The Oklahoma State cheerleader who stuck his foot out as if he was trying to trip Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker will be disciplined, reports The Oklahoman's John Helsley. Meanwhile a controversial Bedlam tweet from an Oklahoma account was made by an non-OU employee according to a statement from the school.
  • OU will be facing the team it wants to be when the Sooners take on Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, writes John Hoover of the Tulsa World.
  • Missouri, Oklahoma State's Cotton Bowl opponent, had lofty goals heading into the season, writes Jimmie Tramel of the Tulsa World.
  • Could this be Baylor fans' worst nightmare? Art Briles should think twice if the Washington Redskins come calling, writes Mac Engel of the Fort Worth-Star Telegram.
  • Here are some storylines for the Holiday Bowl from Don Williams of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
  • West Virginia has gotten off to a good start on the recruiting trail, landing a four-star defensive back. ESPN.com's Craig Haubert with a Scout's take on the potential impact.

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Big 12 Weekend Wrap: Oct. 21
Recruiting reporter Damon Sayles breaks down the top weekend storylines from the Big 12.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

BIG 12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 10/25