TCU coach Gary Patterson understands that his program hasn’t met expectations since the Frogs arrived in the Big 12 but is looking for improved play after a 4-8 season.
“It wasn’t broken,” Patterson said. “We just have to make more plays at the end of games. If anything, I’ve been too positive going into Media Days.”
TCU’s offense ranked 107th nationally last year, which is reason that Patterson brought in Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie and has installed an Air Raid offense. Meacham came from Houston after working with receivers at Oklahoma State, and Cumbie was the lone assistant that Kliff Kingsbury kept on the Texas Tech staff in his first season.
He didn’t announce his starting quarterback and will choose between quarterback/wide receiver Trevone Boykin and A&M transfer Matt Joeckel. Joeckel graduated from A&M in December and transferred after it appeared he wouldn’t win the starting job there.
Patterson loves the fact his Horned Frogs will play 10 games in state, traveling only to Kansas and West Virginia and has for the first time five league games at home.
UPDATE, 12:15 p.m. — Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury probably knew he’d face questions about incoming freshman Nigel Bethel.
Bethel was initially kicked off the team this summer after punching Lady Raiders basketball player Amber Battle in a pick-up a basketball game on campus. But school officials released an in-house video of the incident, and then Bethel was reinstated just last week.
Bethel’s bio is still not included in the media guide that was distributed to reporters.
When asked if there were more penalties ahead for Bethel, Kingsbury said, “Yeah, we’ll do some things in house on our end. That’s really it.”
Kingsbury also deflected a question about why he blocked Baker Mayfield’s transfer. The Lake Travis quarterback was a walk-on in Lubbock last season but left the program just before Tech’s bowl game.
Mayfield landed at Oklahoma, but according to Big 12 rules, he will lose an extra year of eligibility in additional to the normal one-year transfer rule. He’ll play again in 2015.
“Just team policy,” Kingsbury said. “That’s it.”
UPDATE, 12 p.m. – Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy did not announce a starting quarterback, but it sure sounds like the job is J.W. Walsh’s to lose.
Walsh took the majority of first-team reps in the spring, Gundy said. The coach did not mention any other quarterbacks supposedly vying for the job. Walsh began last season as starter before being benched in favor of then senior Clint Chelf midway through the season.
Gundy also touched on his team’s NCAA-imposed reduction of practice time. He said the Cowboys, who are docked a day of practice because of unsatisfactory APR scores, will work hard and fast in fall camp before the sanctions go into effect. Gundy said the adjustment won’t be major, as OSU didn’t practice the NCAA allotted 20 hours in past seasons.
OSU opens against defending national champion Florida State in Arlington.
Gundy said running back Devon Thomas, who was charged last month with three felonies, including intent to kill, is no longer with the team.
UPDATE, 10:50 a.m. – Kansas coach Charlie Weis has a win total in mind for 2014. But he’s not saying what it is, at least publicly.
“Our team very clearly know what our expectations are,” he said. “There’s no hiding it.”
There’s also no hiding Weis’ feeble job status in Lawrence. Entering his third season, the former Notre Dame head man has led the Jayhawks to just one conference win and two last place finishes. He’s banking on a quick fix, implementing a spread offense of which he’ll have little game-day influence. New coordinator John Reagan and sophomore quarterback Montell Cozart will go a long way in determining if Kansas can climb the ladder in the Big 12.
Cozart, a dual-threat QB, became starter mid-way through last season as a freshman when Weis grew tired of defenses teeing off on drop back passer Jake Heaps.
Weis gave a stern assessment of his offense’s skill level, saying only the running backs were of Big 12 caliber in his first two years. Receiver was a weak area, and Miami (OH) transfer Nick Harwell should help. Harwell, the nation’s No. 2 receiver in 2012, was sent packing at Miami after an arrest in which he kicked down the home of his ex-girlfriend. He is here today representing the Jayhawks.
Weis cracked a good one-liner when asked about coaching in the first Big 12 game officiated by a female. Cat Conti will work Kansas’ Sept. 6 home game against SE Missouri. “I’ll try to watch my language,” Weis said. “I believe in the old-fashioned way.”
UPDATE, 10:30 a.m. _ Baylor coach Art Briles just finished his 20 minutes meeting with the media. He made a joke about batting leadoff for the Big 12 coaches lineup.
“We’re not going to try and bunt or get a single,” Briles said. “We’re swinging for the fences.”
The Bears are the defending Big 12 champions, but are projected in the preseason as the No. 2 team in the league behind favorite Oklahoma.
This time a year ago, Briles was asked questions about then neophyte quarterback Bryce Petty. The questions were quickly answered on the field as Petty evolved into one of the top players in the country, leading the most potent offense in the nation.
So Monday, Briles was bemoaning the lack of Heisman love Petty received at the end of 2013. He was not one of the six finalists invited to the televised ceremony.
“I’m a little upset still, I certainly thought he should’ve been in New York City (for the Heisman ceremony) without question,” Briles said. “Do those numbers again this year, he’ll be in New York. He might win it.”
Florida State’s Jameis Winston, last year’s winner, is back and will be the preseason favorite for college football’s highest honor. But unlike a year ago, Petty will be in the Heisman conversation.
UPDATE, 10:45 a.m. _ The Big 12 used the Austin firm GSD&M to create its new logo. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said it scored high with the key 18 to 35 demographic.
The league also unveiled a new promotional video, featuring all 10 of its football coaches, with one morphing to another.
Check it out:
DALLAS — Big 12 commissioner started Big 12 media days by sounding alarms about NCAA compliance.
“It’s an understatement to say cheating pays,” Bowlsby said.
Bowlsby clarified that he has no concerns “on a local level,” but the former Stanford athletic director left no doubt that compliance staffs are overworked and have no legal authority to dig into anything, really.
“A lot of it operates outside of the institution,” Bowlsby said. “There are people active on behalf of institutions to influence kids coming to a particular school, to influence the outcome of games in some situations.
“I am really not very far of being of the mind that some sort of federal statue isn’t a good idea,” he added.
Bowlsby said a federal statue would allow investigators “can get into your tax records or your bank account.” That would be a seismic change from previous years when compliance officials relied solely on cooperation from those being examined.
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