Catching up with the conference: A Big 12 offseason timeline

Posted August 29th, 2017


How about catching up on all things Big 12?

Here’s what went down since your favorite teams finished 2016.

Nov. 18: Hello, title game

Call it an early start for 2017. The Big 12 announced that it will bring back the conference championship and have it at AT&T Stadium in Arlington for the next five years.


According to the television agreements in place, Fox will carry the game in 2017 and in odd-numbered years through 2023; ESPN will televise the game in even-numbered years through 2024.

The game will match the first- and second-place teams in the regular season.

Nov. 26 (morning): Exit Charlie Strong

A day after finishing a dreadful season with a home loss to TCU, Texas fired Charlie Strong. Signs strongly pointed to the Longhorns hiring Houston’s Tom Herman.

“Decisions like this are tough to make. The responsibility is not taken lightly,” UT men’s athletic director Mike Perrin said in a statement announcing the firing. “Coach Strong represented The University of Texas with class and dignity, and he demanded our student-athletes do the same by adhering to his system of core values.

“However, after thorough evaluation, the body of work over three seasons has not shown the improvement we were hoping for. This was an important year for our program to take the next step, and the results simply aren’t there, so we’ve decided to make a change.”

Strong, in three years with the Longhorns, never had a winning season. He went 16-21 there.

Texas coach Charlie Strong leaves the field after losing to Kansas in overtime in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Kansas beat Texas 24-21. (Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman)

Nov. 26: Texas hires Tom Herman

Texas announced it was hiring Herman to replace Strong. Herman, a one-time UT grad assistant, had emerged as a top name in national coaching searches. His name had trended on Twitter when it was reported that LSU was looking at him.

Herman received a five-year deal worth $5 million annually.

Nov. 27: Herman comes back home

Herman was introduced at a press conference in Austin.

Nov. 27: Kliff Kingsbury is safe

Two days after Texas Tech’s season ended without a bowl game, athletic director Kirby Hocutt announced that coach Kliff Kingsbury will continue as the Red Raiders head coach and game-day play caller. But Hocutt said Kingsbury must delegate some of his offensive duties to other assistants so he could spend more time trying to fix the defense, the worst in the country.

“When your football season ends in November, it’s not a good thing,” Hocutt told reporters. “Very disappointed with our performance this football season. That being said, I have a great amount of respect for the young men on this football team.”

Nov. 30: Foreman runs to the NFL

Texas All-American tailback D’Onta Foreman announced he was leaving school for the NFL. His 2,028 rushing yards led the NCAA through the regular season and he won the Doak Walker Award.

Dec. 11: A new job for Strong

Strong was announced as the new coach at South Florida.

Washington Redskins running back Samaje Perine warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Landover, Md. (Mark Tenally/Associated Press)

Jan. 3: Perine leaves Oklahoma

Samaje Perine, Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher, announced he was leaving school early to declare for the draft. The announcement came hours after he’d broken the school’s rushing record record in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn.

Two days later Sooners tailback Joe Mixon announced he, too, was leaving for the NFL. If only OU had been as fortunate as rival Oklahoma State. In late December, as the Cowboys prepped for the Alamo Bowl against Colorado, quarterback Mason Rudolph and receiver James Washington announced via Oklahoma State’s official Twitter account that the two were staying for their senior seasons.

Over in Lubbock, quarterback Patrick Mahomes devastated Tech fans when he announced he was leaving school early for the NFL. Mahomes said he received a second-round grade from the NFL underclassmen committee. Mahomes, who broke the NCAA record for most passing yards in a game, threw for 5,052 yards and 53 total touchdowns last fall. He also led the FBS in total offense for two straight seasons.

Jan. 9: Baylor gets a quarterback

Reports surfaced that former Arizona starting quarterback Anu Solomon was transferring to Baylor to give the Bears at least two experienced quarterbacks on scholarship. Solomon, a Hawaii native, had never visited Waco before he signed. He led the Wildcats to the Pac-12 championship game in 2014.

Jan. 12: From TCU to Kansas

Kansas coach David Beaty lured good friend, TCU offensive co-coordinator Doug Meacham, to Lawrence to run the Jayhawks’ offensive show. Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson elevated Sonny Cumbie to full-time play caller. A month later, Patterson also added former California and Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes as an offensive analyst.

Jan. 27: Lawsuit against Baylor

A Baylor student, who said she was gang raped by two football players, filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the program used sex to entice recruits.

The woman, who was identified as “Elizabeth Doe” in the suit, also said she was “aware” that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape between 2011-14. The lawsuit, however, does not provide any documentation of the rapes. She said some of the Baylor football players recorded the rapes with their cell phones and distributed the videos to their teammates.

The woman said she was a member of the Baylor Bruins hostess program, which helps with football recruiting. She said some of the women engaged in sexual acts with recruits to “help secure the recruits’ commitment to Baylor.”

Feb. 1: Oklahoma tops in recruiting

National signing day. Oklahoma’s recruiting class was judged tops in the Big 12, winning the league and ranked No. 8 in the country per 247Sports’ composite ratings. Other notable Big 12 class ranks — No. 25 Texas, No. 26 Virginia Tech, No. 28 TCU, No. 38 Oklahoma State, No. 40 Baylor and No. 49 Texas Tech.

Feb. 6: Baylor parts with coach

Baylor fired assistant strength and conditioning coach Brandon Washington after he was charged with a Class B misdemeanor for attempting to solicit a prostitute.

Feb 7: Juluke hired by Tech — again

Jabbar Juluke accepted a job with Texas Tech for a second time. He left LSU to become Tech’s associate head coach in charge of running backs. Tech had hired him in 2015, back when Juluke was at La Tech. But Juluke left Lubbock for LSU before he ever could coach a game with the Red Raiders.

In this Oct. 29, 2016, file photo, Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder stands on the field before an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, in Ames, Iowa. The school that once produced Chris Canty and Thorpe Award winner Terence Newman has struggled to defend the pass in recent years, though that’s hardly an unconscionable sin in the pass-happy Big 12. It still draws Bill Snyder’s ire, though. (Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press)

Feb. 13: Health scare for Snyder

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder announced that he’d been diagnosed with throat cancer. Snyder revealed the diagnosis in a statement to the media, saying: “I feel bad having to release this information about my health in this manner prior to sharing it in person with so many personal friends, distant family, players and their families, past and present, and many of the Kansas State football family so close to our program. But, with so much talk presently out there, I certainly owe it to everyone to make them aware of my condition.”

Snyder, 77, was back on the sidelines for K-State’s spring workouts.

Feb. 22: Lubick exits Waco

Baylor offensive coordinator Matt Lubick, who’d been on the job for less than two months, left Waco to take a job with Washington. Lubick ended last season with Oregon. He took a job with Mississippi in December and switched to Baylor in early January.

Feb. 25: Mayfield arrested

OU quarterback Baker Mayfield, a Heisman finalist, was arrested and jailed on charges of public intoxication, fleeing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after an altercation in Fayetteville. Ark.. Mayfield called the incident the worst mistake of his life. Mayfield won’t serve a suspension this fall. Rather, the Sooners required him to complete an alcohol education class and do 35 hours of community service.

March 21: From QB to LB

Iowa State assistant coach Tyson Veidt revealed that Joel Lanning, a two-year starter at quarterback, had been moved to middle linebacker; he’d earned first-team by spring drills.

April 7: Demolition man

Herman proved that he was part interior decorator/part demo man when Texas live-streamed the demolition of parts of the locker room. Herman introduced the team to its refurbished locker room on Aug. 2. Each locker, which cost nearly $9,000, features a 43-inch video screen.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback quarterback Alex Smith, right, stands on the sideline with backup quarterback Patrick Mahomes, left, in the second half of an NFL football preseason game, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017, in Seattle. (Elaine Thompson/Associated Press)

April 27: And with the 10th pick …

Mahomes, as the center of attention at his own draft party in Tyler, was selected with the 10th pick of the first round by the Kansas City Chiefs. He was the only league player to go in the opening round. Otherwise, the Big 12 would have been shut out of the draft’s first round for the first time in its 20-year existence.

Mahomes was the second quarterback off the board after the Chicago Bears traded up to select North Carolina’s Mitch Tribusky with the No. 2 pick.

April 28: Giles leaves Texas Tech

Texas Tech standout receiver Jonathan Giles announced he was transferring. Giles’ 1,158 yards receiving was fourth-best in the Big 12 last year. His 13 touchdowns were third best. Two weeks later he announced he was transferring to LSU.

April 29: A poor draft showing

The NFL draft finished with rounds four through seven. Only 14 conference players were picked, its lowest total ever. Mixon was selected in the second round while Perine fell to the fourth. Cannon and Zamora weren’t even drafted.

Bob Stoops abruptly stepped down at Oklahoma, and the Sooners named offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley as his replacement in the same press conference. (Getty Images)

June 6: The Stoops-to-Riley handoff

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops stunned the college football world when he announced he was retiring. Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley was promoted to head coach. At 33. Riley became the youngest head coach in the FBS.

“The time is now because Lincoln Riley will provide a seamless transition as the new head coach, capitalizing on an excellent staff that is already in place and providing familiarity and confidence for our players,” Stoops said in a statement to the media. “Now is simply the ideal time for me and our program to make this transition.”

June 13: A new deal for Gundy

Oklahoma State announced that coach Mike Gundy had agreed to a new five-year contract. Gundy will earn $4.2 million this year. He’ll receive a $125,000 annual raise.

Gundy, who turned 50 in August, is the most successful, and longest-serving coach in Cowboys history. He has a record of 104-50.

June 20: A new deal for Riley

Oklahoma announced that it had signed Riley to a five-year agreement that will pay him $3.1 million a year. Stoops had been the highest-paid coach in the league. Herman now has the honor.

June 20: Grier is good to go

West Virginia confirmed that projected starter Will Grier will be eligible for the season opener. The school said that the NCAA had lifted the rest of Grier’s six-game suspension.

Grier had transferred from Florida. In October 2015 the quarterback was suspended by the NCAA after he tested positive for a banned substance. Grier said he unknowingly had consumed the substance. The NCAA ruled that Grier had to sit out an entire season. But since Grier has not played since 2015 — he sat out last fall as per transfer rules — the NCAA erased the rest of the suspension.

June 21: Big plans in Lawrence

At a fan event in Lawrenceville, Kansas athletic director Sheahon Zenger announced that the Jayhawks were planning a $300 million refurbishment of the football complex. That’ll include an indoor practice facility.

Beaty responded, appropriately, with gushing comments to the media. “It’s exciting for me, because it’s a great time to be at KU. That guy (Zenger) has done so much here, and for him to clear the deck and really make room for football right now — and he’s a football guy at heart — knowing that our fans deserve a really, really nice stadium … we want these people to be comfortable and really enjoy their time there.”

Kansas has been late to the game with football renovations, but a win last November over Texas made folks a bit more generous.

June 26: Transparency for Baylor

Baylor agrees to release general information behind every alleged sexual assault reported to the school since 2003.

July 19: Baylor’s Blanchard arrested

Baylor defensive back Travon Blanchard, who was considered one of the top players in the league, was arrested on misdemeanor domestic assault charges related to an alleged incident that triggered a protective order against him in February.

News of the arrest came hours after Rhule announced at Big 12 media day that Blanchard still was suspended, pending a ruling from the school’s conduct committee.

Blanchard was suspended from all football activities, Feb. 7, when the school received word of the protective order.

July 27: Fall camps open

Baylor opened preseason football camp, the first of all the Big 12 schools to do so.

The first Big 12 team to play is Oklahoma State, on Thursday.

The post Catching up with the conference: A Big 12 offseason timeline appeared first on HookEm.

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