Winner of the toughest opponent on opening weekend in the Big 12 goes to Baylor, who hosts TCU Sept. 3. TCU happens to be Baylor coach Guy Morriss' alma mater. …2005 Ray Guy winner Daniel Sepulveda has been recovering from an injury, but he may punt in the opener after all.
Kansas has 13 true and redshirt freshmen in the two-deep roster and as many as four in starting positions heading into their first game vs. Northwestern State. Head coach Mark Mangino said the No. 1 thing he hears in recruits' homes is that they want to play early. "Well, here's your opportunity," Mangino said Monday. One of those is redshirt-freshman Kerry Meier, who is slated to start at quarterback.
Kansas State had four quarterbacks on the roster over the summer, but two — Allen Webb and Allan Evridge left the team, leaving super frosh Josh Freeman and senior Dylan Meier to compete. Meier won the job in the past week. …A sign there's a new sheriff in Manhattan, seven starters from last year's KSU team lost their jobs in August. "We just let the competition handle that," first-year head coach Ron Prince said.
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is standing by his man, Paul Thompson. Thompson was moved to quarterback from wide receiver after incumbent OU QB Rhett Bomar was dismissed from the team for taking more wages than he earned from a local Oklahoma car dealership. Stoops said people made too much difference between Bomar and Thompson, even though Bomar beat out Thompson for the QB position early in 2005, prompting his move to receiver.
"Most people got caught up in what Rhett might have been some day. The truth is we lost a guy (Bomar) who threw for 10 interceptions and 10 touchdowns last year. It isn't like when you lose Jason White, who threw 40 touchdowns and 7 interceptions (as an OU senior). Stoops went on to say Thompson has "looked great," and gotten more comfortable each and every practice.
True freshman linebacker Chris Collins will start in Oklahoma State's opener. "I'm convinced that when he makes tackles, people are going to know what hit ‘em," OSU head coach Mike Gundy said.
Redshirt-freshman Colt McCoy will start at QB for the Texas Longhorns, Mack Brown announced. However, he added that fellow RS-Fr. Jevan Sneed will seen snaps. Shades of Chris Simms and Major Applewhite?
Coaches Not Fond of Game Clock Rule Change
Big 12 coaches by and large are not in favor of the NCAA rule change intended to shorten football games in 2006. The rule has to do with when the game clock starts, and is intended to shorten the length of college games.
The clock will now start when the foot touches the ball on kickoffs, rather than when the receiver catches the ball. It will also start on the ready to play signal on a new possession instead of the snap of the ball. The rule change was made to accommodate television broadcasts.
OU coach Stoops pointed out that many fans travel many miles to watch college football games in person. "I think we have to be very careful," he said. "Fans don't want to see a short game."
Kansas coach Mangino said teams will have to be even more organized on the sidelines and have the right personnel groups ready to get in and out of the game in a hurry. His counterpart in Austin, Brown, said the rule could affect close games.
"I think we're limiting a team (who may otherwise) have a last-second comeback by running the clock (under the new rule)," Brown said.
Missouri led the nation in number of offensive plays per game. Interestingly, Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel thinks his team can approach that number again this year under the new rules.