The Big XII Media circus took most of our time this week, and we did get some tidbits to spread around the table. (We'll try to report was has not been printed elsewhere). Naturally, we'll focus on Oklahoma first.
Oklahoma: Clear Cut Favorite
All America DE Dan Cody was animated and ready to take on the world. He was almost as big of a hit as former Sooner Trent Smith , (who could always be counted on for a quote to make the head coach cringe). OU's SID Kenny Mossman made the decision to bring Cody to the Big-12, and obviously he had a lot of choices that he could of made, but Dan was very proud to be there. It made his week so to speak.
"I am so glad to represent the University of Oklahoma here. I really can't believe it! I want to thank Coach Stoops and Kenny (Mossman) for believing in me and for just feeling that I am the type of player and person that deserves to be here. I love OU and to represent my school and my team during an event like this is something that I will never forget."
On Jason being back: "There may have been a point and time when Jason may have been indecisive about coming back, but his heart and soul is in this program and if anybody has laid it out there for the Sooners he has. For him to get that extra year is such a big boost for us and our offense. Our offense and defense feed off each other. Our defense tries to go out there and ‘three and out' everybody and set the tempo and our offense to make a big play. But to have Jason out there is something that no other team has and that is always a great feeling of confidence to know that he plays for us."
On replacing stars: "At Oklahoma we're always losing a great player - whether it is Rocky, Roy, Teddy or Tommy - and that just creates an opportunity for somebody else to step up, or other guys on the defense pick up the slack. We have a bunch of good players on our defense and most of them, in time, have a chance to become great players - or the focal point of our defense as they mature. When you get the chance to be that player you make the most of it."
Finally we were able to ask Dan a question: "Mike Stoops is gone, Bo Pelini is here, what's the difference?"
"They're different people but similar in intensity. What we get from Bo is the admonishment to play hard every game. Finish. Push yourself to play as well in the games where you're easily the best team as you do in the big games."
James then had a chance to visit with Bob Stoops , who does not exactly count Big 12 media day up there with Christmas: Coach, what's your gut feeling on this team?
"We'll be alright this year. We have a lot of returning starters and we have more senior stars than we ever have had and hopefully we can translate that into a strong team. They are working real hard this summer and just listening to Jason and Dan on the way down they're really excited about how the team is training. Jerry Schmidt is the best in the business and he is really happy with how the guys have worked and they way they are running. In the end I think we can turn that into a few more wins."
"Each year is a fresh start for us and our players. That is why you don't hear Jason talking about the Heisman he won last year or what our team did last year, because he is already looking at this year. When we won the championship in 2000, that didn't help us the next year and they just didn't give us wins the next year. And if you lose a couple it doesn't mean that is going cause you to lose a couple the following year. You go out each year and each game and earn your way. This team is different than last year's team and we will go out and compete like we always have. We will fight our way through it and see where we can end up."
Bob, have the victories over Texas helped you in recruiting?
"I don't look at it that way. I think what's more important in recruiting than just our victories over Texas is winning Big-12 Championships, National Championships and winning big games. For the most part during the last four years we have done that in a decent way.
The way we carry ourselves and the way our players conduct ourselves when we are with our recruits shows the quality of program that we have. And then we (coaches), enjoy recruiting and we love this program and that shows up constantly. The program is what sells itself - not just any one win.
If we beat Texas and nobody else, there won't be a whole bunch of people coming to play for us. So, we don't look at it that way. It is an important game and part of the Big-12 schedule and I appreciate how our players come into it and how they play in it."
I noticed that the most frequent questions to Bob Stoops always started; "Coach, you lost your last two games. . . " Stoops was clearly irritated by them and after about the 20th time he stopped the reporter dead and said. "Hey, wait a minute. Not one of you guys has asked me about the first twelve games. We dominated teams. We set records. We held the #1 spot all season, led the BCS. Yet everyone wants to talk about the last two games.
OK, let's talk about those.
The first one is one we played that only three other schools have to play. That's it. So it's hard to play bad when your sitting in a La-Z-Boy watching on TV. But I guess it's pretty easy to criticize the four teams that made it.
The last one? Again, two teams were left standing after the season. The two highest ranked teams got to go play for it all. We didn't play our best and still almost won the thing. Where was everyone else? So I'm not going to apologize for making it to the national championship game and falling short. I mean what's that prove, that maybe instead of being better than 115 teams we're only better than 114?"
Later on a new reporter caught up with Coach Stoops out in the lobby as Stoops was in a hurry to make his next appointment with the radio media. Obviously this guy missed the previous dressing down and asked another magic question: "Coach, how disappointed were you in Jason White's play those last two games?"
A red vein appeared in Stoops' forehead as he did a slow burn and turned to resume his quick walk to the radio media room. Suddenly he stopped twenty feet beyond the guy, turned and replied; "Hey, I guess his play the first twelve games didn't mean anything?" He was almost shouting to the shaken reporter. "Explain that to me. How you guys chose to ignore one of the greatest seasons a quarterback has had and you jump on him because he didn't win them all?"
With that he stared the reporter into submission - as the guy turned and slinked into the Fairmont Hotel's plush carpet. After the vanquished foe was defeated, Stoops quickly picked up the pace to do more battle over similar questions, (but this time no one asked).
Jason White was a quiet Heisman winner and did a good job taking on the press, particularly in regards to the ‘tainted Heisman' questions and the insinuations that he's not deserving of the award.
As an example, some media goober from Nebraska asked us at lunch, "Well how's it going to be with a Heisman Trophy winner sitting on the bench? ""Who are you talking about," we asked? "Uhh, Jason White - isn't Bomar going to start?" he replied. (No chowder head – we thought, he's not. But maybe you can tell us how it's going to ‘feel' to let our ‘#2 QB' wipe up Owen Field with you and then watch our ‘#3' finish up – then it's play ‘hide the corn cob where the sun don't shine').
We were so stunned we failed to respond. Our lack of a verbal response indicated that we were totally disgusted by this sudden breakout of ignorance, and the message was received loud and clear.
But Jason was more diplomatic: On the inevitable ‘last two loses' question: "We got beat by K-State and they played a great game and we didn't play our game at all. "We didn't do the fundamental things right to win the national championship. We didn't play our game and the better team one that night, they played better than we did that day and we got beat. We have to learn from that game and come back and use it to our advantage.
Those of us that are back this year went through a great experience last year and there were many more positives than negatives. At OU we have won so much in the past that sometimes we lose sight that winning 12 games is pretty special. But that's what is great about playing at Oklahoma . . . winning a Big-12 and a National Championship is the most important goal and we have a chance to play for those goals almost every year. We players realize that tradition was established long before we got here and that there are hundreds of great players that played before us to establish that tradition. That is something that we current players don't take lightly, and something that we always try to build on."
Enough of this! We asked Jason, "who's been most impressive in summer workouts?" to which he replied; "Everyone," but when asked to brag he responded; "Probably Wes Sims as much as anyone. Wes has been hurt by a lack of quickness in the past and he's really worked hard to correct that. It was about his only flaw. He always blocks well and he's one of the strongest guys on the team. When we see how much he's improved, just due to dedication, it really motivates the entire team." "Who else?" Oh, maybe Bubba, (Moses). He smells playing time and he's not going to let the opportunity go by. His concentration is about ten notches higher this year. And of course my receivers are probably the hardest working group on the team."
Texas: The 'Master of Spin' takes control . . .
No Big 12 media event would be complete without Mack Brown , who continually shows the audience how to take a couple of lemons and somehow make lemonade. The big difference this year is that even the Texas media constituency is starting to doubt the dribble. But, that didn't seem to phase Brown.
Mack Brown: On his defense: "We think we have more speed on defense, especially at linebacker, but you still have to stop teams straight ahead. Until we stop the run better and start forcing more turnovers we are still going to be short of our ultimate goal."
On why senior Cedric Benson is suddenly a star: "Cedric is the veteran on offense and Derrick Johnson is the veteran on defense. Cedric is different in that he is coming into a really good time in his life and he will be a Heisman candidate. He is also about to surpass Earl Campbell's rushing records. He is 700 yards away from Earl, which is pretty cool when you consider that Earl is the second leading rusher in Texas football history. By gaining a thousand yards this year he will be one of five guys who have gained a thousand yards four straight years in the history of college football. If he can gain 1,200 yards, which if we are successful he will, then he will be one of ten players who have rushed for over 5,000 yards over a four year span. So, when you stop and think about it those are some pretty impressive numbers. He is more confident, he is more relaxed and more if a team guy. He left the baseball alone this spring and summer and he has spent more time with our players and I just think it is a great time in his life. Guys are beginning to look up to Cedric know and I think he is honored by that and also enjoying that as well."
What has he done about his habit of losing to Oklahoma: "I've done everything. I have talked to coach Bowden about it as they have lost to Miami six straight times, and they open with them for the season. I asked him what do you do with Miami for the opener? He said that he didn't mention it. So, I have mentioned it, I haven't mentioned it. I have mentioned it a lot and I haven't mentioned it all! The truth is that Oklahoma is really good and what we need to do is work really hard on that day to be a really good team and be a better team than they are on that day."
On how UT has really been very close to OU, and how a year of preparation can fail: "It is not about the year it is about that day. Two out of the last three years we have taken them into the fourth quarter and they have played better and made more plays than we have in the fourth quarter. Last year we got behind early and panicked to catch back up and let it get out of hand. The thing that we know is that we have been really, really good and they have been better - specifically in that game. What is amazing to me is that immediately after that game we have played much better and we have played much better at the end of the year. We have to get to where we are playing better at the beginning of the year. We have been a team that has finished better than we have started and we need to learn how to start good and finish good. We are at that point where we have done everything, but win all the games and win the National Championship, and that is our ultimate goal."
(Uhh, OK Mack, but better get that elusive Conference Championship first big guy).
On rumors of being on hot seat, or does he get support in Texas: "That's true that we are in a great situation at Texas. We have done everything that we are supposed to do but beat Oklahoma. We did that the first two years and it wasn't mentioned. Since then it has been talked about a whole lot more. It is just part of our life and I think Coach Royal said it best: ‘The best thing about the Texas football program is that 20-million people and media care about it every day.' I then asked what the worst thing about the Texas program is?, and he said, ‘20-million people and a whole lot of media care about the program.' So that's what you've got. There's a lot of discussion and I feel I can handle the situation of coaching at Texas better than ever before, because I know so much about it."
(Notice there were no questions about the 'disappointment' of the UT Bowl Game vs Pac 10 powerhouse Wazzu. That one's even hard to Mack to explain).
Meanwhile the two UT player reps haven't quite learned the finer points of spin. Cedric Benson totally destroys the ‘Chamber of Commerce hype' about Austin while letting us know it's a miniature version of crime ridden Miami, and Derrick Johnson finally let's the Aggies in on a little secret about who their BIG rival really is.
Benson on the pressure of playing at Texas: "You grow up fast. You have the pressures and you have off-the-field-problems, because Austin is a big city. You have a lot going on with crime or no crime, but situations that you have to deal with on and off the field. To play here you have to deal with a lot of things and you have to grow up fast to play here, stay on your feet and stay aware in Austin. This is not an easy place to play."
Johnson on his plans for the defense: "We are going to play more zone principles and do a little more blitzing out of the zone. We don't lose a lot of people off of last year's defense and we are leaning a lot right now."
Johnson on playing at Texas: "It is pretty hard to deal with the expectations at Texas. Everybody knows about the one big game that we have and that is the OU game . We do win a lot of other big games, but we haven't got over the hump in the OU game yet. Our goal this year is to win every game that we play. OU is once again on the schedule, so hopefully we can win that."
(That BIG GAME comment will certainly be welcomed in College Station - thanks Derrick for finally letting the Ags know just how important the Horns think they are).
Texas A&M: Fran or fraud?
One night James bumped into Coach Fran in the relatively deserted Fairmont Hotel lobby. James said; ‘hello coach,' but the ‘coach of the year' candidate chose to ignore him. Nice way to enhance your reputation ‘Frannie.' But once we got the lights and cameras rolling, Frannie was all smiles and ready to unload. Of course his local Texas media provided a few softballs:
Coach Fran: You've always had great second years at all the programs that you've coached; can you do it again at Texas A&M? "There is no luck involved in any of this except when preparation meets opportunity. I don't know if my style is unique or what it is, but my year twos have been significantly better and I have taken over some programs that were down and it took a while to put components in place to make the improvements. Hopefully that magic of year two will continue."
(Move outta the way boys and let a man ask a question . . . )
Coach did this team quit last year? "No, our team didn't quit in games, even thought we got so far behind in some games that their heart and soul was deflated. I know things look bad for us at the end of some games last year, but I never sensed that our team quit in games and I never sensed they gave up. However, when you get so far behind that there is nothing you can do to win the game it is hard for a young men to realize that they still have something to play for."
(In most places outside of College Station this would be classified as ‘quitting').
Terrance Murphy , WR, Texas A&M: (Explaining that we didn't really see what we thought we saw). "We're ready to go out and prove to ourselves that we have a great team. That wasn't a Texas A&M team last year. First of all Texas A&M is known for it's defense and that is the first thing we have to get back. We are ready to get the wrecking crew back and get the 12th man back in our program. We are looking forward to going out and getting our identity back that we lost last year. It's not that the fans left us last year, but it's just the fact that we let so many of them down."
(OK Terrance, but if that wasn't A&M, just who was wearing those look-a-like uni's?)
Jaxson Appel on the 12man:"I think it just comes down to the fact that we have to give our fans something to cheer about. We need to give them something to cheer about this year and give them a football team they can be proud of."
Texas Tech: Mike Leach AWOL?
Coach Leach, never one to conform completely, had enough sense to stay on vacation in Hawaii instead of jousting with journalists over questions that have already been asked and answered.
Adell Duckett, DE - What's up with coach? "Coach Leach is definitely a laid back type of coach that is a lot of fun to play before, but make no mistake about it he expects things to be done his way and when you don't do them his way then he will get after you. You never want to miss a meeting with Coach Leach because you will miss a great story or a great line. He is a great guy and he is great for college football."
Will Tech actually put a defense on the field? "This year our coaches did a great job in recruiting and they brought in some great JUCO's. We have two safeties coming in and they can play right away. We have a couple of defensive ends in Bake and Charlie Glover and they will be able to get pressure off the edge, which will help me out a lot. Our D-tackles are getting stronger and they have another year under their belt. They are sophomores now and think the defense is coming along. We have senior leadership in our linebacker crew and I am excited about our defense this year."
Assistant Head Coach (and linebacker), coach Ruffin McNeil: How do you chart the growth of the TT football program? "It's sort of like eating an elephant one bite at a time as we try to build this program piece by piece. We are getting recruits in that fit Mike's offensive system and the type of defensive system that he wants to run. Personnel wise we are getting closer to where we want to be."
(Would that answer be the same after lunch coach? . . .)
How does Tech develop awesome quarterbacks every year? "Mike is very patient with his quarterbacks. He is not going to rush them into playing. He is going to take his time and develop quarterbacks that fit his system. Our quarterback is like a shortstop and second baseman on the double play - he needs to learn how to get rid of the football and where to go with it."
(Note: don't ever let Mike talk to Mack!)
Daniel Loper OT Texas Tech. OK Dan, who's going to quarterback? "Sunny Cumby is going to be our quarterback. We have great competition there and Robert Johnson is an amazing athlete, great quarterback and a future All Big-12 candidate. He's great, but unfortunately Sunny has more intangibles that put him ahead of Robert. He has been here four years and he works harder than anybody on the team and he knows what it takes to win. If anybody can fill B.J. shoes it's Sunny.
Kansas State: Can Snyder audition for Spy vs Spy?
Bill Snyder on his team: (As expected, the ultra secretive K-State Head ‘Cat said nothing of substance. So we'll leave his answers void).
Darren Sproles: RB on the Heisman Trophy: "I don't care about the Heisman - I really don't. I just want to win football games. I don't think about post season awards at all and the Heisman means nothing to me."
On offense without Roberson: "I guess more of the offense will fall on my shoulders, but that is OK with me. We will still have a number of great players that can make plays for us and they will. However, I expect to have the ball in my hands quite and bit and all running backs want that to happen."
With Snyder glarring at him, Sproles was in no mood to divulge any more. get these guys outta here . . .
Oklahoma State: Can the Aggies challenge?
Les Miles: "I think we are a talented team and I think our talent level is generally positioned a little higher than it has been. However, with the passing of veteran players and big play makers, somebody has to step up and make those plays." (Note: Miles's comments edited to make sense and form complete sentences).
On his freshman QB (Woods): "We are going to put a veteran team around our quarterback. We are really looking forward to seeing somebody step up at a receiver spot. Virtually everybody else in the offense is going to be back and we have experience in those spots, outside of quarterback. It is always nice when the supporting crew takes some pressure of the quarterback and that will be the case with us."
Miles on Bobby Reid: "Hopefully it's a temporary loss. I really don't see it as a long term loss. The four years that we have starts at the back end of this year or next the four years. He will still have some eligibility there. Donovan (Woods) is a very good quarterback and a quarterback that we can build our future around and he can carry things until Bobby gets back. We actually have some pretty good competition at the quarterback anyway even with Reid out of action, so we feel pretty good about the position. "
Darrent Williams, DB on the anticipated offensive machine: "It's our time (defense) to carry the team. Those guys (offense) might get off to a slow start, but I think they will pick it up as they get more into the system and get more games under their belts."
(A fairly safe bet - after UCLA the Pokes play Tulsa, SMU and Iowa State).
Billy Bajema TE, more on the offensive jugernaut: "Rashaun took a big lead in the receiving game last year and this year we will have to spread it out more and more of us will have to take on a big role. I think I will be a little more involved in that like many of the others guys. We have a lot of guys that can pick up that load."
Nebraska: Big Red Saved by the Bill?
Bill Callahan, On leaving the NU running tradition: "It is a little bit is a misconception that you don't run the ball out of the West Coast offense. We will run the ball at Nebraska and we will run the ball physically. That is something that is inherent in the programs history and that is something that we do well and will continue to do well. I am a firm believer as a former offensive line coach of the great feeling of running the football. The success that I was fortunate to have in the NFL was based on running the football as we rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2000. I coached the top three offenses in the NFL a few times in my career. When I was at Wisconsin we were one of the top running teams there. When you run the ball you run to win and you just have that much better of an opportunity to keep things in control on offense. You keep field possession and run the clock and it is one of the most sounds things you do in football."
(Not a good sign - it sounds like BC is already in an identity crisis).
On the Nebraska position: "It is a great honor to be coaching at Nebraska. I had a great run in the NFL and I enjoyed my time there, but I can't think of a better opportunity for me than the one I have right now at Nebraska. When I walk into my office every day I notice the National Championships, the Heisman Trophy winners, the All-Americans and All-Conference players and realize the great tradition that Nebraska has. I am very blessed to be where I am today."
(Translation: The pay is better than being unemployed).
Josh Bullocks, DB on Coach Bo Pelini: "Coach Bo was a player's coach. Everybody loved to play for him and loved him as a person. He always cared about you as a person and he wanted you to go out there and play hard for him and that's exactly what we did."
"We were real disappointed when Coach Bo didn't get the head coaching job here. However, the way I looked at it is that things happen and you have to control what you can control. Life goes on and that is what I have learned over the last three years going through two different coaching changes I have learned that life goes on no matter what and you have to always do the best you can."
Kansas: Manginess ‘Mission Impossible'. . .
Mark Mangino: On the potential starter for KU at quarterback: "Adam Barmann has an edge, because he knows the system and understands the program a little bit better. Jason Swanson is a junior college transfer from San Francisco City College and he was with us in the spring and he is learning. He is a very good player and will be in the mix."
Program progress report: "I think we are where we should be in our program. In some our spots I am very excited about where we are at during this time. We have a great strength and conditioning program. Chris Dawson (OU) has done a tremendous job and I think that is where the foundation of your team starts. You have to be physical, quick and powerful and we are getting there and are making strides in that area, maybe we're ahead of schedule. I feel we are on track. We have a program in place and it's working."
Reflections of Oklahoma: "I have great memories of being at OU. I have so many great fiends there and people that my family are fiends with. It will be a unique experience for me going into Memorial Stadium after all the success that went on there while I was an assistant coach and it will mean a lot to me. Of course my friends with a lot of the players and coaches, including my friendship with Bob means a lot to me. However, Bob will be the first to tell you for about there hours on that afternoon, we have a job to do and we are going to coach our kids and our players to the best of our ability."
On this year's game at Norman: "I am going to tell my players that most of the kids in our program will only have one chance to play at Oklahoma, to walk into that stadium and look up and see those National and Conference Championships signs on the scoreboard and press box. So, if it's only one day in your life that you get a chance to compete there, you want to do something positive that you can tell your grandkids about."
Joe Vaughn, OC on Mark Mangino: "Coach Mangino knows a lot about playing in the offensive line and he is not afraid to give his opinions on things. He is a good guy to play for. He is a disciplinarian and you have to be disciplined to play for Coach Mangino, but if you do then he is the best coach in the business ."
Banks Floodman, LB; Chances for KU improvement? "I think the confidence coming off last season will spill over into this season. We understand that we did win six games, but that is not acceptable. We went to a bowl game and that didn't turn out like we wanted it to. That is something that left a sour test in our mouth and we are going out this year to see what we can do."
Baylor: The Crying Game
Guy Morris on his definition of success at Baylor: "I don't you can define our season this year just based on wins and losses. I think what I need to see is for us to win enough games to get into a bowl. Whether we can do that or not remains to be seen, but more importantly I need to see signs of progress. I need to see a more productive offense and a more productive defense. Our kids need to play hard weekend and week out and we can't get beat by forty or fifty points. The first three weeks of the season are keys to us as we need to go out and win all three games. We need to get some momentum from that so that we can build on it the rest of the season."
The highlight of last season? "The Oklahoma game. We went into a traditional powerhouse in their back yard and didn't win the football game, but for us it was kind of like us facing the devil and surviving. It showed our kids that we don't have to be in awe of a team like Oklahoma. We played Oklahoma pretty tough, shut them out in the second half and exposed their pass protection. We got to White more than anybody else up to that point and there were a lot positives in that game. I thought our kids had seen the devil and came away unscathed and that we could go out and compete with people like that. The following week we went out and played Oklahoma State tough and then eventually beat Colorado. However, the turning point for us if there was one was the Oklahoma game last year.
Missouri: Progress or over optimism?
Gary Pinkel: "Hopefully we are going to be a better football team. This is our fourth year in the program and I think we are a stronger, faster, quicker football team and I know that, because I know all the stats from the summer. I like we are mentally tougher and hopefully we learned things from last year. A year we couldn't bring it week end and week out, we weren't mature enough to do that."
Did last year mean that that your program has arrived? "No, no, not all. You fail to win a conference championship and then go to a bowl goal and get whipped by Arkansas, and that's supposed to make you feel that you program has arrived in college football?"
Brad Smith: On the overall state of the program: "We have come a long way since Coach Pinkel has been here. We still have a long way to go, but there is a big difference in attitude and our belief in our football team. This year we can be a good football team and our goals are higher this year. I like that, but we still can't get ahead of ourselves. We have to go out and just win games and the championships will take care of themselves."
What's the overall Mizzou offensive game plan? "We use our quarterback run game to great extent and it also helps us in the passing game. We run it and run it until we get those safeties to move up and then we burn them deep.
On being a Heisman candidate? "I am flattered and honored that people think I am worthy of being even mentioned for the Heisman Trophy. Again if I play up to my abilities post season awards will take care of themselves. We have so many players in this conference alone who can win that award including Jason White who won the award last year. This is a great conference and to win the Heisman your first have to be the best player in the conference and I don't know if that is possible, but I am going to strive to play up to the best of my abilities and see what happens from there."
(Note: Brad Smith was very impressive. Very humble, quiet. Difficult to not wish him well).
Colorado: As the Word Turns. . .
Gary Barnett: on being suspended: "I was there 13 of the 15 days on the sideline. I think the hardest part was reaching for my whistle and I had no whistle to blow. Sitting back and watching things knowing if I was out there I would probably do a few things different, but not anything so significant that I felt like our team was hurt by it. I think if anything our team going though it and what we have gone through this season is tough, but can be a blessing for us. We are probably further along than most football teams are from chemistry and an attitude standpoint. Nobody has gone through anything close what we have gone through scrutiny wise in the history of college football."
(Like they maybe didn't deserve to go through it? Somehow I think Gary may still be in denial).
Bobby Purify: RB, On his health and the Colorado running game: "My ankle is fine now and I am ready to go. Our offensive line improved so much from last year and we have some great tight ends to help us out a little bit. I have gained about 17 pounds since the last year when I played at 195, right now I'm about 212."
Joel Klatt QB, On the investigation: "The past few months have been the toughest thing I've gone through in my life - it was like an ‘out of body experience.' Most of the allegations dealt with players that I don't even know and the situations were incidents that I would never be a part of -and that goes for all the players that I know on our football team. Yet, I can't go anywhere without somebody bringing it up. Some people on campus were very angry with me and I had nothing to do with it. I definitely learned to turn the other cheek, because I have taken some tough verbal abuse for just being apart of this football team. However, that has just made me stronger and I am proud to be a Colorado Buffalo. We will prove this year that we are a class program and a good football team.
(Klatt does make a good point, the innocent were unfairly assumed to be guilty).
Iowa State: Doom and Gloom or Daylight ?
Coach McCarney: on the fact he has coached with so many other coaches in the Big-12 at one time or another: "Yeah, and I wish they would quit beating up on me! That is what is one of the neat things about this profession in that it is a very, very close fraternity and it is exciting to see all the guys who you know and have worked with before who have now got opportunities. Many of those guys go back to Iowa and the roots that Hayden (Fry) gave us. Between the incredible experiences at Iowa and Wisconsin there were a lot of coaches that have gotten some great opportunities and a lot of us are out there coaching. "
On what the next step at ISU is: "We have to get better in all facets of the game, but I like this team right now. There is a burning desire to get back to where we were when we were going to bowl games and putting together great seasons. There's a burr under everybody's saddle, except for the freshman, but that is my job to teach. However, all the returning guys are sick to their stomach about last year and they are the only ones that can do something about it. We have the talent to win games and just need to go out and do it."
Steven Hicks, TB on this year's prospects: "We have all the pieces in place to get on track and we can get things done. We have two good quarterbacks and we think we are going to have a good team this year. We need to win this year, we can't get into a rut where we are putting together losing seasons again. We need to get going again with a winning season and go back to bowls."
Ellis Hobbs, DE on Coach Dan McCarney: "Coach McCarney‘s energy and that of his staff is so great that it's something that you want to be a part of. He is building this program the right away and totally believes in what he is doing and we are doing as a team. You want to be a part of it and be one of those guys that can look back and say that I played a big part in that."
Big XII Media Day Wrapup
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