Tuesday's Big 12 Media Day Notebook

See inside for our synopsis of Tuesday's Big 12 Mediay festivities, which included press conferences for Texas' Mack Brown (pictured), Kansas' Mark Mangino, Colorado's Dan Hawkins and Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy. OU head coach Bob Stoops, running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Rufus Alexander and defensive end C.J. Ah You will meet the media Wednesday morning. (AP Photo)

Schools today: Kansas; Colorado; Okie State; Texas.

Biggest News: That Mack Brown said when he returned from the national championship game, the first congratulatory letter he received was from Bob Stoops. Also, that Mack called Stoops, and other coaches of past national championship winners and asked about their advice and experiences.

Brown also added that Barry Switzer said he and many OU fans were rooting for Texas, particularly in light of the 47-game win streak.

Those comments prompted the question to Mack, "So you NOW like OU fans?"

"I worked there, I liked OU fans then and have ever since," Mack said.

Strongest statement: KU Coach Mark Mangino saying his team would be better and had a great chance to win the North, citing several young players as the reason, (particularly redshirt freshman QB Kerry Meier and freshman RB Jake Sharp). Mangino said he liked his chances much better this year now that Texas, OU and Texas Tech have been replaced by A&M, Okie State and Baylor.

When asked if he had reservations about playing freshmen at key positions, Mangino said, "if they're ready - I have no reservations." Mangino noted that QB Meier (6-3, 210) has Josh Heupel like QB qualities and is also one of the four fastest Jayhawks. Dang.

Most Impressive Coach: Mack Brown, who's always going to win this battle. Winning the 'Big One' has relaxed Mack considerably. And he doesn't look like he's been constipated for three weeks when someone mentions 'Red River Shootout.'

A few in the media thought that the new Mack was too arrogant, but they were probably weren't here last year.

Least Impressive Coach: Your heart goes out, honestly, to Mike Gundy, who looked and sounded much more somber than the upbeat guy with all the answers and all the confidence a year ago. He was candid, answered every question straight up, but his face and voice sometimes was void of emotion, and enthusiasm.

Gundy was apparently still shell-shocked from last year when redshirtfFreshman Bobby Reid stunk up Stillwater and all points in between. It's amazing that he is being given as the reason why they could be better. Best Interview: New Head Buff Dan Hawkins, who brought everything but the blue rug down from Boise State. Hawkins admitted that he's done some really crazy things at practice in order to keep his team loose.

Durning the spring, he had the CU equipment manager don a helmet and let the football team play 'closest to the a** hole' from 50 yards out with a 9 iron. Hawkins said the team liked the equipment manager well enough, he just thought it'd be more fun with a live target.

Someone asked him about what it's like to be in the Big 12. Hawkins gave all the right answers, citing monster programs, traditions and legends at Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska.

The follow-up was, Will you then be somewhat in awe when you visit those places? "Well, if I weren't playing a game maybe, but it's different when you compete. I mean, I won't be going up to Bob Stoops and asking for an autograph," Hawkins said.

Worst Display of Reality: Some of the Nebraska press. Fans, oftent imes one in the same, thinking that Bill Callahan is a great coach (see above). Callahan has a 13-10 record at NU, hardly worthy of praise.

Today's Team to Watch: Kansas, maybe Colorado, but we probably won't be hearing from them for another year.

Thought of the day: Dan Hawkins will make a difference at CU — in time. Who knows about this year, as he doesn't even know at this point what kind of team he'll field.

Most Sobering Thought: The national championship has given Texas some much-needed confidence, perhaps too much. The potential land mine is that every Horn fan KNOWS down deep that 3rd and 30 is going to be much tougher to make than the last few years. Another sobering thought: How did UT ever get into a 3rd and 30 with Vince Young?

Kansas Quotes (PDF)
Texas Quotes (PDF)
Oklahoma State Quotes (PDF)
Colorado Quotes (PDF)
Ranking the schools that have appeared before this August body, based on strength, NOT projected record due to unequal scheduling.

1) Texas
2) Nebraska
3) Kansas
4) Tech
5) Colorado
6) Baylor
7 tie) Okie State
7 tie) K-State

Schools Yesterday (Monday): Nebraska; K-State; Baylor; Texas Tech.

Schools Wednesday: Texas A&M; Iowa State; Missouri; Oklahoma.

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