IRVING, Texas — It's just like saving the best film award for last at the Oscars.
Sure, the Academy might tease the supporting actor and actress at the beginning of the awards show and slowly work through the people we may have never heard but appear to be all so important. Then we meet those who are considered the biggest awards of all.
Best actor, best actress, best director, best movie … catch my drift?
You would know what I mean if you were a media member at Big 12 Media Days on Wednesday with the Big 12 using the Oscars script as a blueprint for helping keep everyone around in the TV interview room just a little longer.
And everyone waited for Mack Brown and the Longhorns to arrive.
Let's face it – if we really did learn anything from the two-week debacle and "save" of the conference, it's that this is Texas' conference to win or lose.
And they are still the defending Big 12 Champions.
Just like a king taking his throne, Brown began addressing the print media members first, doing the formal quotes and thanking every loyal subject in the Big 12 office for helping the Longhorns keep this league together one last season or more. We shall see.
As the horde of reporters gathered around Brown on his raised podium, questions about anything and everything were thrown at him.
"Are you a true national power?"
"What do you expect out of Garrett Gilbert?"
"Will you miss this Nebraska-Texas rivalry?"
"What do you think of Tuberville?"
Ah-ha! A suitable question for the king. Especially since many have started to realize that Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville might be one of the better recruiters around the country and definitely just as entertaining and smooth with the media — as many found out on Tuesday.
But Brown doesn't appear to be bothered by anything that was asked of him or about Texas. In fact, he just kept welcoming the questions by the media. He even pointed over the group surrounding his table on the podium to see if there were any others in the back trying to get in a question.
A good king always recognizes every subject in his court.
Humbled, Brown went on to talk about how much longer he may be able to sit on the throne — or should we say stand on his pedestal — before the prince in waiting Will Muschamp becomes to impatient.
He admitted that there was a moment when he felt like taking the crown off his head and handing it over three or four years ago, when knee problems made coaching more painful than fun.
But the king remains in the same chair, hungry, hungry to conquer another land.
A new Louisiana Purchase? That's the bit of land Brown wants his army to conquer once the final full Big 12 season is over with and done.
But he wasn't showing any signs of greed. Instead, the king just appeared to keep asking the same thing — What can Brown do for you?
No Cold Feet, No Hot Seat
I would rate Wednesday as another entertaining day at the Westin Hotel with the last four Big 12 coaches.
Well, at least three of them.
As usual, "Big Game Bob" Stoops appeared guarded about questions of knocking off Texas, and if Landry Jones is the right guy to get the job done. To answer the first part, it didn't take him long to mention Oklahoma's six Big 12 titles and four national championship appearances — plus the one win.
Hawkins smiled and laughed with the media. He detailed the weeks of how he kept in contact with the Colorado administration and relaying the news back to his players. He made it known that he does not have a starting quarterback and definitely gave no indication of favoritism toward his son, Cody.
With only 16 wins in four years and no bowl games, Hawkins acted as if he was not on a hot seat.
"At least it's a seat," he said.
Gill is feeling mutual about it. His former home, Nebraska, appeared to have cold feet years ago when they interviewed Gill along with Bo Pelini and others. Pelini, of course, got the job, brought back tough defense and the rest is history — Big 12 history that is.
Gill was hired by KU in the offseason to replace fired Mark Mangino, who took Kansas to a BCS bowl game and won. Gill said there's no hard feelings toward the Cornhuskers and that he wants Kansas to be considered a football school.
"It wasn't the right fit," Gill said of the Nebraska job. "If it was, I'd be there right now. This is the right fit at the right time."
Colorado wide receiver Scotty McKnight is not someone you want to get too close to you if you don't know him well. Especially if he is with his good friend and fellow prankster, Jets quarterback and So-Cal buddy Mark Sanchez.
McKnight told the story of how he and Sanchez were able to get his sister and her fiancé just before their wedding that week.
"We were at the reception and Mark and I kept trying to think of something," he said. "We saw that she left her cell phone sitting on the railing overlooking the beach outside where she was earlier. So we snagged it and texted him ‘I think I'm getting cold feet.' We looked over at him and he looked like he had seen a ghost. Then he figured it out when he saw us looking over at him."
McKnight aspires to be in the NFL as well, and he is not kidding about that.
Even though he is only 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, he said he sees himself at a slot position somewhere in the NFL, taking a lot from the things that guys like former Wes Welker have been able to do without the more "physical" gifts.
"That's someone I really try to emulate on the field," McKnight said. "He's really good at how he plays the game. Hopefully, I can continue to get better this season and prove to someone that I might be worth the risk."
Hopefully, I never leave my cell phone around him.