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Big 12 media days blog: Quickfire notes from Bill Self’s one-on-one interviews

1:50 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

We're going to go ahead and sign off on our live coverage from Big 12 media days.

Be sure to look below for:

Notes from Self talking at the podium and in one-on-one interviews.

Short videos with Big 12 director of officiating Curtis Shaw explaining the new handchecking and block/charge rules.

Also, check back to on Wednesday for all of Gary Bedore's stories and notebook items from media day.

1:08 p.m. update: By Jesse Newell

OK, here are some quickfire notes from what Self said during his hour of one-on-one interviews:

• Self still believes Perry Ellis has the potential to be KU's leading or second-leading scorer this year.

Self says he never watches tape of his team's final game of the season after an NCAA Tournament loss. "Why watch it? You can't get it back. It's over," Self said. He said he's only watched one final game during his time at KU, but he joked that he watched that one a bunch.

• Self says center Joel Embiid "has fallen in love with basketball." He says the big man has great feet. Embiid might not make an impact early, but he could make a huge impact late. Self said KU only saw Embiid in recruiting because he was the fourth-best player on Brannen Greene's AAU team.

• Self said Wayne Selden has been "one of our best players since Day One. Period." Self says once the games start, he won't be overlooked by anyone.

On the possibility of Selden being a backup poing guard for KU, Self said the last thing he wants is Selden thinking too much. "Could he do it in time? Absolutely," Self said. Self doesn't believe right away is the best time for that, though. Playing point guard requires a lot. Self compared it to having your starting running back in football also assigned to be the backup quarterback. He said that's asking quite a bit of a player.

Self said at nearly every practice, 6-10 NBA guys are watching his players. He said that's a good situation that you want to have at your program. You want your guys to get exposure.

• Self said the biggest surprises for him have been the development of Naadir Tharpe, Perry Ellis and Embiid.

• Self said Tarik Black should be the best player he's had at sealing off defenders and scoring with angles. He's also helped Embiid's development.

• Last year, Self said KU didn't have a true low-post scorer with Kevin Young and Jeff Withey in the starting lineup. KU should play through the post more this year, and it's also deeper on the perimeter than last year's team. Self still said that last year's team at the end of the year would whip the team he has right now, which doesn't completely know what it's doing yet.

Self didn't hesitate to let Andrew Wiggins do the SI cover. At the time, though, Self didn't know how SI was going to do the cover or the story. Self did think the cover was cool, even if it did perhaps add more expectations.

Self believes the attention on Wiggins could help all his players, especially ones like Conner Frankamp and Brannen Greene. Those guys should be able to develop at their own pace, whereas in another program, they'd probably have a lot expected of them right away. Self said Frankamp was going to be good, as he could shoot as well as anyone on the team. Self said one improvement Frankamp needs to make is with his defense.

• Self said KU was teaching its defense a bit differently because of the new defensive rules changes with handchekcing. The block/charge change, though, doesn't affect Self's defensive philosophy, as he's never taught guys to take charges, even though guys like Kevin Young and Travis Releford were good at it. Self said he likes to have his guys play physical on the perimeter, so he's not telling his guys to back off defensively, because he thinks that might send the wrong message. The team might have to adjust principles, though, based on how the game is officiated.

Self says his team has scrimmaged twice, and both times, it had three officials to get used to the new rules. His team will scrimmage twice a week from now on, and two officials will be present at those as well.

Embiid will not be a rim-protector like Jeff Withey was. Self said his team was spoiled the last two years. Self said Embiid is good at shot-blocking, but not as good as he could be. Embiid needs to get it more in his mind to go after blocked shots.

Self said he looks to NBA teams for information, mostly regarding how to guard ball screens.

Self said Wiggins is a guard that can post up, and KU's never had that in his time there. KU will try to get it to him there at times.

Self said KU could play with four guards this year, but he's more inclined to play his best players, and right now, the big men have been as consistent as anyone. It's going to be hard to take more than two big men out at a time.

• Last year, Tharpe was more comfortable being "a guy." "Now, he's the guy," Self said. Tharpe now believes he belongs.

• Self said Andrew White III's role could be first guard off the bench. He's listened to the coaches and improved nearly every aspect he was asked to in the offseason.

11:15 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

A quick note on the blog ... the updates might be a little more infrequent over the next hour or so, as starting at 11:30, one-on-one interviews start with both coaches and players. If you haven't yet, be sure to check out the Bill Self Cliff's notes below, along with the short videos that explain the new NCAA rule changes this year.

11:04 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's more clarification of OSU coach Travis Ford's quote below. Here's officially what he said from the Big 12's transcript:

"Well, we haven't talked much about where we were picked (in Big 12). We talk a lot about understanding what our goals are and what we want to try to accomplish. Winning a Big 12 Championship is something that we strive to do. It's something we talk about, but we fully grasp that Kansas is still a team to beat. I think any coach would tell you that. They're still the team in the Big 12 that everybody's trying to compete with."

10:49 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Some interesting comments a few seconds ago from Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, who was asked about the Big 12 preseason rankings.

"We fully grasped that Kansas is a team to beat," Ford said.

I believe Ford was referencing most of the past decade as KU being the league favorite, but he also might be trying to take some pressure off his guys.

10:32 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Short note from our Gary Bedore: KU walkon Tyler Self will be out three to four weeks with a torn ligament in the top of his foot.

10:25 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

For those who haven't heard anything about the new rules ... be sure to take a look at the two short videos below. Big 12 director of officials Curtis Shaw explains — with video examples — how block/charge and handchecking calls will be different this season.

In case you were wondering, KU plays from last year make appearances on both videos.

10:04 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

A couple photos of KU's players doing radio interviews about 20 minutes ago.


Wiggins by Jesse Newell


Black by Jesse Newell

10:02 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

The Big 12 officiating coordinator Curtis Shaw just finished his talk. Here are a few of the key points:

Shaw says the intent with the new rules isn't to shoot more free throws, but that might happen early as players adjust. Handchecks have been moved up into the front part of the rulebook, so now, these aren't just guidelines. They're rules. Now, these handcheck things are automatic fouls.

He says every game's officiating will be graded within 48 hours this year. The referees and coaches will get a copy so they know the league is reviewing it. Shaw believes this will help the referees and help find some tendencies from certain officials.

More from Shaw later, as I'll post some video of him explaining the new handcheck and block/charge rules.

9:40 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

A story from our Gary Bedore about KU coach Bill Self's reaction to the new rule changes ...

8:58 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Here's the full audio from KU coach Bill Self's time at the podium.

8:42 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

Big 12 media days

Big 12 media days by Jesse Newell

Here are the Cliff's notes from Self's time at the podium:

Self says there's as much anticipation with his group as any time he's been at KU.

Center Joel Embiid has a chance to be as talented a big guy as Self has had. He's just starting his third year of playing ball. If he continues to improve at this rate, he could impact the league and also the college game nationally. He has a skill-set few 7-footers have.

KU has been ranked higher preseason a lot of times than this year, but it seems to Self there's higher hype about this team because of the recruiting class and Andrew Wiggins. Self has told the young guys he has that there have been pretty good players before them that have been proven, and none of you guys have made a basket. Nothing's going to be easy, and those guys are going to get everyone's best shot. Those guys are looking forward to it, though.

Wiggins hasn't asked for the attention. He deflects attention as much as anyone Self has been around. Self says the LeBron James comparisons and such are unfair. He just needs to try to be Andrew. When you're on the cover of SI ... you could go for 20 points and 10 rebounds in the opener and be a disappointment in some people's eyes. If you know ball, Self says you will see Wiggins impact the team in ways that can help KU win that might not be points and rebounds. Self says the expectations for him should be high, and there should be hype. He is talented, and he should be able to put his handprint over almost everything that KU does.

KU had big guards last year. Some of Self's best teams have had little guards. Wiggins and Wayne Selden can make plays off the bounce, but KU isn't going to change how it plays too much. KU will run a lot of ball screens for them.

Self's initial thought with the new handchecking rules is that scoring will go up and good play will go down. Self thinks the scoring will go up because of more free throws. Self doesn't know if he rule change will create more shots; he thinks it will create more free throws. There may be games early when teams won't go up and down the court twice without a stoppage. It'll be good down the line, but there could be fragmented games to get to that point.

Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart is the best competitor Self has faced while at KU. He wills his team to win. He's going to do whatever it takes to give his team the best chance to win.

KU is going to make mistakes this year. The Jayhawks will struggle in some areas. Self thinks closing close games out could be a struggle, as you have to learn how to win. Self hopes that by league play, he won't be looking at his freshmen as young players, because if this tough non-conference schedule doesn't prepare you for conference play, none will.

8:25 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

More talk about the rule changes this year: Texas coach Rick Barnes believes zone defenses could make a comeback this year — along with pack-line defenses — with defensive contact being eliminated on the perimeter.

Barnes also noted that it will be very difficult for players to take charges with the rule changes. He said that in a scrimmage this past week, his team had three plays that he thought were charges that were called as blocks. After looking at film, he said they all were the right calls with the new rules.

Barnes said he'd like for the NCAA to continue to adjust its rules, as he'd like to see a 30-second shot clock, a wider lane and the opportunity for defenders to take the ball off the rim if it's bouncing above it. Barnes said he's in favor of an international game, so he'd prefer the NCAA go to the international rules.

8:13 a.m. update: By Jesse Newell

I haven't seen many reporters from Oklahoma here, so that might let you know where college basketball falls in the pecking order as far as Oklahoma sports go at this time of the year.

One interesting thing — and it'll be a theme all day — was from OU coach Lon Kruger talking about officials enforcing handchecking rules more this season.

"It'll be extremely difficult (to adjust)," Kruger said. "That's what they want. If they're able to call it as they're describing and maintain it throughout the season, it'll be good for everyone."

Kruger called the change "as big as an adjustment as we've seen" in college basketball, and he included three-point line and clock changes in that statement.

The rule — meant to help increase scoring, which has been dipping in the NCAA for some time — is partially explained below.

The rules committee is concerned that various types of handchecking on a player with the ball drastically reduces the dribbler's ability to beat his man to create scoring opportunities. Accordingly, certain guidelines for officiating these plays have been inserted into Rule 10 and officials are instructed to call the fouls written within the rules.

Original post: By Jesse Newell

Welcome to Big 12 men's basketball media days at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Here's the schedule for the podium today:

8 a.m. — Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger
8:15 a.m. — Texas coach Rick Barnes
8:30 a.m. — Kansas coach Bill Self
8:45 a.m. — Baylor coach Scott Drew
9 a.m. — West Virginia coach Bob Huggins
9:45 a.m. — Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith
10 a.m. — Kansas State coach Bruce Weber
10:15 a.m. — TCU coach Trent Johnson
10:30 a.m. —  Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg
10:45 a.m. — Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — Coaches' one-on-ones
12:30-1:15 p.m. — Athletes one-on-ones

Be sure to check back for more from media days as it happens, including Self's audio and Cliff's notes from his time at the podium.

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Big 12 media days coverage: Will Toben Opurum play both ways in 2012? Also, Charlie Weis admits interest in potential Penn State transfers

7:05 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

About to hop on a plane to get back to Kansas, so we're going to sign off for our live coverage from Big 12 media days.

Be sure to check back to the site Wednesday for additional stories and notes from today's event.

4:59 p.m.: By Matt Tait

Just following up a little on that whole Toben Opurum could play running back again this season thing that Jesse mentioned earlier.

Although Opurum said he had not been approached by Weis about the idea yet, Weis was not as convincing. Remember, Weis recruited Opurum to Notre Dame as a fullback and he reiterated Tuesday that Opurum could play some as a goal-line and short-yardage back.

When asked if he had talked to Opurum about the idea, Weis said: "That's not important to you."

Maybe he has, maybe he hasn't, but the fact remains that Opurum would be both interested and likely productive should such a scenario materialize.

Weis also mentioned that offensive lineman Duane Zlatnik, who is known as one of the strongest dudes on the team, could play some as an interior defensive lineman in goal-line and short-yardage situations.

The times they are a changin', folks. But, again, this is all about Weis getting the best players on the field in the best positions.

One other note of interest: Weis again credited his one season with the Kansas City Chiefs as one of the big reasons he took the KU job. He knew the area, he liked the environment and he liked the opportunity.

Here's another one, before we wrap up and head to the airport: Weis talking about Allen Fieldhouse and KU hoops.

"Well, first of all, I love college hoops, so let's start there. And I get great seats, too. I get great seats. But you think — let's think about: Recruiting is the lifeline of every program, right? All right. So it's a Saturday afternoon in January. And you're going out on the Fieldhouse with about 20 recruits you're bringing in. The place is rocking and rolling. The decibel level is well over 100. You've got one of the best basketball teams in the country with arguably the best coach on an annual basis playing, and the fans are going bananas. And what you're saying to these players coming in, saying: That's what we want — that's what we want Memorial Stadium to become like. You've got to come here and give them a reason to be that way. I mean, they're already seeing evidence of what the people are willing to do. But you have to help become part of it. It's a wonderful recruiting tool. So most people would look at it as second‑class citizens. I play right into that. I mean, you couldn't have a better recruiting tool than our basketball team."

4:21 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

I asked KU coach Charlie Weis what made him optimistic about the upcoming season. Here's his answer, which includes discussion of his players buying in and the potential to prove naysayers wrong.

4:02 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

A few notes from talking with KU defensive end Toben Opurum during one-on-one interviews:

• Opurum reiterated that Josh Williams had been a vocal leader in defensive drills, but he also said that fans shouldn't forget about Kevin Young and John Williams. Both players contributed to KU's defense last year before getting sidelined or hampered by injuries, and Opurum said both had performed well in the summer.

• Opurum said that, for him, the K-State game didn't take on any extra significance with Missouri out of the Big 12. He said he'd approach the game the same way.

• Opurum said he'd watched a lot of tape from last year, and he came away with it frustrated that on many plays, one breakdown on KU's defense would result in a big play for the other team. He said there were times when three blown assignments resulted in KU being down 21 points.

• Opurum also said while watching tape that he was most discouraged when he saw instances of players not giving full effort. That's a mental thing, he said, and shouldn't happen.

• Opurum said he hasn't been approached about playing both offense and defense this season, but he said he'd be interested if Weis offered that. Opurum said he'd be lying if he said he didn't still think about being an offensive player. In summer drills, he's even run some routes against KU linebacker Darius Willis.

3:41 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

Here's Charlie Weis talking about his favorite Dayne Crist story. This goes back to Weis' days at Notre Dame when he had just recruited quarterback Jimmy Clausen to play for him.

You can tell from the way that Weis tells the story that he's a big fan of Crist's.

3:27 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

A couple more AP photos from here at Big 12 media days ...

Kansas cheerleader Jordan Snyder jokes around with friends while wearing a football helmet at the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.

Kansas cheerleader Jordan Snyder jokes around with friends while wearing a football helmet at the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist speaks during the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist speaks during the Big 12 college football media days on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in Dallas.

3:10 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

I asked Toben Opurum the same question as I asked Weis earlier: Which KU player might surprise fans with his play this year?

Here's Opurum's response, as he says one of the KU's defensive newcomers has become one of the team's best leaders.

2:38 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

While he was doing TV interviews, KU defensive end Toben Opurum was asked about the most interesting thing that happened to him during the offseason.

The senior talked about KU's new conditioning routine under strength coordinator Scott Holsopple, which includes work with boxing gloves.

2:02 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

I asked KU quarterback Dayne Crist to share his favorite Charlie Weis memory.

The senior gave an interesting response, talking about how Weis was one of the only coaches to challenge him. Crist also tells a funny story about how Weis offered him a scholarship.

1:37 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

I asked Weis if there were any KU players that should be getting more attention.

Here's his answer.

1:29 p.m.: By Matt Tait

The Jayhawks are finished with the morning session of interviews and are now in the middle of a little lunch break before heading to the one-on-one interviews with reporters between 2 and 3.

For a program coming off of two of its worst seasons in school history, there certainly was a lot of interest in the Jayhawks this morning.

Obviously, most people wanted to talk to Charlie Weis. Why did he take the job? What kind of job can he do? What are his expectations. All of those are things we've heard, but it was a good opportunity for KU to represent itself on the national stage and Weis and company did not disappoint.

Throughout the morning Weis was the Weis we have come to expect. Cool, calm, sarcastic and honest.

For the most part, I think it went over well and many of the members of the media came away with a good impression of both Weis and KU.

There seems to be a belief that the Jayhawks will be more competitive this season, and a lot of the credit for that goes to Weis and the respect he has gained throughout his career.

In fact, I talked with all nine other Big 12 coaches about Weis and, while many said they did not know him prior to him taking the job at KU, each said that they had a tremendous amount of respect for what he's done and who he is. Four Super Bowl rings will do that.

As for the players, for starters, they looked sharp. Dressed in suits — some older than others — Jayhawks Dayne Crist, Toben Opurum and Tanner Hawkinson were loose and really had a lot of fun with the day.

Many of the questions they were asked were about Weis. What it takes to play for him, what kind of person he is, were they scared when he took over? Before each answer, nearly every time, the players kind of laughed before they spoke.

It's clear that there is a real connection between Weis and this team already. And it can't be said enough how impressive that is. The guy was hired in December and he already has developed a kinship and a familiarity with all of his players.

Jesse's working on some video from the players so we'll have that up as soon as possible. From 2-3 we'll be doing more video and interviews, but be sure to check back after that for the latest from Dallas.

All in all, the Jayhawks showed very well today and gave the rest of the Big 12 media a reason to be interested in what's happening in Lawrence. That wasn't really the case during the past two seasons.

Stay tuned ...

12:45 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

Quick update: Just was able to get video interviews with Weis, Crist and Opurum.

We'll have some good things coming, including who Weis thinks could surprise in 2012, Crist's favorite memory of Weis and Opurum talking about KU's new workout routine.

It'll take a little while to get these posted, but we'll get them up as quickly as possible.

11:49 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Weis said when he took the KU job, he decided not to talk to former KU coach Mark Mangino, even though he knew him from earlier. Because Mangino had coached some of the players, Weis wanted to make sure to do things the way he wanted to do them and give players a fresh start.

And with that, Weis' time at the podium is complete.

Also am hearing that "Charlie Weis" is trending on Twitter.

11:47 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Weis says he was offered more jobs for more money than the KU job offered. He says that shows his interest in the program.

11:46 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Weis said, when looking back at his experience at Notre Dame, he sometimes looks back and says, "How stupid could you be?" He says he learned a lot from that experience.

He said early on at Notre Dame, he didn't talk to a lot of alumni groups. That disgruntled some people. When he took the job at KU, one of the first things he did was go on a tour to meet alums. He believes that has paid dividends.

11:42 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Weis says he loves college hoops, and he says that he gets great seats. Recruiting is the lifeline of every program, he says. When Weis recruits, he takes guys to KU basketball games with one of the best teams and coaches in the country. Weis says he tells recruits that they can see the support they can get at KU, but they need to come to help build that same sort of thing for the KU football team. Weis says the football team couldn't have a better recruiting tool that KU basketball.

11:37 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Weis jokingly calls linebacker Anthony McDonald and tight end Mike Ragone "my blockheads." He said both came to KU to enhance their potential value in the NFL. Both players at their old schools were behind the best players on their respective teams.

11:35 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Weis says one of the reasons he took the KU job was his familiarity with the Kansas City area. He says he enjoyed his time with the Chiefs when he was an offensive coordinator but had family issues that forced him to move.

11:33 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

From Matt's tweet ...

"Weis: One of guys I have most respect for is Coach Snyder and I know some of the people at Kansas will be mad at me for that"

11:32 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

• Weis starts with an opening statement about Penn State: "No one wins. Everyone loses."

• Weis says he has taken a look at Penn State's roster to see if any of the players could help KU. He still said you had to respect PSU coach Bill O'Brien and the program and go through the proper channels.

11:27 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Weis is in the room. He gives a half-hug to Big Jay on the way to the stage.

Keep it here for updates.

11:25 a.m.: By Matt Tait

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was the third coach to step to the podium today and it was quite clear that last season's BCS success did nothing to change who Gundy is or what he believes. The main thing he's stressing now is for the Cowboys to maintain their success and take it to new heights.

"Our organization and our football program has come a long way. And hopefully we've got it set right now so that it will continue this way for a number of years."

Coach Weis is up next.

11:23 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

A few photos of the KU players here ...

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist talks to ESPN's Samantha Steele during an interview at Big 12 media days on Tuesday in Dallas.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist talks to ESPN's Samantha Steele during an interview at Big 12 media days on Tuesday in Dallas. by Jesse Newell

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist talks with ESPN's Samantha Steele before an interview on Tuesday at Big 12 media days in Dallas.

Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist talks with ESPN's Samantha Steele before an interview on Tuesday at Big 12 media days in Dallas. by Jesse Newell

Kansas defensive end Toben Opurum talks to a reporter on Big 12 media days on Tuesday in Dallas.

Kansas defensive end Toben Opurum talks to a reporter on Big 12 media days on Tuesday in Dallas. by Jesse Newell

11:10 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Here's a video previewing where Matt and I talk about what we expect from KU at Big 12 media days today.

10:52 a.m.: By Matt Tait

UT coach Mack Brown, who always seems to charm the pants off of everyone in the room at these things, was much more business-like during his session with the media today.

1. Brown said quarterbacks like Colt McCoy and Vince Young made the Longhorns "soft" in terms of the running game. "Becuase those guys were so good and so accurate, we were throwing it on third and four," he said. Instead of seeing that continue, Brown said he would like to see a little more toughness from the running game, especially in the red zone. "You can't just throw it all the time and be successful," Brown said.

2. Midway through the session, Brown turned to the various cheerleaders standing at the front of the room and asked, 'How we doing girls? Ya OK?' They smiled, of course, and nodded their heads yes. There's the Mack Brown I remember from these things. He actually asked all of them to come in to stand up front for his session.

3. Brown really likes the talent, progress and improvement shown by cornerback Carrington Byndom, who has had a solid summer and is poised to be a leader for the Longhorns' defense.

"I think he will end up being one of the better defensive backs in the country this year," Brown said.

4. Brown said there's a great need for UT's wide receivers - especially the young guys - to step up early to help the inexperienced QBs settle in a little quicker. Still no decision on a starting QB. David Ash and Case McCoy will spend most of August battling it out and Brown said he believed the competition could go down to the last day. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is up next.

10:20 a.m.: By Matt Tait

As was the case Monday, Day 2 of the Big 12 Media Days in Dallas opened with a newcomer, as West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen was the first coach to address the media today.

KU coach Charlie Weis, who arrived Monday evening currently is doing radio interviews and will move on from there to 50 minutes with national television crews.

Weis will address the print media at 11:30 and also will be available for 30 minutes during the player and coach breakout sessions from 2 to 3. KU captains Dayne Crist, Tanner Hawkinson and Toben Opurum also will be available to print reporters during that time.

For now, here's a look at some of the highlights from Holgorsen's comments.

1. Moments after saying how excited he and his school were to be in the Big 12 Conference, Holgorsen went on to discuss what a good marriage WVU and the Big 12 have created.

"What we're getting into is the same thing we've got at home," he said. "And that didn't necessarily exist in the conference we were in last year." One note of interest: Holgorsen has coached in the Big 12 as an assistant for nine of the last 12 seasons.

2. With the Mountaineers picked to finish second in the league this season, Holgorsen knows there are a few expectations for his team to compete in the Big 12 right away. He's not worried.

"Our team is used to winning," he said. "And that's the case with the other nine schools in the Big 12."

3. Travel does not seem to be a concern for Holgorsen or West Virginia. He said most of the travel these days is done via airplane anyway and also said that the concept of bringing 15,000 home fans to road games is a thing of the past because that many tickets just aren't made available to road teams any more.

"It's gonna be an airplane ride," he said. "You're gonna jump on a plane and fly a couple of hours no matter where you go, and, from there, it's normal preparation and really no big deal."

4. Holgorsen said Geno Smith really picked up confidence late in the 2011 season and he's expecting that to carry over into 2012. He also thinks Smith's performance down the stretch helped propel him to his selection as the preseason offensive player of the year in the Big 12. As for the offense itself, Holgorsen knows what he's getting into in terms of trying to keep up in the Big 12. And he has a few plans for that.

"We'll probably put something new out there," he said with a laugh. "I'm not gonna tell you what it is."

Original post: By Jesse Newell

Welcome back to Big 12 football media days at the Westin here in Dallas. This is Day 2 of the festivities and also the day that Kansas coach Charlie Weis, quarterback Dayne Crist, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson and defensive end Toben Opurum meet with reporters.

Here's the schedule for the podium today:

10 a.m. — West Virginia
10:30 a.m. — Texas
11 a.m. — Oklahoma State
11:30 a.m. — Kansas
Noon — Baylor

Coaches and players also will be available for one-on-one sessions during the afternoon from 2-3 p.m.

Obviously, be sure to check back here for your KU coverage, which will include photos, videos and updates from here in Dallas.

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Big 12 media days, Day 1: Wrap-up video, plus KSU linebacker Tre Walker says MU’s departure has made KU-KSU rivalry stronger

"Boomer" the Oklahoma mascot sits in the place of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby before the start of Big 12 football media days on Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas.

"Boomer" the Oklahoma mascot sits in the place of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby before the start of Big 12 football media days on Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas. by Jesse Newell

8:07 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

Here's a final wrap-up video from Day 1 of Big 12 media days, where Matt and I talk about the biggest takeaways we had from Monday's interviews.

With that, we're going to wrap up our live coverage from here in Dallas.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for Day 2, as KU and new coach Charlie Weis take the podium at 11:30 a.m.

4:43 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

If you're just tuning in ... don't forget to vote in our poll: Who do you think has the best hair on the KU football team?

The photos of the five finalists are below in the 10:05 a.m. update.

At last check, Dylan Admire had a commanding lead.

4:24 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

I asked Kansas State linebacker Tre Walker if he believed that Missouri leaving the Big 12 might add to the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry.

The Olathe native said he thought that had already become the case, saying, "Things we're hearing from KU right now are things we never thought we'd hear before. And it's all in good fun."

Check out Walker's full response in the video below.

4:04 p.m.: By Matt Tait

Just getting finished up with player and coach breakout interviews and here are a few things that caught my eyes and ears.

  • Yes, I did say eyes, because while today's five coaches were positioned at their stations talking to different groups of reporters, three Texas Tech student-athletes - quarterback Seth Doege, running back Eric Ward and defensive back Terrence Bullitt - put on quite a display for a Texas television station.

With Doege lined up under center and Ward split wide, the camera crew announced and filmed a mock play that featured Doege firing a pair of rolled up socks to Ward in place of a football.

The first pass fluttered and fell incomplete. But the second was flawless and even inspired Ward to begin his end zone celebration.

That moment won't mean much when it comes to Texas Tech's season, but it shows you how much fun these guys have when they come down to these things. It's a fair amount more than their head coaches who have been through it dozens of times and, though cordial, always seem to just want to get in and get out. Can't blame 'em.

  • I talked with quite a few defensive players in the room about the addition of Crist and Weis to the Kansas offense, and it's obvious, already, that the league has a lot of respect for that duo. More on that in a story sometime in the next week, but it's definitely something that the players have noticed.

  • Like new KU quarterback Jake Heaps, K-State QB Collin Klein recently got married. Klein, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2011, was married last Saturday to the former Shalin Spani, daughter of legendary K-State athlete Gary Spani. KSU coach Bill Snyder, whose own daughter was married two weeks prior to that, said the wedding was wonderful and that he had all the confidence in the world that Klein would be able to balance his duties as a husband, athlete and student during the coming season.

3:55 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

A couple more AP photos from here in Dallas ...

TCU quarterback Casey Pachall answers questions from the media at NCAA college football Big 12 Media Days, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas.

TCU quarterback Casey Pachall answers questions from the media at NCAA college football Big 12 Media Days, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops answers questions at Big 12 Media Days on Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops answers questions at Big 12 Media Days on Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas.

3:35 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

A few notes from listening to TCU coach Gary Patterson's talk with reporters during one-on-one interviews.

• Expect him to be prepared for KU's offense Week 3. Patterson said he had just finished watching cut-ups from each Big 12 offense for the fourth time this offseason.

In KU's case, he had to do extra studying. Patterson said he watched cut-ups from KU coach Charlie Weis' offenses at Notre Dame (when Weis was a coach there), Florida (when he was offensive coordinator last year) and KU (from TV highlights of this year's spring game).

• Patterson said has has tried to calm down TCU's fanbase's excitement regarding its move to the Big 12, but he jokingly said it wasn't working and that they hadn't listened to him for 12 years on anything anyways.

Patterson said getting to the Big 12 wasn't the accomplishment, though. His goal is to win in the conference.

• Patterson said his favorite two weeks of the year were two-a-days, because during those weeks, he focused on football from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.

He said his players probably disagreed with him, as usually, those two weeks weren't their favorite ones of the year.

• Patterson, who is 52, said he'd like to coach about 10 more years. He said he still wants to be able to scuba dive when he retires.

He also said that he's never tailgated at a football game ... an activity he thought he'd like when his coaching career is done.

1:57 p.m.: By Matt Tait

The West Virginia Mountaineer mascot teaches a group of Big 12 cheerleaders the words to John Denver's "Country Roads" at Big 12 media days.

12:44 p.m.: By Jesse Newell

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said he didn't have a positive experience against KU coach Charlie Weis when Weis was the coach at Notre Dame while Rhoads was defensive coordinator at Pitt.

Rhoads tells the full story below.

12:21 p.m.: By Matt Tait

Third-year Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville was the final coach of the day to step to the podium. Although the Red Raiders have made strides since Tuberville took over, they still appear to be trying to get over the hump.

Tuberville seems to think that could come this year, as long as the offense stays productive and the defense progresses.

Here are a few of his specific thoughts:

  1. Tuberville believes the Red Raiders have doubled their talent on the defensive side of the ball and, under new defensive coordinator, Art Kaufman, he thinks TTU should be better on defense. Last year, he said, Tech tried to hide its defense with the running game.

  2. Tuberville: This is a points league. We scored close to 40 points a game last year and won five games. Defensive coordinators are going to earn their money.

  3. Running back Eric Stephens is close to returning but may not play in Tech's non-conference games just to be safe. The main thing for Stephens is, to regain and rebuild his confidence. Back-up running back DeAndre Washington also should be back soon.

  4. Defensive lineman Brandon Jackson red-shirted last season, largely because Tuberville beileved he could be a heck of a player but wanted to build depth. He's excited for him to hit the field this year. Also, Tuberville said he thinks good teams have to be three-deep at almost every position. You don't have to have great players, but you have to have enough players to be able to recover if you suffer an injury and the Red Raiders are getting closer to being at that point.

That's the end of the coaches on the podium for today. More from the player and coach breakout sessions to come later.

11:51 a.m.: By Matt Tait

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder just wrapped up on the podium. As usual, Snyder was long-winded with each answer, but he did give some good insight into where KSU stands after last year's 10-2 season.

  1. Snyder says he's not worried about being the underdog or the favorite in the league. His Wildcats were picked sixth in the league by the media this preseason, but he says he's more worried about the game-to-game favorites and that kind of thing.

  2. One of the things KSU has to concern itself with this year, Snyder said, is making sure they don't take anything for granted after last year's success. So far, he believes they've handled that very well.

  3. Snyder becomes the first to make mention of Texas A&M and Missouri, but does not mention them by name. Says the league lost two very fine programs but replaced them with quality programs, as well. Also says he feels the league is in a very strong position and he had nothing but good things to say about both Chuck Neinas and Bob Bowlsby.

  4. Asked if quarterback Collin Klein's play last year surprised him, Snyder says, "First of all, I'm too old to be surprised." Snyder then went on to praise Klein in every aspect, from family man to football player. Paints him as a player and person who strives to improve every day. Also says those traits have rubbed off on a lot of Klein's teammates.

  5. Wide receiver Tyler Lockett did not participate in spring game because of a hamstring tweak. He was not seriously injured and he did practice for the first 14 days of spring ball. Snyder said Lockett has recovered fully and is having a good summer.

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville is up next.

11:40 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Here's our first AP photo from the event of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby in front of a picture ... of himself.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby speaks at NCAA college football Big 12 Media Days, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby speaks at NCAA college football Big 12 Media Days, Monday, July 23, 2012, in Dallas.

11:22 a.m.: By Matt Tait

The always entertaining Paul Rhoads was a little more subdued during today's session at the podium.

  1. Rhoads believes that the Cyclones will put their most talented team on the field this season. Questions remain about the always-difficult schedule that the Cyclones play, but Rhoads said everyone is excited about the prospects for 2012.

  2. Win over Oklahoma State last year was huge for ISU in terms of national exposure, national branding and recruiting.

  3. Cyclones need better play from QB position if they're going to become a better football team ... especially in terms of accuracy. "If we're going to be a better offensive team, which is very important in this league, we have to get better quarterback play." ISU QBs Jared Barnett and Steele Jantz both still batting for starting job.

  4. Rhoads on Penn State: First and foremost this is a matter for the legal system and the courts and there's more of that to come. I can't say anything or give my opinion about anything that's going to help the victims or their families.

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder is up next.

11:17 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

TCU coach Gary Patterson talks in this video about one of the advantages of playing in the Big 12, which will be playing in front of full stadiums.

10:49 a.m.: By Matt Tait

Nothing too surprising from OU coach Bob Stoops.

Here are the highlights:

  1. He's excited for the upcoming season and believes OU has a chance to get back to competing for championships.

  2. Stoops is looking forward to the return of his brother, Mike, (formerly the head coach at Arizona) not only for personal reasons, but also for football reasons. Stoops hopes brother Mike can help get the OU defense back to the level it was during OU's more dominant years.

  3. In order for QB Landry Jones to have a monster year, the Sooners will have to run the ball better and everyone around Jones will have to elevate their game. Stoops believes Jones played well last season but that the rest of the offense may not have done its job. One other note on Jones: He got married in the offseason. When Stoops was asked if he would coach a married guy any differently, he laughed and said, "Good for him. He's got a special wife, too. We'll coach Landy just as we always have and he's got a great mentor and coach in Josh Heupel."

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads is up next.

10:23 a.m.: By Matt Tait

TCU coach Gary Patterson just finished up at the podium and here are a couple of quick thoughts on his Q&A session.

  1. Patterson and TCU feel very honor and privileged to be a part of the Big 12 and they are planning on making the Big 12 glad it invited them both on and off the field for years to come.

  2. Patterson knows that his schedule just got a heck of a lot tougher, but he's not too worried about it. His guys will work the same, play the same and believe they can compete.

  3. Speaking of the schedule, Patterson gave KU a little love twice during his comments. First, he said he expects Charlie Weis' crew to be 2-0 when TCU comes to Lawrence for the Week 3 Big 12 opener. Second, he said the games start to get tough beginning in Week 3 at KU and don't stop being tough until the end of the season.

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops is up next.

10:08 a.m.: By Matt Tait

Just kicking off the team portion of today's session at Big 12 media days. TCU and head coach Gary Patterson will get things started today and, in a similar manner, West Virginia will begin things tomorrow. Nice welcome to the Big 12 gesture there.

Anyway, earlier we had the opportunity to hear new Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby address the media on a number of topics and a few things stood out.

First, Bowlsby was exactly the kind of image the Big 12 would want to project up at the podium. Calm, confident and very in control of the room and his message. Seems like he was an outstanding selection for this role and everyone we talk to continues to confirm that thought.

As for Bowlsby's general message, he talked a little about expansion (it's not happening any time soon), a lot about the Champions Bowl and college football's four-team playoff system and how that will not only change college football but also impact the Big 12.

He did not stand up there and fire off sunshine and rainbows. He was happy to admit that there remains a lot of work to be done and also admitted that the landscape of college athletics, both in and out of the Big 12, was far from a perfect system. There is work to be done and one of the main reasons he was attracted to the opportunity to be this league's commissioner was that it gives him a chance to help right the ship on a grand scale.

From here, Bowlsby will be heading to London due to a previous commitment to the Olympics and he's already very well versed in the presence of the Big 12 at this year's summer games. Bowlsby said 93 former Big 12 athletes will be competing in this year's Olympic games and he was very proud of that number.

While Bowlsby is away, former interim commissioner Chuck Neinas, who was surprised today to hear that the Big 12's college football coach of the year award is now named in his honor, will remain on call for the Big 12, should the league need anyone to speak on its behalf while Bowlsby is busy.

If I had to sum up Bowlsby's address in a couple of sentences, I would go with this: The Big 12 Conference is in great shape, heading in the right direction and ready to flourish. It's going to take some work to get where everybody wants the league to be, but everyone is committed to the same vision and the league is as strong and stable as ever.

I know that sounds corny, but Bowlsby gave a very strong and clear address, something that even the biggest critics would have a hard time breaking down.

10:05 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

With the release of the KU football media guide, let's take a light-hearted look at the KU player's bio photos.

I've come up with five candidates for best hair on the KU football team.

The candidates are below.

Dylan Admire

Dylan Admire by Jesse Newell

Michael Cummings

Michael Cummings by Jesse Newell

James Sims

James Sims by Jesse Newell

Taylor Cox

Taylor Cox by Jesse Newell

Schyler Miles

Schyler Miles by Jesse Newell

Just for fun, here's a poll: Who do you think has the best hair on the KU football team?

My vote is in for Dylan Admire.

9:25 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Bowlsby announces that from this point forward, the Big 12 football coach of the year will be honored with the "Chuck Neinas Big 12 football coach of the year," named after the recent conference interim commissioner.

9:18 a.m.: By Jesse Newell

Here are a few Tweets from KU football beat writer Matt Tait, as he gives updates from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby's address, which began at 9 a.m.

• Bowlsby re: Big 12 expansion: "I don't know that we'd get 2 votes for moving to a larger number."

• Bowlsby says one of the reasons he took Big 12 commish job was b/c it gives him opportunity to make a difference on national level. #KUfball

• Bowlsby says Big 12 is "salty from top to bottom." #KUfball

• Bowlsby: "Talent pool in the Big 12 conference takes a back seat to no organization." #KUfball

• Here they are: 2012 #kufball media guides. Pretty plain. KU takes turn at B12 media days Tues but 5 others go today.

Original post: By Jesse Newell

Dallas — Welcome to's live coverage of Big 12 football media days, live from the Westin Galleria in Dallas.

Today marks the first of two days here in Dallas. TCU, Oklahoma, Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech will all have their own time at the podium today.

In case you were wondering, Kansas and new coach Charlie Weis will be up on Tuesday, with Weis' time at the mic set to begin at 11:30 a.m.

Obviously, one of the big stories of today will be TCU's first year with the conference. In fact, the Horned Frogs are the first team that will meet the print reporters today at 10 a.m. They will be followed at the podium by the Sooners (10:30 a.m.), Cyclones (11 a.m.), Wildcats (11:30 a.m.) and Red Raiders (noon).

Be sure to check back throughout the day, as KU football beat writer Matt Tait and I will be posting updates to the blog. which will include videos, photos and audio. You can also follow our updates on Twitter at our handles @jessenewell and @mctait.

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