IRVING, Texas — The last Big 12 Football Media Days (at least these 12) commences today, so let's commemorate by listing the 12 most compelling questions that could, but probably won't, be answered this week.
1. Does the Big 12 have a hankering for expansion, or is the league really set on continuing with 10 schools?
Are there quality candidates and if so, is there consensus among the 10 on those candidates?
2. Is the Big 12 prepared for life without a championship game, just as the Big Ten and Pac-10 has come aboard?
Mack Brown and Bob Stoops we know will be happy to see the thing go, but what about the North schools and the bean-counters?
3. How much resentment lingers against Texas?
UT took the bull by the Longhorns in the conference realignment shuffle. Texas effectively sped up Nebraska's departure to the Big Ten, scared half the league into thinking the Big 12 was doomed and thrilled the other half into thinking it was headed to the Pac-16.
Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne, whose disgust with everything Texan trumps anything Oklahomans ever thought about, apparently won't be at the Westin Hotel this week, though he'll appear at Big Ten Media Days next week. Drats. Dr. Tom is leaving us just as he's getting interesting in his old age.
4. Has Stoops' national stock fallen below Brown's?
The Big 12 championship count is Stoops 6, Mack 2. The BCS title game count is Stoops 4, Mack 2. The national title count stands 1-1. But nationally, it seems as if Mack now is the favored son of the Southwest.
5. Will Tommy Tuberville make Texas Tech fans forget Mike Leach?
Tuberville already has become the most interesting Big 12 coach of this summer, with his declaration that the league doesn't seem destined to last. Now it's time to find out if Tuberville can make SEC-style defense co-exist with the remnants of Leach's offense.
6. Will new OSU offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen make the whole Big 12 forget Leach?
Holgorsen is a Leach apprentice. Is it possible that the most-feared Big 12 team by defensive coordinators now resides in Stillwater?
7. What's the personality of Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert?
Just being around Colt McCoy, you knew the 'Horns had a winner in the huddle. Is it the same with Gilbert?
Quick refresher. Gilbert completed just 1-of-10 passes for minus-four yards in the first half of the Big Bowl after 'Bama knocked out McCoy. But Gilbert was 14-of-30 for 190 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, rallying UT before he committed three desperation turnovers in the final three minutes.