DALLAS — Big 12 Media Days arrive Monday, kicking off the season of a sport that for all its ills has no threat of a lockout.
In honor of the number of schools that now call the Big 12 home, here are 10 questions I hope to have answered in the next two days.
1. Is Texas A&M as high on quarterback Ryan Tannehill as the Aggies were on Jerrod Johnson?
Think about it. A&M always loves its quarterback, then usually replaces him before his career is over. Johnson. Stephen McGee. Reggie McNeal. Does an Aggie quarterback ever go out in a blaze of glory?
Tannehill was solid after taking over for Johnson last midseason. But he wasn't great. He looks like Paul Thompson to me. Super guy. Great leader. But there's a reason he was playing receiver.
2. Is the Texas quarterback job open?
Garrett Gilbert last season threw 17 interceptions and just 10 touchdown passes. That's bad in 1949. It gets you slaughtered in 2010.
So why was Gilbert not replaced? Mack Brown believes in his man? Gilbert's competitiveness in the second half of that Big Bowl against Alabama remains a vivid memory?
What if the answer is simple? What if backups Case McCoy and Connor Wood just aren't any good?
3. How do you define hope in Ames, Iowa?
Let's see. In 2010, Iowa State beat Texas Tech in Ames and Texas in Austin, and still the Cyclones went 5-7.
Now Iowa State jumps into the round-robin Big 12, playing all six Oklahoma and Texas schools every year, plus Missouri and Iowa (the latter in nonconference).
I think Paul Rhoads is a good coach. The people at Iowa State do a lot with little. But you tell me how they're supposed to find hope.
4. Is Brandon Weeden the most engaging man in the Big 12?
Baylor coach Art Briles and supervisor of officials Walt Anderson are his chief contenders.
The Oklahoma State quarterback, who turns 28 in October, has more personality than most of the quarterbacks and head coaches in the league. Put together.
Weeden wowed Big 12 media last July with his charisma, then wowed Big 12 media last autumn with his quarterbacking, becoming OSU's first-ever all-conference QB.
5. How long will Bill Snyder coach?
Kansas State's return to the top is much more difficult in the new-order Big 12.