Who says Big 12 football is void of star power in 2010? Why, Monday night, after the opening round of Big 12 Media Days, a group of us grabbed some dinner at Pappadeaux, and the hostess sat us down right next to a table where a man dined with his daughter.
Of course, it's a little problematic when you've got to chase some gumbo to find gridiron gods, but such is Big 12 life in 2010. In the NFL Draft, Big 12 veterans comprised the top four picks, six of the top 14 and nine of the top 24.
You take your stars where you can find them, and in this league, that means coaches.
I know, this millionaire worship sounds like college basketball, but danged if it's not the truth. Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, G.K. McCoy and Ndamukong Suh were the rock stars yesteryear.
But a few days ago at the DFW Westin, Bob Stoops and Mack Brown got the Beatles treatment. And in case no one realized, there's a George Harrison to play sidekick to John and Paul.
Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville now is part of the fraternity, giving the Big 12 South three head coaches who have produced 13-0 seasons in the 2000s.
Also coaching in the league is a guy (Texas A&M's Mike Sherman) who is 16 games over .500 in the National Football League, the greatest coach of all time (Kansas State's Bill Snyder) and two ex-quarterbacks with pristine pedigrees (Kansas' Turner Gill, the best QB in Big Eight history, and OSU's Mike Gundy, the most prolific passer in Big Eight history).
The current crop of Big 12 quarterbacks isn't likely to match the Gill/Gundy legacy, much less Bradford/McCoy. Texas A&M's Jerrod Johnson is a nice player, and I like Missouri's Blaine Gabbert even more. But they went a combined 13-11 last season, so hold off on the Heisman talk.
Five Big 12 coaches haven't even picked a quarterback yet, and it's August. Of the seven that do know who holds the reins, two (OSU's Brandon Weeden, Texas' Garrett Gilbert) never have started a game, and another (Baylor's Robert Griffin) is playing on a reconstructed knee.
Sounds like a year when the stars might be aligned on defense.
Oklahoma's Jeremy Beal and Travis Lewis. Texas' Sam Acho and Aaron Williams. Nebraska's Jared Crick and Prince Amukamara.
That wouldn't be such a bad thing. Offense wins Heismans; defense wins championships.
The SEC is known for its defenses, and maybe it's no coincidence the SEC has won four national titles running, two at the expense of Big 12 juggernauts.
OU, Texas and Nebraska seem capable of deploying Doberman defenses. The Huskers and Sooners had such last year. But Nebraska's offense was so bad that NU lost four times and OU had so many injuries that it lost five.
So you can't win with defenses alone. But with a little quarterbacking and a lot of coaching, a great defense can take you far.
That seems to be the story of Big 12 football 2010. Great defense, a little quarterbacking and a lot of coaching.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.