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Berry Tramel: Big 12 football coaches are the real stars

The story of the league in 2010: Great defense, a little quarterbacking and a lot of coaching
by Berry Tramel Modified: July 31, 2010 at 5:45 pm •  Published: July 31, 2010

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.

Billy Sims.

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.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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