DALLAS — Big 12 Media Days arrive Monday at the downtown Omni Hotel. It’s an event that annually raises as many questions as answers, but we won’t let that deter us. In honor of the number of schools in the misnamed conference, here are a big 10 questions that can be answered in the next two days about your favorite football league:
1. Can new Texas coach Charlie Strong come close to commanding a room the way Mack Brown did? Mack’s Tennessee charm played awfully well for 16 Longhorn seasons. But now he’s been replaced by what appears to be a no-nonsense coach who learned well under the stoic Urban Meyer. Can Strong win us over? If so, that’s a good sign he can win over the Texas fan base.
2. Can Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury explain not giving quarterback Baker Mayfield a release? The poster child for the lack of collegiate athletes’ rights is the curious case of Mayfield, who as a true freshman walk-on last season won the Tech quarterback job, eventually lost it and decided to transfer. But NCAA rules allowed Tech to forbid Mayfield from getting a scholarship elsewhere for a year, even though he didn’t have one in Lubbock. Mayfield now is at OU, sitting out a season and paying his own way.
3. Can Mike Gundy explain his no-shows this summer, notably skipping the ESPN “car wash” this week? Of the 64 coaches of major-conference schools, Gundy is the only one not attending. He’s got a valid reason, attending his son’s baseball tournament, but with charter flights, there seems little reason Gundy couldn’t make the majority of both events. Not a lot of coaches making $4 million a year fly commercial that often.
4. Does Baylor plan to upgrade its schedule now that the Bears are nationally prominent? Baylor’s 2014 schedule includes SMU, Buffalo and Northwestern Louisiana. In 2015, SMU, Lamar and Rice. In 2016, SMU and Rice. In 2017 and 2018, Texas-San Antonio and Duke. 2019, Incarnate Word, Texas-San Antonio and Rice.
5. Will Bob Stoops explain his reasons for taking Missouri transfer Dorial Green-Beckham? Green-Beckham had two marijuana-related arrests at Mizzou and was accused by two Missouri coeds of pushing one of them down a flight of stairs. That prompted his dismissal from the Tiger football team. Now Green-Beckham is seeking a waiver to become immediately eligible at OU. If he sits out the season, he could declare for the NFL Draft without ever playing for the Sooners.
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