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Big 12 football notebook: And still there were 10

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby joked that he had been in the Omni hotel “about 30 minutes, and I haven't had a realignment question yet, which is the first time that's happened in the entire time I've been here.”
by Berry Tramel and Jenni Carlson and Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: July 22, 2013

OU has dabbled in other-game highlights; OSU has not. But Bowlsby is talking about much heavier commitment to entertaining fans in the stands.

“We see people that have a 60inch television,” Bowlsby said, “and they can have their mobile device with full Wi-Fi on their lap, no lines at the restroom, no charge for concessions, they can have a cold beer when they want to, and they don't have to spend six to eight hours traveling to and from the stadium. So it's something that we're very excited about, and we think that it will greatly enhance the instadium environment.”


Lockett not too concerned about QB race

Former Tulsa Washington standout Tyler Lockett, now one of Kansas State's top players, isn't too concerned about which quarterback will be throwing him the ball this season.

The Wildcats have Daniel Sams and Jake Waters competing to replace Collin Klein.

Sams was Klein's backup a year ago and Waters transferred in after earning national junior college offensive player of the year honors at Iowa Western.

When Lockett was in high school, the Hornets used both Jordy Albert and Dominique Sells at the position.

“My preference is it really doesn't matter,” Lockett said. “I was in high school my senior year and we played with two quarterbacks the whole year, they just switched off every two possessions, and we ended up winning state.

“It really doesn't matter as long as you have a relationship with them. As long as both of you all are on the same page, that's all that matters. As long as you're on the same page, everything's going to continue to go smoothly.”


Kingsbury has created excitement around Lubbock for more than just football.

“The women love him,” Red Raider wide receiver Eric Ward said. “Just making that known.”

He shook his head.

“I'm married,” Ward said, “and my wife is like, ‘Can I have a Kliff T-shirt?' I'm like, ‘Wait a minute.'”


Kansas quarterback Jake Heaps and receiver Justin McCay became friends as teammates in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl but never thought they'd play together in college.

Heaps, from Sammamish, Wash., was Rivals' No. 1-ranked quarterback nationally in the recruiting class of 2010 and signed with BYU. McCay was a four-star prospect from Shawnee, Kan., who signed with OU.

Both chose to transfer to Kansas and had to sit out last season, per NCAA rules. Both Heaps and McCay hope to make an impact on the Jayhawks' offense, which was very one-dimensional during KU's 1-11 campaign in 2012.

“Obviously we never imagined we'd be in this situation at Kansas together, but we are and we're grateful for it,” Heaps said. “Everything happens for a reason. We've enjoyed the time that we've been here.”

Running back James Sims was the lone bright spot for Kansas a year ago, rushing for 1,013 yards and nine touchdowns.

“They'll help out big time in the passing game,” Sims said. “McCay is a big, physical receiver. He's not afraid of contact.

“It was pretty hard on them week in and week out. Not seeing your team be successful, obviously, and knowing that you can play a role to help the team win. It was tough for them, but they handled it well and it's great to have them on the team playing this year.”


Kansas State coach Bill Snyder admitted that Missouri's departure to the SEC has impacted the Wildcats' recruiting a little.

“I think it's had an impact throughout the Midwest,” Snyder said, also referencing Nebraska's move to the Big Ten. “Not just our recruiting, but everybody's recruiting.

“It's just been different. I can't tell you that it's better or it's worse. If I had to say maybe there's some young guys … the University of Missouri would be attractive to because they're in the Southeastern Conference, where maybe it would have been a little bit more competitive had that not been the case. But every young person makes a decision because of different reasons. Some of them perhaps because of the conference that you play in.

“I'm not sure that I can really answer the question is it better or worse for us.”


Tech's Ward made himself perfectly clear: He doesn't care that Texas Tech was picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 football preseason media poll.

“I've still gotta show up and play,” Ward said. “That poll don't mean anything to me. That poll ain't based off what we done on the field; that poll's based off what people think of us. That's opinion to me. The fact is, we've gotta go out there when the lights come on and prove to these people that we can play.

“Did they have us picked to beat West Virginia last year? No. Did they have us picked to beat OU — No. 3 in the nation — two years ago? No. But the polls said we were gonna lose. What does that tell you about the polls? The polls ain't valid.”

The Red Raiders stunned then-No. 5 West Virginia 49-14 last season. In 2011, Ward and Texas Tech upset Oklahoma in Norman 41-38.

Ward caught 82 passes last season for 1,053 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named preseason all-Big 12.

“I don't read about myself,” Ward said. “I don't need to know what people think about me because I know what I can do and I know what I'm capable of doing. If you get involved in what people think about you, what does that say about you? You're not really well aware of what your capabilities are.

“If you let people dictate who you are, you're not a very strong person.”


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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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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