Now those players are preparing to help.
“That was a big decision,” Gill said. “I decided to redshirt the majority of them because I thought there would be a better situation as far as the following year and two or three years down the road.
“They would be bigger, faster, stronger. And I thought that would benefit our program definitely in the long term.”
Kansas State marketing folks could borrow from the UPS ad campaign, “What Can Brown Do For You?”, this season.
It's actually a telling story line for the Wildcats – times two – with Arthur Brown and Bryce Brown forming two key figures in a hopeful rise in the Big 12 standings.
The brothers, from Wichita, are transfers to the program after originally turning down K-State as highly touted recruits. Arthur, a linebacker, started his career at Miami, while Bryce, a running back, went first to Tennessee.
Both are projected to start for the Wildcats, with Bryce even picked preseason all-Big 12.
“They'll have a big impact,” said KSU defensive back Tysyn Hartman, another Wichita product. “From their size and speed and athletic ability alone, they should cause problems for opposing teams.”
SENIOR QB AT TECH
It seemed like Texas Tech always had a senior quarterback when Mike Leach was the coach. And now Tuberville is about to start another senior QB, Seth Doege, after platooning seniors Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield in 2010.
“Seth is a coach's son,” Tuberville said. “He's been around. He's been through a lot of adversities, persevered through two knee injuries. He's the first one at the office every day, work out, lift weights. He gets receivers to practice. He wants to be the guy.”
Tuberville said Doege could have been Tech's starter last season, that he actually knew the offense better after spring practice, since Potts and Sheffield were injured.
CYCLONES TO CHANGE SCHEDULE
Along with the challenges of playing nine conference games, Iowa State's schedule also features Iowa and UConn, the latter of which played in the Fiesta Bowl.
That gives the Cyclones 11 games against teams from BCS conferences. Don't consider it a trend.
“My wife likes our job and I sort of do, too,” said Rhoads, “so, no, that's not a direction I'd like to move, playing 11 BCS opponents every year. And a change is in place in 2012 and beyond to get away from that challenging of a schedule.”
LARGE MEDIA TURNOUT
The Big 12 issued a record 455 media passes for this year's two-day session at the Westin Hotel. Despite having two less schools, the turnout was the largest ever, surpassing 408 media passes in 2008.
Counting team representatives — players, coaches, cheerleaders, etc. — the conference issued more than 650 credentials.