Baylor football coach Art Briles led off Big 12 Media Days on Monday.
“I guess we’re batting lead-off today,” Briles said in his introduction. “Well, the thing that’s a little different is I don’t know what the commissioner expected, but we’re not going to try to bunt or get a single. I promise you that.
“We’re swinging for the fences.”
The Bears are coming off their first Big 12 title and an appearance in the Fiesta Bowl.
Briles had plenty to say during his time at the podium and in smaller interview sessions later in the day.
Q: What did you learn from the Fiesta Bowl loss to Central Florida? Is that motivation?
A: “Appreciate you bringing that up. (Laughs) I guess truth hurts. … We’ve talked about it. We certainly hope that we’ve learned from it. And that’s — like I said — the only way to get experience is to go out there, feel it, touch it, have a taste for it. And that taste wasn’t very good. So it’s been very motivating for us all spring and summer.”
Have you toured the new stadium?
“I’ve been through it one time when one of our founders suite people asked me to walk through it. It took about 45 minutes. It’s absolutely phenomenal. It’s going to be hard for anybody in America to mimic what we’ve got going on on game day, and that’s not even counting the bridge. We’ve got a pedestrian bridge that cost $8.2 million. It’s a phenomenal setting.”
Has the stadium paid off in recruiting already?
“No question. How could it not? You give somebody a choice between driving a new car and a 10-year-old car, most of us are going to choose the new one and we’ve got a new car sitting out there on I-35 and the Brazos River.”
Will the Bears be debuting any new uniforms this year?
“You know, Nike kind of censored me down a little bit. I don’t know if we were getting out there too far and they were having a hard time keeping up with everybody else’s orders, but right now we’re going to be pretty much what we were a year ago. I think they made us hold off a year before we went with anything new. The kids like it and so do our coaches. I like for our guys to look good. Nike controls, not the trend but the decelerating or accelerating of the trend. I think it’s because everybody was trying to do what we’re trying to do, and they couldn’t keep up with the orders so they made us slow down.”
What’s Iowa State getting in Mark Mangino?
“A stud. He’s a great coach. He was great at OU, great at Kansas and he’ll be great there. He’s a football coach. I’ve got guys on my staff that played for him at OU. He’s a big-time coach. That’s a good hire by Paul (Rhodes), no question.”