BEST FIRST IMPRESSION
West Virginia's mascot, The Mountaineer, aka grad student Jonathan Kimble, emerged as the hit on the opening of the Big 12 Media Days. Outfitted in a coonskin cap, buckskin garb and toting a real musket, Kimble chatted up everyone from players to cheerleaders to the media and even fired a shot — verbal — at OU's Bob Stoops. Kimble is entering his first year as The Mountaineer, after winning a grueling competition of 40 or 50 contenders in a process that involves an application, an extensive interview and finally a cheer-off. The beard, already in place, might have helped him land the gig, but wasn't required. While his team wasn't due in town until Tuesday, Kimble's lively interaction — he's the only league mascot who talks — and involvement Monday definitely served as a warm relation-builder for a program considered an outsider.
No surprise, considering their lead example, Bill Snyder, yet Kansas State's players — quarterback Collin Klein, linebacker Arthur Brown, linebacker Tre Walker and defensive back Ty Zimmerman — had no peers as sharp dressed men. All coordinated with gray slacks, various purple ties, and navy blazers that featured a sewn wildcat on the pocket.
TCU's Casey Pachall is hardly interested in the conventional quarterback cover boy look, sporting a sort of modified Mohawk for a haircut, to go with a series of tattoos on his right arm. Pachall's 'do doesn't feature a spiky appeal, but more of a soft look, yet still rising in the front.
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads finds himself more in demand than his early appearances at the Big 12 Media Days, now that the Cyclones have repeatedly pulled off major wins and appear to gaining respectability on the competitive front. “My first year, everyone wanted to know why I took the job,” Rhoads told a gathering, with a chuckle, Monday. “A guy who came with us took a panoramic shot of the room, turning around to me, sitting alone like the Maytag repairman.”
Recognizing Stoops and the Sooners making their arrival for the Media Days festivities, The Mountaineer fired off a warning shot: “Hey, Oklahoma, see you in Morgantown Nov. 17!”
Stoops shot back: “We'll be there!”