Bob Stoops was continually asked Tuesday during Big 12 Media Days about the OU-Texas tiebreaker controversy. He continually refrained from commenting.
"I know you guys would love for me to have a little quip about that and throw it all over the place," Stoops said.
But when Stoops stepped down from the podium, he couldn't resist one swipe at the air banners hired by Texas fans proclaiming the score of the OU-Texas game.
"They throw up the score of our game," Stoops said, "I'll throw up the score of the (Texas) Tech game."
Briscoe to play?
Kansas coach Mark Mangino said he expects wide receiver Dezmon Briscoe to be ready to play when practice begins, although Briscoe has some academic work to complete to do so.
Briscoe was a member of the preseason All-Big 12 team but has been in Mangino's doghouse since the spring. Briscoe was suspended during the spring for an undisclosed violation of team rules and missed the Jayhawks' spring game.
"I anticipate he'll be there," Mangino said. "There are several players that have work to do. I tell them, 'It's pretty simple: You get your work done and you're with us in August. If you don't get your work done, you're not."
McCoy's final season?
Gerald McCoy didn't exactly come out and say he would enter the NFL Draft after this year. But OU's junior defensive tackle sure talked like 2009 is going to be his final season.
"I want to graduate," McCoy said. "I want my degree. I will graduate in May. Wherever I decide to train at, I'll have three hours left. I'll take my capstone online. Then, I'll be done."
Recruiting for Baylor
Baylor coach Art Briles said recruiters have to sell everything. And the Bears now have something extra to sell in quarterback phenom Robert Griffin.
"That's helped a bunch," Briles said. "And the thing it's helped is his dynamic qualities and the style of play that we played with on both sides of the football."
Catching a break
Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who had been mostly mum on the three-way tiebreaker controversy, was quoted this summer as saying OU "caught a break" in advancing to the Big 12 title game.
No argument from the Sooners.
"We did catch a big break," said quarterback Sam Bradford. "That's no secret. We were fortunate."
Tight end Jermaine Gresham agreed: "We did catch a huge break. We got the game. They didn't."
Mizzou marquee man
Missouri has had a star quarterback — Brad Smith or Chase Daniel — since 2002. But now the Tigers turn to true sophomore Blaine Gabbert.
"Anytime you lose a quarterback, if it's a quarterback of quality, it's always a concern," Mizzou coach Gary Pinkel said. "We're in that position right now. Hopefully, we can replace him with a high-level guy."
Mister Big 12 Man
Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe walked past OU players Tuesday, and tight end Jermaine Gresham squeaked, "Mr. Big 12 Man! Mr. Big 12 Man!"
Turns out Beebe spoke to the Sooners after their conference championship last season, and Gresham remembered.
"I have kids that age," Beebe said. "I know how they act."
No crying in Kansas
Kansas might have the best team in the Big 12 North, but the Jayhawks' schedule — crossover games against OU, Texas and Texas Tech — might keep KU from winning the division.
"You can say that," Mangino said. "I can't say that. They'll say, 'He's crying. He's won a few games, and now he's crying.'"
Mangino admitted he would like the Big 12 to adjust the schedule so that the Jayhawks don't play both OU and Texas in the same season.
College football rule changes now will be made every other year. Which means no rule changes in 2010. The major rule changes for 2009 include:
* Changing the rule for only six players on the line of scrimmage to having more than four players in the backfield. In other words, if an offense has only 10 men on the field and six on the line of scrimmage, it's no longer a penalty as long as the players' numbers are proper.
* Rugby-style punters — those who run sideways, then kick — no longer are protected from roughing-the-kicker rules if he is outside the tackle box, which now is defined as five yards on either side of the center.
* On instant replay, if officials rule an incompletion from a quarterback hit in the pocket, but replay shows it was a fumble, the call can be overturned provided recovery by the defense is immediate and clear. Same with a pass ruled forward but shown to be backward.
Texas will don throwback uniforms against Texas A&M this season in honor of coaching legend Darrell Royal. The throwbacks, designed by Nike, were unveiled Saturday during Royal's 85th birthday party at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
The white road uniform will feature a patch with Royal's initials, DKR, on the hip. The Longhorns also will wear helmets in the style of those worn by UT's first national championship team in 1963, a squad coached by Royal.
Texas A&M isn't finding much love from the media these days. Didn't find much at Big 12 Media Days, either. Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson's name tag had him as "Jerod."
"Wow," Johnson said, "I didn't even notice that."
He and his teammates, however, have noticed all the doomsday predictions for their squad, which includes a last-place finish in the Big 12 South.
"We see it," Johnson said. "You can't run away from it. You go to the store and you see it buying groceries and stuff. People are entitled to their own opinions. We didn't win that many games last year. So they can say what they feel about us and they're entitled to it."
Back for another year of fun
Gerald McCoy, who might have been a first-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft but instead stayed in school, kept the media laughing Tuesday. Mic'd up for his own interview session, McCoy chided the media as a session with Bradford wound down.
"Leave Sam alone," McCoy deadpanned into his microphone as Bradford was surrounded. "If you can hear this, this is your conscience. Leave Sam alone!"
Bob Stoops would like strength of schedule returned to the BCS formula but says he's not going to politick for it.
"I've always felt it encouraged better games early," Stoops said during Big 12 Media Days. "If that's what you want, you guys better start crying for it."
OU fans weren't the only ones ecstatic when Bradford announced he was coming back for his junior season. Gerald McCoy said until he watched Bradford's press conference online, he wasn't sure whether Bradford would stay or go.
Said McCoy, "My eyes got big. I'm not going to lie. I watched the press conference. I kicked the computer when he said he was coming back. I was happy."