The Big 12 media days concluded at AT&T Stadium yesterday with Mike Gundy taking shots at Oklahoma and Texas, Big 12 Commish-elect Brett Yormark making his first public appearance, incumbent Big 12 Commish Bob Bowlsby nearly falling off the stage, and much more. What was your biggest takeaway?
Daniel Seahorn (@DanielSeahorn) - For me, I usually don’t take too much from these media days personally. Gundy and big mad energy made me chuckle a bit and I was temporarily taken aback when it seemed like the Big 12 was bringing back the “force out” rule. Thankfully we got clarity on that because that isn’t exactly something I am keen on allowing the conference refs to have discretion on. All and all it was pretty straightforward stuff for the media day setting.
Gerald Goodridge (@ghgoodridge) - Mike Gundy’s commitment to being salty is pretty incredible and apparently firehose-related colloquialisms are difficult to land. You never really get anything revolutionary from media days, so it’s hard for me to say anything concrete. I think from a Texas perspective, it solidifies my stance that Steve Sarkisian has a pretty solid level of self-awareness, which helps him identify where things went wrong a year ago. He and the team representatives were all saying the right things, but now we have to sit and see if that talk will actually show on the field or if it is once again all hat and no cattle.
Cameron Parker (@camerondparker) -
When asked about Texas and Oklahoma exiting the Big 12 early to join the SEC, Big 12 Commish-elect Brett Yormark said he is looking for a “win-win situation” but didn’t close on the door on it possibly happening before 2025. Will it though?
Daniel - I think it’s obvious that Texas and OU don’t want to linger longer than they have to in the Big 12 at this point. Logic tells me that they didn’t let the news of the move get out last summer without having some sort of idea of how to get out of the contract before the expiration date. With all the moving and shuffling taking place on the college landscape it won’t shock me if we wake up one day and a deal has been struck to allow both parties to go their separate ways.
Gerald - The commentary about seeking a “win/win” situation seems to me like if both departing schools are able to come up with the requisite cash to exit the conference, then the conference leadership seems fine to keep the divorce from getting ugly. Which, based on how the outgoing commissioner acted, seems like a change in course. I think ESPN continues to find ways to inject money into the situation for both schools (LHN payouts and buying SoonerVision), so it seems like they want it to get done ASAP. Anyone that thinks Mickey Mouse isn’t stirring the drink right now isn’t really paying attention.
Cameron - If bitter Bob Bowlsby was still the commissioner, I would say no chance in hell but Yormark understands it’s just business and that it’s time for everyone to move on. I believe Texas is ready to jump ship early but it’s up to the Oklahoma decision makers if they want to fork out more money to get out of the TV contracts currently signed between the Big 12 and FOX through the 2024 season. Maybe the arrival of the new conference members will expedite the process. As of now, I’m slightly hopeful but I still expect 2025 to be the first season in the SEC.
“I don’t think it will take as long as last fall.” That’s what Steve Sarkisian said when asked about naming a starting quarterback this season. Does that mean the end of fall camp? By Week 1? Or will we see both Hudson Card and Quinn Ewers to start? How do you interpret that and who do you expect to start against ULM as of now?
Daniel - My gut tells me that decision will be made during camp or shortly after. Whether that’s public or not is a different question entirely. That timeframe makes the most sense so you can let QB1 prepare accordingly and get as many reps as possible. Unless we see a drastic change throughout camp I am betting we see Quinn Ewers get the nod for the season opener. The competition has been close throughout the spring and summer, so it could easily go either way but I think the skill set Ewers brings to the table is going to unlock things we didn’t see from the Texas offense in 2021.
Gerald - We found out that Card was the starter a week before the UL game last year, so anything before that is technically sooner. Honestly, I would love for Texas to have that named early in camp, so whoever QB1 is can start to fully step into the leadership role required by that position. The longer someone has to establish themselves as the positional leader, the better. That being said, I would bet we get some hints early in camp on who it is based on what the other guys on campus are saying. The players will tell you who QB1 is long before the coach will.
Cameron - Quinn Ewers didn’t transfer to Texas to sit on the bench for a year. I understand how far along Hudson Card has come along in spring ball but I expect Ewers to be QB1 against ULM. As far as the timetable goes, hopefully, it’s early in fall camp so we don’t have to discuss the QB competition every day.
Big 12 Championship game prediction?
Daniel - I’m going to guess Baylor and Oklahoma because that feels like the “safest” bets, but I truly don’t know what to expect from the Sooners this year given the chaotic off-season they’ve had. I’m really curious to see how Texas’ offense is going to look this fall with more weapons at their disposal, but I want to see them prove some things on the field come September before I predict them to make the championship game.
Gerald - As much as it hurts me to say this, I think Baylor is probably a lock for the title game. Aranda is a freaking genius and it honestly upsets me Baylor has a coach like him. I think this is going to be another crabs in a barrel year for the Big 12, which sets up well for teams like Texas, OU, and OSU with high upsides but very questionable floors. Since TCU also brings back a sneaky amount of talent, we’ll have to see what they look like under the new regime. I’m reaching my hedging character count. I think OU lost too much on offense and OSU lost too much on defense, so I’m going homer with Texas and Baylor.
Cameron - Baylor and Oklahoma. I think Texas is too young and a year away from reaching contender status. Even with everything the Sooners lost, they still have a strong foundation and Aranda might be a top-10 coach in the country.