By Chris Williams, CycloneFanatic.com Publisher
I apologize for the tardiness of this blog. I do a lot of things for this website that you fanatics don’t know about. I’ve been up to my knees in that stuff over the past 12 hours. But it is time to write and I have a few opinions on what Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe had to say yesterday, along with my media day recap of Iowa State’s Oct. 2 opponent, Texas Tech.
A new name?
Starting next year, the Big 12 will only have 10 teams. Therefore, you can’t call it the Big 12 anymore. That’s my opinion anyway. That is dumb on 100 different levels. Iowa State fans have made fun of the “Little 11” for years. This conference can’t mimic that!
Commissioner Beebe commented on this topic yesterday during his 2 p.m. press conference.
“I’m actually going to probably spend the next several months, eight to nine months, prior to our next year when we have ten members fully exploring what we want to do in that regard, engaging outside experts to survey the media, the institutions, the fans, the citizens of this part of the country, nationally, what can we cull this behind? What kind of message?” Beebe said.
Okay. I will buy that thought. I will not be sold on this though.
“It may be our brand is significant enough that we don’t want to change it. I’ve heard of conferences that have not had the exact numbers they have in their names actually be representing their membership. We’ll take a look. I don’t know. I think we need to look at not just whether we change our name or our brand, what are the messages we want to convey going forward? We’ll engage in a process to do that, and hopefully in the spring, early summer next year, we’ll have a better idea of what we want to do going forward.”
I have two rules for the new name of the future Big 12.
Calling a 10-team league the Big 12 is ridiculous, so scratch that option right now. The league hasn’t been around long enough to have a "significant brand."
Rule number two is simple. Pick a name without a number in it.
Coaches are anti title game
Yesterday, Kansas State coach Bill Snyder spoke up and told reporters that he likes having a Big 12 Championship Game.
Beebe then told reporters that the league’s coaches are “overwhelmingly” against it.
“It’s been a case where we play in the national championship more than any other conference, but we’ve also had a couple of occasions when we could have played in it an additional time and had the team that was headed for the national championship get beat in our championship game and not have that access to the national championship,” Beebe said.
My take? For Iowa State’s sake, yes, I want a championship game. It is pretty much the only way that the Cyclones will ever play in a BCS game in the near future.
Beebe answers his critics
I am as guilty as anyone for accusing Beebe of not being proactive during the realignment saga a few months ago. I actually wrote that quite a bit. Beebe showed the media some toughness though yesterday when he responded to his critics, saying that the next time this talk heats up, the Big 12 will be ready.
“I’m paid to be proactive, and even though some of you thought that I wasn’t during this process, internally we were very proactive,” Beebe said. “I didn’t sit there and just bury my head about expansion. I reviewed it with our members, even before we lost members. Should we expand? Should we grow? Through the process, I think what we decided or determined is that, you know, 12 is the highest level you want to have and have a conference. I think you get beyond 12, you really don’t have a conference anymore. You have an association. You don’t even see those programs on the other side very often. So how are you put together? How are you cementing those relationships?”
Texas Tech notebook
New Texas Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville surprised me yesterday when he said that he won’t rotate quarterbacks Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield at all next season.
“We’ll make a decision,” Tuberville said. I don’t believe in having one guy go out one series and one the next. We won’t do that. If we have a starter, then we’ll have a scenario where we might put a quarterback in just to change the momentum of the game or change the different type of formations that they’ll run.”
Most “experts” won’t pick Iowa State to beat Tech on Oct. 2 in Ames. It’s actually hard to blame them. The Cyclones haven’t necessarily had a ton of success against Big 12 South opponents since the league was formed.
But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this is a game where Iowa State has a legit shot to pull off the upset. In fact, I think Iowa State has a better chance to knock off Tech than Utah on Oct. 9.
I just have a very hard time believing that Tuberville is just going to walk into Lubbock and replace Mike Leach without missing a beat or two. You don’t replace guys like Mike Leach. I just don’t know what to expect from this team. How much improved will their defense be under Tuberville? If minimal is the answer, then what happens if Tech’s offense drops several notches due to Leach’s absence?
A lot of questions still need to be answered in Lubbock…