Mon, Jul 21, 2014
DALLAS, TX -- The Big 12 opens the 2014 season with a new look. More specifically, a new logo. The Big 12 remains the only conference of the Big 5 conferences that plays a round-robin format with no conference championship game.
So a big question in the Big D this week is how will the conference fare in the new playoff format in college football considering it doesn't have a conference championship game.
"With what you go through this league, no, I don't see that as a problem at all," said Baylor coach Art Briles. "I mean, that's why they formed the committee. We'll see how the committee thinks because we can't think for them. All we can do is do our best on the field."
The Big 12 has not had a team in the National Championship game in five years and this year's inaugural championship game will be at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.
The Sooners were the media's pick to win the Big 12 this season, grabbing 47-of-56 first place votes. Defending conference champ Baylor took the remaining nine first-place votes.
2014 Big 12 Football Media Preseason Poll
Baylor senior quarterback Bryce Petty had a huge 2013 (250-403 passing, 4,200 yards, 32 TD, 3 INT), but has higher expectations for 2014.
"I've been there, I've done that," he said. "Experience is huge. "Going into last year I didn't really know what to expect. Each game was different in that respect -- I didn't really know what was going on. I think this year I'll be ready for a lot of things. I think this year... I'll know, I'll be like, 'Hey, I know. I've been here before.' So that's going to add a lot to my game."
The Bears finished 2013 with a record of 11-2, falling to UCF in the Fiesta Bowl, 52-42.
Okalahoma State head coach Mike Gundy shouldn't have to worry about motivation during Fall Camp. His team opens the season against defending national champion Florida State.
"They are obviously a great football team," Gundy said of the 'Noles. "They've got a number of players other than the quarterback (Jameis Winston) that are going to be playing on Sundays. But our responsibility as coaches and players -- as coaches to come up with a great plan and for players to learn that plan and excute and play with great effot."
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby was crititcal of the NCAA’s enforcement arm, which has generally grown weaker over the years.
“It’s not an understatement to say that cheating pays,” Bowlsby said, who pushed for more power from the Big 5 conferences. "Enforcement is broken. The infractions committee hasn't had a hearing in almost a year, and I think it's not an understatement to say cheating pays presently. If you seek to conspire to certainly bend the rules, you can do it successfully and probably not get caught in most occasions."
Bowlsby, though, defended collegiate athletics, which has also come under criticism. The model, Bowlsby said, needs to be updated. But, he argued against the idea of unionization of student athletes.
“The collegiate model is unique in the world of sports, not just in this country but all around the world,” Bowlsby said. “There’s probably a reason why athletes from around the world come to the United States to improve. Student athletes are not employees. They should never be employees. It’s not an employee-employer relationship. It’s a total square peg in a round hole. But the scholarship is going to change. And I think that’s great. There are ways that it costs more than room, board, books, tuition and fees to go to school."