MORE BIG 12 NOTES
[ See also July 28 post “Big 12 News as New Season Approaches.” ]
** There are 64 Power Five schools. The youngest head coach of the 64 is Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, who is only 36. He will need the resilience of youth as he attempts to turn around a program that has put up nine losing seasons in the past 10 years.
** Oklahoma has won the Big 12 nine times – 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015. Eight of the nine titles were outright; the Sooners shared with Kansas State in 2012.
The nine championships are the most of any school.
** No coach in FBS has enjoyed a longer tenure at his university than Sooner boss Bob Stoops, who started in Norman in 2000. He won a national championship that year, by the way, but hasn’t won one since despite a few close calls.
** The Big 12 may or may not expand, but it is going back to having a championship game, starting next year. The NCAA has ruled that leagues with fewer than 12 members may conduct a championship game, and the Big 12 is taking advantage of the recent change. The 10-team conference will probably split into two divisions, but that is not a certainty.
** Quarterback Kenny Hill is now close to home at Texas Christian after starting his career at Texas A&M. He doesn’t have the pressure and expectations that dogged him at A&M after a fast start as the successor to Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. He does, however, follow a guy named Trevone Boykin.
** Though Boykin will be missed, T.C.U. returns 13 other starters. Additionally, and this could be huge, the Horned Frogs welcome back six other starters who suffered season-ending injuries in 2015.
** West Virginia coach Dana Holgersen shared the now defunct Big East title two straight years before his school moved to the Big 12 in 2011. The Mountaineers immediately made a splash with a 10-win season. However, the four years since have been far less kind; Holgersen’s teams are only 26-25 overall and a paltry 15-21 in the conference.
** Joining Holgersen on the hot seat is Charlie Strong of Texas. His first two seasons in Austin produced two losing records. The last time the Longhorns recorded three consecutive losing seasons was 1954 through 1956, some 60 years ago.
** Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes has given up baseball to concentrate on his football career. This was the first off-season without the diamond distraction. The dual-threat Mahomes led the nation with almost 400 yards of total offense per game in 2015.
** Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington averaged 49 yards per catch on his 10 touchdowns a year ago.