In a new feature this season, here is the best quote of the week from every Big 12 coach from the weekly Monday morning teleconference that the media participates in. The order will be based on the order that the coaches speak in, no other rhyme or reason. I’ll give a little reaction to those comments below each quote.
David Beaty, Kansas Jayhawks
“I think I understand Garrett [Riley] has taught Lincoln [Riley] everything he knows.”
The guy may be 1-10, but by golly, he’s still got a sense of humor! Of course Garrett is the quarterbacks coach at Kansas and the younger brother of Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, who Kansas is facing this weekend. In fact, the Garrett Riley vs. Lincoln Riley angle, which is not all that compelling considering one is a head coach and one is a quarterbacks coach, still may be the most compelling storyline in Saturday’s game.
Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma Sooners
“No, I didn’t consider it for one second… our focus was squarely on trying to do what we had to do to win that game the other night.”
This was Riley’s response to being asked if he played more conservatively in the second half against TCU (OU was shut out), with the thought that he might have to face the Horned Frogs again in the Big 12 Championship game in a couple of weeks. I’m not sure I totally buy it, but that was what Riley had to say on the topic. It’s another one of the fascinating storylines in the Big 12, since the title game is always a rematch, and in this case, could be two teams meeting twice with just two weeks in between.
BONUS quote: On if he was surprised Baker Mayfield didn’t receive any scholarship offers: “No, I mean, a lot of people are scared of quarterbacks who aren’t 6’3’’, 6’4’’. I think that’s starting to go away a little bit.”
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Cowboys
“It’s going to get to the point where the human element is going to cause concern across the country. Whether you like it or not, there’s way too much money in this. There’s five power conferences, so somebody’s going to win a conference championship and not get in.”
Let the debate begin. Or has it really ever ended since being implemented in 2014? Now that the Big 12 has a conference championship game, there will be even more lobbying for an expanded College Football Playoff. Gundy is right about the human element being concerning, a la Ohio State. The committee’s factors of importance seem to change as quickly as the winds in North Texas. But the four team playoff has created a fantastic November with multiple elimination games being played. With eight teams, that importance would not be there as teams like Notre Dame, Penn State and others would still be in talks for making the playoff with an at-large bid.
Bill Snyder, Kansas State Wildcats
“I’ve talked about it [bowl game] very little. It’s just game by game.”
Maybe that’s because if you told K-State fans that there would be two games left and they’d still be fighting to make a bowl game they’d call you crazy. Alas, here we our, with Kansas State needing to beat either Oklahoma State or Iowa State to find themselves at 6-6 and guaranteed a bowl game spot (they can still reach a bowl game at 5-7 thanks to APR scores, but that’s a topic for another day).
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia Mountaineers
“I think they need to expand to 8, but my buddy coach [Mike] Leach I know is a fan of 64 or something like that.”
Another Playoff discussion took place with Dana Holgorsen, who wants to increase to eight. He made the case that Western Michigan should have been in a playoff last year with a chance to win a National Championship and added that in the four-team landscape, a Group of 5 school will never have a shot.
BONUS QUOTE: “That would take a little thought for me to answer that.”
I forget the topic and question, but Holgorsen’s answer was hysterical. He gave the reporter absolutely nothing. Nope, just too much brain power needed to use on that one. Also, coach sounds like he just got done smoking a pack of cigarettes during these conference calls. I know that’s his natural sound and drawl, but it seems even more prominent on Monday mornings. Love it. What a great fit for WVU.
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech Red Raiders
Kingsbury was asked two questions… or was it one? I don’t know. All I know is he was in and he was out. One of those questions was about the TCU front seven. But the larger point: every week Kingsbury gets the fewest questions asked. I don’t think it’s because the team isn’t doing well. David Beaty is peppered every week and takes up his full 10-minute allotment. Maybe it’s that Kingsbury is in no-man’s land? Not good, not really bad, just somewhere in between, and somewhat irrelevant?
Matt Rhule, Baylor Bears
“I don’t make grand statements like that, but I think he did some really goods things on Saturday.”
This was in reference to Charlie Brewer being named the starter moving forward. As Rhule noted, Brewer did a lot of good things with his arm and his leg, but he also had three costly turnovers that the Bears were never able to overcome. I say ride Brewer the rest of the way, let him work out the freshman kinks, and it will bode much better for the Bears in 2018 and 2019.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State Cyclones
“It’s a hard call… I think it can go either which way. It’s a bang-bang play… these officials have a tough job and they made the best call as they saw.”
Campbell was of course referring to the game-ending interception by Oklahoma State’s A.J. Green to seal the win for the Cowboys. Campbell handled the question with grace and professionalism. Even though the call potentially cost Iowa State a chance at the Big 12 championship game, should we really expect anything else from Campbell at this point? He’s a pro’s pro.
Gary Patterson, TCU Horned Frogs
“For us, it’s just about Texas Tech. None of that makes any difference if you can’t win the next two.”
Patterson has no interest in talking to his guys about a rematch with OU in the Big 12 championship game. It’s fair. TCU should win out, playing Texas Tech and Baylor, but they’ll have to do it without top running back Darius Anderson, who’s out for the rest of the regular season with a leg injury. I’d be shocked if TCU isn’t playing in Arlington next month.
Tom Herman, Texas Longhorns
“It’ll be interesting to see him [Connor Williams] tomorrow, that will be the big test. He’s gone through some non-contact stuff and some shorts and helmets stuff we did yesterday. I’m assuming we’re going to get something out of Connor this week.”
The Texas offensive line has been an absolute mess for the past several weeks. Getting Williams back will be a nice boost as Texas tries to win one of its final two games to reach a bowl game. But the Longhorns would be wise to ease Williams back into action and not just throw him in there for 75+ snaps on Saturday against West Virginia. It’s most important that Williams is healthy for spring ball and ready to rock in 2018. Despite being a projected first-round pick in the summer, it seems very unlikely he’s going to the NFL Draft after this injury-riddled season. Herman needs to make sure he plays the long game with Williams.