I always thought it was mildly interesting reading a football coach’s first thoughts at press conferences, so here are some first thoughts of the coaches at this year's Big 12 media day currently underway at the Omni Dallas Hotel. (I will update today’s first thoughts throughout the morning)
Monday, July 22
TCU’s Gary Patterson:
“I saw this room on Twitter. It was pretty enveloping; everything else going good? For us, we’re excited. For coaches this time of year, being in the Big 12, knowing a little more about it, buying less diapers, we’re not quite as young of a football team as we were a year ago – still feel like we’re young. A lot of players we thought we had last year didn’t have last year are back.
“Growing up, understanding we have a big ball game right out of the gate as far as you guys are concerned playing a program like LSU. We’re excited about that. A lot of people taking the philosophy of not playing big games, but as far as TCU is concerned, to be able to play a game and play a program like LSU that’s had a national implications over the last few years with a coach like Les Miles is somebody that you want to be a part of and playing in Cowboys Stadium and be a part of that.”
Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy:
“I’m really excited about our conference. I think we continue to grow, come together as a group; an opportunity for great games. I think that it will be a very exciting season. We’re very proud of where we are; our football team, our coaches and our organization. I couldn’t be more excited about getting started here in a week.”
Kansas’ Charlie Weis:
“We’re 1-11 and picked by everybody to finish last in the league, and that’s justifiable. If I were you, I’d pick us in the same spot. We’ve given you no evidence or no reason to be picked anywhere other than that. I told our players and told our coaching staff that, until they start winning some games in the conference, that’s just how it’s going to be.
“Obviously, inside closed walls or inside our walls and closed doors, our expectations are much higher than everyone else, but the proof’s in the pudding. Until we start beating some teams in the Big 12, which is quite a challenge with the ability and talent throughout the league, we’re going to be put in the same spot every year. And on that note, I’m fair game.”
Kansas State’s Bill Snyder and Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury:
Both had no opening thoughts they were willing to share, opting instead to go straight to questions.
Tuesday, July 23
Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops:
“I’ve really been pleased and excited about our players’ work through the winter and spring. Obviously, in the summer we have limited access to our players. Hopefully, that will be changing in the future, but the little I’ve seen of them coming and going from class and around our facility, I know everybody’s excited about it.
"We have an incredibly tough schedule throughout, but in particular when you look at the first six games with our non-conference schedule to go with West Virginia and Texas, I believe in our first couple of games, also is just really challenging and difficult."
Texas’ Mack Brown:
“We took a lot of momentum from our win against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl and had an outstanding spring, and it sounds like the same thing has happened this summer.
“You will hear from our guys today that, with 19 of 22 starters back, we’ll have more experience. We’ll have more depth. The leadership is much better than it’s been over the past couple of years because the guys are older.
“They understand that nine’s is not what we want to win at Texas, and they’re very excited to get started. All 15 freshmen are at school, or the one junior college player, Desmond Harrison, that came in the second session of summer school, and also the guys have been impressed by the freshmen.”
West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen
"Probably the biggest difference going into this year as opposed to last year is everything that we dealt with last year is pretty much the opposite this year - had a lot of good things coming off a big bowl game and had some star power on offense and all the experience on defense and very inexperienced on defense. It's the exact opposite going into this year.
"Nonetheless, it's exciting to be in the Big 12 and just looking forward to getting started here. Tired of vacation. Ready to get back and spend time with our kids to try to get us better ready to head into the second year here in the Big 12."
Baylor's Art Briles
"What are my thoughts? Oh, I mean, I would think like anybody else's. High anticipation, hopefully, hope builds into reality, and anxious to let our guys get on the field and play.
"They spend, shoot, from January the 16th to August the 31st preparing. So now it's time to perform. That's the thing that excites me because these guys put a lot of time and effort, sweat, blood, passion, drive into getting on the field and playing for 60 minutes. I'm ready to turn them loose and let them play.
Iowa State's Paul Rhoads
"This year's senior class, we've got 16 seniors. And this is the first group that's come full cycle with us, fifth?year guys that we've recruited, that we've brought in and put out on the field. I think those 16 seniors are going to help us overcome the youth that will be out on the field for us. They're a very energetic group. They're a hardworking group, and they've got a passion for Iowa State University and playing our brand of football."
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