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For years, the Big 12 was known for its strong quarterback play featuring some of the most prolific passers in college football. The last few years, however, the quarterback play has been somewhat spotty on occasion, but that could change in a big way this fall with nine of the 10 starting quarterbacks returning, including West Virginia's Skyler Howard.
During the course of a two-session Big 12 media gathering at the Omni Hotel in a city that is trying to recover from one tragedy while hosting a conference that has had a tragedy of its own to deal with at Baylor, a lot of scary things were said. None, however, on the football level and away from the horrors of death and sexual assault matched a passing comment offered by West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen.
West Virginia receiver Ka'Raun White has impressed his teammates and coaches this spring, drawing comparisons to his older brother, Kevin White.
Offensive line signee Craig Smith, a junior college All-American last season at Tyler (Texas) College, will not join the Mountaineers. He didn't qualify academically and is the only member of the 2016 recruiting class who isn't enrolled.
West Virginia players shared the Omni Hotel ballroom Tuesday with contingents from Oklahoma and Kansas State, teams that have owned the Mountaineers through four years of the Big 12 era. Fifth-year center Tyler Orlosky, admittedly preoccupied with his 0-8 career record against those schools, sounded particularly flummoxed by going winless against K-State despite West Virginia being favored in three of four meetings.
Around The Big 12:
The 10-member Big 12 Conference could grow to 12 — or even 14 — in the future. Expansion is on the table for the conference after its presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to have commissioner Bob Bowlsby "actively evaluate" the interest of universities who have contacted the Big 12 about joining.
It had sort of, kind of seemed like the soap operatic Big 12 expansion drama was coming to its end. But on Monday, the ACC announced its new TV deal with ESPN, the Big 12 brass began second guessing themselves.
Walt Anderson, Big 12 Conference coordinator of officials, made a very informative 45-minute presentation to begin day two of Big 12 Football Media Days on Tuesday. According to Anderson, the two most significant rule changes adopted this year involve an alteration that allows the replay official to stop the game to review a potential targeting hit. The second is the adoption of a Low Block Rule that creates a low block zone that prohibits a low block to a stationary defender inside the tackle box.
When he was here in 2013 and college football announced targeting penalties would be accompanied by ejections, Karl Joseph was said to be at risk. Three seasons and 29 games later, maybe the best safety in West Virginia history was never ejected and never even assessed a personal foul for hitting a defenseless opponent. But on Tuesday, the conclusion of the Big 12's media days, we were made to revisit the past and revise Joseph's record.
Around The NCAA:
Nick Saban's Alabama got the better of Deshaun Watson's Clemson in last year's College Football Playoff final, but the Tigers quarterback left a heck of an impression on the Crimson Tide's head coach, it seems. Saban went on ESPN on Tuesday and said that Watson's the most dominating player he's had to face since another athletic QB a few years ago.
Iowa rode clutch play (usually unsustainable) and a lack of defensive injuries (ditto) to a 12-0 regular season. The Hawkeyes should again contend in the Big Ten West, but they are anything but runaway favorites.
I don't want to start a political debate, but this is a very informative video from Vox that I felt should be shared.
Today's Miss Throwdown really needs no introduction if you're familiar with 30 Rock. She's disappeared from the spotlight recently, but still hot as ever. CLICK HERE for Katrina Bowden's Instagram.