Ahhhh can you smell it? The fresh-cut grass, sprinkler system going... sorry I'm getting ahead of myself. We are SO CLOSE! Media day in college football is that next hurdle to getting our tailgating and Saturday morning rituals back. The first media day for the major conferences was the Big 12.
Keep Your Horns Up
My first takeaway is that the Big 12 officials still hate fun. They have doubled down on signaling "horns down" at a Longhorn player saying that anyone who does that will "probably" be penalized. However, if you do the gesture to the crowd, it will "probably not" be a penalty. Hey Texas and Big 12, if you don't want players to throw the "horns down", don't lose. In terms of taunts, there is nothing better than doing the other team's chant, playing their song, or signaling their gesture when you get the best of them. If I beat the Yankees in New York, you better believe I am playing "New York New York" in the locker room.
Millions Lost Due To Covid
The other big news from media day was that the Big 12 is still figuring out which Covid policies they will implement from last season, and that it will be decided on in the next 30 days. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby did encourage all players to get vaccinated, citing the recent mishap at the College World Series. One of the more important things he said, that will likely be a big sticking point for all leagues over the next year or so is the financial impact that Covid had. According to dallasnews.com, it is being estimated that each Big 12 school lost $4.5 million in conference revenue. Bowlsby even acknowledged that some of the athletic departments may not recover from that until 2023.
Weather Issues in Lawrence
Tough week for Kansas huh? Well, when it rains it pours. The Jayhawks football team could not travel to Dallas for media day because of weather problems they faced at home. So new coach Lance Leipold had to do his press conference via zoom. Leipold steps into a tough situation at Kansas, with a team that's the best record, is 3-9 since 2009 and hasn't won more than one conference game in that time. However, Leipold feels like as good of a guy as any to turn it around. He won six Division III national championships at Wisconsin-Whitewater and made three bowl appearances at his time in Buffalo. “I think whether it be success or when programs haven't had success, you can't spend any time looking in the rearview mirror. Look through the windshield, keep it a day at a time, don't get too far ahead of yourself or too far behind. Be where your feet are at and continue to work each and every day to be a little bit better than you were before." Sounds like Leipold is ready for the challenge ahead.