10 burning questions ahead of Big 12 football media days

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, left, and Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley meet before their Nov. 25 meeting in 2017 in Norman. OU was picked first in the Big 12 media preseason poll, while West Virginia was second. (Photo: Associated Press)

Big 12 media days begin Monday in Frisco, Texas, inside The Star’s squeaky clean walls.

There will be no shortage of questions, ridiculous or otherwise.

Here is one legit question each Big 12 team goes into 2018 asking itself. Schools are listed in order of their appearance in the preseason media poll.


It’s hard to imagine the offense suffering too badly, even as a new quarterback enters the fray. But how long can the Sooners rely on simply outscoring opponents? Last season’s warts were smoothed over with Baker Mayfield at the helm.

What’s the outlook on a defense that surrendered 394 yards per game?

West Virginia

Will Grier is the league’s top returning quarterback, and he has one of the best receivers in David Sills V.

Can Dana Holgorsen win the big one, though?

Getting to the Big 12 title game is a possibility. Winning the Big 12 likely means beating OU, and WVU is 0-6 in that realm. The Mountaineers get the Sooners at home this year.


It just seems too easy to make a team’s quarterback competition the big question, but at last check, that position is imperative.

TCU coach Gary Patterson will field a quality defense, but who will take snaps: sophomore Shawn Robinson or freshman Justin Rogers?


The Longhorns scraped together seven victories last season while leaning on a stout defense. That group lost five legitimate stars, though.

Can the offense be better, or will it need the youthful talent influx on defense to overcome its key departures?

Oklahoma State

See TCU. The Cowboys have a solid receiving corps even without James Washington or Marcell Ateman. Three of the top five pass catchers are back, and OSU hopes to get a full season out of Dillon Stoner.

But who’s the quarterback?

Kansas State

Is this Bill Snyder’s last season? It’s a perennial question, but at 78 years old, how much longer will Snyder choose to go?

The Wildcats have enough guys back from an eight-win team to make noise, but the schedule — road games at Oklahoma, West Virginia, TCU — doesn’t appear conducive for the fuzzy Snyder curtain call everyone wants for him.

Iowa State

Joel Lanning was a marvelous middle linebacker. He’s out of eligibility, though, leaving an important position vacant. Redshirt freshman O’Rien Vance is a leading candidate to fill it.

How does the shift from experience to youth there affect the Cyclone defense?

Texas Tech

Kliff Kingsbury has one winning season in the last four as Red Raider head coach. Tech was better defensively last season, and Kingsbury should receive partial credit. But the offense was non-existent against the Big 12’s best defensive teams.

Can Kingsbury bring it all together and save his job?


The Bears bring back many of the same faces, including quarterback Charlie Brewer. There’s also transfer talent like former Tennessee running back Jalen Hurd, who has moved to receiver. Seems like there should be optimism. Baylor could finish middle of the league’s pack if it overachieves, and overachieving is the head coach’s responsibility.

Where does second-year coach Matt Rhule’s rebuild go from here?


What does David Beaty have to do to keep his job?

He has won three games in three seasons as head coach, granted the rebuilding job at Mount Oread is massive. New athletic director Jeff Long is itching to make a power move with the football program — it’s why he was hired and why KU is paying him $1.5 million per year. Beaty needs to win more than once or twice in 2018 to see his fifth season in Lawrence. 

Big 12 media days

When: Monday-Tuesday

Where: The Star in Frisco, Texas

TV: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (FS2; FOX College Sports Central; FSOK)

Stream: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (FOXsportsgo.com)

Monday: TCU, Kansas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma

Tuesday: West Virginia, Texas, Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma State

Press conferences


9:05 a.m. — Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby

10:05 — TCU coach Gary Patterson

10:40 — Kansas coach David Beaty

11:15 — Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury

11:50 — Iowa State coach Matt Campbell

12:25 — Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley


10:05 a.m. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen

10:40 — Texas coach Tom Herman

11:15 — Baylor coach Matt Rhule

11:50 — Kansas State coach Bill Snyder

12:25 — Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy

Team representatives

(Subject to change)

Baylor: Matt Rhule (coach), Chris Platt (WR), Greg Roberts (DE), Ira Lewis (DT), Verkedric Vaughns (S).

Kansas: David Beaty (coach), Joe Dineen (LB), Khalil Herbert (RB), Steven Sims (WR), Daniel Wise (DT).

Kansas State: Bill Snyder (coach), Dalton Risner (OL), Alex Delton (QB), Duke Shelley (DB), Skylar Thompson (QB).

Iowa State: Matt Campbell (Iowa State), Brian Peavy (CB), Ray Lima (DL), Kyle Kempt (QB), David Montgomery (RB).

Oklahoma: Lincoln Riley (coach), Rodney Anderson (RB), Amani Bledsoe (DE), Kenneth Murray (LB), Ben Powers (OL).

Oklahoma State: Mike Gundy (coach), Justice Hill (RB), Jalen McCleskey (WR), Darrion Daniels (DT), Justin Phillips (LB).

Texas: Tom Herman (coach), Andrew Beck (TE), Breckyn Hager (DL), Chris Nelson (DL) Patrick Vahe (OL)

Texas Tech: Kliff Kingsbury (coach), Dakota Allen (LB), Jah’Shawn Johnson (DB), Travis Bruffy (OL), Ja’Deion High (WR).

TCU: Gary Patterson (coach), Ben Banogu (DE), Ty Summers (LB), Jaelan Austin (WR), Sewo Olonilua (RB), Shawn Robinson (QB).

West Virginia: Dana Holgorsen (coach), Will Grier (QB), David Long (LB), David Sills V (WR), Dravon Askew-Henry (S), Yodny Cajuste (OL).

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