Your Big 12 Debut Summer Survival Guide
By Steve Pipps
There are fewer than two months until the start of the college football season and until the debut of the Big 12. That, however, is still a long time, especially when baseball is the only year-round sport to keep our minds occupied.
The World Cup only has a couple of more weeks left before it ends, but it's already over for Team USA, courtesy of Belgium. Now we are stuck with only baseball until the fall. So here is a comprehensive guide to keeping your mind on college football while helping ease your desire to pull your hair out at the fact that the season is still not here.
First, a quick 2013 recap. Baylor won the Big 12 outright for the first time, Kansas was at the bottom of the conference for the third straight year and the Big 12 went 3-3 in their bowl games. Oklahoma beat an Alabama team that had just come off a tough loss to Auburn. Baylor lost a high-scoring affair to UCF.
There were also a couple of highlight moments. Kansas State defensive end Ryan Mueller's strip sack of Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, although the Bears held on for the victory. You might also remember Blake Bell's winning touchdown toss to Jalen Saunder to lift Oklahoma over Oklahoma State in their latest Bedlam installment.
I could go on, but then I wouldn’t have enough material for a season recap to get you ready for 2014.
Now on to everything that will help the next two months feel like no time at all.
1. The best way to keep up to date with the world of college football is through websites and blogs. The obvious choice here is Football.com. It has everything you’ll need to stay current.
2. Other great websites and blogs are the ESPN Big 12 Blog, which has daily articles that covers the Big 12 in depth. For specific team blogs, you can check out the SB Nation Big 12 Page or Blatant Homerism for a taste of “college football through fan-colored glasses.” Lastly the SB Nation CFB Blog covers every hot story in CFB.
For some extracurricular studying, check out Arrest Nation for updated arrests of all your favorite players… if you’re into that sort of thing.
3. The Big 12 just announced that their media days will be held on July 21-22. Head coaches and up to four players from each school will be in attendance to answer questions. The schedule looks as such:
This will be a great way to get into the heads of the coaches and see where they think the team is at heading into August. This also is a great chance to hear updates from the player’s perspectives. Trevor Knight will be a name to watch for as fans are waiting to see if he can continue playing at the high level at which he finished last season.
Petty, and Nick Harwell from Kansas, will also be players to watch. Harwell is a transfer wide receiver from Miami University (Ohio) looking to turn around an anemic offense. Petty looks to lead his team to a second consecutive Big 12 title as Baylor sits behind only Oklahoma in the oddsmakers' eyes.
4. You can find a stream of the media days on the Big 12 Digital Network.
5. Hype videos are all the rage these days. The USA men’s soccer team put them out for each individual match,. Now you can get yourself ready for 2014 by going through videos that have already dropped such as Baylor’s hype video.
There are a few others out there, but more will inevitably trickle out as the season nears.
6. Watch old games that you have taped. This is a classic way to trick your mind into thinking it’s the season. I know “taping” games is so ‘80s, so to be more relevant; watch old games that you have DVRd.
If you’re the poor sap who doesn’t have any games to go back to, hit me up on twitter. I’ve got every Iowa State and Kansas game from the past three seasons*. They remind me that whenever things are going bad it could always be worse.
7. On a similar note watch all the great football movies, Rudy, We Are Marshall, and Remember the Titans. Those who feel they are too good for the TV show Friday Night lights let’s get off of our high horse. It’s fantastic and you have five seasons to hold you over and since we now know that binge watching is out of the question, five seasons should take you right up to August 31.
8. Speculation among friends is so common, it needs to be switched up beyond just who is going to win the Big 12. Jump onto our community board and share your thoughts or ideas. Some jumping off points are: Will Charlie Strongmake an impact in his first season at Texas? Can Charlie Weis finally produce a winning team at Kansas? Will Oklahoma fall victim to the West Virginia Effect?
9. Or you can make it interesting by buying one of these classics. Set your team up and scrimmage. What happens when Baylor faces a strong South Carolina squad? Since we don’t have the opportunity to watch such a match, play it out and let us know the results.
After all of that, there is really only need one thing you need to hold you over. Just remember that the BCS is no more and the College Football Playoff is here. It’s going to be a wild year.