Iowa State Cyclones football coach Paul Rhoads wanted an offensive coordinator with some grit and a straight-forward system, something that would ease the transition into a new scheme. He believes former Kansas coach Mark Mangino fits the bill.
Five years ago, the Baylor Bears were the ignored team at these events. On Monday, they were the toast of Big 12 football media days. Last year, they won 11 games, claimed their first Big 12 championship and played in the Fiesta Bowl — while averaging 618.8 yards and 52.3 points. Now they are picked to finish second in the conference’s preseason poll behind Oklahoma with a new, on-campus stadium that seats 45,140 is nearing completion at a price of $260 million.
Amid lawsuits and threats over the past few months, college sports senses change and feels the vibrations. But few have offered a peak into a future operation until Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby pulled back the curtain and saw potential hardship.
Kansas State landed four players on the preseason All-Big 12 football team Wednesday: Senior receiver Tyler Lockett, center B.J. Finney, guard Cody Whitehair and defensive end Ryan Mueller. Kansas linebacker Ben Heeney was the only Jayhawk to make the team.
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“When you end on a winning note in a big-time game, it carries over to spring ball and you have a lot of confidence from it,” Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury said last week at Big 12 Media Days. “You beat a top-20 team in a bowl game, and that is all anyone wants to talk about during the offseason.”
Former Kansas star Mario Chalmers recently signed a two-year deal to stay a member of the Miami Heat. On Monday during his annual charity golf event in Lawrence, he said he is excited to see how good the team can be without Lebron James.
Kansas football signee Traevohn Wrench, a former star running back at Gardner Edgerton High School, is set to enroll at a junior college after failing to qualify academically, Gardner Edgerton coach Marvin Diener told The Star on Saturday.
Baylor’s new football home, a $260 million behemoth on the Brazos River named McLane Stadium, is the toast of facility upgrades in the Big 12. But an arms race is heating up across the conference, with programs looking to spend huge sums on stadium improvements. Kansas State, which finished $90 million in construction on its football stadium last summer, has another $65 million renovation on the way. Iowa State has announced a $60 million project to enclose its south end zone. West Virginia will use much of a $75 million bond to upgrade its stadium. And Oklahoma will spend $370 million to renovate its already massive stadium.
Steinberg comes to K-State from McNeese State, where she was chosen Southland Conference Coach of the Year last season. She is the seventh head coach in program history, replacing Steve Bieatau, who retired in March.
Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis said during Big 12 football media days on Monday that he has a number in mind of how many wins he thinks the team should have to signify progress. In two seasons at Kansas, Weis has tallied four victories — just one in the Big 12 — and failed to notch a road win.
Kansas’ marketing arm is hoping senior linebacker Ben Heeney, a first-team All-Big 12 middle linebacker, won’t go unnoticed during his final season. Earlier this month, the KU athletic department launched CaptainHeeney.com, a site dedicated to promoting Heeney’s on-field exploits. The site features a superhero theme, complete with a bearded cartoon Heeney stylized as “The Diabolical Defender.”