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Odds and Ends: Big 12 Media Days

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OSU coach Mike Gundy during Big 12 Media Days on Monday, July 15, 2019 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

ARLINGTON, Texas— A Monday spent at AT&T Stadium didn’t reveal anything earth shattering, but it did confirm some things that were already suspected. 

Quarterbacks

In an unsurprising move, Mike Gundy declined to name a starting quarterback at Big 12 Media Days. 

Spencer Sanders, a redshirt freshman and former Gatorade Player of the Year in Texas, remains locked in a battle with redshirt senior and graduate transfer Dru Brown for the job.

Last year, when Brown and Sanders were in competition with Taylor Cornelius for the starting spot, Gundy chose Big 12 Media Days as the time to name his starter. 

On Monday, he compared this position battle to those he’s had at quarterback in years past. 

“I think if you look back at my history we have named guys at times when people didn’t think we were going to name a starter, because we felt like they earned the job, gave our team the best chance to be successful and win games,” Gundy said. 

What was a little surprising was how he expressed at least a consideration of splitting time between the two quarterbacks.  

“Both guys on our team right now have worked hard,” Gundy said. “We haven't had anybody go ahead and take the reins at this pick point. So we're ready for them to split reps.”

Gundy praised Sean Gleeson, his new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, for his ability to coach signal callers. Gundy went on to clarify that his team will run the same system. 

Gundy said Gleeson is a hands-on recruiter and is building a good relationship with the rest of the coaching staff. 

“He's young,” Gundy said. “He's a good technician with quarterbacks. He's got a bright personality… He's worked well with our staff and they've taken him in and worked together and I think he's going to do very well.”

Mullet

Gundy seemed in a joking mood throughout all of his media appearances. 

In the main press conference he responded to a question about Oklahoma’s recent dominance in the conference with a sarcastic diminishment of its quarterback play. 

Former Oklahoma players Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield are the winners of the last two Heisman trophies.  

“They've got good players,” Gundy said. “The last couple of years they've had average quarterback play and they've overcome it.”

Gundy also joked about the possibility of him cutting his mullet, which appeared longer than ever. 

“Oh, I thought about actually getting a haircut yesterday, but it was Sunday and they were closed,” Gundy said. “So I decided to wing it…As long as it makes me look younger, if somebody said it makes you look old, I would probably cut it.”

Return of Les Miles

Former OSU coach Les Miles is back in the league, coaching Kansas after taking a two-season break from coaching.  Miles went 28-21 as the Cowboys’ coach and is credited with laying the foundation for Mike Gundy to have the success he has had. 

Miles was keen on talking about the present instead of the past when asked about his previous stint in the conference. However, he did make the claim that in his judgment he is inheriting more talent at Kansas than he did in his first year at OSU. 

No Big 12 Expansion

The first question asked of Bob Bowlsby, the Big 12 commissioner, was about expansion of the conference. As he has many times in years past, Bowlsby shut down any speculation of the conference expanding. 

“We have had no expansion discussion at any level,” Bowlsby said. “We like the ten we have. We think the full Round Robin is the right way to conduct competition and in the case of our basketball, full double Round Robin. We are distributing record revenues and we have heretofore unanticipated media opportunities and I don't expect that to be an active topic on anybody's agenda within the conference anytime in the foreseeable future.”