The unofficial start to the college football preseason is upon us as the Big 12 Conference puts on its annual media days on Wednesday and Thursday, hoping to set up the storylines for the upcoming 2021 season.
The Big 12’s brass is set to convene at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas as the event makes its return after a one-year hiatus. Also returning will be Gold and Blue Nation’s Anjelica Trinone and Nick Farrell, who will have all the latest from Arlington.
Here’s everything you need to know about this week.
The event opens with a press conference featuring Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby at 10 a.m. ET, leading into a conference for each head coach spread out over two days — five on Wednesday, and five on Thursday. After each coach has spoken in a given day, media will be allowed to meet with players in the afternoon with another, more localized media session with each head coach to end the day.
In addition, coaches will make the rounds and meet with various radio and television outlets for one-on-one interviews.
On Thursday, Greg Burks, the Big 12’s coordinator of officials, will open with a press conference, leading into another day full of coach conferences.
Who all will be there?
Brown will be joined by running back Leddie Brown and defensive lineman Dante Stills, both of whom are making their first appearance at the event. WVU director of athletics Shane Lyons is also heading down to Arlington.
In addition to each team’s head coach, several high profile players from around Big 12 football will be in attendance, including Kansas State quarterback Skylar Thompson, Oklahoma State quarterback Spencer Sanders and Iowa State running back Breece Hall.
When’s everyone speaking?
The Mountaineers are on the podium on Wednesday, with Coach Brown starting the team off at 12:35 p.m. Leddie Brown will speak with all of the offensive players for day one at 3:30 p.m., followed by Stills and the defensive players at 4 p.m.
Here’s a full list of who is speaking when (all times eastern):
- Iowa State’s Matt Campbell – 11:35 a.m.
- TCU’s Gary Patterson – 12:05 p.m.
- West Virginia’s Neal Brown – 12:35 p.m.
- Kansas State’s Chris Kliemann – 1:05 p.m.
- Oklahoma State’s Lincoln Riley – 1:35 p.m.
- Baylor’s Dave Aranda – 11:35 a.m.
- Kansas’s Lance Leipold – 12:05 p.m.
- Texas Tech’s Matt Wells – 12:35 p.m.
- Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy – 1:05 p.m.
- Texas’s Steve Sarkisian – 1:35 p.m.
What could go down?
There isn’t a lot of telling what may or may not happen this week, but Big 12 Media Days does seem to be a hot bed for sound bytes and bulletin board material ahead of the football season.
West Virginia was gifted with two such instances in 2019’s media days alone. The first came right on day one, when OU’s Lincoln Riley took the podium.
To rehash the story: ahead of Neal Brown’s first season at WVU’s helm, he brought in Oklahoma transfer quarterback Austin Kendall, who was a highly-touted prospect for the Sooners. At first, Riley blocked the transfer of his former quarterback, and faced much criticism for it. Then, over the summer, he tried to justify his decision, inciting Mountaineer fans.
The next day, coordinator of officials Greg Burks answered for another controversy from the previous season — the beloved (or dreaded) “Horns Down” gesture. After WVU star wide receiver David Sills was flagged for making the sign with his hands in 2018, the discussion of whether or not that should be a penalty came to the forefront of the college football newscycle, and Burks clarified his position in the summer.
Needless to say, Mountaineer fans did not like what they heard.
Where can I watch?
Big 12 media days will be shown on ESPNU and Big 12 Now on ESPN+ both days at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET.
If you can’t catch it live, Nick Farrell and Anjelica Trinone will be on location at AT&T Stadium providing all the updates you need. Gold and Blue Nation will have every coach’s press conference, both WVU players, and much, much more. Be sure to stick with GoldandBlueNation.com and the Gold and Blue Nation social media pages so you don’t miss a moment!