Your Big 12 Media Days Primer The Gold and Blue Nation Podcast

Big 12 Football Media Days, a whirlwind, two-day news event at AT&T Stadium, is set to begin Wednesday morning with remarks from the league's new commissioner. Hosts Nick Farrell and Anjelica Trinone preview what we can expect during the unofficial kickoff to football season, which will also feature press conferences with WVU coach Neal Brown and four of his players Wednesday.  Stick with Gold and Blue Nation throughout the week for updates from Arlington, Texas. 

The preseason is nigh in the college football world, and in the Big 12, it will unofficially begin with Big 12 Media Days in Arlington, Texas.

Everyone from the league’s executives to its players will attend this year’s media days, as well as Gold and Blue Nation’s own Ryan Decker and Anjelica Trinone.

Here’s everything you need to know about the event:

What’s happening?

Big 12 Media Days is the first opportunity for the league and its teams to discuss narratives and storylines for the upcoming season and answer any questions about them.

League officials start each day off with a press conference to get the proverbial ball rolling, then coaches and players proceed to speak to all forms of media. In between press conferences, they will sit down with TV, radio, print and kid reporters to answer an array of questions. They will also take time out of their day for a photo shoot.

Who will be there?

The real who’s who of the Big 12 will all be in attendance, starting with Brett Yormark, the league’s new commissioner. Other Big 12 executives will join him, including Baylor President Linda Livingstone and coordinator of officials Greg Burks.

All 10 of the league’s head coaches will be there, three of which will make their first appearance. Each coach will have three or four student-athlete representatives will them, as well.

West Virginia’s Neal Brown will arrive in the Lone Star State with wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton, center Zach Frazier, defensive tackle Dante Stills and cornerback Charles Woods.

When’s everyone speaking?

Yormark will open the two-day event on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. ET along with Livingstone. Burks, the league’s coordinator of officials, starts Thursday off at 10 a.m. ET, followed by National Football Foundation COO Matthew Sign at 10:45 a.m. ET.

West Virginia’s representatives will take the various podia around “Jerry World” throughout Friday, along with Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Neal Brown will speak third among the five head coaches that day at 12:35 p.m. ET, then WVU’s players will speak at a 90-minute long breakout session at 3 p.m. ET. At 5 p.m. ET, Brown will again take the podium at 4:30 p.m. ET to speak primarily with members of the West Virginia media pool at his own breakout session.

Interspersed through these obligations are plenty of other interviews for the players and coaches, including sit-downs with ESPN, FOX Sports and SiriusXM.

Here is the full schedule of coaches:

Wednesday (all times ET):
  • 11:35 a.m.: Dave Aranda (Baylor)
  • 12:05 p.m.: Lance Leipold (Kansas)
  • 12:35 p.m.: Neal Brown (West Virginia)
  • 1:05 p.m.: Chris Klieman (Kansas State)
  • 1:35 p.m.: Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State)
Thursday:
  • 11:35 a.m.: Brent Venables (Oklahoma)
  • 12:05 p.m.: Joey McGuire (Texas Tech)
  • 12:35 p.m.: Matt Campbell (Iowa State)
  • 1:05 p.m.: Sonny Dykes (TCU)
  • 1:35 p.m.: Steve Sarkisian (Texas)

Both days wrap up at 5 p.m. ET.

What is there to talk about?

Well, how much time do you have?

To start, outgoing commissioner Bob Bowlsby will not make an appearance even though his tenure will end on Aug. 1. Instead, Yormark will make his first appearance at the event after the league named him commissioner in June. The former NBA executive’s background will be the subject of much curiosity for media members as he looks to take the Big 12 through a dynamic future.

The Big 12 is on the precipice of major change, as by the time Big 12 Media Days rolls around in 2023, the league will consist of 14 teams. There will be plenty of questions surrounding these changes — especially seeing that the first domino, Texas and Oklahoma’s exit from the league, blindsided members just days after last year’s media days.

Then there are the more abstract topics as college athletics is bound to shift in the coming years. The future addition of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten has reportedly caused conferences to scramble to add new members. The Big 12 is no exception, with recent reports stating that the league could add as many as six schools from the Pac-12. However, that league officials have not officially confirmed that report.

Additionally, Big 12 Media Days tends to bring out some buzzing talking point on its own. In 2019, college football fans got this classic line from coordinator of officials Greg Burks regarding the penalization of performing a “Horns Down” taunt against Texas:

Then, of course, there was this sound bite from former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley on how his personal relationship with quarterback Austin Kendall influenced his feelings on his transfer to West Virginia:

As loud as the discussions on league-wide topics may get, each team has its own talking points to get through. West Virginia has plenty of preseason matters to examine, including the upcoming battle for the quarterback position, the rehashing of the Backyard Brawl and the implementation of new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell’s offense.

Where/how can I watch?

Coach and player interviews will be carried on ESPNU and Big 12 Now on ESPN+ from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET every day, plus additional coverage for Yormark’s Wednesday press conference at 9:30 a.m. ET.

If you can’t catch it live, Ryan Decker 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.