The Most Interesting Things Heard On Day Two At Big XII Media Days

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The Big XII concluded their annual media days with their second afternoon of questions and answers. Seven coaches spoke yesterday, which left the second seven for Thursday. The schools represented on the final day of conversation were Cincinnati, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, UCF, and West Virginia.

Just as there were plenty of interesting things said on Wednesday, so too was the case on Thursday. Here are the most interesting things each of the conference head coaches had to say on Thursday.

Scott Satterfield – Cincinnati

On having just one scholarship receiver returning from last year’s team: “Yeah, we have one scholarship player on our team right now that was with the team last fall. You mentioned we had a couple guys get drafted and several others that got in the portal before we got the transition before getting hired. We have now added many guys to the room, guys that are going to come in and really help us. I think this summer has been huge for our wide receiver room when you think about some of the guys we brought in.

“We brought in two players that were with me at University of Louisville that started for us over there. We brought in Xzavier Henderson that started at Florida, and we moved Evan Prater who was a quarterback, started last couple games, out to wide receiver this summer, as well. He’s looked really, really good. A very athletic player, good hands, strong, competitive. That room is really, I think, now in a position to go out and compete in the Big 12, and I think with some guys that have played a lot of football.”

Matt Campbell – Iowa State

On the impact that defensive coordinator Jon Heacock has had on him as a head coach: “For me, trust is so critical in this journey, especially in college football, and it’s a time in that relationships, continuity and trust, it’s hard to find that.

“But for me, that’s what Jon has meant to me. A young coach, shoot, I’m only 43; still far from having all the answers. You can imagine what I was at 32, 33 years old as a young head football coach, and to have somebody like Coach Heacock come on board who had had head coaching experiences, who had been through the highs and the lows that college football can bring, he’s been a steadying force every step of the way for me.

“I think what’s been so rewarding is to watch the success we’ve been able to have on defense and him get the credit for it. Because I do, I think Jon is one of the great coaches in college football. What we do on defense is not really what’s special. How we do what we do on defense is what’s made us really special, and it starts with his leadership.”

Chris Klieman – Kansas State

On the parity of play in the Big XII: “Well, there’s tremendous parity in the Big 12. You saw that last year with the amount of teams that either won one-score games or knocked people off, and every week you had to have your A game or you were going to get beat. I think that’s what college football is starting to become, as well. Recruiting is never ending. The transfer portal is never ending. So there’s so many players switching teams, so you’re always going to have increased parity.

“Some of the guys that maybe weren’t playing as much for you are on another team. Sometimes even in the same league. That always is going to increase competition. College football is really healthy, and I’m excited about the direction it’s going, especially once we get to the 12-team playoff.”

Brent Venables – Oklahoma

On Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy putting the blame on Oklahoma for ending Bedlam: “Look, I’m not in control of whether or not we play Oklahoma State. I love college football. I love the traditions of the game. I love rivalry games. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have played for over 100 years, and Oklahoma has been dang good in those games for a long time. But whether or not we play them in the future, nobody is asking me what I think. If they do ask me, I’ll tell them what I think. I’d love to play the game. But we’re going to play the schedule that they put in front of us.”

Joey McGuire – Texas Tech

On Texas Tech’s 2023 recruiting class: “We feel really good. We signed the fastest class in the nation last year. That’s not a feel-good statement. You can look it up in black and white.”

On being aggressive offensively and going for it on fourth down: “More and more the game has become more analytical whenever it comes to that and the numbers. We meet every Thursday with Champion Analytics kind of to go over what we did right and maybe what we did wrong.

“We also look throughout the nation at different games, at different situations to try to learn from. Learned that from Dave Aranda. They do that at Baylor. If you watch and kind of see the trend, if you look at 2020 to 2021, the difference of coaches’ philosophy, of being on that staff and seeing the success, really kind of changed our philosophy a little bit.”

Gus Malzahn – UCF

On how the one-year clock rule in 2006 negatively impacted offenses by shortening the game, and if the new rules this year will hamper UCF’s offense: “No. We’re going to continue to put the hammer down. My first year in college football was 2006 when I was at Arkansas when they implemented that rule. You’re exactly right, that’s what happened.

“But I think this change is not going to be that drastic. It may limit a few plays a game, but I really don’t think as of right now it’s going to be that drastic, and we’re planning on putting the hammer down and playing as fast as we can.”

Neal Brown – West Virginia

On being picked to finish last in the Big XII by the conference media: “I’ll start with this because I’m sure I’m going to get asked about it. Upset about the media poll. Definitely do not agree with that. The good thing, the positive is that the media has not been, as far as predicting the Big 12, has not been successful in recent years, so I think that bodes well for us.

“But I’ll say this on a more serious note. I was sitting on the beach last week, whenever Mike Montoro, who’s the best in the business, who’s our sports information director for football, he sent me a text and I made the mistake of looking at it. From that point on, my vacation was over. I went into football mode.

“This is why I disagree, and this is why, first of all, it starts with belief in our staff and belief in our players, and then how we finish will be the next thing. We beat Oklahoma, beat Oklahoma State on the road, winning two of our last three games.

“Offensively this is going to be our best group. And then we have 132 starts returning on the offensive line, 132. If that’s not the most in the country, it’s got to be close. Within that group we’ve got four former freshman All-Americans. We’ve got three for sure all-conference type players. Two of them are here with us today. Zach Frazier who’s a two-time All-American, and then Doug Nester.

“We have a budding superstar at running back in CJ Donaldson, and defensively we’re going to be one of the most improved units in the Big 12, if not in the country.”