IRVING, Texas — After an impressive spring game, Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder said Carson Coffman had the inside track to once again become the Wildcats' starting quarterback.
That hasn't changed.
But Snyder said on Tuesday that Coffman's edge over competitors Collin Klein and Sammuel Lamur won't mean much in the grand scheme of things.
Snyder said Coffman will take the first snap with the Wildcats' first-team offense during summer practices, but beyond that holds no advantage.
"We came out of the spring with three young guys that were viable contenders for the No. 1 quarterback spot," Snyder said. "We'll go into the fall with three young guys competing for the No. 1 position.... We just do not have a clear-cut No. 1 right now."
Sorry schedule — Kansas State's schedule contains several games that aren't in Snyder's comfort zone. The final game is being played at North Texas after Thanksgiving, the final three games are on the road and two games are on Thursday nights.
Snyder voiced no major complaints about the schedule Tuesday, but said he and athletic director John Currie are working to more traditional schedules in the future.
Snyder was asked if that meant future games against Virginia Tech and Auburn could be in jeopardy.
"They're still on the schedule last I looked," Snyder said.
Linebacker limbo — Junior safety Tysyn Hartman chuckled a bit when reporters continued to ask him about who he felt was best suited to be a starting linebacker this season.
"That's probably the biggest question I'm getting," Hartman said. "I'm getting that question more than I am about the quarterbacks."
With Ulla Pomele, Hansen Sekona and John Houlik all gone from last season, only Alex Hrebec returns with significant experience at the position. Hartman said he expects Kadero Terrell, Jarell Childs and a few others are capable of turning some heads at linebacker.
"We've got a lot of guys who can fill that hole for us," Hartman said.
Championship game — Though most other coaches at the Big 12 media days have said they are against keeping the conference championship game once Nebraska and Colorado leave the Big 12, Snyder said he is in favor of the idea.
"I see a lot of schools in our conference that it's been a great benefit to," Snyder said. "I like the concept. I think it's great for our conference."
Tuberville's vote — What it means to be the Texas Tech quarterback could be changing with Tommy Tuberville in and Mike Leach out as coach in Lubbock. Tuberville says he expects Tech to pass it 60 percent of the time, but it's no secret that his programs at Ole Miss and Auburn were built on a no-nonsense running game.
No matter which way he ends up leaning, Tuberville has to pick between quarterbacks Taylor Potts and Steven Sheffield, both of whom earned significant playing time last season. In an interesting move, Tuberville elected to bring both quarterbacks to Big 12 media days on Tuesday.
"I wanted to see how they handled themselves in front of you and the TV cameras," Tuberville said.
Tuberville then showed off his sense of humor.
"At the end of the day we'll have a vote, and we'll let you pick out the starter," Tuberville said. "That will make it a little easier on me."
Beebe shots — Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe provided updates on Big 12 bookkeeping issues he expects to be resolved in the next month or two.
On financial penalties in withholding conference-generated income for Nebraska and Colorado:
"We're going to get to that at a high level very, very soon. It will be resolved fairly quickly. We have bylaws that address it, that all the members when the conference was formed agreed to."
Nebraska has said it should not be subject to any penalty, and Colorado's departure date to the Pac-10 probably is tied to the fees. The Buffs could remain in the Big 12 for two years if the fees are fully assessed, or leave after one year if there's relief.
On whether the Big 12 should look to expand?
"I didn't sit there and bury my head about expansion. I reviewed it with our members even before we lost members. Should we expand, should we grow?
"We're in a great place. You know, we were kind of the innovators coming on the scene with 12 members, us and the SEC, and now we're going to 10, doing it the old-fashioned way. Maybe we should be the Old-Fashioned Conference."
A vote for A&M QB — Corby Jones, former Missouri quarterback now serving as a college football TV commentator, made a bold statement about Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson.
"I think he's going to be the breakout player of the conference this year," Jones said.
"He's about Josh Freeman's size (former K-State quarterback) and a heck of a lot faster. That's going to be an interesting team if they can play any defense at all."
Johnson threw for 3,579 yards and 30 touchdowns a year ago as A&M's offense averaged 465.8 yards and 32.8 points a game. The Aggies' defense gave up an average of 426.3 yards and 33.5 points a contest.
Oklahoma State offense — With Oklahoma State returning just three starters on offense, Cowboys coach Mike Gundy felt it was an apt time to make a system change. He hired offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen, who implemented one of the nation's top passing offenses at Houston. Gundy said the change in system should also benefit his program's ability to recruit top offensive skill players.
"I felt like the number of players that we could recruit to fit this system was greater than the system that we had competed with in the years before," Gundy said. "If you look at the areas that we recruit in Kansas and Oklahoma and Texas, Louisiana, most of the offenses have a number of wide receivers who can make plays and running backs. There's not as many tight ends. There's not as many fullbacks to recruit."
South swap — Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have developed a nice rivalry — the home team has won the last eight games — and played some of the most entertaining games in Big 12 history. Now the teams might be trading identities.
The Cowboys hired former Tech offensive coordinator Dana Holgorson, who coordinated Tech's offense from 2005-07 after serving five years as the program's inside receivers coach.
Without Mike Leach in Lubbock, it's reasonable to believe the Red Raiders will assume a more balance approach under Tommy Tuberville. The Cowboys have been so balanced under Mike Gundy that three season ago the team finished with precisely as many yards passing as rushing, 3,161.
What prompted the Oklahoma State switch?
"I felt like the number of players that we could recruit to fit this system was greater than the system that we had competed with in the years before," Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. "If you look at the areas that we recruit in Kansas and Oklahoma and Texas, Louisiana, most of the offenses have a number of wide receivers who can make plays and running backs. There's not as many tight ends. There's not as many fullbacks to recruit.
"So we believe that the success in college football is all about the players you bring in, and there's a greater pool to choose from in this type of offense than what we have played with in the past."