What’s the Big deal? (11/12)

Random musings from the Nov. 12 Big 12 coaches’ conference call:

RON Prince believes everything that is lacking — notably a pass rush and positive play in the kicking game — can be corrected in-house and “are in our control.”

LET’S just throw it out there — I’m certain K-State extends Missouri this Saturday. Why? Ron Prince is being extra complimentary of the Tigers. He called Jeremy Maclin “the playmaker,” adding Maclin reminds him of Marshall Faulk. He said the two tight ends, Martin Rucker and Chase Coffman, are “certain” first-round NFL draft picks. He thinks Chase Daniel is a good quarterback, but he’s impressed most by the offensive line and MU offensive coordinator Dave Christensen. He even trotted out the “Greatest Show on Turf” tag, which he last did following a loss at Oklahoma State. Given all of that, and the fact that Missouri coach Gary Pinkel is telling his team it is “the hunted,” and it’s Senior Day, and the Tigers’ historic struggles in Manhattan, and it’s a national TV game against a Top 10 team, yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the Wildcats won.

Yeah, I said it. Actually, I wrote it.

MIKE Leach is digging a hole for himself, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he decides to leave Lubbock after the sea-son. He didn’t back-pedal Monday from his provocative comments Saturday about the officiating and an apparent bias toward Texas, which he said was “higher bowl-wise.”  He was asked if he has heard from the Big 12 office, and he said he hadn’t but he imagines he will. Asked if expected a fine, he said he had no real expectations in that regard. But he insisted he had no regrets. “As for specifics, you’re going to have to get notes from those that were in class. … (But) I wouldn’t change anything I said.”

THIS just in — Oklahoma’s defense is rather good. “It’s hard for everybody to move the ball on Oklahoma,” Leach said. Even Bob Stoops chimed in on the topic. He was asked whether he feels any pressure to get into shootouts given all of the high-powered offenses in the Big 12, and Stoops replied, “That’s not how we think. That’s not our mindset. … We give up 16 points per game through the season.”

IS Jordy Nelson an All-American if he’s not even the best receiver in his own conference? It’s not a scientific study or anything, but gauging questions and responses Monday, it’s clear Tech’s Michael Crabtree is going to be on a lot of All-American teams. Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said he was asked to submit a ballot for one of those teams, and he said he voted for Crabtree. He may have also voted for Nelson, but he did not volunteer that information (and he also wasn’t asked directly).

GUY Morriss said there is no meeting set up — as of now — with the Baylor administration to discuss his future.

IDENTIFY who uttered the following words: “We needed to make a few more plays, needed one more stop.” If you said Jim Wooldridge, technically, you wouldn’t be wrong. He seemed to say that quite often during his tenure at K-State. But Monday, those same words were spoken by Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione.

INTERPRET this Mack Brown quote in any way you must. “Seeing your team go from being not very good to good is a positive,” the Texas coach said.

WHAT is a week without checking in Dan Hawkins? The Colorado coach wasn’t wallowing in blowing a 21-0 first half lead to Iowa State over the weekend. “That’s life — it really is,” Hawk said. “I’m always the Chinese philosopher in these things. The highs and lows of life will never be experienced if you don’t throw yourself into it.”

MARLON Lucky, who had a strong game Saturday against K-State (then again, who didn’t?), will be “a nice pro back,” according to his coach, Bill Callahan. The NU coach said Lucky compares favorably to Brandon Jackson, the workhorse on last season’s team, and Jackson was a second-round NFL Draft pick. Callahan thinks Lucky is more versatile because of pass-catching skills. Also, Callahan was asked if he felt the Huskers would accept a bowl invite should NU reach six wins. He said that decision wouldn’t be his, but he hoped the administration would allow the team to go, as a reward for the seniors and the team. “It’s an opportunity to finish the season on a winning note,” he said.

FINALLY, here was Callahan’s “endorsement” of his vanquished foe: “Coach Prince does a heck of a job. We have been there as a team. I know exactly what he’s going through. Our kids continue to compete. … He’s a great man. We have respect for him. … There is no doubt his team will bounce back this week.”