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Big 12 Media Days

A quick recap of Kansas State highlights from the event

NCAA Football: Big 12 Football Media Days Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This past week, the Big 12 Conference hosted its annual Media Days at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The event was highlighted by the appearance of the conference’s newest members—Houston, UCF, Cincinnati, and BYU—all programs confronting the challenge and excitement of finally being in a Power 5 conference (Shehan Jeyarajah, CBS Sports).

The reception was decidedly cooler for the conference’s two soon-to-be-former members. Oklahoma and Texas had a decidedly awkward time at their final Big 12 Media Days, and received no particular love from conference leadership (Colton Sulley, OU Daily). New commissioner Brett Yormark was characteristically diplomatic, noting that the Sooners and Longhorns accelerated departure was a win-win for everyone in the conference. Assistant commish Tim Weiser was less circumspect when the two schools’ decision as “more about affiliating with a group of schools…they would rather get beat by Alabama than Kansas State. Or Florida than Iowa State.” (Bryan Clinton, Heartland College Sports).

For Kansas State, with pleasant memories of their last trip to AT&T Stadium still fresh in their minds, this edition of Media Days was a chance to make some noise, and Chris Klieman and crew did not disappoint. The program has a real chance at a repeat conference title, and the Wildcats are relishing the possibility of being the hunted instead of the hunter. (Dean Straka, CBS Sports)

I’m kind of excited actually, but in this league, I think everybody circles every game. I just don’t — I’ve never bought into one game is more important than another, because if you do, what are you going to tell your players the next week, that this one is not quite as important? But yeah, to be the hunted, the fact that we’re the defending Big 12 champs means nothing when you go into that game. I mean, still, you’ve got to perform. Fortunately we’ve had past experiences from my previous school that we had to win a championship and then come back and follow it up with another championship.

A full transcript of Coach Klieman’s remarks is available HERE. Fortunately, we are far less in need of a translator to read between the lines relative to his predecessor, and Klieman was pretty straightforward in laying out the team’s prospects in 2023, as well as his recruiting philosophy, and what he expects from the season overall (Kellis Robinett, Wichita Eagle).

The hunt theme came up a lot in remarks from the team, including a reminder from QB Will Howard, who will finally get to open a season as the Wildcats’ starter, that Kansas State would “continue to try to [maintain] that hunter mindset, even though we are the reigning champs.”

In addition to Howard, Kansas State brought Cooper Beebe, Daniel Green, and Kobe Savage to Media Days this year. All of them apparently purchased last minute suits for the trip. I’m not sure sartorial elegance is the team’s strong point this season, but Howard appears to be the sharpest dresser of the lot.

K-State Sports

The Big 12’s reigning football champion is a team with confidence and maybe even a bit of swagger. That isn’t particularly familiar territory for most Kansas State fans, but it should be fun to start a season basking in this reflected glory instead of riding the DISRESPECT meme, and to enjoy the hunter becoming the hunted, if you will.