Big 12 lunch links: Rhoads flying and motorcycling around ISU

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

During several conversations I had with Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads over the past few months, I've come away with a healthy respect for what a genuine person he is.

He reminds me of the guy who lives down the block from you, always ready to talk while your kids play together.

So it's not surprising that I've discovered another couple of elements of his character in a recent story by the Des Moines Register's Randy Peterson.

It seems that Rhoads has always wanted to learn how to fly a plane. And his biggest thrill came a few weeks ago after several lessons when the pilot let him take the controls as they flew over Jack Trice Stadium.

Rhoads also is a motorcycle enthusiast and has grown a beard during his summer sabaticcal.

I imagine I'll be running into a more groomed Rhoads in Arlington, Texas, later this month at the Big 12 media days. I'll be interested to hear of his travels this summer -- both on the ground on his motorcyle and through the air.

Until then, here are some lunchtime links from across the conference.