Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
Today is a reminder of rebirth and renewal.
Lawrence, Kan., was burned to the ground by pro-slavery forces 153 years ago today on May 21, 1856.
On that date, a pro-slavery posse led by Sheriff Samuel J. Jones burned the Free-State Hotel, destroyed the printing equipment of two anti-slavery newspapers and also looted several businesses in what has come to be known as the sacking of Lawrence. One man was killed in the ransacking of the city when he was struck dead by a stone falling from the burning hotel.
From those horrific events, one of America's most beautiful college towns has emerged.
I always think of the story of "Bleeding Kansas" every time I visit Lawrence. It puts all my thoughts about athletics into perspective.
Today, we have a large collection of Big 12 links for your reading pleasure.
Former Michigan wide receiver Toney Clemons has decided to transfer to Colorado, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.
Jeffrey Martin of the Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle writes of the extensive work that new KSU athletic director John Currie will have in rebuilding trust at his new job in the wake of the "secret deal" between former athletic director Bob Krause and former KSU football coach Ron Prince. And the Wichita Eagle's Bob Lutz writes how the deal besmirches outgoing KSU president Jon Wefald's once-proud legacy at the school.
The Williams and Hyatt Sports Blog can't believe that Mike Leach is only the seventh mouthiest coach in college football.
Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera writes of the loneliness of covering the Big 12 meetings.
Former Iowa State All-American offensive lineman Ben Bruns is working as the project manager on the $12 million renovation of the east side of Jack Trice Stadium, the Ames Tribune's Bobby La Gesse reports.
The Independence Bowl landed a new title sponsorship with AdvoCare International, Roy Lang III of the Shreveport Times reports. The bowl has been linked with the Big 12 since 1998, although it didn't have access to a team from the conference last season.
Nebraska guard Andy Christensen has been officially granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA, Rich Kaipust of the Omaha World-Herald reports.
After being arrested twice in the last week, the Houston Texans released former Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Brandon Walker before his first training camp, the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter reports.
The Omaha World-Herald profiles new Iowa State strength coach Yancy McKnight, who it terms might be the key for respectability for the Cyclones' football program.
Dustin Eskew of China Springs, Texas, tells Chad Conine of the Waco Tribune-Herald he's excited about his chances of sticking at Texas Tech as a preferred walk-on quarterback.