Big 12 lunch links: Bradford aiming to become better leader

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No contract negotiations across the conference for Big 12 coaches and we're only four days from the start of spring practice.

Oh yeah, it's supposed to be 72 degrees in San Antonio this afternoon with nary a cloud in the sky.

Could life get much better?

Maybe with these Big 12 lunch links ...

  • Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford tells the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter that his thumb feels fine, he wants to recognize defenses quicker and he feels some responsibility to become more of a leader for his team.

  • Colorado plans to return to the huddle more next season as its basic offensive philosophy because of determination to stress a "downhill" running game, the Boulder Daily Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.

  • New Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham plans a high-energy defense to counter the Big 12's spread offenses, Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register reports. And Burnham also sounds off on Bear Bryant, Iowa's weather and how long he wants to keep coaching in a sidebar to the story.

  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz predicts that the shake-up on Missouri's staff caused by the departure of both coordinators could benefit Gary Pinkel's coaching staff.

  • Former Kansas senior associate athletic director and senior women's administrator Kelly Mehrtens is one of three finalists for the vacant Rutgers athletic director position, according to Tom Luicci of the Newark Star-Ledger.

  • Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler is being strongly considered for South Florida's vacant defensive coordinator position.