Big 12 lunchtime links: Leach still mulling contract

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Remember all the controversy that was sparked by Mike Leach's contract stalemate immediately after Texas Tech's season ended?

Leach finally emerged from his self-imposed media blackout, telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Dwain Price that he has "no idea" if his contract stalemate with the school will be settled by the Red Raiders' Jan. 2 bowl game against Mississippi.

Leach directed the Red Raiders to an 11-1 record and a share of the Big 12 South Division title this season. Shortly after the regular season ended, the Raiders extended Leach's two-year contract to five years with a $12.1 million contract offer that he has yet to sign.

"It's a work in progress," Leach told the Star-Telegram.

It will be interesting to watch how quickly Leach's contract will be settled. Until then, here are some lunchtime links from across the conference to chew on with your lunch.

  • Dave Sittler of the Tulsa World writes that legendary former NFL talent scout Gil Brandt has advised Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford to stay in school for at least one more year rather than declare for the NFL draft.

  • Katie Fretland of the Omaha World-Herald does an outstanding job on the sad story of former Iowa State running back Stevie Hicks, who committed suicide after having difficulty adjusting to life after the cheering stopped.

  • Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen will return to coach Florida's offense for one more game against Oklahoma in the BCS title game, Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald reports.

  • Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman is preparing to solicit opinions from the NFL's College Advisory Committee before deciding whether to declare for the draft, according to the Kansas City Star's Jeffrey Martin.

  • St. Louis Rams line coach Steve Loney, a former Iowa State player and three-time former Cyclone assistant, may be interested in returning as the Cyclones' head coach, the Ames Tribune's Bobby Le Gesse reports. That interest is coming after top candidate Turner Gill has dropped off the Cyclones' wish list after signing a contract extension at Buffalo.

  • Top kicking prospect Zach Grossnickle would fill a huge potential void for Colorado as a combination kicker/punter, the Boulder Camera's Kyle Ringo reports.