Big 12 lunch links: 122 days and counting until the season

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Spring practice is over across the Big 12. We now have a long wait of 122 days until the 2009 season kicks off with Iowa State and North Dakota State facing off in the Sept. 3 opener.

To get you through that long gap, here are some lunchtime links.

  • John Maher of the Austin American-Statesman has the story about the 1918 Texas team that was undefeated, but didn't have a chance to play for the Southwest Conference championship because of an abbreviated season caused by the Spanish flu pandemic.

  • The Bryan Eagle's Robert Cessna has an easy way for Texas A&M to silence Texas Tech coach Mike Leach: start beating him on the field for a change.

  • Kansas City Star/Wichita Eagle beat writer Jeffrey Martin was impressed with Kansas State's first-string defense in the Wildcats' spring game.

  • Suspended Missouri quarterback Blaine Dalton told Bill Althaus of his hometown Blue Springs (Mo.) Examiner that he wasn't intoxicated or selling pills when he was arrested by the Columbia Police Department.

  • Missouri, Iowa State and Nebraska were among the teams that Columbus Dispatch columnist Bob Hunter mentions as potential targets for the Big Ten -- if the conference decides to heed Penn State coach Joe Paterno's wishes and expand.

  • Tom Osborne appears firmly entrenched in the Nebraska athletic director job for the next several years, Omaha World-Herald columnist Tom Shatel writes.

  • The Kansas City Star's Blair Kerkhoff and the Waco Tribune-Herald's John Werner provide spring wrap-ups from around the conference. And Kerkhoff also details how the Big 12's defenses should improve next season.

  • Bo Pelini honored his Youngstown, Ohio, roots by returning to speak in his hometown Sunday night, Greg Gulas of the Youngstown Vindicator reports.

  • Kelly Beaton of the Waterloo Courier provides a glossary to better understand Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads.

  • Colorado officials have placed a little bit of Nebraska at the school's Colorado National Golf Club. Gary Baines of the Boulder Daily Camera reports that range-ball picking vehicle is colored in red and white, with a Nebraska football helmet on the roof and an "N" emblazoned on the front.