It was an action-packed pair of days as Big 12 media days were held in Dallas on July 20 and 21.
Preseason favorite TCU seems ready to handle the added attention, Baylor's Art Briles has eyes on a College Football Playoff berth, and quarterback competitions across the Big 12 were the main talking points the past two days.
Here's a look at five key things we learned during Big 12 media days.
Nothing new on the expansion, title game front: Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby reiterated the Big 12’s plan for patience when it comes to expansion and/or returning to a Big 12 championship game on Monday. Noting that the College Football Playoff is in its infancy, Bowlsby doesn’t think one year of results is enough to start making changes.
"If we go another year and get left out and it appears to be systemic, we need to be mindful of it," he said. “One year doesn't make a trend. I don't believe we're disadvantaged at this point. But that doesn't mean a disadvantage couldn't develop or couldn't be shown to exist. I think it's the majority of our CEOs right now that believe likewise."
College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock thinks it's the right move, calling the Big 12 "smart to sit back and wait," noting some of the perils of holding a conference title game.
TCU is handling its status as favorite well: The Horned Frogs are the media's -- and the players' -- pick to win the Big 12 and be a College Football Playoff contender. It’s a stark contrast to the Horned Frogs’ position 12 months earlier when they were off the radar after a 4-8 season in 2013. Yet TCU coach Gary Patterson likes the way his team is handling the moniker of title favorite.
“I really like the attitude of our football team,” Patterson said. “This summer has been a very businesslike manner, how they've gone about it.”
Tyrone Swoopes opens preseason as No. 1 at Texas, but other quarterback battles remain wide open: Texas coach Charlie Strong said returning starter Swoopes will hit the field with the first team when practice kicks off on Aug. 7. The veteran coach has been consistent in saying Swoopes' experience gives him the edge since the spring.
"When you walk out there, somebody's got to be in charge," Strong said. "So Swoopes will be in charge because he's played a lot.”
Strong went on to say Jerrod Heard could still win the position by the time the Longhorns open the season at Notre Dame.
While Strong was willing to talk about who sits atop the depth chart, other coaches didn’t follow suit. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops insisted the Sooners' starting spot is still being contested between Baker Mayfield and Trevor Knight. Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said he has four quarterbacks who will battle to lead the Wildcats. Kansas' quarterback position remains wide open after Michael Cummings' injury. But Texas Tech is closer, however, with coach Kliff Kingsbury saying he expects to name a starter between Patrick Mahomes and Davis Webb early in preseason camp.
New contact rules, minimal change: The Big 12 became the first conference to limit practice contact days to two per week instead of three per week, Bowlsby announced Monday. With game day counting as one contact day, the rule means Big 12 teams will be allowed one full-contact practice per week instead of having the option to have two full-contact workouts. Several conference coaches said the change wouldn’t have a major impact on their game preparation each week.
"I think what you'll find is you'll find that there's a majority of coaches ‑‑ there's a false sense of we just try to bang our kids around,” Patterson said. “But I think all of us, we like keeping our jobs, and we want to keep our kids healthy.”
Save a spot for undefeated Baylor: Art Briles has a simple solution to Baylor’s lackluster nonconference schedule having the potential to hurt the Bears' chances of making the College Football Playoff. Win them all.
"If we line up and we win 12 games this year, we're going to be in the final four,” Briles said. "I think you can put that in ink right now, because we will have beaten many ranked teams in this conference."
Baylor is also continuing to pursue playing a game in Australia in 2016.