Big 12 Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2013

Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter

Opposing coaches are high on Oklahoma State.

Big 12 Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2013

It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams billboard material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year. In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2013, Athlon asked coaches in the Big 12 to talk anonymously about their opponents.

Note: These scouting reports come directly from the coaching staff and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.

Big 12 Coaches Anonymously Scout Their Conference Foes for 2013

Baylor
Opposing coaches size up the Bears:

“The biggest secret is the offensive line. It’s just flat-out really good —  tenacious, good run-blockers, pass-blockers. But it goes unnoticed because of the skill guys who get good numbers and have publicity. Tevin Reese at receiver is an unbelievable weapon. Big home run guy. Lache Seastrunk is great, but they had other guys who could run the ball, too." …

"The quarterback, Bryce Petty, is a big kid who runs well, throws well. He’s a strong weight room guy who runs decently and has an above-average arm." … 

"They are really talented on offense, top to bottom." …

"The defense gave up a bunch of yards but played really well at the end of the season. They got better as the year went on." …

"No question they made a big statement beating Kansas State and UCLA. They just punished them. That offensive lineman, seems like he’s been there forever, Cyril Richardson, he’s a great player. The tight end, they don’t use him much, Jordan Najvar, but he’s solid. They have a stable of running backs. Seastrunk might be one of the most talented in the country. I know he proclaimed himself a Heisman guy, and we’ll see about that, but he’s one of the best we have in the league." …

"You have to stop a team like that on third down. Absolutely need three-and-outs, because otherwise they will wear on you because they are home run hitters. Really fast at receiver.”
 

Iowa State
Opposing coaches size up the Cyclones:

“It will be interesting to see how the quarterback situation plays out. They had three of them, one transferred — the younger kid (Jared Barnett). They lost some production at receiver. They have three starting offensive linemen that return." …

"They are a good, pretty much average offensive line. But they can move the ball, and they have experience running the ball." …

"(Running back) Jeff Woody didn’t play for them much. We thought he was a load. Not sure why he didn’t play more. I’m not sure if he’s in the doghouse or injured. Not really sure there. Good running back, though." …

"Their talent level is middle of the pack, to be honest about it. One of the things last year is they had very athletic quarterbacks, Steele Jantz and Barnett — they were real athletic. But halfway through the season, they went with the other guy, Sam Richardson, for more consistency. I guess he’s the guy. Might be more of a consistent thrower than the others." …

"On defense, they will take a little bit of a hit after losing their best linebackers (A.J. Klein and Jake Knott). They were tough at linebacker." …

"A defensive tackle that was a huge guy, Jake McDonough, they’ll miss him. He was a good player. But the linebackers carried them. They knew how to play and were tough." … 

"The wide receiver position can be a question mark for them. They don’t have a lot of talented experience there. The strength is in the running backs.”
 

Kansas State
Opposing coaches size up the Wildcats:

“They are losing a lot — almost everyone from the front seven, I believe — but they’ll be insane again, don’t worry. They’ll reload somehow. No team garners more respect within the conference by the way they prepare than K-State." …

"Funny enough, I actually thought their backup quarterback (Daniel Sams) was better than Collin Klein. At least I thought he was a better athlete, which is what they need with that run-heavy offense." …

"Just from what I saw, listening to (our) defensive coaches, that backup (Sams) will surprise next year. I think they have a juco quarterback, Jake Waters, who will compete. But it seems like it’s Sams’ job to lose." …

"Certainly they will miss Klein’s leadership and toughness. Those will be wild cards with the new guy. They’ll create a good atmosphere for quarterback competition in practices." …

"In typical Bill Snyder fashion, Kansas State will be disciplined, they’ll line up correctly, play their asses off, be in the right spots, and be coached really well." …

"Snyder does nothing fancy. Everything about the team is old school. … They’ll still be a team that competes. They are all the same guy, basically. They are robots.”
 

Kansas
Opposing coaches size up the Jayhawks:

“This is probably the worst team in the conference. They just don’t have the talent." …

"I thought the running back, James Sims, was pretty good. He’ll be back. He’s pretty versatile, can go inside and out a little bit." …

"Kansas came out with a new mentality every single week. They’d come out with a new formation and just be in that formation the entire game. We showed our kids every single look, formations and stuff, and Kansas just came out and ran the triple-option all game. We called it the flavor of the week. We told our guys to just be sound and play hard and you shouldn’t have much of a problem." …

"That’s just a tough job right now. Charlie (Weis) is in a tough spot. They do have money there, and of course the basketball presence, which helps. I just don’t see them being very successful long term. The talent is different. Maybe that’s smart to go heavy on jucos, which Charlie seemed to do in recruiting this year, because that might be the only way to find the right players. But then you’re competing with Kansas State for recruits, and Kansas State has had a lot of success with that same formula." …

"The quarterback situation should be interesting, though, because I think Weis is pretty high on Jake Heaps. Dayne Crist just wasn’t what they had hoped for at all. They couldn’t get anything going with him. Heaps gives them a chance, but who does he throw to? They don’t have the receiver talent.”
 

Oklahoma
Opposing coaches size up the Sooners:

“I don’t think they are as talented up front on defense as Texas is, but I thought their back end was better. I thought they had good cover guys. The Aaron Colvin kid, he’s a good cover guy." …

"I thought they would give us a lot more problems than they did. Up front, I didn’t think they had the Oklahoma guys of the past — guys like Gerald McCoy and Tommie Harris and all of that. They just don’t have those guys anymore. They used to have some animals up front." …

"Honestly, I know (quarterback) Landry Jones took some heat at times, but I think they’ll miss him. It’s tough to replace a guy who started that many years. It helped that he could adjust to personnel. And he had some big moments." …

"(Quarterback) Blake Bell is an effective goal line guy but not sure how he’ll do as the primary option. He might do great, but the jury’s still out." …

"They’ll rebound somehow. They kicked all those receivers out (of school), but they go out and still get good players. I know as far as receivers, they have decent players, but no one really stood out." …

"What makes Oklahoma go is quick lining up on that offensive line. They’ve had some injuries there but should be able to do what they want." …

"A switch to (multiple defensive fronts) will help. It’s all spread teams you’re facing. You’re going to have to get into situations where you can drop eight guys, rush a lot of guys at the same time. It’s easier to rush three and drop eight. ”
 

Oklahoma State
Opposing coaches size up the Cowboys: 

“I don’t know anything about the new offensive coordinator, the guy from D-2 (Mike Yurcich). He’s replacing Todd Monken, who’s a sharp guy, (but head coach) Mike Gundy knows what he’s looking for with that offense. They’ve perfected what they are doing over there, so they should be fine." …

"They always have a lot of talent on the offensive side. It’s the same M.O. with them — pretty good offensively, average defensively. The kids will play hard and try to create a lot of turnovers, which helps them." …

"They will still be a 4-3 defense, a cover-4." …

"I think if they can find what they want to do offensively and go ahead and establish the quarterback situation, they’ll be better off."…

"That O-line is solid. If they have five offensive linemen, and you’re blitzing six, you better pick up all six — that’s their coaching mentality. No excuses." …

"I think they’ll be one of the better teams in the Big 12. I just don’t know much about their offense as a whole. They could rely on the passing game more than ever after losing Joseph Randle. He was easily one of the best running backs in the league.”
 

TCU
Opposing coaches size up the Horned Frogs:

“How good is (quarterback) Casey Pachall? Very talented. Good athlete. Good thrower. Helluva competitor. The competitor part, he’s kind of like Collin Klein, who’s not fastest in the world, not a great thrower, but a helluva competitor. Loves to play. Pachall is similar. I think TCU is welcoming him back with open arms. With the stuff he’s been through, you will find out a lot about him. If football is as important to him as he says, they are getting a heckuva player, and he’ll last. If that’s not true, then they’ll know pretty soon. If he’s truly out of the doghouse, he’s as good as anybody in our conference." …

"They played with some young offensive linemen a year ago — some true freshmen, I think — so they will be even better." …

"Josh Boyce was one of the most underrated receivers in the Big 12.  I really thought he was talented and versatile. They will miss him." …

"They are deep on defense. They are good at every position. They have corners who play man coverage. They can get a pass rush on a quarterback with a four-man rush. They’ll miss (end) Stansly Maponga, but overall they should be fine. The linebackers are solid. Very solid football team all the way around." …

"That youth on offense hurt them at times. …  They did a great job recruiting defensive linemen, so they can run them in and out.”
 

Texas
Opposing coaches size up the Longhorns:

“I don’t think they play up to the level of players that they’ve got. It’s as simple as that. They had a couple of really good players we thought would give us a lot of problems, but we moved the ball really well on them. They just aren’t the Texas Longhorns they were in the past." …

"No doubt, Texas and Oklahoma still are the top-two most talented teams in the conference. They just are." …

"Last year, teams could have their best offensive game of the year against Texas or Oklahoma. It shouldn’t be that way." …

"I think (quarterback) David Ash is average. He’s a true under-center type guy. I actually thought Case McCoy threw the ball better. But the coaching staff is around him more, so they must be confident in Ash that he can be the guy long term." …

"(Former offensive coordinator) Bryan Harsin is a smart guy. He’ll be missed now that he’s at Arkansas State." …

"They are very talented up front (on defense). Their two defensive ends are very, very good. The nose guard was really good as well. Their backers are big, pretty looking guys, but I didn’t think they could move in space as much. That was part of the problem. Because of that, the tackling was suspect because nobody was in the right position. In the Big 12, you need to have backers that can move in space because offenses are all spread out. The safety, Kenny Vaccaro, was the best guy we faced, hands down.”

Texas Tech

Opposing coaches size up the Red Raiders:

“Obviously they lose the quarterback, Seth Doege, which is big. He wasn’t an NFL player, but he knew the offense very well, knew where to go with the ball." …

"They have a lot of excitement with the new coaching staff coming in. They have good receivers, a big offensive line, and they are really improved on defense from a few years ago. Not sure which guys are returning, but they improved a year ago as much as anyone. It will be interesting to see if they can build on that." …

"Offensively, they’ll always put up great numbers. With Kliff Kingsbury, it will be up-tempo, wide open and as fast as you can go. They’ll go up and down the field on people. They still have the guys to do that, but the quarterback is the question mark. Not sure who it will be." …

"Maybe that transition will be easy. The (quarterback) they had last year was a very heady player. I think you can win there consistently. They do a good job recruiting in the state. When Mike Leach was there, they won a lot." …

"The big tight end was hurt for them for about half of last season, Jace Amaro. He’s a big guy, and they flexed him out. His numbers don’t look that good, but we thought the world of him." …

"Running backs are middle of the pack, probably. Nothing like (Oklahoma State’s) Joseph Randle, who I thought was one of the best backs in the league. … They were very improved in pass rush and on the defensive line.”

West Virginia

Opposing coaches size up the Mountaineers:

“They’ll be down." …

"Junior college receiver Kevin White, I think he can be a star for them. They also have a few good freshman receivers who are talented and will probably play a lot and help out. But just think about the production they lose with Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey, Geno Smith, J.D. Woods — they lost about 95 percent of their production. Only real production coming back is (running back) Andrew Buie. Dreamius Smith, a running back from junior college, he’ll probably start for them." …

"They are going to be really good up front. The tackles are experienced. They look the part." …

"Safety Karl Joseph is their best player on defense, where they are still trying to find enough bodies. They’ll try to get more talent and stay in the 3-4. They didn’t have everyone on the same page. I would expect them to get better. They can’t get much worse. They weren’t mentally ready to be in shootouts every week. It was like, ‘Oh God, here we go again.’ They kind of folded at times." …

"The quarterbacks can spin it. They won’t run the ball. Paul Millard has the gunslinger mentality. He’ll probably be the guy because of experience. He’s got the locker room. They won’t announce that until the fall. They are very equal right now between Millard and (Ford) Childress. They’ll go for easy completions to get the young players going. One may step up, but I don’t see the same playmakers they had.”

Related College Football Content

Big 12 Predictions for 2013
Bowl Projections for 2013
Big 12 2013 All-Conference Team
Oklahoma Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Oklahoma State Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
West Virginia Game-by-Game Predictions for 2013
Kliff Kingsbury Returns Home to Texas Tech
Big 12's Top Heisman Contenders for 2013
Five Ways to Fix Texas Football

CFB Conferences: 

Home Page Infinite Scroll Left