Each year we ask college football coaches to tell us what they really think about the other teams in their conference. But we don't want the cliche'd press conference platitudes, so we ask them to give us their quotes...anonymously. Here are this year's quotes in alphabetical order for each team in the Big 12.
What Big 12 Coaches Are Saying About: Baylor
“Baylor is the most difficult team in the Big 12 to prepare for. They do so many unique things, especially on offense. But even defensively, they did some things that were a little different. They weren’t really talented on defense, but they did some unique things."
"Texas and Texas A&M can’t sign everyone in Texas, and they have done a good job getting some athletes in there."
"Their wide receivers are so fast it’s freaky. They have big offensive linemen. They have looked like a different team in the past few years. They look like a Big 12 football team."
"With all that talent, they spread you out and put that skill in space. And what is the scariest is they have (eight) starters returning on offense."
"Robert Griffin is amazing. He would be good on any team in any system. He can throw it. He is a smart kid. Sometimes you question his toughness a bit. But 99.9 percent of the colleges in this country would want him. "
"You can be good on defense at Baylor, but you have to willing to accept the fact that your defensive numbers aren’t going to be great. You have to create turnovers and get the ball back from the offense. Are you going to give up some points? Yes. Are you going to give up some yards? Yes. The other team has the ball for so long.”
What Big 12 Coaches Are Saying About: Iowa State
“I think they will be better without Austen Arnaud. They started to depend on him too much. I don’t think he always went through his reads. He was tough as nails, and they believed in him. But they can be better without him."
"Their personnel is not good. It’s near the bottom of the league, with Kansas and Kansas State and Baylor."
"I don’t know who has done more with less than Paul Rhoads. Two years ago, the Cyclones got to a bowl game and last year they just missed. They beat Texas last year and the year before won at Nebraska. Those are huge wins for their program."
"It’s tough to win there. You are in the middle of nowhere. You don’t have any tradition. At least Kansas State has some tradition. Iowa State is hard. You can win some. You can take junior college players and win some, if you can get some stuff to go together. But it’s hard to win consistently."
"The kids play hard for Paul Rhoads. They play really hard. They are a tough team. They want to play for him and they are well-coached. They are doing things the way they are taught."
"Part of the reason for Rhoads’ success has been the acquisition of defensive coordinator Wally Burnham. What he has done is simply amazing. The defense has carried this team despite not a great deal of talent.”
What Big 12 Coaches Are Saying About: Kansas
“I was surprised how bad they were last year. They were bad. Very bad. But if you think about it, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise, because they were never that talented. (Mark) Mangino was such a good coach, and people got spoiled."
"They lost a lot of recruiters who were getting Texas kids. They are doing a good job recruiting now, going to Florida more."
"None of their quarterbacks really put much fear in a defense, and they’re average at the skill positions. Really I guess they’re average everywhere. They try to run the spread, but in that offense there is such a premium on quarterback play, everything goes to the quarterback. It’s hard to be good in that offense if the quarterback is not that good."
"They weren’t good at quarterback last year, but I don’t know how much of it was the quarterback or the offensive line. They didn’t have any playmakers. They lost Dezmon Briscoe. They lost Kerry Meier. They lost some playmakers. I don’t know how good their quarterbacks are because they didn’t have anybody around them who could make any plays."
"On defense, they weren’t very good. It just seemed like they struggled to fill the gaps."