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Big 12 Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2015

Baylor Bears stadium

Baylor Bears stadium

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 2015, Athlon asked coaches in the Big Ten to talk anonymously about their opponents.

Related: Big 12 Predictions for 2015

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

Big 12 Coaches Anonymously Scout Conference Foes

Baylor

“Their skill guys on offense are as talented as anybody in the country.”

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“They always seem to have not one, but three receivers. They always have a good running back. And their trigger man has been a guy who can run that offense.”

“Their issue has been defense. I don’t know if they’ll be much better this year. That always seems to be the thing that holds them back.”

“Art Briles has transformed the whole perception of that program. They were once great under Grant Teaff, then they hit a bump and lost sort of their tradition and the shine on the program. Art has brought them back with really good recruiting and great relationships with high school coaches and a system that works at a place like that.”

“You look traditionally at defenses that pair up with that style of offense, they don’t match up well at times. Then when you get to a power team, you haven’t seen it in the spring or the summer and it can get you. There’s some disadvantages in that. You’ve got to build yourself in this league to play, basically, five corners. Then you come up against somebody who wants to run the ball and you’ve got to change your mindset. It’s not easy to do it.”

“For seven or eight years now, I keep saying, ‘Oh good,  they’re going to lose so-and-so at quarterback.’ Then all of a sudden the next guy comes in and breaks all the records. (Robert) Griffin, (Nick) Florence after him, and then Bryce Petty. The new quarterback isn’t bad, either.”

“They have a tremendous supporting cast. Scheme-wise, they spread the field and their athleticism at wideout and running back is where they’ve gotten better over the years.”

Related: Big 12 2015 Predictions

Iowa State

“They’re so well coached. And they play hard, every play and every game.”

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“They never seem to give up, no matter what their record is. They’re tough and disciplined. They always seem to have a playmaker, good linebackers. They’re solid in the kicking game.”

“Recruiting is difficult for them. They go all over to find kids and they don’t get the first pick, obviously. They have to go get some kids from Florida and obviously get into Texas. Not a lot of players in their backyard. It’s tough.”

“I thought schematically, what Mark Mangino does, he’s so good at studying the opponent and tweaking what he does week to week to move the ball.”

“The quarterback, Sam Richardson, is a guy who’s proven he can move the ball.”

“They’ve had a missing piece as far as a big-time playmaker. With Quenton Bundrage and Allen Lazard, they’ve got a chance to be better in that area. Those guys are talented.”

“If they lose (Luke) Knott, who’s been injured, that’ll be tough. To lose an experienced linebacker like that would be a blow. Depth is always a concern for them anyway, so a couple of injuries can really affect their team.”

“Not very often are they just blown out on the field.”

“The tough thing about them is when you play them in Ames, they’ve got an attitude about them and there’s a mystique. The crowd gets into it and they really support them. They’re different up there.”

Related: Big 12 Breakout Players for 2015

Kansas

“I definitely think there will be excitement in the program. I think David Beaty brings excitement with his approach. He’s hired a bunch of young coaches who coach enthusiastically and with excitement.”

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“They have a junior college resource right there in state that is probably as good as any junior college situation in the country. Maybe they can lean on that.”

“They’ve just got to create more consistency. They’ll have a skill guy here and there, but they never have a lot of them. Still, they’re not that far removed from going to the Orange Bowl, so it can be done.”

“They have to get rid of that basketball stigma and approach football with a different attitude, which I believe David will bring.”

“David knows Kansas. I don’t think he’ll complain about what they don’t have. I think he’ll buy into just making it work with what they have.”

“They’ve gone heavily into the junior college recruiting route recently, and sometimes those kids pan out better their second year. They might have some guys sitting in the wings that not many people know about, who could make a big improvement from their first year to their second.”

“They have some interesting guys at quarterback, guys with some skills, but I’m not sure either of the two are premium guys. And it takes a premium player at that position in this league.”

“Keeping Clint Bowen as defensive coordinator was smart. They’ve been pretty good on that side of the ball, and he’s a big part of that.”

Related: Big 12 Programs Will Sink or Swim With New Coordinator Hires

Kansas State

“Two words: Bill Snyder. They’re the most well-prepared, well-disciplined team we play all year. We say the same thing every year, but he’s amazing. It’s incredible what he’s done since he came back (out of retirement).”

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“They always seem to find a skill guy who can hurt you. And they always seem to find a quarterback who can run his system. Now, they have to do that again this year, losing Tyler Lockett and Jake Waters, but I always expect them to plug their holes.”

“Offense, defense, special teams, they don’t hurt themselves. When they play ‘perfect football,’ you’ve got to match them, or else every mistake is going to cost you in the game. I think they sort of grind you out until you make a mistake.”

“Kansas State was probably the most physical game we played last year. That’s sort of who they are every year. And you better be ready to get after it against them.”

“Thank goodness their quarterback is gone, because he was dynamic. I thought he was really underrated as far as a guy who could make things happen, throwing and scrambling.”

“They’ll be solid. They’ll be sound. And then they’ll be a very tough team. And they’ve got enough back on defense that they should be in every game.”

“Some teams are more aggressive in their schemes — Kansas State isn’t a big blitz team. They don’t bring a lot of pressure. So they might give up some yards. I don’t see them giving up a whole lot of explosive plays, though. So you have to really earn what you get on offense.”

Related: Big 12 Quarterback Rankings for 2015

Oklahoma

“I think what Bob Stoops has done with the staff is try to create a new identity. It comes down to this offense being successful, not only in this league but across the country. Going that route, I think he’s going to restore excitement.”

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