Taking A Glance Around The Big 12 This Spring - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Taking A Glance Around The Big 12 This Spring

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College football teams around the country are working on getting themselves ready for the 2012 season. Some have already wrapped up their 15 allotted spring practices. Others will do so later this month.

West Virginia University is moving to the Big 12 next season. WVU is working on installing a new defensive scheme behind an entirely new defensive staff. The Mountaineers will hold the annual Gold-Blue football game on April 21.

With WVU moving to a new conference, here is a look at how their Big 12 brothers have fared this spring.

BAYLOR:

The big focus at Baylor is moving on without Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Griffin III. He led Baylor to new heights last season and had the Bears in the mix for national title consideration most of the season.

Nick Florence will try to fill the big shoes left behind by RGIII. David Ubben, of espn.com, wrote Florence, "looked really good. Throwing into the wind, he hit Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese on consecutive deep balls down field in one-on-one drills. Reese and Williams, by the way, looked great… but you already knew that."

Bryce Petty is also competing for the starting quarterback spot vacated by RGIII.

Baylor will hold its spring game on April 14.

IOWA STATE:

Quarterback is a top focus at Iowa State this spring. The starting spot will go to either Steele Jantz or Jared Barnett. Both started games a year ago and neither has separated themselves at this point.

Jantz is a senior. Barnett is a sophomore. Barnett led Iowa State to one of the biggest wins in school history when Iowa State knocked off then No. 2 Oklahoma State 37-31 last season.

Iowa State will hold its spring game on April 14.

KANSAS: 

Kansas is beginning its first season with new head coach Charlie Weis calling the shots.

Quarterback is an issue there as well. Kansas has two transfers. Jake Heaps came to Kansas from BYU. However, he is not eligible to play until 2013. Dayne Crist went to Kansas from Notre Dame and will likely be the starter in 2012.

A bigger concern for Weis should be the Kansas defense, which allowed nearly 44 points per game in 2011.

Kansas is still early in its spring practice schedule and will play its spring game on April 28.

KANSAS STATE:

Kansas State just kicked off its spring practice schedule on Wednesday.  However, one look at the returning players from the 2011 team shows some strength on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback Collin Klein opened some eyes in 2011 as a junior and accounted for 86 percent of the Wildcats touchdowns last season. He is a senior this year and will likely be one of the top quarterbacks in the conference.

He has a solid stable of running backs behind him too. John Hubert rushed for 1,034 yards last season and was the starter. Angelo Pease missed a lot of time last year due to injury and is healthy once again. Sophomore Demarcus Robinson was a highly sought after talent at the position and is also expected to compete for the top job.

Kansas State will hold its spring game on April 28.

OKLAHOMA: 

Oklahoma returns starting quarterback Landry Jones. Word out of Oklahoma is that one of his targets is off to a great start in spring ball.

Freshman Wide Receiver Trey Metoyer is already getting the attention of his teammates.

"All of those one-handed catches… Ooooo! He's a natural talent," Offensive Lineman Tyler Evans told the Tulsa World.

Oklahoma already has a talented wide receiver in Kenny Stills, so the Sooners appear to be adding to their depth.

Oklahoma is set to play its spring football game on April 14.

OKLAHOMA STATE:

Oklahoma State has to replace two very talented players in Quarterback Brandon Weeden and Wide Receiver Justin Blackmon.

Head Coach Mike Gundy told reporters on Wednesday that he wants to have a starting quarterback named by the end of spring practice, "Our goal would be to name a quarterback at the end of spring. If it happened before that, we would certainly do it, but that's still our goal - to go into the summer with a starting quarterback."

It will be fun to watch what happens when WVU Head Coach Dana Holgorsen and Co-Defensive Coordinator Joe DeForest return to Oklahoma State on November 10. Holgorsen left Oklahoma State to come to WVU one year ago and DeForest just left Oklahoma State in January. 

Oklahoma State will play its spring football game on April 21.

TCU:

TCU, like WVU, is joining the Big 12 for its first season in 2012. TCU has built up a reputation as one of the top teams in the country, but will play much tougher competition in the Big 12 than it did previously on a weekly basis.

TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson closed most of his practices to the media, so there is not much opinion on practice to go on other than what Patterson told the media.

TCU does not hold a spring football game, so there is not even that to gauge what the Horned Frogs are doing. Patterson indicated he is lacking depth at Offensive Line right now. He told the media he is also trying to find a backup quarterback.

TEXAS:

Texas just held its spring football game last weekend and unveiled a Ricky Williams statue as part of the festivities. Williams won the Heisman Trophy at Texas.

Head Coach Mack Brown closed out the spring game by telling the media he has numerous concerns about his depth at nearly every position. David Ash appears to have the starting quarterback job for now with Colt McCoy's brother, Case, looking like the backup.

Brown also has concerns about the youth at Wide Receiver.

Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz is also looking for depth, "If our second 11 doesn't continue to come on, then we will be exposed and that is fairly obvious," Diaz told espn.com.

TEXAS TECH:

Perhaps the biggest blow to Texas Tech was when four recruits took a wrong turn and did not make it to Lubbock for the spring game. They planned to make the nine hour drive from Houston to Lubbock, but ended up far away from their destination when they realized they made a wrong turn many miles earlier.

Those four players are fine and decided when they realized they made the wrong turn that they were not going to get to the game in time and simply went home.

Head Coach Tommy Tuberville missed seven starters this spring from injuries suffered last season.

Texas Tech signed top 25 recruiting classes each of the past two years and now Tuberville is looking for those players to make their impact felt.

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