Each summer, the arrival of conference media days serve as the unofficial start of football season. And folks, Big 12 Media Days has finally begun. This year's version has been much anticipated by both Big 12 fans and college football fans all over the country as questions and intrigue abound.
Big 12 expansion, a potential championship game, and bringing back divisions to the conference were among the many topics warranting discussion. But the elephant in the room, the off-season goings-on with the Baylor football program, seemed poised to dominate this two-day event. What action would the Big 12 take, if any? How would Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby respond to the likely countless question about how Baylor University handled their football team's myriad of issues?
The answer to that last question turned out to be the biggest story of the day. In fact, it didn't take any questions for Bowlsby to make a mess of things; all it took was his opening remarks: "It almost goes without saying that when you combine alcohol and drugs and raging hormones and the experiences of 18- to 22-year-olds, it's probably unrealistic to think that these kinds of things are never going to happen." Yes, that is (sadly) an actual quote from the Big 12 Commissioner. How does a man of his stature and position not have a better grasp on what sexual assaults actually are/what actually causes them?
But the stupidity didn't stop there. He directly contradicted himself several times, once saying that the Big 12 had a report on the Baylor situation that the media did not have access to, and then immediately followed it up by saying he didn't know anything more than the media did. (???)
Later he introduced Baylor's new coach, Jim Grobe, as Al Grobe. He also (allegedly) once referred to Matt Campbell as Matt Rhoads...
If it seems Bob Bowlsby had a terribly confusing start to Big 12 Media Days, you don't know the half of it.
WRNL, being the fine journalistic institution that we are, had several members in attendance yesterday, and they have graciously provided a transcript of the Bowlsby Q&A following his opening remarks.
Jake Trotter: "Jake Trotter, ESPN.com. Mr. Bowlsby, what did you have for breakfast this morning?"
Bowlsby: "Well, I had nice bowl of cereal with skim milk. No, wait, it was 2%. With fruit. Wait no, I had bacon and eggs. Or was it hashbrowns... Did you mean this morning or yesterday?"
David Ubben: "David Ubben, Sports on Earth. Mr. Bowlsby, what can you tell us about Big 12 expansion?"
Bowlsby: "Well, expansion is a good thing, manifest destiny and such and the universe is expanding too so that's really great. I'm not sure you guys are aware of the situation, so this probably comes as exciting and surprising news: some schools in our conference might want the Big 12 to add a few members. Regardless, the Big 12 has some details that I cannot share with you guys at this time. However, I don't know any more than you, I know about as much as you guys do. We don't have any more information at this time."
Berry Tramel: "Berry Tramel, The Oklahoman. Speaking of Big 12 expansion, how would adding 2 teams affect basketball and the round robin schedule?"
Bowlsby: "Now that's a great question. I'm really hoping we add a basketball only school, as having only 9 schools that play men's basketball right now is not desirable. TCU is still years away from getting a basketball program on campus, so that really hurts things.
Brian Davis: "Brian Davis, Austin-American Statesman. Mr. Bowlsby, have you determined a location for the future Big 12 Championship Game?"
Bowlsby: "You know, I am very excited about the potential for this championship game. There are many places we could host such a game and I'm sure companies will be lining up to sponsor something like this. We'd like to keep it in Big 12 country, you know? Thus far, we've looked at Miami; Portland; Bangor, Maine; and Bozeman, Montana as potential sites for the OU-Texas game on October 8th.
Tommy Birch: "Yo Bob. Who's your favorite rapper? Who you vibin' too in your free time?"
Bowlsby: "Tommy, that's a great question. To be honest, I really enjoy that rapper Biggie Smalls. I'm hoping to see him in concert sometime in the next few months, and can't wait for his new album to drop later this fall."
Tommy Birch: "Ummmmm. Follow up question. What are your favorite Biggie songs?"
Bowlsby: "Tough question really, so many of his are favorites. I love Lose Yourself, Red Red Wine, We Didn't Start The Fire, Cruise, and The Show Must Go On. All classic tunes in my opinion.
Jon Miller: "Jon Miller, Hawkeye Nation. Mr. Bowlsby, I really don't care about Iowa State, but what do you think of rushing the field/court? They like to do that for some reason and it pisses me off. I don't care about Iowa State, but what is your answer to that issue? In regards to Iowa State, specifically."
Bowlsby: "Thanks for the question, Mr. Vint. I'm not really sure I follow the question, as I'm not too sure what Rush has to do with Iowa State. They are a great band though, especially for a band from Wisconsin."
Jamie Pollard: "Jamie Pollard, ISU. Mr. Bowlsby, what is your take on khakis? Pleated or double pleated?"
Bowlsby: "I'm of the opinion that if something is worth doing, it's worth doing multiple times. I'm really looking forward to Texas three-peating in our football championship this fall and in Kansas City this March. It's a very exciting time for Big 12 sports."
Jamie Pollard: "Follow up question... Is it better to tuck my wind breaker in, or let it break wind for me? And does it open in the front, or am I supposed to let the breeze in the back door?"
Bowlsby: "Well Jamie, it's my belief that black pants are the way to go here. A nice sweatshirt and black pants. Nothing screams status more than that combination."
Kevin Fitzpatrick: "KFitzy87, Wide Right & Natty Lite. Bob, I've got a tough question for you. Marry, Fuck, Kill: Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence, and Emma Watson?"
Bowlsby: "Thanks for the question Kevin, that's a tough one. To be honest, I would probably marry Anna Nicole Smith. She's such a wonderful woman, so fun and full of life. I would probably fuck Taylor Swift, as she is so cool and beautiful and can seemingly do no wrong. And I would definitely kill that Potter boy. Harry is his first name, I think? Yes, Harry Potter, that's it. I'd kill her."
Reid Travis: "Mr. Bowlsby, in light of recent events, are you on Team Kanye or Team Swift?
Bowlsby: "You know what, this makes for a really tough decision, as each team has their pros and cons. And as the Big 12 Commissioner, I'm not sure I should really take sides at all. But at the end of the day, Jacob really has a better case, so I think I'm on team Jacob. But I'm voting for Donald Trump in November."
Randy Peterson: "Randy Peterson, a newspaper. Mr. Bowlsby, how do you think or don't think that divisions in the Big 12 would possibly effect or not affect the conference's more northern teams?"
Bowlsby: "Thanks for the question, Uncle Randy. You know what, Kansas State will be fine as long as Bob Snyder is around, and as long as the Taco Johns in Lawrence, Kansas all stay open. That Bob, he sure does love Taco Johns. Iowa State has a good point guard coming back, so they should be just fine. They sure need to redo their stadium though. Virginia will benefit from not playing as many games in warm climates, which is why they will be in the south division."
That's all from Dallas folks, and when Director of Officiating Walt Anderson stumbles over his answers today, we'll be sure to bring you the best responses.