ESPN, Big 12 reach terms on 13-year television deal

Hank South

Conference play is just around the corner for most teams and college football is heating up. Let’s take a look at some Big 12 notes heading into the weekend.

-Baylor will hold a ground-breaking ceremony in honor of its new stadium this Saturday when it takes on Sam Houston State in Waco. The Bears were approved a $250 million fund to construct the 45,000 seat facility this past summer. The new stadium is scheduled to open in 2014. Baylor fans shouldn’t overlook the Bearkats, as the team played for the FCS title just one season ago.

• Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young is back working in the football offices in Stillwater, and is expected to coach during the Cowboys game versus Louisiana-Lafayette this Saturday. Young has been absent from the sideline the past couple of weeks after undergoing an undisclosed medical procedure. Oklahoma State is coming off a 59-38 defeat in Arizona last weekend, a game that saw the Cowboys give up 501 yards of total offense.

• The Big 12 conference has agreed to a new television contract with ESPN for a reported 13 years, which would total $2.6 billion. The new revenue will give each institution $20 million annually, however West Virginia will not be eligible to receive the funds until 2015. The Mountaineers are still paying back the loan the Big 12 gave the school to cover its exit costs from the Big East conference.

• With a 52-13 win versus Miami last weekend, Kansas State has moved to 6-0 against non-conference BCS opponents at home. The streak began with Iowa visiting Manhattan in 1988.

• Oklahoma receiver and Penn State transfer Justin Brown has found success as a Sooner. While Brown has six catches for 87 yards on the season, he’s averaging 22 yards per punt return, ranking him fifth in the nation.

• Iowa State’s game versus Western Illinois will mark the first football game aired on, the University’s new subscription-based network that is devoted to Cyclone athletics. The University of Texas set the bar last season creating the Longhorn Network. Since that time many schools have shown interest in their own athletic channels, including Oklahoma, which currently has a partnership with FOX Sports (FOX Sports Oklahoma) and has been airing since the Sooners’ opener versus UTEP.

• TCU held its first game at renovated Amon G. Carter Stadium last Saturday versus Grambling State. While the Horned Frogs rolled to 56-0 victory perhaps the most interesting point in the game was the game ball being delivered by jetpack-strapped “Rocketman,” Dan Schlund.

• After the Jayhawks’ 25-24 loss to Rice last weekend, first-year Kansas head coach Charlie Weis is looking for anyway to motivate his squad to keep on trucking — including using the technique of telling the team no one is excited to play them. This maneuver likely suggests Kansas can sneak up on a team not playing to its full ability when playing the Jayhawks. Senior wide receiver Daymond Patterson agrees with his coach, “It’s like, ‘What do we got to lose?’ Nobody thinks we’re gonna win,” Patterson said. Kansas is 5-27 in its last 32 games.