All five coaches spoke to the media and here are some of the quotes that stood out from each coach the most.
2012 Record: (8-5, 5-4)
Head Coach: Mike Gundy
2013 Preseason Pick: 1st
Being picked to win the Big 12 Conference.
I think what you said really is the way we look at it. I think there's been some growth in the program at Oklahoma State. I think it's a tribute to the players that have been before this group, the young men that are on our team now, and the ones in the future. They've got a lot to look forward to.
I know that it won't have any effect on our season, but I do think it means a lot to Oklahoma State that people feel comfortable in saying that we're good enough to have the opportunity to win a conference championship.
Who will start at QB for Oklahoma State in 2013?
I think that we'll continue to work like we have. We've got two young men that we feel very comfortable with, and they've worked, and they're extremely dedicated to our program. They're great team players. They'll get equal reps.
The one advantage we have in our offense is in practice and even in games we get a number of reps because of our tempo. We expect to play very fast this year. So we'll work both guys. We feel very comfortable with them.
On facing Mississippi State in the season opener.
Well, it certainly changes our approach as a coaching staff. The truth of the matter is we know that, when you play an opponent that on paper is going to have as good a players -- we could debate SEC versus Big 12, and we could start lining them up and going head to head on paper, but we all know the parity that's in the Big 12 and the SEC that when you play an opponent that's in the category that Oklahoma State's in and Mississippi State's in, that you have to play well in the first game to win. I think we would all agree on that.
2012 Record: (11-2, 8-1)
Head Coach: Bill Snyder
2013 Preseason Pick: 6th
On being picked to finish sixth in the conference.
As I look at it this year right now where we stand, I'd probably echo the same thought. It's precarious trying to make those kinds of decisions as the season gets started. Our program is no different than any other in that the dynamics of the program change year in and year out regardless of how many you do or do not have returning. It's just a different environment, and I would suggest that it's just a difficult task.
Concerns entering the 2013 season?
As I said before, dynamics of each year are truly different. I think, as far as personnel is concerned, we still don't have a starting quarterback yet. We did lose, depending on whose count, nine, probably nine returning -- or lost nine defensive starters. In addition to Collin, even though we returned a substantial number of starters on offense, we still lost some extremely talented young guys, Chris Harper, a big-play wide receiver, and Braden Wilson, we miss his toughness tremendously.
A lot of quality young guys. And when you lose as many as we did on defense as well, that can have an impact on your special teams because so many of your defensive players play on special teams. We've been fortunate to have pretty good special teams units. We were -- a combination of all, they ranked us No. 1 at the end of the season in special teams last year, but an awful lot of the personnel on those units, those six units, were defensive players as well. So it will certainly alter thing.
And those are some of my concerns, not all of them.
Is the conference as balanced this year as it has ever been?
I think our conference has maintained a good balance over the years. I think maybe there are some years where it might be a little -- might be a little bit more balance or more teams that are prominent than other years, but, by and large, I think year in and year out it's a very consistent conference.
Will this year be more so? I don't know that I could say that. It may prove to be -- again, that's like picking who's going to be 1, who's going to be 2, et cetera, and I'm just not smart enough to do that. So I don't really know whether it will maintain that kind of balance or not.
If I had to make a projection, I would say yes, it's a well-balanced conference. Is it the most balanced this year than it has been at any time? I couldn't answer that either way. Don't know.
2012 Record: (7-6, 4-5)
Head Coach: Gary Patterson
2013 Preseason Pick: 3rd
On facing LSU in the season opener.
Growing up, understanding we have a big ball game right out of the gate as far as you guys are concerned playing a program like LSU. We're excited about that. A lot of people taking the philosophy of not playing games, but as far as TCU is concerned, to be able to play a game and play a program like LSU that's had national implications over the last few years with a coach like Les Miles is somebody that you want to be a part of and playing in Cowboys Stadium and be a part of that. A lot of big ball games that have been a part of that situation.
So for us, our kids have been excited through the spring and then this summer, and for us it's been a lot of fun. Now looking forward to how we get into it here in a week and a half.
On Casey Pachall being back at TCU.
Casey is a very talented young man. How he handles everything and does will be an indication of how well we do in the Big 12 Conference. If you want to play well in the Big 12, you've got to play well at quarterback. Even last year, when Trevone played well, we won. When he didn't play well, we lost, and you've got to play good defense.
So having a Casey Pachall back, I think he was the number one ranked quarterback after four games when we set him aside, I think tells you when he comes back and plays at that level, it gives us a better chance to win.
2012 Record: (1-11, 0-9)
Head Coach: Charlie Weis
2013 Preseason Pick: 10th
On being picked last in the preseason Big 12 poll.
We're 1-11 and picked by everybody to finish last in the league, and that's justifiable. If I were you, I'd pick us in the same spot. We've given you no evidence or no reason to be picked anywhere other than that.
I told our players and told our coaching staff that, until they start winning some games in the conference, that's just the way it's going to be.
Obviously, inside closed walls or inside our walls and closed doors, our expectations are much higher than everyone else, but the proof's in the pudding. Until we start beating some teams in the Big 12, which is quite a challenge with the ability and talent throughout the league, we're going to be put in the same spot every year.
On having a balanced attack coming into this season.
I think it's definitely an advantage and also better utilizing the players that we have. Last year, even though we weren't a very good football team, we had some quality players at the running back position. That might be the only position that we had quality players as a group, but we've actually gotten stronger at that position than we were last year.
What that's allowed me to do is try to make Tony Pierson a more versatile player. As I sat there and watched the last four or five games of that Austin guy at West Virginia just tearing it up as both a wide receiver and a running back, I think that football sometime doesn't have to be as cerebral as some people try to make it, and I think that it's a copycat business.
When you can have a talent that you feel is similar to a guy that's being utilized properly, I think that, if we can get Tony more involved in space, that will open up a lot of things for the rest of our running backs and our receivers in general.
2012 Record: (8-5, 4-5)
Head Coach: Kliff Kingsbury
2013 Preseason Pick: 7th
On being back in the Big 12 facing Big 12 defenses.
Yeah, there's differences in the league, that's for sure. But there's so many great teams. The parity in this league, it's exciting. I think you go in week in and week out, and everybody feels they have a chance to win this league, and it may not be that in that other one I just came from.
There's great offensive minds and great defensive minds as well. So it will be a challenge each and every week.
How does the wind in Lubbock affect players?
Yeah, I think you look at the numbers that people are throwing for out there under Coach Leach, and even last year they were second in the country in throwing the football. It's more just an attitude. You practice in it each and every day, and you get used to it.
It can psych other teams out. They come to town, and it's blowing 50 miles per hour, and they don't think they can throw it. We do it each and every day. It's more just throwing a tight spiral. Arm strength helps, but if you can keep your ball tight in the wind and be accurate in those circumstances, then you'll be all right.
Talk about the QB race at Texas Tech.
It's been good. We were really pleased with Michael Brewer and Davis Webb's progress in the spring. Those guys kind of separated themselves from the rest of the pack.
We'll get them to fall camp and probably go about two weeks, it varies, before we name a starter and try to get the scrimmage in. See how the seven-on-seven is going this summer, see how the film is, and just who separates themselves.
We did that last year at Texas A&M and worked out a little bit for us. Hopefully, we have that same success.
What he wants out of a QB?
We're big on having a QB that can extend plays. It doesn't have to mean rushing yards always. In Houston, we had Case Keenum, who had great feet, and he could keep a play alive by getting out of the pocket and finding his receivers downfield.
We definitely want a guy who can move and escape the pocket and keep things -- really extend the play down the field.