What to expect from the Big 12 Media Days


Zach Netteland/Iowa State Daily

Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell watches from the sideline during the Cyclones’ 59-7 win over Kansas on Oct. 2, 2021.

Christian Royston

Big 12 Media Days are here, and there are plenty of exciting topics to cover before the 2022-23 season starts.

With conferences starting to shake up, it’s going to be interesting to see where the Big 12 stands. This will also be the first media day involving the new commissioner.

With four Iowa State athletes preparing for their time in the light and head coach Matt Campbell, Cyclone fans have a lot to look forward to over the next few days. 

A looming realignment

One major topic of conversation for the media days is going to be the realignment right around the corner.

Texas and Oklahoma are on the way to the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The two schools combined contribute to much of the national success of the Big 12, as well as media popularity.

Any year now, the two schools will be on the move, and the Big 12 will introduce some new faces. In 2023, the conference will welcome BYU, UCF, Cincinnati and Houston.

All four schools have been big names in collegiate athletics, with recent success coming to Houston and Cincinnati. Houston made a splash during March Madness, making it to the Elite Eight just a year after making it to the Final Four.

Cincinnati also made a name for itself in the college football world, as its 13-1 record in 2021 took them to the College Football Playoffs, where they faced off against No. 1 Alabama. They also saw a top-five pick in Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, and their starting quarterback Desmond Ridder went in the third round.

UCF went on to beat Florida in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl in 2021, while BYU’s Zach Wilson is prepping for another year in the NFL after being drafted second overall in 2021.

With Oklahoma and Texas leaving, the need for competition in the Big 12 is more important than ever. The recent Big Ten additions of UCLA and USC have also raised questions about the state of other college conferences.

As majors teams start to flow out of the Pac-12, it seems that more schools may be looking for places to call home. This has garnered rumors about the Big 12 possibly obtaining more members.

The era of “megaconferences” could be around the corner, but for now, the near future of realignment will be a main area of question during the Big 12 media days.

New faces

As the media days get underway, one new face will make his debut on the college stage. 

Brett Yormark was named the new Big 12 commissioner June 29 by the league’s Board of Directors. After former Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced he would be stepping away from the position, Big 12 fans will get a look at a new face for the first time in over a decade.

Yormark previously had experience working as the chief operating officer and co-CEO of Roc Nation Unified. Before that, he was the CEO of the Brooklyn Nets for nearly 15 years.

Yormark seems to have a strong business mindset, so it will be interesting to see how he leads the Big 12 and what he has to say over the media days.

Because the event will focus on college football within the Big 12, one topic will surely be on everyone’s minds. How will things shake-up with new teams on top of the conference?

In the recent Big 12 preseason poll, Baylor came out on top for the first time in school history after a dominant 2021 campaign. Now the coaches and players have a chance to gameplan how they can meet expectations.

Another Big 12 school that’s been making headlines is Texas. After the acquisition of star high school quarterback Quinn Ewers, the Longhorns made a splash with their 2023 commit, Arch Manning.

After sitting behind C.J. Stroud during his time at Ohio State, the former No. 1 high school quarterback in the nation, Ewers announced that he would transfer to Texas for the 2022 season. As 2023 approaches, it will be interesting to see what Texas will do with two top quarterbacks in the nation or if they are planning that far in advance.

No matter how things progress for the top schools in the Big 12, many questions should be answered during the media days.

Iowa State representatives

Although much of the news will surround top schools from last season and realignment, Iowa State players will get a chance in the spotlight.

On Thursday, Xavier Hutchinson, Trevor Downing, Anthony Johnson, and O’Rien Vance will all head to Dallas for player interviews. During the media day, the players will get a chance to talk with select members of the press and answer questions about the upcoming season.

After a solid chunk of players left the Cyclones to pursue higher goals, there will be questions about how the team will react and continue to be strong contenders next season. The Cyclones have seen success under Matt Campbell, and it is expected that the success should continue.

The Cyclones were picked to finish sixth in the Big 12 Preseason Poll after much of the hype surrounding the team died down after last season. It’s clear that the Cyclones are looking to the future and worked hard through the offseason to come out strong come September.

Campbell will also be at the press conference. Fans should get insight from Campbell during his time on the stand as he is set to talk with the media at 11:35 a.m. Thursday.

Most of the Big 12-related news will be interspersed throughout the two days, with all the Iowa State-focused events occurring Thursday. 

Big 12 Media Days will begin Wednesday morning and continue through Thursday. The sessions will be streamed live on ESPN+.