2022 Big 12 Media Days schedule, takeaway: Officials press united front, Mike Gundy outspoken about expansion

The 2022 Big 12 season kicked off on Wednesday as Media Days kicked off the first two days at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The celebrations were led by incoming conference commissioner Brett Yurmark, whose background in branding and marketing has helped Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. Draw a picture of his vision of Big 12 In the future amid reorganization and upcoming media rights deals.

In terms of participating teams, Baylor coach Dave Aranda and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy ranked among the top draws on day one. Five different teams won first place votes in the 12 major pre-season media poll, with the Cowboys and Bears representing that group as the event opened.

With the first day of Big 12 Media Days in the book, let’s take a look at the biggest storylines from Arlington.

The Big 12 pushes a united front

And speaking to the people surrounding the Big 12, many believe the league is more united than it was last year. After Texas and Oklahoma announced their departures to the SEC, the Big 12 was active to quickly add four high-quality brands in BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF.

BYU and UCF had representatives in Arlington, while other league officials praised the quality of the league and the competition moving forward. While the issue of expansion will be ongoing over the next few months, the 12 teams that will remain part of the Big 12 moving forward remain committed to the league’s future.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has been particularly vocal in saying that he believes the Big 12 will expand to 16 teams at some point. Others were less confident. Regardless, everyone thinks the convention is negotiating from a position of strength—especially after the USC and UCLA announced their intention to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.

“This is a power struggle for TV money in the long run,” Gundy said. “The Big 12 is much better off today than it was at this time last year.”

Attract a new audience

Yormark made his first public appearance during his transition to Big 12 commissioner, replacing outgoing Bob Bowlsby, and quickly set his vision for the conference. More than anything else, Yormark is focused on expanding the conference’s branding and marketing opportunities to best position the league in its upcoming TV negotiation.

“I think there are opportunities to get a little bit more patriotic, to make our brand younger, cooler, cooler,” said Yormark. “How do we connect with youth culture, and diversify some of the things that we do. I think we have a great opportunity.”

It’s unclear what kind of value the Big 12 can hope to gain in a world without Texas and Oklahoma, but people on Earth are optimistic about the upside. Three teams in the new Big 12 – Cincinnati, Baylor and Oklahoma – finished in the top ten last season. Three of the new additions are in media markets in Cincinnati, Houston and Orlando.

Yormark also addressed the possibility of multi-platform revenue streams, noting that the 18-24 age group is not tied to traditional media. However, it is still not clear what kind of plans Yormark may have to enter this market.

Baylor is now a stalker

For the first time in the program’s history, Baylor No. First place in the Big 12 pre-season poll. Bears coach Dave Aranda was his usual philosophical self when asked what that meant for the program, citing instead the nature of imperfection and reality.

“I think it comes down to just one task within a task,” Aranda said. “Today, for example, they will be running and lifting. So are we bringing life energy to it, or are we running, we are lifting, we are in it, but we are not bringing in any energy, we’re actually taking the energy? …I think to be really honest about your motives and to be really clear about your intent, it’s not necessarily about perfection. You have to move with the flaws, you keep moving and you keep getting better. I think that’s our goal.”

His players were just as thoughtful, with midfielder Dillon Doyle noting that Aranda taught him that football is not a zero-sum game, but instead an opportunity for everyone to benefit from growth through football. Only Aranda could find a program with this kind of culture to direct; We’ll see how it turns out when live bullets fly in the fall again.

Gundy remains optimistic about the future of Pokes

Gundy was asked about his comments in January, when he said he believed Oklahoma could one day become the Blue Bloods program after his victory over Notre Dame at the Fiesta Bowl. On Wednesday, Gundy reiterated optimism about the future of the Big 12 and how it could affect Oklahoma state in the long run.

“I am convinced that Big 12 will be here for a long time,” said Gundy. “Who’s going to be in it? I’m not sure. But branding and what we have at this point going forward, Oklahoma is going to be a very marketable program going forward.”

The Cowboys were six inches away from likely reaching the College Football Playoff in 2021 — at the same AT&T stadium where Media Days are held. Named third in a pre-season poll, the Cowboys are hoping to take that elusive next step in 2022.

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