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Over two days in Las Vegas, the Big 12 became the first power conference to sow its optimistic seeds for 2024.

In addition to Commissioner Brett Yormark, coaches and players representing each school in the 16-team league answered numerous questions from reporters about the upcoming season and, quite understandably, all pointed out that improvements are in sight this year.

But there are also real insights that you can take away with you.

Yormark took a not-so-veiled jab at the ACC, and the college football world learned whether Ollie Gordon II will face a suspension following a recent arrest. (Spoiler alert: No.)

B/R has been monitoring the Big 12 media days and has collected some notable storylines from the welcome start of the talking season.

Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While hindsight is always 20/20, it seems that the conference hit the nail on the head with the appointment of Brett Yormark as Commissioner.

And more importantly, the league still exists. The Big 12 could have broken up after Oklahoma and Texas left for the SEC, and the remaining top schools would have been lost to the Pac-12.

Fortunately for the Big 12, they had excellent leadership.

Instead of falling apart, the conference has grown to 16 teams, marketed itself aggressively nationally and secured a nearly $2.3 billion media rights deal from ESPN and Fox. Yormark said in his opening remarks Tuesday that the Big 12 is the “deepest conference in America.” Is that true? Probably not. But hey, I'm here for the vision.

In addition, Yormark said the Big 12 has established itself as one of the top three leagues in the country, eclipsing the ACC at the professional level.

This, however, is credible – and a recognition of what Yormark and his employees have achieved in just two years.

John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Texas Tech has signed Micah Hudson in the 2024 cycle, the program's first 5-star recruit in the age of internet recruiting.

Naturally, fans began to dream of an immediate success for the talented wide receiver. The obstacle, as always, is that it is not easy to play many snaps as a rookie.

However, Hudson is trending in the right direction.

“You'll see Micah Hudson in Week 1,” Texas Tech coach Joey McGuire told reporters. “Some coaches have talked about a generational player. He's really special. He's extremely athletic. But his maturity level and his love of football and just the love of the locker room — I haven't met many guys like him.”

McGuire hasn't named him the starter, so expect plenty from Josh Kelly, who transferred from Washington State, Caleb Douglas, who transferred from Florida, and returning wide receivers Coy Eakin, Jordan Brown and Drae McCray.

But the Hudson hype train is gaining momentum.

Deion Sanders Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Right or wrong, fair or not, coaches are ultimately judged on wins and losses. That's the nature of the business.

At the same time, other aspects of the job cannot be ignored. Deion Sanders had a great exchange with a reporter who called on the second-year Colorado coach to play at a higher level.

“I can't win nine games and our GPA suffers. Our GPA can't be high and we lose another eight games,” Sanders said. “We can't just go out and grab high school players and then have a bunch of guys in the portal getting incarcerated out of the portal. My wins are different. We have to win in every area. That's how we're judged.”

After an entertaining 3-0 start in its debut in Boulder, the Buffs lost eight of their nine Pac-12 games and finished 4-8.

Expectations should still be tempered, but whether CU is competing for a bowl appearance in 2024 is a good measure of Deion's progress.

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

In late June, Oklahoma State running back Ollie Gordon II was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. According to KOCO News, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol report noted that Gordon, 20, provided a breath sample of .11, which is also above the legal limit of .08 in Oklahoma.

Although the junior has since apologized, it was unclear whether he would face disciplinary action in the fall.

OSU coach Mike Gundy responded Tuesday, saying he would not suspend the first-team AP All-American for any games.

Well, I would join the crowd and suggest Gundy not to say he's “probably done this a thousand times in his life” when it comes to drinking two to four beers and then driving. That's not a great statement and quickly became a second talking point from Gundy.

On the field, however, we know that OSU will field Gordon in its opening game against South Dakota State.

Chris Gardner/Getty Images

Even without its star quarterback in 2023, Utah managed an 8-5 record that included a thrilling win over USC, thanks to longtime coach Kyle Whittingham.

However, given the strength of the defense, it probably felt like a missed opportunity. The offense simply lacked the reliable firepower it presumably would have had with Rising at quarterback, but he missed the season while recovering from a serious knee injury.

Rising is back – and apparently in full force.

“His general health is as good as it can be at the moment,” Whittingham said. “Barring any unforeseen setbacks or incidents, we believe he is absolutely fit to play.”

Rising, a dual-threat quarterback, led Utah to back-to-back Pac-12 championships in 2021 and 2022.

“He makes us better right away. Cam has that certain 'it' factor. … He's one of those guys that can make everyone around him better,” Whittingham added. “And that's what a great player really does: He makes his supporting cast play better.”

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