The Big 12 is obviously going to have entirely new look next season with the departures of Missouri and Texas A&M and the additions of West Virginia and TCU.
Not only will the Big 12 coaches have their hands full preparing for two new members, but they'll also have to prepare for seven new coordinators and a new head coach in KU's Charlie Weis. A new head coach is one thing, but simply changing coordinators can mean new schemes, new tendencies, and in some cases, new systems entirely.
Here's a rundown of the new play-callers in the Big 12 who will be making their homes in the conference in 2012.
Oklahoma; Mike Stoops - Defensive Coordinator. He's not exactly a new face to Big 12 fans, but it has been eight full seasons since Stoops left Norman to be the head coach at Arizona. Stoops makes his return to Norman to coordinate the defense as he did during his brother Bob's first five seasons in Norman. Brent Venables coordinated the defense after Stoops move to Arizona but he left for Clemson in January after Stoops was brought back to be the co-defensive coordinator.
During his first five seasons in Norman, Stoops' defenses were among the best in the country giving up an average of just 15.6 points per game over those five seasons. A lot has changed with Big 12 offenses since then so it's not necessarily a fair comparison, but the last four seasons under Venables, the Sooners had given up an average of 20.7 points per game. That's not bad by any means, but most Sooner fans seem excited to see Stoops back orchestrating the OU defense.
Kansas State; Tom Hayes - Defensive Coordinator. K-State showed improvements last season under defensive coordinator Chris Cosh after being gashed repeatedly in 2010, but nonetheless, Cosh decided to head to South Florida to reunite with coaching colleague Skip Holtz and coordinate the Bulls defense.
That move opened the door for the promotion of Tom Hayes to defensive coordinator after coaching the secondary in 2011. Hayes is a coaching veteran of 23 years and has coordinated defenses for Oklahoma, Kansas, Stanford and Oklahoma during his career. He also spent two years as the secondary coach for the New Orleans Saints.
The football office in Manhattan is guarded like the White House so there's no word on what system Hayes will employ, but it wouldn't be surprising to see the 4-3 defense remain intact surrounding linebacker, Arthur Brown.
Iowa State; Courtney Messingham - Offensive Coordinator. Last year's offensive coordinator, Tom Herman, received an offer he couldn't refuse when Urban Meyer called and offered him the coordinator position on his new staff at Ohio State prior to the Pinstripe Bowl.
With Herman's move to Columbus, Rhoads chose to stay in-house by promoting Messingham to the coordinator position after coaching the wide receivers in 2011 and the tight ends during his first two season in Ames. Messingham played quarterback and defensive back at Northern Iowa during his playing career. He has also been a coordinator a Missouri State and head coach at Upper Iowa. This will be his first go-around leading an offense at the BCS level.
Kansas; Charlie Weis - Offensive Coordinator, Dave Campo - Defensive Coordinator. It's going to be a whole new look in Lawrence this year with Charlie Weis brought on board to try and turn around the worst team in the Big 12 over the past two seasons.
Weis will also coordinate the offense as he did while the head coach at Notre Dame and last season as the offensive coordinator at Florida. Some may question his ability as a head coach after his stint in South Bend, but few will question his ability as a play caller. Can he do both again? It may take a few years until we know the answer to that since the talent level in Lawrence most likely isn't up the standards he'd like to see it.
The issues may be even bigger for Campo on defense. The Jayhawks were as bad as bad gets on defense last season. The good news for Campo is there is only one way to go and that is up.
Campo was brought in after spending the last 23 seasons in the NFL, most recently as the secondary coach in Dallas. He last coordinated a defense in 2004 with the Cleveland Browns. Some questioned the hiring of Campo, but Weis wanted a guy who could speak his language and take over a unit without much oversight. Campo certainly fits the bill there, but whether he can resurrect a defense into a respectable unit remains to be seen. But like I said, it can't get any worse after last season.
Texas Tech; Art Kaufman - Defensive Coordinator. Tommy Tuberville is known as a defensive head coach but his defenses have been anything but solid during his first two seasons in Lubbock. Injuries have played a part in that, not to mention a lack of defensive talent when he stepped on campus, but instability at the coordinator position hasn't helped the situation, either.
Kaufman will be the third different coordinator for the Red Raiders under Tuberville. The good news is that Kaufman has experience that neither of his predecessors possessed. He coordinated the defense last season at North Carolina and was also Tuberville's coordinator during his stint as head coach at Ole Miss. Kaufman will still be dealing with depth issues this season, but should be helped by an influx of junior college transfers brought in during Tech's most recent recruiting class, several of which are already on campus and going through spring practice.
West Virginia; Joe DeForest and Keith Patterson - Co-Defensive Coordinators. Coaches in the Big 12 will be more than familiar with Dana Holgorsen's offense (which doesn't mean it'll be any easier to stop), but it'll likely take a few games before they figure out exactly what the Mountaineers are doing defensively.
That is because the defensive coordinator the last nine seasons in Morgantown, Jeff Casteel, decided to reunite with Rich Rodriguez in Arizona. Holgorsen wasn't in any hurry to name Casteel's successor before deciding to fill the role with co-coordinators. With the new hires, West Virginia is expected to move to a 3-4 scheme instead of the 3-3-5 used by Casteel.
The first of the coordinators is Joe DeForest who Holgorsen brought over from Oklahoma State where he was the safeties and special teams coach. They two worked together in Holgorsen's lone season in Stillwater. The second is Keith Patterson who was Pitt's defensive coordinator in 2011 after spending the prior five seasons coordinating the defense at Tulsa.