Iowa State Cyclones

Oklahoma State football team take the field for a spring NCAA college football game in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, April 16, 2016. Black team defeated orange 20-7. (AP Photo/Brody Schmidt)
AP Photo/Brody Schmidt

Big 12 spring attendance by the numbers

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By now we know the spring attendance numbers in the SEC and Big Ten will always be higher than the other power conferences (having 14 teams helps, of course). The Big 12 will never compete in this pretty useless stat, especially when so many schools fail to record any figure at all. Five Big 12 programs reported no spring attendance number this spring, which left us with just five schools to count when putting together the Big 12’s attendance figure. As things stand right now, the Big 12 looks to be locked into a fourth-place finish this spring, with the Pac-12 the only power conference lagging behind the Big 12 in the spring attendance standings.

Big 12 Spring Attendance By School

Here is how the Big 12 schools compared to each other in spring game attendance.

  1. Oklahoma – 42,436
  2. Oklahoma State – 17,500
  3. Iowa State – 15,089
  4. Kansas State – 14,643
  5. West Virginia – 6,000

Note: Baylor, Kansas, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech did not report any spring attendance figures.

Biggest Increase, Biggest Drop

Some of the Big 12 practices were washed away by bad weather, so we saw more schools not report any official or estimated attendance this year as a result. Baylor, for example, reported a crowd of 5,610 for its spring game in 2015 (which was also hampered by weather), but they opted not to take a crack at a number at all this time. Texas Tech also got washed out this spring. A couple of others either did not report an attendance figure or did not respond when asked for any input. Texas is one of the schools that does not record an attendance figure. So, given the schools that did have data on record for 2015 and 2016, who had the biggest increase and biggest drop?

The biggest jump in spring attendance this year was seen at Iowa State, where the Cyclones doubled their attendance from 7,500 fans in 2015 to 15,089 this spring. Is there a Matt Campbell effect going on here? There was not much difference in attendance figures for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or Kansas State, but Kansas State had the biggest drop in attendance with 17,080 fans in 2015 and 14,642 fans this spring. It is worth noting Kansas State played their spring game at Sporting Park last year, making the spring game more of a unique event in an MLS stadium. West Virginia also had a drop in attendance by 2,115 fans. It is important to also remember the West Virginia game was not played in their home stadium but an alternate venue with limited capacity, which some schools do.

Quick Hits

  • With five schools not on record for spring attendance this year, the Big 12’s final count stands at 95,668. Ohio State eclipsed that mark by themselves each of the past two seasons, and Georgia had 93,000 fans this spring.

You can view my database of spring game attendance in this Google doc. It is updated periodically as information becomes available or confirmed.

Broken hand puts Iowa State WR Allen Lazard on sideline for spring game

Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard catches a touchdown pass as Northern Iowa linebacker Brett McMakin hits the turf during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Iowa State won 31-7. (AP Photo/Justin Hayworth)
AP Photo/Justin Hayworth
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Iowa State’s top offensive player will be forced to sit out of the spring football game. Allen Lazard has a broken hand that will force him to miss next week’s spring game, although the injury is not expected to have an impact on his status for the start of the 2016 college football season.

According to Bobby La Gesse of  Ames Tribune, Lazard suffered a hairline fracture in his hand. He is not expected to have to undergo surgery for the injury and he should be available for training camp later this summer. That should be encouraging news for Iowa State fans.

Lazard led the Cyclones with 807 receiving yards and six touchdowns last fall. Lazard also had an impact on special teams with 214 punt return yards.

Iowa State’s spring game is scheduled for April 16.

Iowa State’s Matt Campbell not happy about NCAA’s satellite camp ruling

New Iowa State head football coach Matt Campbell speaks during a news conference, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. Campbell, who replaces the recently fired Paul Rhoads, was the coach at Toledo this past season. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall
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The list of those not happy with the NCAA Division 1 Council voting to shut down satellite camp practices by college football coaches continues to grow. A day after the rule was made official, effective immediately, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell was among the latest to share his displeasure.

It is worth noting the Big 12 was one of the four power conferences to vote in favor of the satellite camp shutdown procedure. The Big Ten was the lone dissenting voice among the Power Five conferences. The MAC, where Campbell previously coached at Toledo (who cancelled their spring game due to snow), also voted against the proposal for the shutdown.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach also went off on the decision. Again, Leach coaches in a conference that also voted in favor of the shutdown. And here we are, still waiting for any type of response from Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh has been silent on Twitter for nearly 24 hours as of this posting.

Three Iowa State players rescue woman from drowning on spring break trip

AMES, IA - OCTOBER 3:  Linebackers Anthony Lazard #53 and Reggan Northrup #9 of the Iowa State Cyclones combine on a tackle in the second half on wide receiver Derrick Neal #7 of the Kansas Jayhawks on October 3, 2015 at Jack Trice Stadium, in Ames, Iowa.  (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***Anthony Lazard;Reggan Northrup;Derrick Neal
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A spring break trip of fun and frivolity took a sharp turn for a group of Iowa State football players, as the trio of Anthony LazardJack SpreenJoe Doran, saved a woman from drowning.

The group, along with current and former Cyclones Spencer BentonMatt Swoyer and Josh Jahlas, was vacationing on South Padre Island, Texas, when Jahlas, standing on a hotel balcony, noticed 22-year-old Luisa Maria Castro drive her car into Laguna Madre Bay. Lazard, Spreen and Doran sprinted to save her, jumping into the bay and swimming to Castro’s rapidly sinking car.

Only, no one could seem to get the car open.

“I was getting worried that we were going to watch this girl drown to death, because no matter how hard we were hitting it, it wasn’t cracking or spidering for a while,” Lazard told the Des Moines Register.

Castro cracked a small hole in her windshield, and the trio took it from there, wedging her from the vehicle and handing her off to the waiting arms of Jahlas, Benton and Swoyer.

“That car completely sank in less than a minute and if not for them jumping into the water and pulling the driver out, she would most certainly have drowned,” officer Michael Schiltz told the paper.

Lazard, Spreen and Doran were regarded as heroes. As for Castro? She was arrested. Her blood alcohol level tested at nearly twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Still, Castro thanked the group for saving her life.

“I have no words to express how appreciative I am of them,” Castro said. “Even when I messaged them, I still felt that the words or what I was saying to them to thank them and how grateful I was — it just felt like that wasn’t enough.”

Who would win the Sweet 16 matchups in football? Duke becomes Cinderella

Miami running back Duke Johnson (8) runs with the football during the first half of an NCAA football game against North Carolina, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky
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OK, so now we know which power conferences reign supreme in the Sweet 16 this season, but what would happen if this field were to be decided on the college football gridiron? Oregon and Oklahoma suddenly become the top threats in the field, while basketball strong Villanova takes a back seat and Gonzaga fails to show up.

BEST SWEET 16 FOOTBALL MATCHUP

No. 2 Oklahoma vs. No. 3 Texas A&M (West)

Truth be told, many of the matchups in the sweet 16 would lead to some ugly games and blowouts if they were to be played in football. Not so with this West regional matchup between former conference foes Oklahoma and Texas A&M. The two schools have some history as former Big 12 opponents, but more recently faced off in a Cotton Bowl when Johnny Manziel was running the Aggies offense and confusing Oklahoma’s defense. Texas A&M has fallen back to earth in recent years and would struggle defensively to slow down the Sooners, which makes Oklahoma among the strongest threats in the football version of the Sweet 16.

A strong alternative in this category might be Notre Dame vs. Wisconsin in the East Region. The Irish and Badgers may not be at the top of their respective games right now, but it would clearly make for one of the more attractive matchups on the schedule were it to be played in football.

WORST SWEET 16 FOOTBALL MATCHUP

No. 1 Kansas vs. No. 5 Maryland (South)

There is no way to dress this one up too nicely, not with the current state of each program. Kansas is at the bottom of the barrel not just in the Big 12, but FBS overall, and Maryland is not particularly strong either. This matchup gets the nod for worst Sweet 16 football matchup over Iowa State-Virginia because Kansas is that bad. The only reason Syracuse-Gonzaga didn’t get this mention is because Gonzaga doesn’t even play football, thus eliminating the game from consideration.

POTENTIONAL CINDERELLA

Duke

The Blue Devils would have a rough time stopping Oregon in the West Region, but considering how anemic Oregon’s defense was last year, it is possible Duke could put some points on the scoreboard as well. It is weird considering Duke a Cinderella in basketball, but David Cutcliffe’s program has come a long way toward earning respect among its ACC peers lately. Could they beat Oregon? Probably not, but hey, anything can happen in the tournament.

A win against Oregon would set Duke up against either Oklahoma or Texas A&M, another tough draw for the Blue Devils, but after that would be a likely matchup against Miami and, well, what could possibly go wrong there?

SWEET 16 FOOTBALL WINNERS

South: Maryland over Kansas, Miami over FCS Villanova

West: Oregon over Duke, Oklahoma over Texas A&M

East: North Carolina over Indiana, Notre Dame over Wisconsin

Midwest: Virginia over Iowa State, Syracuse over Gonzaga

Likely Final Four: Miami, Oregon, Notre Dame, Syracuse

Be sure to stay on top of all of the tournament madness with our friends over on College Basketball Talk.