Big 12 media days schedule is locked in

So, hoops is over? Well, we're three months and a little less than three weeks from the unofficial start to college football season. No worries, everyone.

Big 12 media days are officially scheduled for July 23-24 at the Westin Galleria hotel in north Dallas.

It's the second consecutive year the league's media days were moved away from the drab airport hotel setting and into the swankier setup connected to Dallas' only mall with an ice skating rink. At least a few players snuck out to get a peek at the rink during media days in 2011.

The league will also be welcoming two new members for the first time in the history of the league this year.

Here's the full schedule:

  • July 23: TCU, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech

  • July 24: Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas and West Virginia

Each team's coach will be in attendance, along with three-to-five players to spend the day previewing the season with media from across the Big 12.

It should be an interesting week. Last year, cheerleaders and mascots inexplicably tagged along to media days. Here's hoping that idea is done away with in 2012. The league will have a new commissioner by then, but interim commissioner Chuck Neinas told me earlier this offseason that the Big 12 is developing a new marketing push with commercials, video messages and print advertisements in what the league is calling a "comprehensive PR strategy."

Get ready to see plenty of that this July, too. The league unveiled its new "How We Play" campaign at last year's media days, but most of the ads were rendered unusable when Texas A&M and Missouri left.

The Big 12 doesn't have to worry about that this time around, but it'll be interesting to see what's in store, along with the usual media frenzy of the week.