Bevo's Daily Roundup - April 13, 2009

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One of the best moments of the 2008 OU game.

Our running backs are supposed to scare people? For a school that has the pick of top recruits, Texas is not loaded at the running back position.

It's a real head scratcher. On a team that gets most every player it wants in recruiting, the running backs at Texas aren't scaring anybody at this point.

You won't find an Earl Campbell, Ricky Williams or Cedric Benson in this group. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis would kill for a Jamaal Charles. Shoot, he would even take a Hodges Mitchell at this point.

 

 

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Maybe this is the reason for the Aggie defensive problems?

The Aggies are still working out the kinks in the defense. Jordan Peterson has moved back to cornerback and Jordan Pugh is now back at safety.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman glanced around his defense for a player capable of combining clear yelling and hard hitting.

He quickly came up with Jordan Pugh, a communications minor and senior leader. So Sherman shifted Pugh back to what the coach now considers his more proper slot this spring. Back to safety.

"It’s more of a natural position for him, and if he has a future in football beyond college, it would be at safety," Sherman said. "We want a guy back there who can communicate and articulate what we’re trying to do defensively."

Dr. Saturday has a premature assessment of the Fighting Farmers.

What's Changed. More than anything, status. You know the "program ratings" on the NCAA video games? A&M dropped from a four/borderline five-star outfit in a lot of eyes last year to a shaky three-star, which still seems a little generous after the Aggies were outscored by a combined 98 points in a three-game losing streak to end the year -- a slide that included a 20-point loss at Baylor, for heaven's sake, that wasn't even as close at that. Any lingering flecks of suspicion of A&M as a competitor in the Big 12 South were obliterated in the opening day loss to Arkansas State and only made more ridiculous by the rest of the season, all in all probably the worst in College Station since the early seventies.

The Fort Worth Star Telegram looks back at Dennis Franchione's time at A&M. How did things get so bad so quickly?

Franchione never could resurrect the Wrecking Crew defense, and a speed-driven receiving corps never emerged to replace game-changers Terrence Murphy and then Jason Carter.

"We started getting out-athleted," Dallas Cowboys tight end and former Aggie Martellus Bennett said. "Some of the guys we recruited didn’t turn out the way we thought they would. We’d have 10 great athletes and they’d [opponents] have 20."

"The strength of the team was Gooden, McGee and Lane. We had to play to our strengths, and Bennett, too," Franchione said. "So we had to make sure those three guys touched the ball as often as possible in the game. We tried to develop an offense around them."

However, points didn’t come easily and in situations that demanded taking to the air, too often the passing game was ragged and incongruent.

Former Aggie coaches... the gift that just keeps on giving. Former Aggie and Mississippi State coach Jackie Sherrill visited MSU and they are now worried that the school might have broken NCAA or Southeastern Conference rules for what Sherrill might have done while he was there.

 

 

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We love you, too, Bob. Bob Stoops has awarded some of the Sooners a "Texas" grade.

Stoops opened the spring with a press conference saying how disappointed he was in the winter conditioning efforts of the offensive line as a group. A handful of players — based on attendance, attitude, effort and result — earned a grade of "Texas" on a daily chart. A "Texas" grade, for the record, is less than zero, and scoring zero, one player said, takes some doing.

The Red-White game was Saturday. The defense dominated the afternoon. News OK's Barry Tramel talks to Bob Stoops after the game.

The world according to Gerald McCoy. The Sooners will have the No. 1 defense in the country.

Since Bob Stoops arrived, OU has signed four players who were arguably at the top of their position in their recruiting class. Three of those — DeMarcus Granger, Gerald McCoy and JaMarkus McFarland — will be playing together in 2009.

"In my eyes," McCoy said, "I feel we're gonna have the No. 1 defense in the country."

Sooner AD Joe Castiglione does not want women's basketball star Courtney Paris to repay her basketball scholarship to the school after losing to UConn.

"It’s even more meaningful when someone who committed herself for four years to help her teammates become better, making that kind of symbolic gesture," Castiglione told the Associated Press. "But having said that, I don’t know of anyone who has had any expectation whatsoever that we would accept the monetary aspect of that gesture.

"The contributions she has already made to this program are enormous and for that we’ll always be grateful. Most importantly for her to feel like this is a place she always calls one of her home bases is another thing that’s important to us."

Now, if Bob Stoops vowed to repay his coaching salary after not winning the national title . . .

Congratulations. Courtney and Ashley Paris were both selected in the WNBA draft. Blake Griffin has been selected as the 2009 John Wooden Award recepient.

ESPN chats with NFL draft prospect and former Oklahoma offensive lineman Duke Robinson. The most interesting thing learned from the interview? He is related to Smokey Robinson.

Mitch (CT): Dude, are you really related to Smokey Robinson?! That is awesome. What's your favorite song of his to sing in the shower?

Duke Robinson: I don't sing in the shower. I don't really have a favorite song, I like all of them. From the ones he actually sings to the songs that he writes for other artist.

 

 

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The always entertaining Red Raider head coach wasn't thrilled with Taylor Potts last Friday, but that hasn't changed Leach's mind about the quarterback.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach called quarterback Taylor Potts’ team period "sloppy and impatient’’ Friday after Potts threw three interceptions and nearly a fourth.

Leach said that doesn’t necessarily change his mind about the quarterback competition.

"You look at the whole body of work,’’ Leach said. "We’re not going to base anything on three plays.’’

Leach on Running back Harrison Jeffers:

Jeffers fumbled on a play inside his own 20-yard line and got stopped short on back-to-back goal-line offense plays. Defensive end Daniel Howard threw him for a loss on one.

After the fumble, Tech coach Mike Leach hollered at Jeffers to "cover it with two hands in traffic.’’

"That’s why you have practice,’’ Leach said later about Jeffers’ day. "It’s like churches. You have churches for people that sin. You have practice for people that aren’t perfect players.’’

Sporting News' Dave Curtis thinks Leach should win some kind of motivational award.

"Ed didn't feel like showing up and studying at places I felt like he needed to and like the academic people asked him to, so he can go study out there on the 50-yard line," Leach told reporters in Lubbock.

The next motivational gem involved his entire team. During warm-ups for a recent practice, he asked four players to walk across a 10-foot 2X4 board without losing their balance. After each completed the task, he reportedly asked the team, "Now, what if it was suspended 10 stories high?" Hopefully, for the Red Raiders' sake, they'll play Oklahoma tougher this year and not find out.

Someone should have told him about Lubbock before he signed on the dotted line. Tech punter Jonathan LaCour is dealing with West Texas wind.

Baylor linebacker Joe Pawelek is on several 2009 award watch lists.

The internet is always to blame. Colorado coach Dan Hawkins closed spring football practice because he felt that too much detailed information about schemes, players' roles and injuries were being published on blogs, message boards and some mianstream media outlets.

"I'd love to have fans come," he said. "It's great. We want fans to come. We want fans to be a part of it and all that, but I don't think we should be scouted in the spring. I'm the kind of guy who is a trusting guy. Unfortunately that trust doesn't always go very far."

Hawkins could not possibly be referring to the boys at The Ralphie Report.

Colorado sophomore quarterback Matt Ballenger is transferring.

Kansas quarterbacks are looking good this spring.

Starter Todd Reesing was his usual effective self. The senior who owns a load of school passing records completed his first seven passes, including a touchdown to Johnathan Wilson on a 10-yard quick slant.

Kerry Meier passed for 86 yards and caught 77 yards worth of balls, and one day he might pull off a football double-triple, 100 yards passing and receiving in a game.

 

 

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The Blue-Gray Sky looks at the rise of digital media and impact of the internet on sports journalism.

Today, thanks to the internet, space is never an issue when covering college football (though brevity remains a wildly underrated trait--if only I could apply it) and the scope of your audience is as limitless as literacy itself. The coverage of college football is, for the most part, better for it. A sport so overflowing with passion and populism fosters an insatiable appetite among readers, one that only the web can begin to sate. It's like dining at a Texas Roadhouse and actually being able to save room for dessert.

Moreover, something closer to a democracy bordering on meritocracy begins to take shape. Twenty years ago, the most difficult step toward becoming a successful journalist was landing the job at a brand-name outlet (Why else would J-School exist?). Who cared how talented a writer or reporter you were if you had no access to spread your message?

Now everyone is confused. The NCAA has been working very, very hard to keep up with social networking and the impact on recruiting.

For a few years, phone calls from coaches were not allowed during non-contact periods. However, coaches could sent text messages. Those were before the unlimited texting plans came out, and I heard stories of prospects' parents getting phone bills for hundreds of dollars.

More and more, college coaches are relying on social networks to do their homework on prospects as well as communicate. As we join more social networks with cool new applications for communicating, I suspect the NCAA will continue to make amendments to their bylaws to ensure that coaches are not finding "loop holes" to contact student-athletes.

Dr. Saturday looks at the never-ending saga of the BCS and Congress.

 

And finally...

Mack Brown impersonaters. Thanks to Dr. Saturdayy for today's entertainment.



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