Bevo's Daily Round Up - Monday, May 4

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This never gets old.

The Austin American-Statesman looks back at the 1918 football season. War and the flu had quite an impact.

Imagine if a flu pandemic, a deadly one, ripped through this state right as college football season was getting under way. That happened in 1918, a year when the University of Texas and other colleges closed and cities, including Austin, shut down for weeks at a time. Many football games, including the pivotal Texas-Oklahoma clash in Dallas, were canceled or postponed.

A starting football player was one of the UT students who died from the Spanish flu that year, among 20 million to 40 million deaths worldwide. Yet the Longhorns managed to go undefeated and untied. They also were uncrowned — Oklahoma later claimed a Southwest Conference title that was awarded to neither team.

We respectfully disagree. Colt McCoy comes in at No. 2 on Tim Griffin's Top Player list. Sam Bradford is No. 1.

Congratulations to Steve McMichael. The Longhorn defensive lineman will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

 

 

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Enjoy a little Aggie football.

It is definitely the off season. A&M lineman Matt Allen is arrested for DWI.

 

 

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Sooner football signee Justin Chaisson has agreed to a plea deal.

Sooner football coach Bob Stoops or university officials are yet to comment on Chaisson’s status.

But if the felony charges are reduced, that would significantly improve Chaisson’s chances of being allowed to come to campus and play for the Sooners next fall.

And we take a moment for Crimson and Cream's public service announcement for OU football players.

Not wearing a seatbelt, speeding and driving without insurance are all minor traffic violations but they are none the less traffic violations and as the Oklahoma football team is learning, the hard way, should be dealt with in a timely manner. For the third time in three weeks a warrant was issued for an Oklahoma football player for failing to take care of a minor traffic violation.

 

 

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Actually, he is just crazy. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News, thinks Mike Leach is right... sometimes.

Straight up: If your baby is ugly, don't ask Mike Leach if he thinks it's cute. The Pirate says what he thinks, which is often entertaining as long as it's not your baby he's talking about. He's Miss Manners' worst nightmare. No tact, no governor, no regrets.

But just because he's crazy doesn't mean he isn't right occasionally.

Everything is awkward where Leach is concerned. After Mike Leach went on a diatribe about the Cleveland Browns leaking comments about Michael Crabtree, the Browns invited Graham Harrell to a minicamp.

Texas Tech coach Mike Leach went on a rant last week after one of his players, quarterback Graham Harrell, went undrafted, and another player, receiver Michael Crabtree, slipped to No. 10. Leach went so far as to accuse Browns coach Eric Mangini of sandbagging Crabtree and leaking reports that Crabtree acted like a "diva" during his meeting with the Browns.

Except that the Browns invited Harrell to rookie minicamp on a three-day tryout. He wasn't offered a contract, so nothing is guaranteed beyond Sunday.

But for now, Harrell finds himself caught between his college coach and a potential NFL employer. The NCAA career record-holder for touchdown passes handled Friday, the first day of the tryout, with grace.

The Big 12 is known for something besides great quarterbacks.

Nobody lines up Bowl Championship Series opponents for nonconference games like the Pacific 10. And nobody dodges BCS teams quite like the Big 12.

Defense. Defense was the main topic during spring workouts.

Coaches talked plenty of improving defensive speed and changing alignments to get more pressure on the quarterback and fill spaces in the seams. In spring games, quarterback sacks were celebrated at Oklahoma, an interception return for a touchdown at Texas. Missouri, Oklahoma State and others talked about defense, and Tigers coach Gary Pinkel offered the best line:

"As Don James used to say, if you’re worried about your defense after spring ball, you’re not going to have a very good summer."

Because it is Waco? The Lariat sports editor offers suggestions for why things are the way they are in Waco and makes some suggestions.

Speaking of traditions, Art Briles has made a point of defeating the Texas trio -- Tech, Texas and A&M -- both on the field and in recruiting. Why don't we run out of the tunnel with a Texas flag? TCU, Texas and Texas A&M all do it, why shouldn't we? It's certainly better than the yell leaders running in front of the Baylor Line spelling "BAYLRO" or "ABYLOR".

Exactly when did Art Briles defeat Texas?

Matt Hayes, Sporting News, weighs in on Graham Harrell's lack of draft clout.

His (Harrell) arm strength was average, and he didn't look comfortable taking snaps under center. The latter can be easily fine-tuned; the former cannot. In the game -- a game of the elite from all NCAA divisions -- Harrell was exposed. McGee, meanwhile, threw well at the NFL Combine and showed good arm strength outside the numbers. NFL people believe they can teach a guy with a big arm to make the right throw and the right decisions (fallacy), and that a guy with average arm strength has zero upside (not altogether true).

 

 

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This isn't going away. Rep. Joe Barton is at it again.

A shiny red Houston Cougars helmet sat on the table in front of Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, as U.S. lawmakers prepared to kick off the government's involvement in determining a national champion in college football.

"Mr. Chairman, that violates house rules, but I'm not going to object," Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said with a smirk.

It was a not-so-subtle reminder that the leaders of the country are college football fans, too, and make no mistake -- the three seated at the front of a hearing room in the House of Representatives on Friday morning made it clear they're in favor of a playoff.

Andy Staples, Sports Illustrated, thinks the hearings just might help the playoff cause.

The bloodbath Friday at the Rayburn House Office Building offered a faint glimmer of hope for everyone who wants to see a college football playoff. Maybe nothing will come out of the public evisceration of BCS coordinator John Swofford and Alamo Bowl president Derrick Fox by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) in a House subcommittee meeting. Maybe the BCS will continue to frustrate college football fans for decades. Or maybe, just maybe, the wheels have begun to turn toward a more satisfying postseason.

Either way, it sure was fun to watch the BCS supporters squirm Friday.

Should the NFL reimburse colleges for tuition?

Last weekend the National Football League drafted 256 players from America's colleges. On May 19, the National Basketball Association will take around 60 more. Then, on June 9 and 10, Major League Baseball will pick another 45 or so. All of these athletes will have one thing in common: The cost of their training wasn't paid for by the professional leagues that drafted them, but by their colleges.

There are many reasons for the rise of the NFL and NBA over the past half-century, but one of the most important is seldom discussed: They don't pay for the development of their players. Though MLB does draw some talent from the nation's top collegiate programs, the major percentage of their players are brought up through an extensive minor-league system.

The Sports Economist doesn't think so.

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