10 days until the Louisiana-Monroe game
10 days to go... Hoping for a repeat trip to the Rose Bowl.
Mack Brown Texas Sports has a profile of Sam Acho.
An Academic All-District selection and first-team Academic All-Big 12 pick in 2008, Acho appeared in all 13 games last season, recording 16 tackles and three sacks to follow up a freshman season in which he appeared in 11 games. Entering this season, he will join a group of players up front looking to make an immediate impact with the loss of the veterans from last season’s team.
"Each year, you obviously have people who graduate, people that move on, people that go in the NFL, so different leaders step up each year, and that’s what the coaches have been emphasizing," Acho said. "Lamarr [Houston] has done a great job of that, Ben Alexander, Sergio [Kindle], and I’m trying to do my part and take on that leadership role as well. We’re all trying to do our part to help out the team in any way we can."
The race has begun.
In most years, Colt McCoy would be the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.On the field, he is a record-setting quarterback for a Texas team expected to contend for a national championship. Off the field, McCoy is the type of guy fathers want their daughters to marry.
He does missionary work in South America, doesn't cuss and downs milk instead of soft drinks. In the summers, his West Texas roots beckon him to his granddaddy's farm for hours of backbreaking work baling hay. McCoy and his dad even helped save a man who almost drowned a few years ago.
But 2009 is a unique year in Heisman history.
Formation will determine the tight end.
The Longhorns love Halle Berry.
The typical Texas Longhorn football player stands 6-foot-2, weighs 230 pounds and likes to listen to music in the locker room before the game. He loves watching SportsCenter, playing Madden or NCAA Football video games, and will tell you he came to Texas because of the family atmosphere. Also, he loves Halle Berry.
Austin Blogger has videos of the Longhorns' Fan Day.
In the continuing theme of our 2008 embittered season...
Someone had to get the shaft, so that's where we came in.
As long as there's a living, breathing Texas Longhorn fan on the planet, there's going to be a bitterness surrounding the 2008 season that wasn't taken away by a thrilling last-minute win over Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl or Oklahoma's loss to Florida in the BCS Championship, and won't be taken away by a national title this year.
It was the emptiness of not getting a fair shot. Texas beat Oklahoma (as if every Texas fan won't have this score tattooed on the brain for all eternity) 45-35, yet had to sit back and watch the Sooners dismantle Missouri in the Big 12 title game and had to endure Sam Bradford's acceptance speech for the Heisman (while being mocked by Billy Sims and the inane screams of "Boomer!"), and had to do it all while trying to focus on the Fiesta Bowl.
Mack Brown is giving up on the Bowl Championship Series?
Texas, which lost to Texas Tech during the regular season, ended up with a Fiesta Bowl bid and a long offseason of BCS complaints.
But the griping stops here, Brown said. No more "Woe is Texas" card, which even Brown himself was apt to play while making well-timed, but ultimately fruitless, voter appeals on ESPN in late November.
"We need to quit worrying about the system and the BCS," Brown said. "If we beat Texas Tech, we play in the championship game."
There's only one championship formula that works, as Brown learned in 2005 when Texas went 13-0 and took the BCS title.
"Let's just win all the games," Brown said.
"I thought Lucas was making progress on offense," Sherman said. "I hate moving guys around, but I felt like more than anything else that the development of the young defensive linemen has been very slow. We really need to have Lucas on defense. He’ll help us be better on defense, and ultimately that was the answer. I would still prefer to have him on offense if all things were even, but they weren’t. We just needed a run-stopper on defense and that’s what he is. He’s an unselfish player and said he’ll do whatever it takes to win and help us be a better football team. If he had his preference I think he’d rather be on offense, he made that commitment, but he saw the same things I saw. I’m glad we did it."
Sherman did say that Tannehill, who set A&M freshman records for receptions and receiving yardage last season, would remain at quarterback.
"Ryan's going to be a heck of a quarterback here," Sherman said. "Are there going to be some situations where he'll be on the field? Possibly. But right now, we're still focusing on the quarterback aspect of it."
What's so important about the Georgia game?
Why it's huge: It's a statement game. This game will go a long way to proving if OSU is worthy of all the preseason hype. Georgia, ranked No. 13 in the nation, comes into Stillwater with plenty of athletes and the respect the elite SEC commands. Why it isn't: If OSU loses, many of the Cowboys' goals remain reachable. Even with a setback in Game 1, no more losses means Big 12 championship and a first-ever BCS berth.
The Cowboys have the 10th best recruiting class for 2010.
"The two of them together make a very special backfield," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "Those guys, there are not a lot of teams around the country with two thousand-yard rushers side by side … The two of them give us a lot of opportunities back there."
Besides the obvious, of being able to have a fresh running back on the field at all times, it’s the tandem’s versatility that separates it from the rest of the pack.
Both Murray and Brown rushed for over 1,000 yards last season, but they also caught touchdown passes — four for Murray and one for Brown — and along with averaging more than 5 yards per carry.
Chris Brown has improved during the offseason.
Running backs coach Cale Gundy has a theory as to why Brown has made such impressive leaps during the offseason. It has to do with the fact Brown was healthy heading into the offseason for the first time.
"This has been his first offseason he's had a chance to go through with coach [Jerry] Schmidt and our strength coaches," Gundy said. "He's had some offseasons where he had his knee scoped and got it cleaned up and he hasn't gone through spring.
"He hasn't had a chance to lift for six months at some times, and there's no doubt he's faster."
The Sooners have a mission statement for 2009:
"We’ve got to finish," said McCoy, who last season rose to the elite circle of the nation’s defensive tackles. "We haven’t done that since I’ve been here.
"We’ve won three Big 12 championships in a row, but we haven’t won the big one. We haven’t won that bowl game or finished off right.
"That’s what I’ve been shouting to everyone — we’ve got to get that done."
Ivan Maisel and Tim Griffin preview the Big 12 Conference.
When it comes to the Heisman, the Big 12 conference has dominated the scene since 1996.
The Southeastern Conference can claim superiority with three consecutive national championships. But the SEC and the rest of college football has to take a back seat to the Big 12 Conference when it comes to the sport's iconic individual award.
In the 13 years the Big 12 has been in existence, it has been dominant when it comes to the Heisman Trophy voting. It has had four winners - Ricky Williams of Texas in 1998, Eric Crouch of Nebraska in 2001, Jason White of Oklahoma in 2001 and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma last year. The Pacific-10 and Big Ten conferences each have three Heisman winners since 1996.
The North Division has become the South's chew toy. The South dominates the North.
Considering trends and projections and other leading indicators, anyway, at least one aspect of the Big 12 season ahead is predictable:
A team from the South Division will make a chew-toy of a team from the North in the title game and put itself in position to play for the national title.
The South, after all, went 15-3 vs. the North last season and has owned at least a four-game edge over its northern brethren six of the last seven seasons.
More emphatically, it also has seized six of the last seven Big 12 titles, including the last five by an average of more than 35 points.
Missouri plans to run the ball more this season.
Tiger linebacker Sean Witherspoon has had quite a collegiate journey.
Sean Weatherspoon has become larger than life.
From little-known and underrated linebacker out of Jasper, Texas, to special-teams mad man. To All-Big 12 linebacker. To preseason All-American, according to ESPN’s selection.
Talk linebacker at Missouri, and you’re talking No. 12. Sean Weatherspoon. Not only the uber-quotable mouth that roars off the field, but more important, on it. Spoon not only draws the spotlight, but he also fills it.
Are they trying to tell us something? And this is the student newspaper: Missouri football prepares for fall.
A standout tight end and basketball player at McPherson (Kan.) High, he measured 6 feet 6 and 230 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds. He jumped 30 inches high flat-footed during his vertical test. He was more than a pretty good athlete.
Now, a year into his KU career, Hawkinson has switched from tight end to defensive end to left tackle, and he doesn’t really know what he is anymore. He does know that he has put on about 45 pounds, which certainly means he won’t be the same basketball player the next time he takes the court.
"I haven’t played since the weight gain," Hawkinson said. "I’ll probably have to throw my body around down there a little bit more than I used to."
The most obvious was Henery, who arguably was one of the most valuable Cornhuskers last season. His dramatic school-record 57-yard field goal against Colorado -- one of four in a 40-31 triumph over the Buffaloes -- helped boost the Cornhuskers into the Gator Bowl.
Henery then added four field goals in the bowl game, providing the margin of victory in a 26-21 triumph over Clemson. It capped a season when he converted 26 of 29 field goals.
The coaches' poll may be public after all.
So beginning Tuesday, SI.com will file records requests with the employer of each of the 51 public school coaches who vote in the 2009 poll. If the schools comply with the law, we should get a look at every ballot. Legal action may be required if schools refuse to comply, but if a recent case involving Florida State and the NCAA is any indication, judges likely will support the people asking that highly paid public employees be held accountable for their actions. Every ballot we receive will be published.
The SEC has lost some of its grip on NFL talent supremacy.
The Big 12 and SEC have battled to be considered the country's premier college football conference the past several years. Examining the former's top senior talent makes it easy to understand why the latter's grip on NCAA supremacy has loosened just a bit.
Three or four players from the Big 12 are typically drafted in the first round, but as many as seven of the players listed below could fit the bill this year.
Add in Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy -- both juniors -- and young Oklahoma State star wide receiver Dez Bryant, and this year's top 32 could have a very strong Big 12 flavor.
We want things to be the way they used to be.
I want chaos this college football season.
I want the University of Florida Gators to lose. Stumble on their road to immortality. Put the kibosh on those plans of going No. 1 wire-to-wire.