2 days until the Louisiana-Monroe game
They don't need a lot of words. Just action.
"None of us on defense are really vocal guys," Houston said. "We just say things when it’s necessary."
This just speaks for itself... (This is a great article on Sergio Kindle.)
Before third downs last season, Texas defensive ends Brian Orakpo and Sergio Kindle broke from the huddle like a pair of college students who had just determined where to spend a Saturday afternoon.
"I'll meet you at the quarterback," they said to each other before embarking on mad dashes toward the offensive backfield for a Longhorns defense that led the nation with 47 sacks.
Vondrell McGee was the starting tailback in 2008, but things changed during the season. He's back as the starter for the opener.
“He's actually using his size to an advantage. He's running more downhill bowling ball style. He's a fast bowling ball though,” Kindle said. “I think he's figured out he's an upper classman of the running backs, and he has to step into that role and be that leader of those guys.”
McGee said the running backs want to take the pressure off McCoy to do everything this season.
Up at rival Oklahoma, Sam Bradford won the Heisman while the Sooners had two 1,000-yard rushers in Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray.
“I don't think Colt would have a problem with that,” McGee said. “It helped Bradford. We need to do the same for Colt.”
Meet some more freshmen. Today we get introductions to Tevin Mims, Patrick Nkwopara, Alex Okafor and Garrett Porter.
Dennis Dodd puts out CBSSports' top 25. Pretty much the same as everyone else.
1. Florida: Well, duh. Freshman sensation Andre Debose might need surgery to repair a partially torn hamstring tendon. Someone (or some persons) should be able to replace Percy Harvin. Best-case scenario: The first undefeated season in program history. Worst-case scenario: Tim Tebow injures his throwing hand in a bar fight.
2. Texas: Vondrell McGee was named starting tailback this week. Anything to relieve pressure on McCoy is a good thing. Best-case scenario: Brown decides to start running it up with impunity to impress the BCS computers. Worst-case scenario: Oklahoma runs it up in the Red River Rivalry.
3. Oklahoma: Stoops is laying off criticizing the offensive line because he knows it's going to be great. Best-case scenario: Bradford wins a second Heisman. Worst-case scenario: Bradford gets his jersey dirty. (He was sacked only 13 times last season.)
40 Acre Sports has their own questions about the 2009 season.
The Longhorns have a chip on their shoulder. A Texas-sized chip on their shoulder.
If you believe in dynasties and the odds and Florida quarterback Tim Tebow's insatiable quest for perfection, go with the Gators.
If you believe in symmetry, karma, cycles, Texas is your team.
Head coach Charlie Weatherby talks about the UT game.
Ryan Tannehill as a multiple choice question. What will Mike Sherman do with Tannehill?
Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman doesn't have a quarterback controversy. However, he does have to decide how best to utilize backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill. That's been cause for debate, and it could become a controversy.
Is Tannehill best suited to be:
A. the backup quarterback.
B. a wide receiver.
C. the starting quarterback by season's end.
D. all of the above.
There is no easy answer, and Tannehill's talented enough that any decision could be right. At least that's been the case thus far.
The Aggies want to start a winning tradition...again.
"One thing about being a senior is leaving a legacy, or starting a legacy," Pugh said. "You have your young guys coming in and you see the progress and the uprise that A&M is on, and you want to start that legacy. You want to start that winning tradition."
Dallas Morning News has a preview of the A&M-New Mexico game.
The Pokes must still be a little miffed.
The Cowboys may not play nice with the Bulldogs this Saturday.
Coach Mike Gundy says he’s torn over whether Oklahoma State should shake hands with the Georgia Bulldogs before their opening game. In an attempt to promote sportsmanship, the American Football Coaches Association has requested that all teams shake hands with their opponents before their opening game. But Gundy fears such a gesture might result in a brawl.
That self-imposed media blackout really didn't help much.
So much for Mike Gundy's media blackout allowing Oklahoma State to better focus as the team prepares for its huge opener against Georgia Saturday afternoon.
When Gundy announced the 10-day blackout, he said it was intended to increase the team's sharpness for a game that most observers are calling the most ballyhooed opener in the school's history.
But if that were the case, Gundy's plan appears to have failed after two negative headlines in the last 24 hours.
And there's more. It is not a good day to be a Cowboy.
Senior cornerback Perrish Cox, sophomore tight end Jamal Mosley and freshman running back Dexter Pratt all have run afoul of the law recently. Cox was arrested Friday following a traffic stop for driving with a suspended license. Pratt, while already awaiting trial for marijuana possession, was picked up for speeding last week, going between 25 and 30 mph over the speed limit.
And Mosley left the team Tuesday, just days after a protective order was issued against him. Oh, and Mosley was also awaiting trial for the same marijuana charge as Pratt.
And just to pour salt into a pretty big wound, senior linebacker Orie Lemon – the quarterback of the defense – tore a knee ligament and was ruled out for the season on Tuesday.
There is some good news. The judge dropped the protection order against Jamal Mosley.
There is also bad news. Dr. Saturday thinks someone won't make it out alive.
Either way -- barring a miracle thriller of a game that somehow leaves both sides feeling optimistic -- one team's dreams for the season will scrape the ceiling Saturday night, and the other's will be left in pieces. Which is everything you can ask from an opener, I think.
Boone Pickens is certainly excited about the season. Probably just anticipating that ROI.
Pickens has a serious case of Cowboy fever. The billionaire OSU alum, who spent a huge wad of his dough to bring the school's facilities into the 21st century, dreams about the Pokes being 11-0 heading into their Bedlam battle at Oklahoma.
"It would be big," Pickens told the Dallas Morning News of an 11-0 start. "I haven't been there. It would probably make me pee in my pants."
Right... Offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson shocked reporters by telling them that the tight end is as good at center as Jon Cooper was last season. The guys over at Barking Carnival like to watch Wilson's lips move.
"He’s as good as the guy that played last year, right now,” Wilson said. "He blocks those big guys we got who are as good as anybody we’ll see, right now.”
When asked if he really was saying that Eldridge, despite only playing the position for a month, was as good as Cooper, a 4-year starter who earned first-team All-Big 12 honors last season, Wilson didn’t budge.
"He’s our best lineman,” Wilson said of Eldridge. "Trent (Williams) is the most talented guy, but Brody is the most consistent.”
The Sooner defense wants to make a lasting impression.
"When we come on the field, I want people to actually be scared of us," OU's All-American tackle said. "I want them thinking, 'Golly, I don't know if I want to go against these guys.'
"When they look at us, they'll see a bunch of animals. And I feel we can be that way."
I'm just going to let that animal reference go...
The BYU-OU game will be the first Heisman showdown of the season.
As the first trio of Heisman Trophy finalists to all return for another year in college, Sam Bradford, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy seem destined to have a block of hotel rooms reserved in their name in New York come December.
BYU's Max Hall will get the first chance to try to crash that party.
Sam Bradford has focused on becoming a better team leader.
Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford said you work on becoming a more vocal leader.
"It’s something I have grown into," Bradford said. "I think my personality is pretty laid-back. I’m pretty quiet normally. The more I have played here, the more comfortable I feel with being louder and more vocal with guys.
The Sooners know all about that compliance office. Bob Stoops is very careful when it comes to offseason workouts.
"We submit what we do to our compliance department and our compliance people are around quite often to check the times we submit and to see the times we're on the field," he said. "They're around often and we welcome them. In the end, you have to stick to a timeline that you have to work with in."
OU doesn't want too many neutral site games.
"I don't think anybody's looking to take games away from Norman, Okla., very often," Stoops said Tuesday. "I know (athletic director) Joe (Castiglione) is very sensitive to that. I don't know what the numbers are but in this community, for our university, for the whole community and the town, you don't want to see it very much. We're not looking to do it very much at all."
CBS Sports has a BYU game preview.
The Quad has Oklahoma at No. 4 in the countdown.
If you want to be a quarterback in the NFL, don't play in the Big 12 conference.
The real question mark is at running back or quarterback. You won’t have success at the next level. Period. It may sound direct and insulting, but look at the numbers.
The Big 12 puts out quarterbacks like Graham Harrell, Chase Daniel, Jason White and Eric Crouch. All have won the Heisman Memorial Trophy or been on national championship-caliber teams, but all are doing something other than what they graduated college hoping to do.
There are more starting quarterbacks and running backs that graduated from a Conference USA school than a Big 12 school. There are more NFL players at running back and quarterback that graduated from a directional school in Illinois, i.e. Southern Illinois, than there are that graduated from Big 12 schools.
Big 12 games ESPN's Tim Griffin cannot wait to see.
Kansas State will have a lot of new names and faces this season.
As expected, the Wildcats will rely heavily on newcomers and first-time starters. The two-deep features 10 players who weren't with the program last season, plus two Division I transfers (defensive tackle Jeffrey Fitzgerald and punter Ryan Doerr) and two grayshirt freshmen (tight end Travis Tannahill and fullback Braden Wilson).
"Of the newcomers, we'll probably have seven or eight that will get on the field," coach Bill Snyder said. "A couple of them will be starters. It's strictly performance in comparison to what the competition has been."
Another animal on the field. The starting free safety for the Cyclones is a walk-on.
"He is an animal," quarterback Austen Arnaud said.
Because of his desire to stay on the field, his intelligence and his versatility in the secondary, O’Connell has been named the starting free safety for Thursday’s season opener against North Dakota State.
"He has been the most productive safety," ISU coach Paul Rhoads said.
Iowa State is ready for a new beginning.
Quarterback Austen Arnaud says the Cyclones will look to avenge last season's poor finish right away. But Arnaud says that while the losing streak is in the back of players' minds, it's a new era under Rhoads and the players are eager to get going.
Experience is not always a plus. The returning Cyclone starters were part of a team that struggled the whole season.
Iowa State will have seven returning starters on defense when it opens the season against North Dakota State on Thursday night.
Yes, that means they have a lot of experience. But that’s seven starters from a defense that was absolutely woeful. Opponents generally ran on the Cyclones when they wanted, completed passes at a dizzying rate and lit up scoreboards with points.
Bo Pelini does not like nine win seasons.
"I’m excited because I didn’t think we had a great season," Pelini told reporters at his weekly news conference. "I didn’t come here to win nine games, and that’s why I’m excited for this season."
He wants a perfect game every Saturday.
"Unfortunately for me and everybody around me I have that level of anxiety no matter what," Pelini said during his weekly press conference. "I want us to play really well… I hope we light up on both sides of the football and play a perfect football game."
Of course, Pelini adds, he’s realistic enough to know that’s not going to happen.
"But you can either settle or want more," Pelini said. "Right?"
Nebraska has a defensive player you need to watch.
Ndamukong Suh has drawn more attention than any Husker player this offseason, but the guy lining up next to him might be worth paying some notice on Saturday when the Huskers open the season against Florida Atlantic.
Sophomore Jared Crick, a 6--foot-6, 285-pound native of Cozad, has had an impressive camp and may reap the benefits of playing next to Suh.
Kyle Ringo, Daily Camera, has a crystal ball.
Quarterback Tyler Hansen will start the season opener for Colorado on Sunday night against Colorado State. It`s a gut feeling that could be totally wrong. The sophomore seems to have made some significant progress and probably has a bigger upside in the long run than Cody Hawkins.
Jayhawk freshman receiver Bradley McDougald is drawing high praise.
Hey, when your coach — who happens to be a guy not typically prone to hyperbole — calls you the most impressive true freshman he has seen in his eight years as a head coach, you figure you’re going to get some questions about it.
FYI. The Bears have a starting quarterback. No QB controversy here.
Baylor's electrifying quarterback, Robert Griffin, wasted no time revealing the difference between opening day of his freshman season last year and opening day this season.
I'm the starter," Griffin deadpanned on Tuesday afternoon. "And that's a big difference."
Indeed it is.
Wake Forest has been surfing. The Deacons have kept close tabs on Robert Griffin by googling.
The Wake Forest defense has done its homework. In addition to their routine study of game film, some of the Deacs looked up Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin on the internet. They know he goes by RG3. They read he might be the fastest quarterback in FBS history. (He’s also a world-class hurdler.) And they know the dual-threat quarterback will present a legitimate early challenge to a group that graduated seven starters on defense, including some of the most talented players to ever come through the program.
Baylor is better prepared for Wake Forest than they were last year.
"Last year was very uncomfortable," Griffin said. "There were a lot of unknowns for us. We had a new quarterback, a new coach, just a whole new philosophy and system. It was pretty tough."
By the time Griffin entered early in the second quarter, the Demon Deacons had charged to a 17-0 lead. The freshman had a credible appearance with flashes of productivity, but it was too late as Wake claimed a decisive 41-13 victory.
Only a year later, those bad memories are in the past for the Bears as they come into the season a fashionable pick as one of the nation’s surprise teams.
The Bears need to win in September to go bowling in December.
The Bears don’t have the luxury of easing into their schedule. The Demon Deacons are coming off three straight bowl appearances, and have a senior quarterback in Riley Skinner who has directed 26 wins during that span.
"Wake Forest will be as formidable an opponent as we could have asked for," said Baylor coach Art Briles at his Tuesday press conference. "But you play the cards that are dealt, and we’re dealing with them, and we’ll take care of business. Our guys are intense and focused and know what they’ve got to do. We’ve got to stop saying and start playing."
The Red Raiders are remodeling.
The Red Raiders enjoyed what might have been their best season in 2008, winning 11 games and a share of their first division title in the Big 12 Conference, along with earning a program-best No. 2 national ranking.
Those are some huge cleats to fill. So how do the Red Raiders, who were not ranked among the top 25 in college football’s two major preseason polls, feel about a perceived dropoff in 2009?
"Just get ready," Taylor Potts said with a grin and a gleam in his eyes.
As far as the Red Raiders are concerned, they’re not exactly rebuilding this season. They’re simply remodeling, if not upgrading, the roster.
What would be a good motto for Tech's season?
What better describes the Red Raiders’ goals for 2009 than "Let’s Do It Again." As in, win 10 games in a row. As in, beat Texas. As in, persuade, by sheer force of an undefeated record, ESPN’s College Football Game Day crew to set up shop in Lubbock. As in, climb to No. 2 in the rankings. As in, play nine straight games on national television. As in, be so relevant as to make it impossible to be ignored.
We are the Joneses. Tech wants to keep up with the Joneses.
Tech athletic director Gerald Myers said the Longhorns’ athletic budget was roughly $126 million in the 2009 fiscal year, the largest in college sports and more than two-and-a-half times the size of Tech’s.
"It makes us feel great to know we’re as competitive as we are with the resources we have," said Bobby Gleason, Tech’s deputy athletic director and chief financial officer.
Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford are a lot alike.
Basically, Bradford is Colt McCoy wearing a Sooners jersey.
"We lost two games last year," Bradford said when asked if he can improve upon his sophomore season. "I feel like I was responsible for part of the losses in both of those games. So obviously there's room to improve.
"It might not be statistically, but in the win-loss, a loss is on me. I'm the quarterback, the leader of this offense, so I feel like I want to improve on that. To not lose a game this year, that would be a great improvement."
Doesn't that sound like a certain Longhorns quarterback?
Pete has our support. Colt McCoy is Pete Flutak's leader for the Heisman.
Going into the season, McCoy is the odds-on favorite mainly because it's his turn with Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford having already won the Award. Texas is also the benefit-of-the-doubt team going into the season after getting the short end of the stick in the Big 12 South and national title shakeout. He's a good guy who's a favorite of the media, he has carried the Longhorns with his legs as well as his arm, and he'll have every opportunity to be the leader in the race all season long if Texas keeps winning. Of course, if Sam Bradford and Oklahoma win the Red River Rivalry, the campaign will be over.
No. Wrong reason. Why does the LA Times think Colt McCoy will win the Heisman?
Why he'll win: It's his turn.
The Other Stuff
Trivia. How many teams started the season at No. 1 and then went on to win the national championship?
Only two teams in history -- Southern California in 2004 and Florida State in 1999 -- have ever started the season No. 1 and held onto the top spot for the entire season en route to winning a national title.
Does former Texas coach Gene Chizik define The Peter Principle?
In 1969, a Canadian teacher named Laurence J. Peter teamed with journalist Raymond Hull to pen The Peter Principle. That principle, according its namesake, is this: "In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." In other words, any competent worker will continue to be promoted until he eventually reaches a job he isn't capable of performing.
Be sure to wash your hands. And don't get too close. Teams are trying to prevent the swine flu from spreading.
As players across Texas and the nation prepare for a new season, the high-tech world of college football is taking on the essential dynamics of a second-grade health class.
"Wash your hands," said Mike O'Shea, head athletic trainer at the University of Houston. "Stay away from guys if they're sneezing. If you feel sick, go to the health center."
Such are the dynamics of flu and football as the first full weekend of the college season approaches.
A field of dreams...except this is football. A Cornhusker fan built his own football field.