Bevo's Daily Roundup - September 29, 2009

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What? All the hand wringing about McCoy and the Horns and now you say this?

After all, as chaos has reigned supreme throughout college football during the first four weeks, the No. 2 Longhorns have coasted to four easy victories and put themselves in perfect position as they prepare for a four-game gantlet that will determine the fate of the 2009 season.

Here's 10 things about college football from our favorite Austin American-Statesman columnist.

So Texas punked UT-El Paso, as we all expected, and Colt McCoy re-establishes himself as a Heisman favorite.

They let Sooners be flight attendants? We get the last laugh.

Father and son, Hugo and Alec Zuniga, flew to Austin on Friday to cheer on UTEP and to watch UT Austin's quarterback Colt McCoy in action.

They remember laughing as the flight attendant, an Oklahoma Sooners fan, cheered for UTEP over the plane's intercom.

 

 

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Is A&M for real this season? The Aggies are unbeaten, unranked and heading to Arlington to take on Arkansas. We'll know soon enough.

Finally, the invisibility cloak will be removed from Texas A&M when the Aggies (3-0) head to Arlington for Saturday’s showdown (6:30 p.m. kickoff) against Arkansas (1-2) at Cowboys Stadium.

Most fans, as well as ESPN2 viewers, probably will be surprised to learn that the Aggies will arrive in Tarrant County with a team that leads the nation in both offense (574.3 yards per game) and sacks (4.7 per game). That’s a pretty impressive double, regardless of who you’ve been playing.

And that is the primary issue that keeps these Aggies from getting more love from poll voters — the teams they’ve been playing. A&M has dispatched three opponents with a combined record of 2-9, including Saturday’s 56-19 wipeout of UAB.

 

 

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Oklahoma State

What did we learn about the Cowboys in nonconference play?

OSU likes amusement parks, especially roller coasters. The Pokes have been on a wild ride.

The first four games of the season have been like a ride on the Texas Giant at Six Flags over Texas for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. A trip on the renowned roller coaster has mirrored what the Pokes have gone through during their non-conference schedule.

 

Oklahoma

Sam Bradford is doing more in practice, but his playing status is still unclear.

But whether the Heisman winner will play Saturday at Miami is a decision that won't be made until later this week, coach Bob Stoops said Monday night.

"It will be determined on how we go through the week, on how he performs, on how he feels," Stoops said. "To make sure he can make all the throws we need him to make. Until we go through practices, I won't know that."

What are the pros and cons of playing against Miami?

But Bob Stoops must turn Solomon in deciding who to quarterback against the Hurricanes.

Balancing team needs and Bradford needs is dicey. Sometimes congruent, sometimes not.

If doctors say Bradford is completely healed, then the decision is easy and Miami beware.

But if doctors say Bradford is mostly healed and can play, Stoops starts weighing pros and cons.

There are some big questions for the Sooners. One of the biggest is about DeMarcus Granger.

The senior defensive tackle is still working his way back from offseason back surgery. Before the season, he said he would be taking his time and not returning until he was ready. That’s been the case. Granger is practicing, but has yet to play in a game. He also hasn’t appeared on the depth chart since the season began.

Once he is fully healthy, it still might be awhile before he finds a spot in the rotation of a loaded Sooners defensive line.

As a sophomore, Granger started 11 games, earning an All-Big 12 second team nod, but he hasn’t made a start since the 2007 season.

Bradford must be wearing a sign... Just blame it all on me.

Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford suffered a significant shoulder injury in the season’s first week. Since then, several other headline-making quarterbacks have gone down as well.

Bob Stoops, wedding planner. Don't plan to get married during football season.

 

 

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Big 12 Players of the Week:

CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Iowa State RB Alexander Robinson,
jr., Minneapolis, Minn. (De La Salle)
Missouri WR Danario Alexander, sr., Marlin, Texas

BIG 12 DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Texas S Earl Thomas, so., Orange, Texas (West Orange Stark)

BIG 12 SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kansas State WR/KR Brandon Banks, sr., Garner, N.C. (Garner H.S./Bakersfield College)


The North

North Division title hopes are alive and well in Nebraska.

In four nonconference games, Nebraska (3-1) showed us plenty. Above all, the 25th-ranked Huskers showed they should be considered the clear-cut favorites to finish first in the Big 12 North. Yes, clear-cut. Let’s make that distinction now. They showed us that, in a one-game scenario, you can’t rule out Big Red winning all the Big 12 marbles.

The Cornhusker defense has been impressive in nonconference play, but real tests are coming.

"We're playing with a swagger now," defensive end Pierre Allen said. "Last year we were trying to find our way around. Now we believe in our scheme. We believe in our coaches. We believe in each other."

Missouri has to run the ball better.

"It is a bit of a concern," Pinkel said. "In this offense, there are lot of ways to look at it When we had Chase Daniel, if teams overloaded on run (defense), we just wouldn’t run it. We’d just throw 15 times in a row until they loosened up. The spread offense is designed to open up the running lanes, but how much do you want to throw it with a young QB? We are going to work to make it better. I agree that we’re not running as much as I would have liked … We have to run the ball better, period."

Who are the biggest surprises for the Jayhawks this season?

Todd Reesing is well protected.

"I think when you look at the amount of plays that we played on offense, I don't think he was under a great deal of pressure," Mangino said Sunday. "There were some instances where he was on a couple blitzes and stuff. Looking at the tape, he had a lot of time to throw most of his passes, so I don't think there's anything we need to do differently."

Are Colorado fans rational?

A certain percentage of Buff faithful want to believe their program is -- or at least should be -- on par with the Big 12 and national elite. If Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska enjoy success on an annual basis, they reason, so can Colorado. After all, the Buffaloes did compete with those schools, and every other program in the nation, for the better part of a decade.

But what some CU folks can't admit, even to themselves, is that the McCartney glory years were an aberration, not the norm. Those years were the result of a "perfect storm" that is not likely to form again anytime soon.

Has attrition played a role in Colorado's woes this year?

Josh Smith, the receiver who racked up the all-purpose yards last year, transferred. Chris Perri would have been a senior defensive tackle this year. He’s gone. Guard Kai Maiava isn’t around; he might have helped a green offensive line. Same with pass rusher Drew Hudgins on the defensive line.

There are others. Lots of others.

Every college football program deals with attrition; CU is no different. The question is whether attrition at CU has been so excessive that it has become, to coach Dan Hawkins, a big problem.


The South

Things are not good in Lubbock. Brandon Carter gets suspended indefinitely and twitter accounts have been censored.

"The policy is nothing football related outside of football," Leach said Monday during his weekly news conference. "Any way you look at it, little Twitter things that relate to football is a violation of team rules. If somebody plays for us, they don’t have a Twitter account."

Leach said players’ Facebook accounts will be monitored to make sure they don’t disclose sensitive team information.

All-American offensive lineman Brandon Carter and fellow senior Marlon Williams, the Red Raiders’ leading tackler this season from his linebacker position, both expressed disappointment with Tech’s 2-2 start. On Sunday afternoon, Williams also wrote, "Wondering why I’m still in this meeting room when the head coach can’t even be on time to his on (sic) meeting."

ESPN's Tim Griffin wasn't impressed with Leach's decision not to go for field goal in the fourth quarter.

It was obvious that the hot, humid conditions at Robertson Stadium contributed greatly to the problem with cramping for both Houston and Texas Tech Saturday night. But those sticky conditions still can’t explain the brain cramp that Leach suffered when he passed on a field goal that would have given his team an eight-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. That decision went against all conventional wisdom because it would have forced the Cougars to score a touchdown and a two-point conversion to merely tie the game. Leach’s red-zone hubris ended up costing the Red Raiders the game.

Kevin Sherrington, Dallas Morning News, makes a good observation.

For a guy who speaks his mind so freely and in such an entertaining fashion, it's always been interesting to me that Mike Leach doesn't appreciate the quality in his own Texas Tech players.

He restricts access to them during the season, often allowing only a handful to speak to the media at all. And now he has reportedly banned Twitter accounts after a couple of posts last weekend in the wake of the team's second loss, this one to Houston.

After the loss of Robert Griffin and the backup quarterback Blake Szymanski, Art Briles does not want sympathy.

"Our guys, they'll adjust. And they'll fight.

On not being the type of coach to want people to feel sorry for him:
"Baylor is in good hands. We have good people on the field and good administration and we'll move in the right direction. We'll have good support."

 

 

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Does it make any sense to have Oklahoma State at No. 12 and Houston at No. 15? Dr. Saturday asks if the poll voters have any common sense.

It is September, and earnest poll-gazing is premature, to say the least. But a month into the season, is it too much to ask the AP, coaches and Harris polls reflect the slightest shred of common sense?

The BCS party crashers may be around for a while.

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