Bevo's Daily Roundup - January 28, 2010

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We are skidding...

Their big man has all but disappeared. Their free throw shooting ranks among the worst in the country. They've lost two games in a row after the best start in school history.

The No. 6 Texas Longhorns are struggling just two weeks after earning the first No. 1 ranking in school history.

After two straight loses, the Horns dropped to No. 6.

Upon further review, Rick Barnes said that he did not sufficiently prepare the Longhorns for handling the reaction from opponents to the school's first ever No. 1 ranking.

"I don't think I did a good enough job of talking about when you become the No. 1 team in the country, you are under attack," Barnes said.

That's not an issue anymore.

That pesky free throw issue just won't go away.

The Longhorns have been futile at free throw shooting, their 62.2 accuracy ranking 314th among 334 NCAA Division I teams and last in the Big 12.

Since the NCAA tournament field was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, only one national champion has converted fewer than 65.5 percent of their free throws, when Connecticut hit 62.3 in 2004.

The Longhorns were below the national average of 69 percent in 2008-09, hitting 66.8, but they've outdone themselves this season.

It is time to start thinking about the NCAA tournament.

Rough week for the Longhorns, who went from the undisputed No. 1 team to a squad that almost looks too talented for its own good. Coach Rick Barnes has some tough choices regarding minutes for his players—it's difficult to find a consistent rhythm with 10 guys averaging at least 13 minutes a game.

 

Football

Bonuses abound. Longhorn football assistant coaches got bonuses this year.

The Texas assistant football coaches won't receive raises until possibly September, but they still will be given bonuses for helping direct the Longhorns to the national championship game.

Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds said the decision for the coaches not to receive bumps in their base salaries was based on the economic downturn affecting the university.

Texas has a great recruiting class, even if it doesn't have a guy named Jeffcoat.

Colt McCoy's character should never have been an issue.

Until he played just five snaps in the Rose Bowl, Colt's integrity as a football player was not a matter of debate. No one questioned his toughness. In four years, he never missed a start. No one questioned his leadership, either.

But ever since he and his dad walked out of the Rose Bowl locker room together, Colt's character has been up for grabs.

 

 

Baseball

The Horns will be in Houston March 5-7 for the 2010 Houston College Classic at Minute Maid Park. Tickets are now on sale. There is also a fan appreciation day this Saturday and a women's baseball clinic on February 16.

 

 

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"Illinois and Indiana will make $9 million more from its televisions contracts this year," 
Missouri athletic director Mike Alden told the Star.
"Arkansas and Mississippi will make even more. That's our comparison.
In five years, they'll have generated almost $50 million more than us
without selling a ticket."

Is it something we said? Missouri may not want to hang out with us anymore.

Five weeks ago the Big Ten Conference announced an exploratory mission to expand its membership from 11 universities, and Missouri is one of the schools frequently mentioned as possible recruit.

Emotions ran high in the days after the Big Ten news. MU chancellor Brady Deaton said an invitation would be evaluated. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon all but said he would rather the state’s flagship school hang out with Northwestern and Wisconsin than Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, and that didn’t sit well with Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe.

"I would only say that all of this has to be handled respectfully between member institutions and the conference," Beebe said.

Missouri said it would consider its options.

There's an arms race in the conference.

An arms race is definitely on in the Big 12, as men and women's teams rival the best programs in the country for the top players, and wowing these young people and their families during a recruiting visit is all part of it. You can easily hear a coach telling a recruit and his family - this will be your home for the next four or five years. Everything you need to be the best player and student is all in this building. You will practice and study, play and relax, right here in your new home. This is your house.

Yes, I'm still hearing the line from the movie, and it's true in the case of the Big 12. They are building the facilities, and the people and players are indeed coming.

 

Basketball

Iowa State basketball player Lucca Staiger took his ball and went home. Literally.

Iowa State basketball player Lucca Staiger's decision to take his ball and go home to Germany to play professionally is unconscionable. You don't give up on your teammates in midseason. Happened at Florida, and will happen again somewhere else. Even Texas' Dogus Balbay had to sit after playing in Turkey, even though he wasn't paid. Makes you wonder why college coaches invest in foreign players who seem to have a different mind-set than some American-born players.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor no longer has a Facebook account.

"You will never ask me another question about that," Kansas University coach Bill Self said Friday during a pre-Iowa State media session in Allen Fieldhouse. "It won’t be a problem from this point forward. Ever," he added, strongly implying he has told Taylor to cease and desist all social-media postings with severe consequences if the sophomore guard disobeys orders."

 

Football

Bob Stoops went out and recruited some offensive linemen.

The Sooners' offensive line is perilously thin after graduating its two most experienced players in Trent Williams and Brian Simmons.

This spring, OU has only nine scholarship offensive linemen.

It seems the Buffs may be doing some fundraising.

Over the weekend, the Denver Post reported that Denver energy magnate (and CU grad) George Solich is spearheading a group that aims to raise $50 million from 50 people.

If such a plan indeed comes to fruition -- and given Solich`s background, I wouldn`t want to bet against him -- it could be the beginning of a new era of CU athletics.

 

He just won't go away.

 

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Playing college football has changed drastically over the past 20 years.

"It’s a whole different landscape than it once was, and we’ve made it that way as a society," says Watson, Nebraska's 50-year-old offensive coordinator, pointing to pervasive media coverage, big money, recruiting hyperbole, et al. "It’s football, football, football. It’s our national pastime. It generates a whole different life for these kids today. I mean, it’s a job. It’s a gigantic commitment."

A realistic Horned Frog? The Daily Skiff, TCU's daily paper, addresses ESPN.com's writer Ivan Maisel's top 10 college football programs of the 2000s.

The Horned Frogs are yet to prove anything on a national scale. When that happens, TCU deserves its spot on the list. Until then, we don't need pats on the head and, "Aww, that's cute."

 

And finally...

Quiz time. Lane Kiffin has entertained all of us with his recruiting antics, but how easy is it to follow the NCAA rules?

Universities have compliance officers — sometimes teams of them — whose job it is to sift through the NCAA manual’s 49-page recruiting section to make perfectly clear to its coaching staff that, for example, it’s OK to attend the funeral of a recruit’s family member, but only if no recruiting occurs at the funeral.

Don't blame Lane. It runs in the family.

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