The Statesman looks at the defensive backs.
The Longhorns have said goodbye to Earl Thomas, who arguably along with Lamarr Houston was 2009's most consistent defender. Add Nolan Brewster missing spring football after shoulder surgery and all of a sudden, safety is a position to watch.
Sure, Blake Gideon is a seasoned veteran by now and will be one of the leaders on defense. But who gets the other safety spot?
Greg Davis expects the receivers to pick up the slack.
"We're going into the spring expecting [Shipley-type numbers] to be spread among guys like James Kirkendoll, Malcolm Williams, John Chiles, Marquise Goodwin and Greg Timmons, a young guy we redshirted last season," Davis said. "We're not going into the spring with the idea that one of them is going to have 100 catches and 1,000 yards receiving next season. We're going into the spring with the idea that we're going to spread the ball around. The group is going to have to pick up the slack."
Colt McCoy will not be throwing at the combine.
But a report Wednesday from ESPN.com said McCoy has been advised by Dr. James Andrews not to throw during the combine as he recovers from an injury to his throwing arm in the national championship game.
Two years ago, when he was at his best for the Longhorns, Justin Mason was honored as one of five players on Sports Illustrated's All-Glue Team.
Mason showed on Wednesday that he could still help hold a team together. The senior guard filled two roles manned by Dogus Balbay until he was lost to a knee injury Saturday.
Dexter Pittman showed up.
Where has he been? Your guess is as good as mine. Choose your adjective. Each one has applied to him recently: Enigmatic. Disengaged. Invisible.
"We let Pittman have one of the best game he's had all year,'' said Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford. "He was terrific tonight."
Chemistry. (The music may or may not be NSFW. I have no idea since I cannot understand the words. It is just bad. Turn down the sound.)
Pat Forde is giving Rick Barnes a bad grade in chemistry.
Chemistry: Who's flunking it, who's acing it?
When this basketball season began, Texas (7) was ranked third and Kentucky (8) fifth in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. One of the big reasons for the high early rankings was the strength of both schools' 2009 recruiting classes -- UK's was ranked No. 1 by ESPN.com, UT's No. 4.
Today, the Wildcats are 26-1 and No. 2 in the polls, riding a seven-game winning streak. The Longhorns are 21-6 and No. 21, having lost six of their last 10. The two programs have been speeding in opposite directions for a few weeks now, largely because they have done drastically different jobs meshing newcomers and veterans into a cohesive unit.
Was Varez Ward's season-ending injury that devastating to the Horns?
We were perhaps at fault when we didn't make a big deal out of Varez Ward's season-ending injury that long-ago November night, though with then-perceived backcourt riches it didn't appear worth getting our game shorts in a wad.
But now, you have to ask yourself: Would Texas have found itself scrambling to keep its head above the Big 12's waters if Ward had not ruptured his right quadriceps tendon going up for a pregame layup in the Kansas City's Sprint Center before the Pittsburgh game in the second round of the CBE Classic?
My slow-to-get-there guess is no.
The NFL Combine is all about the skills.
Former Kansas University football standouts Darrell Stuckey, Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier are all accomplished football players who possess great skills.
They’re also wise enough to realize that what they’re about to get into has next to nothing to do with the game they love.
Anyone need a job? Randy Riggs will no longer be covering the Aggies for the Statesman.
Well, at least the blog babysitter will be changing.
Just to keep you guys updated, we’ve had a couple of beat reassignments here in the sports department and I’m involved with one of them, so my days with the Aggies and The 12th Word are over for now. The blog isn’t going away, but someone else (to be determined) will be responsible for its oversight and content.
The Cornhuskers are still looking for a QB to step up.
The Nebraska coaches would love to see someone, namely Cody Green, assert himself at quarterback in the spring. Zac Lee’s struggles last fall were not entirely because of his injury; he still has some growing to do. Was it a coincidence that Lee looked his best in the Holiday Bowl, after reports that Green would play more in that game? I say no. If Green steps up in spring ball, it’s a win-win; either Green emerges or he pushes Lee to bring his Holiday Bowl game all the time. Either way, the starting job is anything but settled. And Green may have an advantage by playing in the spring — if he takes advantage of it.
Ndamukong Suh is a cover boy.
Aggie defensive back Trent Hunter was the victim of identity theft.
Elaine Hunter has always been proud of her son Trent's accomplishments on and off the field, but for the past few months she's had to defend her son's character. Last year, the former Katy football player's reputation took a hit after someone went on-line and impersonated him.
"The school called that somebody had called Texas A&M and wanted him kicked out," said Elaine Hunter. It was the first inkling that something was wrong. A woman told officials with Texas A&M, where Trent is now a defensive back, that she had received several lewd messages from the athlete.
Hunter said her son's scholarship was at risk as well as his future in football.
Texas Tech is pushing back their spring practice dates.
Texas Tech football fans will have to wait a couple of weeks longer to see coach Tommy Tuberville's first Red Raiders team in action.
Tuberville, who was hired to replace the fired Mike Leach last month, told ESPN.com on Monday night that he's pushing back the start of spring practice from March 6 to March 20. Tuberville said he expects spring practice to end around April 17.
Tommy Tuberville has been very, very busy.
Tuberville spoke to more than 1,000 Texas Tech fans at an alumni event in Dallas. He spoke to another 500 fans in Houston. Tuberville threw out the first pitch at the Texas Tech baseball team's season opener last week, and he has tried to attend as many Red Raiders basketball games as possible.
"It's been great," Tuberville said of his reception in Lubbock. "It's been really good. I go out and shake hands and do all the things you need to do from a PR standpoint. I tell people who we are and what they can expect. I've been all over Texas speaking to Kiwanis clubs and Lions clubs."
The Dallas Morning News has a Q&A with Tuberville.
It's always about you, SEC. Some guy in Alabama just wants to know how the impact all this conference expansion talk will have on the SEC.
Isn't it interesting that there is widespread talk about conference expansion centering on the Pac-10, the Big12 and the Big Ten and yet nobody has mentioned any changes that would impact the Southeastern Conference?
At least nothing has been mentioned that would impact the SEC directly. But depending on what teams could possibly change conference locations, the SEC could feel some of the fallout.
Keep politics out of the pristine world of college sports. The NCAA pulled a Focus on the Family banner ad from one of its Web sites.
The NCAA made the decision after some of its members - including faculty and athletic directors - expressed concern that the evangelical group's stance against gay and lesbian relationships conflicted with the NCAA's policy of inclusion regardless of sexual orientation, Williams said.
The ad in question was not about sexuality. It featured a father holding his son and the words, "All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing." Like the Tebow ad, it included the address of Focus on the Family's Web site and the slogan, "Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life."
Will San Antonio ever get an NFL franchise?
I have a better chance of getting hired as the next GQ Magazine model than San Antonio has of ever getting an NFL team.
In my eyes, the biggest reason we will never see an NFL team is that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would never allow that to happen.
No SEC bias here at all. ESPN will televise Alabama's spring game.