Bevo's Daily Roundup - March 18, 2010

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Some more on that emerging running game.

About using an H-back to boost the ground game: "We're involved now with, not two backs, as much as an H-back that can be a wide receiver, a tight end or a move guy in the backfield like you see a lot in the NFL.... [Something where] we can still be in our four wides [formation] because you can flex a tight end and motion your tailback.... Barrett Matthews has been impressive there."

About tailback Chris Whaley, a heralded 2009 signee who redshirted last season: "Chris is doing a good job. We're trying to play him... at tailback and a little at the H-back. Chris has had some good runs. We've just got to see how Chris progresses."

Someone actually spent more money than Texas.

Alabama outplayed and outspent Texas at college football's national champi­onship game in January. The Crimson Tide spent nearly $2 million more than the Longhorns in Pasadena, Calif., according to their NCAA bowl expense reports obtained by The Birming­ham News through open-re­cord requests.

 The Longhorns got a lesson in etiquette.

Dexter Pittman got an important call.

Longhorn Dexter Pittman told Sports Illustrated that First Lady Michelle Obama’s staff has contacted him about a possible visit to the White House to discuss her “Let’s Move,” initiative to fight childhood obesity.

 

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The conference set a record. Seven teams got a bid to the tournament.

The Big 12 earned a conference-record seven NCAA tournament bids Sunday, including the No. 1 overall seed and two more in the top three, validating what its coaches have been saying all along.

Sooners will be Sooners. There's not much else to say about this.

Condolences to the Land Thieves. It was not a good year for the Sooners.

Despite winning its last two, the football team struggled to an 8-5 season. But for all the football team’s struggles, those didn’t come close to what the basketball team endured. Jeff Capel’s club sputtered to a 13-18 record and will be home during this week’s NCAA Tournament.

Some have suggested this has been the worst year ever for OU football-basketball in one season.

OU's offensive line coach speaks.

Coach Stoops said he was very pleased with how the offensive line worked during the off season and the way they came. That how you view your group has done?
“It’s a new year and a new spring, but we’ve still got a big challenge ahead of us. We made some dumb penalties last year and had some mistakes and that hurt us in some games. So the challenge is to play together as a group, play better as a group and stay consistent and stay healthy, which is a key But being more consistent is probably what coach Stoops is talking about. Having a mindset and being accountable as a unit. And through the winter, that’s been pretty good.”

Tommy Tuberville is starting a new tradition at Tech.

The Red Raiders hope to simulate a "real-gameday" atmosphere, and Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville hopes to set the tone with a new tradition he wants to instill called the "Red Raider Walk."

Tuberville has said he hopes to have the Red Raider football team walk through tailgates on their way to the stadium on gamedays later this fall. The new tradition will kick off before the spring game. At 11 a.m. on April 17, the team will arrive at a location still to be determined on Texas Tech's campus and will walk toward the stadium. Fans are encouraged to make lines for the players to walk through to show support.

Tuberville is definitely different from the last guy.

"Mike did some terrific things here; I don't think anyone can deny that. But I'm a firm believer that you have to play defense at a high level -- consistently -- to win championships. The goal is obviously to score more points than the other guy. But it's a lot easier to score more if your defense helps you by holding down the number."

ESPN's David Ubben has a Q&A with Iowa State coach Paul Rhodes. (Part 2 here.)

Today's bad football analogy. Missouri defensive coordinator Dave Steckel was asked about improvement this spring:

BTS: Between the pass rush and the pass coverage, is there one that needs more improvement than the other?

Steckel: They all work together. One hand washes the other and both hands wash the face.

Is it the Cornhuskers' time?

The coming Big 12 football season is equally shrouded in mystery. The usual suspects, Texas and Oklahoma, are attempting to replace a bunch of stars. Nebraska lost its biggest star of the decade (Ndamukong Suh), but may be even better. Texas Tech and Kansas both forced out their most successful coaches in recent memory. Colorado brought back its least successful coach of the past 30 years. Texas A&M could be on the verge of a huge breakthrough, or it could go 6-6 again. Oklahoma State could take a step back without Zac Robinson, or it could produce its best team in years.

He's back.

After almost six months away from the practice field, Robert Griffin returned when Baylor opened its spring practice.

“It’s gonna be a good day,” Griffin said before strapping on his helmet and jogging onto the field inside the Allison Indoor Practice Facility on a rainy Tuesday.

Once again, Art Briles has high hopes for the Bears.

Heading into his third season, Briles is eager for Baylor to improve on back-to-back 4-8 records. He believes the Bears have the experience and talent to take the next step next season.

"We feel good about the talent level we've been putting on the field," Briles said. "The thing we've got to do now -- just like everybody's got to do -- is turn the talent into touchdowns and stops, depending on which side of the ball you're looking at it from.

"You'd like to think each year that we'll continue to grow, because the young guys are really good football players. The coaches have done a great job recruiting, and we have good players on campus and we're going to continue to upgrade the level of talent and ability at Baylor."

Dan Hawkins at work again. The Buffs coach is showing solidarity with his quarterbacks.

Colorado`s quarterbacks are all growing mustaches this month, or trying to grow them in some cases. Dan Hawkins has grown one, too, in solidarity with his signal-callers and offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau, who has grown a full beard.

"The quarterbacks called me out on it," Hawkins said. "So I said, 'OK, I`m in.'"

OSU is having family issues again.

 

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SI's Cory McCartney has some burning BCS questions.

A new study shows that ACL injuries are more common on FieldTurf than natural grass.

Former UCLA basketball star and 1995 Final Four Most Outstanding Player Ed O'Bannon may change the amateur status of college athletes.

Mike Leach wants to return to coaching.

"I've never really left football," he said in a phone interview Thursday with The Associated Press. He said he expects someday "to be back in and work at a program" that stresses graduation rates and prizes excellence on the field -- both of which he said he enjoyed at Texas Tech.

Will he wait until the lawsuit is over to begin checking out coaching jobs?

"I don't really have a crystal ball on that," he said. "Take it one day at a time. That's all I can control."

Leave the kids out of it. Mike Leach's attorneys want Tommy Tuberville sons' school enrollment records.

Give it a rest and cut your losses, Mike Leach. The fired Texas Tech football coach isn't doing himself and his in-limbo career any favors. Besides the expletive-filled video that surfaced last week, his attorneys also subpoenaed the Frenship Independent School District for records pertaining to the two sons of Leach's replacement, Tommy Tuberville. The presumption is Leach is trying to prove Tech already had a deal in place with Tuberville before it fired him, an accusation Tech strongly denies.

Dicky Grigg, an attorney in Austin and a member of Tech's legal team, told the Lubbock Avalanche Journal, "I'm just sort of puzzled about it. It's an act of desperation to bring in coach Tuberville's children."

It is never about the money. Some quotes on NCAA tournament expansion. The one from the CBS sports president is humorous:

"I think in the end they'll make the decision on what is best for the tournament, and not just financially, not just how to generate the most money. I think they're very cognizant about long term what the viability of the tournament would be and how to expand it. I think the expansion discussion is not solely based on teams or revenue or exposure. It's based on the overall combination of what's best for the tournament, how to position it best in the marketplace, both from a television standpoint and an athletic standpoint and a student-athlete standpoint.'' - CBS sports president Sean McManus.

Basketball is very, very good for some schools.

CNBC's Darren Rovell has some interesting numbers about the tournament.

$0: Money Duke's junior forward Kyle Singler gets from sales of No. 12 jerseys

$17.52: Approximate cost, in gas, to drive in a car that gets 25 miles a gallon from Syracuse to its first round game in Buffalo, according to Mapquest.com.

$240.50: Average price on Stubhub for a ticket to the first and second round games, including all eight locations.

$26,670,000: What adidas is paying No. 1 overall seed Kansas for the rights to be its shoe and apparel provider. It’s an eight-year deal that expires in the 2012-13 season.

What would a 96-team bracket look like?

 

And finally...

Know what else is going on this week? Besides the NCAA tournament? Ouch.

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