The Big Roundup - May 21, 2010

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It is video day at the Roundup.

Once again, it is all Texas' fault.

It’s pretty interesting to read the comments on Big 12 conference realignment articles.  They are filled with Nebraska supporters explaining why it’s not the Huskers’ fault if the league starts to break up, started by a Nebraska bolt to the Big 10-plus.  Basically, they explain, it’s Texas’ fault.

The lousy economy? The oil spill? Deloss Dodds and Belmont must be behind it all.

Texas plays Missouri this weekend.

The Texas Longhorns travel to Missouri for the first time since 2008 this weekend to face the Tigers in a regular season ending showdown, and the differences between then and now have are remarkable.

UT returns to Missouri with a No. 2 ranking, and the Longhorns already claimed the 2010 Big 12 regular season title. The Longhorns’ pitching staff has grown both mentally and physically in the past two years, and is now teeming with experience. Cole Green, Brandon Workman, Chance Ruffin and Stayton Thomas -- all freshmen during the last trip to Columbia -- now make up the core group of pitchers.

Who will be the best football team in the state of Texas?

Which team will be the best in the state in 2010, and why?

Texas. TCU might have a case, but the depth at Texas gives the Longhorns more room for error. And while it wouldn't surprise me if TCU had the better record in January, I don't know if you could convince me that the Horned Frogs were the better team.

Colt McCoy had a lot going on in those last few seconds of the Big 12 Championship Game.

The last-play field goal Texas made to beat Nebraska, 13-12, in the Big 12 Championship Game kept coach Mack Brown from retiring the trophy as the coaching goat of all time. It also prevented Browns rookie quarterback Colt McCoy from becoming sports' greatest time waster.

Well, besides waiting for Braylon Edwards to catch the ball, anyway.

"I had a lot of issues going on then," said McCoy on the first day of the Browns' Organized Team Activities. "I had gotten beat up pretty good in the first half. In fact, they checked me out [for a concussion] at halftime."

Seven Texas baseball players earned All-Academic honors.

The Texas Longhorns had seven athletes named to the 2010 Academic All-Big 12 Baseball Team the league announced on Tuesday.

Sophomore Taylor Jungmann, junior Stayton Thomas and seniors Kyle Lusson and Russell Moldenhauer all earned first-team recognition. Juniors Kendal Carrillo and sophomores Kevin Lusson and Andrew McKirahan were named to the second-team.

Rick Barnes made the top 10.

 

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The Aggie D needs some repair.

The Aggies' defense had the most spectacular failures in 2009, giving up 40-plus points in five games (all losses) and 60-plus points twice. Texas A&M gave up almost five whole points per game more than the conference's 11th-ranked team, and gave up the most passing yards per game at 254.7, ranking 106th nationally out of college football's 120 teams. They weren't much better against the run, giving up over 171 yards per game, 11th in the league.

Mark Schlabach revised his way-too-early top 25 and the Aggies are No. 25.

It might be a leap of faith, but the Aggies could be one of the country's most improved teams this coming season. The offense will again be very explosive with quarterback Jerrod Johnson and running backs Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray coming back. Nine starters return on defense, including end Von Miller, who led the country in sacks with 17 last season. New defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter installed an aggressive 3-4 scheme during the spring as he tries to improve a defense that surrendered too many big plays last season. Improving A&M's special teams also was a priority during the spring.

FoxSports Southwest interviews A&M defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter.

On his defensive approach...... 

 

"I’ve always been around multiple defenses that we’ve tried to aggressive and pressure offenses.  We are going to do a lot of disguise of coverages and pressures.  And trying to get offenses off balance where they don’t know what we are going to be doing." 

 

"Being a young defensive coach, you look to see who out there is playing good defense. And obviously the wrecking crew did.  Being in non 3-4 front, I thought there was a lot of carryover for what we were trying to do.  And to come back here, and to talk to coach Slocum about coming back here it is kind of surreal." 

Nepotism. The Aggies have a new quality control coach.

Former Colorado State safety Klint Kubiak is following in his father's footsteps.

Kubiak, the oldest of Texans coach Gary Kubiak, will serve as quality-control coach at Texas A&M, his father's alma mater.

"I finally got an Aggie," Gary Kubiak said after Monday's organized team activities. "Of my three boys, one of them is finally going back."

 

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OU

The Oklahoman's Barry Tramel answers a reader's question.

Joshua: "Recently, President Obama, along with all the former living presidents (Bush I & II, Clinton and Carter), got together for a photo op in the Oval Office. I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be cool to see all of the former OU football coaches along with Stoops get together at midfield for a photo op at halftime of a future game (Stoops, Blake, Schnelly, Gibbs, Switzer, & Fairbanks). Sure these men’s egos are probably on par with the past American presidents, and they aren’t running for office, but wouldn’t it be a pretty awesome scene if these guys could put that aside for five minutes for a picture together. Thoughts on how this can happen?"

1. Hell freezes over. 2. OU schedules Florida Atlantic and doesn’t tell Schnellenberger it’s happening. Just have him wander out there with some old guys and snap the picture quickly.

What's the difference between Sam Bradford and Jason White?

Enid News and Eagle has a nice profile piece on Landry Jones.

The Land Thieves picked up a Mississippi State basketball transfer.

Reserve forward Romero Osby has transferred from Mississippi State to Oklahoma, adding to an overhaul of Jeff Capel's roster following the Sooners' first losing season in 29 years.

Osby, who played in all 36 of the Bulldogs' games last season, becomes the ninth player to join the Sooners since they finished the season 13-18.

Barking Carnival has some fun with OU's latest brush with the NCAA.

Yes, Virginia, you can get an education in Oklahoma. There was an OU graduation. (It is in The Oklahoman so it must be true.)

 

OSU

The Pokes' new offense is basketball on grass.

Basketball on grass.

That’s what many have called Oklahoma State’s new offensive attack because it is a high-scoring, exciting philosophy.

Congratulations to the OSU cheerleading team.

 

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Iowa State knows they have a tough season ahead.

"Yeah, we’ve heard about how tough our schedule is," quarterback Austen Arnaud said. "We’ll be ready to play them."

Iowa State has 15 starters returning from a 7-6 team that beat Minnesota in last season’s Insight Bowl, but the rugged schedule could mean a lesser record.

There is good news and bad news for Cyclone fans.

he good: Fred Hoiberg has added sophomore guard Chris Babb to his men’s basketball program. Babb left Penn State this spring.

The bad: Starting right tackle Scott Haughton has been kicked off the ISU football team.

Colorado is this close to a turnaround.

Holding two fingers less than an inch apart, Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins said Monday that is all that separates the Buffs from returning to "the national stage" as a program.

"Guys, trust me. We are that far away," Hawkins said. "Nobody wants to be close to having a good marriage, and nobody wants to be close to winning football games. We've just got to build a little confidence, build a little momentum."

Are classes really all that important? Maybe those morning Buff practices are not such a good idea.

Can you come up with any outstanding Jayhawk football players for next season? The Lawrence newspaper covers the team and they couldn't, either. This is very sad.

Quick, identify the biggest star, the guy whose name you want on the marquee to help sell season tickets for the 2010 Kansas University football team.

Thinking.

Still thinking.

Haven’t come up with anybody yet.

Can I use one of my lifelines to call a friend?

No, it wouldn’t do any good anyway.

There is some trouble in Kansas.

Rodney Jones, a former top fundraiser for the KU athletic department, used his powerful position to solicit a favor from at least one donor.

Jones, suspended in March amid an expanding ticket scandal, got his son a free ride on one donor’s jet to an NCAA Final Four. The incident, a possible violation of University of Kansas ethics rules, was not the only time Jones had questionable dealings with KU boosters, The Kansas City Star has learned.

There are also allegations of stolen Jayhawk football tickets.

Frustration among donors to the University of Kansas athletic department goes far beyond favors to a top department fundraiser.

Many boosters are troubled by allegations of stolen tickets and possible unfairness in KU’s points system for assigning premium seats. Some are angry that some of the best seats appeared to vanish from under them and end up for sale on the Internet.

What about a PAC 10 vs. Big 12 match up in the Fiesta Bowl every year?

Gary Pinkel is the official poster child for motorcycle safety.

There was a Husker Express.

The Lincoln Journal-Star noted in their piece on Roque yesterday that there actually was a football train that ran from Omaha to Lincoln for about a decade in the '60s and '70s. I like history and symmetry and this idea has that in spades. But more than a revived tradition--how many people even remembered that train?--this looks like the rare opportunity to create a new one.

Baylor actually has a fan message board.

I FIRMLY believe, he (Art Briles) can use the TCU model of building a successful program once he's OUT OF THE SHADOWS OF A&M AND UT...

My sources are telling me that the rumored Magnolia Conference is going to be an outgrowth of the upcoming conference shuffling. IMO, it's about time. Baylor has not shown that the Big 12 is a good "fit" with the records we've been posting since the Big 12 was formed.

Out of Armageddon comes an opportunity to mutate and evolve. I feel good about Art being the man to lead us through the changes in our conference affiliation. He's done it before and the results he enjoyed in the rebuilt CUSA got him the Baylor job.

 

Moving Day

Our next big rivalry could be Indiana.

The Black Shoe Diaries make some very good points.

We've been lead to believe that one of the main motivators driving the disgruntled members of the Big XII throwing themselves at Jim Delany — Missouri and Nebraska, in particular — is the damn capitalistic process in which they distribute TV revenue.  If you're on TV, you get more of the loot. 

The big problem with this pay your own way system is that schools aren't really in control of how often they are on TV, and even a mediocre Big Name like Oklahoma is going to get more air time than, say, a trending Baylor team.

The Tigers' bags are packed.

Here in the eye of the storm, there are real clouds in the sky and the ground is saturated. After three days at the University of Missouri for the rain-soaked Big 12 Track & Field Championships and chatting up the locals, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind here that Mizzou is headed to the Big 10 and has suitcases packed by the front door with a Post-It note reminder on the fridge to forward the mail.

Missouri believes they are the one.

From what Jim Delany has said this week, it's easy to see why rumors about Missouri moving to the Big Ten are gaining buzz.

Delany would not comment on what stage the expansion process is at or if specific teams, including Missouri, have been discussed at this week's meetings or in earlier discussions. Most Big Ten coaches and athletic directors have followed Delany's lead and also refused comment on possible expansion candidates. But no one brought up a downside to adding the Tigers.

The Daily Golpher is now taking applications.

Maize N Brew believes the end is near.

At this point in the discussion, the schools that are left over after expansion happens and what happens to them will is just as compelling a story. Base on all the published reports, interviews and common sense, the two most vulnerable conferences to the expansion bomb are the Big East and the Big XII. And what happens to the schools that are left to deal with the fallout is a subject no one seems to want to talk about.

Chicago ain't Stillwater.

One of the most appealing things about this possibility for NU is the city of Chicago, the anchor and epicenter of the league. What a great town. But it's a slightly different culture from anything in the Big 12.

On Tuesday, I heard an ambulance screaming down the street. An 80-year-old guy crossed the street — at a slow pace — in the path of the ambulance, which had to stop for him.

Without looking up, the man gave the ambulance the one-finger salute. The people in the front of the ambulance just shook their heads.

I don't think we're in Stillwater anymore, Toto.

Here's one more article drooling over the Big Ten Network. (I have the Big Ten Network with my AT&T service and I see a lot of tailgating features. I prefer the tailgating features to the football games.)

 

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The Lost Lettermen has the top NFL career busts. Two Longhorns made the list.

He better be damn good for that price.

There are no excuses for Lane Kiffin to fail at USC except his own incompetence. Not at that price tag, at least. But USC believes he won't, either because they have some sense of USC supremacy or the utmost confidence in a guy who's left skid marks and underwhelming teams behind him. 

Trojans fans better hope their school is right.

But is Lane Kiffin the real deal? (Don't you think the first paragraph says it all?)

Give Lane Kiffin credit — the brash, speak-without-thinking dude knows how to make a lot of money without having ever really accomplished anything as a head football coach.

Florida’s assistant coaches will earn $2.66 million in base salary in 2010.

Each of the nine assistants will receive a $10,000 bonus as part of the school’s apparel contract with Nike and have the use of a dealership car. The contracts run through January 2012.

New defensive coordinator Teryl Austin tops the list at $440,000 annually, followed by offensive coordinator Steve Addazio ($375,000), defensive line coach Dan McCarney ($340,000) and secondary coach Chuck Heater ($305,000).

Quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, tight ends coach Brian White, running backs coach Stan Drayton, linebackers coach D.J. Durkin and receivers coach Zach Azzanni will earn $240,000 apiece.

Colleges make money off student-athletes.

A college football player has everything he could ever dream about. The chance to play a game he loves in a stadium filled with 60,000 screaming fans. He is seen all across the country and is loved by his school and his schools fans (when everything is going well). He gets the chance to go to school for free and live a life that many people dream of.

From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem like they have everything that they could ever ask for. But, there is something that the college football player does not have. That is the right to his publicity and his likeness.

Ole Miss football player Bennie Abram died from complications due to sickle cell trait.

Conference USA wants an early signing period.

Conference USA football coaches have united and are pushing for an early signing period.

"I believe in it," UCF Athletic Director Keith Tribble said. "It’s something we should support as a conference. I know we do at UCF because when we’re recruiting these student athletes, it’s an expensive proposition. Often times, we find ourselves re-recruiting the same kid until signing day even after there’s a commitment. With the signing day in December, the recruiting process is over. It would be similar to basketball, which seems to work well."

The Big Ten also wants an early signing period.

Expansion is a myth for Big Ten football coaches. What was in front of them Tuesday at the Big Ten meetings was legislation they wanted to push with the NCAA board of directors.

Two topics that were on the table were a June official visits for prospects and the possibility of an early-signing period.

"I’d be in favor of that (June visits)," Wisconsin athletics director Barry Alvarez said Wednesday. "I’d be in favor of early signing. I’m in favor or things that would help our sport, help football."

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was a sports writer.

She was once a reporter. Kagan was a writer and editor at her college newspaper, The Daily Princetonian, where she wrote frequently about about the school's football team, the Princeton Tigers, the faculty and the college's student body.

Stanford has a great recruiting tool.

The notion of using a former U.S. Secretary of State to recruit blue-chip prospects sounds like one of two things. It could be a simple case of overkill, as in, you don't hire a symphony orchestra to play a fraternity dance. Or it could be a severe case of misplacement. Tim Lincecum's knee-buckling curveball may not translate to your beer-softball league.

Nevertheless, there stood Dr. Condoleezza Rice, speaking to a group of Stanford recruits, tying in the threat of Iran with the decision to come to the Farm, all in the space of one sentence.

The NCAA is working on the March Madness format.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock wants Congress to stay out of BCS business.

Hancock wrote that "decisions about college football should be made by university presidents, athletics directors, coaches and conference commissioners rather than by members of Congress."

This is the last year the College World Series will be at Rosenblatt Stadium.

"Rosenblatt has provided a life-changing experience for more people than the city of Omaha knows," said Augie Garrido of Texas, the winningest coach in college baseball.

The stadium opened in 1948 and began hosting the CWS in 1950. The concourse is narrow and dingy, the clubhouses are small and the amenities are few. Millions were spent on renovations over the past 25 years, but city leaders decided in 2008 that building a new, $128 million stadium would be the best way to keep the CWS in Omaha.

Jim Delaney can actually converse about subjects other than Big Ten expansion.

 

Conference realignment, Mega-conferences and whatever else

Miami was once the premier program in college football. The Hurricanes
are now the overweight bald guy who sits on a bar stool and tells you
what a stud he used to be. - Tom Sorensen, The Charlotte Observer

Was ACC expansion that bad?

This should be a triumphant week for the ACC, thanks to the impending television deal with ESPN worth $1.86 billion, a significant windfall thanks to a push by Fox that drove up the price to more than double the conference's current TV contract. Instead, it's taking a barrage of criticism aimed directly at old wounds, beginning with very unsubtle suggestions from the major newspapers in Raleigh and Charlotte that the 2003 expansion push was a failure and the Big Ten should do everything in its power to avoid the ACC's mistakes in its own expansion push over the remainder of the year.

The PAC 10 is undervalued.

"What the Big Ten has done with its network and what the SEC has done (with ESPN and CBS) took things to another level. It’s all indicative of the value college sports can bring to the media.

"And I think the Pac-10 is more undervalued than any conference."

Is Notre Dame still planning on independence?

When news hit about the Miami series, was ND quietly telling the world a decision about its independence has been made? It can't say so publicly, not yet, because no one knows how this conference realignment thing is going to end up. ND's minor sports need a place to play and the Big East is the perfect spot -- as long as it exists. Despite Notre Dame's determination to stay independent, the school is smart enough to leave itself an out. Brian Kelly reiterated his program's stance last week but added: "It will be a decision that is made above my pay grade -- you know that. ..."

There go those great rivalry games.

Michigan fans: Would you like your school to join a conference that does not include Ohio State or Michigan State?

Michigan State fans: Would you like your school to join a conference that does not include Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State or Wisconsin?

Sounds absurd, right?

The USA Today runs through all the Big 10 scenarios.

ESPN's Pat Forde knows just what Jim Delaney should do. And SI's Andy Staples has even more advice for the Big Ten.

So how would a 16-team conference look? Probably not like the WAC, which employed a confusing quadrant system that separated teams into blocks of four. Quadrant one, for example, was called the "Y'all Corner" because it contained Tulsa and former Southwest Conference members Rice, Southern Methodist and TCU. In 1996 and 1997, the Y'all Corner combined with Quadrant Three (BYU, New Mexico, UTEP, Utah) to form the Mountain Division. Teams played eight conference games, three against their quadrant, four against the other quadrant in their division and one crossover game. So in 1996, BYU played everyone in quadrants one and three and also played Hawaii.

Just a reminder...You need to be smart to get into the Big 10.

Would Georgia Tech say yes to the SEC?

Not long after the conference expansion issue really started to heat up, I found myself in a charity golf foursome with a couple of Georgia Tech guys. We were waiting to hit, so I just asked them point blank:

"If Georgia Tech got an invitation to leave the ACC and join the SEC, would you vote to go?"

Response No. 1:  "In a New York minute."

Response No. 2: "Can we go today?"

Will the Mountain West Conference expand?

 

And finally...

The definition of delusion: Aggies.

 

Happy Friday.

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