The Big Roundup - August 25, 2010

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The Statesman's Kirk Bohls like the o-line prospects this season.

Liking the prospects of the Longhorns’ offensive line depth more and more. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis last week praised redshirt freshman Paden Kelley, who’s training at both tackle positions, and said true freshman Trey Hopkins "reminds me of a young Justin Blalock." That’s pretty high praise, comparing Hopkins to one of Texas’ best linemen ever.

So, about that TE/H-Back?

TE/H-Back

Everyone is being cross-trained at both. Barrett Matthews is the only complete high potential TE/H-Back (blocking, receiving, can split out wide, athletic ability, hands) on the roster…

…out of 9.

Uh, yeah.

It's time for the other Acho.

In an old Peanuts cartoon strip, noted philosopher Linus Van Pelt proclaims, "There's no heavier burden than a great potential."

Longhorns philosopher Emmanuel Acho has his own version of that.

"Potential that's unreached," Acho said recently, "doesn't really mean anything."

Texas needs more experience at the defensive tackle position.

Texas football coach Mack Brown is less than a week away from releasing his initial depth chart of the season.

And he's still unsettled about which names to include at defensive tackle to surround Kheeston Randall, his lone returning starter at the position.

Texas needs to get on board.

Is Texas going to stand in the way? We joke about Bevo-TV, but a UT-only television station is years into production. In 2008 the Longhorns’ multimedia rights holder, IMG College, told the Austin American-Statesman that the network could launch by fall 2009. That didn’t happen, but Texas became the linchpin pulling out of the Big-Pac deal that would have killed the solo network.

Since that happened, Texas isn’t talking about jump-starting the Bevo-TV initiative, but must have weighed the idea. The unbalanced revenue produced by the Big 12 contracts continues to allow UT to earn hand-over-fist more money than any other school in the conference, and Beebe has made it clear that isn’t going to change. Great, the rich will get richer. Awesome. Why would they want to support any initiative that would close the gap?

The life of a long snapper.

The Wiz of Odds talks to John Mackovic.

 

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The Aggies have reason for optimism.

For the first time in Sherman's three years, A&M fans have a reason for optimism. They have the most experienced, accomplished South Division quarterback in senior Jerrod Johnson, who is a couple of big TV performances away from Heisman contender status. He's surrounded by arguably the best skill-position talent in the conference.

Elite pass rusher Von Miller decided against the NFL draft, giving new defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter a cornerstone for a rebuilt 3-4 defense.

"I think the stage is set for us to be competitive," former A&M linebacker standout Keith Mitchell said. "Looking at the games from last year, you have to admit you see progress. You see a better athlete coming in at the skill positions. You see more speed and more aggressiveness. That makes us feel better."

Here is the good, the bad and the ugly of the Aggies' fall camp.

The ugly:

Injuries: They've been the theme of the camp so far. Ryan Tannehill, Von Miller, Cyrus Gray, Tony Jerrod-Eddie, Trent Hunter, Steven Campbell, Charlie Thomas, Coryell Judie, Dustin Harris and others have all missed time due to tweaks and bruises. Its been difficult to judge the Aggie two-deep because, at one time or another, there is multiple people missing off of it.

Jerrod Johnson's football: Johnson is in the midst of a complete overhaul of his throwing motion. The coaches want him to go more over the top, which will, as a result, speed up his release. The results of this change have been mixed, and his football lacks zip and doesn't look too pretty. Johnson has been named the conference's preseason player of the year, but his fall camp has left much to be desired.

It all comes down to the line.

Coach Mike Sherman knows this, which is why he made developing the line his top offensive priority for August.

With the season opener a dozen days away, the line still is a cause for concern.

Does Jerrod Johnson merit all the hype?

Chuck Carlton: I think Jerrod Johnson could be a top 10 quarterback nationally. He's got all the tools (arm talent, leadership, experience, intelligence) along with great weapons on offense. But yeah, this isn't exactly Bradford, McCoy, Daniel, Harrell and Reesing either in the conference. Two concerns about Johnson: Texas Tech is maybe his only signature win in his career. And I keep hearing his passes don't really have a whole lot of zip in practice following arm surgery in the spring.

 

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DeMarco Murray by the numbers.

Though Murray has had what many would call a disappointing career — missing games with bizarre injuries and sharing time with Allen Patrick and Chris Brown — he's got more career yards after four years than did Sims, even though Sims won a Heisman Trophy in his fourth season.

Defensive tackle Adrian Taylor is making slow progress.

A Sooner with some really big plans.

Quinton Carter shows no mercy on the football field. But there's another side to one of the Big 12's hardest hitters.

Every week before he goes to class, Carter visits KinderCare of Norman to spend time with a four-year old class he's adopted.

Carter's volunteer efforts don't stop at KinderCare. He also his own non-profit foundation, SOUL, which stands for Serving Others through Unity and Leadership.

Bob Stoops is worried about the kicking game.

 

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The Big 12-2 title runs right through the Red River.

Getting ready for week one. Five story lines for the start of the season.

Lubbock has a winner!

Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville has announced his starting quarterback, two weeks before the Red Raiders open their season on Sept. 4.

Taylor Potts will get the nod.

Taylor Potts is the guy, but Steven Sheffield may get the call.

"I want the players to know that, ‘Hey, Taylor’s the guy we’re going to put out there. He’s the guy we’re going into the first game with,’" Tuberville said. "This is not going to be a short string.

"But there’s certain situations in the game that we might put Steven in that he might be better at, depending on what the defense is doing. It’s good to have two experienced quarterbacks."

The Raiders will have a lot more balance under Tuberville.

The Pokes have a few more things to do before the season opener.

The Wildcats are not going to be pushed around.

Still, the way the Wildcats rallied around Snyder, they let it be known they won't be pushovers anymore. They proved that in a big way when the Wildcats finished last year tied for second in the Big 12 North behind Nebraska.

Like last year, the Wildcats will probably go as far this season as Daniel Thomas takes them. Thomas led the conference in rushing last year with 1,265 yards and scored 11 touchdowns while averaging a healthy 5.1 yards per carry.

Could Bayor QB Robert Griffin be in the Heisman mix this year?

Watch the return of Baylor redshirt sophomore quarterback Robert Griffin III from the torn ACL he suffered last season. When the season begins, Griffin may not have the same speed and moves he had as a runner before the injury. But as David Ubben blogged Monday, Griffin has completed 75 percent of his passes in two scrimmages. If Griffin develops into a dangerous passer in coach Art Briles’ spread offense, and continues to recover his running ability, he’ll be a Heisman contender in 2011.

Someone isn't too thrilled about Colorado's invitation to the Pac 10.

Former UCLA chancellor Chuck Young is leading the opposition of adding Colorado and Utah to the league. He is sending e-mails to the conference's chancellors and presidents. He is urging them to block the expansion.

Those university leaders have yet to give final approval to Colorado and Utah joining the Pac-10.

The Lost Lettermen has the top 10 worst college football traditions. Lil' Red is on the list.

We understand that Nebraska is the Cornhuskers. But when one of your mascots looks like he’s from "Children of the Corn," we have a problem. We don’t know who started the inflatable mascot trend, but it’s not one we like a lot. And Lil’ Red just represents all that is wrong with the concept. The lack of range in movement makes him a hazard to all those standing around him and that facial expression is just creepy. Just imagine you’re four years old and that thing is hoppin’ its way at you. Heck, that’s scary at any age and will probably haunt our dreams tonight

 

 

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