A day late is better than not at all. Or something like that.
With Aldridge gone for sure, Tucker declaring himself eligible for the draft, and D-Gib rumored to be right behind them both, Texas may not return a single starter from last year's Elite Eight squad. Thoughts?
PB: This isn't quite as gloomy as it looks. You can't exactly "replace" guys like Tucker and Aldridge, but the incoming pipeline of talent is exciting enough on its own. Also, and this may be a bit cynical for many people's taste, but that group, while loaded with talent, wasn't exactly the most dynamic group of winners. Quick: name Texas' big wins over elite teams in the last two years. I think it's entirely reasonable that we may remember this core of talent for what they didn't accomplish, rather than what they did.
At the end of the day, I'll miss Tucker the most, though I can't wait to see what kind of pro Lamarcus develops into.
AW: For starters: I don't care how talented Kevin Durant and DJ Augustin are as freshman. The loss of Tucker will be significant. We will likely start five new players including possibly four freshman: Augustin, Harrison Smith, Durant, Matt Hill, and Mike Williams. By the end of next season, I expect the Horns to be very dangerous ala North Carolina or Kansas this past season. The beginning of the season could be a bumpy ride though.
We'd might as well get at this now, in case the story sputters out. What's your take on Reggie-Gate?
AW:I'd like to know if Reggie's family paid any rent at all first. If they paid at or near market price, I don't think this is too big a deal. He didn't even end up going with this agent anyway. If they were able to live for free or next to nothing, this would be a gross violation. Reggie is also clearly lying about the whole thing. What college student doesn't know where his mom lives? No home cooked meals in the last year for Bush. No birthday celebrations. No trips home for Mother's Day. Give me a break. This whole incident smells rotten.
PB: Pretty much agree on all counts. And I think you've latched on to the smelly part. The violation itself doesn't appear to be huge, and I don't think we're going to get quite the scandal that, say, Bruins Nation would hope for. But it's borderline offensive to hear Reggie Bush act like he had no idea that his parents were living in a three-quarter of a million dollar home that happened to be paid for by a courting agent. If they paid close to market price, fine, but even then, this ranks among the dumbest things his family could do. And watching him feign ignorance is mildly disturbing.
I suspect this will blow over as a tsk-tsk that was sure dumb of Reggie and his family kind of thing. No harm done to USC (formally) or any stripping of games/awards.
Lots of recruiting news lately, including the commitment to Notre Dame from Jimmy Clausen. Any thoughts on his understated entrance to the national scene?
PB: I thought Chris Simms had set the bar at an unreachable high when he arrived in Austin in a stretch limousine and a turtleneck. Silly me. The youngest of the Clausen brothers became the most ridiculous super-recruit of all time when he made his entrance:
*In a -Hummer- stretch limousine
*With a police escort
*At the College Football Hall of Fame
Two words for you: Bad. Karma. And he's still a Clausen.
AW: You forgot to mention the most ridiculous aspect of his whole announcement. While flashing his three state championship rings, Clausen proclaimed his goal was the win -four- national championships while in South Bend. One is nearly impossible. This 17 year old who has yet to take a snap in a college practice let alone respond positively with the game on the line wants to win four straight. This is yet another reason to dislike the Fighting Irish.
Last but not least, the NFL draft is finally here. Lay out what you're looking for on Saturday.
AW: I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but I think the wait on Saturday will be longer than expected for VY. I still think the Texans take Bush with the first pick, the Saints don't draft a quarterback, and the Titans probably take Matt Leinart. The Jets could take VY but I won't be shocked if they too pass. Have the Jets ever made a logical draft pick? The Packers have Aaron Rodgers and the 49ers are stuck with Alex Smith. Barring a trade, VY could be headed to Oakland and the silver and black.
PB: Speaking of Bush, I'm kind of like the -other- Bush on this one. In spite of all the inconvenient facts in front of me, I steadfastly bury my head in the sand and maintain that the Texans will come to their senses and draft Vince Young. I also believe the world is flat, global warming is a creation of crackpot scientists, and that Bill Clinton never had sexual relations with that woman. So, yeah, maybe Oakland.