Why do they even bother asking? For the seventh straight year, the Texas baseball team has been voted the Big 12 preseason favorite by conference coaches. The defending Big 12 champion Longhorns romped through conference play last season, finishing 21-6 (46-17 overall). The 'Horns stumbled in the playoffs to up and coming UC Irvine.
Big 12 player of the year Kyle Russell (who set a single season Texas record with 28 home runs in 2007) will anchor an offense which returns five position starters, including All-Big 12 First Team catcher Preston Clark. The pitching situation is less clear, but Texas will be hoping for a big bounceback season from Kenn Kasparek, returning from injury that sidelined him for all of 2007.
Texas starts its season this Friday afternoon at 2:30 against Virginia Commonwealth, as fans will get their first look at the new and improved ($25.8 million rennovation) Disch-Falk Field.
Um, where did that come from? Nebraska upset Kansas State 71-64 last night, holding Michael Beasley to 'just' 17 points and 10 rebounds. How'd they do it? Three defenders playing zone, with the remaining two draped all over Beasley. They denied him in the post, and quickly trapped him on the perimeter, forcing him to pass to his teammates. Who cannot shoot. The Wildcats came into the game 217th nationally in three point shooting, and they held true to form last night, bricking on 18 of their 26 attempts.
Wondering how Texas is going to deal with Beasley next Monday? There's your answer.
Godspeed, young men. Seven Longhorns will workout at the NFL Scouting Combine beginning next Wednesday in Indianapolis: Jamaal Charles, Jermichael Finley, Marcus Griffin, Tony Hills, Frank Okam, Billy Pittman, and Limas Sweed. Only Sweed seems to have a chance of being a first round draft choice, though Charles and Okam could be first day choices come draft day. I'm using this story as an excuse to post my favorite Jamaal Charles touchdown run, his 75-yard burst against Oklahoma State this past October.
Quick Hits. Of course you'll be watching Texas take on Oklahoma this Saturday at 2:30, but after a dinner break, you may want to tune in to ESPN at 8 p.m. for a rare #1-#2 matchup featuring Memphis and Tennessee... The Lady Horns fall to 4-8 in conference with a loss to Oklahoma State... Memphis football coach Tommy West is gunning for Terrelle Pryor. Mkay... Help Save Friday Night Lights... Tommy Blake, the new Ricky Williams?