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Bevo's Daily Roundup - November 13, 2009

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"I've played against Baylor for three years going on my 
fourth year," said McCoy. "It is tough to play up there. Sometimes the stadium is windy, and I think we really have to focus on ourselves this week, and focus on going back to work."

Guess we're not doing that again.

"That's the last time we'll be running from the I-formation from inside our 1-yard line," coach Mack Brown said. "It doesn't make any sense to hand the ball off to a guy who's seven yards back from that spot on the field."

Keenan Robinson stepped right in after Jared Norton's injury and has made a huge contribution this season.

And while Robinson is overlooked by the likes of defensive end Sergio Kindle, linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy and safety Earl Thomas, his combination of size, speed and aggressive play against the run has helped turn the linebackers from a question to a strength.

"I thought Keenan was going to be a good player for us, and he's really played well," Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp said. " He's always been a guy who can run and accelerate and finish."

Colt McCoy talks about how the Horns have improved his season. ESPN podcast.

So what really happened?

Kirkendoll, a junior wide receiver from Round Rock, is back in sync with the No. 3 Longhorns now. But he had plenty of frustration built up inside of him before he took the field on Oct. 17 against Oklahoma. He was supposed to be one of the players quarterback Colt McCoy would rely on to replace star pass-catcher Quan Cosby but instead entered the OU game mired in an ugly month-long slump.

So when he was tackled after a short gain in the first half, and Sooners defensive back Quinton Carter barked at him in celebration, Kirkendoll wasn’t in the frame of mind to handle it. And then one of the smartest, most thoughtful players on the UT team did something he would later admit was nothing short of "bone-headed."

"It was just a little frustration," Kirkendoll said of his head butt to Carter, which drew a personal foul penalty and sent Kirkendoll to the bench. "I’m a real emotional player when it comes to the field."



The Aggies want to rebound this weekend. The Sooners are up next.

The Sooners also will be bringing a nation-best 28-game home winning streak for the game. But these Aggies are capable of big road performances, as evidenced by their 52-30 victory at Texas Tech on Oct. 24 after a blowout road loss at Kansas State the week before.

"You have to draw from that," Pugh said. "It’s been done before because we went to Lubbock and did it up there. It’s the same thing we’re doing now. And if we go up there and do what we need to do we’ll get that win."

Some great numbers, but very few wins.

The tall, strong-armed quarterback wearing crimson was supposed to be leading the league in total offense and touchdown passes going into Saturday night's Texas A&M at Oklahoma game.

Instead, it's the one in maroon, as junior Jerrod Johnson has swiped at least part of the injured Sam Bradford's thunder.

Johnson, who leads the league's top-ranked offense (478 yards per game), is the first to point out the high-falutin' numbers don't mean a thing if the Aggies aren't winning — although they still have some of their goals in front of them (mainly playing in a bowl game) with three regular-season games remaining.



The Buffs really like their food on road trips.

Quarterback Tyler Hansen and receiver Scotty McKnight said the team will try something different for this trip. They will leave a little later Friday than normal after practicing in Boulder.


But their main point was that the young Buffs whose eyes grow a little wider at the prospects of traveling, staying in hotels and eating out, and then visiting a new venue, have to learn how to stay focused on the task at hand.


"I think the young guys, especially the true freshmen, they’re so excited," Hansen said. "’We get to go on a plane, we get some food,’ stuff like that, and they’re not really focused on the game.


"We have to keep 100 percent focused whether we’re on the plane or eating or watching movies."

This season wasn't exactly what the Jayhawk seniors had in mind.

"It is what it is," Sharp said. "I don’t think anything in life is really as you plan it to be. This is not a fairy-tale world."

These Jayhawks are not jaded, but they have been forced to see the world differently. They never could have foreseen a four-game losing streak, even though they had seen one in 2006, the last time KU didn’t make a bowl game. They thought they were past that type of struggle, that their hard work would always pay off. After the K-State loss last weekend, the Jayhawks finally allowed their disappointment to show.

"It really hit us last week," KU fifth-year senior Angus Quigley said. "It’s tough. We’ve cried. It’s real tough when you come into the season with goals. You have worked your butt off all offseason. These past weeks that we’ve lost, we’ve had some of the best practices since I’ve been here. They’re spirited. We just haven’t figured out why it’s not transitioning over to the (games)."

Bob Stoops could learn some things from Gary Pinkel.

"Here’s the problem," Stoops said. "Don’t ask us questions then. If you want to ask me what went wrong, I’m supposed to say everything's our fault? Then I can’t answer questions if you want me to answer truthfully. There are some things players gotta handle, too. It’s always going to be both of us.

"So don’t ask the question if you don’t want the right answer. And don’t go criticizing if we give you the right answer and it is on them."

Compare that attitude with Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, whose struggling team dropped into the North Division cellar after losing four of its first five conference games after making back-to-back championship game appearances.

Pinkel took full responsibility for his team’s recent meltdown, saying that any blame about his team starts with him.

No, really. The Sooners? We're shocked. The Sooners have discipline problems.

Like many coaches, Stoops considers discipline and hard work to be the cornerstones of his program. And he hasn't seen enough of either one from his team this year to overcome the adversity.

Blame the coaches for failing to teach the players that discipline or blame the players for failing to put in the hard work.

Or, Stoops says, point fingers at both.

Kansas State is the feel good story in the Big 12.

With Oklahoma battered, Texas lacking style points and Nebraska showcasing multiple football personalities, Bill Snyder and the Miracles in Manhattan rank as the league's feel-good story. A Senior Day win Saturday against Missouri, and a triumph the next week over the Cornhuskers, will send the Wildcats to their first Big 12 championship game since 2003. Those are Darren Sproles days, folks.

Maybe this explains the Wildcats' success?

But Snyder undoubtedly saw what other coaches saw. Teams were recruiting smaller, more athletic defenders to match up against the league's wide-open offenses, creating an opportunity for someone to play the kind of hard-nosed, power football the Wildcats have played this season.

"I think what most coaches were probably sharing with you was the fact that, OK, everybody has recruited into this system defensively where you've got guys that are a little leaner and a little faster and can run around -- kind of like secondary guys playing linebacker," Snyder said. "Now all of a sudden you tighten the offense down and run right at them, you've got maybe some advantages in that respect."

The Cornhuskers are going back to business as usual this week.

Nebraska offensive coordinator Shawn Watson says he isn't sure that the low-risk, ground-oriented attack he went with in the win over Oklahoma is the right blueprint for victory from here on out.

"That was that week's plan," he said. "Every week's a little bit different. That's certainly not the deal this week."



Case Keenum deserves the Heisman.

Keenum is still more deserving because he has done things none of the others has come close to doing. He’s the most productive player on the most productive offense in college football.

"I’d say when it comes to performance among the top 15-20 teams, he’s as good a player as there is in the country," UH coach Kevin Sumlin said.

Dennis Dodd thinks Keenum deserves the Heisman, but he doesn't stand a chance.

Be very careful what you wish for.

Anyway, TCU has it all going on. A spotless record, a sold-out game in the national spotlight, fourth place in the BCS rankings and a suddenly sinister mascot.

Patterson has the perfect pulpit to make a case for his Frogs and the rest of the BCS busters out there, just as Whittingham and Utah did last season.

But Patterson isn't interested in making a stink, and I don't blame him.

He's won at least 10 games five times at TCU, and in those seasons, here are the teams that beat him: Cincinnati, East Carolina, SMU, BYU, Utah and Oklahoma.

Except for the Sooners, it's not exactly a murderer's row. Not for a team wanting a national title shot.

Cincy coach Brian Kelly isn't making a stink, either.

It's refreshing to see Kelly not yet delve into the process. Maybe he realizes that he'd be whistling into the wind.

Here's the deal, though. Heading into Friday night's game with West Virginia, Kelly's Cincinnati football team is one of six unbeatens remaining. The Bearcats are No. 4 in both polls that matter in the BCS standings (coaches and Harris) and No. 5 in the BCS standings themselves. The top three are heavyweights Florida, Alabama and Texas. The other two are TCU and Boise State.

Now, if none of those top three teams lose unexpectedly, the BCS title game will pit Texas against the Florida-Alabama SEC championship game winner. It doesn't matter what Cincinnati, TCU and Boise State do. It's a done deal. You know it. I know it.

And, apparently, Kelly knows it.

But it seems the Mountain West Conference is lobbying for the Horned Frogs. And on it goes...

More on TCU's bitterness at not being invited to join the Big 12.

Half of the Texas teams from the old SWC—Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and even Baylor, a private Christian school like TCU—were invited into the Big 12, which has grown into one of the nation’s best leagues.

The Horned Frogs, bitter about the snub, bounced from the Western Athletic Conference to Conference USA to the Mountain West over the next decade. They won or shared titles in all of them.

Are assistant college football coaches worth their salaries?

When universities defend the hideous pay packages of head football coaches they often claim that these guys are irreplaceable. That’s certainly the argument you’d hear from administrators at my alma mater, the University of Missouri, to explain why the salary guarantee of its football coach Gary Pinkel has more than quadrupled in eight years to $2.52 million. During that time, the salaries of Mizzou’s assistant coaches have doubled.

But come on. Are the assistants really irreplaceable? Do they deserve these pay bonanzas? The compensation seems especially inappropriate during a period when universities are hiking tuition, slashing classes and laying off professors.



And finally...

Only in the SEC. Robbed at gun point by three football players and this guy's only concern is winning the next game.