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Bevo's Daily Roundup - December 14, 2009

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Another uncomfortable moment in Heisman media coverage.

Colt McCoy finished third in the Heisman voting.

McCoy and Earl Thomas were listed as first-team All-Americans by the Football Writers Association of America.

McCoy is a repeat honoree on the first team. He’s the first quarterback to earn a spot in consecutive seasons since Ty Detmer did so in 1990-91.

Someone in Texas thinks Mack Brown is a bargain. Richard Justice lays out why Brown is worth every penny of that $5 million salary.

Let's just say Mack Brown had walked into DeLoss Dodds' office and said, ''I want $20 million a year, or I'm outta here.''

You know what Dodds would have said?

''You got it.''

He could not have argued that Mack Brown isn't worth it because he is. Brown's wew contract bumps him from $3 million to $5 million a year, and that's about the best bargain in all of sports.

More on that $ $5 million salary.

Pardon the expression, but the exercise is academic. In this world, football sells not only tickets but also an image that attracts donors. Face it — football generates dough.

Brown's seven-figure salary should be put in context of the many, many millions the UT football program makes as well as the recognition it brings the school.

 

The Crimson Tide

Congratulations to Mark Ingram. Ingram is Alabama's first Heisman winner.

Ingram wiped away tears and took a moment to steady himself before starting his speech. His voice wavered throughout.

"I'm a little overwhelmed right now," he said. "I'm just so excited to bring Alabama their first Heisman winner."

"I told the players if we had lost this game today, there
would be nothing else that would tarnish what you've accomplished more
than that. You would someday be an NFL player in a Mercedes-Benz and
roll your window down to talk to a pretty girl and she'd say, 'You lost
to Chattanooga when you played at Alabama,'" Saban said. "Nobody would
ever forget that one." - Nick Saban warning his team of the repercussions of a huge upset.

Nick Saban has been Alabama's savior.

After 46 losses, some to teams like Central Florida and Northern Illinois, Alabama fans began to wonder: Has some cosmic force aligned against us? Are we cooked — forever?

When Nick Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa, he was greeted by a cheering mob, including one drunken woman whose overly familiar greeting became a YouTube sensation. Though Alabama fans were roundly mocked for this reception, in fairness they could hardly be blamed. They were genuinely surprised to have a head coach at all, let alone one who had won championships.

Saban quickly turned the ship — and the ego of an entire state — around. His team has just beaten Urban Meyer’s Gators, and Alabama is now ranked No. 1 and favored in the B.C.S. championship game against Texas.

Roll Bama Roll continues the series chronicling the meetings of the Alabama and Texas football programs with the 1902 and 1922 game.

We do not want to be serenaded at the end of the game in Pasadena. Thanks to kleph over at Roll Bama Roll for the information.

 

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Basketball

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Avery Bradley isn't just any freshman.

The Texas Longhorns would like to believe their most touted freshman guard is just like any other newcomer. But as much as Bradley himself commits to the idea that his own success should be judged simply by whether the Longhorns win or lose, he realizes others don't see it that way.

Just a few months ago, one set of recruiting analysts had Bradley pegged as the top college basketball prospect in the nation. Another bestowed that honor upon Bradley's friend, John Wall. Now, with almost every phone call he receives, text message he reads or "SportsCenter" highlight package he watches, Bradley is reminded of which freshman has had a more celebrated first month as a collegian.

"I always hear it — John Wall did this, John Wall did that," Bradley said. "People say we're the two best guys, and he's playing well."

The Horns beat Texas State 87-54.

Jai Lucas cannot play until the North Carolina game.

An NCAA rule stipulates that Lucas sit out two semesters after transferring. School officials thought Lucas would get one tuneup game in on Tuesday against Texas-Pan American because that is the day that final exams end for UT. But Texas received a clarification of the rule stipulating that he can’t play until the day after finals are completed.

 

Volleyball

Congratulations. The Texas Volleyball team made the NCAA Final Four.

The Longhorns overcame Nebraska's home court advantage on the same Qwest Center Omaha court where they lost a year ago to eventual national runner-up Stanford in the national semifinals. This year that tournament will be in Tampa, Fla., and the No. 2-ranked Longhorns will face Minnesota one of Thursday's national semis.

 

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Get the snacks ready.

Are you counting down the days unti Dec. 19 at 2:30 p.m.? Here's the schedule.

The Jayhawks have a new coach.

Buffalo coach Turner Gill will be Kansas’ next football coach.

Gill, who emerged Saturday as KU athletic director Lew Perkins’ top choice after Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh took his name out of the running, won Perkins over with a detailed game plan for success that included commitments from two experienced and nationally respected coaches to serve as his coordinators, The Kansas City Star has learned.

Gill will bring with him Carl Torbush, formerly the head coach at North Carolina and currently the defensive coordinator at Mississippi State, to be his defensive coordinator and Chuck Long, formerly the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and formerly the head coach at San Diego State, to be his offensive coordinator. Gill is also expected to bring two other former head coaches onto his staff at KU.

Jason Whitlock isn't all that thrilled with the Jayhawks' choice.

As a black member of the media, I know what I’m expected to do today — shout that Gill’s hiring as Kansas’ new football coach is a bold step for college football mankind, a terrific hire by Lew Perkins and the culmination of Martin Luther King’s dream.

The problem is, unlike most of Gill’s prominent supporters in the media, I’ve actually watched his Buffalo Bulls play numerous times. Never once have I been impressed. Not even on the night when Gill’s Bulls ended my then-12th-ranked Ball State Cardinals’ Cinderella season with a shocking 42-24 victory in the 2008 MAC championship game.

Mike Leach is entertaining everyone in San Antonio.

When asked about this being a de facto home game, where most of the 60,000 or so fans expected for the game likely will be rooting for Tech, Leach said he doesn't consider it much of an advantage.

"Once you get in there, it's just noise," he said.

Ndamukong Suh, crime fighter.

You might want to rethink this one. Bo Pelini does not plan to make any offensive changes for the Holiday Bowl.

Nebraska football coach Bo Pelini says there will be no major changes in the team's offense before the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30.

Pelini says the focus now is on improving. He expects offensive changes to wait for the offseason.

OU's student newspaper believes the Sooners will beat Stanford in the 2009 Brut Sun Bowl. And corner back Dominique Franks will return next season.

The Sun Bowl is a no-win situation for Bob Stoops.

If his team prevails, the critics will shrug it off as OU merely doing what it's supposed to do. Should the Sooners lose, the pundits are bound to pile on with more cheap shots about the tarnished reputation of "Big Game Bob."

So while Stoops faces a no-win scenario, he still desperately must win this game on the afternoon of New Year's Eve.

Sam Bradford has put the past season in perspective.

"I know God has a plan and everything happens for a reason," Bradford said. "I kept telling myself that as many times as I could, but you'd still question why things happen the way they happen. It took a long time to stop the questioning. I got better, but there were still a lot of days when I woke up with that question.

"There's still days when I've got to try to pick myself up, days when I'm down. I'm finally starting to get back to myself now."

Bradford said his rehab is going well, and he's on schedule to be physically ready to participate in Oklahoma's Pro Day in 2010. A high draft spot and lucrative contract would help mitigate the physical and emotional pain of this year.

Chase Beeler transferred to Stanford from Oklahoma. (Yes, you read that correctly.) He will be playing his old teammates in the Sun Bowl. NewsOK's Jenny Carlson has a Q&A.

JC: You mention the cerebral aspect of center, and I know you’ve been first-team academic all-conference, have a 3.8 grade point average. Do football players at Stanford get competitive about grades?

CB: There’s definitely something of a competition amongst a few of us as to who’s going to carry the highest GPA for that quarter, who’s going to make all-Pac-10 academic. We have a little scholar-athlete that we give away each quarter. So, yeah, there’s a little bit of a competition between us.

So, how often do you think Jenny Carlson gets to ask a Sooner (current or former) about cerebral subjects? This might be a first?

Whoop! The Aggies are so excited to be going to Shreveport.

"I know we definitely want to be here," Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman said Thursday night during the I-Bowl's team announcement party. "We're excited about being here and coming to Shreveport. The people here have been phenomenal as far as recruiting us even before we became bowl eligible.

"We're excited about being here. It's a great recruiting base for us, an unbelievable group of former students living right here in Shreveport and surrounding areas. It's a good bowl for us and we can use it to our advantage if we play well."

I Am The 12th Man actually said something nice about Jordan Shipley. (You might want to skip over the part about Colt McCoy.)

The Biletnikoff Award for the nation's best wide receiver went to Notre Dame's Golden Tate; that award should have gone to texas' Jordan Shipley. Tate had 93 receptions for 1,496 yards and 15 TD receptions. Shipley has 106 receptions for 1,363 yards and 11 TDs, and still has one more game to play. Shipley built his stats against the Big 12 Conference, not against a padded schedule with the likes of Navy, Nevada, and Washington State. Tate is a phenomenal receiver, but no moreso than Shipley. Given the opponents Shipley faced, and the game-by-game production, the best wide receiver in the nation this year is Shipley.

Now this is dedication to the sport. Cowboy walk-on Taylor Sokolosky broke his neck against Missouri but wants to play again.

"I came to Oklahoma State and accomplished my goals. One of my high school coaches had told me that if I ever actually played at OSU, it wouldn't be until my senior year, if ever. I proved him wrong. I started as a freshman. I lettered three years. If not playing football is the smart thing to do, then I'll be done. But I do know that I want to play again.

"If I do go back out there, I'll do it full speed. At my size, I have to give it all I've got and play with no fear."

 

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Dr. Lou addresses the college football playoff.

Congress wants to limit Wall Street CEO compensation, coaches are next. Rep. Charles Grassley was not happy about football coaches' huge salaries and athletic department's tax-exempt status.

The reverberations from Texas coach Mack Brown's new $5-million-plus-a-year contract reached beyond college football Thursday.

In a statement to USA TODAY, Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, reiterated concerns about spiraling coaches' salaries and questions about the tax-exempt status of college sports.

"There always seems to be money for million-dollar salaries at universities, even with staff salary freezes and tuition increases," said Grassley, who has pressed the issue in recent years as the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee. "Athletic departments get tax breaks because they're part of tax-exempt universities. Students and their parents paying federal taxes subsidize college tax exemptions. So it's fair for students and parents to ask whether athletic department spending affects universities' ability to offer a quality, affordable education."

Congress will probably not let this BCS issue go quietly into the night.

It will be a real brawl with the courts deciding an antitrust challenge that could dismantle the BCS and Congress considering a bill that would put the Federal Trade Commission in charge of college football's postseason.

"We have studied the evidence, we have analyzed the law, and we are ready to file our case early in 2010," says Shurtleff. "We hope that other states and the Justice Department will join us."

He is paid to say that. Bowl Championship Series coordinator Bill Hancock thinks a playoff would cause way too many problems.

"Here's their problem with the four-team playoff," he said. "It would not stay at four. Every bracket has grown ... Pretty soon you'll have eight. Pretty soon, somebody whose No. 5 will say, 'Wait a minute, that's not fair, we need in.' And they would change it to an eight-team playoff."

A playoff would certainly disrupt a student-athlete's exams, unlike the current BCS structure.

What's the best thing about playing in a bowl game? Swag.

What do those star players- Tebow, McCoy and Bradford -mean to their school's athletic programs? What's their monetary value?

Tebow is a franchise, an iconic presence on the collegiate level akin to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the NFL, a player who puts W's in the left column and $$$$$ in the university's coffers. It might not be reflected in the relative worth of the pro contracts these players eventually will sign -- Tebow isn't rated by scouts as a can't-miss pro quarterback prospect -- but on the play-for-no-pay level, it can be argued that his market value to Florida is greater than Bradford's to Oklahoma or McCoy's to Texas. Or, for that matter, the value of running back Mark Ingram at conference rival Alabama or Toby Gerhart out west at Stanford and a handful of others whose names have been mentioned in connection with the 2009 Heisman Trophy that will be awarded Saturday night.

So if a top college player could be paid, what would he be worth?

This one is for all our Crimson Tide visitors. Enjoy. Lane Kiffin considers an NCAA investigation a compliment.

Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin said he takes investigations of the school's recruiting practices as a compliment.

Kiffin said the strength of Tennessee's recruiting class, ranked by most analysts near the top nationally, has caused the unusual amount of interest in the Volunteers' methods, which are under investigation by the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference.

The number of college football awards given out are getting out of control.

Counting those given out by the Associated Press for player and coach of the year, I count at least 41 awards populating the end of college football's regular season.

I'm sure that misses several.

I couldn't find the Long Snapper of the Year, Holder of the Year or Nickel Back of the Year.

Don't laugh. If someone could set up the endorsement deals, the Subway Long Snapper Trophy and Fixodent Top Holder would become reality.

 

And finally...

The Laninghams break down the Big 12 Championship. The dudes have some suggestions to take out Bama's defensive front. Greg, are you watching?

Be sure to sign up for the BON Group at ESPN College Bowl Mania.