40 days until the Louisiana-Monroe game.
Big 12 Media Days are here. The conference web site will have live video each day. Mack Brown, along with Colt McCoy, Jordan Shipley and Roddrick Muckelroy, will be up Wednesday, July 29, starting at 11:15 A.M.
We want to be the SEC when we grow up?
(Link is not operational right now. A new one will be posted as soon as possible.)
The Big 12 plays the fastest and scores the most. It's got the best quarterbacks, fleetest receivers and maddest geniuses on the sidelines. It has no-huddle, no-fear offenses created by Steven Spielberg.
This week, Big 12 media days will roll out two of the top three teams in the country (Texas and Oklahoma) and a third in the top 10 (Oklahoma State). There will be the reigning Heisman Trophy winner (Sam Bradford of Oklahoma) and the quarterback who finished third (Colt McCoy of Texas). There will be two other quarterbacks (Zac Robinson of Oklahoma State and Todd Reesing of Kansas) who are arguably among the top six in the nation.
The Big 12 is a big-boy league and getting bigger by the year. Last year SEC types referred to the Big 12 as "flag football'' (more SEC marketing). True, Big 12 defenses didn't look good. Maybe the offenses made them look that way.
Whatever. The Big 12 has won national championships. No apologies necessary.
Mack Brown football philosophy.
A tie is like kissing your sister.- Attributed to Duffy Daughtery. We're tied with the Sooners in the Big 12 poll. It could be concern over the Sooner's offensive line or a Texas media conspiracy, according to NewsOK.
As for the poll, The Oklahoman tracked down several of the 32 media members who voted. Nearly every media member credentialed for Big 12 Media Days next week in Irving, Texas, was eligible to vote. For that reason, the poll probably had a higher participation rate of Texas media since more Texas media members are being credentialed for the event due to their proximity to the Dallas area.
The consensus explanation among those who picked Texas over OU was concern over the Sooners’ offensive line, which returns only one starter, Trent Williams.
"Basically, both are going to be great. Both have questions. But OU’s offensive line, their question, is going to take longer to answer," said Blair Kerkhoff, who covers Big 12 football for the Kansas City Star and voted Texas ahead of the Sooners. "I remember leaving spring ball thinking, ‘Sam Bradford is going to be great, but he’s not going to have the same numbers.’ That offensive line (last season) was so good, so dominant."
Said Big 12 writer Tim Griffin of ESPN.com, "I voted Texas with trepidation. It’s really a flip of the coin."
We still have tight end issues.
Mack Brown told me Monday the staff was counting heavily on D.J. Grant, whose spring was limited because of an ankle injury, but Texas will also look at Josh Marshall and Ian Harris and use Greg Smith and tackle-end Britt Mitchell as blocking tight ends.
It’s a lot to expect, but perhaps one of the two freshmen, Barrett Matthews and Trey Graham, could contribute even though neither enrolled early in January.
Chris Whaley is realistic about his freshman year in the Big 12.
On Tuesday (Texas High School Coaches' Association's all-star game), Whaley tiptoed to the line of scrimmage some, danced at times a la Henry Melton and didn't seem to crumple undersized defenders on a subpar North team that had just two defensive players going to BCS conference teams.
Whaley said afterward that he had "a little hesitation" on some handoffs but was overall "pretty satisfied" with his game. At a luncheon Monday, he admitted he has a tendency to run too upright.
"I'll be in for a rude awakening in college," he conceded. "I ran straight through everyone in high school."
Everyone wants a year like 2005.
Roy Williams on Texas football.
Photo: Austin American-Statesman
Making it special just for the Aggies. We will be getting all dressed up for our game with A&M in November.
The athletic department has announced two open practices and an autograph day.
Colt McCoy takes out an insurance policy. A big one.
Brad McCoy, Colt's father, said Sunday that Colt has a policy that would pay between $3 million and $5 million in the event of a career-ending injury.
"The premium is astronomical," said Brad McCoy. "But the payback in the event of a catastrophe puts the monetary value there. We felt it was the prudent thing to do."
I Am The 12th Man asks what McCoy can do as an encore. It is a pretty simple answer, and something Aggies haven't accomplished since 1939. (Well, according to the Aggies they won a national championship in 1939.)
The Nonconference Opponents
At least a few people are excited about our nonconference schedule.
Thanks to a home game against Texas this fall, Wyoming has sold a record number of season football tickets.
The Longhorns, led by Heisman Trophy runner-up Colt McCoy, play in Laramie on Sept. 12 in what is being billed by the university as the biggest game in Wyoming football history.
Wyoming will be featured on ESPN's College Football Live "50 States Tour" on Tuesday, July 28.
Dr. Saturday looks at Louisiana-Monroe in his Profiles in Obscurity series.
Flashback - Ricky Williams
Ricky Williams wins the Heisman Trophy
Saturday, December 12, 1998
The Heisman Room - Downtown Athletic Club (New York, N.Y.)
Upon his arrival at Texas, Ricky Williams said that Earl Campbell's Heisman Trophy looked lonely in a trophy case and vowed to fill the void. Many thought the opportunity was lost after Williams felt shunned and disappointed in finishing fifth and failing to even earn a trip to New York after leading the nation in rushing and scoring as a junior. Instead a motivated Williams, who was a big fan of the college experience, stunned everyone by passing on NFL millions to return for his senior year. He followed with a dramatic and emotional record-setting season that was rewarded with the 64th Heisman Memorial Trophy. In a storybook season that couldn't have been scripted better in Hollywood, Williams claimed the coveted trophy in a landslide victory. He captivated the country with a dramatic return to college. He honored his fallen friend Doak Walker, who was being recognized for his 50th anniversary of winning the Heisman Trophy in 1998. Williams also broke Tony Dorsett's 22-year old NCAA rushing record en route to eclipsing 21 NCAA marks as well as 46 UT standards while transforming a struggling 4-7 Longhorns team in 1997 to one of the nation's top turnaround seasons in 1998. The first player in UT history to finish among the Heisman Trophy's top five vote getters twice, Williams' route to the trophy featured the greatest percentage of votes cast (43% of 920 voters) in the prestigious award's history. He also secured the third-most points (2,355) and first-place votes (714), as well as the fourth-largest margin of victory (1,563 points) in history. Although the ceremony appeared to be a formality, it didn't put a damper on the enthusiasm. As Williams nervously awaited the announcement in New York, his teammates' reaction was being fed from the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center team meeting room live via satellite to ESPN. When their teammate's name was called, the room erupted. Williams was quick to thank his teammates, coaches and family in his acceptance speech. "This is a team award," Williams said. "You can't become a finalist without the effort and hard work of the whole team. The best part of this entire season is that I was a part of a Texas team that won eight games." UT later went on to post its ninth victory of the season against No. 25 Mississippi State in the 1999 Cotton Bowl (38-11).
And a little side note to our favorite Aggie blog about that encore... We would also like another fine piece of art for the athletic department.
Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman radio interview.
Texas A&M linebacker Kyle Mangan may have a big impact this season.
The Aggies, once known as Linebacker U of the South, are desperate at the position. The freshman Mangan (6 foot 2, 226 pounds), who red-shirted last year, is in a fight with senior Anthony Lewis for playing time at middle linebacker.
It sounds like Mangan, so far, is winning. His senior year at Brenham, Mangan collected 23 tackles for loss, including nine sacks. For good measure, he intercepted a couple of passes and caused as many fumbles.
Mike Sherman on his locker room.
Robert Cessna laments A&M's pick as the south's cellar dweller.
Here's one team the Aggies can beat.
Big 12 officials have quietly taken steps to defuse one potentially explosive situation.
While they'd probably never admit it, there is a reason why they assigned Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman to be part of Monday's program, while Texas Tech coach Mike Leach won't meet the press until Wednesday.
Just some more of that Texas media conspiracy... A little Aggie humor from Richard Justice.
Sometimes you've got to be slapped up in the head region four or five times before you get the message. Eventually the message gets through, but the process can be painful. I'm writing today in the hope of shortening the process for the good people at Texas A&M.
I'm writing because I care. These are good people. OK, maybe they're not the sharpest tools in the shed, but being a little slow doesn't mean they're not still very nice people. They are.
I'm again hoping for the best but expecting the worst. I have a dream. That dream is that Texas A&M will someday be a contender in football, maybe even a conference champion...
What the Aggies need is a chance to get their self esteem back. That's why now is the time to consider a move to Conference USA. The Aggies would be the gold standard for facilities and fan support on their first day in C-USA.
Sooner mixed with a little culture.
Sam Bradford may be even better this season.
He also said he expects Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford to be even better this season. Expectations as the reigning Heisman winner won't affect his demeanor, Stoops said.
"He's more used to it, he knows what he wants to do. He's just taken more control of it," Stoops said. "So naturally, it'll be the same of his huddle, his demeanor with the team. As the guy matures and grows older and has the experiences he's had, he's going to grow from it. And you put on top of it what a bright and mature and sharp guy he is, he's just only going to get better."
Did he say huddle? Does that mean the Sooners are junking the no-huddle offense in 2009?
"Well, I meant as he's walking to the line of scrimmage," Stoops began. Then, the coach saw an opportunity. "No, yeah, I meant, we're huddling this year. We're out of all that other stuff. We're worried about our defensive statistics, so we'll go back to wasting time."
A former OU coach believes that Sooner fans are unrealistic.
Seated in the midst of thousands of OU fans, Jim Donnan joined in the cheering when the Sooners roared to a 35-0 first-quarter lead. Yes, first quarter.
"This guy sitting behind me was just wearing out (criticizing) OU's pass rush," Donnan said.
"I mean, he was just wearing them out."
Anyone who knows the feisty Donnan won't be surprised to learn that he couldn't let the critical comments go unnoticed. He inquired if the gentleman, who was decked out in red, was actually a Sooner supporter.
They are the only school with a plaza dedicated to all their Heisman winners.
And last fall, before the Ohio State game, Texas unveiled a bronze of Earl Campbell at Memorial Stadium's southwest corner. But Texas has indicated no plans for honoring its other Heisman winner, Ricky Williams, leaving OU with the only multiple-statue plaza of Heisman life-size bronzes in the country.
"OU was the first to think of this Heisman Plaza," said Edmond artist Shan Gray, who sculpted the Vessels and Miller statues. "It's a tremendous honor to be a part of, and I don't say that lightly."
It is a very sad life for a former, very talented OU player.
Mike Gundy on discipline.
Gundy says he wants not only a successful program, but a clean one.
"When you're dealing with 125 guys between the ages of 18 and 23, you want everybody to do the right thing," Gundy said. "But sometimes, guys make mistakes."
This year, the Cowboy program has had problems.
The Cowboys have made an impression on Georgia coach Mark Richt.
"Probably preseason Top 10 by most people," Richt said of the Cowboys. "Loaded offense coming back. A team that you hear the (Cowboy) coaches say, 'We've been kind of pointing to this season for the last couple years, opening a brand-new stadium.' I think they're charging $100 a ticket."
Kansas running back Jake Sharp has something to prove.
But David says there’s something else you need to know about Jake: He was always trying to show that he was tops in everything he did. That could be backyards hoops, sprints, go-karts or paintball.
Running back Jocques Crawford has left the Kansas Jayhawks.
The New York Times' blog, The Quad, ranks Missouri at No. 53.
Snyder embarks on his 18th season at Kansas State — and first since 2005 — with the start of practice Aug. 5. Next week, he'll address his return and his team's prospects at the Big 12 Conference's annual season preview in Dallas.
Coming off a 5-7 season and next-to-last-place finish in the Big 12's North Division, still searching for a quarterback and answers for one of the nation's worst defenses, immediate expectations are modest. Snyder was away while spread offenses proliferated and the Big 12 evolved, growing deeper and far stronger than it was when he and the Wildcats were mounting an ascent that included four weeks at No. 1 in the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll in 1998. Can he steer them back? If so, how quickly?
Nebraska football tradition.
Two promising Colorado recruits eligibility is up in the air, so to speak.
The Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe would like five years of eligibility.
For the last couple of years, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has been trying to marshall support for a proposal that would give college football players a fifth year of eligibility.
Beebe is always optimistic -- but nothing ever happens. A handful of college presidents and administrators who don't like the proposal have lobbied successfully against such an idea, and have managed to shout it down every time it has a chance of even being strongly considered.
Maxim Magazine has the 10 worst teams. Baylor, Iowa State and A&M make the list. (And I know all of you are just going to this site to read the article...)
The Big 12 media voted on the best games of 2008 and the conference web site has video of the television broadcast of each complete game. (The video is free, you just have to register on the site.) Happy viewing.
The Ft. Worth Star Telegram has the five really big questions this season.
Jerry Jones wants to move the College Football Hall of Fame to Dallas.
Dennis Dodd mourns the death of the coaches poll.
The coaches poll just died here Friday morning.
There was no news release. You won't read about it anywhere but here. But it's done, kaput, over with, after more than 50 years.
You know why? It has as much credibility left as Dick Cheney and his stance on those weapons of mass destruction.
Information we could definitely use in Austin. Smart Football evaluates running backs and the running game.
It is almost here...