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Bevo's Daily Roundup - August 6, 2009

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29 days until the Louisiana-Monroe game

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The Hitler reprise for the Longhorns. (Yes, I'm desperate for video content.)

The Heisman Pundit has their own 2009 All-American Team. You know who gets the nod for quarterback.

Colt McCoy, Texas–With so many great quarterbacks returning in 2009, this wasn’t an easy choice.  But McCoy is coming off a record-setting season where he completed 77 percent of his passes and was just a last-second Texas Tech upset away from clinching the Heisman and a berth in the national title game.  I think it’s time to give him his due.

Colt McCoy has had to suffer through all the room mate references, now he has another: McCoy is still palling around with a Sooner.

ESPNU wants you to rank the most powerful college coaches. Go vote for Mack Brown.

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Maybe we could show the guy a little love this year?

Barking Carnival previews safeties and cornerbacks.

 

 

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The Wrecking Crew. (Music NSFW)

MIke Sherman wants the Aggies to avoid the title of one-hit wonder.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman loves the old highlight of then-Aggies linebacker Quentin Coryatt crushing a TCU receiver from 1991 as much as anyone.

 

"The Hit" video is played and replayed at A&M events across the state – including on Saturday night during the Houston A&M Club’s "Coach’s Night."

 

That said …

 

"We have to find a new highlight," Sherman said to rousing applause from about 800 fans packed in a Marriott Westchase ballroom.

Defensive coordinator Joe KInes has simplified it for the Aggies.

Kines has been one of the nation's most respected coordinators the past couple of decades, but he had his hands full with the defense he inherited last season -- one that finished 114th nationally.

This offseason, Miller said, Kines simplified things.

"It eliminated some of the confusion," Miller said.

They also contacted a team that knows something about defense to help.

Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong visited with the A&M program this past March to share some of Florida’s secrets to success, A&M associate athletic director Tim Cassidy said. The Gators have won two national titles under coach Urban Meyer in the past three years.

Everyone's favorite Aggie may be heading for Memphis, if the rumors pan out. (In case you have forgotten.)

This year, it looks as though 6'6" 345lb Texas A&M DL Kellen Heard will be a much needed late addition for the Tigers. The rumor first broke on memphisroar; and according to my sources Heard has already been spotted on campus and around the Murphy Complex.

"He's a monster, that's all I'll say", one Tiger player said when asked if he'd seen Heard.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out, Kellen.

The Aggies are using the Texas game as an incentive to sell tickets.

Texas A&M officials has announced the "Texas Three Step," a plan that will allow fans to purchase tickets to the game against Texas if they buy tickets for two other Aggie home games.

Individual game tickets are available for every A&M home game except the Thanksgiving battle with the Longhorns. The new plan will allow fans to buy tickets for the UT game without buying a complete season-ticket package.

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Another great Aggie decision? Slocum never had a losing record in 14 seasons with the Aggies but he was fired in 2002 after 6-6 record. A&M now ranks in the bottom of the Big 12 going into the 2009 season.

Both Texas A&M and Iowa State finished in their respective divisional basements last season, although Texas A&M's was technically a tie. Baylor got the nod over the Aggies, however, after beating them late last season.

Most don't think there's much hope for either the Aggies or the Cyclones to escape that fate this season.

It wasn't always this way. Texas A&M was a certified national power under R.C. Slocum, making two trips to the Big 12 championship game in the first four seasons of the conference. The Aggies are the only South team to make a championship game appearance other than Texas and Oklahoma

For once, some of us may agree with I Am The 12th Man.

The Sporting News blog had a piece a few days ago on the worst coaches in sports history, and former Nebraska coach (and current NY Jets assistant head coach) Bill Callahan makes list of Spencer Hall aka Orson Swindle of EDSBS fame. While I agree that Callahan was a pretty colossal flop at Nebraska, and his second season at Oakland was a remarkable failure, I am amazed no one brought up the biggest bag of suck to ever walk a Big 12 sideline in this decade in Dennis Franchione. How many different ways does Franchione suck? Let's list them...

 

 

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Oklahoma State

Zac Robinson has been working out.

Entering the 2008 season, he carried 210 pounds. Now, after an offseason of increased strength training, the 6-foot-3 Robinson is a 220-pound senior. He says the additional muscle will allow him to better cope with the physical demands of being an option quarterback.

"I never expected to get this big, but I feel good and my speed is good," Robinson said. "Being bigger could help me withstand hits from defensive guys, and it could give me a better chance of succeeding at the next level."

Mike Gundy got  a bonus. That money might help him at home after making this comment about his wife, Kristen at OSU's Football 101 For Women.:

An apparent neighbor in attendance complimented Mike Gundy on his ability to keep his dogs in the yard. He said he was better at training dogs than his wife. Did someone say flag on the play?

He quickly recovered the fumble and quieted the surprised room of women and said, "I knew that would get you going."

They're back. The Cowboys reported back to Boone PIckens U on Tuesday.

 

Oklahoma

The Sooners like their 2010 recruiting class.

But this year, thanks to a streaky summer run, the Sooner recruiting class is near completion with 19 commitments.

Now, with most of its needs met and still months to go in the recruiting season, OU can focus on quality over quantity.

"That’s a big advantage," said Rivals.com recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree. "If you can get major needs filled early, that allows you to zero in on some big-time recruits."

The Sooners already have snagged several big-time prospects, which is why OU ranks fourth at the moment in the national recruiting rankings.

Poor Bob. Not only did Urban Meyer beat him in the BCS championship game, now Meyer makes more money than Stoops.

Monday's announcement that Florida coach Urban Meyer has become the newest member of the exclusive $4 million-a-year club has pushed Bob Stoops down a notch on the list of the nation's highest-paid college football coaches.

OU will play two games against Army.

The Land Thieves have a brand-spankin new facility. And they have a new vehicle.

 

 

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The wait is over.

The North Division's less-than-stellar status hasn't hurt the South's chances in the BCS.

"In my estimation, the Big 12 South is the toughest division in college football today," Baylor coach Art Briles said at last week's gathering.

That's precisely why the coaches

at OU, Oklahoma State and Texas aren't hoping the North Division rebuilds anytime soon. You just won't hear them say it on the record.

The Sooners, Cowboys and Longhorns are considered the Big 12's Big Three in most preseason polls. And with Texas Tech coming off an 11-2 record and a share of last season's division crown, Baylor on the rise and Texas A&M a sleeping giant, the dreaded "P-word" is already creeping into the South.

Critics contend that a stronger North will help the Big 12 in the Bowl Championship Series. No, it won't. The struggles up North didn't stop OU and Texas from playing in four of the last six BCS title games.

The Big 12 has six quarterbacks on the Davey O'Brien watch list. I doubt I need to tell you who they are, but here's the list:

It wasn't much of a surprise that the Big 12's top two quarterbacks -- returning Heisman finalists Colt McCoy of Texas and Oklahoma's Sam Bradford made the list. Bradford is the returning Davey O'Brien winner from last season.

Other Big 12 quarterbacks who made the list include Oklahoma State's Zac Robinson, Kansas' Todd Reesing and Baylor's Robert Griffin.

The other Big 12 choice raised a few eyebrows. Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts was selected despite the fact he has thrown only 85 passes and never started a college game before. Members of the O'Brien's selection committee obviously feel comfortable that Potts will follow in the long line of quarterbacks for Tech coach Mike Leach who produce monster numbers once they get a chance to play.

No, those Red Raiders don't have a system offense at all. And just how do they do it, year after year?

Now this might come as a shock... There are seven Big 12 running backs on the Doak Walker Award watch list.

Oklahoma running backs Chris Brown and DeMarco Murray head a seven-member contingent of Big 12 backs who were announced Tuesday on the initial watch list of the Dallas-based Doak Walker Award.

Other Big 12 running backs to make the list include 2008 conference rushing leader Kendall Hunter of Oklahoma State, Baron Batch of Texas Tech, Roy Helu Jr. of Nebraska, Jake Sharp of Kansas and Cyrus Gray of Texas A&M. They were nominated to the 44-member watch list by their respective schools.

Barry Tramel, NewsOK,thinks SEC defenses have an advantage over the Big 12.

Midwest vs. Deep South. Upstart vs. old power. Orange vs. red.

None match the duel of offense vs. defense. Southeastern Conference has the defense; Big 12 has the offense.

That’s the college football stereotype as we near the end of the first decade of the 21st century.

Trite. But true.

More Big 12 adventures from Bring On The Cats.


The South

The Bears have a new home. Baylor has a new indoor practice facility.

Art Briles and company will be featured in the August 10 edition of ESPN The Magazine. (If you are an ESPN INsider, you can read the article online.)

Baylor punter Derek Eppersonis on the Ray Guy Award's watch list.

The Quad has Texas Tech at No. 29 in their college football countdown.

Only in the Big 12 South could a team as talented as Texas Tech be relegated to second-tier status. This is the case because of a pair of teams in Oklahoma and Texas who will rank in the top five, and another in Oklahoma State which could perhaps squeeze into the preseason top 10. Unfortunately, the Red Raiders need to play all three. I have no doubt that the offense – which I don’t think will miss a beat – will hang with this talented opponents, but I’m unsure if the defense has what it takes to lift Tech above eight regular-season wins.

 

The North

What does Iowa State need to do to become competitive this season?

The Cyclones get some good news about their first opponent.

Dan Hawkins expects his players to excel on and off the field.

The program's improvement contributed to a record-setting semester for the entire athletic department with more than 300 student-athletes combining to register a 2.805 GPA.

Coach Dan Hawkins' team followed up with a 2.637 team GPA this spring. It might have been the proudest moment for Hawkins during his three years in Boulder. It has been a staple of his summer speeches to booster clubs and alumni groups.

Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh has some unfinished business.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini vows he didn't persuade senior defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh one way or the other concerning this past spring's NFL draft.

The temptation, however, must have been great.

"He just felt like he had unfinished business," Pelini said. "He wants to finish off his career at Nebraska the right way."

Pelini knows the Cornhuskers need Suh, the Big 12's preseason defensive player of the year and the potential top pick of next year's draft, like corn needs butter.

A lack of respect isn't something Missouri is used to.

To most of the Missouri Tigers, all of this is new. The lack of respect, the underdog mentality, the anonymity — to a group of players who have experienced back-to-back Big 12 North titles, a No. 1 national ranking and unprecedented exposure in recent years, these are foreign concepts.

But to senior linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, they're flashbacks.

"That's definitely where we were a few years back," Weatherspoon said. "So we can go out there and surprise a few people again."

Dave Matter, Columbia Tribune, has his Missouri thoughts of the day as he prepares for the beginning of practice.

Todd Ressing, Kansas quarterback and financial advisor. Mark Mangino trusts Reesing with a lot more than his offense.

It was in the middle of a Kansas University football practice last season when coach Mark Mangino wanted a word with Todd Reesing.

As the coach pulled his quarterback aside, Reesing was prepared to discuss what plays he would call on the next practice drive.

Mangino had something else in mind.

"He pulled me off to the side and said, ‘Todd...what are we going to do about this market?’ So instead of being out there running plays for the next game, me and him were sitting there talking about the financial district and how that was going to affect our lives," Reesing recalled at last week’s Big 12 Media Days in Irving, Texas.

 

 

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The Quad has the University of Houston coming in at No. 30 in the college football countdown. There could be another Heisman quarterback contender in the state Texas and he's playing for the Cougars.

Who’s the best quarterback in Texas? Probably Colt McCoy, right? Alright, here’s a better question: Who’s the most prolific? The clear answer is Houston’s Case Keenum, the talented junior whose jaw-dropping statistical sophomore season makes him an off-the-beaten-path contender for the Heisman Trophy. After showing promise as a rookie, Keenum blossomed in his first season as the undisputed starter: 5,020 yards passing and 44 touchdowns (against only 11 picks) on 67.4 percent passing. He was the 2008 Conference USA Offensive Player of the Year and a second-team all-conference pick (how is that possible?). Most impressively, Keenum came to play every week, throwing for at least 317 yards in each regular season game while cracking 400 yards five times – including in each of the last three games heading into bowl play.

Another old Southwest Conference foe wants respect. TCU gets more respect nationally than they do in their home state.

The Golden Decade will be over in a few years.

If you haven't realized it yet, you, dear fan, are living in the greatest era in college football history. Greatest in terms of players, interest, upsets, facilities, money and games. It was a decade marked by offense -- four of the top five passers of all time played between 2000 and 2006. Coaches became rock stars and were paid accordingly. Saturdays, more than ever, became high holy days with worship beginning at noon in the Big Ten's treasured ET slot and ending after midnight (mass).

Thanks to advances in technology, you can watch those games on your phone or computer. Nothing, though, beats the game-day experience. That's a big reason why we're at this point. It seems that money is no object when it comes to paying to see our beloved game.

There's a new world order. The haves will overtake the have nots.

To Baylor, Godspeed. To Indiana, fare thee well. To Duke, may the road rise to meet you. And to the entirety of the Sun Belt and Mid-American Conferences, safe travels.

Now get out.

What we are doing here is performing a hangeronectomy -- a ruthless downsizing of the cumbersomely named and gruesomely bloated Football Bowl Subdivision. Just as in corporate America, 2009 is the time to get lean in college football. It's time to separate the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys, the Trojans of USC from the Trojans of Troy.

Let's end the charade. The most powerful and least powerful of the 120 teams in the current FBS have very little in common. Sure, you all put on your football pants one leg at a time -- but they're faster legs and bigger pants on one side of this great divide.

If there was a relegation process to only 40 teams in the FBS division of college football, some of the Big 12 teams would have to go. Who would you pick?

Well, the list is out and eight Big 12 teams made Pat Forde, Mark Schlabach and Ivan Maisel's top 40 cut.

Former Colorado football player George Visger is on a mission to warn of the dangers of concussions.

Because he hasn't been able to trust his short-term memory for more than 25 years, George Visger carries a notebook with him just about everywhere he goes. He jots notes to himself about meetings he attends, phone conversations he has and things he can't afford to forget.

His memory impairment, he said, is a side effect of a steady dosage of antiseizure medications, which were necessitated by his long-standing battle with hydrocephalus (water on the brain), which resulted from damage to his ventricles caused by an unknown number of concussions.

George Visger is a wildlife biologist, but he wasn't always.

He used to be a football player.

Is it an effective strategy to campaign a player for the Heisman? Not really.

Kenny Mossman points out that since he arrived at OU in 2001, the Sooners have had two Heisman winners and five finalists without ever carrying out a true player campaign.

What’s more, he says, some trustworthy data indicate that flashy campaigns often fall upon deaf ears.

A few years back, Mossman had a graduate assistant working in his office who was in need of a thesis project. Mossman, long intrigued by the phenomenon of the Heisman campaign, suggested the student contact national media members in an attempt to gauge their effectiveness.

"The information he gathered indicated what I always kind of thought," said Mossman, "which is that, yeah, they like them, they think they’re cute and everything, but it really didn’t have any bearing on how their vote was cast."

Of the past 10 Heisman winners — including Tim Tebow in ’07 and Sam Bradford in ’08 — none was the beneficiary of a particularly stout Heisman campaign, and there is some belief that the pressure of being touted as college football’s finest early on can hinder a player’s performance throughout the year.

Another article lamenting the coaches' poll. Mark Mangino sums it up:

"I watched some of the voting patterns (that year and since)," Kansas coach Mark Mangino said. "I can see areas where guys weren't voting for teams they probably should have."

 

 

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Photo from EarlCampbell.com

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Earl Campbell and his family.