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Bevo's Daily Roundup - October 1, 2009

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It is bye week. You have to watch highlights from the UTEP game. That's all there is.

We trumped the Sooners.

During the past three weeks, three different Longhorn players have earned honors as the Big 12's defensive player of the week.

Safety Earl Thomas was honored after his two first-half interceptions against UTEP last week.

Linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy earned the honor after the Longhorns' victory over Texas Tech and defensive tackle Lamarr Houston was chosen after the Longhorns' victory over Wyoming.

The Longhorns' defense doesn't match the Sooners statistically, but it has beaten them so far in terms of individual honors.

Vacation time. The Horns get a bye week.

"You always work ahead when you have a week off," Texas coach Mack Brown said Monday.

Brown described the series of somewhat relaxed practices as an abbreviated preseason training camp.

Damn. That says it all.




This is why we do not like to see Aggies travel too far out of College Station.

Big Foot & Elvis. The Aggies are a big unknown. They look good on paper, but who are they?

Unless you've been at Kyle Field or obtained access to game film, Texas A&M's football season has begun in full-fledged stealth mode.

Bigfoot and Elvis have been more visible.

Sure, the Aggies have played (apparently) well, starting 3-0 and leading the nation in total offense. Their accomplishments have come in a media vacuum, with nontelevised wins over New Mexico, Utah State and Alabama-Birmingham.

The anonymity ends Saturday against Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium on ESPN2. Anyone interested will get a good look at the Aggies and have a chance to assess the progress from last season.

The Razorbacks are not worried about their game with A&M.

"I think we'll be ready to go down there and compete and believe that we can get it done," Petrino said.

Petrino said the Razorbacks will be fine it they stick together despite two disappointing weeks. He addressed the team Sunday and reminded them they may have lost two games, but also played two "very good football teams."

Aggies and Razorbacks have met before.

Should Jerrod Johnson be in the Heisman talk? (Is this article by the same John Lopez that wrote this? No bias here.)

He is the Sidd Finch of college football, a player so talented and productive it's almost impossible to believe he's real.

But Texas A&M junior quarterback Jerrod Johnson is very real. And despite carrying a team with less talent and more freshmen than all the hyped-up Heisman-watch names, Johnson is making a stronger early-season case for the stiff-arm statue than anyone.

His story -- how he's become one of the most mature and grounded athletes in big-time sports -- is equally inspiring.

What if a girl wins the raffle? Coach Sherman will pick four students to stand in for the 12th Man.

They will be allowed to attend the team walk through at Cowboys Stadium, sit in various team meetings, stay at the team hotel and attend all activities as if they were a member of the traveling football squad. During the game, they will be in the team area and will be wearing 12th Man jerseys.

Someone wasn't impressed by Texas A&M University.

From three states over this week, an opposing player hurled this message at Texas A&M: "We're not intimidated by the name on the helmet."

They just won't let that wrecking crew memory die...



Oklahoma State

Some young players were impressive in the Cowboy's win over Grambling.

Dameron Fooks is just one more offensive weapon for the Cowboys.

Twisting in mid-air, Dameron Fooks snatched the ball out of the air and got one foot down in the end zone before tumbling out of bounds. The Grambling defender’s body language said it all: Where did this guy come from?

Interestingly enough, that’s exactly what everyone else in Boone Pickens Stadium was thinking as well.

A late addition to OSU’s 2009 recruiting class, Fooks showed signs of becoming another offensive weapon for the Cowboys with his performance against Grambling. The sophomore had four catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns in his fourth game in a Cowboy uniform.

The Pokes need to spend more quality time together. Mistakes, including penalities and turnovers, have been a problem this season. The answer?

"I think we’re still making a lot of mistakes, turning the ball over a little bit, just not like we’re used to in the past," said quarterback Zac Robinson.

Robinson also pointed to ongoing personnel changes along the offensive line and inexperience at wide receiver as factors for the slow start.

"As our offensive line and everybody else gets acquainted with playing with each other… we have a lot of young guys who are playing," Robinson said, "especially receivers playing for the first time."



Everyone's favorite coach on Sam Bradford.

Bob Stoops did not like Gary Danielson's comment. (There's more to come from Gary Danielson later.)

When told that CBS college football analyst Gary Danielson had questioned whether Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops should have persuaded quarterback Sam Bradford to turn pro instead of returning to school for his junior season, the Sooners coach was taken aback.

"I haven’t heard that, but that is ridiculous and it is insulting and it’s foolish to say that," Stoops said.

Well, yes. This shouldn't come as a surprise. The Sooners expect a tough game from Miami.

"They want to make America forget about that game, and what better way to do it than bringing down the No. 8 team in the country on your home field, in a night game on ABC?" said senior offensive lineman Brian Simmons. "I’m not going to look down on them, because they’re going to come out motivated."


That's pretty much what we think of Sooners, too.

Film day! The Miami team got to watch a horror film in preparation for the Sooners.

University of Miami defensive coordinator John Lovett spent a lot of time hitting the rewind button during the team's film session Sunday. His intention was to make his players sick to their stomachs as much as it was to teach them a lesson.

``Coach Lovett can be a real fun guy. He'll bark at us, come up and scream in our ear or jump out of nowhere and scare us,'' cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke said.

``He wasn't playing around on Sunday. He wanted us to chew on what we did against Virginia Tech and make sure we get that taste out of our mouths.''




Mutiny, police reports and the anticipated return of the Heisman winner. Just all in a college football Saturday in the Big 12.

Maybe you’re eager to see whether quarterback Sam Bradford returns for Oklahoma’s visit to No. 17 Miami. Or if LSU can remain unbeaten for its Oct. 10 home showdown with top-ranked Florida after a foray between the hedges at No. 18 Georgia. Or who leaves the USC-California brush in Pac-10 contention.

Me, I’m keyed up for Texas Tech and New Mexico.

A mutiny looms, and I can’t look away. In one corner stands the Pirate of the Southwest, the undisputed champion against Twitter, Mike Leach! In the other, weighing in at 270 pounds ― according to police reports ― the coach behind New Mexico’s 0-4 start, Mike Locksley!

Big 12 TV contracts stink.

I guess we all know that the Big 12 schools get about $10 million less per year than the Big 10 and SEC schools.  In this economy, that’s a huge problem.  Why do the Big 12 TV contracts suck so bad? Because the Big 12 TV slate is a bad product. Every major conference can put out a couple of marketable games each week, and the Big 12 is no exception. How many can have four or five? That’s what it takes to get the big money.

Here's your weekend viewing guide.

The South

Do you Twitter? Mike Leach thinks you are a narcissist.

Tech has assistants to sit around and tell Red Raider players how great they are. They do not need to use Twitter.

"If they don't get enough attention, I've got graduate assistants and student assistants that'll sit there and listen to them embellish stories and talk and tell them how great they are all they want. They don't need Twitter."

The Tortilla Retort has a Houston-Tech post moratorium. He has some good advice for Tech fans:

This season is not over, Raider fans, I still believe this is a good football team that will be hard for anyone to beat as long as they keep putting forth the kind of effort they’ve put out the last two weeks.  It’s hard to go undefeated in a season and you need a little luck to win every game.  The bounces of the ball will start going our way, so long as we keep playing hard.  Now, let’s look at what we did wrong.

The New Mexico Lobos are up next for the Raiders. Their coach seems like a lot of fun.

It's no wonder, then, that Locksley, struggling through his first year as a head coach, is feeling a little stressed, especially when you add the weight of an ongoing age discrimination/sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a former UNM employee less than six months into his tenure. I strongly doubt, however, that "stress" will fly as an excuse when Locksley is called to publicly answer for allegedly punching his wide receivers coach, Jonathan "J.B." Gerald, in the face last week.

Someone took some souvenirs. The Houston Cougars are missing three helmets.

In the chaos of thousands of fans storming the field to celebrate, UH receivers James Cleveland and A.J. Dugat and guard Jordan Shoemaker lost their helmets. Sumlin doesn’t consider it a major issue, but he would like to see helmets back on his players’ heads as soon as possible. The 12th-ranked Cougars (3-0) open Conference USA play on Saturday at UTEP (1-3).


"We’ve got practice helmets and we’ve got game helmets," Sumlin said. "There are helmets they get used to for a game. It’s an inconvenience more than anything else. It’s the most protective gear a player wears. It’s not a one-size-fits-all deal."

The Bears are just trying to cope with the loss of Griffin.

Baylor coach Art Briles tried to put his bravest face on Monday when dealing with the devastating loss of injured star quarterback Robert Griffin for the season.

"Our image may change a little bit, but the determination won't," Briles said.

An MRI on Sunday showed Griffin has an "isolated tear" in the ACL of his right knee. The dual-threat sophomore from Copperas Cove got hurt when he was stopped for no gain on a fourth-down play early in the Bears' 68-13 romp over Northwestern State on Saturday night.

And it gets worse. Baylor defensive back Mikail Baker is out for the season, too.

Blake Szymanski is now Baylor's starting quarterback.


The North

So far, so good. Blaine Gabbert's passing numbers are good.

His 1,161 yards are good for sixth in the FBS, and second in the Big 12 Conference behind Texas Tech quarterback Taylor Potts' 1,602. His 11 touchdowns put him in a tie for third in the FBS, and again rank him behind only Potts in the Big 12. And in terms of passer rating Gabbert's 168.6 is good for ninth in the entire FBS and best among Big 12 quarterbacks.

Some of Gabbert's statistical success isn't indicative of the struggles he has had to face thus far. While his final line against Bowling Green indicates that he completed more than 60 percent of his passes, it doesn't show that in the first part of the game Gabbert was 10 for 21. Or that Gabbert's 415-yard performance against Nevada included another first quarter where the Tigers couldn't find the end zone.

Is this the epic battle for the bottom? Iowa State plays Kansas State this weekend.

Easy schedule? The Wildcats play Colorado and Texas A&M in October.

Kansas State faces Iowa State, Texas A&M and Colorado in the first month of Big 12 play, which would constitute favorable scheduling in some circles.

You won't hear that from Bill Snyder.

"You probably would never hear me say that anybody on our schedule in the Big 12 Conference is not a powerhouse," Snyder said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "You've seen us play."

Bill Snyder wants a better pass rush.

"We got after it a little more, but we still have a lot more to prove out there," he said. "We made some strides to get better, so we need to build on that.

"A lot of guys got close, but just weren't getting there. We need to get a little more effort out there."





The Heisman Pundit weekly poll is out.

ESPN's Mark Schlabach discusses the race.


The Other Stuff

You just gotta love Gary Danielson.

The Southeastern Conference has three quarterbacks better than their counterparts in the Big 12, says CBS college football announcer Gary Danielson.

He says Florida’s Tim Tebow, Mississippi’s Jevan Snead and Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett are better than anyone currently active in the Big 12 — like Texas’ Colt McCoy, Kansas’ Todd Reesing and Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson.

Dan Wetzel has some choice words for the BCS.

Where did that Wildcat formation come from?

The Versus vs. Direct TV war is still raging on.

DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said negotiations are ongoing. "We're open to putting the games up for our customers while we continue to negotiate," he said. "The puck is at their end of the rink."

Jamie Davis, president of Versus, said that isn't the case.

"They're the ones who pulled our signal off the air on Sept. 1," Davis said. "We were having fruitful negotiations. They were the ones who put up a slate background and insulted our programming and clouded the issues by saying it's all about price.

Have you ever heard of a sports mortgage?

For the price of a three-bedroom home with a pool in a leafy suburb, you can now buy something really and truly invaluable. Your own stadium seat.

Earlier this month, the boards of regents at the University of Kansas and the University of California-Berkeley approved plans to fund stadium expansions and renovations by selling something called "equity seat rights." Fans who are approved for financing can buy their seats and pay for them—with interest, of course—over as long as 50 years. Once the seat is paid for, it's yours, just like a house.

If this "mortgage" model catches on, it will mark a radical departure from the past, when most new stadiums were financed with a combination of taxpayer dollars, private loans and corporate sponsorships.

Are succession plans a good idea?

Succession planning is nothing new. That’s what monarchies are about, after all.

Heredity has figured prominently in college sports from time to time, notably when control of men’s basketball programs was handed from father to son. That was the case when Joey Meyer replaced his father, Ray, as head coach at DePaul in 1984; when Sean Sutton succeeded Eddie, his dad, at Oklahoma State in 2004; and when Pat Knight stepped in for his father, Bob, at Texas Tech in 2008. You can even argue the elevation of longtime assistant Bill Guthridge as North Carolina’s head coach after Dean Smith retired on the eve of the 1997-98 basketball season was a matter of keeping control in the family.