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Bevo's Daily Roundup - February 23, 2010

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Former Longhorn triple jumper Helen Upperton is competing in the bobsled competition for Canada. (Another video of Upperton.)

Austin loves the Olympics.

The Austin market was tied for 15th place nationally with Providence, R.I., through eight days of competition. Austin is generating a 17.7 average Nielsen rating, a number consistently surpassed here only by Texas Longhorns and Dallas Cowboys football.

Austin is the only Texas market in the top 25. Most of the leaders — like Denver (23.2), Milwaukee (22.8), Salt Lake City (22.7), Seattle (21.3) and Minneapolis (21.2) — are northern places where people can actually do these winter events.

Tre Newton up close and personal at the Rose Bowl Media Day. Yes, he is a BDR favorite.

The Statesman continues their spring football preview with a look at our running backs. Go ahead and read it. It isn't as bad as you think.

The Longhorns were offensively explosive in 2009, with a per-game scoring average of 39.3 points, tops in the Big 12 and third nationally. But they did it with relatively minimal support from a running game that has been a source of consternation — among fans at least — for four years.

Will 2010 be different from last season's norm of 147.6 rushing yards per game, UT's lowest average since 2002?

The Horns are just ready to leave those BCS memories behind.

Spring practice begins Friday for Texas, which means the program can leave behind an excruciating "what might have been" from the national championship game and start looking forward to a promising 2010.

Well, sort of.

"It's one of those things that is kind of hard to get over, just looking back on it, but you know you have to move on to the next year and try to get back there again," senior defensive end Sam Acho said.

The ESPN Big 12 blog has a Q&A with Greg Davis.

What are you looking to accomplish with Gilbert this spring?

GD: What I want from him this spring is just to relax and to be himself and not try to be Colt. I’m talking to him this offseason the same way I talked to Colt four years ago. I told Colt: “Hey, you’re not going to rush for 1,000 yards like Vince Young. Just be Colt McCoy.” That’s what I’m talking to Garrett about. I told him: “You just need to go out and be yourself and lead the way you’ve always led.” We expect to win games with him.

The baseball team dropped to No.3.

The NFL Combine is Colt McCoy's chance to show what he can do.

Because they are recovering from injuries, Sam Bradford of Oklahoma and Jimmy Clausen of Notre Dame won't work out at the combine, but they will be present for important physicals. That clears the way for McCoy of Texas to gain ground on them by throwing the football. The knock on McCoy is his arm strength; despite his accuracy, he is considered a second- or third-rounder because he doesn't wow scouts with his throwing. Wisely, McCoy said he will throw and work out. A good workout could open eyes for first-round consideration.

Jordan Shipley's prospects are very good.

The consensus among NFL Draft experts is that Shipley is likely a third-rounder, with ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. saying he has a shot at the second round. The other conclusion they’ve all arrived at is that he compares very well to just about every white possession receiver in recent memory. Most see a lot of Wes Welker ­— the New England Patriots star from Texas Tech — in him. Kiper Jr. likens him to the Wes Welker of the 1990s, Ricky Proehl. I’m just waiting on someone to throw out a Wayne Chrebet comparison.

Shipley’s biggest assets are his hands. In a Texas receiving corps where drops were commonplace, a Shipley drop came as a shock. He also has the potential to return punts and kicks, which should increase his draft stock even more. After all, that was how Welker made a name for himself in the league, returning kicks for the Miami Dolphins.

Mel Kiper's latest draft board.

"It's been good to us and for us," Dodds told Tramel. "Geographically, it works. 
It works politically, and it has to work politically. It works competitively. It's worked financially. I don't think we need 100 years of tradition to have a great thing."

Deloss Dodds wants to play more conference games in football and basketball.

Dodds advocates playing more conference games in BOTH football and basketball. He would like nine Big 12 games in football and 22 in basketball (a double round-robin).

"I’d rather play more conference games," Dodds said. "We don’t have enough votes for that. We wouldn’t be buying so many games."

Dodds said he has trotted out the idea "a couple of times. Hadn’t had much success. They know where we stand. Sometimes programs get down and want to play games where they can win more games. Those votes will always be against adding."

More on Texas to the Big 10.

Like a bad weather fit? Actually, the weather in September and October is often better in every place in the Big Ten than in stifling Texas. The Longhorns would often have to make only one November road trip north each season if it can maintain its Thanksgiving rivalry with Texas A&M.

Those broken relationships? Understand that the Longhorns really don't live to play Baylor and Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. They played Oklahoma when they were in different conferences before, so it's possible to do it again.

But here may be the biggest reason for the Longhorns to not only accept the idea of moving but push hard for it:

How can they sit back and let someone else gain that money and power? How can they watch themselves actually earn less TV money and fall further behind the Big Ten and SEC?

Augie Garrido's take on joining the Big 10:

The Longhorn baseball coach told The Daily Texan: "Teams would have to leave early (for northern outposts). Then you get there, and it's snowing, and you're freezing your (rear) off and can't play anyway. How do you get to (Penn State location) Happy Valley? I'm not even sure they're happy there."

Rumors. And UW Dog Pound thinks we are talking to the PAC 10.

We spent most of last week going over different expansion scenario's for the Pac 10 and examining the problems going on with the Oregon football program. We actually start off this week with the same two items. Washington AD Scott Woodward says he thinks the league is talking to Texas and Texas A&M. He also talked about the future formation of four sixteen conferences which is exactly what we were talking this past week. It is one thing for us to kick it at around at the blog but it gains considerable traction when a Pac 10 AD talks about the possibilities.

He probably had his fill of College Station. Former Longhorn Van Malone took a job as the secondary coach at Tulsa.

MBTF.com caught up with Quan Cosby.

 

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Does anyone really care? Barry Tramel contemplates what would happen to OU and OSU if the Big 12 collasped.

Whatever becomes of the Sooners and Cowboys, be it switching leagues themselves or making a go of it with a refurbished Big 12, they will be together. Just as I think Texas and Texas A&M are tied together by Texas politics, the Bedlam rivals are welded together. If Texas were to leave for the Pac-10 or Big Ten, I think A&M would have to go with the ‘Horns. Or at least A&M would have to have a great consolation prize — the SEC probably the only acceptable alternative to staying with Texas.

If OU and OSU suddenly put themselves on the open market, OU would have more options than OSU. The Sooners have the bigger national name for football, and conference realignment always is about football. But OU’s options would then wither if other leagues knew OSU had to be part of the deal. It’s not that OSU is unattractive, it’s just that OU would bring the state’s television sets, which is what all this really is about.

Overall attendance dropped for NCAA football games. Stillwater was one of the few the exceptions.

Maize N Brew visits with Corn Nation about a possible Big 10 invitation.

Maize n Brew Dave: I keep hearing about this "Nebraska" as an option for the Big Ten. Remind me who you guys are again?

Husker Mike:  Well, we've won five national championships, including going 60-3 with three trophies in five years in the middle 90's.

So much for keeping the air raid. The new Tech offensive coordinator said that his players will need to know as few as a dozen plays.

In an attempt to make his presentation applicable for all listeners, Neal Brown went over three plays he said were easy to install in any offense from wishbone to spread.

It's not as if his playbook is Webster's Dictionary thick to begin with. Speaking Saturday at the 28th annual West Texas Football Clinic, the new Texas Tech offensive coordinator said next year's Red Raiders might need to know as few as a dozen plays - three or four runs and six to eight pass routes.

Remember Tech's coach before Tommy Tuberville?

The Aggies want a very special special team.

Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman rounded out his revamped staff this past week, and on Thursday explained his plans for special teams.

Sherman told me that outside linebackers coach Nick Toth will coordinate the special teams. But that doesn't mean Toth is completely in charge of the unit that perhaps cost the Aggies three late losses during last year's 6-7 finish.

Sherman said different assistants will be in charge of different areas of special teams, with Toth, who served as The Citadel's special teams and defensive backs coach last season, coordinating the effort.

Kansas is the Big 12 basketball champion.

The Sooners seem to have some regrets about Damion James.

Reynolds and James were Sooners, for a few months. They signed to play for coach Kelvin Sampson, but when Sampson stunned Oklahoma by leaving for Indiana after the 2006 season, Reynolds and James wanted out of their agreements.

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione was faced with a difficult decision.

He could have held Reynolds and James to their bonds. After all, student-athletes sign with a school, not a coach.

Think of where Oklahoma might be with Reynolds, who is having an All-America season at Villanova, and James, Texas’ top scorer. The Wildcats, despite Sunday’s loss at Pittsburgh, remain in the hunt for a top seed, and the Longhorns reached the No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history last month.

 

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Will TCU have an invitation to join another conference if the teams leave the Big 12? Do they even want to move up?

The only reason TCU should, and will, seriously consider dumping the MWC is money. The uber rich can never get enough cash.

The power conferences have the inside deals with ESPN and the BCS. Travel budgets would be less in the Big 12, and home attendance would be an easier sell with regional teams coming to Amon G. Carter Stadium.

And a lot of TCU fans would prefer the chance to travel to and have a chance to beat a Texas, Texas A&M, etc., every other year as opposed to Wyoming or Colorado State.

Add the following amendment as well: If TCU can join the Big 12 North and avoid the South -- and that's a reach -- write a Dear John letter to the Mountain West and go. Today.

How nice. There is actually a blog that follows TCU sports. (Someone actually takes the time to write about the Horned Frogs.) One of their absolutely riveting posts? Oregon is the new UT.

You can relax a little, Mack Brown. There's a new face on the penal powerhouse scene now that Oregon seems to be taking the spotlight off of all the football players down in Austin who've been arrested.

Did you know that Texas is a hockey hotbed? It must be all that cold weather.

Ole Miss will have a new mascot.

Colonel Reb shall not rise again. That much is certain.

The University of Mississippi dumped the mascot, a caricature of a white plantation owner, in a 2003 effort to distance the school from Old South stereotypes. It's been without a mascot ever since. A vote today could change that.

Students will have only two choices in the online referendum: yes, replace the colonel with something else – perhaps a riverboat gambler or a Colonial soldier – or no, remain the only school in the Southeastern Conference without a mascot.