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The Big Roundup - May 14, 2010

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Five big questions for Longhorn baseball.

Will the Longhorns shift Green into the Friday-night starter's role?

The answer is no.

Green has been unbelievable this year, with a 10-0 record and 1.45 ERA. Yes, those are Friday-night starter numbers. Heck, those are Golden Spikes numbers.

Fozzy Whitaker has been working out with the track team.

Whittaker, a sophomore, has never run track at Texas. But he’s been working out recently with the team, and Coach Bubba Thornton has tentatively penciled him in to handle the leadoff leg of the 400-meter relay.

If Whittaker does run the leg, he’ll hand off the baton to another football player, wide receiver/kick returner Marquise Goodwin, who runs the second leg.

Barking Carnival asks poses the question.

In any event, Les Miles and Mark Richt are both on the hot seat. Well, not hot. But warm, like the remnant heat from a slave boy’s buttocks used to toast up the Senatorial shitters in ancient Ephesus.

Bringing it back to Texas. Would Muschamp take either job?

Texas guard Varez Ward and forward Shawn Williams received medical hardship waivers from the Big 12.

UConn is already looking ahead to their game with the Texas basketball team.

As long as the Horns stay, life is good in the Big 12.

In the Big 12, the University of Texas runs the show. So if Missouri and Nebraska do bolt for the Big Ten as part of the conference's possible expansion to 16 teams, Texas would hold the cards in whether the Big 12 remains intact or falls apart.

If the Big Ten makes the move, the SEC could counter by making a play for the Longhorns to come join its conference. If Texas were to leave, Texas A&M would  go too, as the Texas legislation will not allow the two schools to be in separate conferences.

The SEC should not wait on the Big 10. Just go get Texas.

The SEC, as it has been in the past, should be the aggressor – they should go sign Texas and some other school(s) and get the ball rolling for themselves rather than being reactionary to the Big Ten.

But wait. We aren't like all the others.

Adding rivals Texas and Texas A&M to the mix would give the SEC a strong foothold in the Lone Star State and all but decimate the Big 12. This has been the scenario thrown out there for several months, but I've always questioned whether those two schools would be a good fit for the SEC. The football culture in Texas is a bit different than in the Southeast.

Gardeners, I think, dream bigger dreams than Emperor's. -- Mary Cantwell

Deloss Dodds is not planning to retire any time soon.

Dodds took over the Texas program in 1981 and saw it through the demise of the old Southwest Conference and the creation of the Big 12. Last year, Texas athletics generated about $125 million, with $80 million coming from football. Dodds recently oversaw a major expansion and renovation of Darrell K. Royal/Texas Memorial Stadium.

Although his age has created some speculation that Dodds could soon retire, he has given no public indication that he planned to step down.

 

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Aggie quarterback/receiver Ryan Tannehill expects things to stay as they are.

"This year will probably be the same as last year," Tannehill said. "Mostly receiver reps, maybe some Jerrod backup role, if Jerrod gets hurt. Or something happens there. But mostly receiver."

I rarely link to blog posts by unknowns, but this one was entertaining. She compares Aggie coaching hires to choosing a family pet.

A&M seemingly finds "Pekingese comfort" in hiring gray haired, spectacled, ultra conservative coaches to lead its football program. Heir to a Jackie Sherrill-led, NCAA-sanctioned program, head coach R.C. Slocum’s successful 123–47 run at A&M from 1989-2002 ended in his firing after a disappointing 6-6 2002 campaign. Many Aggies were (and still are) dismayed with the dismissal of the successful and popular Slocum.

 

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OU

Crimson and Cream Machine thinks Texas is all about the money.

Which brings us to the subject of Texas. If they leave the conference would still live on. Don't forget they've only been affiliated with the old Big 8 schools for fourteen years and the conference did fine before their arrival. However, the Longhorns are all about the Benjamins and a television package that big would be a cash cow that the Longhorns would stand in line to milk.

 

OSU

The Pokes are lucky to have Mike Gundy.

Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy will forever be linked with his memorable outburst during a postgame press conference back in 2007. However, to diminish Gundy to just one phrase is doing him a great disservice. The former OSU star QB has been running the show in Stillwater since 2005, when he moved up from offensive coordinator after Les Miles left town to take the LSU job.

Under Gundy, the Pokes are 36-26 and have been to a bowl game in all but his first season at the helm, when O-State finished 4-7 as the new coach installed his system. Since then, there has been some good and some bad but few Cowboy fans could ever say their program isn’t in decent shape with their former signal caller at the helm.

OSU football is better than OU...on Sundays.

 

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The Bears.

Levi Norwood, who was granted a release from a National Letter of Intent signed with Penn State University in February, has joined the Baylor football team.

Dan Hawkins is a very early riser.

Attendance at college basketball games declined last season, but Big 12 attendance was up.

The 2009-10 basketball season brought the largest average crowds in the history of the conference.

Across the league, the average crowd for all games was 11,214 — an all-time high and an average increase of 819 over the previous season. The increase was more than any other conference in the country.

Sorry, but there wasn't a 2009-2010 Nebraska highlight video.

Nebraska is building a new basketball arena. Tom Osbourne expects that the new arena will bolster the Cornhuskers' lackluster basketball ball programs and save money. What a deal!

We just don't get any love from Nebraska. We know Carl Pelini hates Texas, but why does Tom Osbourne hate the Big 12?

 

They are leaving, they are staying...no one really knows.

"I can't tell you what's going to happen," Holder said. "I choose right now to be optimistic that 
we'll find a way to keep the (Big 12) together.
"Obviously, with the landscape the way it is right now, anything is possible."

When Boone Pickens speaks, Cowboys listen. OSU likes things just the way they are.

Prominent Oklahoma State booster T. Boone Pickens believes his alma mater should stay put in the Big 12.

Speaking at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Pickens said Wednesday that he doesn't think Oklahoma State should move to another conference "before you're required to make that decision."

Washington Post columnist Tracee Hamilton does not want Jim Delaney to touch the Big Eight.

I don't want the expansion-happy commissioner of the 11-team Big Ten (Motto: Come for the football, stay for the math) to take any of my beloved original Big Eight teams, even Missouri or Kansas State, my alma mater's bitterest rivals. Yes, I know the Big Eight no longer exists, but those eight teams are the ones for which I feel nostalgia and loyalty. The rest of the Big 12? Not so much, so go ahead, Delany, grab Texas. Come for the Shiner Bock, stay for the thrashings.

What about recruiting if Big 12 teams bolt for the Big 10?

Their recruiting sales pitch will no longer include the enticement they currently can offer to Texas high school players — "Sign with us and you'll play a lot of games in Texas during your career."

The Big 10 is just a big tease. Nebraska needs to stay right where they are.

The current hot topic obviously is the expansion of the Big 10. I understand Dr. Tom’s apparent position, one Farmer Ted has ably laid out on this blog–Nebraska doesn’t want to be left holding the bag if Mizzou , Colorado, and some of the Big 12 South schools leave. A shrunken Big 8 remnant/WAC North with the Kansas schools, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and maybe some MVC schools may not even be a BCS-level football conference, and we’d be better off joining another BCS conference rather than being left out in the cold.  (I proposed NU setting out as an independent in a comment, but that probably doesn’t make sense for the simple fact that we would rarely appear on TV and the dollars wouldn’t be there. It only makes economic sense for Notre Dame, and I’m not convinced it is even sustainable for them.)

My problem, however, is that I don’t think Nebraska is really all that much better off in the Big 10.

If the Tigers leave, the Jayhawks do not plan to have their annual play days any more.

Kansas and Missouri have been playing sports against each other for 119 years, and the rivalry between the border foes seems only to be intensifying with each new battle.

The Kansas City Star is worried about Kansas City if Missouri leaves the conference.

Kansas City is a college sports nerve center with the attendance and economic impact figures to prove it.

But if the Big Ten plucks Missouri, as has been widely speculated, Kansas City’s college sports identity will change.

Texas is the SEC choice, next on the list would be the Land Thieves.

For just a moment, though, let's assume that the super-conference scenario does play out and the Big East and Big 12 teams start looking for new homes. Who would the SEC target to expand to 14 or 16 teams?

First on everyone's list is certainly the Texas Longhorns. There are any number of reasons as to why Texas is an attractive option for any conference that is looking to expand. The Longhorns reside in one of the largest media markets in the country, they regularly generate the highest revenues in college sports, and they regularly compete at a high level in every major sport, and, let's face it, burnt orange just looks cool.

If the SEC were to win the bidding war for the Longhorns, that would leave one or three more teams to be added. If the Longhorns join the SEC, the next most attractive option would undoubtedly be the Oklahoma Sooners.

"We need to come to terms with and we need to have a frank conversation
in Kansas City," Dan Beebe told the station. "We need to talk about where
we're going and who's on the plane when it takes off. I will be very
direct and talk about that with our membership. We've got a lot of good
things in store for us if we stick together. It would be a shame, given
that all boats have risen with this tide created by the Big 12, that
they think they can have a better future somewhere else. ... I truly
believe that."

It is just a matter of time before the Big 12 goes the way of the Southwest Conference.

With the Big Ten Conference poised to stage a major raid, long-time fans of the Big Eight/Big 12 Conference must face a harsh reality.

That league, as we know it today, is headed for big and potentially unfavorable changes. If the dominoes fall the wrong way, the Big 12 could disappear entirely -– with its members scattering to mega-conferences and hybrid remnant conferences.

Barking Carnival takes on the unequal revenue sharing issue in the conference.

It is Friday. Everyone needs a good laugh. The Big 12 should consider adding the University of Central Florida to the conference.

 

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From the mind of LSUFreek.

Expansion rumors has everyone scared.

"This has everybody scared to death," Corrigan told FanHouse Wednesday afternoon.

"My hope is whoever starts it doesn't do anything excessive. The idea of a 16-team conference just messes up everything. I hope that doesn't happen. I just think it would be ... it would end up being harmful to a lot of people."

Boise State has put Mississippi State on their schedule. More Bronco news...Will Boise go to the Mountain West Conference?

What about UTEP?

I'm not buying into speculation that the Mountain West Conference wants the WAC's Boise State that much over UTEP - if it even wants either.

So what about UTEP?

UTEP has great facilities, including owning Sun Bowl Stadium. It's also in a city that is projected to be 1 million people in 10 years. El Paso has a nice airport, too.

There is absolutely no way BYU will join the PAC 10, in case you care.

The ACC officials met and made no decisions about a new tv deal, but hopefully they had plenty of time for golf.

"Circumstances and timing determine a lot of things in television negotiations," he said. "And what we need to do is do the best for our conference at this particular given point in time. And I'm confident that will be the case when we reach that end point."

Of course, that end point seems to be approaching but is uncertain. At the conference's annual spring meetings, even the meetings about TV struggled to find an endpoint.

Swofford acknowledged that it was uncommon for officials to meet past 10 p.m. at the conference spring meetings, which are usually relaxed gatherings that feature morning-only meetings and afternoons on the golf course.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly loves being independent.

Brian Kelly showed Wednesday night that he not only knows how to immerse himself in the South Bend community, he can make big ripples while doing so.

Near the end of his roughly six-minute speech at the Moose Krause Memorial 36th Annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner at St. Hedwig's Hall, the first-year Notre Dame head football coach dropped the sound bite certain to reverberate around the country.

"From my standpoint, being the head football coach at Notre Dame, there's nothing better than being an independent football school," he said, eliciting a roar from the gathering of roughly 300 people.

Big brother is watching Missouri football players.

A team of computer programmers developed Kevin Long's idea, and Missouri's football team became the first to use it. Long's service, UDiligence, tracks the use of racy or explicit words on social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace. 

A fraternity at Purdue University came up with the list of words used by the service and they are grouped into five categories: alcohol, drugs, sex, violence and general/racial, which includes profane words.

When any of these words appear on a Missouri football player's social networking page, an e-mail notification is sent to Dan Hopkins, Missouri's director of football operations. A link in the e-mail takes Hopkins to the page where the word was used and he can determine if it was used in an appropriate manner.

Pete Carroll had absolutely no idea what was going on with Reggie Bush and his family. Really, he had no idea. Carroll was just as shocked as the rest of us.

Does the internet impact recruiting?

Recruiting services like Scout.com and Rivals.com have put the recruiting process in the spotlight, and team specific sites such as GamecockAnthem.com, GamecockCentral.com and TheBigSpur.com give fans a place to discuss their opinions on every aspect of Gamecock athletics.

Although the websites are great at helping to generate buzz about the program, they can also play a negative role when fans use the forums to vent their frustrations.

"We don't read it as coaches, but recruits do," said Lawing. "You can really damage our chances with recruiting when you start bashing a kid on the internet."

Do former high school coaches make good recruiters at the college level?

And even when it does create some publicity, it might be short lived. Tom Luginbill, the national recruiting director for ESPNU Recruiting, is not convinced of the lasting edge.

"As far as helping recruiting, I think it can obviously give a program a boost especially in the short term if that coach is an established, successful, long-standing coach in the state where the college program resides," Luginbill said. "Established relationships between a high school coach on a college staff and existing high school coaches is always a positive. But maybe not a clincher for top kids."

This is for all the Craig James haters out there.

SI's Media Circus touched on Craig James' issues with Tech and the pending lawsuit.

SI.com: Are you comfortable with Craig being on a studio broadcast where the Big 12 conference is discussed?

Williamson: Right now, it depends what the topics are in and around the Big 12 being discussed. If you are talking the top players in the Big 12 conference and there are Texas Tech players, I don't think that would be appropriate for him to be commenting. If you are looking for impact in the Big 12 or how Tommy Tuberville will deal with things, I don't think that is appropriate for him. I think we have to be transparent about that. First and foremost, you want to be open. We want to make sure Craig doesn't put himself in the area of any sense of perception that negatively impacts ESPN, the show he is on or himself. But I will tell you based on right now and everything we know, from talking to Craig extensively and what has been out there publicly and with the backdrop, that this thing is an ongoing thing. Craig's track record with us, his college football knowledge and TV experience, right now we are comfortable with Craig's ability to serve as a professional college football analyst and an objective college football analyst with the caveats of Texas Tech and certain targeted things that could be within the Big 12.

Everyone's favorite ESPN analyst Craig James could call Big 12 games his fall. Well, maybe not for every Big 12 school...

 

And finally...

Barry Switzer and former OU player Keith Jackson slept together.