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The Big Roundup - May 17, 2010

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Nick Saban speaks before playing golf at Regions CGI Pro-Am

Nick Saban on Texas' future at the :55 mark.

Texas is the big fish in the BCS pond.

Deloss Dodds is open to change.

What's the Texas view of the Big 12?

I can't speak for anybody but Texas. Our position is that we love the conference, we like what it's done for us. We want to continue to be a part of it and want it to continue to be strong. Money is an issue. The TV contracts are an issue. I think the Big Ten is way ahead of us in tradition and years and TV money. I think that's the reason some people are looking at that [conference] in a favorable way.

The Statesman muses over Muschamp.

But with the latest development on Dodds’ contract, the speculation on Muschamp’s future has already begun. Veteran college football observer Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution addresses it in his latest blog.

Get used to it, Longhorns fans. This topic isn’t going away.

Dr. Saturday looks at the 2010 Texas football season.

Hide the women and children, and most of the men. In two years, coordinator Will Muschamp has established a clear template for the defense as a high-pressure bringer of doom, unleashing blitzers and explosive edge rushers to dominating effect: Last year's 'Horns led the nation against the run, in large part by tying for second nationally in sacks – that coming just a year after they led the nation in QB takedowns in 2008.

<br/><a href="" mce_href="" target="_new" title="Operation Hardwood: Episode 2">Video: Operation Hardwood: Episode 2</a>

Rick Barnes participates in Operation Hardwood.

Marquise Goodwin won the long jump at the Big 12 Championship.



Oklahoma became the first Big 12 Conference school to attract 100,000 fans on its official Facebook page.

Barry Switzer did a lot for college football and African-American players.

OU first played a black quarterback, Kerry Jackson, in 1972. An NCAA academic scandal, unbeknownst to Jackson, derailed his ascension. But Switzer started a black quarterback in 1976, Lott, igniting a long line of black Sooner QBs: J.C. Watts, Darrell Shepard, Danny Bradley, Jamelle Holieway, etc.

Switzer doesn’t claim to know all that his early black quarterbacks went through. He said Watts would show him the letters, but Lott did not. "Thomas handled it differently," Switzer said.

This is not the best way to make nice with the Big 12 North.

From where I sit, it makes no sense to have the two best teams year in and year out not fight over one spot to get to a game and destroy whatever sacrificial lamb the North offers up that year.  Wouldn't it make more sense to realign, put OU in the North and let OU and TX match up in the conference championship game every year?  I realize this isn't exactly a new idea (nor is it without flaws), but given all the talk of expansion it would seem that now is as good a time as any to actually make this happen.

A Sooner thinks strength and conditioning coach Jeff Madden stinks at his job.

By the by, UT’s Jeff Madden is the worst S&C coach in all of sports. You have to appreciate that CTJ is unfamiliar with players consistently improving in physical conditioning because they’ve never seen it at UT. It makes me wonder just how Orakpo went from being scrawny to looking like a walking Bowflex ad. Must be Mad Dog’s Healthy Growth Here! program.

OU tried something like this in the 80’s. As for Schmidt, unlike pretty much the entire UT staff sans Muschamp, NFL scouts actually listen to what Schmidt has to say about a player because he calls it exactly like it is.



Tommy Tuberville keps hearing the same question.

Speaking to Tech alumni this spring in Abilene or Dallas or Houston or Muleshoe, Tommy Tuberville gets the same question.

A little more than a question, really. Just short of a command.

Coach, you gonna keep throwin' the football?

There are big expectations for  Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas.

If Big Boy turns in a senior season similar to his junior campaign at Kansas State, the name Daniel Thomas could very well be called on the first day of next April's draft along with guys like Alabama RB Mark Ingram and FSU QB Christian Ponder. Who knows, a highlight reel play or two like the jump pass against Oklahoma coupled with another 1,000-yard rushing season and we might be talking about Daniel "Big Boy" Thomas's incredible journey from 1-A high school football player to Heisman Trophy winner.

What are the big story lines of the 2010 college football season?

3. Texas (10 teams)

Main event: OK, TCU. Will it become Boise State of the South, or wind up not good enough for college football's center ring. The Frogs have the talent and schedule to go undefeated again, and they need to convince the nation of their strength.
Undercard: Two quarterbacks—Case Keenum trying to throw his way into the Heisman Trophy race, and Robert Griffin trying to get Baylor to its first bowl since 1994. "We're thinking big," Griffin said in March. "We want to make some noise in the Big 12." … Texas shoots to win 10 or more for a 10th consecutive season … Tommy Tuberville brings defense to Texas Tech.


Moving Day?

Will Dan Beebe just issue an ultimatum?

“We need to come to terms with that.  We’re going to head into our meetings in Kansas City and I think we need to have a very frank conversation about where we’re going and who’s going to be on the plane when we take off.”  Mr. Beebe said. “I will be very direct and talk about that with our membership and want to find out.  It would be a shame, given that all boats have risen with this tide that’s been created in the Big 12, for anybody to think they’re going to have a better future somewhere else.”

It could be every school for itself.

OU president David Boren believes the Big 12 will remain intact.

Following a disputed report that fellow Big 12 members Nebraska and Missouri had been offered the chance to join the Big Ten, Boren said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that he believes "if any member decided to leave, they would regret it later on."

If a conference doesn't add Texas or Notre Dame, don't even bother expanding.

But should the Big Ten fail in luring either Texas or the Irish, any new 14- or 16-team realignment would stand considerably shy of college sports' first true super conference. An amalgam of Missouri, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Connecticut, Rutgers or Maryland disappoints more than excites, establishing another missed opportunity for a conference that too often can't flex its muscle without reflexively punching itself in the head.

It's only "super" if it includes the Texas Longhorns or Notre Dame.

Anything less is a joke.

Take Texas or just don't bother.

My take: If Texas and A&M are willing to move into the SEC, you can’t pass on those two schools. Simply too attractive. Otherwise, don’t make the move. It’s the Lornhorns or nothing at all.

Would Texas even consider the PAC 10?

Missouri feels like they deserve a Big 10 invitation.

"Let me tell you something," says Brooks, who came to Missouri almost 40 years ago, "if you think there's any substantial difference between the education at Penn State and Missouri at the undergraduate level, forget it. You're just wrong."

There's just one comparison. You'll hear them all over this state, from the talk shows in St. Louis and Kansas City to Harpo's, the famed watering hole in downtown Columbia. Mizzou is good, but is it Big Ten good? Specifically, is Missouri in Michigan's neighborhood academically and athletically? Certainly not. But neither does it consider itself worthy of sharing the same conference with the likes of Iowa State.

Nebraska has some big decisions.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln is potentially facing a tumultuous change in its academic and athletic long-term future. Most people will boil down the talk of Big Ten expansion into two options: the Huskers stay or the Huskers go. But the reality is, each choice will force the school to face a different set of challenges, but also a series of new opportunities. Staying in the Big 12 means more than just maintaining the status quo of the conference - it must involve moves to keep the Big 12 viable.

Will Nebraska lose Texas recruits if they move to the Big 10?

Colorado to the PAC 10? Probably not.

Iowa State is trying not to think about it right now.



Sad commentary about the NFL's drug testing.

There are two drug tests in the NFL. First, there's the random performance enhancer test. This can occur at any time throughout the season, on Mondays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. We have to produce a valid urine sample under the watchful eye of an independent company. What's a valid sample? It means the urine can't be too clear or too yellow (they test PH levels before sending samples off to the lab), and the sample has to be given before practice. The cup has to be filled to the correct height. During the offseason, the NFL can also collect random samples anytime, anywhere: With 24 hours notice, they can have someone at your mom's house in any town or state in the USA.

But street drugs? As long as we're not repeat offenders in the NFL's substance abuse program, we get one test and one test only. So every team has a few guys shooting up something: Prescription pills, marijuana, crack, cocaine, meth, pretty much any drug someone can pick up on a street corner is fair game for most players during the football season.

Lamar University football is back.

But college football is officially back in Beaumont. Although, truthfully, the passion for it never really went away.

Lamar, which hired a former University of Texas player as its head coach, will join a college football resurgence across the state and country.

Sixteen teams will open play over the next three seasons, including Texas-San Antonio and tiny Wayland Baptist, which hasn't played a football game since before World War II.

If the Big 10 expands, should the SEC?

If the Big Ten goes large, then the SEC has no choice but to go large.

Why? Two big reasons: there is the desire to be the greatest conference in America, and the money that comes with it. Often, bigger does not translate into better, but if there is any league positioned to become bigger and better, it is the SEC. The league can not only afford to be choosy, it can probably lure just about anybody.

Texas has been bandied about as an expansion candidate for the Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC. If the Big Ten goes ahead and takes a few teams from the Big 12, then it is the SEC that provides the most lucrative landing spot. There is a history between the Longhorns and the SEC going back to the early 1990s, when the league was hot for them. The Texas Legislature quashed the plans because it wanted Texas A&M to go with them.

Will the ACC sign a deal with ESPN?

Pleased is an understatement. Alabama signs an extension deal with Nike worth 30 million.

The University of Alabama athletic department has agreed to a lucrative extension of its contract with equipment/apparel provider Nike through the 2018 season, a deal that could net as much $30 million in cash and equipment for UA, making it one of the largest such deals in all of intercollegiate athletics.

“We're very pleased,” UA director of athletics Mal Moore told The Tuscaloosa News on Thursday night.


And finally...

In case you missed this Fan Post, A&M basketball recruit Tobi Oyedeji was killed in an accident in Houston. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and the Aggies.