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The Big Roundup - July 12, 2010


53 days (give or take a few hours).


Good thing they didn't ask anyone around here. An informal poll of Big 12 sports writers put together a list of the conference's top assistant coaches. Guess who is No. 1?

1. Greg Davis, Texas quarterbacks: Major Applewhite. Vince Young. Colt McCoy. Enough said?

Davis’ reputation as a play-caller goes hot and cold with Texas fans, but he has the golden touch with quarterbacks. Among the hardware his QBs have collected: Walter Camp Football Foundation Player of the Year (two); Maxwell Award (two); Davey O’Brien Award (two); Manning Award (two); Big 12 offensive player of the year (four); Big 12 freshman of the year (three); plus two Heisman Trophy second-place finishes.

Mack Brown is looking for offensive weapons.

The search for skill-position stars continues: "Receiver, you lose Quan (Cosby) and Jordan (Shipley) the past two years, you don't have a go-to guy. So what we'll have to find is The Guy. We may have to spread it out more. Same thing with running back. We've had five guys who have played well for us. We haven't had the guy who's stepped up and taken over. I would say Garrett (Gilbert) at quarterback is an obvious question mark who has the ability to do it. He just hasn't played a lot yet. The biggest question is: Can we get a runner or two that can be a difference-maker in a ballgame?

Longhorn Digest analyzes recruit David Ash.

Know your enemy, Sooner style. Sooner Sports previews Texas.

Meet the Longhorn's 2011 recruiting class point guard, Myck Kabongo.

A lot of college programs have interest in you, but you chose the Texas Longhorns. Tell me about that decision. 

Myck Kabongo: It was really easy because of the legacy they have over there and I just wanted to be a part of something special. I've built a great relationship with Coach Barnes and it has been great building relationships with the other coaches as well. And the chance to play with my brothers Tristan Thompson and Corey Joseph was also something I didn't want to pass up.

(Includes graphic images and if you are at work, you probably want to turn off the music.)

Now someone has compared the Horns to the mafia. Someone with a vivid imagination.

Texas came to the meeting with the heads of the other remaining nine families.  They struck a deal to feed the other families, but Texas, along with their brother Fredo (A&M) and Sonny (Oklahoma), will receive the biggest pieces of the pie.  The heads of Missouri were allowed to leave the meeting but were found years later in a ditch by themselves for speaking out against the remaining families. 

Other crews in the same neighborhood looked to join up with the weakened remaining 10 families and to get them back to their full strength of 12, like the other big mafia cliques in different regions in this country.  It made a lot of sense to add up-and-coming families like TCU in the Dallas region and U of H in the Houston area.  They're both respected programs.  They met with the other families and their proposal made sense.  They would bring the Dallas and Houston territories in exchange for protection and a cut of the pie.  They planned to divide the families back into two sides.  On the north side would be Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, and Kansas State.  To the south would be Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Baylor, Houston, and TCU.

And there's more! More hate from the national media.

Anyone remember Godfather Part II villain Don Fanucci? Now, imagine this dialogue.

"That's an awful nice addition you've built on the journalism school, Missouri. It would be a shame if it somehow burned to the ground."

Defensive tackle Derek Johnson is transferring.

Fear and loathing in the offensive coaches' meeting, according to Barking Carnival.

No offensive system.

For instance, the 2008-09 offense had 2 basic attacks. The spread-west coast short game with Colt hitting Quan or Shipley over and over again on timing routes over the middle and the 11 personnel zone-running game/play-action offense that yielded a few play-action screen passes and was toothless beyond that.

There was no connection between the success of the spread game and the running game as they were different pieces of offense mixed together in one incoherent package. If the short timing routes were working this still had virtually no impact on the running game which would still flounder. Should the running game be successful it might have opened up the play-action game (we can only guess since this didn’t happen) but it still wouldn’t have really opened much more in the short-passing game.



Do you know why the banned-from-polls policy of the coaches association started? Of course you do. It has something to do with our neighbors north of the Red River.

The entire banned-from-polls policy of the coaches association stems from the 1974 Oklahoma Sooners, who were on probation and banned from bowls. The ’73 Sooners went 10-0-1 and were banned from the post-season; they finished No. 3 in the AP poll and No. 2 in the coaches poll.

That off-season, the coaches voted to ban teams on probation from their poll. The vote was a clear response to the Sooners being a national title contender while on probation for recruiting violations. And indeed, OU won the 1974 AP national title but never appeared in the UPI (coaches) poll.

The coaches association was much reviled in Oklahoma for the decision, but in the clear light of today it was a proper decision. Teams on major probation shouldn’t be eligible for a national title. More pragmatically, teams ineligible for a bowl game shouldn’t be awarded a national championship. You don’t get a bye in the finals.

Shhhh. No one is supposed to talk about that. Beebe could be listening.

Deaton, Missouri’s chancellor and the conference’s board chairman, is aware that many of you are skeptical about his league’s future. And more to the point, he understands why.

"Oh, sure," he says. "I can see why a lot of people would raise questions. There were issues that led to the last discussion, and a lot of those have not changed."

Just in case you need a reminder of what a running back looks like. You haven't seen a running back or a run game in a long time.

Is 2010 the year of the running back in the Big 12?

In all, the Big 12 returns 10 of its top 12 rushers from last season, with a list that also includes Alexander Robinson of Iowa State, Rodney Stewart of Colorado, Christine Michael of Texas A&M, Baron Batch of Texas Tech and Derrick Washington of Missouri.

"The emphasis recently, especially in Big 12 football, has been on the quarterback and throwing the football and spreading things out, so less talk is given to the running backs," said Stan Weber, a color analyst for the Kansas State sports network who does radio and television work in Kansas City. "This year the talk is maybe going back to some running backs."

OU's Demarco Murray has always been tough.

"He was the smallest kid," said Murray's father, Kevin Murray. "He always played with his older brothers, and they made him tough."

Growing up in Las Vegas, Murray was the youngest of four football-playing brothers. Going into his senior year at OU, he has become the most decorated.

It is make or break time for Mike Gundy?

Going into the sixth year, we wanted to have all of the structure and discipline implemented in the program. Like I talked about earlier, the players are somewhat accountable for everything and the program runs itself. We continue to recruit quality people who want to graduate and want to play big time football. We have that in place now. We have tremendous academics. We have tremendous strength and conditioning. We have tremendous everyday lifestyle, and we have structure and discipline. That’s really the foundation of who we are, and that’s in place now. So we feel like if we continue to recruit quality people and put them in the system, then we’re going to have success.

Tulsa World's Dave Sittler wants you to know he has a rich friend.

Well, T. Boone Pickens is actually my only billionaire buddy. His call was the perfect antidote for a college football junkie who saw his last live game more than five months ago.

The Jan. 2, 2010, Cotton Bowl is also the last college game Pickens attended. But he left Mississippi's 21-7 win over Oklahoma State long before I did.

A disgusted Pickens, OSU's "uber-fan," bolted from the $1.3 billion facility in Arlington after one of the Cowboys' six fourth-quarter turnovers. I, meanwhile, was left behind to write about a game ugly enough to turn off even the most hardcore fans.

Nebraska is taking this personally.

10/16/10. Wear Red. Be Loud. Beat Texas. Wow...that's subtle. It is fair to say that Nebraska is very willing to ignore the old saying and "mess with Texas." They just called out the Longhorns.

Get a life people. They are even putting up a web site.

Nebraska is teaming with the Omaha World-Herald to launch a website — — to urge Husker fans to wear an all-Big Red wardrobe on Oct. 16 when the Longhorns come to town.

Introducing...The web site. It is under construction, but be sure to check back for updates. You certainly do not want to miss this technological work of art.

That was quick. Ndamukong Suh will be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame.

What else is there to spend money on in Nebraska?

Sure, there have been some gripes here and there. But for what it was, it seems fair to say Nebraska football and pay-per-view games proved a successful pair.

"If you look over the course of the years, it’s provided a lot of opportunity for people to watch Nebraska football," said Marc Boehm, Husker executive associate athletic director.

"People want to watch the games. And sometimes the cost of $29.95 or $39.95 is expensive to some folks. But when you really look at the whole of a three-hour production and having the opportunity to have friends and family come over, really, most people were receptive to the costs."

They have short memories in Lubbock. Tech just hired a new athletic trainer.

The newest member of Texas Tech's athletic training staff has a player mistreatment lawsuit pending against him.

Former Auburn offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey sued Gamber last summer, about a year after the trainer, he claims, forced him to lift weights shortly after undergoing back surgery. Ramsey is also suing former Auburn offensive line coach Hugh Nall.

Ramsey's attorney Steve Heninger said the lawsuit is scheduled to go to jury trial in February. The former player says Gamber's improper treatment might have cost him a career in the NFL.

The Jayhawks have pass rush issues.

“Not knowing much about the guys going into the spring, I thought they played the run well, extremely well,” Wyatt said. “We still need to improve on our pass rush.”

KU could definitely use the improvement in rush defense, as the Jayhawks allowed 177.8 rushing yards per game during the Big 12 schedule (10th in the conference).

Barking Carnival has a farewell to the Whiners Huskers Whuskers, Part 3.

Colorado might get a baseball program in the near future.

CU athletic director Mike Bohn has not ruled out bringing baseball back in the future along with the addition of a women's sport such as softball or women's lacrosse, but said it is not in the school's immediate plans.

Every other member of the Pac-10 has baseball though Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott has said CU does not have to add any sports to become a member of the conference.



Jerry Jones and T. Boone Pickens could start a bidding war.

Texas' license plate contractor told state officials that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and businessman T. Boone Pickens were keenly interested in its auction of a new COWBOYS plate and portrayed them as possible rivals in a bidding war.

The New York Times Magazine showed up for Texas' 7-on-7 tournament.

The writer seemed very interested already in three-time defending state Class 4A state champ Lake Travis and the Cavs' sex-appeal, starting UT quarterback Garrett Gilbert is on the sidelines watching as his brother Griffin Gilbert stands out at receiver. Their dad, Gale Gilbert is a former NFL quarterback who was the Cal quarterback in the memorable Cal-Stanford, band-run-on-the field game.



And finally...

Our condolences to the family and friends of former Sooner and fellow Texan Daryl Hunt.


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