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The Big Roundup - July 25, 2010

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41 days (give or take a few hours).


"I look for guys that are tough, guys that love football, guys that
want to work as hard as they possibly can," Madden told the station. "I
get them ready and conditioned so the coaches can teach them all the
X's and O's of how to beat people on the football field."

The Horns are in the hands of a Mad Dog.

Long before the Texas Longhorns run out of the tunnel on gameday.  Even before they put their pads on for the first time.  The football players meet with "Mad Dog".

"This is a very intense time," said Jeff "Mad Dog" Madden.  "I'm very fortunate that Coach [Mack] Brown lets me run this football team, take care of his football team, in the off-season."

According to the NCAA, Jeff "Mad Dog" Madden and his training staff are the only ones able to work with the team during this off-season time.  Their goal is to, not only monitor, but maximize the players' physical fitness.

Mark your calendar!

Longhorns fans craving a football fix need to circle Aug. 11 and Aug. 12 on their calendars.

Those are the dates that Texas will hold practices that will be open to the public. Later in August, there will be an autograph session.

Our Daily Disappointment has the Horns at No. 6 in their college football countdown.

That is just beautiful.

Barking Carnival has Texas' 10 best players.

The Dallas Morning News has three Texas freshmen who will make an impact.

Damion James is having a great summer.

In his "Rookie Watch: Best of Summer" article, ESPN’s David Thorpe ranked Texas-ex Damion James as the second-best performer at the conclusion of the NBA’s summer league.

James averaged 18.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and one assist per game in Orlando.

It is just getting ugly.

Buckle your chinstrap, Bevo.

This isn't the Nebraska you laid eyes on 12 autumns ago.

Mild-mannered flat-landers need no reminder. They're spewing so much rage these days, you'd think a dust bowl was brewing.

Long before Nebraska's athletic marketing department poked the bully with a rah-rah video, a father from Elmwood posed for pictures with a dead animal. A youth football coach in Lincoln begged for a day off. A retired fan from Omaha pinched pennies to save up for a ticket.

(Just magine Cornhuskers invading the Big Apple...)

An Alabama fan really likes Garrett Gilbert.

Corn Nation wants Inside Texas to talk to the hand.




Big 12-2 Media Days are just one, big tasty dessert.

The great question is whether Bob Stoops, Mac Brown and Mike Sherman will come out and agree their schools, OU, Texas and Texas A&M, deserve the biggest three pieces of the conference pie as far as the eye can see. Or, if Bill Snyder, Mike Gundy, Turner Gill and the rest of their small market conference brethren agree the big dogs should be getting the bigger allowance.

Rookie Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville committed a major-league gaffe after the conference was saved at the last minute. And by “gaffe” I mean he said what he really thought.

“I don’t think this conference will last long because there is too much disparity between all the teams,” he said. “In the SEC, for instance, Vanderbilt makes as much money in the television contract as Florida. … Everybody is on the same page.”

After he said it, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe reprimanded him for voicing comments that “were unfortunate and contrary to the very strong feelings of unity expressed publicly and privately by the Big 12 Board of Directors and athletic directors.”

It’s all richer than an angel food cake.

We can't wait. Dan Beebe will speak.

Since the league began, the commissioner has always appeared at some point during the summer media gathering to address the "state of the conference.'' But this summer's first two lists of interviewees found Beebe noticeably absent. His normal slot was slated to go to Bill Hancock of the BCS.

Now, Beebe is on Tuesday's agenda at 2 p.m. So is Walt Anderson, the head of football officiating, 1:30 p.m. Yes, we'll ask. No, he won't answer. Hancock also will talk at noon.

Big Ten talk may commandeer Big 12-2 Media Days.

That doesn't mean there won't be moments. There will. Start with Pelini on Monday afternoon. Pelini will get bombarded with questions about the move to the Big Ten — the recruiting and competitive angles especially — since he has not addressed the matter to any extent yet. That's by choice. Pelini put a no-interview moratorium on himself, staff and NU players this summer because he was upset at coverage over a Niles Paul incident that nobody can remember now anyway.

It says here Bo just didn't want to do interviews this summer. But now he's got questions backlogged, including some about an NU marketing video and the Oct. 16 Texas game. He'll probably pass on that one. But what should be great fun is hearing Pelini talk about the virtues of the Big Ten on the first day of Big 12 media days. That will be a nice touch. Appropriate this year, too.

The Ft. Worth Star Telegram has five big conference questions for the 2010 season. And no, TCU still cannot join.

1. How will the Gilbert era play out at Texas?

Never before has a quarterback thrown four interceptions in one game and left an entire fan base somewhat at ease about what the future holds.

Somehow that seems to be what sophomore Garrett Gilbert has done in his rush-into-action performance in Texas' BCS Championship Game loss to Alabama. He was thrust into the spotlight when Colt McCoy injured his right shoulder on Texas' fifth play.

Mike Gundy has big plans for the Pokes' new offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.

"[Gundy] is familiar with what I do," Holgorsen says. "He's familiar with what Coach Leach did at Tech, competing against him. And he competed against me when I was at Houston. He always has been intrigued with what Coach Leach has done. [Leach's] ability to beat teams like OU and Texas, that's something that interested him."

More from Bob about agents.

"I agree with Nick wholeheartedly," Stoops said. "I mean, something has to start happening to these people, agents and the people representing them, and the players. Otherwise, you're wasting your time to want to penalize the schools. We don't want it happening. We do all we can to prevent it and educate and all. But if an individual or couple individuals together collaborate, how are you to prevent that? The penalties have to happen to those involved. And they need to be strong ones, otherwise it isn't going to stop."

That definitely helps. Mike Sherman really likes his guys.

"I really like our guys. I like the guys I'm working with and I think there's a trust factor there," says Sherman. " I think we're at the point in the program where they trust me, I trust them and that makes it kind of fun. When you work with guys you like working with I think you can accomplish an awful lot and we have high expectations. We want to be better tomorrow than we are today and that's kind of been our motto; just keep getting better and better throughout the course of the off season, spring, and now the season so we just want to make great improvement."

Character matters in Kansas.

I think all of us, you don’t even have to be a coach, need to make each other better. Whether you happen to be a teacher, a football coach or whatever your job may be, we are here to help others. I believe that that is our purpose, and I take it to heart. Every day that I wake up I feel the need to help somebody, to better people’s lives and to help them feel a little better about themselves. This is how I am wired.

Obviously, football is what I love to teach, but there are things beyond that, and I think if I teach players other life skills, it will help them on the football field.

Columbia Daily Tribune's Dave Matter explains to the Tiger faithful why he voted Nebraska over Missouri in the North division.

It’s hard to imagine Nebraska’s defense being better minus Suh, unless every other player improves dramatically enough to make up for his loss. But if the Huskers defense is close to being as good, and the offense improves slightly — how can it not? — another 10-win season looks like a fairly safe bet. Nebraska trades out a South rotation of Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech for Texas, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M — essentially a wash. Whether it’s Lee, Cody Green or redshirt freshman Taylor Martinez taking snaps, Nebraska’s quarterback production needs to improve. But with a strong defense, excellent special teams and potential for a solid running game, the Huskers don’t necessarily need a dynamic playmaker under center. They don’t need Tim Tebow, Vince Young or, for that matter, Blaine Gabbert. What they need is Greg McElroy, the Alabama quarterback who manages the game efficiently, completes 60 percent of his throws, avoids interceptions (just four in 325 attempts last year) and avoids trouble in the red zone (7 TDs, 0 INTs).

The Sooners are frugal.

As some SEC programs’ recruiting budgets exceed $500,000 a year, Oklahoma is landing top talent for half the cost.

The Sooners ranked first in the Big 12 and sixth overall in wins per recruiting dollar, according to a Tulsa World analysis. OU also landed the only recruiting class ranked in the top 10 by and while spending less than $225,000.

Tulsa World readers send in their ideas about Oklahoma celebrity survivor cast members.

Mike Gundy and Bob Stoops: I'm not sure how Gundy will keep his hair gelled in the middle of a hot jungle, but it'd be fun to see which Big 12 coach becomes the island's alpha dog.

The 12th Man is just too valuable.

Texas A&M's 12th Man brand is too valuable for anyone's back bumper.

The state's license plate vendor had wanted to auction that coveted seven-letter combination but the Aggies – after initially flirting with the idea – turned thumbs down for now.

Instead, the university and the My Plates company, which markets and sells personalized plates under an exclusive state contract, have designed a logo-branded plate for A&M fans. And it will offer a single AGGIES1 tag in the auction at Cowboys Stadium.

And The Valley Shook credits A&M with saving college football as we know it.

Onto a slightly happier topic:  conference re-alignment.  Hooray for Texas A&M!  Congratulations Aggies, you forestalled the end of college football conferences as we know them.  It was a terrific power play to make noise about going to the SEC, which is the only thing that preserved the Big XII, a rump Vichy-Big XII it might be, but at least it still exists.  All thanks to TAMU.

So leaving wasn't all about us? We are sooooo relieved.

Let me repeat something I wrote here back in June about this topic.  THIS ISN’T ABOUT YOU, TEXAS!  Sure, having you goat-ropers around has made things difficult and sometimes unbearable to deal with, but when an offer like the Big Ten comes around, YOU TAKE IT!  Athletically, academically, culturally.  It all fits for Nebraska.  Even better than if we were just still in the old Big 8.  This move will impact the entire university for generations – and very, very, very likely in a positive way.  Nebraska doesn’t have the population and the big money.  It needs every advantage it can get both on the field and in the classroom to be a top-flight school.  Big Ten money, Big Ten power, Big Ten academics and Big Ten prestige give Nebraska that advantage.  The Big 12 can’t do that.  Even riding your esteemed coattails.

Barking Carnival is doing a scientific study on a recurring problem in college football: Stoops Face.

Kansas State just can't get rid of Ron Prince.

The Columbia Daily Tribune ranks the Big 12-2 basketball coaches.



If the NCAA really wants to punish USC, make them pay.

USC is the latest school to be exposed as not being afraid to maximize profits. Cheating as USC is accused of doing pays in college sports. The school saw more revenues. The coaches got raises. The alumni office realized fatter coffers. College football ratings continued to go up, making it as popular now as any sport in the country.

And the NCAA is fearful of stopping any school like USC from doing so because the NCAA is dependent upon the Southern Californias, too. It's a major TV draw and that means commercial dollars.

If the NCAA really wanted to end what it charged USC with doing it would mimic the NFL and NBA and other pro sports against which it competes for disposable income, television viewership and commercial sponsorship. It would add to its penalties of stripping victories and vacating titles a ladder of monetary fines.

NewsOk's Berry Tramel isn't too impressed with Nick Saban's take on agents.

"Pimps," the Alabama coach called the slimeballs who recruit players for agents. Unfortunate word usage. Much better words were available. Slimeball, for instance.

Pimps make money off other people's bodies. Hmm. Know anyone in college sports like that?

Someone, say, like Nick Saban, who has become a wealthy man by teaching 21-year-old American Studies majors how to beat Auburn.


The agents have decided to fight back.

“I don’t know that I would disagree with him about some agents as pimps, but all I know is there are coaches who would also fall in that category,” said Cindrich, who represents the Jets’ D’Brickashaw Ferguson, among others. “I would never tolerate nor permit Saban or any other coach to lump me in that category.

“In terms of him throwing that out there, most agents know what goes on in college programs and what programs are clean or not. You want to find out who has the dirty programs, give immunity and go off the record with agents, and it would be like a cockfight, the last one standing wins.

“There are ways to determine the truth of allegations out there.”

Oakland Tennessee USC coach Lane Kiffin continues on his quest to earn friends and supporters all over the country..


And finally...

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to fellow Texan and incoming KU freshman football player Jeremiah Edwards.

Sources close to the Journal-World confirmed Thursday that the football career of incoming KU freshman football player Jeremiah Edwards likely is over.

The source said that Edwards, a three-star defensive tackle from Garland, Texas, learned recently that tests concerning a previously diagnosed heart condition revealed that the ailment was worse than originally determined.


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