All of this conference realignment stuff is completely out of control. I woke up this morning and was scrolling through my Twitter feed and some of it feels soooo farcical at this point. 'Oh, now Ken Starr is in the middle of this?!?' You have a hard time figuring out what is really happening and what is being conjured up by The Onion or EDSBS.
Texas' role in this is fascinating to observe. Jon Wilner brought up some interesting points about the Big 12 lynchpin.
Texas is used to being the big boy on the block. In the Pac-16, it would have the same revenue cut and the same voting power as Texas Tech (and Washington State, for that matter). And UT would have to fold The Longhorn Network (four years of work) into the Pac-12′s regional network structure, allowing plenty of Texas Tech programming on the airwaves. None of that seems desirable for the Longhorns.
The Longhorns — with the aid of ESPN, which wants the Big 12 to survive — would attempt to reconstitute the conference with Texas Tech, Baylor, Kansas and Kansas State, Iowa State and a handful of newcomers (Houston? SMU? Pittsburgh? Louisville?) before throwing in the towel.
Nothing surprises me any more with this stuff. It's all a money grab. I'd be sorry to see some of the great rivalries disappear (Texas-Texas A&M for one) but as followers of the sport, we'd adjust. We might have no choice and they know we're still addicted to the games.
*Ohio State QB Joe Bauserman had a strong debut last weekend, and even though it came against one of the worst teams in FBS, the change in his demeanor, in addition to his production, is noteworthy, as Tim May writes:
*I saw on the Inside College Football show on CBS Sports TV that my colleague Rich Rodriguez is picking Cincy to knock off Tennessee. And, at the heart of this game is that the Vols' D-line is in for a challenge this week, Andrew Gribble reports.
In last week’s season opener against Akron, there was something noticeably different about Bauserman. He was engaged, running around and talking with teammates and coaches. And in the midfield hive when the team took the field en masse for full warm-ups, he was in the middle of it all, helping lead the cheers. Before making his first start as a collegian, he was leading in any way he could, much the way coach Luke Fickell and quarterbacks coach Nick Siciliano had urged him to do throughout the summer. That he hadn’t been that way before probably wasn’t his fault, since the past two years he was the backup to Terrelle Pryor. It’s hard to be a leader when, in fact, you aren’t.
“You sit there behind Terrelle and he’s the guy everybody looks up to, and it’s hard to go in there (in the huddle) and say stuff,” Bauserman said. “People kind of, ‘What’s this?’ I tried not to worry myself with that.”
Those new faces will see a similar, sped-up tempo that Montana used when it faces a physically enhanced version from Cincinnati on Saturday (TV: ESPN2, 3:30 p.m.). It's expected to be a steep test for UT's defense as a whole, but especially the defensive line, which will have to be wary of quarterback Zach Collaros' mobility and a running game that produced 387 rushing yards in its season-opening romp against Austin Peay.
The onus goes beyond the starting line of Smith, Hood, Jackson and Martin. Players such as Corey Miller, Ayres, Couch, Walls, Willie Bohannon and even linebacker Curt Maggitt, who plays on the defensive line in UT's pass-likely nickel package, all will have a hand in trying to limit an offense that Dooley has heaped endless praise upon throughout the week.
"You've got to have at least eight guys ready to go into battle each week," Miller said. "We have to prepare ourselves and be ready to work."
I'll disagree with Coach Rod. I'm picking the Vols in this match-up.
*Forget San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson. In Blacksburg, Va, Tech OT Blake DeChristopher owns "The Beard" that counts, writes Randy King.
The senior offensive tackle and his renowned facial hair and long curly locks made a rare appearance at Tuesday's game-week news conference. He was very comfortable. When a reporter told him he looked awesome, DeChristopher replied: "I appreciate it, and The Beard appreciates it, too."
When asked what he would like to do down the road in life, the zany Midlothian native said: "I would like to do something. That'd be nice. I'm sure The Beard would enjoy that, too."
*Francis Kallon is making Georgia Tech look smart with its decision to both offer a football scholarship and accept a commitment before the transfer from London, England, had ever played in organized game of football, writes Michael Carvell.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pound Kallon has dominated in his first two games with Central Gwinnett High School, which plays in Georgia’s largest classification. Kallon has 19 total tackles, 6 tackles for losses, 2 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries and a blocked punt.
Sir Francis has a rags-to-riches recruiting story. He moved with his mother from England to the Atlanta area last year. Kallon had never played football in his life but went out for Central Gwinnett’s team last May. College scouts couldn’t believe the new kid’s rare combination of size and athleticism, stacking up nearly a dozen offers for Kallon after only two weeks of spring practice. He committed to Georgia Tech last June.
Let's see if three months from now, the traditional SEC powers, the likes of FSU and some others come hard after Tech's find and try and turn Kallon. The recruiting stock of the late-bloomer is always one of the more intriguing stories in that subculture of college football.
*Tweet of the Day: From Louisiana-based writer Scott Rabalais
@ScottRabalais: Miles says from a recruiting standpoint, "Texas will become SEC country" if A&M joins. #LSU
I disagree with Les Miles' assertion. Will it help SEC schools to recruit Texas better with A&M in the family? Yes. But for so many Texas kids, they only know UT as Texas, not Tennessee. The Longhorns are what they -- and their families -- have grown up with. Texas may lose some kids to the Alabamas, LSUs and Floridas, but it won't lose many of the ones it really wants.