Tag:Texas
Posted on: November 28, 2008 11:09 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2008 7:42 am
 

Kiffin hired(?) and more weekend tidbits

A couple of weeks into the hiring season and Jimmy Sexton is having a heck of a year.

Sexton is the mega-agent located in Memphis who basically controls the coaching market. Last week, he convinced Texas that its defensive coordinator Will Muschamp was headed out of town -- somewhere, quickly. Texas is used to this sort of thing as d-coordinators in recent years have been treating the position as if it were a one-night stand.

Anyway, Texas bit and figured out a way to keep Muschamp. It named him coach-in-waiting, upped his assistant coach's salary to $900,000 beginning Jan. 1 and solved two problems at once. It keeps its talented d-coordinator and has a new head coach when the time comes. Of course if Muschamp doesn't work out over the long haul, gets a better offer elsewhere or Brown stays around longer than anticipated, then everybody washes their hands and moves on.

Texas pays off Muschamp and goes looking for someone else or Muschamp buys out of his contract.

Bravo Jimmy.

Sexton's latest coup was getting Tennessee to hire Lane Kiffin, another one of his clients. Kiffin is a West Coast guy, a USC guy, a Pac-10 guy. Yet, to the best of anyone's knowledge Kiffin hadn't interviewed at Washington, a West Coast team and Pac-10 opponent of his former employer, USC.

Kiffin also has an ally in Syracuse AD Daryl Gross, a former USC associated AD. Once again, there was no evidence there were ever any serious talks between the two. So the question for Tennessee is -- what's the rush? The only winless team in the country didn't rush to get Kiffin. The worst team in the Big East wasn't exactly breaking down his door.

Kiffin could have still been there next week while UT talked to, say, Mike Leach or made progress with Cincinnati's Brian Kelly. Kelly still hasn't said he flat-out isn't interested in Tennessee. Maybe he's hoping that Kelly is revealed as a tax cheat or something.

Or maybe he's not young enough or inexperienced enough for Tennessee's tastes. Kiffin is all of 33 and has been a head coach for exactly 20 games, none as a college coach. Without those 20 games in Oakland, though, Kiffin wouldn't be locked up in Knoxville making more than he made with the Raiders. Funny how failure works sometimes.

Again, bravo Jimmy. You cashed in on a 37-year-old defensive coordinator who might fail as a coach-in-waiting. You also found work for a 33-year-old out-of-work coach who can't wait to coach.

 A couple of outlets have reported that a group of Texas boosters have spent $7,000 for a plane that will tow the score of the Texas-Oklahoma game ("45-35") behind it Saturday above T. Boone Pickens Stadium. They better watch it. There's a fine line between campaigning and getting on people's nerves.

 

 Cincinnati clinched the Big East on Friday with West Virginia's loss to Pittsburgh. That fills three of the 10 BCS bowl slots. Utah (at-large) and Penn State (Big Ten) are the others.

 

 By losing to Arkansas, LSU finished with five losses. That ties for the third-most by a team that won a national championship the previous year.

 

 Their interest was first reported here. Now both Chip Kelly and Mike Locksley are in the interview process at Syracuse. Locksley, the Illinois offensive coordinator, reportedly interviewed at the school earlier this week. Kelly, the Oregon o-coordinator, will interview next week.

 

 

 Jerry Palm gave me permission to run this detailed breakdown of Texas and Oklahoma from his website.

 

Here's a mathematical primer on the race. Texas currently leads Oklahoma by .06 in the computers. If the lead on Sunday is:


.05, OU would need to expand its lead over Texas in the Harris poll by 44 points or by 24 points in the coaches poll (or, in each of these cases, some mathematically equivalent combination) to pass Texas.


.04, OU would need to expand its lead over Texas in the Harris poll by 15 points or by 8 points in the coaches poll to pass Texas.

.03, Texas would need to reduce Oklahoma's lead in the Harris poll by 14 points or by 8 points in the coaches poll (to stay ahead of OU.

.02, Texas would need to pass Oklahoma and lead by 22 points in the Harris poll or reduce Oklahoma's lead by 23 points in the coaches poll to stay ahead of OU.

.01, Texas would need to pass Oklahoma and lead by 50 points in the Harris poll or reduce Oklahoma's lead by 38 points in the coaches poll to stay ahead of OU.

If Texas and Oklahoma are tied in the computers, Texas would need to pass Oklahoma and lead by 79 points in the Harris poll or by 11 points in the coaches poll to stay ahead of OU.

I don't think Oklahoma can pass Texas in the computers.

Posted on: November 27, 2008 11:45 pm
 

Texas makes its final statement

So is that enough?

Is the second-largest victory in the series enough?

Texas sure thinks so but there are a couple of more precincts be heard from on Saturday.

One thing is for sure after Texas' 49-9 victory over hapless Texas A&M on Thursday. Mack Brown continues to leave points on the field. Much like he did two weeks ago against Kansas, Brown called off the dogs in the fourth quarter. The Horns could have scored a couple of more touchdowns but Brown figured that 49 was enough. There is a fine line between beating an opponent and piling on. Brown seems to have found it.

Now, how does a 40-point win over a doormat at home translate to the burden on Oklahoma on Saturday. The Sooners will be on the road against a much tougher opponent. It might be that any kind of victory vaults Oklahoma over Texas in the BCS standings. In case you've forgotten, Texas Tech, Texas and Oklahoma are headed for a three-way tie in the Big 12 South.

Saturday's action will close the loop on the four common opponents for the three teams -- Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Kansas.

Oklahoma has beaten three of the four (with Okie State still to go) by an average of 27.3 points.

Texas has beaten all four by an average of 26.5

Tech has been three of the four (with Baylor still to go) by an average of 32.

While Bob Stoops says he is through campaigning, Texas is not. Signs were passed out before the game reading "45-35" reminding voters of the score of the Oklahoma game on Oct. 11. There is even a rumor that a plane will be flying over Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday trailed by a banner with the score.

Hey, no one said it was going to be classy. 

 

Posted on: November 24, 2008 5:41 pm
 

Mack Brown weighs in

Expect to see lobbying from Mack Brown, Bob Stoops and Mike Leach as long as this three-way tie exists.

The Texas coach spoke today on the Big 12 coaches' teleconference:

"What I want is obvious, that's what's best for Texas. I think the whole thing screams for a playoff. If we win and Oklahoma wins and one of us gets left out of the BCS, what a crying shame. If you look at the first eight teams (in the BCS) this is a reason to say this could be a great year for a college football playoff.

"I do think think when we're having voters who we don't know and computers that weren't at the game, asking coaches to run up the score to get more style points (that's bad)."

 

 

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Texas
 
Posted on: November 23, 2008 9:05 pm
 

Random thoughts on a football Saturday

It looks like it's over for Texas.

It's over if Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State on Saturday. Although Texas moved up to No. 2 in Sunday's latest BCS standings, it has a very slight lead over No. 3 Oklahoma -- .0084 of a point.

It is almost assured that if Oklahoma beats No. 11 Oklahoma State the Sooners will make up that margin on Texas and win the three-way tiebreaker in the Big 12 South. The tie goes to the team with the highest BCS ranking.

Texas plays its final regular-season game on Thanksgiving against Texas A&M.

The Horns have to hope for an Oklahoma State upset. That would send Texas Tech to the Big 12 championship game (if it beats Baylor)and at the same time strengthen Texas' hold on No. 2. The Horns could become the third Big 12 team since 2001 to play in the national championship game without winning the conference.

 Up to date profiles of the three teams involved in the current Big 12 South tie ...

 

Texas


Why they're in this position:  Blake Gideon, Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree.

Texas had Tech beat in Lubbock until it gave the ball back with 1:29 left in the Nov. 1 game. Harrell was able to drive the team down for the game-winning touchdown with one second left. But that was only after Gideon, a Texas defensive back, dropped a tipped pass that would have ended Tech's drive.

Crabtree made an amazing catch against double coverage and tight-roped the sidelines into the end zone for a 39-33 victory.

Ranked teams beaten (ranking at time of kickoff): No. 1 Oklahoma 45-35; No. 11 Missouri 56-31; No. 7 Oklahoma State 28-24.

Common opponent with other two teams: Defeated Kansas 35-7.

Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 5 (up from No. 7 last week)

BCS ranking: No. 2

Argument for:  Defeated three teams ranked in the top 11, including No. 1 Oklahoma. Colt McCoy is this year's version of Tim Tebow leading the Horns in rushing and passing. Will Muschamp's defense might not be impressive statistically but it is a big play group and is coming off its best performance of the season against Kansas.

Argument against: Not much of one except that it didn't play on Saturday while Oklahoma got all the national love. If Texas doesn't get to the Big 12 title game it will be because of a six-point loss on the road with one second left against Texas Tech.

Regular-season game remaining: Thursday vs. Texas A&M

 

Texas Tech


Why they're in this position: Worst game of the season came at the worst possible time.

Ranked teams beaten (ranking at time of kickoff): No. 19 Kansas 63-21; No. 1 Texas 39-33; No. 8 Oklahoma State 56-20.

Common opponent with other two teams:  Defeated Kansas 63-21.

Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 19 (up from No. 50 last week)

BCS ranking: No. 7

Argument for: Defeated No. 1 (Texas), last week's Heisman frontrunner (Harrell) and the nation's best receiver (Crabtree). But there's more than this high-flying offense. Texas Tech has been well -rounded most of the season with a serviceable running game and effective defense. Until Saturday.

Suddenly Tech has the best schedule strength of the three jumping from No. 50 to No. 19. Until Saturday, Utah State has played a tougher overall schedule than Texas Tech.

Argument against: You can't lose by 44 on national television on Nov. 22 and expect to play for a national championship, much less a Big 12 title.

But both are still a possibility.

Regular-season game remaining: Saturday vs. Baylor

Oklahoma

Why they're in this position:  Colt McCoy. Texas' quarterback had a career day on Oct. 11. The Sooners led by five with 12 minutes but were outscored 15-0 down the stretch the day in beating Oklahoma.

Other than that, Kansas (14) has been the only team to get within 22 points of OU.

Ranked teams beaten (ranked at the time of kickoff): No. 24 TCU, 35-10; No. 2 Texas Tech, 65-21.

Common opponent with other two teams: Defeated Kansas 45-31.

Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 26 (up from No. 42 last week)

BCS ranking: No. 3

Argument for: Playing the best right now. OU has laid waste to its opponents since losing to Texas. It has won successive games by 14, 23, 34, 38 and 44 points.

Sam Bradford leads the country in touchdown passes and seems to be the new Heisman leader.

Argument against: Beat Tech which beat Texas which beat Oklahoma. Oh no, here we go again.

Regular-season game remaining: Saturday at Oklahoma State


 Picking up the pieces after Notre Dame's epic meltdown: ND had four possessions inside the Syracuse 24 and came away with six points ... The Irish blew their third double-digit lead this season ... Notre Dame was held to 41 yards rushing. The previous season low given up by the Syracuse defense was 90 yards rushing allowed to Division I-AA Northeastern which finished 2-10.

 

 Maryland dropped out of contention in the ACC Atlantic after losing to Florida State. Chalk it up to inconsistency. The Terps were 4-0 against ranked teams, 3-4 against unranked teams and 0-4 at night.

  North Carolina State captured the "state championship" by beating North Carolina, Wake Forest, East Carolina and Duke. That's the first state sweep for the Pack since 1986. "What it speaks to is we're the best football program in the state," coach Tom O'Brien said.

 Either Beanie Wells is injured or he's turning into Franco Harris. I'm not talking about the Franco who led the Steelers to Super Bowls. I'm talking about the Franco who became famous for stepping out of bounds rather than accept punishment from, or deal out punishment to, defenders.

 

Wells broke for a long run to midfield in the second half and clearly cut his run short and stepped out of bounds rather than lower a shoulder. Wells could have picked up another five yards, instead he did an out route out of bounds.

That's the not first time I've seen him do that. Wells did leave the game later because of hamstring problems. It will be interesting to see what Wells does after this season because his junior season has been somewhat of a disappointment.

 The recent legacy of bad decision making among Tennessee apparently carries on to the next level. Former Tennessee golden body Erik Ainge was suspended by the NFL for violation of the league's policy on steroids and related substance.

 It's not like Ainge is blowing his career. First, he would have to have a career to blow it. The Jets rookie quarterback was already on injured reserve so, hey, maybe was bored.

 Steroids?

 

 

Posted on: November 23, 2008 10:09 am
Edited on: November 23, 2008 4:02 pm
 

The BCS and Big 12 South breakdown

The BCS doesn't come out until after 7 p.m. ET on Sunday but here's a best guess of how the top five will look.

1. Alabama

2. Texas

3. Oklahoma

4. Florida

5. Utah

6. USC

7. Texas Tech

Both human polls (Harris and coaches) have put Oklahoma ahead of Texas which should cause some consternation in certain quarters. The Longhorns beat the Sooners but OU obviously is playing better than anyone in the country with the possible exception of Florida.

"Hopefully they (voters) forget about that," Oklahoma linebacker Austin Box when reminded that his team lost to Texas.

For now, they have.

--Now the skinny on the three-way tie in the Big 12 South ... Who would you pick right now?

Texas


Why they're in this position:  Blake Gideon, Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree.

Texas had Tech beat in Lubbock until it gave the ball back with 1:29 left in the Nov. 1 game. Harrell was able to drive the team down for the game-winning touchdown with one second left. But that was only after Gideon, a Texas defensive back, dropped a tipped pass that would have ended Tech's drive.

Crabtree made an amazing catch against double coverage and tight-roped the sidelines into the end zone for a 39-33 victory.

Ranked teams beaten (ranking at time of kickoff): No. 1 Oklahoma 45-35; No. 11 Missouri 56-31; No. 7 Oklahoma State 28-24.

Common opponent with other two teams: Defeated Kansas 35-7.

Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 5 (up from No. 7 last week)

BCS ranking going into Sunday: No. 3

Argument for:  Defeated three teams ranked in the top 11, including No. 1 Oklahoma. Colt McCoy is this year's version of Tim Tebow leading the Horns in rushing and passing. Will Muschamp's defense might not be impressive statistically but it is a big play group and is coming off its best performance of the season against Kansas.

Argument against: Not much of one except that it didn't play on Saturday while Oklahoma got all the national love. If Texas doesn't get to the Big 12 title game it will be because of a six-point loss on the road with one second left against Texas Tech.

Regular-season game remaining: Thursday vs. Texas A&M

 

Texas Tech


Why they're in this position: Worst game of the season came at the worst possible time.

Ranked teams beaten (ranking at time of kickoff): No. 19 Kansas 63-21; No. 1 Texas 39-33; No. 8 Oklahoma State 56-20.

Common opponent with other two teams:  Defeated Kansas 63-21.

Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 19 (up from No. 50 last week)

BCS ranking going into Sunday: No. 2

Argument for: Defeated No. 1 (Texas), last week's Heisman frontrunner (Harrell) and the nation's best receiver (Crabtree). But there's more than this high-flying offense. Texas Tech has been well -rounded most of the season with a serviceable running game and effective defense. Until Saturday.

Suddenly Tech has the best schedule strength of the three jumping from No. 50 to No. 19. Until Saturday, Utah State has played a tougher overall schedule than Texas Tech.

Argument against: You can't lose by 44 on national television on Nov. 22 and expect to play for a national championship, much less a Big 12 title.

But both are still a possibility.

Regular-season game remaining: Saturday vs. Baylor

Oklahoma

Why they're in this position:  Colt McCoy. Texas' quarterback had a career day on Oct. 11. The Sooners led by five with 12 minutes but were outscored 15-0 down the stretch the day in beating Oklahoma.

Other than that, Kansas (14) has been the only team to get within 22 points of OU.

Ranked teams beaten (ranked at the time of kickoff): No. 24 TCU, 35-10; No. 2 Texas Tech, 65-21.

Common opponent with other two teams: Defeated Kansas 45-31.

Schedule strength (Sagarin): No. 26 (up from No. 42 last week)

BCS ranking going into Sunday: No. 5

Argument for: Playing the best right now. OU has laid waste to its opponents since losing to Texas. It has won successive games by 14, 23, 34, 38 and 44 points.

Sam Bradford leads the country in touchdown passes and seems to be the new Heisman leader.

Argument against: Beat Tech which beat Texas which beat Oklahoma. Oh no, here we go again.

Regular-season game remaining: Saturday at Oklahoma State

Posted on: November 20, 2008 5:56 pm
 

This week's BCS Armageddon scenario

Two teams from the Big 12 playing for the national championship? Absolutely. Three teams from the Big 12 in the BCS? You bet.  Only one team from the SEC? It could happen.

Here's how:

Alabama loses to Auburn, then rebounds to beat Florida in the SEC title game.

Missouri beats Texas Tech in the Big 12 championship game.

That leaves a top four in the BCS that would look like this:
1. Texas
2. Oklahoma
3. Alabama 
4. USC

The BCS championship game would be Texas-Oklahoma but a spot would have to be reserved for Missouri, the Big 12 champion. Rules state that only two teams from a conference can go to the BCS bowl. Oops. They would have to make room for three.

Assume that Oregon State wins the Pac-10 and goes to the Rose Bowl. That would guarantee USC a spot as an at-large because it finished in the top four. It also means only one SEC team (Alabama) would be in the BCS.

Florida would be shut out because the at-large spots would go to Utah, USC, Texas and Oklahoma. That's right, two at-large teams would be playing for the national championship!

Posted on: November 19, 2008 12:28 pm
Edited on: November 19, 2008 1:16 pm
 

National notes

The golden era of Buffalo football was 50 years ago. That's what makes this week so special.

Beat Bowling Green on Friday and the Bulls clinch the MAC East and play for the MAC title, which would guarantee them their first bowl game. They are led by an African-American coach (Turner Gill) and an African-American athletic director (Warde Manuel).

 Fifty years ago, the Bulls had an invite to play in their first bowl game, the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Fla. One stipulation: The game was being in a stadium controlled by a local school district that didn't allow integrated games.

There wasn't even a vote. The Bulls refused the invitation standing solidly behind their black teammates -- Willie Evans and Mike Wilson.

"They insulted two of our teammates," former quarterback Joe Oliverio told the Associated Press, "and we were going to hit them back between the ears by refusing to go without our teammates."

Fifty years later, Syracuse has a wonderful opportunity to carry on that legacy. Not necessarily because Gill is an African-American but, yes, that is part of it. Much higher on the list is the chance to turn around a moribund program. Gill has done what few thought was impossible, transforming a fledgling I-A program into being competitive.

That's all Buffalo was asking when it hired him three years ago. But this is above and beyond. The Bulls (6-4) already are bowl eligible. A victory Friday puts them in that first MAC title game.

A year ago Gill was mentioned in the Nebraska coaching search if for no other reason than to appease the Big Red masses. The former Nebraska option quarterback ran one of the highest scoring offenses in the game's history. In becoming a 1983 Heisman Trophy finalist, Gill guided Nebraska to within a missed two-point conversion of the national championship.

That was a quarter-century ago. Fast forward to 2007 and a change of career paths. Gill wasn't ready for Nebraska and not with a 7-17 career record.

But Gill is perfect, now -- right now! -- for Syracuse. The program that desperately needs to hit a home run with its next hire has one sitting right down the interstate. Gill is young, enough (46) and energetic enough to undertake the massive rebuilding job it's going to take to resurrect the program.

Think about this: Syracuse probably is in no position to be grabbing big-name coaches. It desperately needs one who is hungry. What Gill has done at Buffalo in only three seasons is one of the most underrated stories this season.

Of course, it didn't become a big story until the Bulls beat Akron in overtime on Saturday. That meant bowl eligibility and a chance at the conference title.
I just amazed myself typing those words.

Getting Buffalo to win anything is like transforming elephant into an Olympic sprinter. It has been in I-A only nine years. 
Gill's career record is a modest 13-21 but consider where Buffalo had been before this point. The program has consecutive five-win seasons for the first time since 1981. The program was 10-69 in seven previous seasons before moving to Division I-A in 1999.

"How come it can't happen?" Gill said. "That's what I told this football team when I first came in here. I said to them, 'We will be successful here and I will not be ashamed of being the head football coach at the University at Buffalo.'"

Far from it. Oh, and Gill can recruit.

 Senior quarterback Drew Willy drew interest from Pittsburgh, Syracuse and UConn but those schools weren't exactly knocking down his door. Syracuse got rid of Paul Pasqualoni which soured Willy on the Orange. Gill them proved himself as a quarterback maker. Willy has thrown 45 career touchdowns and is currently third in MAC passing.

 

 Kicker A.J. Principe was a player no one wanted out of Columbus, Ohio. Gill gave him a chance to walk on. The sophomore has 25 career field goals making 73 percent of his kicks. And a scholarship.

 

 Receiver Naaman Roosevelt was the New York state co-player. His only offer was from I-AA New Hampshire. Now he leads the MAC in receiving yards.

 

A couple of years ago, Buffalo played Bowling Green in a game that lasted more than five hours because of lightning delays. When the teams meet Friday, it could mark the fastest three hours in Buffalo football history. Win, and the Bulls are in.

 

 mgoblog.com is reporting that Michigan tailback Sam McGuffie is transferring.

 

 

 More from Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe on Obama's playoff talk:

 

"Look at our league, you talk about turning up the pressure. In our league those that have annual expectations -- Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas.  Let's say one of them isn't in (a playoff) for three or four years, their coaches aren't going to make it, the season ticket sales may go down, the bowls aren't going to be satisfied if they're not in it. An eight-team playoff is not going to accommodate more than two teams from a conference. You're going to put the pressure on."

 

 Part of the Mountain West's success includes complete domination of the Pac-10 and the best record of any conference against BCS conference teams (9-5). The conference is so good, though, that it me shopping for a bowl.

 

It is contracted to four bowls but the nine-team league could have six bowl eligible teams if Colorado State and UNLV (both 5-6) win this week.

Utah could relieve some of the pressure by beating BYU. That would push the Utes up to a BCS bowl. However, if BYU wins that could mean four bowl spots for six teams.

 

 By the way look for Utah's Kyle Whittingham to get a contract extension after the season He is in the fourth year of a six-year deal.

 

 

 It's interesting to look back at the first Power Poll on August 31. Here's the top 10 from back then. Five of the 
10 are still in the mix.

 

1. Ohio State -- Beat Michigan and it shares the Big Ten title.
2. Oklahoma -- The Texas loss probably keeps OU from being No. 1 at this point.
3. USC -- Ever hear of Jacquizz Rodgers?
4. Missouri -- Another victim of the Big 12 South.
5. Georgia -- Wasn't Knowshon Moreno supposed to be a Heisman candidate?
6. Florida -- Forget Tebow, Brandon Spikes for Heisman.
7. LSU -- Jarrett Lee has legally changed his name to "Pick Six".
8. West Virginia -- You're kidding, right?
9. Texas -- One loss, on the road, on the last offensive play of the game to No. 2 Texas Tech.
10. Auburn -- Wheeze, cough, cough. Don't wait for me to catch up. Go on ahead. The wolves will end my misery.

 Question: The day Will Muschamp becomes Texas head coach, will he be one of the few head coaches who calls his own defensive plays? I can only think of two at the moment, TCU's Gary Patterson and Western Kentucky's Dave Elson.

 

Posted on: November 18, 2008 1:01 pm
 

Tennessee coaching news

A source told me that Tennessee is ready to make "a major spash" with its next hire.

That seems to eliminate assistant coaches like Texas' Will Muschamp. That also could eliminate a Brian Kelly at Cincinnati. I love Kelly and think he's a short-timer at Cincy but he doesn't qualify as a major splash.

Unless there is an NFL candidate along the lines of Pete Carroll or Nick Saban, one of the few big timers I can think of is Mike Leach. That is, unless you believe Tommy Tuberville might pull a Houston Nutt -- leave Auburn and eight hours later show up in Knoxville. That isn't likely.

 Syracuse has Florida offensive line Steve Addazio and Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello high on its list.

 

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com