Archive for July, 2015

Friday Football Fix

Posted by    |    July 31st, 2015 at 12:11 pm

While waiting for the team to report, here is a look at how Texas helped to revolutionize college football in the late 60’s.


[an-tis-uh-pey-shuh n]

1. The act of expecting or foreseeing something; expectation or presentiment 
2. a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen –the act of preparing for something.

The wait is almost over. You have prepared yourself by reading the finest Longhorn Football Prospectus out there, and if you haven’t ordered it, what the hell are you waiting for.

Meanwhile I thought that watching Darrell Royal explain the intricacies of the offense that brought Texas unprecedented success might be a good way to kill a little time this weekend.


Cal Bears Center Matt Cochran leaves football team

Posted by    |    July 30th, 2015 at 2:18 pm

And no one knows why…

The California Golden Bear projected starting center Matt Cochran has quit the team unexpectedly.

Matt Cochran, a junior who was expected to be Cal’s starting center this fall, has abruptly left the team, according to an athletic department spokesman.

There was no reason provided for the departure and Cochran is still enrolled in school.

I’ve got 98 reasons…


Buy THINKING TEXAS FOOTBALL @ Smashwords, Amazon, iTunes & Barnes & Noble

Cal Center Matt Cochran leaves football team

Posted by    |    July 30th, 2015 at 2:18 pm

And no one knows why…

The California Golden Bear projected starting center Matt Cochran has quit the team unexpectedly.

Matt Cochran, a junior who was expected to be Cal’s starting center this fall, has abruptly left the team, according to an athletic department spokesman.

There was no reason provided for the departure and Cochran is still enrolled in school.

I’ve got 98 reasons…


Buy THINKING TEXAS FOOTBALL @ Smashwords, Amazon, iTunes & Barnes & Noble

Big 12 Expansion or Contraction? Watch Out for Oklahoma

Posted by    |    July 29th, 2015 at 1:16 pm

It might be legitimate smoke or just the hot summer air of the peanut gallery, but conference realignment talk is still percolating in the wake of University of Oklahoma President David Boren’s comments last month about wanting Big 12 expansion. Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald reported that five Big 12 schools approached the Big Ten back in 2010 (intimating that they were Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa State and Texas A&M) about joining forces with Jim Delany. Today, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman (essentially OU’s home newspaper) explained why Nebraska would never leave the Big Ten and noted that OU was “thrilled at the prospect of joining a conference that included the likes of Stanford and Cal-Berkeley” when it was considering the Pac-12. Finally, Dick Weiss (a Naismith Hall of Fame inductee for sportswriting as opposed to a plebeian blogger like myself) “casually” Tweeted the following on Monday:

Fox sports mulling idea of Kansas OU leaving big 12 for Big to give that conference 16 teams. Just another rumor? @BlueStarMedia1

— Dick Weiss (@HoopsWeiss) July 27, 2015

Weiss has been on the conference realignment beat before as he was one of the first to report about the “Catholic 7″ breaking away from the Big East and then forming… the Big East.

Edit: Weiss has clarified his Tweet:

Info on big 12 comes fr fox sports column not fox sports guys just throwing it out there sorry for confusion @BlueStarMedia1

— Dick Weiss (@HoopsWeiss) July 28, 2015

I don’t position this blog as a newsbreaking site, but I have heard from a knowledgeable person with extensive contacts with current and former Big 12 members (i.e. knew specific details about Nebraska heading to the Big Ten and Texas A&M to the SEC beforehand that couldn’t have been simply guessed from the news) that basically had this to say: Oklahoma isn’t happy with the Big 12 and wants to get out.

Putting aside all of the valid issues of whether the Big 12’s grant of rights agreement can be broken or whether Oklahoma could politically leave Oklahoma State behind (both of which need to be cleared before any moves are even possible), it doesn’t seem as though OU wants to stand pat. David Boren’s comments about wanting Big 12 expansion with the “right schools” was more of a warning shot to the rest of the league because, frankly, the “right schools” wouldn’t ever take a Big 12 invite. As a result, everyone in Sooners land seems to agree on the overarching desire to leave the Big 12, but there are two mindsets within the school: the academic wishes of Boren and the athletic interests of OU Athletic Director Joe Catiglione. (Emphasis that these are currently mindsets that could take years to play out – please don’t interpret anything here as “Oklahoma is leaving for Conference X by the end of the year.”) Boren, not surprisingly, wants a more academic league, but it seems as though his focus is more on the Pac-12 as opposed to the Big Ten as of now. That’s not to say that OU wouldn’t consider the Big Ten (as it did in 2010), but there are still apparently concerns that the B1G would find OU to be academically acceptable. In contrast, the Pac-12 would like Oklahoma if they came with, say, Kansas. The West Coast league just doesn’t want an OU/Oklahoma State expansion (which is what OU had offered back in 2011 in the wake of Texas A&M bolting the Big 12 for the SEC). Meanwhile, the athletic side of the school would relish going to the SEC. Once again, the SEC would take Oklahoma in a heartbeat without Oklahoma State coming along. The SEC would likely prefer Kansas, as well, provided that the biggest dog of them all of Texas rejects their overtures.

Ah yes – Texas. The Longhorns aren’t oblivious to their rivals to the north. In a perfect world for Texas (as described to me by my Big 12 guy), they would want to join the ACC as full members with… wait for it… Notre Dame. Apparently, the UT people are convinced that the new College Football Playoff system will eventually drive the Irish to join a conference and Texas wants to be right alongside them. In turn, UT would also have Oklahoma and Kansas follow along to create an 18-school ACC behemoth. Texas would be fine with the same type of move to the Big Ten (although Notre Dame is contractually obligated to join the ACC if it chooses to drop independence until 2027, which would seemingly make that prospect impossible). The new Texas leadership doesn’t have the West Coast preference that their leaders circa 2010 had, so any new deal with the Pac-12 seems to be out. At the same time, the SEC continues to be simply a non-starter for the Longhorns.

Personally, I reflexively reject the viability of any realignment move predicated on Notre Dame joining a conference as a football member, where we might as well say that Texas would be willing to join the MAC if Notre Dame comes along with them. Also, the Irish would have 100% made a 4-team playoff in a year like 2012, so I consider any supposed South Bend-based worries about the CFP system to be false hopes for Texas partisans. Until I see actual consternation from Notre Dame itself about today’s college football world, they are going to be an immovable object. In that sense, it seems as though the smoke from Texas is more of a “If we get the PITCH PERFECT deal to move, then sure, we’ll move.”

Contrast this with Oklahoma, where they appear to be making public comments and private moves to put themselves in position to bolt from the Big 12 with merely a passable offer (as opposed to the perfect one that Texas would require). It then becomes a matter of whether it’s worth the risk of breaking the Big 12’s grant of rights of agreement with unpredictable damages claims (which I wrote about a couple of years ago) and/or any political fallout if Oklahoma proactively leaves the Big 12 without Oklahoma State.

If I were running the Big Ten, it’s time to take advantage of one of those rare moments where a national football brand name is essentially begging for offers. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: if we assume that Texas, Notre Dame and ACC schools are off the table, then the single most valuable expansion that the Big Ten can have at this point is adding Oklahoma and Kansas. These are two of the most elite blue blood brand names in college football and college basketball, respectively, and their small markets on-paper compared to Eastern options are irrelevant when they can effectively turn the Big Ten Network into a legit national network instead of a mostly regional one (which may become more important as cable cord cutting continues and the TV industry starts moving toward an a la carte or at least less-than-basic cable model). Also note that Kansas actually had the highest third tier TV rights revenue of any Big 12 school prior to the formation of the Longhorn Network, so it has been shown that the BTN can basically charge any price within KU’s market (and presumably OU’s market) and garner a ton of more revenue even with fewer households on paper.

Finally, I’m as much of a Big Ten academic snob as anyone, but Oklahoma’s academic reputation rankings have long been right in line with Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Iowa State despite OU never having had membership in the Association of American Universities. If the Big Ten is fine with Nebraska no longer being an AAU member from an academic standpoint, then that should make any concerns about OU’s academics much less of a roadblock. The prospect of Oklahoma and Kansas moving within the next few years is simply much more likely than schools like Virginia and North Carolina leaving the ACC within the next generation, so an OU/KU combo is the best viable expansion option for the Big Ten by far as of today.

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(Image from KOTV)

Filed under: Big Ten, College Basketball, College Football Tagged: Big 12 Expansion, Conference Realignment, Kansas Jayhawks, Kansas to the Big Ten, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma to the Big Ten, Oklahoma to the Pac-12, Oklahoma to the SEC, Texas to the ACC, Texas to the Big Ten

2017 Texas Longhorns Football Recruiting: Westlake QB Sam Ehlinger commits to Texas

Posted by    |    July 28th, 2015 at 8:52 pm

The Westlake junior-to-be has committed to the University of Texas.  Here he is eviscerating the mighty Anderson Trojans, the blue & gold juggernaut of Northwest Austin.  Here’s some Hudl goodness courtesy of 24-7.

Been a Longhorn since day one, I’m truly blessed to say I am committed to the University of Texas. #hookem

— Sam Ehlinger (@sehlinger3) July 28, 2015

Ehlinger is an interesting prospect.  He’s currently rated a three star, but I think it’s fairly clear that we have a staff that tends to roll their eyes at early evaluations from recruiting analysts.  After reviewing the 2015 recruiting class again for TTF, let’s just say that I’m generally bought in on how our staff evaluates.

Sam is not particularly tall (he has been listed optimistically at 6-2, he looks 6 feet even to me) and he’s more nifty than a blazer, but he’s got a good frame, a solid arm, demonstrates a great feel for the position and possesses subtle throwing skills. You don’t have to watch him for long to understand that you’re looking at a natural, instinctive QB with touch, accuracy and the understanding of where to put the ball on time.  He threw lots of touchdowns to guys named Reed, Chase, Clipper and Cul-de-Sac at Westlake (sophomore year, 2300 yards passing, 722 rushing, 33 total touchdowns) and he’s going to be absolutely dominant in Todd Dodge’s newly implemented spread system over the next two years.

If you’re trying to figure out where we’re going on offense with Kai Locksley (and possibly Merrick) taken in 2015 and Ellinger slated for 2017, I’m right here with you.  But it’s clear that Texas will have a pretty slick spread practitioner with good mobility headed our way two years from now.

Hook ’em.