Big 12: Jamiell Showers

Mailbag: Aggie curse, politics, Stoops-OSU

April, 29, 2011
4/29/11
3:00
PM ET
Thanks for all the questions, all. Enjoy the rest of the draft this weekend.

Jared in College Station, Texas asks: What do you make of Texas A&M's "Senior QB Curse?" Reggie McNeil, Stephen McGee, and Jerrod Johnson were all ineffective and benched their senior season. Very odd, no? How can Ryan Tannehill escape the same fate?

David Ubben: Well, I have problems buying into any curse, of course. The bottom line about McNeal and McGee is neither one was as good as Jerrod Johnson or Ryan Tannehill. Johnson, at his best, was better than Tannehill, but the shoulder injury was such a rough deal last season.

This week, coach Mike Sherman opined that Johnson tried too hard to make up for lost time in the spring and worked too hard during the summer. Whatever the cause, it was a shame. Johnson was a guy who did everything right, and despite that, it wasn't meant to pay off for him. That said, it's in the past.

Tannehill didn't take a ton of big hits last season, and with Texas A&M's solid offensive line featuring sophomore bookends loaded with potential, he doesn't figure to take many more in 2011. In the event he does run, though? I'm sure Sherman will be in his ear to make sure he gets down or out of bounds.

Curse or otherwise, you still have to take care of your passer. Last season, the Aggies had a pretty good backup plan for Johnson. This season, they don't. Being extra careful is the prudent approach.

Jamiell Showers and/or Matt Joeckel aren't winning Texas A&M a Big 12 title next season.


Brett in Kansas City asks: Hey David, is there any chance that Bob Stoops, or any other Big 12 coaches for that matter, will be looking at homes in Columbus, Ohio anytime soon?

DU: No, I don't buy that. Urban Meyer is obviously at the top of the list if Jim Tressel leaves, but if Stoops turned down Florida (twice), I'd be surprised if he left for Ohio State. There's some appeal in going "home," yes, but Stoops said himself this spring that Oklahoma is as much his home as anywhere these days. He's got three school-aged kids who have lived in Oklahoma since 1999. That's 12 years.

Besides that, how often do you see a coach of a major program leave to become coach at another major program? It's very, very rare.

I generally think Meyer will eventually end up at Ohio State, but if anything, Bo Pelini is much more likely to leave than Stoops, following a short tenure at Nebraska. I wouldn't bet on it, but Pelini is pretty high on the prospective list.


Michael in Long Beach, Calif. asks: David, if Jamell Fleming enrolls for the fall semester is he good to go, or does he face academic or other types of suspensions? Would he be eligible academically? Thanks.

DU: He should be good to go, as I understand it. It sounds like his status is in limbo, and ultimately, he's the only guy who can decide if he'll be back or not. He'll have to work to show it, though. He could miss out on something special at Oklahoma next year if he's not on the team. You'd think that alone would be enough motivation.


Frederico in Paris asks: David,Who would you pick as the big 12 teams you're most likely to be over-rating and under-rating for the 2011 season at this point in time?

DU: Interesting question. Overrating? We'll see about Oklahoma State. The defense got a lot better toward the end of last season, but will that continue into next season, especially without one of its leaders, Orie Lemon?

And then there's the whole playcalling deal, replacing one of college football's best, Dana Holgorsen, with an inexperienced Todd Monken.

Between the trio of teams at the top of the league, I'd say they're the most likely to have a disappointing season. Not saying it'll happen, but Texas A&M and Oklahoma have a lot fewer questions.

Underrating? Probably the same three teams I pegged as sleepers awhile back. Texas, Missouri and Kansas State. All have big question marks, but perhaps even bigger potential.


Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. asks: I'm sure Tuberville's going on Hannity and bashing me plays well with the fans in west Texas but seems like a fairly stupid move overall. Tubs stated that as coach he represents all of Tech's players but I doubt if many of his African American players feel like those comments represent them. Do you think this could impact recruiting for Tech?

DU: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let's strip this letter of all the fighting words. I'd expect a president to be more diplomatic, no? First off, I'd hardly call what Tuberville said about Obama "bashing." Questioning? Sure. As it ends up, he was wrong, but again, Tuberville is little more than a victim of poor timing when it comes to Obama and his birth certificate. No one would bat an eye at this if Tuberville hadn't gone on the air and commented the night before Obama released the document.

Secondly, painting with a broad brush there a little bit, right? His black players wouldn't feel like those comments represent them? Since when are all of his white players backing the Republicans and all his black players backing the Democrats? Slow your role, Mr. President.

And most importantly, since when does that matter? It doesn't. If you're a player, there's no reason to be overly concerned with your coach's political views. When he says he represents all his players, I'd hardly say that crosses over to political views. I'm surprised this story became an issue, considering how little it has to do with anything.


Brady Kirk in Norman, OK asks: Hey, Dubbs. I've been thinking lately about how the upcoming Sooner offense compares to its counterpart of 2008. First of all, how much of a difference do you see between their offensive lines; second, do you think this year's receiver corps is at the same level as that team's offensive line; and third, how close do you think this offense can come to that one overall?

DU: There's a big difference in the offensive lines. Oklahoma's should be good next season, but the one in 2008 had four NFL players on it. This season's probably has two. The receivers this season are better, but a great receiving corps doesn't mean dominance in the same way that an offensive line does. The Sooners did anything they wanted that season (until they played Florida) and scored more points than any offense in the history of college football.

This year's offense should be great, but I'd be shocked if it came anywhere close to that team.


Tommy B in Stillwater, OK asks: What are the chances OSU is able to get Justin Bieber to Bedlam?

DU: Who knows just yet, but I'd like to see OSU do everything it can to get Bieber to Stillwater.


David Paschall in Austin, Texas asks: I loved watching Texas' Blaine Irby play before his injury in 2008. It seems like he has a ton of potential at TE. Will we finally get to see him play again this year? He suited up for the Orange and White game, but I don't remember seeing him take the field and virtually no one has mentioned him. Will 2011 see his return?

DU: He was out there this spring, but the team took it easy and held him out of the spring game. He's not back to full strength, but he sounds like he'll be back on the field in at least some capacity next season.

Big 12 spring game recap: Texas A&M

April, 18, 2011
4/18/11
11:30
AM ET
What happened:

  • Senior quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 9 of 14 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown.
  • Christine Michael carried the ball 11 times for 52 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
  • Ryan Swope led all receivers with six catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
  • Using a scoring system that grades each play from scrimmage, the offense beat the defense 133-119. Barnburner!
  • An estimated 16,500 fans showed up.
What we learned:
  • Coach Mike Sherman has to be encouraged with the quarterback play down the line. Tannehill had a good day, but the battle at No. 2 looks pretty interesting. My pick to win that No. 2 job, Jamiell Showers, completed 8 of 14 passes for 68 yards, and actually had the worst day of the four passers. Johnny Manziel enrolled early as a freshman and completed 8 of 9 passes for 115 yards and a pair of scores. It's only a scrimmage, yes, but on the biggest stage he's likely ever played on, that's a good sign for Manziel, who may contribute next year rather than redshirt.
  • Good to see Michael have a good day, too, coming back from the broken leg that gave way to a huge year for Cyrus Gray. The performance had to feel good.
  • Texas A&M didn't release full defensive statistics, which are tough to gain much from, but junior Caleb Russell had two sacks playing the Joker position that Von Miller excelled in last season. It sounds like that spot is still Damontre Moore's to lose, but like at quarterback, the depth has to make Sherman smile a bit. The Aggies were missing three starters in the secondary, which definitely had a factor in the high completion percentages from the quarterbacks, but Texas A&M looks pretty solid on both sides of the ball. For them, a team with very few questions, a spring game won't tell you much.
They said it:

"We're looking to be the No. 1 running back tandem in the country."

- Michael, on Texas A&M's running back duo

More Big 12 spring game recaps:

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