Big 12: Jim Tressel

Big 12 stock report: Week 3

September, 12, 2012
Who's up, and who's down after Week 2? Glad you asked. Time to check the Big 12 stock report.

Rising: Kansas' ballhawking skills

The Jayhawks forced a grand total of 18 turnovers last season, the lowest amount in the entire Big 12. That total ranked 91st nationally, too. This year? Kansas is just 1-1, but they've seen big improvement in that category. KU has already forced eight turnovers through just two games. That ranks second nationally, and the only team ahead of the Jayhawks is SMU, who forced zero turnovers against Baylor in Week 1, but forced 10 (!!) last week against Stephen F. Austin.

Falling: Oklahoma State's ballhawking skills

The Cowboys led the nation with 44 takeaways last year, but in last week's 59-38 loss to Arizona, the Cowboys were held without a single takeaway, something that hadn't happened at Oklahoma State since a win at Kansas back in 2010. That gives Oklahoma State just two takeaways through two games. The one silver lining for the Pokes: They had just three turnovers at this time last year.

Rising: Texas QB David Ash's accuracy

Ash completed just 56.6 percent of his passes as a true freshman last season, including eight interceptions to just four touchdown passes. That ranked ninth in the Big 12. This year, it's been a different story for the sophomore. He's completed 73.5 percent of his passes for three touchdowns and no interceptions, adding a 49-yard touchdown run last week. Among QBs with at least 15 attempts, only West Virginia's Geno Smith has completed a higher percentage of passes, and Ash is one of just three Big 12 starting QBs without an interception.

Falling: Wins records for coaches

Last week, Gary Patterson notched his 110th career win, passing Dutch Meyer's half-century old record as the school's all-time wins leader. This week, it's time to make more history. If Texas knocks off Ole Miss in Oxford, Mack Brown will pass Ohio State's Jim Tressel for 13th all-time among coaches, with 230 wins. With three more wins, he'll pass Bob Stoops and Bill Snyder's mentor, Hayden Fry, on the all-time list. If Texas finishes with 11 wins this year, Brown will be tied with another Ohio State legend who made another less than sanctimonious exit: Woody Hayes.

Rising: Big 12 offenses ... again.

Two of them have played just one game, but the Big 12 enters Week 3 with three of the nation's top four offenses. Oklahoma State leads the nation with 659 yards a game, and West Virginia is right behind the Cowboys, with 655 total yards. Sitting in fourth: Baylor, who racked up 59 points and 613 yards in a win over SMU.

Meanwhile, when it comes to scoring offenses, the Big 12 has seven teams in the top 11. The entire league average is nearly 50 points a game, but West Virginia (69), Oklahoma State (61), Baylor (59), TCU (56), Kansas State (51.5), Texas Tech (51) and Oklahoma (46.5) are all among the nation's highest-scoring offenses.

Falling: Oklahoma's pass protection

The Sooners gave up just 11 sacks last season, good for seventh-fewest nationally and tied with Stanford. Only Texas A&M gave up fewer in the Big 12. This year, though? Oklahoma's already given up six sacks through two games. Part of it is the offensive line, and Jones has hung onto the ball a little too long at times, too. Still, that number has to be a bit alarming for the crimson and cream. It's going to get tougher in the Big 12.

Previewing Week 1: Missouri

July, 21, 2011
You're counting down the days, I'm sure. We're so close, and yet so far from the season's opening weekend. I can't wait for it, and I'm sure every player in the Big 12 can't either. So, despite being a bit far off, we'll take a look at each team's opener, inspired by our friends over at the Big Ten Blog.

We started this series at the top of the alphabet, and it's time for the Tigers.

Missouri Tigers

Week 1 Opponent: Miami (OH)

Coach: Don Treadwell, first year

2010 record: 10-4 (7-1, MAC)

Returning starters: 17 (8 offense, 9 defense)

About the RedHawks: Miami was no doubt underrated last season when the Tigers rolled them in Columbia, 51-13. The Redhawks were unimpressive in nonconference play, but reeled off six consecutive wins to end the season to win the MAC, a quality league at the FBS level. The RedHawks' turnaround from a 1-11 season in 2009 to a MAC title was one of the best stories in college football, and earned second-year head coach Mike Haywood the job at Pittsburgh, though that already didn't end well.

The RedHawks will lean on new coach Don Treadwell this year, who helped guide Michigan State to a share of a Big Ten title last season as offensive coordinator and interim head coach after coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack following an overtime win against Notre Dame on Sept. 19.

Could Treadwell be the next great Miami name in the program that's earned the moniker of "Cradle of Coaches?" Jim Tressel, Woody Hayes, Bo Schembechler and new Indiana coach Kevin Wilson, a former Oklahoma offensive coordinator, have all come through Miami.

On the field, the Redhawks return quarterback Zac Dysert, a junior, and Austin Boucher, a sophomore who played in seven games as a freshman. Dysert suffered a rib injury and Boucher led the team to wins in its final four games, including the conference championship and the Bowl, but fall camp opens with a competition between the two. Boucher completed more than 60 percent of his passes and averaged more than 300 yards a game in his final two starts.

Leading rusher Thomas Merriweather (921 yards, 12 TDs) graduated, but rising sophomore Tracy Woods carried the ball 94 times for 376 yards and a touchdown last season.

Leading receiver Armand Robinson (1062 yards, 12 TDs) is gone, too, but the RedHawks return four receivers with at least 25 catches last season.

The defense returns nine starters, including all eight of the team's top tacklers, led by linebacker Jerrell Wedge.

Random factoid: Illinois coach Ron Zook, whose Illini team has opened its past four seasons against Missouri, is a Miami (OH) alum.

Totally unscientific percentage chance Missouri wins: 81 percent. Miami clearly made big improvements late in the year, and the Tigers will be throwing out a first-time starter at quarterback, which comes with all kinds of unknowns. Missouri is better at every position, but if the offense sputters, anything could happen.

More Week 1 previews:

Lunch links: Big 12's big shoes to fill

June, 6, 2011
Only in 2011 could a light-hearted cultural reference about this photo be interpreted as me implicating Oklahoma was committing recruiting violations. Sheesh. Chill out. And watch more "Friday Night Lights."
Ohio State won't officially be looking for a coach for at least a few months, as interim coach Luke Fickell undergoes an audition during the 2011 season.

But that won't stop speculation, and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel -- an Akron, Ohio, native -- has made a few cameos on candidate lists since former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel resigned on Monday.

[+] EnlargePinkel
Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty ImagesWhen asked about the Ohio State opening, Tigers coach Gary Pinkel said he isn't looking to leave Missouri.
Pinkel, though --in Springfield, Mo., for a Tigers football camp -- told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Ohio State will have to look elsewhere for a coach.
"There's 5,000 names probably up for that. I grew up in Ohio and I have great respect for Jim Tressel, too. It's very unfortunate what happened and how everything came down. I'm the head football coach at the University of Missouri and I'm committed to trying to continue to build the program and make it better and better. And that's what I intend to do."

Then, Pinkel was asked If Ohio State came offering,

"I would suggest that that's what I would say," Pinkel said.

Pinkel, 59, would hardly be at the top of Ohio State's list, but would be a strong candidate if he wanted the job. His stance, though, shouldn't be a surprise.

At a coaching convention in January in Dallas (one I ran into Pinkel during, coincidentally enough) Pinkel declined an interview with Michigan, who eventually hired Brady Hoke from San Diego State.

He's built a solid program during his decade at Missouri, winning at least a share of the Big 12 North in three of the past four seasons, and winning 40 games during that span, one of the best stretches in Missouri football history.

Pinkel can say he sees himself retiring at Missouri as many times as he wants, but when reports of actions (like not talking with Michigan) surface, it's obvious that he means them.
Not disclosing possible violations to Ohio State's compliance department cost Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel his job, but Texas coach Mack Brown doesn't think it will cost him his legacy.

“He’s done a lot of great things in college football,” Brown told the Austin American-Statesman, “and I know he’ll be a Hall of Famer at some point.”

Brown has faced off against Tressel three times, with a 2-1 record. The last game was a Texas victory in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

Though Tressel is done as the head Buckeye, Brown sees him coaching again.

“I think that’s totally up to him. He’s older, but he’ll have opportunities to coach again if he wants to. That’ll just be a personal decision," Brown said.

There's no doubting Tressel's excellence on the field. His .828 winning percentage is second-best in school history and bested even the legendary Woody Hayes. Brown, though, might have inadvertently started the discussion: Is there a place in the College Football Hall of Fame for Tressel, despite his tenure's ungracious end?
Colleague Bruce Feldman ranked his "Top 10 'should be' rivalries that aren't" and three Big 12 teams have been called out. Who should be suiting up?

Feldman writes:

Texas Longhorns vs. Florida Gators
These two almost met in the 2009 BCS championship game, but Oklahoma got the title shot, not the Longhorns. UT and UF had disastrous 2010 seasons and now each are going through staff transitions. The spicy part here is that new Gators head man Will Muschamp had been tabbed coach-in-waiting behind Mack Brown in Austin, but decided not to stick around and instead took the Florida job.
My take: More than anything, this would be a yearly battle that decides which state's recruiting base is truly best, right? That alone might make it worth it. These two programs have had a combined 1.6 players from out of state in the past 27 years.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Both programs have deep ties to Youngstown, through their coaches Jim Tressel (former coach at Youngstown State) and Bob Stoops (a Youngstown native). These are two programs that have been great for over a half-century, whose fan bases are about as big as they come. It's a shame these two powerhouses have only played twice, once in 1977 and the other time in 1983. They've split the two games.
My take: You had to know Pelini and Stoops would meet on the sidelines again sometime soon. Wait ... what?

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas A&M Aggies
The old Southwest Conference rivals have only faced each other once since 1996, in the Bowl (an A&M win). In the decade after the demise of the SWC, the Horned Frogs fell off the college football radar, while the Aggies continued to pile up wins and big seasons (A&M had dominated the series before that). However, in the last half-dozen years, Gary Patterson has transformed the Horned Frogs into a powerhouse. Things still hadn't gotten to the point where TCU was beating A&M for any recruits, but given the Horned Frogs' recent run and the fact that they're moving into an AQ conference next year (while also getting tons of national TV exposure), this could change.
My take: United in a hatred for Texas, but I'd love to see these two go at it every year. Cowboys Stadium, anyone?

Who do you think should start up a budding college football rivalry?

Mailbag: Aggie curse, politics, Stoops-OSU

April, 29, 2011
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.

Mailbag: Dream program, bold prediction

April, 1, 2011
Thanks for all the questions. I'm headed to Austin this weekend for Texas' spring game, so keep an eye out for a bit of coverage from there.

Cameron in San Diego, CA writes: Nobody could have predicted that Texas would finish DEAD last in the Big 12 South last season. What could you see as an equally shocking prediction for this season?

David Ubben: Kansas State, on the backs of the Brown Brothers and Justin Tuggle, wins their first Big 12 title since 2003. Definitely shocking, but not wholly impossible.

Until I mention that Bill Snyder retires again and hands the reins to Jim Tressel, fresh off a plane from Columbus, Ohio.

Just kidding about that last part. I think.

Evan Yarbrough in Austin, Texas wrote: If you could develop a program from all the pieces of Big 12 schools who would it consist of? Including stadium, fans, facilities, defense, offense, coaches, academics, traditions, mascot, and whatever else you want to add.

DU: I've got you covered. We did this exercise over the summer, but it needs some updating now that Colorado and Nebraska have bid the Big 12 adieu. See the post for a longer explanation, but here's a quick rundown.
  • Academics: Texas
  • Athletic director: Oklahoma
  • City: Austin, Texas
  • Coach: Tie, K-State, Oklahoma, Texas (Missouri's Gary Pinkel rising up the list fast. Should join this group if he wins a Big 12 title or two)
  • Facilities: Texas
  • Fans: Texas A&M (replaces Nebraska) -- this one's not close
  • Game day atmosphere: Texas A&M (replaces Nebraska) -- also not close
  • Traditions: Texas A&M -- an addition to the list that is... not close.
  • Mascot: Bevo (replaces Ralphie) -- I'm a sucker for live animals. Missouri: Get a live tiger. Immediately.
  • Stadium: Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (replaces Nebraska) -- can't beat the screen.
  • Strength program: Texas

That about covers it. I miss anything?

Mark in Nebraska writes: Why can't I quit you?

DU: Listen: Adam is a nice guy. You guys will be happy together. We had some good times, but it's best if we just go our separate ways. Just go. GO!

Joseph in Houston writes: hey, dubbs who is your pick for best line in the league? offense or defense.

DU: Good question. It's close between either Missouri's defensive line, Oklahoma State's offensive line or Texas A&M's offensive line.

GT Cat in Tonganoxie, KS asks: David, I couldn't help but notice VCU's Joey Rodriguez's hot hand while he was dismantling my arch rivals, and loved every minute of it. Another physical feature I couldn't help but notice? His facial structure sure looked familiar, and I thought about it, and it was the Ubb-face that it reminded me of. Similar stature as well. Did you grow a beard and shoot lights out to crash all the brackets on here to insure the crown? Or is it just me. I sure thought there was some resemblance.

DU: I will not confirm or deny that I play a little hoops on the side for America's boyfriend, Shaka Smart. As for the resemblance? I don't quite see it. I've always drawn comparisons to the poor man's Lil' Bow Wow.

Eric in Des Moines, Iowa writes: Any word on the new Big 12 logo or conference name change? Some ideas if they do decide on a different name:The Big Midwest (BMW)The Big Central (BCC)The Big Prairie ConferenceThe Great Plains Conference

Or will they keep the Big Xii name with a logo much like the Big 10/11 hybrid logo?All in all, I believe they need to keep the word "big" in the title if a change were to be made.

DU: Yikes. Those names are dreadful. Seriously, go look up the list of conferences in the NAIA. (Choice cuts: Great Plains Athletic Conference, Mid-South Conference, Sooner Athletic Conference, Frontier Conference) All of those sound like they belong. I don't think there's a name that makes sense for the league that wouldn't cost it a good amount of brand recognition. Like I've suggested from the start, the Big 12 needs to keep the name and ditch the logo. Just don't try to hide a number or a symbol in the logo. The whole "B1G" thing is a bit lame if you ask me.

Lunch links: Bob Stoops visits Boise State

March, 10, 2011
First of all, the secret service never gave me back my T-shirt cannon.

It seems like Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made his bosses happy by rebounding from an 8-5 season for a Big 12 title and BCS bowl win, followed by eschewing Florida's advances in the offseason.

According to the Tulsa World, they've rewarded him with a big raise.

Stoops' paycheck is now at a plump $4.875 million per year, up from $3.875 million in 2010.

The staff's salaries are now nearly $7 million.

Stoops' raise brings him right up underneath Texas coach Mack Brown's $5.1 million salary for highest in the Big 12. The next-largest in the Big 12 is Gary Pinkel at Missouri, with $2.55 million.

Last year, the only other coaches to make more than Stoops were Nick Saban, Brown, Urban Meyer, Les Miles and Jim Tressel.

Thanks to the raise, that list now includes just Saban ($5.16 million in university compensation, without bonuses) and Brown.

Two from Big 12 up for coaching honor

December, 13, 2010
Texas A&M coach Mike Sherman and Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy are among 10 finalists for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.

Fans can vote on the award's website for their favorite candidate, and the winner will be announced on January 10, 2011, just before the BCS National Championship Game.

Fan voting constitutes 20 percent of a coach's final score.

Various members of the College Football Hall of Fame will also vote on the award, and their votes count for 55 percent of a coach's score. Media voting constitutes 25 percent.

Here's Gundy and Sherman's competition:
  • Gene Chizik, Auburn
  • Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
  • Rich Ellerson, Army
  • Chip Kelly, Oregon
  • Doug Marrone, Syracuse
  • Tom O'Brien, North Carolina State
  • Nick Saban, Alabama
  • Jim Tressel, Ohio State

Mailbag: Bowls redrawn, NFL Draft forecast

December, 10, 2010
Joe in Omaha, NE asks: If you were in charge of matching a team (reguardless of conference) to all the big 12's bowl eligible teams, which matchups would you want to see?

David Ubben: Interesting question. Most of the Big 12 matchups are snoozers, but Texas A&M and LSU and Missouri and Iowa are decent. So is Baylor and Illinois.

As for the rest, let me see these games (all picked within reason, so no Nebraska-Stanford, aka Luck vs. the Blackshirts. Sorry.):

Oklahoma vs. Ohio State: The Buckeyes took home a BCS bowl last year, but both teams could still use a bump in their street cred. Beating Oklahoma, even if it's not an SEC team, could do it for Jim Tressel. Texas and Ohio State played a couple classic games, including a Fiesta Bowl, this decade. Limas Sweed, anyone? What a catch in the 'Shoe. Quan Cosby, too, in that Fiesta Bowl.

I bet this would be a great game. Like OSU, Oklahoma could use the prestige boost. A win over UConn would be nice for the Sooners, but a win over a four-loss team won't completely satisfy the folks who think Bob Stoops has lost his "Big Game Bob" moniker. The Sooners played a better team last year (No. 19 Stanford, also with four losses) in the Sun Bowl. Plus, if the Sooners lose this year, it's an absolute disaster.

Nebraska vs. South Carolina: The Head Ball Coach against the Blackshirts? Yes, please. I'd like to see the good version of Stephen Garcia show up against the best secondary in the country, and we could see some high-quality football. Oklahoma's Landry Jones played as well as anyone against them and put up great numbers, but I'd like to see them take on Garcia, Alshon Jeffery and Marcus Lattimore. That could be a great matchup.

Texas Tech vs. Miami. Because...obviously. Most awkward bowl game ever? Not that he'll leave, but would that be the first time a coach has ever coached against his future team in a bowl game? Might be. If Tuberville actually left, he probably wouldn't coach this game, but remember people, we're operating in an ideal world. And in my ideal world, these things happen.

Joe Guilliams in St. Louis, MO asks: DU,What's happening with Gabbert next year? Is he coming back and if so will he start over James Franklin? Thanks, JG

DU: I'd expect Gabbert to come back this year. I imagine he feels like he left a lot on the table and Missouri should have a pretty good team in 2011, especially if he returns. (And, he won't have to see Nebraska's secondary anymore!)

He could still get a lot better, but it wouldn't surprise me if he made the leap this year. He's obviously a smart, coachable player and with his arm strength at every bit of 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, he'll make a lot of money in the league eventually.

Also, anyone who thinks James Franklin should be playing over Gabbert is out of their mind. He worked really well in the way Missouri used him this year, as a bit of a spot runner a la freshman year Tim Tebow, but nobody on that team is going to be able to run the entire offense as well as Gabbert, no matter how much Franklin improves next year.

Jeff in Memphis,TN asks: No disrespect to the Oklahoma State kicker,but how was the Nebraska kicker not even on the list. I watched the Big 12 title game and was amazed. Please enlighten this confused southerner.

Migu in Columbia, Missouri asks: What happened to the Mackey Award? I thought my man Michael Egnew was the sure bet to get it--I mean, isn't Egnew the top in most statistics for a tight end? Or is the selection process for the award getting ridiculous to the point that statistics doesn't matter anymore?

DU: I figured there would be a lot of questions about this, and there were. I threw these questions in here to refer you back to my thoughts on the issue from earlier today.

Bob Powell in Nazareth, PA asks: I live on East Coast and get no inside scoop anymore. What are the chances Broyles sticks around for Natl Title run?? How high in first round do you think he will go if he comes out?? How fast is he really?? Is he another Mark Clayton - which is pretty damn good. Thanks.

DU: I wouldn't rule out Broyles staying, but I think he'll leave, and it'd probably be a good call. I mentioned it earlier in the week, but he's learned a lot about the game. He's been a contributor for three years in this league. He's seen about everything defenses can throw at him. There's little issue about legacy; he owns eight of the nine major receiving records at Oklahoma. The only one he's missing is the single-game record for touchdowns, but he's had a three-touchdown game and the record is four. He's the best receiver in Oklahoma history, period.

He's fast, but he's quicker than he is fast. For an undersized guy like him, that's a big deal. Also a big deal are his hands. They're some of the best in the game. He had one dropped pass this year, and Landry Jones said in midseason that before that drop, he hadn't dropped a ball since the third game of the year in 2009, against Tulsa.

As a receiver under six-foot, he's not going to be a guy that teams will draft in the early first round, like a Calvin Johnson or Michael Crabtree, but he'll have a solid NFL career. He made a brief appearance on Mel Kiper's Big Board earlier this year, but if he impresses in pre-draft workouts, he could probably be a late first rounder, but I'd be surprised if he dropped out of the second round. Other than his size, all of his measurables should be good, and though he's not 6-foot-3, he can still go up and get a jump ball from time to time.

Kanye West (Phoenix) writes: Yo, Dan Bailey, I'm really happy for you, and I'mma let you finish, but Alex Henery is one of the greatest college kickers of all-time! Of all-time!

DU: A strong, strong candidate for best e-mail of the season. I want to drop a "Yup, these are my readers" so hard right now, you don't even know.

Video: Youngstown State coaches

December, 4, 2010
Ohio school has produced several elite sideline leaders.

Lunch links: Beebe gets contract extension

November, 5, 2010
Ambition is the willingness to kill the things you love and eat them in order to stay alive. Haven't you ever read my throw pillow?

Instant analysis: Hicks could keep Muschamp happy

January, 29, 2010
It wasn't a bad talent haul for Mack Brown Friday morning.

The Longhorns got two five-star defensive recruits -- two of the four top players in ESPNU's 150 -- over a period of about 90 minutes.

Brown accomplished that after Jordan Hicks of Lakota West High School outside Cincinnati opted for the Longhorns. Hicks was the nation's top outside linebacker prospect and the high school Butkus Award winner.

It came on the heels of Jackson Jeffcoat's choice of the Longhorns over Oklahoma and Houston earlier in the day.

Hicks' decision is stunning on a couple of levels, as he picked Texas over Ohio State and Florida.

Jim Tressel rarely gets beat on top recruits in his backyard. And Brown had never attracted a top recruit from Ohio during his time at Texas.

Much has been made about how patient Texas coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp will be as he is groomed to be Brown's eventual successor. Some have wondered if he might leave for another job that might open before Brown retires.

But having a couple of prospects like Hicks and Jeffcoat to coach for the next several seasons should boost Muschamp's interest in calling defenses while he waits.

The addition provides two heralded five-star recruits to Texas' recruiting list that had consisted mostly of four-star players. The arrival should enable the Longhorns to contend with Florida for the mythical No. 1 recruiting ranking after national signing day on Wednesday.

Brown has had a lot of big days on the recruiting trail as would befit someone who used to be known as "Mr. February" because of his consistent recruiting prowess.

But it's hard to remember the Longhorns securing a more highly touted pair of defensive recruits in Brown's recent classes.



Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12