Tight end: Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
Offensive guard: Cyril Richardson, Baylor
Defensive end: Jackson Jeffcoat, Texas
Center: Gabe Ikard, Oklahoma
Cornerback: Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
Cornerback: Jason Verrett, TCU
Safety: Ahmad Dixon, Baylor
Kicker: Anthony Fera, Texas
Safety: Ty Zimmerman, Kansas State
A sampling of today's chat:
Go Pokes! (Colorado): With the retirement of Mack Brown, should Okie State fans be worried that Texas might want to hire Mike Gundy?
Jake Trotter: It doesn't sound like Gundy will be at the top of the list. But he'll be on the list. That said, would Texas hire someone who is 1-8 lifetime against Oklahoma? One of the reasons Mack Brown had to retire was because he couldn't consistently defeat OU.
Randy (Pampa): Hi, Jake. I know everyone is going to ask you who you think will be the next coach at Texas, so I won't bother to. Oh, who am I trying to fool? I gotta know! Who do you think will be the next coach at Texas?
Jake Trotter: Safest bet is James Franklin. He's a guy they can definitely get, and a guy they will definitely target.
Chase (Dallas): What do you think of Sonny Cumbie heading over to TCU?
Jake Trotter: I thought it was strange initially. But after hearing Cumbie's explanation, it makes sense. He basically wants to be where Kliff Kingsbury is someday. And it was going to be very difficult getting there where he was, coaching WRs with little input in the offensive game planning. Cumbie is a great recruiter, very energetic. I like what Gary Patterson has done so far this offseason.
Sooner in Texas (Texas): How do you leave Jordan Phillips, Keith Ford off your underclassmen list? Those two will be incredible next year. Truly shocking and shows poor judgment on your part.
Jake Trotter: As I mentioned in the post, the all-underclassman team was about 2013 performance, not 2014 potential. Both have bright futures. Neither played enough this year to warrant recognition for this team.
Austin (Austin, Texas): Where do you see Baker Mayfield going?
Jake Trotter: I've heard he has his sights set high. I think all the non-AQ schools in Texas are possibilities (SMU, Rice, North Texas). I know he wants to play somewhere in a major conference. But it will require one of those schools offering him a scholly, which is something most of them didn't do in the winter.
Bob (Waco): Is there any chance some UT recruits change commitments with Mack leaving?
Jake Trotter: I get the sense most players commit to Texas more than they commit to the coach, though I'm sure many of those commitments will be watching closely to see who the new coach is.
Kevin (Reno, Nev.): The Big XII needs a big time coaching addition to the conference, not for Texas to poach one from a fellow school. Agree or disagree?
Jake Trotter: It would be better for the conference if Texas poached outside the league, rather than inside it. I agree.
shrubsooner (Oklahoma): Oklahoma State or Mizzou?
Jake Trotter: I give Oklahoma State a slight edge. They have a CB in Justin Gilbert who can match up with DGB.
Big Sean (KCMO): Yea, we will see if Okie State's corner can match up with DGB or any of Mizzou's wideouts.
Way to be a Big 12 homer!!!
Jake Trotter: Justin Gilbert was a Thorpe finalist. Try to keep up.
Leon (WV): Are we dumping Dana Holgorsen after this disaster?
Jake Trotter: Dana will be back in 2014, but he will be on the hot seat. The problem is, will West Virginia be able to bounce back far enough to save his job? West Virginia plays Alabama at Maryland, at Oklahoma State, at Texas, at Texas Tech, Baylor, OU -- they would have to win at least one of those games just to make a bowl. Gonna be tough.
Shrub (Oklahoma): Do you think Charlie Weis ever turns it around? And have you heard of that program getting any top recruits?
Jake Trotter: Weis actually has a decent class coming in. LB Kyron Watson, C Jacob Bragg and RB Traevohn Wrench are all four-star players. Next year is a big year. The key might be QB Montell Cozart. He needs to take the next step.
Jim (Colo.): Do you think Colorado and Nebraska anticipated being this poor after leaving the Big 12? I think Bo Pelini is the problem in Lincoln but I have no idea why Colorado is a complete doormat.
Jake Trotter: I agree. I don't think Pelini is the answer at all in Lincoln. Strange they're keeping him. And does Colorado still field a football team? I have no idea.
Kenny (WV): How does the new juco transfer fit into the musical chairs if the WVU QB situation? Also will he qualify to be there in the spring?
Jake Trotter: Skyler Howard is another hat in the ring. I have no idea what direction Dana will go at QB. I think he wanted Ford Childress to be the guy before the injury. As bad as he was against Maryland, I might give Childress the slight edge in the spring. But he'll have to be better than he was in Baltimore.
But that doesn’t mean the Big 12 is bereft of young talent that impacted this season. And to underscore that, we put together our All-Big 12 underclassman team (freshmen and sophomores).
This team is based on 2013 performance, not future potential -- though many on this list also have bright futures.
So, without further ado, the ESPN.com 2013 All-Big 12 underclassman team:
QB: Daniel Sams, Kansas State
RB: Johnathan Gray, Texas
RB: Shock Linwood, Baylor
WR: Sterling Shepard, Oklahoma
WR: Jakeem Grant, Texas Tech
WR: Quenton Bundrage, Iowa State
OT: Le’Raven Clark, Texas Tech
OG: Cody Whitehair, Kansas State
C: Joey Hunt, TCU
OG: Desmine Hilliard, Baylor
OT: Spencer Drango, Baylor
AP: Trevone Boykin, TCU
DE: Charles Tapper, Oklahoma
DT: Travis Britz, Kansas State
DT: Malcom Brown, Texas
DE: Shawn Oakman, Baylor
LB: Eric Striker, Oklahoma
LB: Dalton Santos, Texas
LB: Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma
CB: Kevin Peterson, Oklahoma State
S: Isaiah Johnson, Kansas
S: Chris Hackett, TCU
CB: Zack Sanchez, Oklahoma
K: Jared Oberkrom, TCU
P: Nick O’Toole, West Virginia
PR/KR: B.J. Catalon, TCU
PR/KR: Daje Johnson, Texas
Your average resignation news conference doesn’t include a school president having to answer whether regents forced out the head coach. The average ones don’t involve asking who’s actually hiring the next coach and whether that coach can reunify the fan base.
Texas is arguably the No. 1 college football job in the country. National brand, unparalleled resources, talent-rich recruiting base, gorgeous campus and city, and oh, by the way, a generous paycheck. It’s all there, a dream job in so many ways.
President Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson won’t need to accept applications and résumés for this opening. They’ll go after the very best of the best in the coaching profession. They won’t have a hard time getting someone to take the gig.
But whoever does should know what he’s walking into. Brown hinted at this throughout the weekend.
When he put out a statement Saturday night declaring that his run was over, Brown alluded to the Texas program being “pulled in different directions” and that change was necessary.
A day later, he opened his news conference by referring back to a conversation he had with the late Darrell Royal when Brown took the job in the winter of 1997.
“There is such a diverse group that follows this football team that you have to pull them all together, and that is very difficult to do,” Brown said. “He said when you get them all together, it's wonderful and it's a powerful place. But when it is not, it is very divided and it is a very difficult place to manage.
“So he said it's like a box of BBs and the BBs are dropped all over the room. What you got to do is get all the BBs back in the box. And we were able to do that. We were able to do that for a long time, until 2010. And then, as of late, the BBs have gotten back out of the box.”
The BBs aren’t just the fans and season ticket-holders. They’re also the big-money donors and boosters, members of the UT System Board of Regents, the people who make up Texas’ athletic department and anyone else supporting the cause of Longhorn football.
And they all have a say. They have immense influence. That’s why Powers was asked whether the regents drove Brown out, which he denies. That’s why he had to declare Patterson is in charge of this hire.
Think Nick Saban faces “special pressures” as the owner and operator of the Alabama dynasty? They’re probably nothing like this. Did I mention that the regents could've voted Powers out last week, or that a current and former regent tried to make a run at landing Saban in January?
In Brown’s final four years at Texas, he lost 20 games and the faith and support of a strong faction of the fan base. The swirling negativity and vitriol wore on him, his coaches and his players, and was exacerbated with each loss, especially in 2013.
The atmosphere of home games noticeably worsened, to the point that the Longhorns typically played better on the road in recent years.
That’s why “energy” and “culture change” are two of the biggest buzzwords associated with what’s setting up to be a monumental hire for Texas. The new guy needs serious savvy, enthusiasm and a willingness to play politician when necessary.
And let’s not forget, that’s on top of the inherent pressure of replacing a coach who won 158 games in 16 seasons, of living and playing up to the standard Brown set during his tenure.
Texas is one of just eight programs in the country with a winning percentage above .750 in the past decade. Its next coach must lead the Longhorns back into the hunt for playoff berths and national championships as soon as possible.
If Royal were still around today, he’d likely offer the new guy the same advice he once gave Brown, after a long spiel about all the folks he’d need to impress at UT: “Oh, yeah: You need to win all the games.”
First, Brown’s successor will have to mend some fences. He’ll need to unify a fractured base. Winning is usually the most effective antidote, but it’ll take more than that.
The BBs don’t get back in the box all by themselves.
- The Sooners players talked highly of departing Texas coach Mack Brown. Kansas coach Charlie Weis is sorry to see Brown go. The Oklahoman looks at Brown's memorable victories over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Dallas Morning News collected fan reaction on Brown's decision to resign.
- The Oklahoman's Erik Horne thinks Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy should be getting looks for the Texas job. The paper's Berry Tramel offers up 25 candidates to replace Brown.
- Texas Tech assistant Sonny Cumbie discussed his decision to leave Tech to become the QB coach and co-offensive coordinator at TCU, in this radio interview with Double T 104.3-FM's Chris Level.
- Three-star recruit Ty Summers explains to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Travis L. Brown why he flipped his commitment from Rice to TCU.
- Trevor Knight should be Oklahoma's starting QB against Alabama, in the opinion of The Oklahoman's Jenni Carlson, but coach Bob Stoops isn't saying who will start. Sooners cornerback Aaron Colvin talks about giving Oklahoma State fans the business, in an interview with the Tulsa World's John E. Hoover.
- Iowa State picked up an OG junior-college commitment. The Cyclones are getting more TV exposure, according to the Des Moines Register's Andrew Logue.
- The Jayhawks snagged a junior-college defensive back commitment.
- Oklahoma State QB Clint Chelf and LB Shaun Lewis took home the team's major awards.
- Central Florida is struggling to sell tickets for its Tostitos Fiesta Bowl matchup with Baylor. Art Briles' coaching staff has been busy -- the Bears have pulled in three junior college commitments already this week.
Oklahoma's defense was the foundation of the team's drive to the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Mike Stoops' unit finished atop the Big 12 in passing yards allowed and total yards allowed while making sure the Sooners had the chance to win every game they played, even with constant uncertainty at quarterback. The defensive line was surprisingly good, the linebackers were much more productive than in 2012 and the secondary replaced several starters with relative ease.
Here are the position-by-position grades for the Sooners' defense.
Linebackers: A-. OU’s linebackers showed terrific improvement in 2013. Junior Frank Shannon and freshman Dominique Alexander, the Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year, finished 1-2 in tackles. Shannon played through nicks and bruises to finish with 85 tackles while Alexander finished with 75 stops after being thrust into the starting role against Texas. Add linebacker/defensive end hybrid Eric Striker to the mix and the linebackers were among the most productive groups on the squad. The versatility of Shannon and Alexander and Striker’s pass rushing skills are one reason the Sooners finished second in the Big 12 and No. 13 among FBS teams in third-down conversion percentage at 32.5 percent.
Cornerbacks: A-. Two-time All-Big 12 performer Aaron Colvin is an “A+++” performer. He showed toughness, leadership and exceptional coverage skills as a senior. With Colvin on the other side, redshirt freshman Zack Sanchez was constantly picked on by opponents but held up well and, most importantly, displayed the competitive nature every cornerback needs to succeed. Behind Colvin and Sanchez, freshman Stanvon Taylor and sophomore Cortez Johnson both made starts and earned valuable experience while providing quality depth. And nickelback Julian Wilson was stellar in his first season as a starter while tying for the team lead with three interceptions. OU led the Big 12 with 198 passing yards allowed per game, largely because of quality play from its cornerbacks and Wilson.
Safeties: A-. As good as the cornerbacks were, the safeties held their own in the defensive backfield. OU’s safeties were better in coverage this season than in 2012 while limiting big plays in the running and passing game. Gabe Lynn and Quentin Hayes weren’t dominant forces in the secondary but they were very good and played key roles while helping the Sooners to their 10-2 record.
This is not a final list, just an early rundown of who we know that has decided where to showcase their skills in front of the NFL scouts.
REESE'S SENIOR BOWL (Jan. 25, Mobile, Ala.)
- Mike Davis, WR, Texas
- Ahmad Dixon, S, Baylor
- Jalen Saunders, WR, Oklahoma
- Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
- Kirby Van Der Camp, P, Iowa State
- Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Most of the highlights are already known: Sumlin's salary is now $5 million per year and if he were to leave before the final game of the 2016 season, his buyout would be $5 million (Sumlin's buyout clause ends after 2016, while A&M's buyout exists through the length of the deal).
A copy of the new contract was obtained by ESPN.com on Monday via an open records request. Here is a summary of the notable details:
• Sumlin signed the deal on Thursday.
• The new contract goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014 and ends on Dec. 31, 2019.
• Salary is $5 million annually (up from $3.1 million in the contract he signed in January after the 2012 season).
• If Sumlin leaves before the end of the 2016 season (including any bowl game), he owes Texas A&M $5 million. After the 2016 season, there is no buyout on Sumlin's end.
• If Texas A&M terminates the contract at any time prior to the end date, it owes Sumlin whatever salary remains from the termination date to the end of the contract. Both Sumlin's and the school's buyout must be paid within 60 days of the termination date.
• The assistant coach salary pool remains the same as it was in his January contract: $3.4 million. The contract states that Sumlin and athletic director Eric Hyman will meet annually to mutually determine the salary pool and that the pool will be set at a level that can keep the Aggies competitive "with all the other top-tier SEC football programs."
• Sumlin's bowl game and championship game bonuses remain the same as they were in the deal he signed in January. He gets $100,000 for making the SEC championship game or $150,000 if the Aggies win the game.
• A bowl game appearance equates to a $50,000 bonus. If it's the AT&T Cotton Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Chick-Fil-A Bowl or the Outback Bowl, the bonus is $100,000. A BCS bowl appearance is $250,000 or $300,000 for a win.
• Appearance in the national championship game gets Sumlin $300,000. If the Aggies win the national championship, the bonus is $400,000.
• His bonus structure relating to the new College Football Playoff is essentially to be determined. The contract states that the parties "agree to negotiate in good faith with respect to a reasonable bonus structure" and that it will be "at least commensurate with other similarly situated programs for such a restructured BCS or such playoffs." This clause was in Sumlin's previous deal.
• Sumlin gets $50,000 for winning the SEC coach of the year honors and $75,000 if he's named national coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association or the Associated Press. That's also consistent with his previous deal.
• The APR bonuses remain the same. An APR between 950-964 results in a $50,000 bonus, an APR of 965-974 means a $75,000 bonus and an APR of 975 or higher means a $100,000 bonus (about a third of each of those bonuses will be allocated to staff members with the rest going to Sumlin).
Monday, Texas Tech assistant Sonny Cumbie confirmed on Double T 104.3 radio in Lubbock that he is leaving to become TCU’s co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
“It was just a really good opportunity within the profession for me to make a move,” said Cumbie, who was the receivers coach at Tech. “It just so happened to be to a conference opponent.”
Cumbie said he consulted Kingsbury on the decision.
“Throughout my coaching and playing career I’ve always relied on him for advice,” Cumbie said. “If fortunate enough to be in his shoes, I’d be doing it the same way, as far as calling the offense and coaching the quarterbacks. We’re going to continue to be really good friends. Just one day a year we’ll be competing on the field.”
Cumbie is TCU’s second offensive hire since the end of the season. Patterson also tapped Doug Meachem to be the Horned Frogs’ primary play-caller after one season calling plays at the University of Houston.
TCU struggled offensively this past season, and as a result, failed to make a bowl. But Cumbie will have some young quarterback talent to work with next season. The Horned Frogs have commitments from two of the top QB recruits in the country in Foster Sawyer (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints Episcopal) and Grayson Muehlstein (Decatur, Texas/Decatur High).
Alabama and Texas A&M finished tied for the most selections among SEC schools with two apiece.
Senior linebacker C.J. Mosley and junior safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix represented the Tide. Mosley became the first player in the Nick Saban era at Alabama to register 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons, and Clinton-Dix, despite missing a few games while being cleared by the NCAA, racked up two interceptions and six passes defensed.
Offensive tackle Jake Matthews and wide receiver Mike Evans were chosen from Texas A&M. Evans, at 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, was nearly unstoppable. He led the SEC with 12 touchdown receptions and averaged a whopping 20.3 yards per catch. Matthews, who paved the way for the Aggies run game and protected Johnny Manziel's blind side, developed into an Outland Trophy finalist and the No. 3 NFL prospect on Scouts Inc.'s draft board.
Missouri defensive end Michael Sam also made the cut. He may have begun the season under the radar, but he didn't end that way. He finished the regular season with the most sacks in the SEC (10.5) and the most tackles for loss (18).
For the entire 2013 All-America team, click here.
Richardson established himself as the most dominant lineman in the Big 12 last season and lived up to the hype again in 2013. The 6-foot-5, 340-pound senior leads the line for a Bears offense that will go down as one the most prolific in FBS history. Baylor is averaging 55.4 points and 635.1 yards per game, and its line is allowing just 1.2 sacks per game. Richardson has led the Bears in knockdown blocks in every game this season and had 67 through his first nine games. He was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy and won Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year for a second straight season.
Richardson was the only Big 12 player to make the team.
- Texas coach Mack Brown finally stepped down over the weekend, and held a press conference Sunday to explain why. Replacing Brown will be a tough act to follow according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which also recaps the highs and lows of the Brown era. The Houston Chronicle looks back at his key games. Forbes examines the financial impact of Brown's tenure. The San Antonio's Express News' Tim Griffin tallies the Twitter support Brown received.
- The Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton writes the Longhorns face the most super-sized coaching search in college football history. USA TODAY's George Schroeder looks at who Brown's replacement might be. According to the Dallas Morning News' Kevin Sherrington, Stanford coach David Shaw should be at the top of Texas' list.
- After watching Auburn roll up 545 rushing yards on Missouri, Oklahoma State is likely to go run heavy in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, writes The Oklahoman's Gina Mizell. Cowboys QB Clint Chelf finally spoke, and the Tulsa World's Kelly Hines detailed what he had to say.
- The Horned Frogs have an interesting new QB coach, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Stefan Stevenson reports. TCU had a good recruiting weekend.
- Kliff Kingsbury said he didn't get many specifics on why QB Baker Mayfield wanted to transfer, according to the Dallas Morning News' Mike Graham.
- The Oklahoman's Jason Kersey offers up reasons why the Sooners can upset Alabama. Oklahoma had a junior-college tight end recommit.
- Baylor WR Tevin Reese got upgraded to probable over the weekend for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, after suffering a dislocated wrist last month.
- Kansas State QB Jake Waters got better as the season wore on, writes the Topeka Capital-Journal's Ken Corbitt. WR Tyler Lockett and DB Ty Zimmerman were named team MVPs.
Unlike previous campaigns, Oklahoma’s offense was not the envy of the rest of the Big 12 this season. The Sooners running game was second to none and provided a foundation that allowed OU to stay in games, control the ball and create opportunities in its passing game. But it’s lack of explosiveness through the air, leading to poor offensive balance, made this year’s offense one of the worst in Norman, Okla. in recent memory. Yet the Sooners limited turnovers and mental mistakes while running the ball well enough to earn 10 wins, which should quiet critics considering a double-digit win season was unexpected heading into the season.
Quarterback: C+. Where are all the Landry Jones haters now? A quick glance at the Sooners passing stats (186.67 ypg, No. 99 in FBS) makes this grade seem way too high. But a quick glance at the win column makes everything clear. OU never got consistency from the position, as Blake Bell and Trevor Knight each had their moments of success and failure. Bell was the starter in Sooners’ losses to Texas and Baylor, and looked uncomfortable in both games, but played a key role in road wins at Notre Dame and Oklahoma State. And Knight showed flashes of big-time upside but also showed the inexperience of a redshirt freshman. Through it all the Sooners found a way to get 10 wins and the quarterbacks played a key role in that success. A significant drop off from Jones yet OU finished the regular season with the exact same record Jones led them to as a senior.
Running back: A+. Who knows how the Sooners’ season would have ended up if it wasn’t for a talented and deep group of running backs led by Brennan Clay. The senior led the Sooners with 913 rushing yards, averaging 5.78 yards per carry, but Damien Williams (553 rushing yards) and Roy Finch (347 rushing yards) joined him as quality threats in the backfield. The Sooners running backs brought a physical running style and game-breaking ability which helped offset OU’s ugly passing attack.
Receiver: B-. The quarterbacks shouldered a bunch of the blame for OU’s passing troubles, but the Sooners receivers deserve their share of the burden. Jalen Saunders performed like an “A” student and Sterling Shepard wasn’t far behind. After those two playmakers, the Sooners receivers left plenty to be desired. Lacolton Bester had good moments but wasn’t the constant threat that Saunders and Shepard were in 2013 and the overall depth seemed nonexistent as young players such as Durron Neal never emerged as difference makers at the receiver spot.
Offensive line: A-. OU rushed for nearly 3,000 yards yet didn’t feature a single 1,000-yard rusher, speaking volumes for the offensive line. The only reason the Sooners’ starting front didn’t get a A+ was lackluster efforts against Texas and Baylor, helping to contribute to OU’s only losses. Center Gabe Ikard was the anchor and star of the offensive front, but tackle Daryl Williams made an overlooked but valuable contribution as the other all-Big 12 level performer on the squad. Tackle Tyrus Thompson, guard Nila Kasitati, guard Bronson Irwin and guard Adam Shead each played well while helping pave the way for OU’s running game and limiting opponents to 15 total sacks.
Overall: B-. The lack of balance keeps this grade from being higher but OU averaged more than 31.8 points and 5.84 yards per game, ranking them in the top half of the Big 12. The Sooners running game was superb and overcame the passing game struggles while protecting the football. OU's offense is not an national championship-level offense, but it's not as bad as it appeared at various times either.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
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Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.