NCF Nation: Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Who said that May is supposed to be the "dog days" of college football?

How great is it that some topic or another seems to percolate for conversation about the Big 12 almost all the time?

Today was no exception.

  • Tulsa World sports editor Mike Strain wonders if Texas fans will fly banners over the Big 12 meetings later this month as conference athletic directors gather to discuss tiebreaking rules. And Bryan Eagle columnist Robert Cessna thinks that Big 12 coaches made a wise move by not changing the tiebreaking rules.
  • Colorado could be facing a reduction in the number of available football scholarships after player attrition could affect the school's Academic Progress Rate, Boulder Daily Camera beat writer Kyle Ringo reports.
  • Former Texas Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie will be headed back to Lubbock this fall as a graduate assistant coach for the Red Raiders, the San Angelo Standard-Times' Bill Nance reports (hat tip Double T Nation.com). But first, he's got some playing still left as the quarterback for the San Angelo Stampede of the Indoor Football League.
  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Jeff Gordon says there's some merit to Missouri soliciting an invitation to join the Big Ten, although he thinks adding an Eastern school would be more beneficial to the conference.
  • The Omaha World-Herald's Tom Shatel provides his takes on a potential move in the future for Nebraska-Omaha athletic director Trev Alberts back to Nebraska and his stance on a potential penalty for wide receiver Niles Paul.
  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch's staff kicks around whether Missouri can maintain its recent success produced after making back-to-back championship game appearances.
  • Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls catches up with two Florida fans who are making a cross-country trek in an RV to rally support against the Bowl Championship Series.
  • After washing out at their first NFL minicamps, Dave Matter of the Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Tommy Saunders and Chase Patton will likely get another shot with new NFL teams. Saunders has signed with the Detroit Lions and Patton is close to accepting an offer with the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal-Star had some interesting comments from Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne about some dissatisfaction in the Big 12's current television contract:

"One thing we're looking at [in the Big 12] is television because the SEC kind of stole the march on us with its pact with ESPN, which is very lucrative," Osborne told the Journal-Star. "The Big Ten has its own network. We think that's probably OK but not necessarily a super arrangement for them. So I think there's some thought in the Big 12, with our Fox contract expiring in a couple years, that we need to be ready to make a move. That's something in the next year or so that will need to be more clearly defined."

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

A variety of links from across the Big 12 came through today.

Here's a look at the most topical ones to go with a late lunch.

  • Oklahoma signee Justin Chiasson has agreed to a plea-bargaining deal in Clark County (Nev.) Court that will reduce three felony charges to gross misdemeanors, the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter reports. Chiasson has been sentenced to a year of domestic-violence counseling after being accused of holding a screwdriver to the neck of his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her.
  • Cory McCartney of Sports Illustrated ranked Texas A&M wide receiver Jeff Fuller among his biggest winners of the spring and the Missouri offense as collectively one of his biggest spring losers.
  • The Dallas Morning News' Kevin Sherrington has an interesting column with Mike Leach about his running feud with Texas A&M over Stephen McGee's pro prospects. The highlight was a great quote from Leach, who fills notebooks with more regularity than any coach I've ever seen.

"In all my life, I've never been mad at Texas A&M about anything," Leach told the News. "I've always respected their traditions and what makes the school special. It just seems like once every six months, they get upset with me."

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

As spring practices conclude, several reporters are taking stock of the conference in today's missives.

Here are some of the more notable stories for your lunchtime edification. Enjoy.

  • Sporting News pundits Dave Curtis and Matt Hayes agree that Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young is positioned to have the biggest impact in college football among new coordinators.
  • The Topeka Capital-Journal's Kevin Haskin wonders if Kansas should be the preseason favorite in the Big 12 North next season.
  • The Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton provides an extensive review of the Big 12's spring so far.
  • Baylor coach Art Briles told the San Antonio Express-News/Houston Chronicle's John Whisler that the Bears are "miles ahead" of where they were last season.
  • Former Nebraska All-American linebacker Trev Alberts came off as a polished potential candidate for the Nebraska-Omaha athletic director's job during a public forum for candidates, Lincoln Journal-Star columnist Steve Sipple reports. If hired, it would be Alberts' first job in athletic administration.
  • Oklahoma likely won't have a first-round draft choice for the second straight season in Saturday's NFL draft. But Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler reports that the Sooners could be headed for a historic draft next season with a record four players likely to be picked in the first round -- quarterback Sam Bradford, tackle Trent Williams, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and tight end Jermaine Gresham.
  • Converted 6-foot-4, 229-pound quarterback A.J. Steward is thriving at his new position of wide receiver for Kansas, the Lawrence Journal-World's Dugan Arnett reports.
  • Baylor picked up its second receiving commitment this week when Midland's Antwan Goodley selected the school, John Werner of the Waco Tribune-Herald writes.
  • It was another day of triple-digit scoring on both sides as Texas A&M's defense claimed a 109-103 scrimmage victory over the offense, Bryan Eagle beat writer Robert Cessna reports.

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

With only two teams still holding spring games, we're nearly down to the bitter end in terms of practices across the Big 12. 

Colorado and Kansas State still have work to do. But there are other stories around the conference today that merit some consideration as well.

  • Dave Matter of the Columbia Tribune writes an outstanding story that delves into the unconventional coaching background of new Missouri offensive coordinator Dave Yost.
  • Former Nebraska All-American linebacker Trev Alberts has emerged as the leading candidate for the Nebraska-Omaha athletic director job, Rob White of the Omaha World-Herald reports. Alberts is set for two days of meetings with school officials and students in Omaha later this week.
  • Dave Curtis of the Sporting News lists Kansas State running back Keithen Valentine and Nebraska wide receiver Curenski Gilleylen as prime examples of "Mr. April" from 2008.
  • Former Texas A&M football coach Jackie Sherrill tells Victoria Advocate reporter Mike Forman why he remembers Texas fans chanting "Poor Aggies" only once during his coaching career.
  • Robert Cessna of the Bryan Eagle proposes a way for Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne to make his budget by selling the roughly 200 empty seats in the press box for the Aggies' spring game.
  • An argument with a former girlfriend lead to felony and misdemeanor drug charges for Oklahoma State wide receiver Bo Bowling, the Oklahoman's Scott Wright reports.
  • Fast-rising former Oklahoma tackle Phil Loadholt could sneak his way into the first round of this weekend's NFL draft, according to the Oklahoman's Jake Trotter.
  • David Youngblood of the Oklahoma State Daily O'Collegian writes about the Cowboys' defensive progress this spring.
  • Bobby La Gesse reports for the Omaha World-Herald that new Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham has started his transformation of the Cyclones' defense, but still has much work to do.
  • Record-breaking Missouri kicker Jeff Wolfert expects to be a free-agent selection in this weekend's draft, but told Randy Covitz of the Kansas City Star he remains confident he can play in the NFL.

SPONSORED HEADLINES