1) When I was working in Oklahoma (2011-2013), Bob Stoops would often complain about playing too many night games. I specifically remember the 2012 season when four of the first six Sooners games began after 6:00 local time. Stoops, fairly, cited that night games made it difficult for the student-athletes to return from away games at a reasonable time on Saturday to meet with family, finish school work and rest.
So now, the Sooners have found themselves in a situation where they have “too many” 11AM local time kickoffs. In 2013, two of OU’s 6 home games were morning kickoffs (3 if you include the Texas game at the Cotton Bowl) and in 2014, it was three of 6 (4 of 7 including Texas). Obviously fans don’t like this as it cuts into their tailgating and socializing. So, if they want to know who they can blame, at least partially, just look to the head coach! In hindsight, maybe those nights weren’t such a bad thing…
2) Sticking with OU … did ya see running back Samaje Perine’s guns? Obviously hindsight is always 20-20, but you have to wonder about the expert recruiting gurus who rated Perine as a 4-star RB and was overlooked by a some of the nation’s top programs. Granted it’s not like he was rated a 2-star guy, I just wonder what held him back from being a 5-star? I’m still trying to figure out how anyone ever tackled this man child in high school.
3) As for other games on the Big 12 schedule this fall, a few of them have had their kickoff times set. I’m really jacked for Kansas vs. South Dakota State September 5th at 11AM, already cleared my calendar and told the wife I am BOOKED…. just kidding. But, I am eyeing a couple of great Thursday night matchups, 7:30 ET on October 29 when TCU hosts West Virginia (remember last year’s finish in Morgantown?). Also, Baylor is at Kansas State November 5th. Will Baylor be undefeated? Can K-State play spoiler similar to what Baylor did to K-State when they were undefeated late in the 2012 season? Ugh… can’t wait for the fall. That being said, I hate rushing summer.
4) A couple of recruiting notes… TCU landed the country’s number one Junior College wide receiver, four-star Iowa Western CC product Taj Williams. Boy, is that just enormous. Who could’ve predicted this a couple years ago? Now with the up-tempo offense for the Horned Frogs, they are in a position to land some of the country’s best defensive and now offensive players. Just like Baylor, TCU is not going anywhere in the hierarchy of the Big 12 conference. Both teams are here to stay… Oklahoma and Texas need to adjust and learn to deal with it.
5) Elsewhere… in Lubbock, Kliff Kingsbury is having a surprising amount of success in recent weeks. Most recently, TTU added 4-star wide receiver T.J. Vasher to their list of verbal commitments. Vasher picked Tech over offers from Ohio State, Ole Miss, SMU and others. Rivals ranks Tech #28 best class for 2016, while Scout currently has them at #26. Recently, Kingsbury added LB Brayden Stringer from Houston, technically “only a 3-star”, but picked Tech over Arizona, Cal, Wisconsin and others.
So, despite the fact that the Red Raiders have not have overwhelming success so far under Kingsbury, I believe he deserves at least another 2 years on the job to see how he can do with a full recruiting cycle. Some Tech fans may be expecting big time results, but it was never going to happen overnight for Kingsbury. That being said, he is certainly capable of building a team that can win 8-9 games a year, with the occasional 10+ win season.
6) Baylor rolled out their newest uniforms for the upcoming season, what they are calling a “gunmetal gray”. While I will never understand why a recruit would actually consider “uniform coolness” when making a decision as big as college, kudos to Baylor for capitalizing on the nonsense. The uniform uniqueness, in conjunction with Nike, is admittedly a part of the reason Baylor has been able to improve their recruiting and talent level. While Texas and Oklahoma played the “traditional” card, Baylor (& Oregon, along with a few others), cornered this crazy uniform niche and it helped build their respective programs. Plenty of good business lessons can be learned from the Baylor/Oregon formula.
7) Here is our tweet of the week. Love the shot at Big 12 refs when we are still months away from football season! (Of course this is in reference to the terrible officiating in game 2 of the NBA Finals).
For whatever reason my photos are not properly adding to the article, so I will have to copy and paste it for now:
#Big12 conference must be salivating at a chance to hire these refs.”
8) I have gotten very into TCU’s run through the NCAA Tournament, which hopefully will be capped off Monday night with a win and a trip to the College World Series. Even during my time in Oklahoma, I did not follow NCAA baseball as much as I should have. But, getting into the teams, the bracket breakdown and the format has made it all a very enjoyable watch. The combination of double elimination and 3 game series is the perfect mixture of fairness in length, while still creating a sense of urgency.
9) So Fred Hoiberg is gone from Ames, heading to Chicago for the Bulls head coaching job. As I mentioned in this week’s podcast, the move was a no brainier for Hoiberg. He wanted the NBA, and what better situation where he gets a playoff team, in the weaker conference, working for bosses whom he has relationships with? Can’t beat that.
As for who’s not going to be the next coach in Ames? Jeff Hornacek. I know fans would love nothing more than to bring the former NBA player, now coach, back to his old stomping grounds… but there’s no way it’s going to happen. Hornacek and his family have lived in the desert (now coach of the Suns) since 1986. Would you want to go back to those winters in Ames? His kids have a limited, if any, relationship with Ames, Iowa. It’s a nice and a nostalgic idea for fans who graduated in and before 1985 … but that’s it… a nice, nostalgic idea.
10) So who should become the next man to run the Cyclones? I’d go with Coach Otz. T.J. Otzelberger, who was an assitant under Hoiberg. It’d be a seamless transition, as he’s worked with everyone on the staff and knows the players and program as well as anyone. Plus, he’s a top notch recruiter, credited for many of the big gets in recent years for Hoiberg. It will play well within the program and the recruiting shouldn’t take too much of a step back. I don’t buy the fact that, because of his lack of head coaching experience, Otz would be at a disadvantage. It may not be a sexy hire that brings the program the kind of national attention that Hoiberg did … but it will keep the team very competitive in the Big 12.
11) Kind of off the beaten path, but I absolutely loved this faux commencement speech by columnist George Will. You can see the youtube video here. Will is spot on in his description and understanding of what exactly is wrong with our higher education system at the moment.
12) We are just weeks away, maybe even in some cases, days away, from the release of the plethora of College Football Preview magazines. From Phil Steele, to Athlon, to Lindy’s … I can’t get enough of them. No matter how wrong they, and we all are, about the turnout of the 2015 CFB season, there is nothing that gets me more excited to kick off the season than cracking open the pages to those publications. Cannot beat it!
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