Texas special teams coordinator Jeff Banks is no stranger to making headlines. In December of 2021 Banks and his girlfriend, Danielle Thomas, were sued after Thomas’ pet monkey allegedly bit a child in his backyard on Halloween night.
“Instead of giving a high five, Danielle Thomas’s monkey aggressively bit down on [child’s name] hand and refused to let go,” says the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN. “[Child] was forced to manually pry the monkey’s jaw open. There was so much blood that [the child] was unable to see the full extent of the injury.”
Now, Banks is back in the headlines once again, and although his longtime girlfriend isn’t involved in this story, it’s still catching plenty of attention.
During Texas Media Day on Tuesday, the Longhorns’ special teams coordinator addressed his return to Tuscaloosa, where he served as an assistant on Nick Saban’s staff from 2018-20. When explaining what he’ll tell the team ahead of their road trip to Alabama, Banks drew an interesting comparison.
“We’re just going to play another road game,” Banks said, according to Anwar Richardson. “Just as hard in Kansas and Iowa State as it is going to be in Tuscaloosa. It’s just bigger and more people.”
While I fully understand what Banks is trying to say here, did he have to compare playing at Bryant-Denny Stadium to playing a road game at David Booth Memorial Stadium? I mean, no offense to the atmosphere in Lawrence, but really?
If Banks expects his players to treat this game like a road trip to Iowa State or Kansas, he’s likely to be disappointed. Plus, he of all people should understand what his team is walking into on September 9.
The Longhorns are the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 in 2023 and have one of the top rosters in all of college football from a talent perspective. However, I can say with confidence that they will not be the most talented team on the field that day, and the stadium around them won’t sound like anything that they’ve ever heard in Lawrence, or Ames for that matter.
Iowa State is 34-31 at home over the last decade, while Kansas is 18-44 over that same stretch. Combined, the Jayhawks and Cyclones lost six games at home in 2022. Meanwhile, Alabama is 66-2 at home over that same stretch.
It might not be an ex-stripper’s monkey biting a kid bad, but this is a bad take from Coach Banks.