Roger Wallace

Horns drop in polls

February 21st, 2011 at 12:24 pm by under Sports

Following their first loss since January 8th the Longhorns fell to 5th in both the A.P. and  Coaches poll.  Duke made the leap from 5th to 1st which is a great example of how wide open things are.

More importantly than rankings is how Texas is setting themselves  up for NCAA seeding.  In the latest espn.com bracketology, Texas is the #1 seed in the West regional.  Horns would be as close to home as possible for the first weekend in Tulsa, but then assuming they get to the sweet 16 its off to Anaheim, CA.

I would think Rick Barnes would gladly trade the #1 seed out west for a #2 seed in the San Antonio Regional.  Anyone remember the Alamodome for UT’s sweet sixteen and elite games back in 2003, it was a sea of Orange as the Horns advanced to their only final four.

Texas is still in great position to earn that top seed in the Southwest.  If they run the table the rest of the way in the Big 12, that might be enough, but it wouldn’t hurt to win a game or two in Kansas City.


Coaches and Goodell speak

February 4th, 2011 at 4:53 pm by under Sports

It was the final day of press conferences before the Super Bowl. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin went first and his Q&A last six minutes. Everyone is out of questions. Tomlin is trying to win his 2nd Super Bowl in 4 hrs and 2nd before his 39th Birthday.

Mike McCarthy was next up and spoke to what it would feel like to bring the Trophy named after Packer legend Vince Lombardi back to Green Bay. McCarthy does have central Texas ties, he has a place on Lake Travis which goes back to his daughter from a previous marriage.

All the questions were saved for Commissioner Roger Goodell who held his annual State of the NFL News Conference. And the state of the league is shaky. March 3rd is when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires. If that deadline comes and goes then the owners would likely lock the players out. Goodell would never say the word “lockout” but he said measures would be taken. One of the big issues is an 18 game regular season. Goodell says fans want the two extral games and to shorten the pre season down to two games.

Another hot topic was the cold weather. Goodell reminded everyone that this system is affecting most the country, it was 79 in Miami, site of last years Super Bowl. The good part for North Texas and a bid for another Super Bowl down the road is that Indianapolis has it next year. Another Super Bowl week of snow and ice and maybe the owners will forget about is one. By the way, Cowboys got the vote to host by the slimmest of margins, 17-15 back in 2007.

One thing about a North Texas Super Bowl is that everything is very spread out. We’re working out of Arlington just down the road from the Stadium and it has been a ghost town. I imAgine that will change by Saturday, especially if mother nature survives.

Strange celebrate sighting of the day, box Sugar Ray Leonard. Maybe he’ll make. Comeback at Jerry’s place?


National Signing Day, check back in ’13

February 2nd, 2011 at 11:07 pm by under Sports

National Signing day is in the books and the Longhorns have a class of 22 players, four already enrolled and on campus.  If you follow the “experts” Texas has one of the top five classes in the country.   Rivals.com and ESPNU have Texas ranked in their top five classes in the nation.  The Longhorns added six skill players headlined by running back Malcolm Brown from Cibolo Steele who is expected to compete for playing time right away.  But Brown was quick to note at his signing day ceremony, “I’m not a savior for the University of Texas, but I’m pretty excited to go and try to contribute.”

The Horns also signed running back Joe Bergeron from North Mesquite High School who thinks he can add a different dimension as a bigger than average running back at 6-1 220.  Bergeron scored a pair of touchdowns for Team USA in their All Star game against International players at Westlake High School on Wednesday night.

The Horns added another quarterback in David Ash from Belton High School.   One would think something has to give considering UT will have four scholarship quarterbacks next fall and none of the four will be seniors.

While the skill guys get most of the attention, ask any coach and they will say it all starts on the offensive and defensive line.  UT signed 8 lineman on both sides of the ball, but did suffer that one loss when highly touted OL Christian Westerman switched from Texas to Auburn.

While Brown said that like every other coach in the nation, he is excited about his class.  He also joked, what coach will announce that he has a lousy class.”   In other words, its not just how good the player is when he arrives on campus, but who good can the coaching staff make them?

If you go 5-7 after a 13-1 season it either means you missed on some players or you didn’t develop them.  Brown said that if a player didn’t perform last year and complained about their coaches and then don’t perform in the future with new coaches, you might have to look at the players.

Two of UT’s 22 signees are from central Texas with Moss and Lake Travis OL Taylor Doyle.   That’s the same number of recruits Oklahoma had from Stony Point High School.  Defensive lineman Jordan Wade and Linebacker P.L. Lindley signed with the Sooners and now look forward to being on the other side of the Red River rivalry.

The hard part about signing day from this perspective is that its so difficult to tell all the stories.  There’s JaQuarius Daniels who is becoming the first person in his family to go to college, he signed with Iowa State after just one win in two years at Reagan High School.

There guys that are heading to schools who are going through major transitions.  Bastrop quarterback Josiah Monroe is going to UT-San Antonio where they are starting up football next season and will move to Division 1A or FBS in 2012.   Westwood lineman Zach Crawford is going to Texas State where they not only are moving up to FBS next season, but have a new head coach in Dennis Franchione.

You have to have so much respect for guys headed to not only play football but serve their country.  Trevor Caswell from Stony Point is of to the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs while Lake Travis DB Omar Duke-Tinson is going to play for the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.

And then there are the parents.  Imagine the pride of watching your child sign that letter of intent, not only easy the financial burden on the family, but seeing all the work and practice and missed family time payoff in the form of a paid education.

On the surface signing days is about where the blue chip athletes are going and which powerhouse programs moved helped themselves more than others, but dig a little deeper and the day is about so much more.


Marquee win for Horns

January 22nd, 2011 at 5:40 pm by under Sports

Texas not only snapped Kansas’ 69 game home win streak Saturday, they acted like they expected it. There was no big celebration on the court, it was game over, shake hands and head home before going to Oklahoma State next week.

Not only did the Horns stun Kansas, they did it after getting stunned. Kansas lead 10-0, 18-3, and 33-19 with 2:39 to go in e half. That means UT outscored the #2 team in the country 55-31 over e final 22:21.

J’Covan Brown led Texas with 23 and probably can’t wait until next year when they will play Kansas twice in the new 10 team league with home home games against each team. In two games against Kansas, Brown has scored 51 points.

This is one of those games that figures to help come NCAA seceding time barring a similar collapse to last years season. A perfect NCAA scenario for Texas would be a high seed in the San Antonio regional which could mean first and second round games in Tulsa, with the final four at Reliant Stadium. All that is way down the road.

For now it’s back to work before another tough strech beginning in Stillwater Wednesday, home to Missouri next weekend and then a rematch with Texas A&M in College Station on January 31st.


High school hoops coming to KBVO-TV

January 13th, 2011 at 8:13 pm by under Sports

I’m happy to report that live high school basketball is our newest franchise on KBVO-TV. We begin our schedule on this Friday with that neighborhood rivalry between LBJ and Reagan. Former Reagan and UT standout Chico Vazquez will join me on the broadcast which begins at 8:00. This is the first of 7 regular season games we expect to broadcast over the next five weeks. We’ll also live-stream the game on KXAN.com


Not always about the “hot coach”

January 9th, 2011 at 11:20 pm by under Sports

This is the time of year where there is so much turnover in coaching its almost impossible to follow.  Each time one University hires a coach,  it effects so many schools.  Every school is looking for the next big thing in coaching to take them to the next level, which brings us to tonight’s National Championship game.

Auburn is led by 2nd year coach Gene Chizik that was actually booed by Auburn fans when got off the plane to be introduced after winning just 5 games at Iowa State.  Keep in mind that Chizik was a their defensive coordinator in 2004 when they went undefeated and then came to Texas and helped the Longhorns win their national title.  Auburn fans hardly considered Chizik the hot choice and look at him now.

In Eugene, Oregon there was talk about Chip Kelly losing his job after just one game.  Remember their loss to Boise State in their 2009 opener and then after the game Oregon running back LaGarrett Blunt punched Boise State  player Roy Houtt.   Not exactly the way Kelly wanted things to start taking over for the popular Mike Bellotti.  Kelly weathered the storm,  and has redefined the up tempo offense and has Oregon playing for their first national title.

So late Monday night one of these coaches will get the Gatorade bath Monday night in celebration when a certain fan base probably felt like dumping something on them a couple of years ago for much different reasons.


Coaches in Waiting

December 13th, 2010 at 6:06 pm by under Sports

There is a popular belief that that the Will Muschamp coach in waiting plan blew up in UT’s face.  Other than the fact that he didn’t replace Mack Brown, seems like Texas got what they wanted.   They got Muschamp for three years when they easily could have had him for just one.  Brown never set a timetable for his departure as head coach, just that Muschamp would be in place to take over when he did.  Even after being named coach in the waiting Muschamp was still talked about for head coaching jobs at Auburn, Tennessee, and Washington.  Then last year he was  reportedly back in play for Tennessee once again.  In other words, it was pretty obvious that he was a big time head coaching candidate even after getting the new title and bump in salary.  Without the promotion at Texas,  does he jump to one of the those jobs?  Very possibly.

Mack Brown had been down this road with coaches bolting.  Say what you want about Greg Robinson since he left Texas, but he was a big part in UT’s success in their first Rose Bowl season, and then became head coach at Syracuse the next year.  In comes Gene Chizik from Auburn, one of the hottest assistants out there.  Chizik helps Texas to the national title and then bolts for Iowa State after the 2006 season.  Mack then promotes Duane Akina and brings in Larry Mac Duff to co-coordinate.  That didn’t  work out but Mack manages to keep Akina as a very successful secondary coach while bringing in Muschamp.

So now Brown is back to hiring another defensive coordinator, something he’s gotten pretty used to doing.  What he hasn’t had to do since the mid-90′s is hire an offensive coordinator.  So its a rare chance for a head coach to build a program and then re-build it.


Thoughts on Greg Davis

December 6th, 2010 at 10:57 pm by under Sports

Sometimes you can’t help but develop a relationship with people you cover.  That was the case with now former UT offensive coordinator Greg Davis.  For the past seven years I have been fortunate to work the sidelines for the Longhorn Radio network.  Part of my responsibilities are to meet with the coordinators on the Thursday before games and then conduct post game interviews with each of them.  That has afforded me the good fortune of learning so much from Davis and getting to know him on a different level.  Davis understood the scrutiny he was under as play caller for the Longhorns and had a great sense of humor about it.   Afterall one of the easiest jobs in sports is to second guess that position.  Its pretty easy to criticize play calling after the fact.

Davis inherited one the best running back in college football in Ricky Williams when he arrived in 1998, but in his 2nd game he had to go from Senior quarterback Richard Walton to redshirt freshman Major Applewhite because of an injury.  While Williams was running wild, the Horns still averaged more than 260 yards per game through the air and more than 36 points per game.

Davis took a lot of heat during the Applewhite/Chris Simms but the offense still managed to average more than 39 points per game in both 2001 and 2001.

Then he went from the pro style offense to the zone read attack that suited Vince Young’s talents.  The pinnacle was 2005 when the Horns averaged a staggering 50.2 points per game on their way to the national title.  Then he developed Colt McCoy into the winningest quarterback in Division 1 history.   The struggles this past season were obvious, they couldn’t get the ball in the endzone.  After scoring 34 points in each of their first two games, they didn’t score more than 24 for eight straight games and nine of the final ten.

So now Mack Brown goes where he hasn’t gone in 15 years, handing the keys to the offense over to someone other than Davis.


Aggies to Cotton

November 30th, 2010 at 5:10 pm by under Sports

Texas A&M is the first Big 12 team to know their bowl plans.  The Aggies accepted a bid to play in the 75th Cotton Bowl Classic at Cowboys Stadium.  The twist to this years game is that it will be played on Friday night January 7th.  Aggies will face an SEC team, most likely LSU, but possibly Alabama.  One team you can rule out is Arkansas.  No way the Cotton Bowl wants a re-match of a game played in that same stadium on October 9th.  Aggies lost that one 24-17.

This will be Texas A&M’s 12th Cotton Bowl appearance and their first since 2004-05.  The Aggies are 4-7 and move ahead of Arkansas for most the 2nd most appearances in the game behind Texas’ 22.


All Big 12 Team

November 30th, 2010 at 3:25 pm by under Sports

Its not surprising that Texas had just one player on the 1st team All Big 12.  Senior Defensive End/Tackle Sam Acho was the lone Horn.  Texas had three more on the 2nd team, all defense as well.  Sam’s little brother Emmanuel who played on a bad knee the entire 2nd half of the season along with DB’s Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown.

The lack of offensive players from Texas is not a surprise, only OL Kyle Hix was a pre-season selection.

Oklahoma State led the way with 9 first teamers including  their first Offensive Player of the Year in WR Justin Blackmon.  Blackmon might have been in the Heisman discussion if he had not been suspended for that one game for  a DUI arrest back in October.  Blackmon  led the nation in receptions with 102, TD’s with 18 and yards with 1665, and that’s sitting out  the Kansas State game.  Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy was named coach of the year, which has to be a small consolation after that loss to OU on Saturday.

On defense Nebraska’s Prince Amukamara is the Defensive Player of the Year.  The Nebraska cornerback receives the award despite not having an interception which speaks more for the respect opposing offense’s show him by not throwing his direction.

The Big 12 as we know it ends Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium.  OU will be looking for their 7th Big 12 title against just one title game loss while Nebraska will try to tie Texas for the 2nd most with their 3rd.