While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. Count me among those highly concerned about the serious ramifications of the new targeting/ejection rule that goes into effect this fall. The rule-makers went too far. If Jadeveon Clowney’s hit on the Michigan running back would have disqualified him and that’s the new standard, you’re going to see meltdowns of head coaches — and fines and suspensions — on a large-scale basis. As we watched Big 12 officiating supervisor Walt Anderson’s video at the league media days, we cringed at the slightest discrepancy over what’s legal and what’s not. I expect this to be a one-year rule before it’s yanked. Anderson told me 17 Big 12 players were called for targeting last year and would have been ejected. Baylor coach Art Briles told me, “That’s 17 mad mommas. And I’m going to give them the phone numbers” of those they can call to complain. … I don’t know who will win the Heisman, but Clowney’s the best player in college football.
2. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d be worried about the wide receiver position if I were Mack Brown. Of course, if I were Mack Brown, I’d be worried about everything. But the hernia surgery for Mike Davis, hip injury to Jaxon Shipley, the transfer of Cayleb Jones and the lack of experience by anyone else throws up a lot of red flags for the Texas passing game. But don’t be surprised to see true freshmen Montrel Meander, Jake Oliver and Jacorey Warrick groomed for early action. All had promising displays in 7-on-7s this summer.
3. Bud Selig went too soft on Ryan Braun with only a 65-game suspension for his PED use. The commissioner should have made it 100 games or asked Dino Laurenzi Jr. — the urine sample collector who was fired after Braun accused him of improperly handling his drug test in October 2011 — what he considered a fair and just penalty. Has Dino sued yet?
4. Kliff Kingsbury doesn’t see the NFL abandoning the spread offense and running quarterbacks any time soon. “You look at the year they had, and more of them are coming,” the new Texas Tech coach said. “Braxton Miller, Tajh Boyd, Johnny Manziel. I do think it will continue. There are not a bunch of called runs for them, but it helps the goal of extending plays.”
5. Vince Young’s phone is still not ringing. His attorney, Trey Dolezal, puts much of the blame on former Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who never wanted to draft Young in the first place. But you’d think some NFL team would take a chance on this gifted athlete. “I still believe Vince is physically as good as 50 percent of the guys we see getting signed by NFL teams,” Dolezal said. “I think Jeff Fisher blackballed him. Maybe not purposefully, but Jeff Fisher is very well-respected. Right now Vince is waiting for somebody to need him. The way the NFL went down with Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson and RG III running the spread. VY is as good as any of those guys. He started that whole thing. He invented it.”
6. Reports have circulated that suggest Mack Brown would consider taking another coaching job elsewhere if things don’t work out at Texas. I absolutely believe that to be true. You think for a second he couldn’t get another Division I job? Of course, he could. Not sure where, but I’ll say this: Nebraska, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State should consider him in that event, right? He sure knows how to win in Lincoln, College Station and Stillwater. He’s 16-2 in those stadiums. And maybe his home-state Tennessee Vols or North Carolina, where he won big, would hire him.
7. Trey Millard, the Oklahoma beast of a 259-pound fullback who had one of the most sensational plays of the year when he leaped over Mykkele Thompson and bounced off Adrian Phillips versus Texas, said what he remembered most was “I was mad at myself I didn’t score. It took us three more plays.” He’s still mad at Longhorn Carrington Byndom for pushing him out of bounds. He gained 164 yards on eight touches in that game.
8. Bill Hancock, guru of the College Football Playoff, told us in Dallas that more than 50 “citizen volunteers” have requested spots on the 12- to 18-member selection committee, which will include sitting athletic directors (I disagree with that), former coaches, former athletes, some from the public sector and at least one retired writer. “Many politicians and national commentators from sports and news have expressed interest,” Hancock said. … The committee members will serve staggered terms of one to three years, will not be paid, will not actually attend games because they can see more if they don’t and will meet eight to 10 times in a season. “We’ll be able to pick an all-star team,” Hancock said. … The commissioners are “getting closer” on establishing the revenue distribution of playoff money, a king’s ransom that has been accurately reported as averaging about $495 million a year over 12 years.
9. “This is the End” was very funny. Michael Cera had some great scenes. James Franco and Craig Robinson stole the show. Gave it seven ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: The New England Patriots go 8-8 and miss the playoffs.