While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. With one game left in the regular season, I still don’t see resolution in Mack Brown’s job status. I believe school President Bill Powers does not want to force out the Texas football coach, and I think new Athletic Director Steve Patterson, who has not met with Mack for any length of time, will keep an open mind until after the Baylor game. If Texas wins Saturday for a share of or the outright Big 12 title and fires Brown after a 9-3 season and a league title, it would be a huge black eye for the school and for college sports. But if Brown considers stepping down, that’s entirely different.
2. Says here the conclusion to Auburn’s win over Alabama was the best finish in college football history, or at least the best without a trombone player on the field. The Texas win over USC might be the best game ever, and Doug Flutie’s touchdown was the gold standard for Hail Marys, but the Tigers’ 100-yard runback of a missed field goal with no time on the clock — after Auburn had scored in the last half-minute and after one second was placed back on the clock for Alabama — would be hard to top. Saturday was a magical day for college football, with Michigan’s near-upset of Ohio State as well as other terrific action. And for all those who say who cares if Texas-Texas A&M goes away, Saturday was Exhibit A on why it should return.
3. Where have civility and sportsmanship gone? Ohio State guard Marcus Hall threw a double-fingered salute to the Michigan crowd that would have made the late Bud Adams proud. Nebraska’s volatile Bo Pelini labeled a very questionable officiating call as “chicken-bleep” and all but dared his school’s administration to fire him. I think it should be mandatory in every football coach’s contract that he serve one year officiating after retiring from coaching. It would provide coaches with terrific perspective and would obviously help improve officiating since coaches never make mistakes. Same probably goes for sports media.
4. Auburn’s Gus Malzahn might have sealed national Coach of the Year honors, and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel deserves major consideration, but I’d give it to Duke’s David Cutcliffe for making the 10-2 Blue Devils relevant and an ACC finalist. Cutcliffe might be the next Bill Snyder.
5. Barring a spectacular finish, Texas will go a sixth consecutive year without a 1,000-yard rusher. In fact, it hasn’t even had an 800-yard rusher since Jamaal Charles ran for 1,619 yards in 2007. That’s crazy. Johnathan Gray wound up with 780 yards before rupturing an Achilles tendon, and Malcolm Brown is 357 yards short of 1,000 and will have to average 178.5 yards in his last two games to hit the mark.
6. Jason Kidd blew it for intentionally spilling a drink on the court to force a play stoppage and allow his staff to draw up a last-second play when he had no timeouts left. I’ll give the Nets rookie coach high marks for creativity but a low grade for integrity. Even Mike Tomlin thought that was totally inappropriate. What’s next from Kidd, the Harlem Globetrotters’ bucket of confetti?
7. The Longhorn defense has not allowed an opponent more than 396 yards in any of the past six games, but it has been victimized by four nonoffensive scores, with Ryan Erxleben’s 51-yard fake punt for Texas Tech the latest. Opponents have also scored via two interception returns and a punt return. That doesn’t count the TCU double pass for a score.
8. Loved Michigan coach Brady Hoke’s decision to go for two against Ohio State in the last half-minute of the game after a touchdown. I’ve never understood coaches’ reluctance to do so. You’re going to have to make a play at some point to win, whether it’s in regulation or overtime. Don’t most coaches want to have the ball when they make that decision?
9. Saw “Frozen.” The snowman killed it. As family holiday entertainment, I gave it 7 1/2 ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Kevin Sumlin will go 7-5 next year and get another contract extension.