While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. The Oklahoma-Baylor game Thursday is kind of a big deal. You might want to check it out. Baylor is pulling the tarp off the end zone seating for the first time since 2006 and expects a crowd in the school’s top 10 all-time. A record 450 credentials have been issued to media as well as 12 scouts from NFL teams and representatives of five bowl games. The Bears, who will wear new black helmets, have a school-record 11-game win streak that ranks third nationally behind Ohio State and Alabama. Oh, and Sooners, beware. The Bears are 4-0 versus ranked teams at home since 2011.
2. Texas State (6-3) is the second-fastest team to move up to the FBS and become bowl-eligible, winning six games in its second year. Marshall did so in its first year. “There are no guarantees for a bowl,” coach Dennis Franchione told me. “But I hope there is a spot for us. Our defense is solid, and our offense is getting better. Our freshman quarterback will be special.” Fran might have a star in Tyler Jones, an athletic sort with an accurate arm who began the year as the fourth-team quarterback. Jones picked Texas State over New Mexico, the only other school to offer him a scholarship.
3. Texas’ search for an athletic director could take another week after a long interview with West Virginia’s front-runner Oliver Luck, said one well-connected source familiar with the process. “It is still very fluid,” the source said. Arkansas Athletic Director Jeff Long confirmed Sunday night that he is not in the running to replace the retiring DeLoss Dodds, and Arizona State’s Steve Patterson had been scheduled for a Sunday interview.
4. Jace Amaro has my vote for All-America tight end. The Texas Tech junior, who should be a great pro but has said he plans to return next season, had 15 catches for 174 yards. He’s got terrific hands (yeah, he fumbled Saturday after falling on his head) and is as rugged as they come.
5. I’m thinking about starting a charity to raise money for Anthony Swain. Not sure if you saw it, but with Arkansas driving inside the 5-yard line, the Auburn linebacker fell to the turf and clutched his knee as if he’d been hit by a sniper. Swain was reportedly wearing a walking boot after the game. I don’t know if he was hurt. But it would be refreshing to see coaches practice proper ethics and sportsmanship because we all know faking injuries does happen. The issue needs to be addressed.
6. Barring a surprise, sophomore Michael Brewer probably won’t play for Texas Tech the rest of the year. The former Lake Travis quarterback was sidelined early by a back injury and has been told by coach Kliff Kingsbury that he wouldn’t receive any more practice reps because he didn’t regain his health in time to contend for the starting position. He lost out to another Lake Travis ex, true freshman Baker Mayfield, and then both gave way to Davis Webb, another freshman who threw for more than 400 yards for the third time in four starts in a loss to Oklahoma State. Brewer’s been healthy since the Kansas game. He’s not considering transferring, but you would think a ton of schools would be interested.
7. Here’s a suggestion for the controversial targeting penalty: Keep a tally and suspend the player after his third called targeting penalty because it would show a disturbing pattern.
8. Skip Johnson’s fired up for next season. The Longhorn assistant coach should have one of the best pitching staffs in the nation, bolstered when true freshmen Kacy Clemens and Lukas Schiraldi are ready. Clemens had a nerve impingement procedure but is already tossing. Schiraldi won Cape Cod Pitcher of the Year honors but was shut down early in fall practice. “I love their work ethic. They get after it,” Johnson said. “Lucas is a leader. And Parker French adds so much perseverance. They can look at Brandon Workman (reliever for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox) and see the process.”
9. If you love stunning special effects, wild car chase scenes and explosions, “Hyde Park on Hudson” is not for you. It’s a small, poignant movie about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s affair with his aide/distant cousin amid a weekend visit by the king of England to FDR’s getaway spot. It moves slowly, but still gave it 6 1/2 ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: The Texas men’s basketball team wins only 12 games.