While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. Is Lamar Jackson really a no-brainer for the Heisman Trophy? He probably remains a lock to claim the award next week, but I have reservations because of those two losses to end the season — he had three turnovers against Kentucky and was sacked 11 times and completed 46 percent of his passes against Houston — and the inferior competition that Louisville has played. He faced only four teams with winning records and went 1-3. He has produced a phenomenal 51 touchdowns, but 38 came against the Charlottes, Marshalls and Virginias of the world. My ballot is totally open. I’m still considering everyone from Texas running back D’Onta Foreman to Washington quarterback Jake Browning to Oklahoma’s duo of Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook.
2. How can the College Football Playoff committee include Ohio State as well as the Big Ten champion when the Buckeyes weren’t conference champions? TCU and Baylor, who shared the Big 12 title in 2014, were both excluded from the CFP and told the lack of a clear champion and a 13th game kept them out. Is the committee really going to keep out a conference champion like the Clemson-Virginia Tech and Washington-Colorado winners for a non-champion? Please go to six or eight teams, CFP.
3. I’m told Tom Herman’s contract will be fully guaranteed, the same as Charlie Strong’s and Shaka Smart’s. That’s fiscal irresponsibility, and you can blame Steve Patterson for instituting those. … Herman is not your country-boy, aw-shucks Texan. He’s an intense, no-nonsense Ohioan with a ballsy, doesn’t-care-whose-toes-he-steps-on style. “He went to Urban Meyer Head Coaching School,” said a former associate of Herman’s who knows him well. “Urban Meyer, Nick Saban, that’s who he is. He’s direct, matter of fact. He has a job to do. That’s his dream job, and he holds everybody accountable.” … It won’t surprise me at all if former Texas A&M quarterback and current Houston Cougar Kyle Allen graduates in May and transfers to Texas or remains in Houston if Major Applewhite is given its head coaching job, which is looking like a long shot.
4. Texas President Greg Fenves completed the quickest evaluation ever when he decided Friday night to fire Charlie Strong. Maybe Fenves could have been swayed to retain Strong with an impressive win over TCU, but I doubt it. I guess Fenves’ evaluation happened in a world-record hours or minutes — or in the second half, when the Frogs put up 24 points in a 31-9 win — but the wheels were obviously in motion long before he and Herman met on Friday night. … I think players should be allowed to transfer and not have to sit out a year after a coaching change. I’ve always thought players should be given the right to transfer one time only and not lose a year of eligibility.
5. Texas shouldn’t go to a bowl game even if the Longhorns are invited as a 5-7 team if there aren’t enough qualified, six-win teams. Herman couldn’t win unless he blows out some inferior team and jumpstarts his momentum for 2017. But there’s more opportunity to lose and tarnish his first game. He said Sunday night he hadn’t even studied the Texas roster. And how many assistants would be on staff to plan for a bowl game? No, it makes more sense to say thanks, but no thanks. Unless, of course, some intrepid bowl could match up Texas against Houston. I’d pay to see that. As for that, I wonder if Texas would schedule Houston in the future. I’m also betting Herman would love to renew the Aggies-Longhorns rivalry.
6. Shaka Smart got a little emotional Monday when asked about Strong’s firing. The two are very close friends. “He’s obviously a great man,” Smart said. “He’s got a heckuva track record as a coach. He’s done a phenomenal job of building people and being a mentor.” Smart noted the business aspect of his world. He’s had a front-seat view because in his short 21 months in Austin, he’s witnessed the firings of the winningest coach in Division I baseball history and a football coach after just three years. He said, “All I can do is watch from the sidelines and be as supportive as I can be. That’s why we have leadership at this school. We have very good leadership here, and they decided to make a change. Charlie is going to be successful moving forward. He’ll do good things. This is a reminder that this is the business side of athletics at this level. For me, it’s a reminder that I’m appreciative of the opportunity I have here. We have to make it about the guys and help them.” In other words, Smart knows he needs to win big.
7. Congrats to the Veritas football team, which will play Rockwall Heritage Christian in Waco for the TAPPS Division I Six-Man football state championship on Thursday after beating defending champ Emery-Weiner of Houston two weeks ago. The team that represents the 606-student school on the Austin Oaks Church campus is a great success story. Veritas has been playing varsity football only eight years and started the year 0-3 before winning 11 straight. In his first year at quarterback, senior Luke Dodson, who has been mentored by former Longhorn David Ash, has thrown 25 touchdowns with only three interceptions. His offensive coordinator, Matt Carter doubles as the senior pastor of Austin Stone, not that the Defenders need divine intervention. All players go both ways, including all-state running back Riley Pakes, who has scored 83 touchdowns in three seasons, and sophomore Hanan Jones, who has 49 touchdowns in two years over which time Veritas has gone 24-3.
8. Did you see the cheap shots by Notre Dame players, including Jerry Tillery stepping on a USC player’s foot? So Brian Kelly’s in charge of a program that has that type of behavior, went 4-8 and was put on NCAA probation for academic abuses. Quite a leader there.
9. Loved funny guy Jason Bateman in his against-type, bully role in the psychological thriller “The Gift.” Gave it seven ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Houston will hire Les Miles.
BOHLS, GOLDEN CHAT
Join columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden at 11 a.m. Wednesday for their weekly live chat at hookem.com. And catch their weekly “On Second Thought” podcasts on Thursdays.
HOW CRAZY WAS HE?
Looking back at Kirk’s crazy prediction from Dec. 2, 2015 — that the Golden State Warriors would lose only nine games last season. One year later, how did that work out? So, so close: The Warriors lost only nine.