While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. Here’s a crazy scenario that could happen: Three SEC teams and Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff. Nuts? Maybe not so much. That would create such a firestorm of protest from the other four Power 5 conferences that we’d probably see an instant outcry for an eight-team playoff. Hmm, maybe we should root for such chaos. Say that two-loss Auburn runs the table, knocks off Alabama and reaches the SEC championship game out of the West, then upsets unbeaten Georgia in that game, and the CFP invites all three because Auburn won what used to be the best league in college football, Georgia has only one loss and a huge win over the Irish, and it’s probably not legal to leave out Alabama under any circumstances. That could omit a 12-1 Oklahoma or 12-1 TCU, an undefeated Big Ten champion Wisconsin who’s played next to nobody, defending national champion Clemson and an once-beaten Pac-12 champion Washington, who played a worse schedule than even Wisconsin. Or would the CFP dare to pick a one-loss Alabama over a one-loss Georgia or two-loss Auburn team that won the SEC? This figures to be the most compelling season of all for the four-year CFP.
2. Cornerback Holton Hill’s suspension for violating team rules is a huge setback to not only Texas’ defense but to his reputation and standing with NFL teams. I think Hill was seriously thinking about leaving school early — and still might — but he almost certainly cost himself money. I was preparing to nominate him for All-American honors this month, but this kills his chances. Texas will likely find itself without nickel back P.J. Locke III as well this week. Their absences run the total to 14 starters and one special teams regular who have missed games this year. Texas has had the same starting offensive lineup for only two games, San Jose State and USC. … Consider this another vote for giving Jerrod Heard a crack at quarterback. The offense desperately needs a spark. He’s clearly the most athletic of the three Longhorns quarterbacks. It would not hurt the wide receiver rotation if he was taken out of that group. And he’s the best runner of the three options for a rushing attack that ranks 98th nationally. I repeat, 98th. What could it hurt?
3. I’m curious if Texas A&M would even consider a tried-and-true coach like Super Bowl winner Gary Kubiak if it pulls the trigger on Kevin Sumlin. The former Aggies quarterback could be lured into returning to coaching at his alma mater. I think it’d be a great fit. … Had an interesting chat in the Kyle Field press box about whether A&M should go against the SEC stereotype and completely adopt the up-tempo spread attack and just try to outscore people. Kind of like Oklahoma is doing now. Yes, the SEC is a line-of-scrimmage league more than any other, but trying to match Alabama’s strength up front has been futile.
4. Shaka Smart’s all-in on his third Texas men’s basketball team. He said on our “On Second Thought” podcast that he was “cautiously optimistic” the Longhorns would not only contend for the Big 12 championship but also make some noise in next spring’s NCAA Tournament. Smart’s in love with the rugged versatility of post man Dylan Osetkowski, so much so that he said the 6-9 transfer is “our Draymond Green. If you watch Draymond Green, he does a little bit of everything. Dylan’s a little bit crazy. He defends. He handles the ball well. He’s a good passer. He can bully people. He’s like a Swiss Army knife for us.” … You can expect a big upgrade out of junior guard Eric Davis, who struggled mightily last season when the Longhorns finished 11-22.
5. Everyone loves to crack on the Big 12’s lack of defense, and usually with good reason. Regardless, does it really even matter if a team wins with offense? How many SEC starting quarterbacks would start in the Big 12? Only two rank among the top 49 in the NCAA. The Big 12 has four of the top five in the nation in Mason Rudolph, Baker Mayfield, Will Grier and Nic Shimonek.
6. The Texas women’s basketball team finished 25-9 last year and start even hotter this season, which begins Sunday with a home game against Stetson, as the nation’s No. 2-ranked team. No pressure? “None at all,” Longhorns coach Karen Aston said. “I’m not sure what research the voters did.” Plenty, because the Longhorns return 10 McDonald’s All-Americans, have depth everywhere you look, have the Big 12 player of the year Brooke McCarty and an incoming class that includes the nation’s No. 4-ranked point guard recruit in Chasity Patterson and a California prep star named Destiny Littleton, who averaged 45 points a game last season. Aston lost almost her entire frontcourt from last year, if you count expelled sophomore center Joyner Holmes, who returns to the team in late December, but will rely heavily on newcomers like South Carolina transfer Jatarie White and 6-3 freshman Rellah Boothe. Baylor, be forewarned.
7. If I was in charge of the New York Giants, I would (1) look for another job, (2) fire Ben McAdoo and (3) trade Eli Manning to any of several desperate NFL teams that badly need a veteran quarterback, teams like Houston, Jacksonville and Arizona.
8. Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to former Texas quarterback Rob Moerschell. Learned that former Texas running back Terry Orr is involved in the trucking business in the Metroplex.
9. I loved the book that my wife Vicki begged me to read and the movie by the same name, “Same Kind of Different As Me.” It’s touching and inspirational, both heart-breaking and heart-warming, and an important movie in these divisive times. Greg Kinnear is a very underrated actor. Gave it 9 ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Nebraska, with the former Washington State AD Bill Moos as new AD, hires Mike Leach after Scott Frost says no.
BOHLS, GOLDEN PODCAST
Catch columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden during their weekly “On Second Thought” podcasts, which pop up on Thursdays. This week’s guests are Texas basketball coaches Shaka Smart and Karen Aston.
HOW CRAZY WAS HE?
Looking back at Kirk’s crazy prediction from Nov. 9, 2016 — that Baylor wouldn’t win another game in the 2016 season. And he was so close: The Bears did in fact lose out to Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas Tech and West Virginia but then upended Boise State in the Cactus Bowl.