Golden’s nuggets: Aggies vs. Horns is a good thing for college football

Tom Herman wants to play Texas A&M.

Finally a coach has stepped up and said the words many in both fan bases have wanted to hear for years.

The Texas coach is Bloodsport-competitive and real college fans had to be stoked to hear him address the passionate topic rather than poo-poo the idea like former UT men’s athletic director Steve Patterson did when I asked him in 2014 how he could spend so much time setting up the basketball team’s trip to China but couldn’t get a good dialogue started about playing the team down the street.

Texas and Texas A&M haven’t played one another since 2011 when Longhorns quarterback Case McCoy and kicker Justin Tucker came up big down the stretch to deliver a win at Kyle Field. Can we get some more of that hatred that fuels the rivalries that made college football must-see television in the first place?

There are factions on both sides that insist the Aggies and Longhorns don’t need each other to be successful. Truth is, college football needs it. To those who don’t get it, this is what matters: Great teams are usually judged by how they perform against their fiercest rivals.

If they’re serious about this, now is the time for athletic directors Mike Perrin and Scott Woodward to get together and have a real conversation about making this thing happen in the next three or four years while there openings on each team’s schedule.

Baylor defensive end Brian Nance was one of the most refreshing story lines of Big 12 media days this week.

Nance is scheduled to graduate with a degree in kinesiology after sitting out the 2016 season due to an academic suspension. Not only has he gotten it right with his books but also is making it happen as the father to an infant daughter and a five-year-old son.

Each morning Nance wakes up at 4:35 and makes the 40-minute drive from Temple to Waco for workouts and class. His commitment is admirable given the struggles he encountered last year. Even more notable was his decision to stick it out at Baylor when he could have transferred to a junior college or FCS school and played ball.

“I took the route to sit out because I bleed green and gold,” Nance said. “I want us to go out on a good note.”

At 23, Nance has his plate full with football, academics, and most important, life. He’s one of those guys you pull for because he has overcome some tough struggles to emerge as a role model in the locker room and on campus. Coach Matt Rhule said he has received several emails from professors saying how much they enjoy having Nance in class.

“So to me, if there’s an example of the great things that are happening at Baylor, it’s (Nance) and the commitment he makes day in and day out to be a great father, to be a college graduate, and to be hopefully a tremendous defensive end, which I know he will be,” Rhule said.

As the NFL brass meets to discuss the length of running back Ezekiel Elliott’s impending suspension, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has to be looking down the road to when Elliott’s representatives will walk into his office ready to talk contract extension.

Worse yet, Elliott might not warrant an extension if he continues to engage in off-the-field shenanigans that are starting to overshadow the brilliance he’s displayed on a football field.

He’s in the second year of a four-year deal that’s fully guaranteed at just under $25 million and has already established himself as a premier player, but the little missteps that have started to add up over a short period of time have to be the biggest worry in Cowboy nation, especially since many expect Dallas to take that next step toward its first Super Bowl title since 1995.

Remember the problems Dez Bryant had early in his career? Elliott seems more troubled.

O.J. Simpson talked too much at his parole hearing, but he still managed to walk out of there a free man on Thursday. Parole chairwoman Carolyn Bisbee actually referred to the 70-year-old Juice as being 90 years old. He looks it.

More than 40 years since he sprinted through his first airport for car rental giant Hertz, Simpson hobbled out of the court room Thursday, looking at a release as soon as October after spending nearly a decade behind bars.

So the Juice is loose. What’s next, a reality television show? Naked Gun 7? America loves a comeback.

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