- By Kirk Bohls American-Statesman Staff
While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. From the looks of it, Urban Meyer will survive. Ohio State’s board of trustees meets Wednesday to go over the investigation of the head football coach for his role in apparently tolerating an accused wife-abuser on his OSU and Florida staffs for years. The school administration should fire Meyer if it concludes he knowingly kept Zach Smith on his staffs for years as a violent offender of his now-divorced wife. Ohio State would be wise to suspend him for an entire season and donate his entire $7.6 million salary to women’s advocacy groups. That would be a punishment with teeth. If the school chooses to let him off the hook for time served during his paid leave, that would be ludicrous. I’ll bet on a two-game suspension.
2. Texas coach Tom Herman called wide receiver Lil’Jordan Humphrey “the most versatile player” on the Longhorns offense, and I’d have to agree. He’s also the best player. Freshman Joshua Moore has opened a ton of eyes as well in the slot. Add freshman Brennan Eagles and junior Collin Johnson to the mix with Jerrod Heard and Devin Duvernay, and Texas is again stacked at receiver. Maybe too stacked. That said, the Longhorns would be better off keeping Humphrey and Johnson on the field almost an entire game.
3. Cole Hammer, who has a name for the ages, almost became the first player in 11 years to win two USGA titles in the same year since Colt Knost. The incoming Texas golfer won the Azalea Amateur, the USGA Four-Ball and the Western Amateur before reaching the semifinals of the 118th U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach. He lost 3 and 2 to eventual champion Viktor Hovland, a baby-faced, 20-year-old from Oklahoma State. Hovland’s from Norway and owns a black belt in taekwando. John Fields, Hammer’s Longhorns coach, called “Cole’s maturity similar to Jordan’s (Spieth).” Hammer already ranks 17th in the world amateur rankings. “He has a great repetitive golf swing and a short game to match,” Fields says. Hammer, who grew up playing at River Oaks in Houson, “has a chance to play No. 1 for us but like all of our players he will have to earn that every week.” Hammer will miss Texas’ first tournament because he’ll be competing as part of a three-man team with USC’ Justin Sur and Cal’s Collin Morikawa in the World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland the first week of September.
4. So cool that major-leaguers like Scott Kingery and Jake Arrieta dropped in on the Little League World Series to share their stories. And, of course, “Big Al” Alfred Delia from the New Jersey team is an overnight sensation. He’s the next Prince Fielder.
5. Did you see CBS Sports’ list of the most under-rated and over-rated college football coaches? Tying for the most over-rated were Florida State’s Willie Taggart and Penn State’s James Franklin, followed by Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. The most under-rated, in order, were Stanford’s David Shaw, Washington’s Chris Petersen, Florida’s Dan Mullen, Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald and Utah’s Kyle Whittingham although one anonymous coach ridiculed Shaw and suggested he thinks “he’s God’s gift to coaching.” Ferentz, Shaw and Herman were mentioned on both lists. Another coach took a shot at Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher, saying, “He never has the organizational skills (of his former boss, Nick Saban). He flies by the seat (of his pants). It looks like it’s organized and the words he uses are the same, but if you talk to people who work in his office, the desk is sloppy, the rooms are sloppy.” Personally, my three biggest under-rated coaches would be Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, TCU’s Gary Patterson and Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio. My two most over-rated coaches are Ferentz and LSU’s Ed Orgeron. … Here’s how great a coach Saban is. If he had zero starters returning this season, I’d probably drop Alabama to maybe No. 5 in my preseason AP vote. OK, fourth. … Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, who served on the CFP selection committee for three years, told CBS Sports he “would now be open to six (teams) with two byes for the top two teams. He added, “Maybe give one spot to the (Group of Five champion).” UCF would go for it. I’m on board with six or even eight, but I worry about the dilution of the regular season significance.
6. I’m a big bobblehead doll guy. Houston is shipping out Ed Oliver bobbleheads where he’s riding his personal horse Oreo before he becomes the first pick of next year’s NFL draft. Now the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled the rendering for a new, limited edition bobblehead featuring Sister Mary Jo Sobieck from Marian Catholic High School, where she teaches theology classes. The bobblehead features Sister Mary Jo throwing a first pitch as she did at a recent Chicago White Sox game. If you missed it, she bounced the ball off her bicep first before firing a perfect strike to the plate. I’m wondering if Texas Rangers pitchers should start throwing in traditional habits. She played volleyball and softball at a Minnesota community college. Sister Jean, you’ve got competition.
7. I’m staying away from players like quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Jameis Winston in our NFL fantasy auction next week. I’m not wild about Dak Prescott. I don’t want a Washington Redskin or a Buffalo Bill. I’d love to get Baker Mayfield for a dime. I’m all in on all things L.A. Rams.
8. Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to former OU cornerback Derrick Strait, who played his high school ball at Lanier.
9. Saw “Chappaquiddick” on Netflix and was thoroughly entranced by the story of the female Kennedy staffer who drowned when a car driven by Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge after a staff party. To say he looked inept and immoral is a huge understatement. Gave it nine ducks. In the film, Kennedy says even acclaimed historical figures, such as Moses, had personal flaws, and Ted’s cousin Joe Gargan replies, “Moses didn’t leave a girl at the bottom of the Red Sea.”
10. Crazy prediction: Bill Belichick will not be the Patriots coach in 2019.