- By Kirk Bohls American-Statesman Staff
While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
1. From everyone I’ve talked to since Big 12 media days, Tom Herman was conspicuously subdued this offseason while last year he was boldly confident, bragging on everything from his upgraded Texas defense (right) to an offensive line he compared to one of the best he had at Ohio State (wrong). Along those lines, I would have loved to have seen him bring Sam Ehlinger to Frisco last week. Four of the other nine head coaches brought their starting quarterbacks, and Bill Snyder brought two. TCU’s Gary Patterson hasn’t named sophomore Shawn Robinson his starter but brought him anyway, explaining, “One of the biggest ways to become a leader is to come to this event and get a chance to see all of you (media) and see what’s out there, the people that are going to be talking about you.” Ehlinger hasn’t been named the Longhorn starting quarterback either, but I think 99 percent of media and fans think the Westlake sophomore will be. I always feel if you know, you know. Embrace it and have his teammates rally around him sooner than later. Of course, no Horn quarterback was made available after the spring game or before the bowl game either. … As for Herman’s choice of a play-caller this season. He said there “is no sense of urgency” about making that decision or making it public, but don’t you think it’s odd that Herman never mentioned offensive coordinator Tim Beck by name once that I can recall? Either fire him or let him do his job.
2. So Tiger Woods has moved to No. 50 in the world golf rankings. If it was March 2019, he would qualify for next year’s World Golf Championship-Dell Match Play tournament at the Austin Country Club. Tiger brings so many extra eyeballs to golf and is good for the game. The British Open was a perfect opportunity for him to jump-start his comeback but his sixth-place finish pointed out two obstacles that could slow his return to an elite player. One, he showed some nerves down the stretch. That usually doesn’t improve with age. Two, none of the great players fears Tiger anymore, and that’s big because there may be 25 or more marquee players capable of winning majors. … Why again was Francesco Molinari a 40-1 long-shot to win the tournament ? Too bad we don’t have legal gambling in this country. No, wait. The rampaging Italian was hot as a firecracker. He hit almost every fairway — what pot bunkers? — and stayed out of trouble as a par machine in one of the most riveting Open championships.
3. Matt Hill, who started his career as a video analyst with the Orlando Magic in 2012 before being promoted to assistant coach last season, has become the second former Longhorn to become a full-time NBA assistant. In joining the Atlanta Hawks bench staff, he joins former guard Royal Ivey, who is an assistant with the New York Knicks and who, it says here, will be an NBA head coach some day.
4. Tell me again how Carmelo Anthony will help the Rockets get past the Warriors? One more Rocket to go one-on-one in clock-draining isolation sets. One less defensive-minded Rocket after losing toughies Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute. Melo is a no-show on defense. I can’t see it, Houston.
5. Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has endorsed expanding the College Football Playoff field to eight and eventually 16 teams. A part of me wants this in the worst way possible. Imagine the fun and drama. The problem is it would seriously dilute the most meaningful regular season in all of sports. I can go six with two byes or maybe eight, but 16? …. Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald said at Big Ten media days that he is in favor of getting rid of national signing day, allowing players to sign any time after completion of junior year in high school. So what exactly would the implications be? Hardest-working staffs would have a huge advantage, meaning Nick Saban would hire another 50 analysts to vet middle-schoolers. Would there be any dead periods for college coaches? How many juniors would fear their new head coaches might leave for another job, and would they have escape clauses? I doubt it ever passes.
6. Brewers fans gave a standing ovation to reliever Josh Hader, fresh off someone digging up on Twitter his ugly, racist, homophobic tweets he made when he was 17 years old. I thought the fans’ gesture was totally inappropriate. Not a good look, Milwaukee. Did they really mean to support his hateful viewpoints or just offer unconditional support for one of their team’s players? It sure smacked of an explicit endorsement of Hader or at least leaves that perception. Yes, he was an immature high schooler, but does that excuse his stances? We all have done stupid things, but racial remarks go beyond. Hader’s African-American teammates stood by him at a press conference, and he has profusely apologized, but that’s different from a standing O from fans. Just Google Sterling Brown if you don’t see a double standard in that city.
7. Hey, Gary Sanchez, run hard, play hard. It’s not that difficult. The New York Yankees catcher became the face of entitlement. The pitiful pinstriper didn’t chase after a passed ball allowing a Tampa Bay baserunner to score from second, and he jogged to first base on a double-play ball. Unacceptable. Fine him $100,000 and dare the players association to appeal. Embarrassing.
8. Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Longhorn quarterbacks Ted Constanzo and Mike Cordaro, who rotated at the position in 1976. Former Longhorn outfielder and regional MVP Johnny Sutton told me former Texas shortstop Michael Brumley is a roving minor-league hitting instructor for the Atlanta Braves.
9. Didn’t like “Sicario: Day of the Soldado” as much as the original although I’m a huge Benicio Del Toro fan. It was still highly thrilling as a daughter of a drug cartel king threatened to be used as so much collateral damage in the war against terrorism. Gave it seven ducks.
10. Crazy prediction: Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, who repeatedly turned down Tennessee in the offseason, will be the head coach at Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan State or Michigan within the next three years.