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  1. Hear me now and listen to me later. Ladies & Gents, Charlie Strong will be just fine. He's been on the job 6 months. Of course aggy is taking this change in leadership to tout their own product. Here's the deal though; their product sucks. It has for a long time, and will continue to suck. With the best player they've seen since John David Crow and three first round draft choices, they managed to finish tied for 7th in the $EC with a 4-4 record, and beat.....wait for it.....perennial football powerhouse DUKE in the (woo-hoo,) Chik-fil-A bowl....by 4 points. Let it go. Let them have their fun. Don't get so worked up by their antics. I liken their recent marketing ploy to those of The Sham-Wow, Miss Cleo's Psychic Hotline, The Thigh Master and Ronco GLH Formula #9 Spray-On Hair. All products heavily marketed, but at the end of the day, targeted towards the masses that watch late-night TV and will buy anything. At some point, a successful marketing campaign must include proven results. So far, aggy has had zero proven results on the field. Outside of a fluke/miracle victory against Alabama two years ago, what have they done? Nothing. Yes, you read that right, nothing. Sure, Kevin Sumlin has hashtags, billboards, Twitter, club DJ's, Snoop Dog shoes and grandiose helicopter entries. But all of that is smoke and mirrors. Until Sumlin actually proves something on the field for an entire season, he is nothing more than a Snake-Oil Salesman. That's all he has to "sell" right now. Nothing of substance. So let's just tap the brakes and step back a bit. Look at this "campaign" for what it really is; a huge crock of shit. The smart ones will see through this.
  2. Well folks, not much going on this week however we will share with you everything we’re hearing and pass it along. First of all, these are incredibly exciting times at Hornsports right now and our incredible growth is allowing us to do things that a few months ago may have seemed like a “pipe dream” when we were starting out. Consequently, in this week’s Crossfire we will talk about what Hornsports is doing to improve upon our service offering to our faithful fans. We will also be discussing our recent commitments. What do they mean to the program? Next we will discuss our former coaches that are on the move. Manny Diaz to La Tech? From there we will discuss medical hardships (anybody out there remember Jordan Hicks or David Ash?). Well, we’ll discuss how things are coming along for those two key Longhorns for ’14. We will also discuss Spring Practice, the Spring Game, and how team works outs are going so far. During the “Drop & Gimme 20”, Hornsports will address the burning questions that you the Hornsports faithful have put forth. And finally we will have a discussion with our old buddy “Friend of Bevo” and where his thoughts are this week (albeit brief!). So strap-up your chin strap and get into the “Crossfire!” UPDATE ON HORNSPORTS NEWS & SPRING GAME NOTES As it pertains to Hornsports, we are presently interviewing potential staff writers, recruiting scouts, baseball scouts, and reporters. It is our number one priority to continue to improve the content we deliver on HornSports. We have some exciting potential opportunities for radio and television shows in 2014. More details to come in upcoming weeks. On a different front I have been asked many times, “Darrell, how about a HornSports Spring Game Tailgate Party to get us prepped for the regular season?” Your wish is our command here at HornSports. Once the spring game is scheduled, we will plan the first 2014 Tailgate party. As it looks right now, we will have some very exciting events taking place for the Tailgate party. Stay tuned. UPDATE ON RECRUITING FRONT New Orleans Four Star 6’5 300 plus pound offensive guard Alex Anderson became the second blue-chipper to pledge to the Charlie Strong staff. The first commit to Strong being Arlington hybrid safety/linebacker Ed Freeman. FORMER UT COACHES ON THE MOVE There are reports out that have linked Duane Akina to Sonny Dykes’ California staff and Stacy Searles to Frank Beamers’ Virginia Tech staff. Daryl Wyatt's name has been mentioned concerning the Sam Houston State head coaching vacancy, although I have heard the current DC at Sam Houston is the leading candidate for the job. Bo Davis has accepted the DL position coach under Nick Saban at Alabama. Manny Diaz has accepted the DC position on Skip Holtz’s staff at Louisiana Tech. Oscar Giles is talking to Sonny Dykes at Cal, Mark Richt at Georgia, and one other school that I am not privy to at this time. I will keep digging around to find out who that 3rd school is and I am sure we will hear something on this front soon. MEDICAL HARDSHIPS It appears that Linebacker Jordan Hicks and Quarterback David Ash will be approved for medical hardships. If Ash regains his health & form, this would be huge benefit to the team. HORNSPORTS Q & A Q) How long is it going to be before Ronald Jones II gets an offer? He's going to blow up next year. A) The staff has been on the job for one full week now. They have a lot of ground work to make up closing this year’s class. You can expect the staff to address the 2015 class right after spring ball is completed. With the retention of Chambers and Shipley, I’m certain Strong & staff will be brought up to spend on the top targets. RJ II should be one of them. Q) What's the biggest name recruit we'll get who is not already verbaled to this class? A) I’m going to go with the Four Star DT from Hilton Head, South Carolina Poona Ford. Q) Any idea on who matriculates from the program either by choice or by force? A) Right now I don’t feel comfortable sharing any names. For the first time, some of the kids feel like they have a true opportunity for showcasing their skills regardless of their age. It is only natural for a certain amount of attrition during a coaching transition occurs. I would look at 5-10 current players to transfer or quit football all together. Q) KNOX do we have a 90% chance to get him back. We need him and how about Harvey? A) 90% is dreaming. Let’s see if a visit is scheduled before we get excited. Q) mcphaul, are you noting any forthcoming changes as per our coaching staff allotment? obviously nothing major. nonetheless, subtle changes in staff personnel? A) There are rumors that TE Coach Bruce Chambers might move into to a administration position. Q) Signing day surprises? Do we get any? A) The class is shaping up to have a few surprises. I hope they are all positive. Q) Any chance that Brewster finds a place on this staff? A) I believe there is a chance. Let’s see what direction Strong goes with Bruce Chambers first. Q) Which head 2 head battles with Sumlin does Coach Strong win this year & next? A) I’m not sure he does? Cypress Falls blue chip LB Olaka is the biggest battle raging between the two schools and this one might come down to signing day. If Strong could flip blue chip defensive back Nick Harvey, that would be considered a huge victory. Q) Where does Texas stand with Jarrett Stidham? A) Top 5. That is good considering he has not met the new staff. Q) Tony3487 asked if Charlie strong bought Sabans house? Sorry couldn't resist A) Everyone deserves a day in the sun! Q) Has Barnes saved his job or is that TBD? A) The season is far from over. Defiantly TBD. Q) Do you know if they were after anyone else? If so, who? If not, then why drag out the announcement like that? A) I’m not sure. One reason for this to drag out is if the coaching candidate agreed to stay on with his current employer until after signing day. Q) I am wondering about the committee that was assembled to help hire Patterson then was supposed to be involved in hiring Coach Strong was a committee in name only? Will there be a permanent advisory committee moving forward, available to convene and give input to the AD on highly important matters and to handle any major crisis, or did Patterson's lack of consulting with the committee on the hiring of Coach Strong effectively kill it off? A) Apparently so. It does not appear that Patterson believes he needs a consulting committee. I believe Patterson is trying to wean the BMD’s off of being heavily involved. Q) Will our emphasis be on flipping players that are signed elsewhere or will we be going more for unsigned and/or undervalued players? A) Both Q) Who do you see taking over for Anthony Fera at P/PK? It appears that Nick Jordan redshirted this season, Nick Rose will be a Junior, and Will Russ is still around. Any news on walk-ons or transfers in that area? A) I look for a battle between Rose and Jordan. Russ will get the first shot at punter. There is a kicker at Boerne High School that actually outkicked the North Carolina kicker that we offered at the Texas camp by the name of Clayton Hatfield. Hatfield is now committed to Texas Tech. Claytons father attended Texas and the Hatfield were not too happy about not receiving the offer over an OOS kid that ended up de-committing. Q) Is there any news on Jake Raulerson's expected role next year. A) Right now Jake is penciled in as the backup Center. With Wickline’s background of mixing and matching multiple units, I wouldn’t doubt that Jake will get a look at Guard too. Jake is tipping the scales at 289 right now. Jake may need another year to be a legitimate Div 1 offensive lineman. Q) Can you share anything compelling about conference affiliation in the next few years? The Big 12 sucks! A) In my opinion Texas will leave the NCAA before it leaves the B12 conference. The playoff system will alleviate some of our disdain for being a B12 member. Texas has scheduled some very intriguing match ups with national contenders for next 6 years. UCLA, Ohio State and Notre Dame are just a few to mention. Q) Myles Turner, how are things going with his recruitment? Anything new on that end? A) Shaunsters is reporting that Texas is in the thick of things with Turner. It appears to be a Texas vs. Kansas battle at this time. Q) With somewhat of resurgence by the basketball team, has Barnes' leash gotten longer any? Odds of landing Myles Turner? A) To early to tell. As of right now, we are 50/50 with Turner. BRIEF CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO THIS WEEK McPhaul: Like always, thanks for taking my call. FOB: It’s no problem. McPhaul: So, anything noteworthy happening on the forty that I can share with our members? FOB: I did have an opportunity to speak with a few folks this past week. The new staff seems to be settling in well. The staff is very pleased on how the kids/team has responded so far. McPhaul: Have you heard if the staff has experienced any kickback from the players about having to move back to campus? FOB: No, I really haven’t. I think kids are taking a wait and see approach. I know some of the kids counted on the extra money if they saved on the living per diem by living off campus so. McPhaul: You hearing anything about the workouts? FOB: They are getting after it. The players know that short cuts won’t be tolerated. They are also aware that there will be no favorites played. Everyone has a clean slate and considered on the same level. McPhaul: Anyone standing out in the workouts? FOB: Not that I heard but the staff is pleased with the overall effort. McPhaul: Switching gears on you there has been talk about Coach Chambers transitioning over to the administrative side- is there any merit to that? FOB: There is no doubt that Bruce was retained with the intention of maintaining some level of continuity between the staff, high school coaches and recruits. Bruce is serving that purpose well however I’m not sure if they have their minds made up just yet on what direction they are going to go. McPhaul: Prior to our call, I know you had mentioned to me that there wasn’t much to comment on this week. Is there anything else we should know? FOB: Nope. That’s all I got for now but keep in mind, things will be heating up. McPhaul: Understood. Holler back at you next week. FOB: You got it. VAYA CON DIOS AMIGOS! Guys, that’s all I got for now. As always, if we hear something we will put it out there for you the fans. Again, just like at the 40 Acres there are fun times ahead at HornSports as well. We want to thank you our followers for our continued success- I cannot wait to see what ’14 brings us! Hook ‘Em and talk to you next week! Darrell
  3. Sorry for the long rant here, but I need to get a few things off my chest regarding Mora and Strong. I'm not sure I'm really understanding the rationality of what seems to be many of our fans response to names that keep popping up in this search. And I'm not talking just HornSports here, but on all the UT sites. There seems to be an outright obsession with "tier 1" guys like Malzahn or Jimbo Fisher (sidestepping Saban talk altogether). What is it about Malzahn and Fisher that CONVINCE (some) folks that they are SO much better than Charlie Strong or Jim Mora, Jr.? Is it simply the fact that their teams are in the national championship game this year, no matter how they got there? That may seem like a simple question, but it's an earnest one. Gus Malzahn has been a major college football coach for one year. He got historically lucky in two games this year. Historically lucky. He beat Washington State by 7 points at home. He beat Mississippi State by 4 at home. He lost to LSU by 14 points, who was a 3 loss team this year. Not trying to diminish his accomplishments nor his ability to coach at Texas (perhaps he'd be great), but what makes him SO much better than Strong or Mora? And what about Jimbo? He seems to have it rolling at FSU. His team has dominated this year. But even he lost four games in the ACC in Year 1 (lost to OU by 30, lost to NC State, lost to UNC, lost to Virginia Tech), 4 games in the ACC in Year 2 (lost by 10 to OU, lost to Clemson, lost to Wake Forest, lost to UVA), 2 games in the ACC in Year 3 (lost to NC State, lost to Florida), and has them undefeated in Year 4. That's great, and perhaps he'd be a great coach at Texas, albeit with the very same lack of connections to Texas recruiting that seemingly "plague" Mora or Strong. Why do those lack of connections plague Mora and Strong, but not Fisher? They shouldn't. We are the University of Texas, and we can recruit Texas with all four of these guys. And we can recruit outside of Texas. Mack was just strange in my view with his near refusal to look outside Texas. It was a neat strategy at first, but it got hokey, and there's no reason for it anymore. Austin and UT are a lethal combination and . . . newsflash . . . both are VERY prominent nationally as city on the rise and school (coming from a proud grad that has lived outside Texas for the last 15 years). And our recruiting should match that expanded geographic footprint. And last regarding Fisher, it clearly took him some time to get FSU to where they are today, which should be a credit to him. But Mora and Strong are doing essentially the same thing in their current trajectory, and they are doing it at places I would consider to present MUCH more challenging circumstances for sustained success. Now let's shift our attention Mora and Strong and see what they've done by comparison: Mora coaches at UCLA. UCLA. That job pays less than the Kansas job and about the same as the UVA and Purdue jobs. He got there in 2012 after six consecutive years of ineptitude under Karl Dorrell and Rick Neuheisel. I mean, they were awful, and they were awful during a time when some trendy teams were rising in the Pac 12 - i.e., Stanford and Oregon. Along with SC's historic dominance in LA over UCLA, Mora really came into a bad situation. And their fan base is really much weaker historically than people know. In Neuheisel's last year they averaged 54,000 fans per home game, and they are one of like 5 D1 schools that don't even have a stadium on (or anywhere near) campus. They play miles away at the Rose Bowl, and the place was barely half full when Mora arrived. Half-full. Even in my Mackovic days we were at 80%+ on the bad days. In Year 1 Mora went 9-4, won the South Division of the Pac 12 and lost his bowl game. In Year 2 he went 10-3 and just dominated Virginia Tech in their bowl with a very entertaining style of play on both sides of the ball. UCLA is likely to end up ranked in the top 12 in the country this year. He's 52 (the perfect age for this gig), has a national profile, and is intense as hell. Watch his interviews on YouTube. Watch him yell at the Oregon fans that were booing an injured UCLA player. Watch how the players respond to him. Watch the way his team plays. He has a legit NFL background and clearly knows x's and o's (a consensus trait we are all looking for in our new coach). Look at the star wattage on that UCLA team - look no further than Myles Jack - a 3 star player out of UW's backyard in Washington. That guy is a beast - on freaking offense AND defense (imagine Mack doing something like that!). I'm tired of watching 4 and 5 star guys underperform. I'm frankly even tired of reading about how guys are 4 or 5 star players in high school, sometimes in large part BECAUSE they commit to Texas. The circularity can be maddening. Steve Edmond was the #1 ranked player in Texas in 2011. Steve Edmond. Fine young man. Got better this year as the season went on. But I guarantee you there are 25+ linebackers from the state of Texas in 2011 who are substantially better right now than Steve Edmond in college football, and I'm not even going to bother looking for them, and I don't care what their star rating was in high school. And I want those guys on OUR team. And I want a coach that understands football, and does not obsess over Internet star ratings. I'm not any more certain that Mora is that guy than the next UT fan, but how is Mora Jr SO much worse than Malzahn or Fisher? The guy's clearly a great coach, and has in two years turned a very, very bad situation at UCLA into a top 12 program nationally. And what about Strong? Another clearly fantastic candidate for this job. Strong did not follow Petrino at Louisville. He followed Steve Kragthorpe at Louisville, who was just bad. They were 6-6, 5-7 and 4-8 in Kragthorpe's 3 seasons at Louisville. Then comes Charlie Strong to Louisville, who as far as I know won two national championships at Florida as a DC, which is one better than Jimbo Fisher did at LSU. Fisher seems to get a lot of credit for that title (for good reason), but where's the love for Charlie Strong from UT fans for his role in the NCs at Florida? Talk to Florida fans. They certainly have love for Charlie Strong's role in those NCs. And they almost universally want him back right now as their head coach. Read anything Urban Meyer has ever said about Charlie Strong and his role in those NCs. And then look at what he's done at Louisville. In four years he's taken that 4-8 team and has gone 7-6, 7-6, 11-2, and 12-1. He's won 23 games in two years. 23 games. Last year he slaughtered a very strong and highly favored Florida team in the Sugar Bowl. And this year they dominated Miami in their bowl game. AND this year Louisville gave up 80.7 yards per game rushing (1st in the nation), 170.8 yards passing (6th in the nation), and had the number one ranked total defense in the country - something reasonable Texas fans have coveted for years. That's x's and o's in droves. And let's dismiss the conference superiority talk. The Big 12 is down, and UT would not have held any teams to those numbers this year, no matter who we played, and we all know it. All the while, Louisville also had the 17th best passing offense in the country behind a QB Strong recruited that is the consensus #1 pick in the NFL draft. And for those obsessed with star rankings, Bridgewater was a 2011 grad out of Miami Northwestern who was considered the 113th best player in the country that year (6th best QB). We took David Ash that year, who was a 3 or 4 star ranked player that same year (depending on the service you read) and ranked by some as the best QB in Texas that year. David Ash is a fine player, and in high school he was in the same vicinity as Bridgewater so the recruiting websites say. Now? They aren't in the same stratosphere, and never will be. And that's because we either got it wrong up front with our evaluation or Ash has not been developed as well as Bridgewater, most likely both - and that's not to bash Ash, he's a great kid and has played his best for us. But that double-edged sword of a problem seems to have happened across the board for the last 4 years and we all know it. Some folks are saying Strong is a "weak" recruiter - well he's got 5 guys on this year's team that are supposed top 200 NFL Draft talents. With our bevy of 4 and 5 star recruits, on that same list from CBSSports.com, we have two (Jeffcoat at 72 and Mike Davis at 102 (which, btw, is ludicrous)). College football recruiting is as meaningful as college academic rankings - both are superficial and focus on "inputs" rather than "outputs". In both sports and academics, we should be less focused on what we have coming in and instead focus our attention on what we've got going out. Because that tells us all we need to know about how good of a job our coaches (and professors) are doing. But it's harder to quantify, so we don't really do it. But that's what matters. And in football, it shouldn't be limited to the NFL Draft, I concede that, but it should be focused on which players have "beat" expectations and gotten better than we thought they were going to be when they got here, no matter their star rating. And how many of our guys are actually better than you thought they would be when they got here in the past 4 years, regardless of whether they are going to the NFL? I'm going with just a handful at most. So... to my long-winded point: Malzahn and Fisher are fine candidates for the Texas job (if they are in fact candidates, I have no idea). But so are Jim Mora Jr. and Charlie Strong. And I'm glad we have an AD in Steve Patterson who is able to identify the obviously best college football coaching candidates while simultaneously understanding that there are more than 2 or 3 human beings that know how to coach football, and that no they do not have to have won a Super Bowl or National Championship to be a candidate. If that is your criteria, then our easiest path forward would have been to keep the coach we already had, which would have obviously been the wrong move at this time (despite how much respect and admiration I have for what Mack did for our great University). More to the point, Malzahn is great, but he is simply not leaps and bounds better than Strong or Mora. If he is, is it because he turned his team around in 1 year? It's the time frame? Even though he had the assistance of historic luck twice with the Georgia and Alabama games, along with a 7 point home win over Washington State, a 4 point win over Mississippi State, and a 14 point loss to LSU? Come on, that season could have EASILY involved 3-4 losses, and the margin between where he is now and that 3-4 loss season was razor thin to a historic degree. Again, I'm not trying to diminish Malzahn's success this year, and we of all people know that luck is important to any championship in college football - see 2005 Kansas game -- but let's be honest here: the gap between Malzahn's success at Auburn and the success Mora and Strong have had is simply not that big to justify how many Texas fans are just plain petrified of Mora and Strong. I'd say the gap with Fisher is a bit wider than Malzahn's to be fair to Fisher, but I still don't see it as material vis a vis Mora and Strong (and probably a few others) to justify just how divisive much of the reaction has been - again not picking on anyone here at HornSports, just my general sense of the fan reaction to these names. The bottom line is all four of these guys can coach, all four have demonstrated that in different and impressive ways, and all four of them will have a great chance of success at UT. And I'm glad Patterson is considering all of them...

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