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  1. I wanted to give a big shoutout and a huge THANK YOU to Green Thumb Landscaping and their crew for the incredible job they did on my yard and my sister's place. My yard was basically a trim-back and planting of plants & shrubs in the back (the trim job was enough in itself) while my sister's place needed landscaping, post-pool build. First, they made the trip down from the DFW area to do the work and second, these guys work like no other landscaping company I have ever used or seen. I'll throw in that Darrell McPhaul was overseeing the job for Green Thumb, while Mark's foreman Cesar is probably the most skilled landscaper most of us have ever seen or will see. It was hot outside and these guys work really, really hard. My sister's place took two days and the Green Thumb crew created chopped stone flower bed borders in her front yard and dug an entire huge bed in the backyard and planted trees and shrubs. It took the guys a day to trim everything back at my place and add to a dreary set of existing plant in my backyard flower beds. One giant palm tree took them several hours and a chainsaw to get all the dead fronds removed. It was THAT BAD! If anyone here on Horn Sports (or folks that you know) are entertaining landscaping additions, I highly recommend Green Thumb and Sirhornsalot. He flew down to my place and took pictures, then send me a digital plan of everything so I knew exactly what I was getting and how much it would cost. The crew was professional, energetic and made sure that we were satisfied with the job before they left. Pics of the job are below. Thanks again Mark , Darrell and crew at Green Thumb! Sister's Place: My Place:
  2. ($) http://hornsports.com/articles/premium/crossfire-with-mcphaul-04022014-r4069
  3. Horn Sports members, welcome to the March 26th Crossfire with McPhaul update. We've got a ton to talk about in this release including the work going on at Spring Camp, recruiting updates in two major sports, and how recruiting and academics at UT under Coach Strong have taken flight. As always we'll catch up with FOB later on after all our member-questions are answered. Let's get going.... SPRING PRACTICE UPDATE We are not used to hearing the word physical when it comes to describing our practices in the past but, that is the first word out of everyone’s mouth that has witnessed the few practices we have had. Gone are the terms of finesse, thud technique, wrapping up and the alligator roll. This team is hitting with mean intentions. If there is one area of improvement we all will notice next year it should be our tackling. The defensive line has received the most accolades so far with the offensive line slightly trailing. This is to be somewhat expected because the defense is usually a head of the offense early in the spring. It is way too early to say the offense is struggling because they are once again, learning a new scheme. The bright spots on the offense have been at running back with Malcolm Brown and the several wide receivers that appear to be taking their game to the next level. The team is really feeding off of the new staff and how involved they are with every drill. The team has now accepted the fact that if they have come up short on technique or effort, they will be repeating the drill with a coach in their face and on their tail. Every report we have heard talks about how the players are really buying in to the new coaching staffs’ philosophy. It is very telling when all the players being interviewed are stating “this is what we needed”. The days of coddling are over. If you are injured, you spend practice in S&C Coach Pat Moore’s pit and that can be harder than a physical practice. SPRING PRACTICE INJURY UPDATE Offensive Tackle Kent Perkins went down with what appeared to be a serious knee injury and had to be carted off the field. The preliminary report is the injury is not as serious as most thought it was going to be. This is great news because OT is one position in which we lack depth. NEW COMMITMENT Houston Westfield Left Tackle Toby Weathersby committed Texas last weekend. Weathersby is 6’5 & 290 pounds and is rated as the second best offensive lineman in the state. This one caught the coaches by surprise because Weathersby was strongly considering OU, A&M and several other top programs. This was the second head-to-head recruitment that Coach Strong has won against Coach Sumlin so, slowly but surely, Texas is staring to gain some momentum. Keep in mind that Coach Wickline was not accustomed to receiving commitments with this level of potential/talent at his previous school (OSU). Weathersby gave his commitment to Wickline after practice last Saturday and Coach Wickline was so surprised, he made Weathersby repeat himself twice. When Coach Wickline and Weathersby informed Coach Strong of the commitment, Coach Strong showed his exuberance by jumping on Weathersby’s back. That’s Texas Strong. RECRUITING & ACADEMICS Usually these two terms are not mentioned hand-in-hand, but you better get used to it now. We have heard that one of Charlie Strong’s rules are that his players must attend every class, sit in one of the first two rows and introduce themselves to their professors. In speaking with someone that works on the academic side of the house for Bellmont we have been told that Coach Strong meets with the Academic Advisors on a weekly basis and in those meetings they cover every one of his players’ academic statuses. The Advisor went on to say how much they have enjoyed working with Coach Strong and in some ways believed they received a bad rap in the past when a kid flunked. The Advisor also said that the academic side of the house is not doing anything different than they have in the past as far as reporting the status. The only thing that has changed is the new staff is actually aware of an issue before it becomes a real problem due to the weekly meetings. There was more shared on this topic, but sometimes the past is better left in the past. Now, what does this have to do with recruiting? We are already hearing from parents of some of the state’s top recruits that feel like when speaking to other schools about academics, they receive nothing but “lip service” compared to what Texas is showing. TEXAS RELAYS Are scheduled for March 26th – 29th at Myers Stadium on the Texas campus. Come out and see the top High School & Collegiate track stars as they compete in the 87th Texas Relays. BASKETBALL RECRUITING As reported a handful of months ago by HornSports’ own “Shaunsters,” Texas is the favorite to land the No.2 rated player in the nation in 6’11 power forward Myles Turner. Joining Turner will be 6’6 small forward or shooting guard Jordan Barnett form Missouri. Barnett led his team to the Missouri 5A State Championship by pouring in 43 points from all over the court. Rumors are that UH 6’7 shooting guard Daniel House would be interested in transferring to Texas if UH head basketball coach James Dickey does not return. Dickey resigned last night, so this is one to keep an eye on. Rumor has it that former OU &n Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson is the front runner to replace Dickey. Sampson is currently the bench coach for the Houston Rockets. Q & A WITH HORNSPORTS MEMBERS Q) Who is the next recruit to commit? A) What I and everyone else are learning is; it’s a crap shoot guessing which recruit is going to pull the trigger next. I will go out on a limb and say Rockwall Heath Running Back Chris Warren is a Texas lock. Q) Any updated status on Jonathan Gray's recovery... Opinion on whether he will seek a med. redshirt, or try to play this year. A) From what I have heard they are leaning towards a red-shirt although Gray is holding out hope that he will be ready to play at some point next year. Q) How are verbal commits going to be handled under Strong? Seems we have 60 - 70 offers out. Does the recruit have to visit in person...bring parents? Whoever verbals first gets the spot? A) I myself have raised this question and this is what I have been told. We have all heard of the term soft commit. Well, we can now get used to hearing the term soft offer. Not all the recruits’ situations will be handled in the same manner. Some the recruits have been asked to participate in camps so the staff can get an up-close evaluation. Other recruits have been told that the staff will attend their games to evaluate them in action against competition. And last but, not least, others have been told that we will follow their academic standing & off-field issues. Q) What’s the word on Malik Jefferson and Daylon Mack? A) As you know, Jefferson and his parents made the trek to Austin to take in Texas’ first spring practice with pads. Malik came away very impressed with the way the practice was conducted. Being a linebacker and seeing how physical the Texas defense is going to be has to be very enticing for any defender. In addition to watching the practice, both Malik and his parents came away very impressed with Charlie Strong and his staff. It is safe to say Texas is back in the picture and in a big way. This one is going to be an epic battle between Strong & Sumlin. Q) I'm wondering about Daylon Mack as well. A) Until Texas get’s Mack on campus, there is nothing to report. For what it’s worth, I do believe will get Mack on campus and when we do, we will back in the thick of things with Mack. Q) Which linebackers are looking the best so far? A) It is still early but, I’m hearing that Steve Edmonds and Dalton Santos have both had their moments. Q) Also, was Harrison actually shot over spring break and that's the reason for his leg injury? Any more details on that? A) The word on the street is Desmond was grazed by a bullet at a spring break party in Cali. Q) To piggyback off of ChapalaHorn's question, is Dalton Santos an answer at the linebacker position and, how has he responded to Coach Strong's way? Same question regarding Jordan Hicks. A) Santos & Edmonds are going to be our answer at linebacker so, let’s hope they take to the new system well. I have been told that both Santos & Edmonds have embraced Strong’s way but, you never know until we go against another team. The news on Jordan is he seems to have recovered well from his injury but, has some rust to knock off. Q) Can Jaxon Shipley be an effective possession receiver? A) Absolutely. Shipley is the best receiver we have regardless of where he lines up. Q) How does Erik Huhn look as a Longhorn? Kid was a good player in high school. A) Huhn looks very impressive on the hoof but, I have not heard or seen enough of him to comment on where he is going to be on the depth chart. He injured his ACL in his high school senior season and redshirted last at Texas year due to a shoulder injury. Q) If you had to pick a leader on both sides of the ball, who are the players that other players follow? A) Cedric Reed on defense and Malcolm Brown on offense. Q) Has Mack Brown decided to give his endorsement of Charlie Strong to HS coaches across the state? A) Talk about a statement that took on a life of its own. This was not meant to be a shot at Brown. You very seldom hear an endorsement from a coach that was reassigned. I don’t think we will hear one until Mack is on TV and is asked about Charlie Strong. Q) Saw that nugget last week…..or are he and Sally still going through UT withdrawal? A) This is going to take some time. Q) BTW- I'm excited about CS and staff, and all about moving forward but couldn't resist to ask. "Physicality" seems to be the buzzword various blogs are running with this spring’s practices. I want to feel good but I've been disappointed by similar claims the last three spring practices under Mack. I haven’t been motivated to go to a Spring Game since 2009, so how can I believe again and feel the desire to go back to a Spring Game? A) You owe it to yourself to let the past go. There is a new Sheriff in town and even if our record does not indicate improvement, you will indubitably recognize that this is a different team. Concerning the spring game, MBHORNSFAN is in charge of the tailgate party and I have heard that he hosts one helluva tailgate on campus. My understanding is we are going to have some special guests in attendance. Come out and meet all of us in person! 1. just how BIG is this proposed state "tour" that "coach strong" is preparing to be participating in? obviously, this is indeed a great idea by all accounts... since it shall allow for new and prospective "fans" as per strategic areas throughout the state of texas, to "come and get to view up close and meet our new head coach" per se. what is your most honest view regarding this "tour" darrell? could this prospective "tour" be also designed to build a bit of "swagger" surrounding our new head coach in lieu of "sumlin" as well as "bob stoops" already highly recognized images? A) I remember attending Mack Brown’s tour sixteen years ago. The tours are designed to be an up-close introduction to the new staff and rouse some excitement amongst the fans and alumni. I’ll be hitting several of Coach’s stops on this circuit too. 2. Darrell, would it be possible to acquire the "view" as per our "friend of bevo" upon what he really thinks of this forthcoming "tour" featuring our new head coach "strong"? i would really enjoy viewing his "pros vs cons" regarding this prospective "tour". A) There are no cons, only pro’s. Every new head coach at a flagship university plans a tour like this. Q) What were the reactions from the prospects on hand for the full pads practice this past weekend? A) Every prospect ranted & raved about how physical the practices were. They also mentioned how impressed they were with the coaches’ participation. Q) Which team from the ACC inquired about joining the Big 12? A) Louisville. Louisville came up one vote short (OU) when we spoke to them last time. OU wanted WVU Q) What's the real story with Ronald Jones and UT's recruitment of him? A) It’s early and other schools have shown Jones more attention than we have. Q) Is Rick Barnes in a "must win big or you're gone" situation next year? A) I seriously doubt that Patterson has had that talk with Barnes at this time. Q) If so, does Patterson already have names on tap for a new basketball coach? A) Every AD has a list and you can bet Patterson has a good one. Q) From Shaggy: Ronald Jones put out his top 6 and we aren't in it. Supposedly we sent him a letter addressed to "Roland Jones" and he wasn't too happy about it. A) I have not heard that. With as many as letters as we send out, mistakes are bound to happen. Q) I heard we are moving up on Ronald Jones’ list maybe even to number one. What changed? Is there truth to this? He reminds me of Jamal Charles a lot. A) We moved up because we finally offered. He reminds some of J. Charles but, I’m not going to be so quick to give him this tag. I don’t think most realize how strong Charles was/is. Q) If the cheating is exposed on A&M, would the NCCA do anything or be forced to do anything if there is evidence they can't be pushed aside. A) The NCAA let the Manziel autograph evidence be pushed aside. Until I see it, I have little or no faith when it comes to the NCAA enforcing rules unless it comes against a school like Texas A&M Kingsville. INSIDERS? I think this is important to mention. The term “insider” is way over used & tremendously overrated. For those of you that have followed & corresponded with me throughout the years have always heard me say that I am not an “insider”. To me, an “insider” is someone that either works for The University in some capacity or participates in a sport for the university. For various reasons these sources cannot be revealed and it is silly to even ask who the source is. The Friend of Bevo information can come from a former coach, trainer, manager, BMD or someone that has a close relationship with someone in the program. We at Hornsports serve as a “conduit” to our members with the information we receive. With today’s thirst of information pertaining to your favorite team, HornSports is fortunate to have these sources that take the time out of their schedules to share what we feel is relevant information with us. RUMORS CONCERNING HORNSPORTS' GROWTH There are several rumors circulating about the future of Hornsports and what direction we are taking? We are always looking for ways to serve a better product to our membership. HornSports is like your neighborhood – you can always borrow an egg or a cup of sugar (or beer) from us. Recently we added Coleman Feely a former Div. 1 offensive lineman from UNT that was a part of Todd Dodge’s first recruiting class. Coleman also does color commentary for The Mean Green Network. Coleman hosts the HornSports “Roundtable Podcast with Feeley and McPhaul” every Tuesday night in addition to contributing articles on the site. If you have not had the pleasure of listening to the Roundtable, do yourself a favor and catch the next one. Coleman offers a player’s perspective to the podcast that is unique and unmatched. Marian Hinton has recently joined Hornsports as a staff writer. Many of us recognize Marian by her moniker name of hooked’76. Marion has written for Rant Sports for several years and has been a long time favorite on the message boards. Mike Roach is another talented staff writer that is relatively new and has posted some fantastic articles and recruiting updates. Hornsports is lucky to have the Roach on-board. UPDATE: Hornsports has recently placed an ad with the UT Journalism School for an intern to cover on-campus recruiting and a host of other duties. These new additions along with Johhny Whisenant, Chris Flanagan and Mike Barnes’ Orange Report podcast are just a few ways Hornsports intends to serve a better product to our membership. Hold on to your hat because to best is yet to come. A CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO McPhaul: Boy, you want to talk about leaving me hanging on the last phone call. What have you heard about expansion? FOB: I have been told that countrywide realignment is in a holding pattern as long as the Maryland situation has not been resolved. If it goes Maryland’s way, the gates will swing open and, more importantly, that includes the Big 12 - for additions and subtractions. I would really love to know what the subtractions meant? There are two players out there that covet the Big 12 ($), or so my guy has been told. One, of course, is in the ACC and it is the biggest of the players there. Clemson was not the school. I was also told to keep an eye on Louisville - who was an OU vote away from being in the Big 12 instead of WVU. That would be ironic, wouldn't it? McPhaul: Okay, keep your ear to the ground and keep us all informed. FOB: Will do. McPhaul: The other bombshell you dropped on us was pertaining to Texas A&M and recruiting allegations. Can you elaborate more on this? FOB: As far as the recruiting infractions committee is concerned, some information regarding "insurance policies" has come to light. No, I was not told what that meant other than (recruits name) & family may be involved. This is really sensitive and explosive info and may need a lid kept on it. We'll have to be patient and see what develops from this. McPhaul: Ah, I want to ask you more about this but, I will refrain for now. FOB: Be patient. McPhaul: What were your thoughts on our basketball team’s performance in Milwaukee? FOB: I was happy we did not let the ASU game slip away from us. Getting out of the first round was a very nice step in the right direction. This will give the team something to build off of. McPhaul: The game against Michigan was not pretty. FOB: No it wasn’t but, what can you do when a team hits fourteen three pointers off of you? Michigan knew we were weak in defending the outside shot and they exploited it every chance they got. McPhaul: I was happy to see Texas make somewhat of a run of it in the second half. FOB: Just like the first game against ASU, once Barnes sat Felix, the team went on a run. If you care to go back and watch the game again you will see Michigan made a concentrated effort isolating anyone Felix was guarding. McPhaul: No, I saw enough not to want to watch it again. FOB: When Felix is on, he can be a spark but he is too streaky on offense and is a liability on defense. If this team is to go any further next year, they have to have someone step up and take minutes away from Felix. McPhaul: With everyone returning next year and the addition of Myles Turner, this team should go further than the second round. FOB: So should have Duke, so I’m not counting chickens before they hatch. I know Turner is receiving all the hype and rightfully so, but don’t overlook Jordan Barnett. That kid hit 43 points in the Mizzou 5A State Championship game and I can see him receiving at least 10 minutes a game his freshman year. McPhaul: Will Barnes be under heavier pressure to win more next year? FOB: From a fans perspective he will but I’m not sure Patterson will make that move if we falter. I am also not implying Patterson would not. or the first time, I can see Texas being the B12 pre-season favorite. McPhaul: I can only hope this team responds to being a favorite like we did the underdog this year. FOB: We shall see. McPhaul: I know you mentioned to me that you had not heard anything about being excluded from practice, but I’m reading on other sites that all the BMD’s have been told to stay away. FOB: Look, Charlie has requested a little room to work with this year. Charlie did not come off as abrasive or anything like that. You have to keep in mind that some guys thought it was their right to be down there on the field talking to Mack the whole practice while others would sit in the stands and would mingle amongst ourselves. Charlie just wants to assure that the old culture does not pick up where it left off. McPhaul: That’s understandable. FOB: I remember Coach Muschamp shaking his head and muttering out loud that this is not suppose to be some “GD social event,” it’s suppose to be work time. McPhaul: Any news on attrition? FOB: Unfortunately there are a couple of potential starters that are still straddling the fence. There are also a couple of guys that are going to have to finish up strong academically and attend summer school if they want to be eligible next fall. McPhaul: Can’t name any names? FOB: I can but, I won’t. I will say that these are positions of need. The ball’s in the kids court. FOB: I got a question for you. McPhaul: What’s that? FOB: You told me that there was going to be some big announcement on your site this week, did I miss it. McPhaul: (Nervous chuckle) No sir, it has been delayed but, only for a couple of days. FOB: Ok, I will keep looking. I gotta run. McPhaul: I appreciate ya and thanks.
  4. Spring camp started this week under the Charlie Strong regime, the Longhorns begin play tomorrow evening in the first round of the NCAA tournament against Arizona State and Crossfire is here..... ATTRITION UPDATES ON THE 40 ACRES WR Bryant Jackson will receive a medical hardship due to nagging foot injury and retire from football. LB Aaron Benson will graduate in May and has elected to forgo his senior year. OL Garret Greenlea was never able to get healthy after suffering a knee injury has also decided to retire from football. CROSSFIRE Q&A Q) What is the latest at Bellmont? A) Maybe I’m not as smart as you think I am but, that is kind of a vague question. Q) Is Patterson feared? A) Feared would be the wrong term to use. Steve Patterson is well respected and the staff is adapting to his style. I believe we are lucky to have him. Q) What is the back story on player’s attitudes about living on campus? A) At first they were not happy about it but, they are now starting to recognize the benefits of bonding and being a close team. Q) What coach do you think will have the biggest impact on their position group and in what ways? A) I would usually have some sort of opinion on a topic like this but; I’m really not sure until we get a few practices under our belt. I’m interested in seeing what Coach Rump does with the talent at his disposal. Q) Was Scott's dismissal from the team one of many missteps? A) Not that I’m aware of. Scott was blowing it up in the off season strength & conditioning program. Q) Does Charlie Strong have a zero tolerance policy? A) No. Coach Strong has been very clear about the rules and those that have broken them have been dealt with accordingly. Q) Speaking of that, do you believe that Coach Strong has a dossier of all players who have been disciplined for breaking rules in the past? If so, have they been put on notice? A) Of course he does. Coach Strong & staff have made it a point to get to know each player individually. Yes, Coach Strong has been very clear with each team member on where they stand in the program. Some of those players have responded in a very positive manner. Q) How are the players responding to the recent dismissals? A) The Moss dismissal did not surprise anyone. Moss was the team “party” guy. If the team did not understand that Strong was serious, they do now. Q) Odds of UT landing Wittek? A) The fact that Wittek is going to visit Texas again tells us we are very much in the running. I would say 50/50 right now. Q) From the Horns Digest article, all four HS coaches liked Coach Strong, but ranked in-state recruiting as ATM, Baylor, and UT (smh at Baylor). What is more important to "leapfrog" Baylor...relationships, or winning? A) Can you believe we are even having this conversation? The horse is winning and the cart is the relationships. Q) Was Chambers retained because he was a former HS coach? A) First and foremost Coach Chambers was retained because he and Coach Strong had the right chemistry. Second of all Coach Chambers has been instrumental in introducing the new Texas staff to the Texas High School coaches. Q) Odds of Wittek beating out a healthy Ash? A) I watched two USC games last year when Wittek started and in my opinion a healthy Ash is a better QB. With that said, Ash’s ability to improvise with his legs separated the two. Q) What does a full athletic scholarship cover? A) One year of education, books, lodging, meals. Do not underestimate the personalized tutoring the kids receive from the support staff when they seek it. That leaves cloths and entertainment for the kid to cover. Q) What is your take on pay-for-play? A) We are now delaying the inevitable. The university Presidents are not going to be able to table this topic much longer. It's coming. Q) Is there a Hornsports app or should I be using tapatalk? A) For the time being Tapatalk is the best way to catch HornSports on mobile devices. We have a new platform being released soon which will give the site a fresh look with new features. Q) During a conversation with a friend (he is not a longhorn) he said that 50% off our fans were just t-shirt fans. What's your take on his assumption? A) You should take that as a compliment. What he is really telling you is that Texas is a very popular team to follow whether you attended Texas or not. Texas is a national brand and attracts fans from all over the world. As you have heard, Patterson wants to exploit the international markets when the opportunity arises. You should also tell your friend that the 50/50 assumption is in line with any other flagship state university fan base if they are worth a damn. Q) Daje's role on this team, position, impact? A) The staff is doing everything they can to enable Daje to have a huge impact. Daje has to stay consistent and fly right. Q) Steam is picking up with attention on the UTvs$Atm$ rivalry. Has Patterson been approached about a reunion and/or what are the chances of this actually being renewed? A) As long as the two schools move into two directions on how they conduct their recruiting, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Q) Next commit? A couple more to watch? A) I’m going to gamble on Wittek for the next commitment. 2016 running back Kameron Martin has stated that he would jump all over a Texas offer. Rockwell Heath LB/S DeShawn Elliot is rumored to be selecting his destination soon (edit: Elliott committed to UT last night). Q) Greetings darrell, 1. are there any current "rumblings" regarding the proposed "two story practice facility"? as you may attest, just a month or so ago... this was a particular hot item as per discussions upon many "longhorn nation" websites. could there be a current status? or is this prospective edifice, now being considered upon alignment as per the expansion of "dkr"? A) I have not heard one word about a new practice facility expect for Strong stating we are good to go with what we have now. Q) you may or may not have a direct answer as per this particular query... therefore, a "guesstimate" shall indeed suffice. do you really believe that "atm" shall have there new football palace open for business at the start of the 2014 gridiron season as they are ambiguously vs ambitiously proposing? even the "walking dead corpses" may see that there is indeed a monumental task of on hand construction work currently underway, upon their "college station" work zone. just how on earth could they possibly finish in time as per this season? A) I have no earthly idea. I have not followed the project close enough to comment on it. Q) We of course want Myles Turner, but what is the word on Barnett? He sounds like a solid prospect and has a 4* rating. Thought I heard his dad was an NBA guy? A) Barnett is one hell of an Athlete with a decent outside shot. Barnett’s most impressive attribute is his court IQ and his unselfishness. Minutes are going to be tight next year but, look for Barnett to average around 10 minutes a game his first year. I need to do some homework because I did not know his dad played in the NBA. Q) With the spring season starting, when do you think we hear of more attrition and how many do you now guess the number is? A) I have stated in the past that the over under was around 8 and at this time, I will stick to it. Q) Do we need attrition to avoid too many scholarship players for next season? That's what I thought was stated previously but not sure. A) My understanding is we need to trim down approximately four more to get to 85. I look for some medical hardships to be taken by at least two players after spring ball. Q) How are the Texas coaches receiving the new staff and coach Strong? It sounds like the out of state kids like Strong but the in state kids have not warmed up to him yet. I wondered if it is because their high school coaches are not quite sold on Strong yet? A) The High School coaches & recruit that are not familiar with Coach Strong are taking a wait and see approach. Some of these High School coaches are close to Mack and Mack has not yet given Coach Strong an endorsement. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO Me: Hey my man, how is it going? FOB: Just got back from the Disch and I’m pretty disgusted. We have not won a B12 series since 2012. I really can’t wrap my head around that. Me: Well, it just the first series this year. Shouldn’t we tap the brakes on our discontent? I mean we did improve our out of conference play this year. FOB: Dammit Darrell, don’t try and polish the turd we laid this past weekend. Are you listening to me? We have not won a B12 series since 2012. What part that is ever acceptable at Texas? Me: Many Horn Sports members keep asking if this is Augie’s swan song? FOB: I can’t imagine changes won’t be forthcoming if we don’t get back to Omaha. Augie is prideful and understands the expectations surrounding the program. I foresee Augie stepping away if we don’t take our rightful spot in Omaha. With the pitching staff this team has, it would a travesty to stay home for the third year in a row. Me: Switching gears on you; what did you think about our draw in the tournament? FOB: We sure picked a fine time to tank. I mean we lost every road game on the back of our schedule. Our saving grace is ASU has also sputtered its way into the tournament. I think we beat them but, keep in mind, ASU starts three seniors so and that may help them some. Me: Did you check out the rest of the midwest draw? FOB: I did and it sure looked like the toughest region. Texas was not done any favors. It makes me sick to my stomach to see Baylor get a 6th seed when we beat them 2 out of 3 with one of those wins coming on their court. Me: Are you ready for spring ball? FOB: Football cannot get here soon enough. Me: Are you going to be allowed take in some practices and give our members some insight on the team? FOB: I certainly plan on it. I, nor anyone else I know has not been informed we cannot attend practice. Me: I know you said you had to cut it short today but, our members have been asking me for some juicy news. You got anything? FOB: The B12 has received an interesting inquiry from an ACC school and the word is; Patterson is going to do everything in his power to improve the B12 standing in college football. Me: What else you got? FOB: Saddle up because Texas is not going to sit idle while A&M continues to cheat. A large case of illegal recruiting is building against A&M. I will let you know when it gets closer to hitting the fan and it will. TEXAS means business. Me: Ok, I know you are in a hurry but, I expect more info on both those topics next week. FOB: We will see. Goodbye
  5. STEVE PATTERSON'S EMAIL ON THE DKR SOUTH ENDZONE EXPANSION Many of you have been asking about the expansion of the south endzone. Below is a statement relased by Texas AD Steve Patterson: As we continue to plan for the future of UT Athletics and work to provide a superior gameday experience for all our fans and stakeholders, we have begun the initial stage of studying a potential stadium project to complete the south end of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. The project is conceptual at this point. Any further planning will depend on a variety of factors to be studied over the next several months. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been retained to assist UT Athletics in evaluating elements of the potential project, including the addition of new premium seating and additional club areas. As part of their research, PwC will be engaging with Longhorn Foundation members through a survey and interview process to collect input related to potential new seating options and naming rights opportunities for Texas Football. We genuinely appreciate the many ways in which you support UT Athletics. Thank you for your participation during this process. Hook 'em, Horns! Steve Patterson Men's Athletics Director COACHES ON THE MOVE Former defensive back coach Duane Akina has agreed in terms with Stanford and will be joining David Shaw's staff in Palo Alto. That leaves Running Backs Coach Larry Porter and Wide Receivers Coach Darrell Wyatt as the only two coaches that have not found a landing spot as of now. Expect them to be picked up somewhere sooner rather than later... CROSSFIRE Q & A Q) Do we get Turner? A) If I was a betting man, I would bet on Texas. Texas gets the last visit so, that bodes well for us. Q) Is this Augie's last year? A) It has been discussed but, I don’t think Augie has made a final decision. Q) What the devil is going on a Texas A&M with all the arrest? A) When boosters are running the program and not the head coach, there is little or not accountability. Q) How do you think the Texas BB Team is going to do in the Big 12 Tourney and the Nat playoffs (MARCH MADNESS) A) Don’t get me to lying. I can no longer predict which Texas team is going to show? Q) Why can't we get the real time broadcast of the games (Basketball/baseball/football) while in the stadiums, with no time delay? Seems like we have grown up with watching sports on TV and it seem that it would add to the fun and knowledge of what is going on in the game. A) Interesting question and one I don’t have an answer for. Let me see what I can find out and I will share in next week's Crossfire. Q) Still most curious about attrition. How many? And who are the probables? A) I placed the over under at 8 but, could me more when the spring football wraps up. Some kids have been notified that their services will not be needed for spring practices so; we should start hearing a few names once spring football starts. Some other kids that are on the bubble will be allowed to participate in spring ball and will announce their intentions to transfer after the orange & white game. It is better that I don’t speculate on the names. Q) Since we are into a somewhat quiet period, I think it would be interesting to do a Crossfire conversation with a couple of high school coaches to hear what they think of the program, their comments on who they thought would get the UT job and what they think of Coach Strong so far (anonymously, of course). A) Alright, let me see if I can get Coach Todd Dodge of Marble Falls and another former Texas player that is now coaching HS ball. Q) One thing I am wondering is what the coaches are doing on a daily basis now. A) Preparing for the spring practices. Q) What gets the attention of the position coaches and the head coach after signing day and before spring practice? A) Laying the ground work for the next recruiting class and preparing for the junior days. Q) Who is the favorite to win the Big 12 next year and why? Who is the dark horse? Who will win "Coach of the year"? A) At this time I’m going to say that OU, Baylor and Texas all have a shot at the Big12 title next year. A) My dark horse would be any team Bill Snyder coaches so, that would be KSU. A) Charlie Strong or Kliff Kingsbury. Q) What do you make of William Wilkerson's report on the tops athletes in the state and how they felt about Texas this year? A) It is no secret that Texas is playing catch up. Let Charlie get a season under his belt and I beat Texas will once again be the choice program in the state. Q) Thoughts on Heard going to spend some time this spring break with the QB guru George Whitfield ? A) It tells me that Heard is serious about honing his craft. It is refreshing to see a kid forgo the spring break parties his senior year to prepare himself for the next level. Q) Following "Hell Week", which players have shown the most improvement and which players stood out to the coaches/staff? A) Both QB’s Ash & Swoopes made some noise. It’s too bad Leroy Scott broke team rules because he was really impressing the coaching staff. All the running backs, Brown, Bergeron, Gray and Johnson have been stellar in the offseason. Texas is stacked at the running back position. Another area of team strength is going to be the defensive line. Brown & Reed have taken on a leadership and the young pups like S. Davis & B. Cottrell should give Texas some depth we have not had recently. Q) We have "Cameron Crazies" and "Erwin Lazies"! What are the thoughts for the new/perspective basketball arena as to a much greater home court advantage and moving the "blue hairs" (I am one.) up and the students’ courtside (1st 10 rows) around the arena? A) I’m hearing the arena will be more intimate as far as the seating goes so, that alone should benefit for home games. Moving the “blue hairs” is going to tricky. Keep in mind these “blue hairs” is where the majority of the season tickets are sold. Q) What are your predictions for our defense this fall? YPG, PPG, & ranking in the Big 12 & nationally? A) Good Gravy I was hoping to get to see them perform this spring before I was asked this question. I will go out on a limb and predict that Texas will have the top ranked defense in the B12 this year. Q) Who would be possible candidates to replace Augie if he was to not return next season? A) Those close to the program believe Texas pitching coach Skip Johnson is going to inherit the job once Augie decides to step down. Q) Wayne Graham, Rice, has wanted the UT job since he was the HC at San Jacinto JC. He was really miffed when the UT job was given to Augie because Graham campaigned hard for it. He is an excellent BB coach and has won where ever he has been - however, he must be getting close to 75 by now. His chances at UT are done. A) Coach Graham would have been an excellent selection. At 75, you got to believe that Coach Graham will retire at Rice. Q) Is Geoff Ketchum Mr. Taylor Duck? A) No comment. Mr. Taylor Duck has been banned on HornSports. Q) You have always had quite the following on Orangebloods, why don’t you post there anymore? A) I have been banned on Orangebloods. Q) Who are your favorite Longhorn writers/reporters? A) Chip Brown, Sean Adams, Scipio and Jesus Shuttlesworth are always a great read. Honorable mentions would go to Eric Nahlin, Jason Suchomel and Jeff Howe when it comes to recruiting news and updates. Q) Will the media be allowed to attend and report on spring football? A) Emails have been sent to the parents of the football team that practices will be closed so, I doubt they are going to let the media attend. Friends of Bevo will still be able to attend some practices so; Hornsports should receive some informative reports. Q) Will Charlie Strong have a weekly show on LHN like Mack did? Will LHN do similar programming now that Mack is gone? A) Yes he will. As a matter of fact, I can see Charlie Strong and Steve Patterson taking the LHN to the next level. Q) Why is it taking till the middle of the summer to get The Longhorn Network on Dish when all they need to do is flip a switch? A) I don’t think all the particulars on how they are going to package the LHN have been decided at Dish? Q) Who are the cant miss prospects in the 2015 class? A) Tagging anyone as a can’t miss is dangerous these days. You really know how the kids are going to respond once they get on campus. Presently Texas does not have a 2015 commit that I would feel comfortable labeling as a cant’ miss prospect. Q) Will the quarterback position battle be an open one or is there already a favorite? A) The whole team has bought into that every position is open for battle. David Ash is the odds on in favorite but, every second teamer is just one play away from being the starter. I believe our QB depth chart will look like this: Ash, Wittek, Swoopes & Heard. Granted that Wittek ends up at Texas. Q) How is Gray progressing from his achilles injury? A) Johnathan is ahead of schedule. Texas is loaded at RB so, there is absolutely no reason to rush him back. Selfishly I hope he redshirts so, we can have him on campus a few more years. Q) First, just a suggestion: It is not a good experience when we respond to your question request an get no-response. My thoughts if you could list the question with a simple response: we acknowledge your question but cannot answer at this time because..... We will or won't keep it on file. Of the 31 players who sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, 21 (64%) returned to play in the NFL at an average of 11 months after injury. In the three seasons following their return, those 21 players saw significant decreases in games played and power ratings compared to the three seasons preceding the injury. A) Dually noted and I’m sorry that happened. Q) Do we know of any quality RBs that have rehabed a torn Achilles and returned to dominance? I can't think of any off hand, only those with ACLs. Mirroring the above question regarding J Gray. A) Of the 31 NFL players who sustained an Achilles tendon rupture, 21 (64%) returned to play in the NFL at an average of 11 months after injury. In the three seasons following their return, those 21 players saw significant decreases in games played and power ratings compared to the three seasons preceding the injury. None of these players were running backs. Furthermore, in the reviewed 21 NFL skill players who returned to play, there were significant decreases in games played per season (11.67 games per year pre-injury versus 6.17 games per year post injury) when averaged over the three seasons before the injury and the three seasons after the injury.3 There were also decreases averaging nearly 50% in power ratings of the returning players for the three seasons after the injury compared to the three seasons before the injury. These data indicate that even in players able to return to their former level of play, the quality of play may suffer permanently. Q) 1. ok darryl, let's be frank here... am i the only one that seems to think that there is a small but yet very ominous cloud, suddenly hanging over the "erwin center"? i mean think about it... we all certainly would want to send coach barnes as many accolades as possible, as per this momentous season... but let's face it, this season is really no better than the last. (not really). therefore, how dare the "myles turner" camp present a subtle threat (please make certain that "barnes" is back next season or else) that shall in the very least... cause a bit of consternation amongst us fans. soooooo, my question is... is it an absolute guarantee that "myles turner" shall grace the "40 acres" upon next season? aaaaaaand, should he decide to grace the illustrious confines of lawrence kansas... what on earth shall we do as per the "big Vii" coach of the year "rick barnes"... head off into another season upon a wing and a prayer? will "patterson" really stand for such "in your face ambiguity" in regards to the current status as per his head basketball coach? an "ominous cloud" indeed! A) Monarch, my man. I spell my name the same way Darrell Royal spelled his. I don’t think Turner camp was threatening us. The Turners have every right in seeking the stability of the coaching staff at the schools they are considering. Keep in mind that basketball coaches actually coach in practice opposed to head football coaches that oversee practices. Barnes has more one on one interaction with his players in one week than Coach Brown had all year. No matter how you look at Barnes, you can’t release a coach that won the Coach of the Year award in his conference. Barnes was put on notice before the season started and in my opinion, responded accordingly. Q) Any knowledge on how the SEC cheats in the large cash deals? A) Read up on how Auburn pulled it off with Cam Newton or how LSU pulled it off with Claiborne. Q) What did Leroy Scott do? A) Broke team rule #420. Q) And what are his chances to stay on the team? A) I’m not sure but, the kid had an outstanding offseason. Q) What is Augie doing to improve the run production? Totally impressed with the fielding and pitching. A) I don’t think it is so much of what Augie is doing but, the kids are responding in close games a lot better than they did last year. Our pitching has been NAILS. Q) True or False: Perry's pain I'm the ass regent Wallace Hall's kid rejected by UT admissions? A) True and the kid had a very decent private school transcript. The kid will probably end up at Harvard. Q) What will our base defensive alignment b... 4-3, 5-0 or 3-4? A) From what I have been told, the staff is going to look at the 4-3 & 3-3 and see what best fits the personnel. I think we will see plenty of both. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO Me: How are you? FOB: Been busy but, all is well. Me: Any thoughts on “Hell Week”? FOB: Boy they pushed the hell out of those kids and credit the kids for responding the way they did. Me: So, no one threw the towel in? FOB: You had some kids that did not finish drills but, no one threw a tantrum and walked off. Me: I told our members that the over under on the attrition was around eight. Do you think that is correct? FOB: I would say that is in the ball park. Like I mentioned before, the staff has meet with those they don’t think they have a chance to see the field and some of those kids responded well in the workouts. Me: So are you saying that some of those kids are going to be allowed to stay on the team? FOB: There is that possibility that some of the kids might have reserved the right to retain their scholarship but, they may become frustrated with the lack of reps they receive in spring ball. Although this staff challenged the team in a manner they have never been challenged before, they are pleased with the effort they received. Me: Are they going to challenge them in spring practices too? FOB: Since we are installing a new offense & defense, the team is going be challenged in the classroom so, they can maximize the practice time on the field. In other words, the staff is going to be able to recognize those that are not retaining the playbook very quickly and their reps will be limited until they get it down. Me: Is the staff excited about the talent at their disposal? FOB: Darrell, they are. They really believe they will compete in every game they play and as I have said before, this staff is not conceding s%^t. Me: Is this going to be a very physical spring? FOB: It certainly is. The staff is well aware of the tackling issues this team has had and this one area the coaches believe is going to improve dramatically. Me: Switching topics on you. What do you think about Rick bringing home the B12 coach of the year award? FOB: As you know, before this season Rick had a big ole bulls- eye on his back but, Rick delivered this year. Rick deserved the award. I just hope Rick & can get this team out of the first or second round this year. The talent is there. Hopefully we will get some good match ups. Me: I’m hearing from some very good sources that Myles Turner is a lock for Texas? FOB: Texas is sitting in the catbirds seat right now. Let’s hope we don’t screw this one up like we did with Julius Randle. Me: What seed do you think we land? FOB: 5th thru 7th seed. I tell you what; we have the best chance to win the B12 tourney than we have in a very long time. Me: I feel the same way since Kansas’ big man is out for two weeks. FOB: That can’t hurt but, remember Ridley ate his lunch in Austin. Me: Everyone keeps asking me if this is Augie’s last year? FOB: I get that question all the time too. I’m being told that a decision has not been made one way or the other. If Augie does well this year, it will be his choice. The thing about Augie is he will be ready to step down if he can’t deliver some type of hardware this year. It’s not going to be like the Mack Brown saga where we have to force him into retirement. Me: Any news on Bev Kearney? FOB: She does not have a prayer. There will be no settlement. Me: That’s all I got now. I am going to see you at the spring game. FOB: Yes, I will stop by your tailgate and say hello but, I can’t stay long. Me: That’s ok, I will holler at you next week. Thanks again for the time. FOB: My pleasure Darrell.
  6. Listening to the Roundtable with McPhaul & Feeley last night, I found it interesting when they started talking about Strong's "Stack Defense" (3 man front) and realized that he has not had any time to recruit specifically for those kinds of positions. Poona Ford may be the only signee that fits that mold as a Middle Guard, so far. So, the defense is going to have a lot more opportunities for LBs/DEs that can run and cover ground and some very quick DTs/MGs that can handle the Center block and lots of double teams. It's going to be very interesting to see how Strong and his coaches make their decisions about filling these positions with current players and how they adjust their recruiting for next year. I think this will literally change the shape of the defense...smaller quick lineman and large quick LBs able to fill. Gonna be fun to watch.
  7. THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS PRO DAY & SPRING-GAME ACTIVITIES UT's Pro Day has been scheduled for March 26th. The Spring game is scheduled for April 19th at 1:00 Stay tuned for Tailgate Information related to the Spring game! MAX WITTEK UPDATE Former USC QB Max Wittek visited Hawaii last weekend and is said to have enjoyed the visit. Wittek is not close to a decision and he may still take visits to Louisville and TCU. We assume Virginia Tech is no longer an option since former Lake Travis and Texas Tech QB Michael Brewer announced he will transferring to VT. MARCH 1st JUNIOR DAY VISITORS Offensive QB Quinten Dormady, Boerne High (Boerne, TX) QB Jaylon Henderson, Kingwood Park (Humble, TX) QB/ATH, JW Ketchum, Fort Bend Marshall (Missouri City, TX) RB Kirk Johnson, Valley Christian (San Jose, CA) Has Texas offer RB DeUnte Chatman, Summer Creek (Humble, TX) RB Jatory Sparks-Brown, DeSoto (DeSoto, TX) WR/ATH Billy McCrary, Rouse (Leander, TX) WR Jaelan Austin, South Grand Prairie (Grand Prairie, TX) WR Jalen Guyton, Allen (Allen, TX) WR James Proche, Prime Prep (Dallas, TX) OL Conner Dyer, Horn (Mesquite, TX) OL Isaiah Edwards, Cinco Ranch (Katy, TX) OL Tyler Higby, The Kincaid School (Houston, TX) Defensive LB Diamon Cannon, Shoemaker (Killeen, TX) LB Riley Garner, A&M Consolidated (College Station, TX DE Breylin Mitchell, Round Rock High (Round Rock, TX) DE Tyrell Thompson, Copperas Cove, TX DT Derek Brown, Katy High (Katy, TX) DT Darrion Daniels, Bishop Dunne (Dallas, TX) DT Bryce English, DeSoto (DeSoto, TX) DT/DE Kingsley KeKe, George Ranch (Rosenberg, TX) S Kahlil Haughton, Midway (Waco, TX) 2016 Class QB Brennan Wooten, Marble Falls (Marble Falls, TX) WR Collin Johnson, Valley Christian (San Jose, CA) Texas Has Offered DT Kendell Jones, Shoemaker (Killeen, TX) Texas Has Offered CB Malik Antoine, University Lab (Baton Rouge, LA) CB Jared Mayden, Sachse (Sachse, TX) Texas Has Offered ****Junior Day Offers**** Kendell Jones - Defensive Tackle - Shoemaker HS in Killeen, Texas Jared Mayden – Defensive Back – Sachse, Texas Kirk Johnson - - Running Back - San Jose Valley Christian. Colin Johnson – Wide Receiver - San Jose Valley Christian. ************************** CROSSFIRE Q&A Q) Who do you see as our starting tight end this fall & how will they be used in our passing offense? A) Louisville ran a double tight end set and I believe we will see it at Texas too. Louisville’s 1st string tight end caught 36 passes last year and the 2nd teamer caught 18 passes, so the you can bet we are going to see more use from the tight end position. Other TE tidbits: Greg Daniles will be primarily a blocking tight end and has shown decent receiving skills Geoff Swaim will used in multiple sets as a blocker and receiver. Blake Whiteley will be used as a receiving tight end until he can add some seize. MJ McFarland is probably the most intimidating tight end but, has not shown the consistency in the blocking game to stay on the field. McFarland is a transfer candidate. Q) First, who thinks it is a priority to recover our relationship with MBTF (I never had any problem with Mrs. Brown)? A) I don’t anyone is thinking it’s a priority. It was just a question. Second, why would they not be ready? A) They were removed from office and they were not ready to leave. They both believe they were done wrong by Texas because they did not get to leave on their own terms. Sally has given all of her Texas clothing a way to a former staff member. There are hurt feelings that only time can heal. Q) Third, why the sudden concerns about how people feel toward MBTF? People have their opinions about how things went down. If you want to change those opinions then give us substantive evidence as to why anybody that is not supportive of how MBTF conducted himself should reconsider. I am not asking for a recap of his accomplishments at Texas. I know them already. A) I honestly have no concern on how people feel towards Mack Brown. You can’t change anyone’s opinion on Mack Brown. There are reasons why people like Mack Brown and there are reasons others dislike him. It is futile trying to convert either side. Both sides have their reasoning. Q) Why should I give MBTF a break and why do you care? A) I have never asked you to give Mack a break. I have moved on and have found it liberating to let the past go and concentrate on the new regime. Q) My same question from last week. Give us some info on the possibility of LHN being picked up by Directv or Dish (my only two options) by the time football season rolls around or is that even on Patterson's to-do list right now. A) It is a priority for Patterson, IMG and ESPN to get the LHN on one of your two options. At this time I don’t what the possibilities are. I guess we just found out how high of a priority it was. The LHN has now been inked by Dish Network. I would look for Directv to follow suit. ESPN packaging the LHN with the SEC Network no doubt assisted the LHN in getting this deal done. Q) Who do you anticipate leaving the football program? Word is we need to free up 8 slots to reach scholarship limit of 85. A) The staff has met with those that are better served playing football somewhere else. 8 would be a safe number to assume since some of kids are sitting on the fence. We are already down two with Scott & Moss being dismissed so, 6 more is well within reach. The problem is Texas has some very good talent sitting on the fence. The staff has been very supportive but some kids have not developed the discipline needed in order to play under the new regime. In the next few weeks, we all will have a more lucid picture of who is onboard going into spring ball. Q) I've heard from various mathematical sources that Pie R squared. In my experience, pies are usually round. Can you please clear this conflict up for me? Squared or Round? A) I would let the various mathematical sources that you have heard from clear this up for you & quit picking on me Q) With the SEC Network going live in August, does that help or hurt the LHN chances of being picked up by the various carriers? A) If the carrier is offering the LHN in the same package that carries the SEC Network, then it increases our chances to be picked up or included by various carriers. Q) Why all the love for ex-USC QB Max Wittek? If he couldn't win the job at USC, why does anyone think he has a chance here? A) The out of town girl is always looked upon as glamorous. I’m going to tell you right now, it is a position of need. If Ash goes down, we could be in a world of hurt. Q) Confirm that the chances that we change the design of our uniforms, even for one game is zip, nunca, nada. A) That is the one question I would have for Patterson. I used to believe that there is no way in the hell that Texas would consider changing the design. Now, with the trend of new designs shown by a majority of programs, I’m not so sure? Q) A lot has been written recently about the new desire to increase the quality of stadiums versus the quantity of seating. i.e. more luxury boxes, in-stadium experiences, removing nose bleed sections, etc. Any of those discussions being had at UT? Patterson spoke at a sports club I attend and mentioned the enclosing of the south endzone, but nobody talked about anything else. A) Patterson and the hired consultants are still in their assessment phase. There has been a lot of discussion on several projects but, not priority or schedule has been set. Q) How have the beer sales gone, so far? Any problems? Or, are we on the way to $1 million revenues? A) There have not been any problems. Did you notice the venues all the involved agencies are monitoring the alcohol use from? Womens Basketball, Baseball etc… Pretty calm crowds in general. The fact is, the venues they are generating their study off of, is in no way going to be the same atmosphere at a football game. However, we had to show we are doing our due diligence by acquiring data from TABC, APD and other agencies. Q) In your last Xfire you and FoB discussed that Aggies are paying for players. I commented that saying the Ags are paying needs to stop unless there's something to back it up and got killed by other commenters. A) No, what was discussed is that FOB had lunch with a former college coach and the subject came up that this is a topic of discussion with the Texas High School coaches. Q) Our basketball entertainment is lame. Any work going on to change it? I would like to see the days most popular songs and the dance team freelancing. Lets try the professional bball entertainment mode just once and gauge the appeal. A) All of the sporting venues are under evaluation. With Patterson’s history in the NBA, I would expect Texas to adopt some of the NBAs entertainment ideas. Q) What is the status of Leroy Scott, is he on double secret probation or is he gone without comment from the new coaching staff? A) As of right now, Leroy is off the team. Whether or not Coach Strong is going to give him an opportunity for reinstatement is yet to be seen. Q) What is being shared with media and/or interested alumni about The Plan? WTF is Texas going to put on the field. I'm hearing the players playbooks are super secret. Does anyone outside the coaching staff and maybe some players have a clue what kind of O/D the Horns are going to use in 2014? A) The plan is to compete for the B12 title in the first year. The staff believes they have enough talent to win every game they have on their schedule. Look for the defense to run a 3-3-5 stack and the offense to use pro multiple sets. Give the staff the spring to evaluate what talent they have to run a particular offense/defense. Q) 1. mcphaul, are there any updates as per the "disney" contingent? Are there many changes / ideas forthcoming? are the "disney" staffer's touring the mighty confines of belmont hall? are they meeting with football management? what gives, upon this all important "game day" front leading into the next season? A) Like I mentioned previously, all sporting venues are under evaluation. 2. mcphaul, we are all acutely aware that there is indeed a new "sheriff" in town in regards to the "texas" gridiron hierarchy. however my friend, whenever you approach your weekly interview as per "friend of bevo"... this time, dig deep! i mean, for some strange reason, lately i get the feeling that we are "barely scratching the surface of topics" whenever you speak with him. i mean think about it mcphaul.... in the past, "fob" was a "juggernaut" of information. and now a day's, it seems as though he is just "tip toeing through the tulips" or so to speak. "fob" should indeed be a bit more comfortable with the new regime to some degree darryl. tell him that he has us spoiled... and i'm sure that he may really decide to "bring the wood". A) Give everyone time to get to know one another. Relationships on every level take time. The staff has been on the job for a short time but, yes, the FOB’s are making those introductions & building those relationships. Q) Are there plans to rearrange basketball seating next year to get students closer and liven up the crowd at games? A) It is being looked at but, no plans have been finalized, only thoughts and ideas. Q) We've talked a lot about the new coaching staff. I'm interested in how that translates on the field like anyone else, but am curious as to what player on the team is going to benefit the most from some actual coaching and conditioning. I have my own thoughts, but would like to hear FOB's thoughts on this. Who springs forward above where we thought they were due to the improved coaching and conditioning? A) The staff is counting on DT Hassan Ridgeway to step his game up along with DE’s Caleb Bluitt, Shiro Davis and Bryce Cottrel. The offensive line is the other area Texas should see marked improvement. Stacy Searles did a wonderful job of rebuilding the roster with young depth. I know Coach Wickline is pleased with the talent he has to work with. It is crucial that Kenny Estelle dedicates himself to school & football. At this time, the verdict is still out on Estelle. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO Me: What’s going on? FOB: Just got back from watching the baseball team take all three of their games in Houston this weekend. Me: That was a great series for us. Talk about a confidence builder. FOB: Yes, yes it was. Let me commend you on your city. We all have such a great time every time we come down here. Good Lord I must have put on ten pounds this weekend. Picking a place to eat in this town is always such a great treat. Back to baseball, this is a very gritty bunch. The pitching was very good but, the difference between this year’s club and last year's is: this team is finding a way of winning the close games. We did not win these types of games last year. That Peters kid threw a heck of a game. Me: What has changed? FOB: The boys were challenged this past off-season both mentally and physically on a level they have not been in the past. Me: It seems to have paid off? FOB: Accountability is good thing. Augie will be the first tell you he himself he had to dust up (prepare) differently this year. Me: I have heard this could be Augie’s last year. Any truth to that? FOB: It has definitely been discussed. Honestly neither party is sure which way it could go right now. Me: Let’s talk about basketball. FOB: What do you have? Me: I heard no matter what happens the rest of the season that a decision has been made to retain Coach Barnes next season. FOB: The Myles Turner camp has asked for assurances that Rick Barns and Jai Lucus will be coaching at Texas next year. Texas has assured them that should not be a concern. Read into that what you will. Me: With the addition of Turner and literally the whole team returning next season gives Texas Hoops fans every reason to believe we can snap Kansas’ stronghold on the B12 title. FOB: If Barnes lands Turner, Texas will undoubtedly have one of the saltiest front courts in college basketball. Me: Not to mention Isaiah & Felix with another year under their belt. FOB: Barnes should be able to make some serious noise this year and next with that roster. Me: Let’s get back to football. FOB: What ya got? Me: Why isn’t Texas getting the top blue-chips to visit for our Junior Days? FOB: There are different reasons for different kids. It is track season so, that has limited some kids from making the trip. Some others can’t find the transportation and some want to be shown more love that includes an offer before they visit. Me: I guess I was of the impression that kids would line up to visit Texas and meet the new staff. FOB: The ones that have, certainly have been impressed. More importantly, the parents are starting to see what Coach Strong is all about. JW Ketchum’s mom‘s certainly had a lot of praise for a Coach Strong and the changes as did Darron Daniels' father. Once recruit parents start getting the word out, you are going to see more recruits and their parents making the trip to Austin. Me: Should we be concerned? FOB: Not yet and I will tell you why. Let Strong get a year under his belt, a season he can point to that shows the recruits, parents and Texas HS Football coaches that he and his staff are on the right track. I hate to bring up Coach Brown again but, this program become extremely stale on all fronts. Coach Brown's lack of leadership, the assistant coaches jockeying for position and disagreeing about personnel, no accountability amongst the players, really created a very unhealthy culture at Texas. Coach Strong is not popular enough on the national level or in the state of Texas to overcome the damage that was done in the last four years in a couple of months. Me: So, he has his work cut out for him? FOB: Think about all the different issues Charlie has had to address in the last two months alone: Changing Jobs Hiring a staff Moving his family Retaining the 2014 class Implementing a new culture with rules & accountability Getting to know his players Traveling and introducing he and his staff to all the HS coaches across this big state Evaluating next year’s recruits and that mean nationwide Getting ready for the his first spring practices Charlie has more on his plate than most but has continued to address each area with the utmost confidence. Me: I have had several people that have recently visited Bellmont tell me that the mood is somber. FOB: I don’t get that feel at all. That sounds like someone’s personal feelings. Look, there is definitely an "all business" attitude on the Forty now and with evaluations being conducted in just about every area, there is going to be tension in the air. Me: Back to recruiting. We did not have one commitment from last weekend’s Junior Day. FOB: We only offered four kids and two of those are for the 2016 class. One area I am going to point out again is this: the OOS recruiting is not like anything we have ever seen at Texas before. We have 40 plus in state offers out and 20 plus out of state offers out and that out of state offers continue to be extended every week. Me: Do you think that is a good thing? FOB: I think it is a necessary to go out of state at this time. Until Strong and staff have a season to sell and time to build those relationships, Texas is darn lucky this staff has out of state contacts & relationships to draw from. Texas could well indeed end up with 10 out of state commitments in next year' class. Me: Wow that is a lot for Texas. FOB: That number should subside once Coach Strong and staff has a year under their belt or it might not. Charlie may well put Texas on the national map. I do know this, he is not scared to go after ANY kid. Me: That’s all I got for now. Appreciate the time as always! FOB: You betcha.
  8. This week’s Crossfire will address the upcoming Junior Days and which recruits we can expect to see on The 40 Acres. We'll also look at Coach Strong's recruiting prowess and the future out-of-conference football schedules for the Longhorns. As always we will check-in with Friend of Bevo to see what's going on during the off-season. Let's get to it! Texas Upcoming Junior Days on February 22 & March 1 Visitor List ATH - John Humphrey - League City Clear Falls ATH - Billy Ray McCrary - Leander Rouse ATH - Ryan Newsome - Aledo ATH - Tony Nicholson - South Grand Prairie ATH - Dylan Moses - Baton Rouge University Laboratory School (2017) QB - Ryan Agnew - Southlake Carroll QB - Jaylon Henderson - Kingwood Park (March 1) QB - Keaton Torre - Edmond (OK) Santa Fe (2016) QB - Josh White - Marietta (GA) Walton (2016) RB - Tristian Houston - Galena Park North Shore RB - Patrick Carr - The Woodlands (unsure because of track) RB - Kameron Martin - Port Arthur Memorial (2016) WR - Jaelan Austin - South Grand Prairie WR - James Proche - Dallas Prime Prep (maybe March 1) WR - Denver Johnson - Oklahoma City Casady WR - Tyron Johnson - New Orleans Warren Easton Senior(Not decided) WR - Deshawn Capers-Smith - New Orleans Warren Easton Senior(Not decided) OL - Patrick Vahe - Euless Trinity- Soft Commit to Texas OL - Connor Lanfear - Buda Hayes- Soft Commit to Texas OL - Ronnie Major - Huntsville OL - Keaton Sutherland - Flower Mound Marcus OL - Toby Weathersby - Houston Westfield DT - Bryce English – DeSoto- Committed to Texas DT - Darrion Daniels - Dallas Bishop Dunne (March 1) DT - Derek Brown - Katy (March 1) DT - Jeremy Cox - Edmond (OK) Santa Fe DT - Vessy Parrish - Edmond (OK) Santa Fe (2016) DE - James Lockhart - Ennis (Not decided) DE - Charles Omenihu - Rowlett DE - Josh Uluocha - Stafford DE - Lonzell Gilmore - Spring LB - Cameron Townsend - Missouri City Ridge Point LB - Anthony Wheeler - Dallas Skyline LB - Landis Durham - Plano East (undecided on which one) LB - Arthur McGinnis - New Orleans Warren Easton Senior (possible) DB - Jalen Campbell - Corpus Christi Flour Bluff- Committed to Texas DB - Holton Hill - Houston Lamar (undecided on which one) DB - Johnny Shaw - West Orange-Stark DB - Kenneth McGruder - Alief Taylor DB - James Locke - Beaumont Central (undecided on which one) DB - Jordan Tolbert - Missouri City Ridge Point (maybe on March 1) DB - Ashton Preston - Edmond (OK) Santa Fe DB - Gary Woods - Oklahoma City Casady Holding a UT offer/invited but unlikely to be in attendance QB - Jarrett Stidham - Stephenville QB - JW Ketchum - Missouri City Fort Bend Marshall RB - Ronald Jones II - McKinney North RB - Chris Warren - Rockwall RB - Jay Bradford - Splendora RB - Jamycal Hasty - Longview DT - Daylon Mack - Gladewater LB - Malik Jefferson - Mesquite Poteet DB - Larry Pryor - Sulphur Springs DB - Kendall Sheffield - Missouri City Fort Ben Marshall DB - Kris Boyd – Spring visitor Top 20 Q & A from Horn Sports Members Q) Will Max Wittek sign with Texas? A) The coaching staff did a very nice job selling an opportunity to compete for the starting job. Louisville and Hawaii can sell a clear path to the starters role. Right now I would say it’s 50/50. Q) Seems that more of the top rated 15 class players are not including Texas among their top schools. Comments? A) Give this staff time to develop the necessary relationships’. Having a year under their belt to point to will be beneficial. Q) Plus your thoughts on so many out of state offers offers. A) Apparrently this staff has already evaluated these OOS recruits and has had previous relationships established. Q) 1. Give us the pros and cons of having a marquee game versus a team like USC in Mexico City. A) Pro= Money & Exposure A) Con= International travel is not convenient for the fan bases Q) How does the admin and those in the athletic dept feel about potentially losing a home game of that caliber to Mexico City? A) I think they are looking at it as what we are going to gain and not what we lose by playing in Mexico City. Q) Darrell, how about an update from you or Shaunsters on where things sit with Mr. Myles Tuner? FYI, I'll probably guess this will be an ongoing thing until he signs. A) Texas leads large. Q) Odds on J Gray playing in 2014? A) It is very early in the rehab to estimate. Different people respond to rehab in different time manners. There is absolutely no reason to rush the kid. Q) What's going on inside Bellmont? We were lead to believe Patterson was going to shake things up and bring in a leaner, more effective staff. So far it seems an empty promise. A) You better believe the people in Bellmont understand there is a new sheriff in town. Patterson is not one to go off half cocked. Steve has had a lot on his plate the last three months. Give the man a little time and this time next year you can probably expect him to have all “his” people in place. Q) Odds Cam Ridley goes NBA draft? Please don't! A) At this time, I’m hearing that he is strongly considering returning to Texas next year to play alongside Myles Turner. There is no doubt that the agents are going to be in Ridleys ear but, I think he stays. Q) Will Mack be visible on the 40 acres at games/practices, or fade in to the background? I bet the later bit give me your thoughts. A) Mack is gone. From what I’m hearing, Mack is no more interested on being on the 40 than some are having him here. Q) We told everybody you had a change of heart and went back to OB. A) Then you told them wrong The majority of the posters I prefer to correspond with are on Hornsports and I don’t see that ever changing. Besides, the Hornsports members are too smart to believe I would go back to OB’s. Q) How are we going to combat the SEC recruiting tactics? A) You win football games. Q) Do you know how many instances have been documented? A) Documented by whom? Don’t hold your breath on the NCAA doing anything concerning the SEC & cheating. The cheaters have it down to an art. Unless there is a whistleblower, nothing is going to come out. Q) I heard Aggie coach is not happy with BMD's bad behavior. True? A) Every HC in the SEC probably has some “concern” when it comes to booster dealings. The HC does not want some booster scandal hitting the press. There is a lot to learn when it comes to being a HC in the SEC and the way booster hierarchy is in place. The HC may not like it but, he can’t control it. Q) Any repercussions coming Powers way? A) No. Q) Will Hall be impeached? A) Yes. Q) Any noise on the upcoming Penn State trials? A) It won’t be pretty. It’s past time for closure. Q) If the NCAA is going to turn a blind eye to the "payola" recruiting tactics employed by the SEC in the state of Texas, should Texas use the LHN as a tool and broadcast games and highlights of every recruit that Texas is pursuing? The NCAA doesn't have the stones to do anything about it and I doubt they would want to mess with a large institution like UT. A) Expect Patterson & Texas to push the envelope with the LHN. Q) What about Tim Brewster? A) Not happening “this year.” Q) Does Bruce Chambers get credit for the positive play of our TEs of yesteryear, or only bad rep for our lack of quality TE play of late? A) Resting on your laurels is exactly the problem Texas staff has had in the past years. Chambers was rewarded accordingly for the past. The TE position has been a nightmare from the recruiting to the development for years now. The Louisville TE caught 46 passes last year so, we have to see improvement this year. Q) What's the status on a new basketball arena and where is it going? A) Still looking at several properties. Q) Is Patterson accepting resumes? If so, how can I get it to him? A) I’m having lunch with him soon so, email it to me. I will see that he gets it. Q) What's the perception of how 2015 recruiting is going (or is it too early to tell)? A) Way too early to tell. However, we have more out of state offers in the last month that we have had for the last five years combined. Q) Any word on whether practices will be open to the public? A) Not yet. Q) Have you heard any rumblings about the status of Barnes for next year? A) I heard he was put on notice and by the looks of it Barnes has responded accordingly. If Texas loses in the first round and fails to land blue chip recruit Myles Turner, I could then see the heat over come Barnes. If Barnes wins a couple of tourney games and lands Tuner, he mostly likely bought some more time. Q) When Disney consults, what will be their priority? Game day experience as in the Orange Bowl halftime faldera, or home field advantage & atmosphere like Death Valley or better? Are they trying to intimidate visiting teams or get more money out of the season ticket holders? Is the dictate to help fulfill Mack's goal of "come early, stay late, be loud, and wear orange" or provide recliners to the "sit down" crowd? How much say will the students or the team get? A) There is not a set priority. My understanding is they are looking into everything we do now oppose to how other professional entertainment venues operate. Once they have an understanding of what might work for our culture, they will make a presentation. Related Q: Will they ever get the ads off the Godzillatron,turn the volume down & use it for replays & break aways like on TV so it finally reaches its potential, or will it become something people will be happy to see go? A) It will be replaced with the newest model. I’m sure Patterson is looking at using this in the same manner an NFL does. Q) Have you heard upon whether or not if coach Strong has decided to go through as per the construction of a new two story practice facility? it was stated upon the ob... that coach strong was having a bit of trepidation about building a new facility in spite of the "bubble" eyesore. what gives upon this front? A) Coach Strong just said that he can work with what he has now and building a new facility is not on the top of his priority list. Q) What's the relationship like now between the BMD's and Patterson and Strong? A) The relationship are being formed by all parties. Everyone is being supportive of Coach Strong. Q) How are the high school coaches meshing with the new coaching staff? A) Some of them have like what they have heard about the level of accountability but, building those relationships is going to take time. Q) What's the job description of a Special Assistant to the President? Details, details, details..... A) Fund raiser, back slapper, golfing, speaking engagements etc….. Q) How does the HS coaches take all these OOS offers going out? A) I would assume they understand that we are aware that we are behind in state so; it would behoove us to pursue and maintain as many oos relationships as possible. Q) Any news about Brewster? With the offer to Gragg a few days ago, it doesn't seem like Chambers is going anywhere. A) Nothing is changing this year. Q) What are strong and company going to do to make inroads into Texas HS football since they really don't know the lay of the land? A) The same thing Mack Brown did, visit as many as you can and build those relationships. Q) I know this was being discussed at variety of boards when Strong was hired, but do you know if there is any talk about potential Satellite Camps? A) There was under Suddes. With all the contacts this staff has back in the SE, I could see Texas hosting a few satellite camps in the near future. Q) Any chance we hook up with the ACC in conference realignment? A) IMO the next realignment in our future in going to be the realignment of all of college football and not conference realignment. Any updates on attrition? Are the workouts maybe weeding some of the Hack Brown babies out? Q) What does Bevo think of the Nick Saban 10 second rule change? Does this have a chance in hell of passing? I believe it will degrade the game of college football personally.... A) I doubt it but, you have to admire the fact that Saban is always working it. Q) Any updates on attrition? Are the workouts maybe weeding some of the Hack Brown babies out? A) Expect two OL's, two receivers, two tight ends, two line backers and possibly a DT to transfer or give up football altogether. Q) What changes are being considered for the South end zone? A) I don’t think anything has been official decided. Q) Why is Strong happy with the bubble when it seems to be smaller than some other schools? A) That was taken of context. Strong did not say he was happy with it. Coach Strong said it was not a priority at this time and it was not a factor in preventing us from being prepared when we take the field. No excuses. Q) Will the new Godzillatron be as large as the current? A) This is Texas, so I would imagine it will done in style. Strong Projections? In his first recruiting class at Louisville (he had 2 months to work), he immediately went heavy on the OL & DL bringing 10 guys in the trenches (a glaring need for us as well). More need-based than talent. His first class the 2010 group was ranked 48th with 28 signed LOI's: 3-Four Stars 18-Three Stars*. Four of five of those kids from that class are projected to be taken in the NFL. In that same class, Texas was ranked 3rd with 25 signed LOI's: 2-Five Stars 19-Four Stars 4-Three Stars. Only 2 of those recruits have a draft projection. Strong’s first full year recruiting at Louisville ( class 2011) was the best in Louisville history: Louisville ranked 29th with only 20 kids. 16 of those freshmen saw significant playing time. 4-Four Stars 15-Three Stars Six players from that class are projected to be drafted. Texas again ranked 3rd with 22 kids. 1-Five Star 15-Four Stars 6-Three Stars Six of those Texas recruits are projected to be drafted by the NFL. -Eleven to thirteen of those two Louisville classes are projected to be drafted in the NFL. -Those two Louisville classes made up most of the 23-3 record with big bowl wins over Florida & Miami the last two years. - Strong has done a wonderful job of turning out NFL talent. - in the last 7 years, Strong has had 22 guys drafted on defense and 37 during his time at Florida. Approved Coaching Salaries Charlie Strong, Head Coach * 5-year contract that begins at $5 million annually and includes an annual $100,000/year raise. Vance Bedford, Defensive Coordinator * $800,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees $30,000 for speaking engagements and $10,000 for camps Shawn Watson, Assistant Head Coach/QB coach * $650,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees $30,000 for speaking engagements and $10,000 for camps Joe Wickline, Offensive Coordinator/OL Coach * $575,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees $30,000 for speaking engagements and $10,000 for camps Chris Rumph, Defensive Line Coach * $415,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees of $10,000 for speaking and $5,000 for camps Tommie Robinson, Running Backs Coach * $200,000 in year 1 and $350,000 in years 2 and 3 - includes annual guarantees of $10,000 for speaking and $5,000 for camps Les Koenning, Wide Receiver Coach * $350,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees of $10,000 for speaking and $5,000 for camps Pat Moorer, Strength and Conditioning Coach * $330,000/yr for 3 years Brian Jean-Mary, Line Backers Coach * $315,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees of $10,000 for speaking and $5,000 for camps Bruce Chambers, Tight Ends Coach * $275,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees of $10,000 for speaking and $5,000 for camps Chris Vaughn, Defensive Backs Coach * $260,000/yr for 3 years - includes annual guarantees of $10,000 for speaking and $5,000 for camps Future Texas Out of Conference Football Schedule 2015 Date Opponent Time Sept. 5 at Notre Dame TBA Sept. 12 RICE TBA Sept. 19 CAL TBA 2016 Date Opponent Time Sept. 3 NOTRE DAME TBA Sept. 10 UTEP TBA Sept. 17 at Cal TBA 2017 Date Opponent Time Sept. 2 MARYLAND TBA Sept. 9 UCF TBA Sept. 16 at USC TBA 2018 Date Opponent Time Sept. 1 at Maryland TBA Sept. 15 USC TBA 2019 Date Opponent Time Aug. 31 NOTRE DAME TBA 2020 Date Opponent Time Sept. 12 at Notre Dame TBA 2021 Date Opponent Time Sept. 11 at Arkansas TBA 2022 Date Opponent Time Sept. 17 OHIO STATE TBA 2023 Date Opponent Time Sept. 16 at Ohio State TBA Friend of Bevo FOB: The offseason workouts continue to go well. The majority of the team has responded well. The kids are excited because they are seeing the results of the hard their hard work. There is no doubt this will be one of the most well conditioned Texas teams we have seen in a while. Hopefully being in better conditioning strength and conditioning wise will cut down on the amount of injuries we have endured these last few years. Me: I hate asking this every week but, are you hearing about any attrition? FOB: Yes, like I said before, I hate mentioning names but, there is going to be around six kids that will probably come to the conclusion that there time would be better served elsewhere. This is to be expected any time you have a new staff come in. Me: I can’t wait for spring ball to get here so we can see the product on the field. FOB: I wouldn’t be too excited about spring ball. The kids are going to be learning new terminology and that in itself limits to amount of full contact practices. It is going to be interesting to see how much this staff can implement in the spring. Me: How is David Ash progressing? FOB: I was talking to a trainer the other day and he said David is going full speed and has seemed to have shaken off any ill effects of the past concussion. David does not possess the same strength he had but, he is getting there and should be 100% by the time spring practice starts. Me: What do you make of former USC and transfer Max Wittik giving Texas a look with David Ash’s future looking better? FOB: If there is one position we can add depth, it’s the QB position. Charlie and the staff did a wonderful job of selling the opportunity to compete for the starting job. Max and his father left Texas very impressed with everything they saw. Me: Who else is Max considering? FOB: The other two schools that have been mentioned are Hawaii and Louisville where probably has a clearer path to the starting job so, this one is going to be hard to pull off. Me: Are you concerned about the lack of 2015 elite recruits looking our way? FOB: Not yet. It is too early to get worried. This staff is about to host their first two JR days so, the Charlie Strong buzz should be able to pick up some momentum. I have been told that the staff is really looking forward to laying the groundwork for building the relationships. What is refreshing to witness is the confidence the staff carries when it comes to the topic of recruiting. This staff firmly believes they are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the state and nationally. Me: Does it surprise you to see the high number of out of state offers this staff has extended? FOB: I would be lying if I didn’t say yes. I have never seen anything like it at Texas. I would expect the % of out of state offers will diminish when this staff forms new relationships within the Texas borders. Me: I have been impressed with the quality of the offers. This staff is not shy about going after the elite in the south east and Florida. FOB: What have they offered, twenty of the top two hundred and fifty in the nation? Me: Yes, I used the term carpet-bombing. FOB: It is apparent that this staff is going to maintain and retain the relationships they have built throughout their careers and it would be crazy not to. I don’t think any of us realize how confident Strong and his staff is believing they have a national product to sell at Texas. Me: I have always felt that way too and have been somewhat frustrated that we didn’t throw our hats in the ring on more national kids. Me: Switching topics, what do you think about the USC/Tex Mexico city matchup? This has seems to have pissed off a bunch of our fans. FOB: LOL. Hey, I understand that. The big picture is you can’t pass up a great opportunity to market your brand on an international level when it presents itself. This is still is still about the Benjamin’s and those two trips will be extremely profitable. Me: That’s all I got for now. Look forward to seeing you next week. FOB: Hey BTW, I have really enjoyed the Hornsports Roundtable podcast with Feeley and you. Keep up the good work. Me: Thanks. Coleman is a former player and knows the game well. Take care and talk to you next week. Hook 'Em --Darrell McPhaul
  9. Well folks, it’s that time of the week again. We’re getting closer to National Signing Day and the groundwork for the ’14 Season is already being laid in the weight room as I type this. In this week of “Crossfire” we will discuss the Spring Game. Last week we mentioned that some former UT Coaches were on the move. The dust is starting to settle and we will see where these guys are headed or where they are about to land- nothing Earth shattering that hasn’t been discussed already but we’ll revisit it nevertheless. Next, in “Drop and Gimme 20” I will address some of the questions you guys have submitted to me. What kind of defense will we be running? Is Bruce Chambers REALLY going to be our TE Coach or is Tim Brewster coming back home to the 40 Acres? Will Johnathan Gray redshirt in the Fall? Some of the answers you may like. Some, not so much. Nevertheless, I will answer the questions truthfully as I know it to be. And as always we’ll sit down with our old buddy Friend of Bevo (FOB) and see what’s on his mind these days. Here we go.. SPRING GAME SCHEDULED The 2014 Texas Football Orange-White game has been scheduled! Time & Date: Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m. Site: Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. TV: Longhorn Network Spring practice is scheduled to begin March 18th. COACHES ON THE MOVE Stacy Searles accepted a job on the Frank Beamers’ West Virginia staff. Major Applewhite is presently negotiating his severance package with the University of Texas so he can accept the Quarterbacks position coach at North Carolina on Larry Fedora’s staff. 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 as mentioned last week is talking to Sonny Dykes at Cal, Mark Richt at Georgia and one other school I’m not privy to. Still no information on who the 3rd school is at this point. Duane Akina is still under consideration to join Sonny Dykes staff at Cal. DROP AND GIMME 20 - Q & A Q) Are many of us on this board right when we suggest all of the panicking needs to stop? A) Legendary Texas A&M Basketball coach Shelby Metcalfe once said that the only happy Aggie, was an unhappy Aggie. That shoe would fit a good number of our fan base right now. Coach Strong and his staff have been on the job for a little over 3 three weeks now. If you did not foresee de-commits and new out of state offers going out, then you are being a bit naïve. Q) Will Texas hire a TE coach in place of Chambers? A) I believe we learn the final position for Coach Chambers after signing day. Former Texas Tight End Coach and ace recruiter Tim Brewster has been linked to the job. Q) I've been told that Vance Bedford at Louisville implemented a 3-3-5 defensive alignment as a base defense. Which players currently on the UT roster does that benefit that may have been limited last year in terms of playing time? A) Here is what I have been told. There has been too much emphasis placed on Texas running a particular alignment. Texas will end up running the 3-4-4 as often as they do the 3-3-5. Q) Are there any potential big surprises left in recruiting, good or bad? A) As of right now, yes and yes. Q) Where is Deloss Dodds? What is Deloss Dodds doing? Where did Deloss Dodds disappear too? Deloss, anyone? A) Dodds is enjoying his semi retirement. Q) Where do we stand with Poona Ford and what Strongs defense will showcase based off his defense from his past? A) Hornsports has heard reports that Ford has given Coach Strong a verbal. As of right now, I’m not sure who Ford resembles. I have not seen enough of him. Q) Will any of the spring practices be open to the public? A) Nothing has been released. Q) Do you foresee any movement of players from one side of the ball to the other during spring drills? I know there are folks wishing for Mykkele Thompson to get a look on Offense, but have you smelled or seen any smoke regarding Mykkele or others? A) Not at this time. I have a hard time imagining Coach Strong would move a senior. Possibly Overstreet. Q) With the emergence of Brown is it safe to say that Gray will be given the opportunity to Red Shirt to ensure that he is healthy for the following season. And if that is the case who other than Joe will see handoffs? Easy guess would be Overstreet or Daje back to a full time rb..any sleepers (freshmen) to watch out for? A) Gray would absolutely be given the opportunity to red shirt if he is not healthy. The Brown & Bergeron duo have shown they can handle the majority of the carries for next season. It is crucial that the duo remain healthy. Let’s hope that Strong and staff influence Daje to dedicated himself. Something Daje has not done since he has been on campus. It is going to be interesting to see what true frosh gets some looks. Q) Do we hire Tim Brewster? A) That is the rumor. Q) Is Bill Little going to be replaced/retired? Will the UT sports information staff be replaced/reshuffled? Does Coach Strong communicate with the SID? A) I’m not sure on Bill Little but I’m certain that Patterson is evaluating all positions. Q) Any chance we will get a QB transferring in that can play right away? A) It does not appear that this staff is talking to any prospect. At this time, the staff is encouraged by David Ash’s progress. Q) Does Charlie Strong need landscaping services? Or anyone on the staff? A) I have been told that Strong & Staff are only worried about one lawn. Joe Jamail Field. Q) What about Barnes' job status with all this winning going on? His leash should be loosened, IMO. A) Barnes has been put on notice. One would have to believe that he is on track to save his job “if” Texas continues to make excellent progress. Q) Will Augie still step down at the end of the season, as has been stated in the past few months by various sources? A) I believe there is better than a 50/50 chance. Q) Can we get an update on the Foreman twins? Will they stick or jump to Misery? A) I hearing that Armanti did not care for the new on campus/class rules that Coach Strong is implementing. We also know the brothers wanted to stay close to home. Q) Everybody's heard about the former Alabama running back from Florida who apparently in the full view of God and everybody was cheating, who was getting extra benefits. RSJ's dad says he was offered a substantial sum of money for his son's signature. There have been more than a couple of reports of the Aggies now fully invested in $EC recruiting tactics, not to mention the blatant FU Johnny Manziel gave to the NCAA last year and then basically skated. What, if anything, are you hearing regards the Aggies and their paying/providing extra benefits to players? (Historically ANY time they've been relevant they've been PROVEN to have been cheating!) Are you hearing anything? A) I guess you are not familiar of the Mike Goodson saga? Under Franchione A&M alums hired Mrs. Goodson for a job in Bryan/College Station? Mrs. Goodson accepted the position and moved to B/CS leaving behind her two younger sons in Klein. Mr. Goodson accepted a sales position with an Aggie owned car dealership in Houston before he was sent to prison. BTW, Mike Goodson never graduated from high school. Mike attained his GED during the summer after his Sr. year. The A&M Powerbrokers understood that they were going to have to step their game up if they joined the SEC and they have. A&M is going to do what they have to do to succeed. The problem is the cheaters have gotten a whole lot smarter than the NCAA. I would not hold my breath on the NCAA doing anything about the rampant cheating in the SEC. Q) While the BMD's are now playing nice, how pissed are they really and who really is in the crosshairs, Patterson or Powers? A) Patterson better deliver. Texas is not going to do what Rick Perry tried to do and fire Powers. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO McPhaul: Thanks for getting back to me. FOB: It’s not a problem. McPhaul: What are your thoughts on the recruit defections? They sure have a small portion of our fan base in a tizzy. FOB: Sometimes I wonder if people don’t think before they write. Looky here, Charlie & staff have been on the job for three weeks. Gary Patterson, Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin have built relationships with these recruits for at least two years, some of them longer. Are people that naïve to believe there is not going to be the same level chemistry & comfort between the different staff’s? Give this staff a whole year to build the necessary relationships and I believe they are going to be a force to reckon with. McPhaul: Some believe that Coach Strong is coming across too hard and that is the reason for some commitments wanting to take other visits. FOB: That’s hogwash. If coming across straight and telling the kid what he can expect is too hard then some of those kids were not going to cut it in the first place. You better believe we would rather lose them now then investing time in them and losing them via transfer later on. That’s not good for anybody. McPhaul: Some have voiced their concern about Coach Strong’s rules of living on campus and sitting in the front two rows for all their classes. Some believe that is going to cost Texas from consideration for some blue chips. FOB: I’m not going to sugar coat this. Under Strong, Texas is not going to be for everybody. In case you have not noticed, the country club ran here and is presently being run at schools across our state, is NOT going to happen at Texas. Those days are gone. You better come here because you are serious about graduating and dedicating yourself to the team. Of course that message has scared a few. When the Texas High School coaches see that Charlie is genuine and the recruits and their families see that their kids are truly receiving a education that will last a lifetime, they will line up to come here. McPhaul: I have never seen so many out of state offers in such a short period of time. FOB: Take notice: this staff has relationships all over the country. Right now they are relying on those relationships to recruit out of state a fill the needs left in this 2014 recruiting class. I will be honest, I’m excited to see what our out of state recruiting looks like in two years. I believe Texas is going to be a monster on the national scene. McPhaul: There are rumors about former Texas TE coach Tim Brewster returning to the 40. What do you know about that? FOB: I know that there has been communications between Texas and Brewster. Don’t look for any staff shake up before singing day. McPhaul: How are the offseason workouts going? FOB: Pat Moore doesn’t play around. I don’t think I have seen Pat smile one time. This Texas team may come up short in some games next but, it won’t be because we are soft and out of shape. This staff will put well-conditioned athletes on the field. McPhaul: How is the team handling it? FOB: Honestly the staff is pleased. I have the pleasure of speaking with a position coach and he told me that the kids have been very receptive and the effort has been there. You are going to see a certain kinds of kids thrive in this new environment. Let me reiterate, this program is not going to be for the weak-minded. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, you are going to work and work hard. McPhaul: You hearing about possible transfers? FOB: There is going to be some attrition. There always is when a new staff comes in. The staff has been good about letting the kids know where they stand. McPhaul: One more question before I let you go. FOB: What you got? McPhaul: Is A&M paying again? FOB: Again? You’re assuming they ever stopped? The problem now is they are learning the SEC tactics and that’s not good for anybody. From what I understand coach Sumlin is not happy about the alum involvement but cannot control it. McPhaul: Alright man, I'll holler soon! FOB: Later Well folks, that’s all I got for now. Signing Day is just around the corner and I expect next week to be an interesting one to say the least. We’ll be with you the entire time keeping you posted as things progress. Until then, Hook ‘em! McPhaul
  10. 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
  11. Well, it’s been an EXTREMELY eventful week to say the least. Mack was supposed to step down last Wednesday. Then it moved to Friday. Then his resignation dated was moved until the end of the week. For the time-being, we may have lost our top candidate to replace Mack with in Nick Saban. We had an interesting Football Banquet to say the least. At the end of the day, what needed to happen with Mack Brown happened last Saturday. The bottom-line is Texas Football will look a lot different than it has for the previous 16 seasons, and at this point I think that’s a good thing. Also, over the past couple of weeks I have spoken at length with our good buddy “Friend of Bevo.” Rest assured folks, good ole “FOB” is still around and we’ll have a fireside chat with him again soon. But in this edition of “Crossfire” I wanted to tell you point-blank what my thoughts are on what went down last week with Mack Brown, Bill Powers, Steve Patterson, etc. with no filter. That being said, here we go: BURN IT DOWN; MACK BROWN IS FINALLY REMOVED A day late, and NOT a dollar short. Folks, Mack Brown had every opportunity to do the right thing by the University, its alumni, students, fans and friends of the program. For a man that likes to interject the word “integrity” every chance he speaks, once again Mack Brown decided to go back on his word. Prior to the beginning of this season, Mack had agreed to step down if Texas did not win the Big 12 and go to a BCS Bowl. When the clock finally read 0:00 at Floyd Casey Stadium, Mack still had no intention of stepping down as Head Coach at the University of Texas. While in Florida last week on a recruiting trip, Mack told Andrew Beck’s family that the only way he would not be coaching Andrew at Texas is if he was removed against his will. Should any of us be surprised? We have been down this road before back in ‘10 when Mack Brown reneged on the “Will Muschamp Head Coach in Waiting” agreement that was in place. Consequently, with that decision Mack Brown decided to retain his position as Head Coach and in the process of doing so took Texas down four miserable years of fielding a subpar product on the field. I have friends that have spent an awful a lot of time around Brown and absolutely admired the man and what he stood for. This of course has been the cause of some heated discussion amongst us. In the last week I have heard from everyone of those friends of Mack that unconditionally defended Mack Brown in the past and they have all said, “You were right, Mack Brown is a selfish individual.” These “defenders of Mack” were appalled that Mack would put himself above the Football Program, the University, the Alumni, the Students, and its fans. These friends had defended Mack after the embarrassing thrashings on National TV to our biggest rival OU. These friends defended Mack Brown when his teams underachieved and were considered “soft” and were a National punch line as it pertains to College Football. These friends of Brown defended Mack when he continued to employ Greg Davis for years and years as Offensive Coordinator Head Coach even though our offense underachieved against stiffer competition. These friends of Brown even defended Mack when he needed to replace Jeff “Mad Dog” Madden as Strength and Conditioning Coach and he did not feel the need to do so. Hell, these friends of Brown even defended Mack after he brought Manny Diaz back as Defensive Coordinator this season. These friends of Mack Brown provided undying support for the man over the past 16 years. And how were these friends of Mack Brown in turn repaid for their friendship and loyalty? They were repaid with pettiness, jealousy, anger, and a lost opportunity to hire arguably the most successful football in college football history in Nick Saban. (more on that later!) One Big Money Donor I spoke with could not comprehend how Mack could put Bill Powers is such a compromising position. THIS IS MY OPINION however I am not convinced that Bill Powers was not part of the charade to delay the hiring of Saban since Powers was fully aware of the timeline the BMD’s & Patterson was under to secure the Saban deal. Friday evening was the agreed upon deadline by both Sexton/Saban & UT. It was not by accident that we heard Saban agreed in principle with the Alabama contract extension last Friday evening. At this point, Saban had simply had enough- he was tired of the delay and at that point Saban had lost all confidence in the Texas contingent removing Brown as Head Coach. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that the Alabama contract extension proposal was not in the financial neighborhood of the Texas offer Jimmy Sexton had negotiated with the Powerbrokers at Texas. Interesting footnote as things progress with Saban going forward. More on that later. Now back to Powers and delay tactics- why do I believe this? I believe this because there is no one that can convince me otherwise that Brown did not look exactly like a dead man walking during the 2013 Football Banquet. Mack Brown was fully aware that he did not fulfill his agreed upon coaching obligations during the 2013 football season and consequently was going to be held accountable by the BMD’s leading the Saban hire. Mack had stated that he was going to retire however since the news was leaked by the media prematurely then he decided that he would not be stepping down but instead would return as Head Coach in ’14. (Sarcasm alert!) That sounds like a GREAT reason to return for another year as Head Coach! That should REALLY get recruits fired up to commit to UT in February: come play for a coach that doesn’t really want to coach the team but wants to instead get back at the media! Someone please explain to me why on Earth you would elect to stay on as Head Coach because the media leaked your removal. Who thinks like that? How does that address the challenges facing our program today with A&M becoming the “cool school in Texas” with recruits? How does that help us with up-start Baylor now beginning to out-recruit us? How does that help us with the SEC schools now camping out in Texas for our recruits? Hell, how does it help us with ANYTHING?! It doesn’t! The BMD’s underestimated the level of vindictiveness that others on the outside of Mack’s “circle of trust” have experienced during the Mack Brown era. One must find it ironic that during Brown’s press conference Mack spoke about how it is time to start trying to put all the BB’s back in the box. Mind you, this is the man that continued to spill more BB’s on his way out knowing damn well Texas would not be able to put the Saban BB back in the box. For a man that speaks about integrity as much as Mack Brown does, he showed very little of it on his way out. Mack Brown tarnished his legacy as much if not more than Bobby Bowden did at FSU. FSU had their HCIW with Fisher. Brown cost Texas Saban. Bowden had an excuse, he was senile. In contrast, Mack Brown was downright vindictive. BILL POWERS IS NOW IN THE CROSSHAIRS Yes, you heard that right and you heard it here first- Powers has either failed miserably in holding up his end of the Brown removal or he plotted with Brown to sabotage the Saban hiring. Either way, as a result Bill Powers will not be protected going forward. Powers was fully aware of the time and effort the BMD’s invested in the Saban negotiations with Sexton and his failure to support the outcome will not be forgiven. One source commented that if the vote they took on Monday was taken Friday evening, Powers would have been voted out. Keep in mind that in addition to Mack Brown continuously trying to convince Powers that Saban was “the devil” and would damage the perception of integrity that Mack had “implemented” during his career at Texas, Powers had his own issues with the Sexton/Saban and BMD’s that met last January behind his back. Powers looked at those lines of communication as undermining his credibility/authority as President as well as actions that were against the University’s by-laws. Was this Powers way of getting back at them? THE STEVE PATTERSON ERA HAS BEGUN Deloss Dodds arguably built the most successful athletic program in college and it isn’t even close. However, Dodds primary strengths were on the business side of the house. Wins and losses were not part of his metrics. As long as Texas was making money hand over fist, Dodds did not see any value in improving our on the field, court and diamond coaching performance. Ironically, Dodds had no issue with increasing the headcount in Belmont to the tune of 400 employees supporting 500 student-athletes. Several people I have spoken with have told me that Patterson will be consolidating the Men’s and Women’s Athletics Offices into one Athletic Department. This of course means that Plonsky will not be retained as the women’s Athletic Director. There is a lot of friction within the halls of Bellmont and there is no love lost between Powers and Plonsky. Plonsky is rumored to be the source of the leaks within in Bellmont and Chip Brown. It will be interesting to see how far Patterson goes with a reduction in staff. That being said, I think it is important to say that there are a lot of good folks in Bellmont that have served Texas well over the years. I borrowed this write up on Patterson from our buddy Baghorn: “Steve Patterson graduated from UT with both his undergraduate degree and law degree. He went directly to work for the Houston Rockets after graduating law school in 1985 and became the GM of the Rockets in 1989. He was responsible for architecting the roster that went on to win back to back NBA championships. He was then President of the Houston Aeros from 1994-1997 where he was named the IHL's Executive of the Year in 1995. From 1997-2003 he was the SVP and Chief Development Officer for the Houston Texans responsible for landing the franchise award from the NFL and getting Reliant Stadium built. From 2003 to 2007 he was the GM of the Portland Trail Blazers where he was responsible for drafting Lamarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy. From 2007-2012 he was the Chief Operating Officer of Arizona State Athletics responsible for all capital construction projects, operations of facilities, and business operations. From 2012-2013 he was the Arizona State Athletic Director where he dramatically reshaped the Athletic Department removing 100+ employees streamlining the organization.” I think it is important to recognize that Steve Patterson is all about the sports end of the business and whole-heartedly understands that his selection of the head coaching position at Texas is going to be how he is measured. The Selection Committee that Patterson is working with carries the utmost respect for Patterson and will follow his lead. Personally, I believe we have the right man at the helm. ON THE COACHING SEARCH FRONT In speaking with a source that had a recent conversation with a former Texas coach, he stated that he would be very surprised if we didn’t hire someone that did not have NFL experience. The former Texas coach went on to say that he did not think Saban would have been the right fit. He said that Saban for the most part is left alone at Alabama to coach the football team. At Texas the Head Coach has all kind of outside responsibilities that having nothing to do with the X’s & O’s. Time management is extremely crucial at a school like Texas due to the job pulling you in multiple directions that have little to do with the X’s & O’s. You can count on the next coach being multifaceted. All that being said, I still believe Nick Saban is still our top target and the lines of communications are still alive. Ironically, the way Mack went out and now is seen as persona non grata with Big Money Donors may actually be working in our favor with our negotiations with Saban. Saban always had a reluctance that Mack would be still around the program even after his retirement/resignation. With the way things recently went down with Mack and the way he handled his part, there is little to no concern for that now with ANY Coach that we are interviewing for the job that Mack will be poking his head into the replacement’s business. I have also been informed that Patterson has spoken with Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh about the Head Coach opening. Another Jimmy Sexton client that will be seriously considered is Jimbo Fisher. Other popular names such as Urban Meyer, Gus Malzahn, and Jon Gruden are not to be considered serious candidates at this time. Same for Briles, Strong, & Franklin. That can all change tomorrow but that is how things stand at the present. COACHES MOVING ON As many of you know it was Will Muschamp that recommended Stacy Searles to Mack Brown for the offensive line coach. Expect to see Searles accept the OL coaching position at Florida. Major Applewhite will be named as the QB coach at Florida. I guess Muschamp does not believe Major is ready to be a big time OC just yet. Darrell Wyatt came in second place to John Reagan at Rice for the OC vacant OC position at Kansas. Wyatt had history at Kansas serving as the co oc along with Chuck Long. If I had a choice in retaining one coach at Texas, it would be Darrell Wyatt. SPONSORSHIP AND FINAL THOUGHTS Finally, we are always looking for sponsors here at Horn Sports. Consequently, we are looking for a sponsor for “Crossfire” going forward. This is a great way to get your company name in front of new, potential customers. Please Private Message me if you have any inquiries pertaining to sponsorship. Anyway, that’s all I got for now. Thanks for allow the well-wishes on becoming a Grandfather. Wishing every one of you a Merry Christmas and rest-assured, the good guys ain't screwing around- Patterson will make this thing right! Merry Christmas! Darrell
  12. Well I know this past week has been a bumpy one for everyone. Everything was clicking along nicely and then Colin Cowherd got involved and decided to “dip his toe into the water” as it pertains to Nick Saban at Texas. Cowherd lobs a few calls into Tuscaloosa to find out “what’s really going on” and is told “nothing to see here, move along.” And what does Cowherd do? Announce to the World that Nick Saban isn’t leaving Tuscaloosa combined with another site saying that a new contract extension has been presented to Saban and we’re hearing it will be signed any day now. Next thing you know all Hell breaks loose in Longhorn Land! We came on to tell you that NOTHING had changed with any of our contacts and that everything was moving ahead according to plan. The issues that were facing Saban last week are the same issues facing Saban this week except he now has a new contract extension from Bama in front of him since last week that he hasn’t signed. The problem with Bama’s offer is Paul Bryant is still around. Saban’s financial issues are still there. And Terry Saban still wanted out of Tuscaloosa. In contrast, there is 1 place that can make all of those issues go away in the simple stroke of a pen. Understandably so, my confidence in Nick still coming to Texas as our next HC was met with a great deal of skepticism however I have faith in what my contacts have been telling me for years. For the record, my guys haven’t let me down before. Consequently, I stuck to my guns as it pertains to Saban coming to UT as our next Head Coach which I have caught flak for in recent weeks. Well, those of you that are Saban fans will be happy to note that I am staying with Saban being the next Head Coach at UT next season- I have NEVER WAIVERED. Furthermore, I’ve had no reason to waiver. As I mentioned earlier in this post, NONE of the reasons Saban would leave Bama for UT have changed. Anyway, we’ll discuss the latest on Bill Powers, Finalized Contracts, Next Steps, Timelines, Mack’s future, and something else other sites aren’t discussing in this week’s “Crossfire.” And away we go.. CONVERSATION WITH FRIEND OF BEVO McPhaul: Thanks for taking time-out to meet with me. I appreciate it as always- you know that! Friend of Bevo: Yes I do Darrell- and that’s why I like to help you out when I can. I like your love of the University of Texas- it is infectious. McPhaul: Where are we right now as it pertains to Saban coming to Texas? Friend of Bevo: We have a finalized contract to Sexton for his review and Saban’s signature. The next step is Nick signs it or he doesn’t. Obviously we feel real good about the situation or it would have never gotten to this point in the first place. POWERS VS POWER BROKERS McPhaul: What about Powers? From what I’ve been told by you and others is Saban obviously isn’t an ideal candidate for his liking. Friend of Bevo: That’s correct. I’ve been telling you since January that Mack has been “poisoning the well” as it pertains to Saban with Powers and even Dodds for quite some time. Remember the “Winning with Integrity” Campaign where banners were made up and put in the locker room and such? That was all orchestrated by Mack Brown to help keep his gig where perception is more important than the reality surrounding the program. The problem is kids want to play where the program is winning. The kids that you REALLY want in your program can see thru the BS. They want to win and be prepared in the process to get into the League and get paid. The types of kids that this type of BS really resonates with are the kids that probably don’t belong at a program like UT’s in the first place. Nice kids. Good kids. Kind of kids you want dating your daughter. But not hungry kids with a chip on their shoulder that is necessary to get to that next level. I cannot stress the fact enough Powers disdain for the Saban selection. It has whole lot do to with Wallace Hall & Hicks meeting with Jimmy Sexton behind his back. In Powers’ opinion, having this meeting was highly unethical, if not against some of the University’s by-laws. In the last few weeks, Powers has been pushing the agenda to work the HC hiring thru a selection committee just like they did with the AD position. Powers’ argument is they all had a change of heart in the eleventh hour on the selection of Patterson over Luck. That being said, Powers feels if a selection committee were to be involved then another candidate could possibly through the process be selected over Saban. That would be his hope. McPhaul: We have all had it drilled into us that Texas does not do backroom deals. It sure appears to me that if Saban is hired that we cut a backroom deal. Am I seeing this incorrectly? Friend of Bevo: No Darrell you are not. Therein lies the rub with Bill Powers, Mack Brown and Deloss Dodds. You got to get it thru your head that these three men, along with their wealthy adversaries have been in control for the last sixteen years and they are not accustomed to taking a back seat to anyone. The new shot callers are working overtime with the old regime by trying to paint the perception that this is all Browns’ call- which we all know is not his call. You have some of your competitors in this Internet message board business crap playing the role of the shill mouthpiece for all of the above simply because they have been asked to do so by their sources. Perception is and has been the most important issue with all involved. By the way, I did not mean to call your board or work crap, I just find all this message board interaction humorous. You guys sound like a bunch of cackling hens for the most part (chuckling as he speaks). McPhaul: That’s funny stuff. Friend of Bevo: I’m sorry (Still chuckling). Again, I think you do a good job getting the correct story out there and I commend you for not filtering it and/or trying to control the message & perception. McPhaul: Thanks. That’s what I’m trying to do here. Bellmont’s & Mack’s controlling of the message, perpetuating an image over substance program- that brings me to the whole change in culture mindset that you and I have discussed in the past over and over and over again. Friend of Bevo: You’re damned right we need a change in culture (scowling and a bit agitated)! And the boys driving this change in philosophy KNOW that Saban can bring that change in attitude and culture from Day 1. Saban is being shoved down Powers’ throat but it’s for good reason. These BMD’s are tired of donating tons of money and then seeing their investment into the Athletic Program pissed away- especially in football! Like I’ve told you on numerous occasions, the young bucks have had enough! JOE & RED McPhaul: What about Joe & Red standing in the way of things with Mack being pushed out? Friend of Bevo: First of all that is BS. Those guys are posturing so that their friend can save face. Let me tell you something right now, Red McCombs is not a soft man. Joe Jamail is not a soft man. These guys have had to work for everything they have and the word “soft” irritates and infuriates them as much as it does any of us- probably more! They have had to work their asses off to get to where they are today. They have NEVER had ANYTHING given to them- THEY’VE HAD TO EARN EVERY DAMNED THING THEY HAVE! As much as these guys catch flak from people on these websites and blogs and whatever the Hell else you call those things, Red & Joe want Mack to go out with dignity as we all should want for a guy that gave us our first National Championship in 35 years and then got us back to the National Championship Game just 3 years later! FINALIZED CONTRACT FORWARDED TO JIMMY SEXTON FOR SIGNATURE McPhaul: Well, you’ve told me about the finalized contract. How does a finalized contract go out to Jimmy Sexton without Bill Powers’ approval- especially if he isn’t completely on board with the hiring? Can’t he kill the deal even if it is signed prior to his approval? Friend of Bevo: First of all, let’s be very clear here: I NEVER said Powers DIDN’T approve it! Furthermore, Powers can do whatever he wants- he’s President of the University of Texas. That being said, he isn’t stupid. He is expected to be around anywhere from the next 6 to 18 months and then he is off to retirement. Do you REALLY think he wants to piss-off the people that can impact on how nice of a retirement package he has on his way out the door? Probably not. Powers knows what’s going on. He knows the terms of the package. Saban will need to meet with Powers prior to everything being finalized but that is pretty much a rubber-stamp formality. After Mack is gone, the Power Brokers will come in and set Powers straight on the reality of things as it pertains to Saban, future donations, financial impact to the University, impact on stadium attendance, etc. Powers is no dummy. He understands that what is going on at the University of Texas is not acceptable. Powers knows the impact our lack of success on the football field, basketball court, and baseball diamond are having on ESPN, IMG, and the LHN. He understands the LHN wasn’t created to televise a “sub-par” product on the field. Furthermore, understand this: ESPN & LHN are concerned about advertisement dollars they were expecting to be recouping by now. When you have the LHN being the primary advertiser on the Longhorn Network then you have problems. When you have “Jerry World” being one of the primary advertisers on the LHN then you have a problem. As much as I love Matt’s, if you have Matt’s El Rancho as a primary advertiser on the LHN then you have problems. Powers knows this. He knows something has to be done and soon. McPhaul: What about Mack as it pertains to Powers longevity? Friend of Bevo:Mack has already lost a buddy and confidante in Dodds. Mack knows he’s done and doesn’t want to negatively impact his friend Bill Powers long after he’s gone. Mack is flawed but he is a good friend to Bill. He will do the right thing in the end for Powers’ sake. He knows his situation is impacting the friends he has remaining and that is not his intention. The truth is Mack has had enough. He’s tired. He’s knows it’s not working. He’s lost control of his ship and crew at this point. When you have disgruntled players that can be overcome over time. When you have disgruntled, respected coaches turning on you and you are in the position that Mack is in today then you are pretty much done. McPhaul: Can you tell my readers why? Friend of Bevo: Sure! When Mack went to “re-invent” the program, he hired a “can’t miss, young coaching staff which included a new, innovative offensive philosophy incorporated at Boise State. It included a young, good-looking up and comer in Manny Diaz as Defensive Coordinator. It incorporated an SEC offensive line coach and an SEC defensive line coach. It incorporated a new, no-nonsense S&C Coach in Bennie Wylie. And what did it get us? Arguably consistently worse performance on the field as it pertains to Wins & Losses than the previous regime. Remember the old guys were the problem? McWhorther, Davis, Tolley, etc.? Well Hell, take a look at their last 3 seasons (‘08-‘10) and tell me how it compares to the past 3 seasons with the young bucks (’11-’13)- not so good! Granted Will was around from a defensive standpoint, but still! McPhaul: Powers doesn’t like Saban. Who would he like? Friend of Bevo: Of course Shaw because of Stanford. Harbaugh for the same reason. Perhaps John Harbaugh as well? Mark D’Antonio at Michigan State is a guy that is just now getting some attention but a few of us have been following this guy for some time now and I’m sure Powers would like him as a candidate. Big 10 Program. It’s a clean program with good academics. Troy Calhoun (HC at Air Force Academy) was being touted early-on for his Football IQ and the way he deals with the unique situation with their officer/student/athlete in Colorado Springs. Ideally, good academics along with strong athletics when you are looking for whom Powers would perceive as an ideal candidate to replace Mack. Perhaps not a National Contender year-In, year-out but like Mack, Powers believes that integrity intertwined with successful academic achievement is the most important qualities a program can possess. The rest of us may want a football factory but Powers aint that kind of guy. My problem with that philosophy is if that is indeed the case then why pay a Head Football Coach at Texas $5.4M/yr? Are we paying for wins and Championships or are we paying for academic achievement and graduation rates here? Keep in mind; most of what Powers knows about football is what Mack Brown has taught him. And Mack knows the resources that are available to whoever is the next Head Coach at the University of Texas. There’s a reason you hear names come from the Brown camp like Fedora, Fitzgerald, Calhoun, etc. Arguably yes, potentially ANY of these guys COULD be a good or perhaps even a great HC at the University of Texas, but NONE of these guys would be a splash hire from Day 1. The truth about Mack wanting to protect his legacy is absolutely true. MACK AND HIS FUTURE McPhaul: Do you think Mack will ever coach again? Friend of Bevo: Mack has aged a TON in recent years. The reality is the game has passed Mack by. McPhaul: What about Joe coming out and saying that Nebraska is interested in him? Is Mack actually looking at the Nebraska job? Friend of Bevo: Darrell, like I said earlier, that is just Joe trying to help Mack save face. Same thing happened earlier before the season began where Bellmont and Mack’s supporters came out and announced, “We better be nice to Mack! We’re lucky to have him and there are a lot of programs that would LOVE to have him- we better be nice or he may leave us!” Remember that? The answer to your question about Mack looking at the Nebraska or any other coaching job is “no.” Mack has a $1M/yr contract on the table with ESPN awaiting his signature. I’m not sure in what capacity ESPN will be utilizing him, but he is very amiable and has a charm that is natural for TV. It suits him perfectly- especially at this stage in his life. McPhaul: Interesting! Man, you’re just FILLED with information today! Friend of Bevo: I’m not done yet son. You got me on a good day. McPhaul: You’ve got that right! So when do the fireworks begin? Friend of Bevo: Darrell, have you not been paying attention? The fireworks have been going on around us for quite some time now. Do you think for a minute that a network like ESPN waits until the Baylor game to come up with a $1M/yr contract for Mack Brown to work for ESPN damned near over-night? It doesn’t happen that way! These things take time. These agreements, discussions, & contracts don’t just happen overnight. Things have BEEN happening for some time now and they continue to happen as we speak! McPhaul: I’m sorry, what I meant to say is “what is the timeline for events to unfold as it pertains to Mack stepping down and Saban being announced as HC at Texas?” Friend of Bevo: I’m being told Mack will announce Wednesday that he is stepping down. If Saban is acceptable to the terms of the contract, I think we should hear something Friday or possibly after the Football Banquet that will be honoring the 2013 Longhorn Football along with Mack Brown and his accomplishments at UT. Hell, I’ve heard it may be a great environment to introduce Saban as the new Head Coach at Texas to the kids on the squad and the recruits in attendance. McPhaul: That’s great insight! Are you for certain that it’s going to happen? Friend of Bevo: Put it out there. IS CONDOLEEZA RICE THE NEXT UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS’ PRESIDENT? McPhaul: Is there anything else I should know or my readers should know before we wrap up? Friend of Bevo: Like who will be replacing Bill Powers when he hangs it up?(with a wry expression) McPhaul: Do you have any idea who that might be? Friend of Bevo: I am NOT saying that Powers is hanging them up today. I am saying that when he DOES decide to retire that one of the candidates we will be targeting will be Condoleeza Rice. McPhaul: That is as big as Saban to Texas! Friend of Bevo: Arguably it could be bigger. McPhaul: Yes it could, but maybe not to my readers. Is there anything else I need to be asking you? Friend of Bevo: Son, I think that is enough for now don’t you? McPhaul: Yes sir. Friend of Bevo: Me too.
  13. McPhaul, what are we making out of the story now being reported by bleacher report and others that Saban is in negotiations w/Bama in 7 million dollar range? Just smoke to make it look like UT outbid Bama and he didn't leave them cold or is this bad news
  14. Well everyone, it’s Thanksgiving Week and the game with Tech upon us on Thursday, an “old school” guy like me misses the good, old days of the pageantry and rivalry between ourselves and the Aggies on Turkey Day. There are just so many memories I have with my family surrounding that game that it just isn’t the same without it. Well just like Mack Brown and Deloss Dodds, good, ole Darrell has got to learn to move on as well! Anyway, this week the Wall Street Journal published an article with Terry Saban in which she stated that “We’re staying. We’re not going anywhere.” We’ll discuss that. We’ll also talk about what no one is really discussing as it pertains to Saban and his current boss and how that might impact things. Is Mack Brown going to be involved with naming his successor? We’ll address that as well. And finally, I decided this week that we would incorporate a “Q & A” Session into this Thanksgiving Week’s “Crossfire.” And away we go.. WSJ- TERRY SABAN ARTICLE Let’s address the “elephant in the room” from the outset. This week the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Terry Saban. In the article the author Sharon Terlep states: “The first couple of Alabama football may be standing on top of the world, but it isn't necessarily thrilled by the view. ‘You come to a crossroads and the expectations get so great, people get spoiled by success and there gets to be a lack of appreciation,’ Terry Saban said in an interview last week. ‘We're kind of there now.’" The WSJ article continued, “Recent media reports have suggested Saban may be interested in coaching at Texas if that job comes available. Some reports said Terry Saban had been house hunting in Austin. Asked if these reports were accurate, Terry Saban called them ‘rumors with absolutely no foundation.’ She continued with "We're staying," she said. "We're not going anywhere." Consequently, we have many of my orange-clad brethren heading to the gates on Saban coming to Austin. Many fellow Bevo backers are saying, “See, I told you so! It was really STUPID to think that we could land a coach like Nick Saban!” To which I say, “R-E-L-A-X.” Terry Saban’s comments in this article and articles prior/yet to come are all part of business. Maybe Nick Saban doesn’t come to Texas but this article doesn’t reveal anything more than what you would expect someone in her position to share with the media- ESPECIALLY a media outlet like the Wall Street Journal! In my opinion, what is revealed in this article would be MUCH more concerning to me as an Alabama fan than what Miss Terry says about rumors to Texas as “having absolutely no foundation” or “we want to retire here.” This woman is a shrewd business woman and she KNOWS what she is doing and that is providing cover to her husband over these next couple of months while he is trying to win yet another National Championship. For reference purposes, does anyone remember what Mack Brown was telling the North Carolina faithful just 3 days prior to departing for greener pastures in Austin? I do. This from the Terlep’s WSJ article, “According to interviews with colleagues, players and university administrators who have known the Sabans, they are a formidable team that makes decisions in tandem. Terry, who goes by ‘Miss Terry’ (she uses "Ms." in correspondence) is a behind-the-scenes negotiator for her husband's coaching contracts. Nick's assistant copies her on nearly all of Nick's email traffic. She makes clear she is part of the operation, not solely a homemaker. "The only thing we use the dining room table for is recruiting," she said. And you thought Mack & Sally were a power couple?! AGAIN, this is a SHREWD business woman that knows EXACTLY what she’s doing! When you have Alabama players saying that Saban himself often jokes that Miss Terry makes all of the important decisions and “wears the pants in the family,” well that just about tells you all you need to know about the stroke Miss Terry has in the Saban household. Ms Terry is a shrewd businesswoman and she knows EXACTLY WHAT SHE IS DOING! These next words are from the Wall Street Journal, and are not mine: “Still, for a college coach who has won four national championships, Nick Saban has proved to be unusually restless. Rather than staying at one school, he has changed jobs three times: Bolting his first high-profile job at Michigan State in 1999 for Louisiana State, then leaving LSU for the Miami Dolphins in 2005, then decamping to Alabama in 2007. In each case, they have made improvements without sinking deep roots. They have pledged their allegiance to the community but fought hard for resources. And if they don't feel appreciated, they make their dissatisfaction known.” Which brings us to our next subject, Paul Bryant, Jr. SABAN AND PAUL BRYANT, JR Now on to yet another topic that doesn’t seem to be getting much attention and that pertains to Saban and his relationship with Paul Bryant, Jr. Well, I spoke to one of my contacts recently regarding Saban to Texas and he responded, “McPhaul, another significant reason that Saban has for leaving Alabama is Paul Bryant Jr. (son of Bear Bryant and President of the Alabama Board of Trustees). He went on to say, “There is significant tension between Saban and Bryant, and Bryant goes out of his way to make life difficult for Saban behind the scenes. The reason for this is that Bryant is very concerned about preserving his father's legacy at all costs. He does not want Saban to win more national championships at Alabama than his father. I have heard that this is a bigger player behind the scenes for Saban's desire to move on that most have led on- just some more food for thought.” WILL MACK HAVE INPUT ON HIS REPLACEMENT? I was speaking to another one of my contacts and he shared some interesting insight on Mack and potentially being locked-out of providing input on his replacement. “One thing that's been bothering me is how no one seems to want Mack involved at all in finding his replacement. In fact, the venom directed at him is a little off-putting in my opinion.” My friend went on to say, “As I have said, Mack is a good person. As a matter of fact, Mack has been a really good person that has always tried to do the righting for his players and balance that with what's right for the school as well. It’s tougher today due to the way we coddle athletes and then the money that’s involved at the next level. We've been fortunate to have him as he brought us a ‘Natty’ without the kind of scandal so many other programs at the top have experienced. However the game has past him by and he needs to retire to the ESPN Gameday Desk.” At that point my buddy began making comparisons with how DKR was treated with his lack of input in the selection of his replacement and supposed lessons learned from that by saying, “By the way you do know this whole ‘let's ignore Brown in the hiring process’ is a little personal to me! Mike Campbell and my Dad were VERY close and I saw, first-hand what it did to Coach Royal to be shut out of the process that brought Akers in. We all know that story.” My buddy continued, “The thing that keeps coming back to me is how several people, and you know who they are, have said many times that Texas would not make the same mistake with Brown that they made with Darrell. They absolutely would seek the input of a Coach that reached the level of a Coach Royal, if that ever happened again.” He continued with, “So the real question is has Coach Brown reached the level of Coach Royal? Well, it's debatable. I think you can say he came close from a product on the field standpoint. He certainly didn't surpass Coach Royal. What I think you CAN argue is that Mack IS a man of high character like Coach Royal.” My confidante went on to say, “So, given that, I think Coach Brown will absolutely be a part of the selection process. I doubt he will be on the committee but those on the committee will seek his input and if he has strong reservations about a particular candidate then I think they will take that into consideration. I know this will infuriate many Longhorn Fans but it is best for the program in the long run.” So what does this ultimately mean? Well when I asked my friend he replied, “I think it means several Coaches many would like to be seen as Coach Brown’s successor won't get past an early look. If a Coach has openly embraced street agents and willingly lined the pockets of family members and friends of recruits, I think Coach Brown will warn those on the committee in a loud voice. Again, I think this is a good thing in the long run!” My friend went on to say, “McPhaul, I think you and I both know who that may well eliminate. That starts with a Coach a short drive from the North of Austin and includes another Coach seen as the hottest Coach in the SEC today!” He concluded our conversation by saying, “It may not be publicized that Coach Brown is involved, but he will be involved at some level- either that or The Lawyer in Houston will impose his will and that won't be a good thing!” MCPHAUL’S THOUGHTS I realize there is some information that was shared in that conversation that many of you may not like hearing as it pertains to Brown and any input he may have on whom his successor is. I can understand that. So where do I stand? I've come around to believing it sits in Saban's (or I should say in the Sabans’) hands right now. Mainly because we can let him/them play with the big boys- and I ain't talking about on the Big Boys on the Gridiron either! After learning everything I have learned about Jimmy Sexton, Nick Saban, and Terry Saban, they will be just fine! On the flipside, if Saban decides to stay then I wouldn’t be completely surprised if it is a NFL guy. I’m not saying that will be the case but here me out: the game and the pay has changed dramatically and a program like UT more resembles a NFL franchise than Arkansas State. I also think that being the Head Coach of the University of Texas has MORE prestige associated with it than any other program in all of Football today- that includes the NFL as well as the NCAA!).. I mean, if your job is considered the “Top Job in ALL of Football” (Pro or College), and the pay is ridiculously lucrative then what’s the issue? Honestly, prestige-wise would you rather be the Head Coach at the University of Texas or the Head Coach for the Tennessee Titans? The Carolina Panthers? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers? The Arizona Cardinals? The Cleveland Browns? The Detroit Lions? From a prestige standpoint, it’s not much of a contest is it? Q&A WITH MCPHAUL Topstar: With Saban as Head Coach...who would be Great OC and DC for Saban & Texas. MCPHAUL: Here is a name mentioned for the DC position: Patrick Narduzzi (Defensive Coordinator at Michigan State University) is currently everybody’s darling however if it’s my call then give me Derek Mason at Stanford. Mason is a former player who is the associate head coach, co-defensive coordinator, and defensive backs coach for Stanford. As it pertains to OC for Saban at UT, I have not heard any names discussed however I have been told he would be open to looking at incorporating the Spread. I don’t know if I believe that. ---------- MBHornsFan: We are lucky we lost to Oklahoma State because if not and if we beat Tech but lose to Baylor Mack would have been back. True or false? MCPHAUL: False. Mack’s deal was to beat OU, win the conference, & go to a BCS Bowl game. He did not accomplish that. I don’t doubt that even if Mack DID win all the above that the Powerbrokers would have talked Mack into retiring. ---------- UTK66: If/when A deal with Saban falls through, who, in your opinion is the #2 option?? MCPHAUL: IMG has approached Shaw twice. Three times might be a charm? --------- SFlonghorngirl: Is Ash's career over due to concussions? MCPHAUL: That has yet to be seen. Keep the kid in your prayers. ---------- djbfootball: If Saban is named, which team & recruit will he be able to flip?? MCPHAUL: I think Saban can do some damage to A&M. I believe DT’s Dylan Mack, DeShawn Washington, DE Myles Garrett and DB Nick Harvey. ---------- Turby35: When/if Saban in the next coach at Texas, does he try to bring Smart with him by selling him he could be head coach here when Saban retires in 3-5 years, or does Smart take over at Alabama? MCPHAUL: No. Smart will be the front runner for the Alabama job. ---------- Manzana Blanca: Perhaps you have been asked this before? What is your opinion of David Shaw? Do you think he could do well here? IF Saban alls thru... Do you think he would rethink his coaching at Texas once there is an actual vacancy? This is assuming Texas would go to him first after Saban fail? Many thanks! MCPHAUL: As I said, Shaw has told the vetters no, twice. However, three times could be a charm? ---------- The Waterboy: How big of an impact do you think Patterson/Saban will have on changing the Game Day environment and fan experience at DKR? MCPHAUL: Saban will by fielding a competitive team. I think Patterson is going to make his presence felt more so in the basketball environment. ---------- ATX89: Where does Joe Jamail fit in the new HC search? Is he part of the anti-Saban crew? MCPHAUL: No, Joe Jamail is not a part of the anti Saban deal. As a matter of fact, Joe Jamail is expected to assist with the new coaching staffs’ payroll. ---------- Coach840: Name your new coaching staff. If you are Bowlsby and have to make two calls to add teams, who are they? Thanks. MCPHAUL: Geez Coach, as it pertains to Coaching Staff that is a lot of work and I believe this question deserves its own thread. Our best shot would be Cincinnati and UCF. Not too exciting is it? ---------- Setxhorn: Who do you think will be on the committee to select the new coach? MCPHAUL: I really don't know however I can speculate. Hicks will be but not Hall. There will be at least (2) from the academic side, another Board of Regent, and possibly even Powers. The reason I say two reps from the faculty is because back when Mack was vetted the Academic Faculty felt left-out of the Hiring Process altogether. Not that they would have objected to Brown, but they sure pouted during the selection process. Also, there is a rising resentment within the Academic ranks at UT towards many athletes and it's not limited to football players nor is it limited to male athletes. That said, to be a UT athlete and a serious student in a difficult major at UT! With all of the time commitments as it pertains to sports I don’t know how any of them do it! I sure couldn’t have! ---------- Slamsox: Who are the coaches for football, basketball and baseball? MCPHAUL: *Football- Saban *Basketball- Buzz Williams, Shaka Smart, Billy Donavan or Bill Self *Baseball- Skip Johnston ---------- Nico: There has been some talk about Saban getting unlimited resources regarding money to pay his staff, if he ends up at Texas. Do you think Texas will go out and pay head coach money to get the best coordinators in college football? People like Chad Morris and Pat Narduzzi won't be cheap and their buyouts are enormous, if I'm not mistaken. I believe Morris has a 10+ million buyout if he leaves for another coordinator job. Also, do you think the searching committee put a lot of thoughts into the Longhorn Network? Is it "important" that the new coaches in football, basketball and baseball have a good TV-personality? MCPHAUL: Since IMG is most likely vetting candidates for us, I’m certain that is an important trait that would rather the new coach has than not have. Now of course if it is Saban, it does matter. Saban’s dry abrasive manner also been seen as entertaining. ---------- Etex Eagle: Will Overstreet ever get a chance at UT or does he transfer? MCPHAUL: It is too early to know anything pertaining to transfers. ---------- RC2P: What changes will Patterson implement first? Which of the current AD staff are likely to stay/go? MCPHAUL: Nothing has been decided at this time. Patterson is still getting a feel for the lay of the land. However, you can rest assure, the fat will be trimmed. ---------- Dragworm: How ugly will the Bev Kearney situation get? MCPHAUL: I don’t know if ugly is the right word to describe the situation. I would lean more towards embarrassing. A lot of names are going to be dragged thru the mud. ---------- Sonny: Art Briles. I'm guessing that since he signed his big contract that he really likes it at Baylor, and doesn't have an interest in UT, Redskins, Etc. Right? MCPHAUL: If you coach in Texas and UT calls, you listen. I’m not sure if Briles has ever had in NFL aspirations? ---------- Jmachorns: What time do I need to be at the tailgate party Thursday? MCPHAUL: Mike says he will start setting up around 0800-0900. ---------- Utparothed: If it is Saban...Will the university get any kind of ironclad commitment from him prior to the national championship game/bowl game or will he have the option to back out at any time? If he accepts the job, when would a public announcement be made? MCPHAUL: I’m not sure about any of that. ---------- In closing, I will leave you more from the nice write-up Sharon Terlep did with the Wall Street Journal, “Terry said that years ago, rebuilding a football program used to be "even more fun than winning" but that it has lost its appeal as the couple has aged (Nick is 62 and Terry is 61). Now that there's less to prove, she said, "I say to Nick, 'Why are we doing this? It's not to win. You tell your players all the time, it's not about winning it's about the process. This is about shaping the lives of young men.” As Miss Terry stated earlier, "We are trying to educate ourselves, to change ourselves; we can't change expectations or change lack of appreciation. We have to change our mind-set. We have decided: this is where we are going to end our career." First, I am not so sure people like the Sabans can change their stripes- it’s just not in their DNA. Both of these folks are in the continual, ever-constant pursuit of “the process” and perfection which is its ultimate objective. I don’t know that they CAN change their “thought process” as Terry Saban they are trying to educate themselves to do. Why would they want to? And if there is less to prove today than before, and winning is not as important as before (which I personally don’t believe), and you DON’T feel like you’re fully appreciated, then why not do what you love somewhere that you (or your wife), AND you have a track-record that shows when you are not happy with how issues are addressed then you move-on, then WHY would the Saban’s not bring their process to a place where they WOULD be fully appreciated. Furthermore, knowing how strong a woman Terry Saban is and how she feels about Tuscaloosa, why would the Sabans NOT bring “the Process” to Austin, TX? Do the math: + Terry Saban’s dislike of Tuscaloosa and Austin house hunting + lost MAJOR money on land deal investments + Nick butting heads with Paul Bryant, Jr. + Sabans not feeling fully appreciated and have a track record that shows aren’t afraid to move When you eliminate all of the clutter, all of the interviews, all of the denials, what you realize is this is just business. The facts haven’t changed. They are what they are. Consequently, I am still 100% all-in on Nick Saban coming to Austin as our next Head Coach. Nevertheless, I am not a stubborn man and if I hear anything differently then I will surely pass it on. Enough Football/Sports Talk, this is the time of the year to give thanks and share your love with the ones you love. Let those you love KNOW how much you love them this Holiday Season. Also, be sure to thank the Big Man above for all that you have and that it is not taken for granted. On a personal note, I would like to share with everyone on this board that has helped make it the fastest growing UT site on the Internet today is that I am TRULY thankful this Thanksgiving Season for all of my friends that have followed me over to Hornsports.com. It means SO much to me- MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW! That being said, Change is coming and that in itself is something to be thankful for! Have a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving! And by the way, beat the Hell outta Tech while we’re at it! --McPhaul
  15. Well, it's that time of the week. This week the “buzz” has been around the rumors about Mack Brown announcing his retirement. As you are aware as of the last couple of weeks there have been discussions that the Longhorn Network is working on a Mack Brown Tribute. There have been proclamations on sites from supposed Regents. “He said, she said”- what gives McPhaul? Also in this week of “Crossfire” there were heated conversations on the sidelines with Major Applewhite and a DIFFERENT Coach this past weekend. We’ll also discuss observations of the Oklahoma State game from the viewpoint of a former UT layer. Finally, we’ll touch on Steve Patterson- was he even AT the game Saturday? Finally, I have been asked frequently about contingency plans if Saban DOESN’T replace Mack Brown as Head Coach; whom will it be? We will discuss all of that and more in this week’s “Crossfire.” *RETIREMENT REQUEST & IMPACT ON CURRENT UT COMMITS, STAFF, & TEAM* Here is what I’m hearing: shortly after the OSU game, Steve Hicks & Jim Bob Moffitt requested that a date be set or Mack to announce his retirement. My understanding is that two dates have been requested for Mack to announce his retirement. At this time, I have not be given confirmation on specific dates- I assure you, I will keep everyone posted as things develop. I can tell you this: there are several factors that need to go into consideration with the decision date for the retirement announcement. One obvious consideration is the negative impact that the resignation date is having on recruiting. Recruiters from rival programs are already doing their best to poach our current commits. We’ve seen as recent as today San Antonio Warren DT Commit Trey Lealaimatafao plans on taking official visits to UCLA this upcoming weekend, followed-up with Arizona State the following weekend. This was unheard of just a few seasons back (especially to a school like UCLA or Arizona State!) And Lealaimatafao isn’t alone. In the past few weeks we have had several of our commits take visits as well. In my opinion, this is only going to increase with the uncertainty surrounding the program. Another issue surrounding the announcement of the retirement date is the possibility of the current Coaching Staff & Team checking out altogether on the remainder of the season. As it pertains to the coaches, I for one do not understand this because in my opinion the present staff should be looking at this as if they are auditioning for their future jobs. After a “lack-luster” season in which the team is being perceived as underachieving, it would behoove the Coaching Staff to "put their best foot forward"- especially at this juncture of the season! As far it pertains to the Team, the players can still achieve a successful season and a decent Bowl Game if they can win out. Did the loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday take all of the wind out of our boys' sails in their last achievable goal of significance? Possibly, however it appears to be a MAJOR concern on the 40 Acres and with the powers that be. Finally, one other issue facing our program as it pertains to Mack’s retirement announcement is how long can Texas go without naming our new Head Coach? What impact will it have on our ’14 Recruiting Class if it takes longer to name Mack’s replacement such as with a Nick Saban? The time interval between Mack resigning and our top target Nick Saban becoming available may create a dilemma that our Selection Committee has been anything but sterling in handling. As I've stated before, the Saban camp has not been very impressed with the way this has been handled on the Texas side. In last week's "Crossfire" I noted that Nick Saban is EXTREMELY disappointed in our inability to keep things quiet (Hicks brothers) going so far as stating, “do those guys even KNOW how to hire a coach?” Keep in mind, just like ANY great coach Nick Saban DOES NOT LIKE CLUTTER! The stuff that went down with the Hick’s boys represents clutter. As I mentioned last week, not withstanding his dust-up with Hakeem early in his career, there is a reason agents speak “glowingly” about working with Patterson. He is a PROFESSIONAL. He learns from his mistakes and applies that to future events. Expect this negotiation to be as I stated last week: “double-secret probation.” I would not expect there will be many slip-ups going forward. Patterson is a professional and was brought on board to manage the relationship between the University of Texas and Jimmy Sexton/Nick Saban. Patterson should help alleviate a great deal of those concerns going forward. I expect that if Saban DOES indeed become our next Head Coach, then there will be little “leakage” coming out of Bellmont going forward. Things will get VERY quiet and any information on this subject will be “few & far between.” More things to consider as it pertains to Steve Patterson is that HE is key here. Why you may ask? Well, primarily due to the fact that Mack & Deloss have done a very good job of convincing Powers that Saban is NOT a coach with the level of integrity The University should seek in its Head Coach in ANY sport. We heard Mack Brown state last week that “Nick Saban is my friend and he is not after my job.” What Mack Brown did NOT say is the Texas power brokers have zeroed in on Nick Saban and Saban is more than interested in the Head Coaching position at Texas! It is a shame that it has come down to Mack Brown having to be “forced-out” at this point in his career- it really should have NEVER come to this in the first place and could have been avoided altogether years ago had Mack of all people had his way! Regardless of how it is spun by Bellmont, the bottom line is Mack Brown was fired as the Head Coach and will be reassigned to another position within the University. I could not help but laugh when I read the post about Mack announcing his retirement and everyone except the poster tried to talk him out of it. On the contrary, NO ONE is going to try and talk Mack Brown out of retirement this time around when the power brokers have been seeking his resignation for the past two years. How naïve does Bellmont and the Administration really believe we are? Furthermore, despite all of the negative talk about Saban by Mack Brown to Bill Powers, it would not surprise me if at the end of the day Mack Brown comes out and suggests that it was HIS idea to go out and hire the best possible coach for the program, which just so happens to be Mack’s own close, personal friend “Nick Saban.” *MAJOR NOW BUTTING HEADS WITH YET ANOTHER OFFENSIVE COACH?* Now on to the aftermath of last Saturday and the Oklahoma State game. One of my contacts shared with me, “Once Texas faced a formable foe, our weaknesses were exposed.” He went on to say, “ Is it just me or did Major have a better feel for the game when he was running the Texas offense behind center? Major does not seem to have a good feel for the flow of the game.” He continued with a not so nice comparison, “Like Greg Davis, he does not appear to be a good or a natural play caller. It appears that he struggles to find any rhythm during the game that he feels comfortable with.” He concluded with, “Once again, Major’s short-comings are grating on the other offensive coaches. Major & Porter are the latest of two coaches on this Mack Brown staff that are going at one another during a game. Porter was not very pleased that Major veered away from the running game that was working.” Let’s hope the lack of chemistry can be patched up and repaired before we go into the Texas Tech game on Thanksgiving or things could get messy. Finally, a couple things I heard about last Saturdays game: 1. This nugget comes from a Texas-Ex from the ‘63 National Championship team, “Darrell, I have NEVER seen the T Room so void of former players!” Apparently it is no longer just the students that have become disgruntled with the product Mack Brown has trotted out on to the field. * CONTINGENCY PLANS IF SABAN DOESN’T COME TO THE 40* Finally, some of you have asked me if I have heard about any contingency plans if Saban doesn’t come. Well, first of all let me reiterate from everything I continue to be told is right now I am sitting at 100% that Nick Saban will be Mack’s replacement in ’14. My contacts have rarely been wrong and I will stick with my guys until the end! They’ve EARNED that much faith & respect from me over the years! Nevertheless, if you have been associated with the University of Texas Athletics, one would have to believe that power brokers such as Hicks & Rowling have to have some contingency, fall-back plan in place for such a situation. I’m confident a third party agency (IMG) has vetted a list of potential Head Coaching candidates that can meet the stringent criteria that the Committee has put in place. However, it has been a while since I have heard any talk about who would be on that list - and if you are a fan of the Saban hire then that is probably a GOOD thing! I do know this: recently Kirk Herbstreit tweeted that he felt Jim Mora, Jr. would be a great hire for the University of Texas. Well I can add that a friend of mine that has known Steve Patterson personally for years stated the Patterson is a *big fan* of Jim Mora, Jr. Does that mean Mora Jr is on any vetted list? Currently, not that I’m aware of. That’s all I have for now. Hook ‘em! -- McPhaul
  16. Well this past week has been a quiet one news-wise BUT don't confuse what is seen by the eye as to what is really going on underneath the surface- as the saying goes "still waters run deep!" A couple of weeks ago I had mentioned that information was going to get scarcer to come by going forward and that in fact has been the case. Why? We'll discuss that in week's edition of Crossfire as well as information that had already been shared as it pertains to the hiring of Steve Patterson and validate some of the information that has been already discussed as it pertains to his hiring. We will also talk in more detail about Terry Saban and her house hunting in Austin. Is it true that Saban upset with the Hicks boys? What does this mean for Nick Saban and his chances of coaching at the 40 Acres next season? We will answer all of that and more in this weeks' "Crossfire." First, I spoke to my contacts and shared information back and forth over the past few days and as I mentioned in the outset- information is tougher to come by these days. Why is that? Well first of all, things have changed a bit with the hiring of Steve Patterson as AD. One of the things that was shared with me by one of my contacts pertains to keeping things on the "DL". Saban was/is furious about these types of distractions taking place. Noise is clutter and Saban does not like clutter. He detests it! Saban's comment was, "Do these guys even KNOW HOW to go about hiring a Coach?" He was PISSED! Now before anyone panics reading this and says McPhaul is saying Saban aint coming to Austin let me be clear: I AM NOT SAYING THAT! I will get to predictions later I promise! What I AM saying is expect all negotiations to go into "double-secret probation" mode going forward with Patterson at the helm. There's a reason Steve Patterson is respected by agents the way he is. He is a professional and he truly DOESN'T do Clown Shows. Things will be done in a professional, confidential manner going forward with Sexton/Saban. During my previous "Crossfire" I posted that I had been told that there were a few AD's that Saban would prefer working with as opposed to others. Patterson, Haden (USC), Castilogne, Long (Arkansas), & Tanner (South Carolina's) were all included on the list that Saban would prefer working with. Glaringly missing on that list was Oliver Luck- but why? Keep in mind, Luck was the "odds-on" favorite of the Bellmont establishment. Powers felt comfortable with him as Deloss' replacement. Dodds felt comfortable with him as his replacement. We've been told that Mack was comfortable with Luck as the new AD. So what gives? Well perhaps THAT is the reason at the end of the day Saban didn't include Luck on that list? Perhaps he wanted someone OUTSIDE of the establishment as the new AD? Perhaps he wanted someone that he could go into a relationship with carte blanche from the outset as opposed to an AD that has loyalties with the previous establishment. Keep in mind, Saban has a certain way of doing things and doesn't deviate from that plan. If Luck is AD then Saban's approach to building a program might be compromised and prevent Saban from coming to UT altogether. In contrast, Patterson has been a President at a Professional Sports Program before. Patterson has been hired and Patterson has been fired. That being said, Patterson is the ONLY candidate that has faced all of the adversity of building a franchise/program from the bottom-up with professional organizations AND a Collegiate Athletic Program None of the other candidates can say this. Debate this if you want but this is what was shared with me. Furthermore with Patterson as AD, it is expected to be less bureaucratic and more "results oriented" than where we are today. I was told by several of my contacts to a person that one of the things that differentiated Patterson from Luck was the way Patterson talked about the ENTIRE Athletic Department AS A WHOLE and Luck seemed to be more focused on the Football Program throughout the interview process. Being an Athletic Department with more than 1 program limping along right now, that is probably a HUGE selling point to the AD Selection Committee- it would be to me and it was to my contacts! Another thing to consider is there are currently 500 student athletes and 400 folks in the Athletic Department to support each of those student athletes. With that kind of student athlete/Athletic Department support personnel you are talking about a bureaucratic monster that needs to be DRAMATICALLY reshaped and resized altogether! Hell, we are damned-near looking today at our Athletic Department having a ratio of damned near 1 administrator for every student athlete. As my contact said, "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT?" You would expect if we had an administrator for every student athlete that we would be winning National Championships in EVERY sport we participated in wouldn't you? You sure wouldn't expect that the University of Texas have a JUCO transfer football player not knowing whether or not they are academically qualified to practice/play until the 3rd week of Fall Camp! Keep in mind these 400 bureaucrats loyalties are going to lie with the powers that be that put them into power- namely Deloss Dodds. The bottom line is that that type of model for our Athletic Department cannot sustain itself and remain successful- there is just too much bureaucratic red-tape to hide behind. Now on to the reason you're REALLY here- what is going on with Saban coming to Texas. Cut to the chase McPhaul! Why is it so quiet on the Saban front? The Hicks' stuff you're referencing concerns us. Well, in the past I have been more conservative than Jesus and others coming in at 60%. Today that number changes. For the worse? For the better? What gives? From what I hearing, this quiet that we are witnessing means the relationship is very serious. Here is the rub on the Saban front. As I mentioned from the outset, Nick Saban is extremely disappointed in our inability to keep things quiet (Hicks brothers). However Saban is also concerned about our ability to effectively manage the Brown resignation in the time period we had led Sexton/Saban to believe we would receive Mack's resignation by. In addition, Brown still has the ability to make this an ugly situation with each victory with a Big 12 Championship and BCS Bowl all still a possibility. Saban does not want to appear as the coach that was hired at the expense of forcing the removal of Mack Brown when in reality THAT IS THE CASE! As things stand today, you are hearing it hear first: AS THINGS STAND TODAY, Nick Saban will be the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. There! I said it! It's out of the bag! Now the fallout from Mack's perspective: from an image standpoint, Mack is extremely upset that his departure from Texas will look like he has been forced out. That is why his camp has continuously puts out the message that Mack will leave on his own terms when in reality they know it is the end for Mack Brown Texas Football. Understandably so, the members of the Selection Committee are squirming in their collective seats! You could not get anyone one of them to admit in public that they had wished Texas had already lost a game or two more but. Nevertheless, there is no denying that with each win, Mack Brown delays the deals they are trying to cement in bringing Saban to Austin. Consequently everyone involved from both sides wants the talks about Saban squelched. The good news is Mack has indeed confided to confidants that he is retiring at the end of the year (would match perfectly with his more relaxed demeanor on the sideline and in post-game interviews). Now for some additional information, I just finalized a conversation with my friend on the Board of Regents and he made an interesting comment. My friend told me that "Hicks absolutely had the blessing of Powers to approach Saban. Hicks got Hall involved for reasons he can't understand. Then he dropped the bombshell that there is money available from the people that you would expect to go and get Saban no matter what the cost." My contact however believes that the money will be so large that eventually Powers himself will be the person to push back on the finances of the deal. Right now, we're hearing the deal is $8.4M/yr. Our friend Santa Gertrudis leaked yesterday that Terry Saban had looked at a friend of his home on her last trip to Austin. To reiterate, the price on the home in question was $6.5M, 8,000 sq. ft home. On a different front, Paul Finebaum had been stating that the home in question was being looked at as a home for one of the Sabans' children (age 26 & 21). Santa somewhat debunked the assumption by Paul Finebaum that the house was a purchase for one one of the kids (again, who purchases a 8,000 sq. ft home for $6.5M for their 20 something year old kids as a starter home?). Well what I have learned is that Nick & Terry Saban have put a contract on a house in Austin that will close in late January. The contract would not be publicly available information and the purchaser was an LLC that has not been used before. I heard this prior to what was posted on IT last night, but that information is consistent with what I've been told. Finally, I have been catching some heat for my 60% belief that Saban will be the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. My goal is to ALWAYS be truthful to our members and if I post something then it is genuine and NOT pre-fabricated for effect! Having said that, after what I have heard over the past few days I am ready to bump that percentage AS OF RIGHT NOW to 100%! That's right. I said it! 100%. Things change but AT THIS MOMENT UNLESS THINGS CHANGE I am saying it is a 100% chance Nick Saban is the Head Coach at the University of Texas next season. How's that for a "Crossfire?" Anyway, that's all I've got for now- and that should be enough. Until next week, "Hook em Horns and BEAT THE HELL OUT OF THE COWPOKES!" --McPhaul
  17. Well folks, I told you a lot was going on week and come to find out there was a TON of stuff going on this week. In this installment of "Crossfire" I will share with you information that some of my "connected friends of the program" have shared with me. Of course we'll talk about the hiring of Steve Patterson and what that means for Mack and everyone else at Bellmont and what it means in the Saban sweepstakes. We will also talk about Joe Jamail and his role today with UT Athletics today (is he disengaged? is he engaged? is Mack safe if he runs the table?) And of course we will talk about Saban and even engage in some rumors that are going on. Some of the stuff is insightful. Some of it is enlightening. Some of it is thought-provoking. But ALL of it is found this week in the "Crossfire." First let's talk about the hiring of Steve Patterson. According to my source Texas will always go through the "Process" of a formal vetting. That's not to say there aren't front runners going in to the process due to school affiliation, relationships, reputations and experience. My contact felt that Luck had everything going for him until they got to the point where the decision makers got to sit across the table from the candidates. That made a HUGE difference as the interviewing process unfolded. My contact went on to say, "I know a lot of folks that know Luck very well and they to a person find him a bit cold!" My contact went on to say, "one dad said he found Oliver to be condescending towards Andrew's teammates at Stratford. This guy's son was actually an o-lineman for Andrew!" He went on to say, "So I'm not surprised Luck may have not made the best impression. Steve on the other hand is my kinda guy. He can converse with the Paul Allens of the world as well as the kid holding the Parab for the in-house feed at a Texans' game." He went on to say, "I'll put it this way; from what I've heard and what I've observed, Oliver Luck will quickly tell you he's the smartest guy in the room and then try to converse with you from that position. Patterson will converse with you for awhile, hardly ever saying anything and when you walk away it hits you, you WERE just speaking to the smartest guy in the room." Keep in mind, there were reports last week that "the Houston Lunch Bunch" was the driving force for bringing Patterson back home to Texas. And if you subscribe to that theory then keep in mind "the King" of the "Houston Lunch Bunch" is STILL big, bad Joe Jamail. My contact shared with me, "Joe is doing MUCH better health-wise then I had been left to believe." My contact tells me, "Contrary to belief, Joe was intimately involved with the AD Search and ultimately he will be involved with the Head Coach search as well because of the money Joe has given to the program in the past, and the money he will be giving to the program and University in the future." He went on to say, "In contrast, Red & Jim Bob are out of the loop right now." My contact continued with ,"the AD Search Committee was a smoke screen. The real AD Search Committee were the "new money guys" who were doing the real leg work on behalf of Joe and the University." More on Joe as it pertains to the LHN; as many of you are already aware, Joe Jamail was INTIMATELY involved with the UT General Counsel and DeLoss on LHN negotiations. What I've learned is the financial projections add up to an even LARGER pay-out should we go Independent. In light of potential Head Coaching changes in the near future as it pertains to Football & Basketball, along with possible change in conference affiliation or altogether going Independent in Football, do not be surprised if in the near future we renegotiate into an even MORE lucrative deal for the University than it is today. Funny thing about the negotiation, we didn't go with a large accounting firm during the negotiation of the LHN because we didn't want to risk the wrong set of eyeballs getting sight of what was actually going on between UT and ESPN during these negotiations. My contact then said, "It is known that the Big 4 Accounting Firms don't have many Aggies on their payroll however there is just enough of them for their to be a concern that a zealot Aggie would risk his license, reputation, financial well-being, and even legacy to be an "Aggie Hero" to expose UT while these negotiations were going on- ridiculous thought however understandably so knowing what Aggie is capable of!" Now on to Saban- don't underestimate the relationship between Tillerson & Saban. Apparently there are some oil & gas deals where Saban has already been "hooked-up" with already with penalty clauses associated with them just in case Saban is NOT the next Head Coach at the University of Texas. Expect an awful lot of smoke screens on this front in the days ahead. More on Saban. I get a lot of questions from folks asking, "Darrell, what does Luck losing out to Patterson mean on the Saban front? Is Saban a lost cause?" My answer is an EMPHATIC NO! Since we're talking about smoke and Saban, here's a nice little factoid for you: did y'all know that Nick Saban and Steve Patterson have a hunting lease together. Probably not if you aren't reading "Crossfire." Now on to rumors. Last night I get an email from a friend of the program and site asking if there is any validity to Mack possibly announcing his retirement in the next couple of weeks. Well, apparently one rumor has the Longhorn Network actually putting together a "tribute" to Mack Brown and his accomplishments set to air in the up-coming weeks. My knee-jerk reaction was ABSOLUTELY NOT! And then something interesting happened on the way to the circus- Steve Patterson (who has an uncanny knack of firing people in established organizations) is announced as the next AD at UT. Well I must admit, the timing is very coincidental. On the flip-side, I hear that with Jamail being re-engaged with the decision-making process, perhaps if Mack runs the table he can retain his job if Saban doesn't accept the position? Saban on the Patterson hire..... Saban likes the patterson hire...Sexton told some of our BMD's that the only guys he would work for was Long(from Ark.), Castiglione, Patterson,Haden, or Ray Tanner (from South Carolina). Haden and Castiglione were out from the get go. Tanner is a USC guy and didnt want to leave. Long, Patterson, and Luck were the last 3 standing. Luck was the guy alot of the current regime wanted. His political stance actually helped powers and Mack. Before anyone goes and sucks on the end of a shotgun please note that AT THIS TIME I am sticking with my 60% chance that Saban is coaching at the 40 Acres come '14 but ANYTHING is possible. If we cannot get the guy we truly want, perhaps we hold-off a year and let Mack finish-out on his terms? Do I think that is the case? No, but like I said, "anything is possible!" Knowing Steve Patterson's history I don't think that's the case. UT Hoops News from Shaunsters regarding the current coaching situation... Talked to a very good source this week, asked him about the current coaching situation and what Texas will look for in a new coach... He simply stated to me that in his opinion it's going to get interesting... Buzz Williams is the popular name and most likely the favorite right now for the job. Shaka Smart is a name being thrown around but not much legs right now on that one. We don't know how his style would fit at Texas. Full court press, sometime a slow offense style. We at Horn Sports have talked about these two previously... But the surprise name... I have heard he would at least listen if Texas called. Billy Donovan. Yes that Billy Donovan of Florida... The first thing I said was no way. Won't happen. Hell, he turned down Kentucky a few years ago. The story behind that, is Billy didn't want to have all the pressure on him to rebuild Kentucky. Billy isn't that type of coach... So he got a nice raise and stayed at Florida. But the smoke and rumors coming out is that Billy D. knows as long as he is at Florida he will always be behind. Now why Texas? -A log of talent in a basketball rich state -The support and help of former players is something Florida dosent have right now. This helps recruiting a lot -Money. A bit more money is never a bad thing -The chance to lead a sleeping giant into being a Top 5 program in the country year in and year out -No pressure on him And he knows he will be given any and every chance to make this a powerhouse again. One last side note on this... Will this happen for sure? Probably not. Will Billy D. flirt with Texas maybe just to get a raise? Most likely. But if one of the best college coaches is interested and let's you know he is, you go after him. I didn't just hear this info from one person either. Smoke could soon be rising. Until next week, --McPhaul

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