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The Texas football countdown doesn’t start too soon



  • There are only 108 days left before another football season begins in Texas, and in August no less.
  • Here are five head football coaches on the rise that every AD should keep on file just in case.
  • With NIL deals lurking left and right, here’s Vegas with unique basketball payouts. And with equity.

Now that I get you, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:

1. Circle the date, er, dates

Plan this: We now know the kickoff for Texas’ first football game of the 2024 season, so we can start the minute-by-minute countdown until the opener at home against Colorado State. We’re not even four months in and counting. Only 108 days until kick-off. The Longhorns have the perfect schedule with hugely challenging games against Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma and tough, nasty rivalry games with Texas A&M and Arkansas, but five games that Longhorn Nation will consider automatic wins in three other non-conference games against CSU, UTSA and ULM and dates with Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. … You may also know that there are 98 games played in August, including blockbusters like Georgia-Clemson, Notre Dame-Texas A&M and Miami-Florida with an LSU-Southern Cal showcase on September 1. How’s that for some impact games off the bat? Love it. … Of the 15 teams with the toughest schedules this fall, 247Sports says eight of them have Texas on their schedule. One of those is Oklahoma, which faces five likely Top 25 teams in its final seven games, ending with Alabama and LSU.

More: Texas ex Adonai Mitchell will use his NFL draft pick to become a Colts star | golden

2. Starting off the college football season with a bang

Appreciation Bonus: I really think this will be one of the most fascinating college football seasons in years as the playoff format expands from four to twelve teams, six major brand programs join the SEC and Big Ten, as the Pac-12 is dissolved before our with all my eyes, because Florida State and Clemson’s lawyers are charging overtime to arrange their breakout from the ACC and because we have Nick Saban on our TV, but no longer on the college sidelines. I predict the first rumored retirement story for Saban will come before Halloween. … If you’re working at a high-level Power Five program and especially if you’re an athletic director at a school in the SEC or Big Ten, here’s a list of five up-and-coming coaches to throw out for these schools to consider – just in case: Washington’s Jedd Fisch (from Arizona), Michigan State’s Jonathan Smith (from Oregon State), UTSA’s Jeff Traylor, Houston’s Willie Fritz and South Carolina’s Shane Beamer. Texas State’s GJ Kinne belongs in that top 10, with strong support for Nebraska’s Matt Rhule and UCF’s Gus Malzahn as well. … The hottest spots in the country belong to Florida’s Billy Napier, Arkansas’ Sam Pittman and Baylor’s Dave Aranda, but Miami’s Mario Cristobal may be heating up after a 12-13 record of late.

3. A sign of what will happen to NIL

NIL heaven: What happens in Vegas stays in athletes’ pockets. At least in the near future. A unique college basketball tournament is being created, with eight teams, including Texas A&M, Alabama, Houston and Notre Dame, playing at three different locations in November and $1 million being paid to those schools. . reported that organizers hope to double that field to 16 by 2025 and beyond for a tournament to be called the Players Era Festival. And it gets better. Or at least bigger. A source told the website that players are also eligible to “take a 10% equity stake in Players Era forever,” meaning these players can make even more money as the event grows. Seven of the eight teams have been named, with room for one more. I’m sure there are only about 300 other programs interested in participating. It seems likely that the games will appear on a streaming service rather than a cable network. Why not? A nice advantage for these amateur athletes.

More: Texan golfer Tommy Morrison has great star potential written all over him | Bohls

4. Looking at the home of baseball in Texas

Texas baseball looks to the NCAAs: The Longhorns continue to impress, winning their eighth Big 12 baseball series even as Oklahoma clinched the regular-season title by beating Baylor. Gage Boehm has seven saves and could flirt with matching Huston Street, Mike Hamer and Beau Ridgeway to crack the top 10 for single-season saves with 12. He has completely solidified the bullpen. … One projection for the NCAA Tournament has Texas as high as a 2-seed in a regional, but hostile – make that hostile with a capital H – East Carolina. The Pirates are perhaps the best middle power in that conversation with great home field advantage, even though they were defeated in a riveting game by Texas two years ago for a spot in the College World Series. ECU currently holds the last of the eight national seeds, allowing these teams to host all the way to Omaha as long as they keep winning. I suspect it will be almost impossible to miss being sent to Texas A&M, Arkansas or ECU. … According to a mock Major League Baseball draft from ESPN, Longhorns first baseman Jared Thomas and shortstop Jalin Flores are projected to be the 64th and 76th best prospects in this summer’s draft. Also, Westlake second baseman Theo Gillen is the 22nd highest player overall and the third best high school player in this class. Levi Sterling, a right-hander from Notre Dame, California, and a Texas commit, is the 55th best prospect.

5. Texas circuit leaves the Big 12 in style

On the road to success: When Texas men’s and women’s head coach Edrick Floréal was recently asked what he will miss most about the Big 12, he joked, “Yes, the trophies.” Small miracle. His men’s and women’s teams captured the league titles in Waco, making it five straight outdoor crowns for the women and the second for the men in five seasons. The Horns got gold from Kristine Blazevica (heptathlon for the fourth straight year) and Marilyn Nwora (second shot put title) and Akala Garrett (a Big 12 record in the 400-meter hurdles), three of the six Texas women’s champions. Of the 49 Big 12 titles during that time, Coach Flo claimed 15. Oddly enough, he said before the meeting that he felt pressure to produce. ‘I’m about two feet tall. I wish I had been the guy to go first (Steve Sarkisian last fall) and gotten mine out of the way. I just want to be done with it. We have won our fair share. We’ve lost our share, but I think we’ve been pretty consistent at the top.” … It sounds like he’ll miss the camaraderie, too, as he suggests the SEC is a dog-eat-dog world. “I’m going to miss the Big 12 because it’s a little more relaxed. You’re going to go to war (in the SEC). They are all firearms,” he said. “The Big 12 is a solid league, but the atmosphere isn’t like you’re going to die this weekend if you don’t win. There is definitely more poison in the SEC than in the Big 12.”

6. Texas’ SEC schedule will bring back Rick Barnes

Highs and lows of the SEC schedule: We’re sorry Chris Beard and Ole Miss won’t grace the Moody Center next season, but Rick Barnes, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Tennessee’s Alabama will. I fully expect Rodney Terry to sign another big man soon. He definitely needs a fourth post in his frontcourt. Indiana State’s Jayson Kent, a 6-foot-2 swing 4-man who has posted 10 double-doubles, once had a 20-rebound game and a dozen games with 10 boards or more, will be a big addition. But more help is needed. …Too bad Terry doesn’t welcome Ron Holland for his second year of college. In fact, he didn’t even have him one year as the 6-foot-1 wing who was Texas’ top recruit, but he chose the G League Ignite team over the Longhorns and never made the cut. In a year where Dillon Mitchell never developed his shot and Dylan Disu played far from the basket, Ze’Rik Onyema never made the transition to the Power Five and Big 12 and chronic injuries kept Virginia from holding 6-foot-4 Kadin Shedrick to play major. minutes. Texas could have used Holland’s playmaking and defense and likely would have defeated Tennessee in that exciting NCAA Tournament second-round game. Holland is now considered by some to be the No. 1 pick in a very dull NBA draft class that some say is the worst in more than a decade. The Athletic rates Holland as the top pick, even though he made a dismal 24% of his three-pointers in the G League and missed the final two months of the season. “It’s not a slam dunk, and you could make a credible case for several players, but the Netherlands has been the top player on my board since the 2023 Hoop Summit,” the report said. “He still has the best resume.”

7. Texas softball enters the NCAAs as the best team in the country

Number one: Texas softball earned the No. 1 ranking nationally over arch-nemesis Oklahoma and will play its NCAA games at McCombs Field for as long as it lives, until the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City. Mike White has made such great strides with the program that his Longhorns are now better positioned than ever to win a national title, matching the school’s record 14 Big 12 titles overall. Yes, OU looms large after beating Texas in the conference tournament in its quest for a third straight WCWS crown, and I fully expect the two to settle the issue next month in Oklahoma City.

8. Whatever happened to…

Scattering shots: While wondering what happened to former Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. I still wonder what happened to the Pac-12. … Brian Cisarik, the subject last week as the Longhorns single-season batting leader with a .429 average in 1987, is alive and well in San Antonio, where he is a self-storage magnate. His former teammate Doug Lindauer remembers how Cisarik broke the tension of harassing Razorbacks fans in a crucial SWC series for the title: “He broke into song singing ‘Lady in Red’ because he knew I would laugh and relax about it. Just a world-class guy who could hit every pitcher he faced.”

9. Meanwhile, from the largest chair in the world…

On the couch: Here’s the deal. I loved “Man in Full,” a limited series on Netflix starring Jeff Daniels as Atlanta real estate mogul Charlie Croker, who is as eccentric as they come and who talks like the reincarnation of President LBJ. It is a moving portrait of a billionaire in bankruptcy, full of pride and arrogance. I loved every minute until the final scene – which was vastly different from the conclusion of Tom Wolfe’s novel, on which it is based – when it offered the most abrupt and unsatisfying ending that has perhaps ever been seen in cinematic history. Okay, I’m embellishing. But it begged for another season. Unfortunately, only in our dreams. Gave it 8.5 ducks, but the end 1 duck.

10. How to Steal John Calipari’s Fayetteville Thunder

Crazy prediction: Barring a hot start from Sam Pittman, Arkansas makes a football move early and promotes (wait for it) Bobby Petrino.