News, notes and the games for the Big 12 weekend
By KEVIN LONNQUIST
Big 12 Insider
Every first Wednesday of February, the signing classes from the national power programs look like strokes of brilliance because of what each prospect should add.
And then reality hits.
Because these student athletes are in an era of finding immediate success on the field and in life, they tend to believe that it should translate to them doing the same thing once they get on campus. If it doesn’t work out, the young man becomes impatient, doesn’t get the results he’s looking for and leaves.
Texas is a prime example especially with recent quarterbacks. Once thought to be a position of depth, the Longhorns are far from it. The heralded Garrett Gilbert is at SMU. Connor Wood transferred to Colorado.
Earlier this summer, highly touted offensive lineman John Michael McGee left Oklahoma for reasons possibly beyond just being homesick. It happens everywhere.
While the talent in the game is better, the entitlement seems to getting worse.
“I’m seeing more kids transferring across the country,’’ Texas coach Mack Brown. “We live in a world of the instant that when things aren’t happening quickly, there’s not as much room for patience.’’
This week, Baylor’s coaching staff had to put out a fire rather than enjoy a 59-24 victory over SMU. Following the game, transfer running back Lache Seastrunk sent out a tweet expressing frustration over the lack of playing time.
Seastrunk tweeted, “Just feel like I’m at my breaking point but thank God I have not broke in to”
A response asked for patience but Seastrunk only replied, “I’m sorry but that’s getting real old i been out two years now I’m back at square one.”
Whatever message the coaching staff sent must have worked. Seastrunk sent out a tweet stressing he’s going to work and stay humble.
What’s a coach to do? Coaches want the talent, have to balance it but run the risk of losing several because these players aren’t getting the results they want to hear.
Brown said he gives unconditional releases unless he learns that one of his players been tampered with by another school or if it’s extraordinary circumstances. However, the first goal is to try to fix the issue before it reaches a point where it can’t be salvaged.
What many of these players have to understand is while they are gifted, there’s another guy at their position who is likely just as gifted. That’s why he was also recruited. However, the other guy may have done a little more to move up the depth chart.
Brown put it this way: “When we talk to our players, we tell them, ‘here’s your role. If you don’t like your role, you need to change it by working harder in practice and participating.’’’
Big 12 Power Rankings
Every week in this space, RattleandHumSports.com provides its Power Rankings for the Big 12 conference. We unveiled our first edition in late August. Agree or disagree, this makes for great water cooler talk:
- West Virginia – Geno Smith and the Moutaineers deliver the most impressive performance of the weekend
- Oklahoma – Sooners were not sharp mentally or physically at UTEP
- Texas – QB David Ash has the start coaches wanted
- Baylor – Bears can move up if Texas has a less than inspiring performance against New Mexico
- TCU – Horned Frogs getting ready to open the new Amon Carter Stadium
- Oklahoma State – We learned nothing about the Cowboys last Saturday
- Kansas State – RB John Hubert begins quickly
- Iowa State – QB Steele Jantz takes an important step
- Texas Tech – Red Raiders facing a trap game at Texas State Saturday
- Kansas – QB Dayne Crist unimpressive in the opener
BIG 12 WEEKEND
A snapshot look of the weekend’s Big 12 games along with their television listing.
Miami (Fla.) (1-0) at No. 20/21 Kansas State (1-0)
11:00 a.m., Saturday, Bill Snyder Family Stadium, Manhattan, KS. (FX)
The Skinny: An experienced KSU team won in Miami last year. The ‘Canes are even younger this year but rallied from an early deficit to win on the road last week at Boston College. Kansas State needs a quicker start after struggling early against Missouri State. Pass rush is a concern.
Iowa State (1-0) at Iowa (1-0)
2:30 p.m., Saturday, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA (Big Ten Network)
The Skinny: This is the annual battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy. It currently resides in Ames. But the Hawkeyes lead the overall series, 39-20. ISU QB Steele Jantz got his season off to the right start. Iowa has been devastated by RB ACL injuries but Texas product Damon Bullock emerged and helped the Hawks escape at Northern Illinois last week, 18-17.
Rice (0-1) at Kansas (1-0)
2:30 p.m., Saturday, Memorial Stadium, Lawrence, KS. (Fox Sports Net)
The Skinny: The Jayhawk defense produced four interceptions in last week’s season opening win against South Dakota State. Rice was gutted by UCLA last week, 49-24. The Owls are expected to be doormats in Conference USA.
Florida A&M (0-1) at No. 5/5 Oklahoma (1-0)
6:00 p.m. Saturday, Owen Field, Norman, OK. (FS-Oklahoma/ PPV)
The Skinny: OU coach Bob Stoops wasn’t really happy with the mental busts and lackluster offensive line play against UTEP last week. The Sooners were sluggish in a 24-7 victory. The Rattlers lost their opener at Tennessee State, 17-14. That school is in the midst of a band hazing scandal.
Grambling State (0-1) at No. 17/20 TCU (0-0)
6:00 p.m. Saturday, Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX (Fox Sports Southwet)
The Skinny: The Horned Frogs play their first game as a Big 12 member and should cruise in the new ACS. The program is also trying to move forward after it was rocked by a drug scandal that surfaced in February.
Texas Tech (1-0) at Texas State (1-0)
6:00 p.m. Saturday, Bobcat Stadium, San Marcos, TX
The Skinny: Tech quarterback Seth Doege was solid in his debut against Northwestern State throwing for nearly 200 yards and a TD. Texas State, under former TCU and Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione, scored a huge 30-13 upset at Houston last week. Now a D1 school, Texas State is looking to pull a second consecutive upset.
New Mexico (1-0) at No. 15/17 Texas (1-0)
7:00 p.m. Saturday, Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin (Longhorn Network)
The Skinny: Texas wasn’t overpowering in its 37-17 victory over Wyoming last week but the running game produced two 100-yard rushers in Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown. New Mexico is now being led by former Notre Dame coach Bob Davie.
No. 16/18 Oklahoma State (1-0) at Arizona (1-0)
9:30 p.m. Saturday, Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ. (PAC 12 Network)
The Skinny: Arguably the game of the weekend with the untested Cowboys facing a challenge on the road in the desert. Arizona, now under Rich Rodriguez, survived in overtime against Toledo, 24-17, and were explosive with 624 yards. They were stymied by three turnovers and breakdowns. The Cowboys manhandled undermanned Savannah State. Freshman QB Wes Lunt needs to be ready.
Baylor and West Virginia have the week off
NEWS & TRENDS
Snyder & staff earn raise
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder and his staff earned a salary bump, according to KSU athletic director John Currie. Reports say the raise is worth $250,000 and that Snyder’s contract will roll over for a fifth year…meanwhile following the Wildcats’ 51-9 victory over Missouri State, quarter back Collin Klein had a rush because there were times when he called his own plays. “I love it,’’ told reporters. “It’s a chess game.’’
Tech’s OL starts safe
Texas Tech coaches played two redshirt freshmen in Alfredo Morales and Le’Raven Clark against Northwestern State. Tech coaches said that figured into a conservative game plan so those could become acclimated to the speed of the college game.
Quarterback Seth Doege approved of the protection he received.
“I think those guys did a good job,” Doege said, “and I don’t remember getting hit at all, so I guess that’s a pretty good job from the O-line.’’
Texas’ Youth Movement
The Longhorns used 10 members of the 2012 signing class in last week’s opener against Wyoming. According to the Austin-American Statesmen, they were snapper Kyle Ashby, fullback Alex De La Torre, Gray, receivers Kendall Sanders and Cayleb Jones, kickers Nick Jordan and Nick Rose, linebackers Peter Jinkens and Dalton Santos, cornerback Duke Thomas, defensive tackle Malcom Brown and wide receiver Marcus Johnson. Last year,
“We’re not desperate like we were last year, in trying to have freshmen win it,” Texas coach Mack Brown told reporters.
- College football is all about offense. The Big 12 has three of nation’s longest streaks of scoring 30 or more points in a game. Oklahoma State is at 19, while TCU and Baylor are at seven.
By the Number
9-0 – The Big 12’s record last week. The conference was the only to get through the first week undefeated.