In this Spring ball edition of Mondays in the Humidor with the Big Cigar, we discuss, duh, spring ball. The first handful of practices are in the books and El Cohiba Grande weighs in on what’s up both on and off the field with Charlie Strong’s second group of gridiron gladiators. Aside from football, obviously a lot has gone down in the last 48 hours for the Texas basketball program.
This week’s Notebook starts in Houston with the state’s top LB and finishes in Central Texas with a trio of up-and-comers. We finish with practice perspective from a few of the state’s best prospects who attended Texas Relays and watched some of Longhorns’ Spring practices. All in the Recruiting Notebook.
Now that Rick Barnes has stepped down at Texas, let’s look at some of the candidates to replace him in Austin.
Rick Barnes publicly resigned Sunday as Texas’ winningest basketball coach during an impromptu press conference on the UT campus. His parting shots – after 17 years on the job — were classy and heartfelt, despite assurances his was job was safe following the Longhorns’ March 19 loss to Butler in the NCAA Tournament.
Texas officials have confirmed to Longhorn Network that Texas Men’s Basketball coach Rick Barnes and the University will “mutually part ways” after 17 seasons in Austin.
As we’ve reported Barnes has been asked to step down after what was a dismal 2015 season. Reports coming in that Barnes was being forced to fire assistants, while not erroneous, are basically window dressing to allow Barnes to save face.
Yes, we are talking about practice. Latest from the Frank Denius Fields as UT gets into full spring swing, plus the Texas Relays are in town along with some of the nation’s best athletes. Great chance for Strong to say hello to a handful of prospects and targets. We also talk to a new offer, a new QB target, and the very latest on Rick Barnes. We are sitting on the front row in this week’s Inside Scoop.
Generating explosive plays is an essential task for any offense. As Bill Connelly has demonstrated, the teams that score points are the ones that traverse the field in chunks. While Texas has an eye for ball-control and staying ahead of the chains as an overall strategy for winning, it’s still necessary to get “explosive plays” to make scores happen.
Call it Swoopes last stand.
I enjoyed Ian Boyd’s interesting Inside Texas ideals on how to unlock Tyrone Swoopes as a winning QB at Texas. I hope he is correct if the Longhorns end up having to go with him in 2015. However, I don’t believe that he can ever breakthrough against a top team, and here are the reasons for that:
Charlie Strong arrived in Austin with the reputation of being a great defensive coach. Despite the underwhelming record in his inaugural season and more than a handful of lopsided games, he lived up to his billing in year one. It requires some context to understand that, namely the offense was terrible and put much undue strain on a defense that was much better in quarters one, two, and three than in the fourth. The team simply lacked the required depth to not wither late and the offense routinely put it in unfavorable situations. As did special teams.