Blackwell Commentary: Winter Wonder-land

Kris Boyd. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Kris Boyd. (Will Gallagher/IT)

Unofficially, the college football season for UT fans ended when the Kansas field goal flew between the uprights in Lawrence, sending three dozen Jayhawk fans into a charge-the-field frenzy. Despite hell freezing over that night, the sun did, in fact, rise the next day.

And now, a new coach and a month or so later, we are left with a handful of items to ponder and wonder about as 2016 turns to 2017:

* After about five minutes of watching and listening to Tom Herman at his introductory press conference, it occurred to me: after all of the hollering and screaming from fans about Mack Brown for years, and after hiring the anti-Mack, Charlie Strong, as the coach to replace Brown, Longhorn brass had now decided to hire someone who reminds me of…Mack Brown. Before any of you get pissy about that statement, please consider that Herman – like Mack and unlike Charlie – will win the press conference (yes, I know, you don’t care about the press conference, you just want him to win the scoreboard). Herman, who worked under Brown as a graduate assistant at Texas, is also like Brown in that he is outgoing and comes to Texas with a football background based primarily in offense. Brown attended the Herman press conference, and most believe that Herman will have a direct line to Brown for advice, support, etc. Those who don’t quite see the similarity will insist, however, that Herman has been known as more of a hard ass than Brown in his short time as a head coach. If history proves that Herman is somewhere between Brown and Strong as a head coach, chances are good that his hiring will be a success.

* The reaction from Louisville following the news that a former Wake Forest assistant coach had provided the Cardinals with inside information about the Demon Deacons was shocking. Basically, the Cardinals said that, yes, they received the information, but they didn’t use any of it, their coaching staff was already familiar with the plays, blah-blah-blah. Hard to believe that response went through multiple people for approval with no bright red flags flashing for anyone, but evidently that’s exactly what happened. At the very least, Louisville officials should’ve said they are investigating and would provide answers later, instead of cranking out a quick and rather careless news release. This will be a story that will ultimately have a life-span much longer than your average 24-hour news cycle.

* The Big 12 has released its 2017 schedule, with the new conference championship game between the top two league finishers scheduled for December 2nd. That’s all fine and good, but two of the teams expected to compete for the championship next year are Oklahoma and West Virginia, teams who will square off in the final regular season game November 25th in Norman. In other words, Oklahoma could advance to the league title game by beating the Mountaineers 42-10, after which they could perhaps face…West Virginia. Having a rematch in the championship game one week later is embarrassing enough, but perhaps costing one of the teams a chance to play for the national championship by having a title game is downright foolish. Not good.

* Evidently UT is putting new field turf in at UFCU Disch-Falk Field. At the risk of getting arrested, can I ask for grass, please?

* The University of Houston is trying to avoid having another coach leave to take another job by making new coach Major Applewhite sign a contract that will punish heavily ($$) if he leaves for another university in Texas. Note to the Cougars: 1, Applewhite is from Baton Rouge and 2, Baton Rouge is located in Louisiana.

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