FootballFootball Recruiting

Beating the heat with notes

Tom Herman and Sam Ehlinger (Will Gallagher/IT)
Tom Herman and Sam Ehlinger (Will Gallagher/IT)

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August notes while suffering through relentless 100+ degree heat. Hopefully Tulsa and USC can feel my pain in a few weeks…

* Fall camp is wrapping up, and nothing has changed in my mind, pertaining to a 2018 win-loss record for Texas. I still see Texas finishing at 9-3, with losses to USC, TCU and Oklahoma State. The Texas defense – combined with a Big 12 conference full of unproven quarterbacks – should keep the Longhorns competitive in every game. If Texas loses to Maryland, this column becomes null and void. In fact, if Texas loses to Maryland, a whole lot of things might become null and void.

* Speaking of Maryland, I expect DJ Durkin has coached his last game at the school. I also appreciate Tom Herman stating emphatically that UT does all it can and must do to avoid the kind of tragedy the Terrapins have faced in general, and the family of Jordan McNair has faced in particular.

* While we’re on the subject of coaches under scrutiny, I didn’t think Urban Meyer would be back at Ohio State, but that was just my ignorance. Meyer was robotic in his “apology” press conference, and didn’t seem real pleased with the three-game suspension he received. The problem for Ohio State now, however, is navigating the season with constant questions about the Zach Smith fiasco, and you can bet more facts about the case will come to light. Ohio State has shown it’s willing to deal with this problem because, after all, beating Michigan is important. I’m all for letting circumstances and investigations play out before final decisions are made, but anything pertaining to domestic violence should be non-negotiable.

* Disturbing to hear Herman say “nobody is separating” as a kicker. Inconsistent kicking has taken years off the lives of many Texas fans, and those fans were assuming Cameron Dicker – the number two kicker in the nation coming out of high school – would immediately put an end to that consternation. His high school career shows he has a ton of ability, and he might very well turn into Justin Tucker Lite, but the coach’s comments on this matter are a bit disconcerting.

* I was comforted by Herman naming a starting quarterback – Sam Ehlinger – for the Maryland game, but I would’ve felt better about this if it were announced a month ago. Ehlinger and Shane Buechele have been here a long time now, and I hope the decision was so late in the making because they were both playing at a high level, instead of because neither of them had played well enough to make the choice easy.

* And finally, the hullabaloo in Aggieland…not sure if any of the allegations made by a former Aggie football player this week are true, but it certainly makes for a wonderful message board at Inside Texas. The best comment so far, in my estimation, speculated about whether the Aggies would have to turn in their championship plaque that they’ve already awarded themselves with – prior to actually winning a championship – if the NCAA slaps them for violations. Welcome to College Station, Jimbo.