Dean's List: Texas AD Search & Bradford's Comeback
After just 22 months on the job, Texas AD Steve Patterson is fired. It should be a day for celebration in Jerry Jeff Walker’s Hill Country but one of major concern for those in Norman and Big 12 country.
Patterson was as good a fit at UT as Howard Schnellenberger was at Oklahoma. Patterson upset Texas boosters. Shnelly upset Sooner Nation disrespecting them and King Barry Switzer when he puffed on Day 1 of the job that he “wasn’t hired to run the wishbone.”
Here’s the short list of UT candidates.
Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 commissioner
Mack Brown, former Texas coach and ESPN analyst
Oliver Luck, NCAA executive
Tom Jurich, Louisville AD
If you support the University of Oklahoma – or for that matter, OSU and the rest of the Big 12 – you’d better hope Texas doesn’t hire the one guy on the list who could turn things upside down.
It says here that if Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby chooses to take a pay raise and move to Austin to finish his career as AD at Texas and retire listening to Jerry Jeff, there’s a very real chance others will suffer.
Bowlsby is an accomplished, bright leader. His job expectation would be to take Texas places it has never been. Minimally, Texas would likely thrive under Bowlsby, who would use his experience and contacts to maximize the unmatched assets in Austin.
And the potential would exist for Bowlsby to take Texas in another direction and say adios to a conference that is consistently being minimized by ESPN and national pundits. The 24-7 promotion/exposure is giving the Alabamas such a recruiting advantage that competing will become more and more difficult (and that’s not a knock on the Bamas, who are in the business to be the best they can be).
The right AD hire and the sky could be the limit if big-sport coaches Charlie Strong and Shaka Smart do what I expect. Throw in Bowlsby and OU and the other eight could be left holding a bag with diminishing returns – literally and figuratively.
This is a warning to the anti-Texas clan out there who might be giggling today. If Texas pulls off the Bowlsby hire, someday in the near future, the laughs could be few and far between.
SAM GOES FROM HERO TO BUM
People who are lambasting Sam Bradford after Philly’s kicker missed a go-ahead field goal must be related to the knuckleheads who were espousing their genius that OU should bench Baker Mayfield in the second quarter of his outstanding performance in Knoxville and recruit a JUCO QB to start in 2016.
This isn’t an old OU QB taking up for modern age Sooner QBs who struggled in openers. It’s someone who knows a little about the topic and thinks the criticism is somewhere between unwarranted and outrageous enough for me to slap cuffs around your bony little wrists and scream, “citizen’s arrest!”
Think about how Bradford would have been evaluated if the kicker hadn’t choked. The emphasis would be on horrible protection in the first half, going 21-of-25 in the second half, completing 70 percent of his 52 passes for what was about to be 400 yards had his receiver not let a good clutch pass go through his hands and wind up being intercepted late fourth quarter.
Bradford made his first regular-season start in 23 months, and threw the fourth most passes of his career. In the end, the theory continues that the QB gets too much credit when his team wins and too much blame when his team loses. A little rusty, if he continues to improve at the expected rate, if he gets protection and stays healthy, Sam will light up the NFL.
WHOA NELLIE! NATIONAL TITLES ARE NOT VOLUNTEERED!
Tennessee proudly displayed at Neyland Stadium evidence of several national championship years. Hey, I love the people I met in Tennessee and respect the program and have friends involved with UT. But let’s double-check the facts surrounding something as prestigious as national championships before boasting. Maybe it’s in the water down South. Alabama fans will tell you they won somewhere between 13 and 113 natties. Facts are, AP recognizes the official champions. Bama has earned nine. And Tennessee’s 1950 claim is not accurate. Bud Wilkinson’s OU Sooners were the AP champs that year.
And in 1967, Tennessee finished 9-2, was ranked No. 1 by Litkenhous, and claims the title. Making it worse, it was none other than Chuck Fairbanks’ Sooners who handed the Vols their second loss when they beat Richmond Flowers and Company in the Orange Bowl. Love you Vols, but hyperbole not allowed in such serious matters!