Lone Star Showdown still has a chance to survive


With Texas A&M departing for the SEC next year, the future of the Thanksgiving game between the Aggies and Texas has been placed in jeopardy. A&M has made it clear that, despite it being an out-of-conference game, they want the series to continue. So far, Texas hasn’t quite reciprocated that level of optimism.

But the Lone Star Showdown may continue yet. Kirk Bohls of the Austin-American Statesman tweets this morning that A&M president R. Bowen Loftin (aka, the apple of Mike Slive‘s eye) authorized school AD Bill Byrne to approach Texas AD DeLoss Dodds about playing the game next season. Exactly when that game would be played, though, remains up in the air.

We’re open to a date that meets all our needs,” Loftin told Bohls.

It’s unclear how much interest, if any, Texas has in keeping the rivalry going. The general consensus from Austin feels like they believe the proverbial A&M ship has sailed, but if the Aggies show enough interest and flexibility — Slive has supported the Thanksgiving game as well — then the game might still have a chance. Texas, after all, still plans to play on Thanksgiving and interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas has endorsed those plans.

If the two sides can make it work, then there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to discontinue the game.

As for Big 12/SEC relations on a grander scale, Loftin added he doesn’t “think it’s likely to see another team join SEC and move by July 2012.” Neinas has stated as much, claiming the conference is looking at a 10-team Big 12 for next year. Missouri could make a decision on their conference affiliation late next week, the Columbia Daily Tribune reported, but Neinas says Mizzou essentially has until May of 2012 to make a decision.

Ole Miss OT Laremy Tunsil to return for Texas A&M on Oct. 24

Associated Press

As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.

From the university:

The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits.  During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle.  In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles.  He later corrected his account and since apologized. 

As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.

Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”

The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.

Hope he’s been practicing.

Report: Steve Spurrier set to retire

Steve Spurrier

Say it ain’t so, Steve.

According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.

Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.

He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.

But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.

Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:

Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.