Updated: Case McCoy comes in to lead Texas to win

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Updated 3:27 p.m. ET: Early in the fourth quarter and down 14-7, Texas made a quarterback change from David Ash to Case McCoy — and then called seven straight run plays.

The Longhorns’ final offensive drive of the game, however, showed why Mack Brown made the change. McCoy missed his first two passes before completing his next five, including the game-winning touchdown to D.J. Grant, and UT escaped a tight one against Kansas 21-17.

But the long-term damage may already be done.

For one, Texas once again will have to answer quarterback questions about Ash and McCoy. Brown might insist Ash is still the guy going forward, but McCoy is the one that got the job done today when it mattered most. What do you tell him? Sorry, it’s not good enough?

Secondly, this win is not just a win. It’s Kansas (sorry, Kansas) and there’s no good reason Texas should even be playing it this close. It wasn’t until midway through the fourth quarter that the Longhorns realized that, yes, they have better, faster skill guys than the Jayhawks. Johnathan Gray was practically the only offensive weapon that was utilized the way he should have been. There’s no excuse for that.

Sure, Kansas deserves credit for playing tough and having an opportunity to win, but there was only one way to make sure Brown’s critics didn’t yell louder after today: beat the ever-living daylights out of the Jayhawks. That didn’t happen. A loss to Kansas would have arguably been the lowest of the lows for the Mack Brown era. Still, I’m not sure this wasn’t the worst win of the Brown era, either.

I’m not saying Brown gets fired after this year, but I am saying that the teeth-gnashing and groans won’t go away until Texas starts winning games like the most profitable and recognizable brand with the best resources in college football should.

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Something something something… schematic advantage… something something something… saw Texas practice on the Longhorn Network.

That might be what you hear Charlie Weis saying on his way to the locker room at halftime with his Kansas Jayhawks holding on to a 14-7 lead over Texas.

Like West Virginia, Texas’ defense — tackling especially — is too easy to keep beating down. The Jayhawks are running the ball effectively and, well, that’s about it. When combined with a late second quarter interception of David Ash, it’s enough.

Texas has no momentum after scoring an early touchdown. Freshman running back Johnathan Gray has been the most productive player with 51 yards on the ground, but he only has four touches.

Clearly, there’s plenty of time for Texas to come back and take control in the second half. But even if the Longhorns come back and win convincingly, murmurs of dissatisfaction with Mack Brown are going to keep growing slowly louder.

North Dakota State gives Chris Klieman contract extension

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After coaching North Dakota State to a national championship last season, Chris Klieman has been given a contract extension.

The school announced the contract extension, which is now good through the 2023 season. The new extension tacks on two years to the existing contract for the head coach of the FCS juggernaut Bison.

“Chris has done an exceptional job in leading our football program on a national level,” North Dakota State director of athletics Matt Larsen said in a released statement. “Not only have we won three national championships during his tenure, but our student-athletes are achieving high marks in the classroom and are actively engaged on campus and in the Fargo-Moorhead community. I look forward to working with him and his staff for years to come.”

Klieman was named head coach at North Dakota State after former Bison head coach Craig Bohl was hired by Wyoming in 2014. In his short time as head coach, Klieman has continued to keep North Dakota State among the top FCS programs in the nation with three national titles (2014, 2015, 2017) and four consecutive Missouri Valley Football Conference championships. Prior to becoming the head coach of the program, Klieman was a defensive back coach and defensive coordinator under Bohl.

The defending FCS national champion North Dakota State Bison open their 2018 season at home against Cal Poly on September 1. North Dakota State will not play an FBS opponent this fall or in 2019, but will play at Oregon in 2020.

Shea Patterson blasts Ole Miss as battle over eligibility continues

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If the tension between Ole Miss and Michigan-bound quarterbacks transfer Shea Patterson wasn’t already made clear, a letter from Patterson did not hold back his seething comments about his former university in an explanation to the NCAA hoping to help his cause. Former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze was just one of Patterson’s targets.

Patterson suggested Freeze was not the man he claimed to be and believes Ole Miss has taken measures designed specifically to prevent certain players from leaving the program via transfer. Patterson is just one player attempting to move on from the program for a new college football home that is battling to gain eligibility for the upcoming fall rather than sit out a full season as per typical NCAA transfer rules.

“It doesn’t seem fair to me that the only thing standing in the way of Coach Freeze making $5 million a year at another school was the discovery that he wasn’t the trustworthy, straight-laced role model that he claimed to be,” Patterson states, as reported by Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports.

Patterson is transferring to Michigan, but his eligibility status being left up in the air to be determined has left uncertainty about what will happen in Ann Arbor. If Patterson is granted immediate eligibility, he would likely step right into the starting job for the Wolverines. But with Ole Miss holding up the transfer process with regard to his eligibility status, things have gotten dicey for all parties involved.

Patterson’s lawyer also put Ole Miss on full blast in this ongoing battle and war of words. We have not seen the end of this one yet.

Fortune Magazine names Nick Saban one of World’s 50 Greatest Leaders

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Add another line to the future College Football Hall of Famer’s burgeoning résumé.

Fortune Magazine Thursday released its annual list of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.  Checking in at No. 12, ahead of the likes of Apple CEO (and Auburn alum) Tim Cook (No. 14), Oprah Winfrey (No. 27) and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (No. 29)?  Alabama Crimson Tide head football coach Nick Saban.  He’s the only individual on the list with direct ties to college football.

Below is a portion of the magazine’s write-up on the coach:

Add an earlier one he won at LSU in 2003, and his six rings match Alabama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most football championships by a college coach in the so-called poll era, dating back to 1936. Now that he’s succeeded to a historic degree, Saban is grappling with the sports version of what business guru Clayton Christensen famously dubbed the “Innovator’s Dilemma”—the fact that success today makes it hard to keep the edge you need to win in the future. But if the last few years are any indication, the grappling is going pretty well.

The only other individuals from the sports world who made the list tennis player Serena Williams (No. 15) and “The Gymnasts and Their Allies” (No. 22), with the latter connected to the scandal surrounding disgraced former professor at Michigan State’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and sports physician for both the Spartans and USA Gymnastics Larry Nassar.

For the complete list, including the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and other schools at No. 1, click HERE.

Alabama announces future home-and-home with Notre Dame

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The reports have officially come to fruition.

Late last month, it was reported that Alabama was working on scheduling a home-and-home series with Notre Dame.  Nearly a month later, the Crimson Tide confirmed that it has indeed reached a scheduling agreement with their counterparts with the Fighting Irish.

The Crimson Tide will travel to South Bend Sept. 2, 2028, with the Fighting Irish heading to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 1 of the following season.

“It doesn’t get more tradition-rich than Alabama and Notre Dame when it comes to college football,” a statement from UA athletic director Greg Byrne began. “What a great opportunity this is for our program and for our fans to kick off the 2028 and 2029 seasons.”

The two storied football programs have met seven times previously, with the last coming in the 2012 championship game.  The Tide won that last matchup, but trail in the series 5-2.  Including the BCS title game, three of the meetings have come in the postseason, with the other two being the 1973 Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl following the 1974 season.

The 2029 game will mark the Fighting Irish’s first-ever appearance at Bryant-Denny Stadium as their two previous regular-season games against the Crimson Tide were played at Legion Field in Birmingham (1980, 1986).  Alabama has played Notre Dame in South Bend twice (1976, 1987).

“We are excited to be able to add a home-and-home series with a team like Notre Dame,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Alabama and Notre Dame represent two of the most storied programs in college football history. What a great opportunity for our team and our fans to be able to witness these teams play in two of the sport’s most iconic venues in Tuscaloosa and South Bend.”