Dave Campbell tells Texas and Texas A&M to “play the game”

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We have now arrived at preseason magazine season on the college football calendar. While most of us are familiar with the offerings from publications from the likes of Athlon Sports and Phil Steele, folks in the state of Texas have another annual preview to look forward to from Dave Campbell. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is widely considered the go-to resource for all things Texas football, be it high school or college, and the summer edition is always a big draw around the lone star state. Appearing on the cover is a big deal in the state. Baylor was pleased to be featured last season, and you might have thought TCU would have a good shot to the featured school appearing on this year’s preview edition. Heck, both TCU and Baylor figure to start the season highly ranked and are both stronger conference championship and College Football Playoff contenders than either Texas or Texas A&M. So they should appear on the cover, right?

Nope.* The big story this year appearing on the cover is the call to revive the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry, with just the second illustrated cover in magazine history.

As you know, Texas and Texas A&M have not played each other since Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012. Though the coaches have spoken about reviving the series by any means necessary, the people with power from above have been reluctant to make it a reality for one reason or another. We have even has state legislatures try to get involved.

“One of our toughest jobs every year is to narrow down all the terrific football stories across the state and choose the most important cover subject for Texas Football,” said DCTF managing editor Greg Tepper said. “This story — Texas vs. Texas A&M, and how it’s inconceivably gone dormant — is the proverbial elephant in the room. For decades, Aggies vs. Longhorns shaped the face of football in Texas. As the authorities on football in the Lone Star State, our position is clear: It’s time to bring it back.”

I am sure I am not alone in saying I hope to see this rivalry played again in the future, and hopefully on a long-term basis. Realignment ripped away many great storied rivalries, including the in-state series between the Longhorns and Aggies. Fans from both sides have been vocal about having no desire to revive the series, but deep down they all would love to get another crack at their rivals if given the opportunity.

* Yes, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin appears on the cover in the secondary image at the top of the cover. Baylor’s Shawn Oakman is also featured in the secondary box.

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.