Let’s face it. Until the day comes when Texas and Texas A&M get back on the same football field for a regular season game, this topic is never going to die. In the latest example of proving you can set your offseason calendar to the moment anyone from Texas or Texas A&M merely mentions the dormant rivalry, Longhorns head coach Tom Herman suggested reviving the rivalry with the Aggies would be a part of his ideal football schedule in Austin.
“In my perfect world, you would play one big-time Power 5 [non-conference] opponent,” Herman said in SiriusXM ESPNU Radio interview with Andy Staples and Rick Neuheisel this week. “To me, there’s a very logical one an hour-and-a-half east of us.”
Herman was clearly referring to Texas A&M when mentioning a logical option just 90 minutes east of Austin. Herman also expressed a desire to be able to play a true rivalry game at home in an alternating series similar to other Big 12 schools like Oklahoma and Oklahoma State playing each other and Iowa State playing in-state Big Ten rival Iowa. Texas A&M would fit that bill Herman is trying to address.
Of course, this is all the same old stuff we have been talking about since Texas A&M left the Big 12 for the SEC and the rivalry was put on ice after the 2011 season. Fans of both schools appear to have a much greater desire for the series to be revived, and coaches who have come and gone make it a routine to sound off on wanting to play their old rival to win fans over. But the fact remains the powers that be at both Texas and Texas A&M are standing firm on not wanting to play the other school again, even if there is a hint there are higher-ups who would be interested in seeing the series continue.
Both the big 12 and SEC require their members to schedule one game against another power conference opponent in non-conference play. It seems to be a perfect way for the rivalry to resume for both the Longhorns and Aggies. Instead, both schools continue to line up non-conference schedules without including the other, as is the case now through 2020 for sure, and likely for years beyond that with other matchups against power conference teams already lined up for years.
Ohio State’s injury-hit defense bent but didn’t break (too much) in a closer-than-expected win over Minnesota this past weekend. With a matchup against a more potent offense in the offing this weekend, the Buckeyes appear set to be a helluva lot healthier on that side of the ball this coming Saturday than they were the last.
Both defensive end Jonathon Cooper and linebacker Malik Harrison missed the 30-14 win over the Gophers because each was in concussion protocol. With Purdue looming in Week 8, Cooper and Harrison have been cleared and are expected to play against the Boilermakers.
Through six games and before last Saturday, Harrison’s 25 tackles were second on the team. Cooper replaced All-American Nick Bosa, who underwent surgery after suffering a core muscle injury in Week 3 and could be sidelined for another month at least, in the starting lineup.
Another two defensive starters could be getting healthier as well. From the Associated Press:
In addition, starting defensive tackle Robert Landers, who has been limited by an unspecified injury, is probable for the game, while starting cornerback Damon Arnette, who was hurt in the Penn State game, is questionable, Meyer said.
Purdue is currently 42nd in scoring offense (33.5 points per game) and 10th in total offense (510.2 yards per game).
Thanks to Georgia’s loss, Ohio State moved up to No. 2 nationally in both major polls.
As he announced on Twitter, Bennett Williams left Illinois earlier this month because of a dismissal. Because of a decidedly different reason (?), the Fighting Illini has felt yet another personnel loss.
On the same social media website utilized by his former teammate, Louis Dorsey announced that he has “decided it is in my best interest to transfer and continue my career elsewhere.” Dorsey gave no specific reason for his midseason move.
Dorsey was suspended during the spring of this year for violating unspecified violations of team rules. He was also suspended for the first three games of the 2018 regular season for the same reason.
As a true freshman in 2017, Dorsey led the Illini with three receiving touchdowns; was second in receiving yards with 395; and fourth in receptions with 22. His 18 yards per reception were tops on the team. BTN.com named the 6-6, 225-pound Dorsey to its All-Freshman Team for that performance.
Because of his off-field issues, Dorsey has played in just one game and not caught a pass this season.
Heading into this weekend’s rivalry game against Alabama in Knoxville, Tennessee’s linebacking corps has taken a hit that will be felt for the rest of 2018.
Late in the third quarter of Tennessee’s huge Week 7 upset of Auburn this past weekend, Jonathan Kongbo went down with an injury to his right knee and didn’t return to the game. Over the weekend, Jeremy Pruitt confirmed that Kongbo was diagnosed with a torn ACL.
Obviously, Kongbo, who is expected to undergo surgery at some point this week to repair the damage, will miss the remainder of the 2018 season. As this was his final year of eligibility, it also means that this effectively ends the linebacker’s collegiate playing career.
The fifth-year senior had started five of the six games this season for the Vols. In that half of the regular season, he had accounted for 11 tackles, four quarterback hurries and an interception. The pick came in the second quarter of the upset of the Tigers.
Last season, Kongbo started 10 games.
An on-field incident in Week 7 will cost Raekwon Davis on the field in the future. Just when and how much remains to be seen.
During Alabama’s romp over Missouri this past weekend, the defensive lineman was caught by the all-seeing television broadcast eye punching (x3) Mizzou offensive lineman Kevin Pendleton. Not only did the cameras catch him, but so did the officiating crew, who flagged Davis for unsportsmanlike conduct.
While Davis very publicly apologized to Pendelton, and the human punching bag very graciously accepted…
… there will be, after Nick Saban spoke with SEC commissioner Greg Sankey about the incident, playing-time repercussions for the lineman.
“We will have him do some things and I think it should affect his playing time in the future,” the head coach said.
Again, just what effect specifically the incident will have on Davis on the field is unclear.
Davis is currently sixth on the Crimson Tide with 27 tackles while his three tackles for loss are tied for sixth. Alabama will face rival Tennessee, coming off a huge upset of then-No. 21 Auburn this past weekend, in Knoxville this coming Saturday.