Quarterbacks

Football:

Chip Brown had a nice, and free, article up on orangebloods about the man who would be king and his thoughts on taking over in the national championship. Everything I see from Gilbert headed into the new year is more and more convincing that he'll be the featured skill player in the 2010 offense. Certainly the offense is headed towards a more balanced approach but I don't think the running game will be notable for a single dominant performance so much as unit strength and a stable of good backs.

Buried deep in the article is an interesting quote from Garret,

"It's a little different. It's a little bit of an adjustment. But Coach Davis has helped make the transition to a 2-back offense really smooth, and I think the offense has responded really well to it."

I don't think Gilbert was recruited to operate a 2-back offense and that's not what they ran at Lake Travis but a wide-split spread offense. It may be that the transition to this offense was not an expected part of Gilbert's plan here and that he anticipated running something closer to the Colt McCoy offense predominantly out of the shotgun spread. That said, I think his talents are a great fit for the 2-back offense so I expect he'll adjust well. Knowing GD I'm sure the same 3-step game run out of the shotgun will be featured extensively with a 2-back base offense.

As for Colt McCoy, he's been taking delightful digs at Texas A&M. Sure A&M fans will crow about how McCoy was only 2-2 against them but I think the beating he administered in college station in November qualifies him to have a certain disregard for the difficulty level of dominating Aggy defenses. Anyways their reaction reminds me of the legendary Simpsons episode "Lemon of Troy" when the Springfield boys invade neighboring Shelbyville to regain the town lemon tree. The parents follow after and their inquiring of some Shelbyville parents prompts the response,

"Missing children, hmm, sounds like Springfield has a discipline problem..." another pipes in, "haha, hey maybe that's why we beat them in football nearly half the time."

Shelbyville, College Station? Anyone else seeing this?

Our other backwater Big 12 rival, while dealing with Gilbert's certain rise in prominence in their battered psyche, are also looking towards year two of the Landry Jones era. There's a nice write-up about him over at Dr. Saturday with some statistical breakdown that indicates that Landry falls somewhere in the Kirkendoll range of successful outings.

I'll repeat myself and say that the establishment of a running game is more important to the Sooner offensive system than development from Landry. This is the program that almost won a championship with Jason White...twice. The only way they were having success last year was with Bradford, no one else who has quarterbacked that team in the Stoops era was carrying that offense to a BCS game.

In NFL land the Panthers have made a move at quarterback. Now seems like a good time for another round of "Nickel Rover makes post-facto claims about prior opinions and hopes you believe him".

After Delhomme's famous breakdown against the Arizona Cardinals where they abandoned the running game that had scored a touchdown on the opening drive in about 13 seconds and then turned the game over to him so he could turn it over to the Cards, North Carolina naturally offered him a 42.5 million dollar contract with 20 million in guarantees. I rated this move at time somewhere between Portland passing on Jordan and Mack Brown promoting Duane Akina on the "all-time bad sports moves" list. It was indefensible, I don't care about their salary cap standing, you cannot tie your franchise hopes to a turnover-prone quarterback who just put forth one of the all-time worst playoff game performances.

Now they've released him and have no answer at quarterback, little to no chance at landing a FA with the upcoming uncapped year, and 20 million locked up in paying the widowed family of Delhomme. At least the Panthers have a running game they can feature and just try to plug in a quarterback without asking him to do much. Actually, I would draft to shore up the OL before sinking more money into another ? at quarterback in the 1st round.

Basketball:

Recent bracketology has Texas seeded 7th facing Old Dominion and then Purdue in order to reach the Sweet 16. That probably won't happen exactly like that which makes Trips' interesting excuse to write basketball still potentially relevant. His second team capable of beating the Orangemen in the tourney happens to be the next Texas opponent: Baylor at 3 on Saturday.

Repeating myself again, this game is the last regular season chance for Texas to demonstrate the ball-movement and defensive improvement that carried them to home victories against the Okie schools and Nebraska at home. This team just needs some momentum to become exceptionally dangerous and a win @Baylor to seize back the standings in that rivalry could do exactly that.

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