Good morning and welcome to your Tuesday skull session. Whether your preferred morning routine includes coffee, cold pizza, or kegs and eggs, pay attention as there is much afoot with laces hitting pigskin in just four days. Let's get started, shall we?
THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME. The season's first depth chart is out and Fickell still isn't tipping his hand at the quarterback spot. We may not know the Akron starter (cough- Bauserman) but Taylor Graham and Kenny Guiton are definitely looking up to see whether freshman Braxton Miller or Stabler the Younger will be taking the snaps under center against Akron.
I know it's not the sexy pick, but I'm fine with Bauserman starting. Miller has a lot of snaps in his future, but it won't hurt to give the kid a little more time before throwing him to the wolves. Give Bauserman a shot, let Miller further learn the playbook and give him some more time to feel comfortable in this offense. I mean, with all do respect to the Zips, this is Akron we're talking about. If Bauserman has a B or better game, Miller could start the second half.
GIVE HALL THE BALL. Junior Jordan Hall is your week one starter at running back. He's perched ahead of Carlos Hyde and Rod Smith, while also holding down the top return spot on the team. It's a little confusing as Hyde looked like the starter throughout much of fall training camp, but the move stands well with me.
Hall, I believe, has the most potential of the group to be a versatile threat on offense. He's not necessarily the most physical back like we've become accustomed to seeing with Boom, Beanie, etc. but he's an extremely talented receiver out of the backfield, which will make him a perfect dump-off target for a first year starter. Also, this.
WHAT'S EATING GARRETT GILBERT? Unlike Ohio State, Texas has resolved their starting quarterback situation, giving the role to incumbent Garrett Gilbert. After a horrendous season in Austin last year, Gilbert is going to need to show improvement to hold the job from sophomore Case McCoy -- yes, brother of the Browns' starting quarterback. No pressure there, Gilbert, he's only the brother of one the greatest quarterbacks in Texas' history.
But while Colt McCoy's shadow rests over Gilbert, the quarterback who replaced McCoy in the 2010 BCS National Championship, he can't possibly play worse than he did last season. The Longhorns, in general, can't play worse than last season. Gilbert is under pressure now, and that usually brings out the best in talented players. Let's not forget some people were saying Gilbert could be better than Colt McCoy after Colt's graduation. While I don't think Gilbert is the next Colt McCoy, I expect Gilbert to hold on to the starting job this season.
SHAPIRO AVOIDS HARD TIME. Convicted felon and Hurricane public enemy number one, Nevin Shapiro, will not serve time in prison in Miami. This must come as a relief to Shapiro who will not have to endure encounters with pissed-off fans (though his partial stay in a Tallahassee prison could not have been much better).
According to the AP report, Shapiro also mentioned he plans on "writing a tell-all book about his experiences with the Hurricanes." The fact that Shapiro is seeking further fame, even if it is to pay off a reported 83 million dollars, is disgusting. However, I can't say that the prospect of reading a book like that wouldn't excite me. What worries me about this book is it might permanently damage the lives of some of these players. For example, the unknown player who Shapiro mentioned he, without the player's permission, paid for an abortion of a woman the player had sex with.
It would be easy for me to say I'm thrilled about the new allegations against Miami because of the heat it takes off of OSU, but that's far from the truth. While we probably won't have to expect nearly the same type of punishments, we can certainly relate to the constant criticism.
RUDY IN THE BIG 12? The Big 12's implosion continues as new details have been released on Texas A&M's desire to leave the conference. The university’s president, R. Bowen Loftin, sent a letter notifying the league that his Aggies would formally withdraw, possibly as early as today.
As A&M inches closer to the SEC, Notre Dame has been mentioned as a possible replacement for the Aggies. According to CBS Sports, however, Notre Dame will turn down the offer if it's extended.
To be honest, Notre Dame is just not a fit in the Big 12, and why would they want to become number two to a Texas team that might as well own the Big 12? Just a thought, what about the University of Houston as the tenth member of the Big 12? Also, can the Big Ten and the Big Twelve really not switch names, already?
FOR TUESDAY, BECAUSE IT'S NOT MONDAY. Map of the RivalsHigh 100... Kentucky, where you must shower once a year... The Oakland Raiders are attempting desperate measures to prove Terrelle Pryor is not JaMarcus Russell... Mike Martin, David Molk, Kevin Koger will serve as captains for the Wolverines... Do you have your water-powered jet pack yet?