Two to Look Forward To
Kevin Sumlin's scrimmage was the talk of the town in Dallas this weekend.
The National Championship Game - Monday - CBS - 8 PM
The end of the journey that began in November, tonight is the sad end of College Basketball season, but what a hell of a way to end it. Louisville, the nation’s best defensive team, against Michigan, the nation’s best offensive team. By Ken Pomeroy’s rankings, they’re the #1 and #5 teams in the country. We could be set for a classic at the Georgia Dome tonight.
The Maroon and White Game - Saturday - ESPN (or Kyle Field) - 2 PM
The playcalling will be vanilla, there will be very few surprises, but it’s still the spring game. Which players can have a strong finish to the spring and be poised to have a big fall? Will ESPN interview Johnny mid-play? Will Kirk Herbstreit take some snaps? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered on Saturday.
Four For the Week
Rafael Pineda - Returning to the weekend rotation this weekend, Pineda struck out three and allowed six hits while giving up just one run over 7.2 innings on Sunday in A&M’s 4-1 win. It was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal weekend for the Aggies, who dropped the series to the last place Auburn Tigers.
The A&M Secondary - If there was a star in Friday’s scrimmage at Kyle Field, it was the A&M secondary. Their five man nickel package of De’Vante Harris, Deshazor Everett, Floyd Raven, Howard Matthews and Toney Hurd Jr. have been solid all spring for the Aggies.
Kevin Sumlin & DJ Double R - I think Cedar Hill receiver Damarkus Lodge said it the simplest way when I asked him on Sunday at the Nike NFTC what he thought about Friday Night Lights. He just laughed and said “Man, I’ve never seen a DJ at a practice before.” Neither have I Damarkus, neither have I. We can only hope that next year there’s an actual rapper on stage to top Friday Night.
Manziel told the media he talked to the A&M baseball coaches last spring about possibly joining the team. The Aggies could probably still use him now.
David Cornwell - I’ve seen quite a few quarterbacks in my time both before and in this job, but I don’t know if I’ve seen one quite like this kid from Norman, OK. First off, he’s gigantic. But second, he just throws the ball so effortlessly. He was the center of attention all weekend long here in Dallas.
- Nike camps are an annual reminder of just how much players put into being elite players, and what separates the great ones from everyone else. Watching Jamal Adams, Tony Brown and others want to compete in a drill, in April, is what makes those guys so good (aside from also being athletic freaks.) I think the camp setting is overrated in a lot of ways, but one thing that isn’t overrated is watching guys that want to get out there and get better.
- Aggie baseball fans, it might be time to start reaching for the panic button. We knew coming into the season that the A&M lineup was going to struggle to plate runs, but I don’t recall seeing a Childress team with so many issues in the pitching staff this far into the season. He’s still tinkering with the weekend rotation. The Aggies have lost five of their last six in conference.
- It’s hard to quantify the impact that Johnny Manziel is having for Texas A&M. Just this weekend, he got up in front of all the quarterbacks at the Elite 11 camp and gave a speech, then threw out the first pitch on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. You could feel the excitement from some of the players when Manziel showed up Saturday at Elite 11, and a lot of the guys were getting photos with him and trying to talk to him between drills.
- According to CBSSports’ Jeff Goodman, Patric Young intends on coming back for his senior season at Florida next year. That’s one more step in the right direction for the SEC next year. I said this a few weeks ago, but look out for the league to have a huge bounce back next season after a dismal year this year. A number of the league’s coaches are in their third and fourth seasons with their teams, and Kentucky and Florida are both going to be Final Four contenders.
- I’m interested to see what exactly the Aggie coaches roll out there on Saturday for the spring game. Because it’s televised, we already know that the play calling is going to be extremely limited, but we might still get a good look at the offensive and defensive lines. One thing I’m looking forward to is being able to record it so that I can go back and watch the individual battles in the trenches more closely.
- Enjoy this week, because after the spring game, we enter the dark time of the year. That four month stretch between the end of spring football and the start of fall camp is the hardest time of the year. Sure, you’ll be at the pool, or watching fireworks on the 4th of July, or feigning interest in Major League Baseball. But at least once every day you’re going to catch yourself thinking of September 14th and the game against Alabama. Every summer is a long one, but with A&M near the top five and returning the Heisman Trophy winner, this is going to be one of the longest ones ever.
- My seventh thought this week is Jack Hoffman, who scored the best touchdown in the history of spring games for Nebraska this weekend. Here's the story behind the play.
And, if you haven’t seen this video, watch it now. Warning, it’s about to get a little dusty in your office.