Ketch's 10 Thoughts From The Weekend (You Can Call Sark "Mr. Unselfish"

styrbjorn

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With regard to the portal and Sark loading up on defensive players, I'm wondering if any or all of the following are true:
1) Sark & Flood are actually okay with the OL talent on campus (we do return a lot of experience and some promising project types)
2) To add to #1, Sark and Flood feel like Flood can coach up some or all of these guys and get a really good OL together.
3) With how dependent OL play is on continuity & communication, the guys that have been available just aren't enough of a talent upgrade to make it worth re-teaching them in one short fall practice season
4) Sark feels that he will be able to scheme around any issues that we have with the OL (e.g. more quick passing, screen/draw looks, etc) to keep our QB's alive.

I don't know why, but based on what Sark is "showing, not telling" us, I'm getting a vibe that he's nt all that worried about our OL.
 

Ketchum

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With regard to the portal and Sark loading up on defensive players, I'm wondering if any or all of the following are true:
1) Sark & Flood are actually okay with the OL talent on campus (we do return a lot of experience and some promising project types)
2) To add to #1, Sark and Flood feel like Flood can coach up some or all of these guys and get a really good OL together.
3) With how dependent OL play is on continuity & communication, the guys that have been available just aren't enough of a talent upgrade to make it worth re-teaching them in one short fall practice season
4) Sark feels that he will be able to scheme around any issues that we have with the OL (e.g. more quick passing, screen/draw looks, etc) to keep our QB's alive.

I don't know why, but based on what Sark is "showing, not telling" us, I'm getting a vibe that he's nt all that worried about our OL.

the proof will be in the pudding.
 

Appian_Way

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“Don't tell us; show us."

More than 25 years ago, that was the advice from one of my key mentors in media, Andy Liscano, about television news.

While he was trying to explain the importance of good video vs. words on a medium that allows people to use their eyes, it's an expression I've taken with me for almost every area of my life.

Going on a diet?

Don't tell us; show us.

One of my kids is telling me that they'll do something?

Don't tell us; show us.

The Longhorns are finally going to keep Oklahoma from winning a Big 12 title in football?

Yeah, you know, it sure as hell fits here, too.

The decision-making process that Texas coach Steve Sarkisian has implemented this spring while boosting his roster through the transfer portal is as enlightening about his view of the roster he inherited from Tom Herman as anything he could possibly tell us.

We know that he believes his offensive linemen need to get bigger. We also know that he's one potential injury away from potentially having to lean on true freshman Charles Wright at quarterback, depending on what happens with his own quarterback decision in August. You can make a case that outside of a handful of players on Sarkisian's side of the ball, there are very few positions that couldn't be upgraded to some degree through the portal.

Orange-tinted bias aside, this is a side of the ball that will enter the 2021 season with very few players worthy of being viewed as all-Big 12.

Yet, it says something that outside of taking national top 70 wide receiver prospect Xavier Worthy following the spring game, Sarkisian has allowed the defense to have full access to the available roster space available through the transfer portal. From Darrion Dunn to Ray Thornton to Ovie Oghoufu to Ben Davis to Devin Richardson to potentially Palaie Gaoteote and Donovan Kaufman (hell... and possibly Shadrach Banks), the Longhorns have continued to stack potential new starters and improved depth at the expense of trying to do the same on the offensive side of the ball.

With Sarkisian's actions, not his words, he's telling us a few critical things.

a. He's incredibly unselfish. Something tells me that Mike Leach isn't turning down chances to improve the offense. Hell, neither is Tom Herman, who dipped into the transfer market for multiple offensive pieces in each of the previous three seasons.

b. Whether he thinks he can turn water into wine or whether he legitimately loves this roster (or something somewhere in the middle), Sarkisian is content with what he has to work with and doesn't seem to believe his side of the ball needs help, at least not at the expense of the other side of the ball.

c. This staff clearly believes it needs as much help as it can get on the defensive side of the ball.

Sarkisian and his staff could have used just one of those spots it has used to beef up the linebacker position on an offensive lineman, but up until now there doesn't seem to be a lot of urgency. For example, UNLV tackle Justice Oluwaseun is from the Houston area, has started games at three different positions (including both tackle spots) and is being pursued by the likes of Miami, Baylor and a half-dozen other power five programs, but the Longhorns aren't even following him on Twitter, whereas when a linebacker hits the portal, the entire defensive staff pounces like a pack of guys at a party waiting for the first girl to show up.

Of course, perhaps something happens in the next couple of weeks in the way of a name or two that enters the portal, but at this point the offensive staff seems to be chilling.

It doesn't matter that I might have done things slightly differently (like go all-in on Memphis tackle Obinna Eze who now starts at left tackle for TCU).

It doesn't matter that you might have done things slightly differently.

What matters is that in the first team-building effort as head coach at Texas, Sarkisian has a different, completely unselfish idea for what's needed when the season starts in less than four months.

He's not telling us this; he's showing us.

No. 2 - Around the Big 12...

In case you were wondering like I was, here's a look at how each Big 12 school has done in the incoming transfer market.

Baylor: WR Drew Estrada (Dartmouth), OL Grant Miller (Vanderbilt) and DT Siaki Ika (LSU)

Notes: The Bears haven't taken numbers in high volume, but Estrada, Miller and Ika are all expected to start this season, as Estrada was all-Ivy League at four positions, while Miller was a multi-year starts for Vandy and Ika is regarded as a possible All-Big 12 level interior defensive lineman.

Iowa State: DB Jaquan Amos (Villanova) and K Andrew Mevis (Fordham)

Notes: Amos is expected to contribute immediately at safety for the Cyclones after starting for three seasons with the Wildcats, while Mevis was the 2020 FCS Punter of the Year.

Kansas: QB Jason Bean (UNT), WR Kevin Terry (Texas Tech) and OL Colin Grunhard (Notre Dame)

Notes: There's not much here to pay attention to, but that may change in the near future if half of the Buffalo kids that put their names into the Portal this week follow their coach to Lawrence.

Kansas State: WR Daniel Imatorbhebhe (Illinois), WR Kade Warner (Nebraska), DT Timmy Horn (UNC-Charlotte), LB Eric Munoz (Utah State), DB Russ Yeast (Louisville) and DB Julius Brents (Iowa)

Notes: Warner was a former walk-on at Nebraska that eventually emerged as a team captain/starter for the Huskers. Horn was a two-year starter at defensive tackle for UNC-Charlotte, while Yeast started 29 games for Louisville before making the move to Manhattan.

Oklahoma: QB Micah Owens (Penn State), RB Eric Gray (Tennessee), WR Mike Woods (Arkansas), OL Wanya Morris (Tennessee), OL Robert Congel (Arizona), DB Key Lawrence (Tennessee) and K Josh Plaster (Arizona State)

Notes: The Sooners killed it in the Portal. At least four of those players (Gray, Woods, Morris and Lawrence) are expected to start for the Big 12 favorite.

Oklahoma State: RB Jaylen Warren (Utah State), OL Danny Godlevske (Miami-Ohio), and DB Trey Rucker (Wake Forest)

Notes: Godlevske arrives as a starter for the Cowboys after starting 37 games in his career for Miami-Ohio.

TCU: Chandler Morris (Oklahoma), OL Obinna Eze (Memphis), DL Kenny Turnier (UCF) and DB T.J. Carter (Memphis)

Notes: Eze is one of the top offensive linemen to have transferred this off-season after starting 25 games for Memphis at left tackle in the last two years. Enters the season as a definite pro prospect.

Texas Tech: QB Tyler Shough (Oregon), OL T.J. Storment (TCU), LB Jesiah Pierre (Florida), DB Rayshad Williams (UCLA), DB Malik Dunlap (NC State), DB Reggie Pearson Jr. (Wisconsin) and DB Marquis Waters (Duke)

Notes: Every guy on the list has flashed talent at his previous school as a starter at one time or another, so these aren't a bunch of bums. Very quietly, this is a sneaky good class of transfers.

West Virginia: OL Doug Nester (Virginia Tech), Lance Dixon (Penn State) and DB Charles Woods (NC State)

Notes: All three players are expected to immediately start for the Mountaineers.

No. 3 - A quick note on USC transfer Palaie Gaoteote...

In speaking with a couple of Ohio State insiders this weekend, there's a strong sense that the Buckeyes will hold steady with the players it has on the roster and not make a move for the potentially soon-to-be-Longhorns starting linebacker.

If the Buckeyes do make a run at Gaoteote, Ohio State insiders aren't expecting it.

So, if you haven't been practicing, feel free to get started.

First name: (just stick with) E.A.
Last name: Nah-oh-tay-oh-tay

No. 4 - Assuming nothing changes...

If the Longhorns land the USC transfer before the end of the month, here's how my linebacker unit would look like on paper.

Mike

Starter: Palaie Gaoteote
Primary Backup: Ben Davis

Thoughts: Gaoteote is a day-one walk in starter as far as I'm concerned if and when he commits to the Longhorns. He gives the Longhorns the size, experience and playmaking that the team lacks in one package at the moment. In an ideal world, Davis gives the Longhorns added size and depth, but isn't asked to automatically do more than he's done in his career to this point.

Weakside Linebacker

Starter: DeMarvion Overshown
Primary Backup: Devin Richardson

Thoughts: Richardson feels like insurance against Overshown returning slowly from his labrum injury, although his versatility could see him playing all over the field for the Longhorns across multiple linebacker positions.

Edge

Starter: Ray Thornton
Primary Backup: Ovie Oghoufu

Thoughts; If you could add these two together, you might have a hell of a player, as Thornton seems to be rock solid against the run, while Oghoufu has serious pass-rushing upside. Don't be surprised if these two platoon the position this season based on situational demands.

IN a world where everyone is healthy and purring, it would be very exciting to see a Gaoteote/Overshown/Richardson/Oghoufu grouping on the field together at the same time.

No. 5 - What about the rest of the linebackers ...

If you'll notice, five of my top six players on the depth chart are transfers. So, what does it mean for the rest of the players currently on the roster?

David Gbenda: He's the one player I had a really hard time leaving out of this projected two-deep and I could easily see him pushing for playing time at multiple positions. He feels like a player that has been in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes and might need another 10 before he's completely ready.

Jaylan Ford: If I'm calling the shots, I'm not sure that Davis is getting reps over him, but I'm not sure Ford has the size at the position that the Longhorns covet at this position. If Gaoteote doesn't come to Texas, Ford projects as a possible starter inside unless the coaches want to get Richardson and Overshown on the field together, which is entirely possible.

Prince Dorbah: Oghoufu is the guy he's going to need to beat out if he wants meaningful playing time this season and possibly in 2022. Although he flashed in the spring, there's not a sense that he's ready to be leaned on heavily going into this season.

Marcus Tillman: It's hard to see Tillman having a big impact in 2021 after all of the incoming players have established themselves. It's possible that Gaoteote could be a one-and-done player if he comes to Austin, which means that the 2022 outlook could look quite different for Tillman if he can continue to develop.

All true freshmen: The sudden injection of talent means that it'll be tough sledding for any of the incoming freshmen on the roster to make a huge impact in the fall unless they knock the damn door down because competition for practice reps, let alone game reps, should be intense.

No. 6 - Good news, bad news...

It was a mostly good news, slightly bad news situation with the Texas baseball team in Fort Worth.

Let's start with the good!

In bouncing back from last weekend's series loss to Texas Tech, the Longhorns took a big step towards cementing a top eight national seed by taking two of three on the road at No. 3 (and RPI darling) TCU. With one more Big 12 series against West Virginia in two weeks and a couple of mid-week games against Texas Southern and Rice remaining, performing well this weekend was much-needed if the Longhorns wanted to position themselves for a trip to Omaha that runs 100-percent through Austin.

That the Longhorns beat the brakes off of the Horned Frogs in the deciding game of the series was just a cherry on top of the weekend sundae when it came to the resume enhancer for the NCAA Tournament.

The bad news?

There was a series sweep to be had this weekend that would have left the Longhorns in complete control of its fate in the race for the Big 12 regular season championship, but poor base running and hitting in scoring position on Saturday doomed that opportunity.

The Longhorns will need to sweep West Virginia and hope that Kansas State can pick a game off of the Horned Frogs in Manhattan... not an impossible set of circumstances.

Bottom line - this was one of the best weekends of the year for the Longhorns from a seed standpoint.


No. 7 – BUY or SELL …



(Sell) The 2001 linebacker class is still the best in school history unless someone can remotely make me forget about Derrick Johnson.



(Sell) I just don't see it right now.



(Sell) The Sooners have more outright playmakers and are more proven.



(Sell) It's not completely impossible by any stretch, but I'm not buying that.... yet.



(Sell) The problem that the Longhorns will have is that if a good option becomes available, almost everyone will be making a run at him and there's no guarantee that the Longhorns will win out over all of the schools. Sarkisian has not really shown much interest in dipping down into the non-power conference tiers to find an option.



(Sell) It's not out of the realm of possibility, but I'll put this team at a scary 2-0 at this point.



(Buy) Not having to commit 6-7 hours out of a day at a minimum is a game-changer.



(Buy) You nailed it.



(Sell) That feels too high for my taste.

No. 8 - Scattershooting on the sports weekend...

... This feels worthy of a shout out.


... If the Lakers win the title this year, it will be well-earned...

... The path to the Finals in the Eastern Conference is coming through Philadelphia. Me likey.

... Steph Curry might have reached the point of being underrated again. What he's doing this season is just incredible.

... Billy Joe Saunders came into this fight talking a lot of mess to Canelo Alverez, and he came out of it with a broken face and a trip to the hospital.


... This is NSFW, but I have to say I was totally vibing with Canelo in the post-fight press conference. Again, incredibly NSFW.


... Wait, Bob Baffert is banned from Churchill Downs? Wow...

... D.K. Metcalf running a 10.36 this weekend at 6-4, 230 pounds is pretty incredible, even if it's not truly world-class speed.

... It was good to see Josef Martinez scoring again this weekend for Atlanta United.

... Harry Kane has to leave Tottenham, doesn't he?

... Man City might have itself a Chelsea problem.

... Atletico Madrid might just do the damn thing....

No. 9 - Top 10 Cop TV Shows

Hearing the theme to Hill Street Blues got me thinking about this topic this weekend.

It's crazy how many shows couldn't crack my top 10.

10. Cold Case
9. The Closer
8. Hill Street Blues
7. The Shield
6. 24
5. The Andy Griffith Show
4. Miami Vice
3. Dexter
2. True Detective: Season 1
1. The Wire

No. 10 - And Finally ...

I saved my thoughts on the passing of Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger for the very end because on almost every level, nothing else matters more than what happened on Thursday and it feels like the story I needed to end on.

Like almost everyone, Ehlinger's death has haunted me all weekend in that I haven't been able to stop thinking about it, as I go back and forth from aching for his family and friends to wondering why I seemingly take so much of life for granted until something like this happens.

I don't want to take the little things for granted, but it always seems like the really important stuff only truly comes into focus after an event like this.

Believe me, I'm trying.

In the meantime, the final words of this column should belong to those that loved him and knew him best. Here's the section from his obituary that really stood out to me.

Rest in peace, young man.

"Jake never knew a stranger; whether you were meeting him for the first time or were a lifelong friend, he made you feel like you were the most important person in the room. He had the biggest smile and never judged a soul, spending his life spreading joy. Jake was the middle child who was the glue of his family, with the ability to turn tears into laughter in a moment. He was his dad’s little buddy, and they shared an unbreakable bond. His father’s spirit was alive and well in every part of Jake’s life. Tragic life circumstances created a unique opportunity for Sam and Jake to uplift and empower each other. They were each other’s biggest fans. Their mother, Jena, as well as their sister, Morgen, were the loves of Jake’s life. Everyone will miss his giant hugs, but no one more than Jena and Morgen."
Fantastic write up, Ketch.
 

Weller 12

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No. 9 - Top 10 Cop TV Shows

Hearing the theme to Hill Street Blues got me thinking about this topic this weekend.

It's crazy how many shows couldn't crack my top 10.

10. Cold Case
9. The Closer
8. Hill Street Blues
7. The Shield
6. 24
5. The Andy Griffith Show
4. Miami Vice
3. Dexter
2. True Detective: Season 1
1. The Wire

No Homicide? It is from the same creative tree as The Wire.
 

rgvhorn 89

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Part of what goers into being an all-time top show is being historically influential. IMO.
That’s fair. And I’m just having fun. But I would argue if you are looking for historical influence, Dragnet and/or Adam-12 should crack the Top 10.

And also, I think you are under-estimating the cultural influence of Mitzi Kapture, Rob Estes and the creators of Silk Stalkings. It was pribably the main influence for the greatness that is Renegade.
51GIIo5pyOL.jpg
 
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BigDaddyHorn1

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you always gotta worry about the OL when you have young QBs, plus we have a stud RB we can maximize if he has good blockers. Considering OL has been a historically weak position last decade, I just dont get the lack of transfer help there when it would seem its needed
 
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Ketchum

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That’s fair. And I’m just having fun. But I would argue if you are looking for historical influence, Dragnet and/or Adam-12 should crack the Top 10.

And also, I think you are under-estimating the cultural influence of Mitzi Kapture, Rob Estes and the creators of Silk Stalkings. It was pribably the main influence for the greatness that is Renegade.
51GIIo5pyOL.jpg
I cannot deny you that.
 
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magnahorn

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Says the guy telling another person they need to get over themselves with regards to a subjective TV cop show thought? 🤷‍♂️
The argument Miami Vice is influential is akin to arguing Dallas and Dynasty were influential. Whether they were or not, they were not good shows, and neither was Miami Vice.

It's not like I picked your list apart. I'm just shocked that Miami Vice, of all shows, landed on your list. I can literally think of 20 better cop shows off the top of my head. It was a glamour show with 2 wannabe models acting like cops. Good lowered.
 

TexEx75

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Says the guy telling another person they need to get over themselves with regards to a subjective TV cop show thought? 🤷‍♂️
And you left out Nash Bridges and Kojak. SMH!
 

Ketchum

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The argument Miami Vice is influential is akin to arguing Dallas and Dynasty were influential. Whether they were or not, they were not good shows, and neither was Miami Vice.

It's not like I picked your list apart. I'm just shocked that Miami Vice, of all shows, landed on your list. I can literally think of 20 better cop shows off the top of my head. It was a glamour show with 2 wannabe models acting like cops. Good lowered.
Among those that guest-starred on the show:

Bruce Willis. Liam Neeson. Sheena Easton. Stanley Tucci. Jimmy Smits. Kyra Sedgwick. Giancarlo Esposito. Miles Davis. Julia Roberts. John Leguizamo.
 

Suchomel

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10. Cold Case
9. The Closer
8. Hill Street Blues
7. The Shield
6. 24
5. The Andy Griffith Show
4. Miami Vice
3. Dexter
2. True Detective: Season 1
1. The Wire
Out of that list, I've only seen Dexter (aside from a few Andy Griffith Show episodes). Man, I've lived a sheltered TV/movie life.
 
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magnahorn

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Among those that guest-starred on the show:

Bruce Willis. Liam Neeson. Sheena Easton. Stanley Tucci. Jimmy Smits. Kyra Sedgwick. Giancarlo Esposito. Miles Davis. Julia Roberts. John Leguizamo.
Again, lots of people cameoed on Dallas and Dynasty too. Doesn’t mean they were compelling drama.

What was Miami Vice when you get right down to it? It wasn’t serious drama. It wasn’t comedy. I’m not sure what it was.

It’s not like it won a lot of awards either.

Maybe you were just of that age where you couldn’t see how corny that show really was. I don’t know. But the argument it had a lot of people appear as cameo artists does nothing.
 
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McGuapo

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Number 1 has been the elephant in the room for me for a while. I felt the same, Steve has ultimate belief in his abilities to make that offense work. I have to say, the confidence has my attention. It will be an interesting narrative to follow because it’s not accidental.
 

Ketchum

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Again, lots of people cameoed on Dallas and Dynasty too. Doesn’t mean they were compelling drama.

What was Miami Vice when you get right down to it? It wasn’t serious drama. It wasn’t comedy. I’m not sure what it was.

It’s not like it won a lot of awards either.

Maybe you were just of that age where you couldn’t see how corny that show really was. I don’t know. But the argument it had a lot of people appear as cameo artists does nothing.