Hello, it is I, Larry Roberts, Larry The Beer Man if you like, adding my thoughts to the KSIX SportsRadioCC Blog. Why you may ask – well there are two main reasons. First, it is right there on the front page of our station web site, inviting people to click open the blog only to find there has been no blogging going on for some time now. I don’t want our listeners to think we have nothing to say. After all we are in the business of talking. Secondly, there really isn’t a place for me on air anymore to talk sports, which is why I got into this business to begin with. So here I go – he’s off and blogging.
Since today [February 1, 2017] is NCAA Football national signing day, it has brought to mind the pathetic state of college football in Texas these days. In case you missed it, or just lost interest this past football season  was a disaster for colleges in Texas. I am talking FBS football, we all appreciate Mary Hardin-Baylor winning the NCAA Division III Championship. Need proof of how bad things have become? For the first time in 50 years no Texas college team finished in the Top 25 of the final rankings. University of Houston was the pride of Texas with a final rank of 36. Six colleges from Texas were selected to play in bowl games, finishing with one win and five loses. Thank you Baylor for saving us from a shut out. Think things maybe getting better soon? Don’t count on it. With today being national signing day, a quick look at the top ten college prospects in Texas shows all ten are heading out of state to play college football. I will be studying the signing lists the next few days, and probably post something on who went where.
Since I am off and running on college football, here are just a few thoughts about the 2016 season. Let’s start with some advice to Kevin Sumlin head coach at Texas A & M. He may want to study the rise and fall of Mack Brown this off season. He appears to be heading down much the same path. Brown and staff consistently recruited top notch talent, with great success for a number of years. In the later year’s Coach Brown’s teams consistently under performed, and disappointed. Texas hired high dollar assistant coaches to try to turn things around and return to previous glory. But, the mediocrity continued. Finally an 8-5 season in 2013 did Coach Brown in. Coach Sumlin is coming off his third 8-5 season in a row in 2016. He has great recruiting classes one after another, and the administration has brought in high priced assistant coaches [see John Chavis and Noel Mazzone], to help. I doubt the Aggie fan base has anymore patience than the Longhorn fans.
Speaking of UT, glad to see Charlie Strong land the job at USF. I know he will do an excellent job there in area where he has always been a strong recruiter. A few things I see that lead to the end of the Charlie Strong era at Texas. First, he inherited a divided and lazy team. Coach Strong was working on this when his time ran out. Secondly, Strong was constantly shuffling his assistant coaches, primarily looking for a way to spark his team to play better. Unfortunately the coach he most needed to move out was Defensive Coordinator Vance Bedford, who held his job until the last few games when Coach Strong took over coaching the defense. The final problem that plagued Coach Strong was the inability to develop a quarterback. He inherited Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard, both highly touted recruits. Texas fans and I think coaches loved Swoopes because he reminded them of Vince Young. This is true at least physically, but on the field, not so much. Strong was unable to recruit a viable quarterback in his first two recruiting classes. Finally signing an excellent prospect in his final class – Shane Buechele. To no one’s surprise Buechele won the starting job this past year. He played well, shows signs of promise for the future, and unfortunately made the inevitable freshman mistakes that were to be expected. If Strong would of had a quarterback the likes of Buechele to develop in first recruiting class, he would probably still be the Longhorns coach. Ironically, this year the Longhorns signed one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation – Sam Ehlinger out of Austin Westlake. Tom Herman can’t take credit for this signing, as Ehlinger was committed to Texas before he was born.
Every college is looking for the brilliant young coach for their football program. How about the brilliant older coach? Look what Bob Davie at New Mexico, and Rocky Long at San Diego State have done with their late career head coaching opportunities. Let’s see what Lovie Smith can do at the University of Illinois. Along the same lines the new head coach at Texas Lutheran in Seguin, is Carl Gustafson. He has served as an assistant coach at TLU in the past, and is a long time high school coach in San Antonio and New Braunfels. If the last name sounds familiar it should. His father was Marvin Gustafson, a high school coaching legend in San Antonio. His uncle is the legendary former baseball coach at the University of Texas – Cliff Gustafson.
Let me know what you think. I promise there will be more to come – probably.