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Bohls: Texas' mystery search continues while Big Ten pulls an end-around

James Barr, an event operations staff member, left, and athletic director Chris Del Conte bump fists before the Longhorns' season-opening win over UTEP in September. Are the Longhorns looking for a new football coach? Del Conte isn't saying either way.

While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:

1. What search? Don’t be surprised if this saga continues past the Kansas game Saturday and that Texas might even push this slog of a coaching search into late December if there even is a search. Chris Del Conte’s silence just gets louder and louder with every passing day. If this stretches out, that may mean Texas is hoping to hire a new coach who is either involved in a conference championship game or wants to wait until his regular season is concluded. Might that also suggest Del Conte is considering an NFL coach?

2. $hame on the Big Ten. Can’t get any more transparent since that conference is rewriting its own rules so Ohio State can get into the CFP and the league can have a $6 million payday. Would the Big Ten have done this, say, for Indiana? Yeah, I don’t think so, either. Just make it up as you go, Big Ten. Why stop there? Start the Big Ten title game with a 10-0 lead for the Buckeyes. Of course, why shouldn’t it follow the ACC’s lead after that conference canceled games so Clemson and Notre Dame would be guaranteed a rematch in the ACC title game. Let’s just cancel all games and schedule the Final Four in September. Who needs a regular season?

Texas head coach Vic Schaefer talks to guard Audrey Warren during a timeout against Idaho at the Erwin Center on Wednesday. The Longhorns improved to 4-1 with the win.

3. Vic volatility. Given his consuming obsession with being the best, Vic Schaefer may not make it through an entire season. The first-year Texas women’s basketball coach may have to rein in his emotions, which run so hot. “It's really a miserable way to live," he cracked after his 4-1 Longhorns played a poor second half but walloped by a score of 73-48 a good Idaho team, picked to win the Big Sky but missing its top scorer to an ankle injury. “But we don’t apologize for being demanding." Schaefer loved his team’s first half when it sank nine of its 12 three-pointers at a 39% clip, but the focus tailed off. ... Freshman Shay Holle had an impressive 10 rebounds, four assists and two blocks, but was scoreless in 23 minutes. The Horns host Tennessee on Sunday.

4. Final goodbye. Fred Akers, who died Monday, touched so many lives during his 19 seasons at Texas. Former All-Southwest Conference tight end Lawrence Sampleton said on our “On Second Thought” podcast that Akers “produced some amazing men” and desegregated the UT program in such a huge way that he was a “transformational” figure in Texas history. “His first class with us was loaded with Black players, the largest to ever come to Texas. And that was just eight years after Julius Whittier became the first Black letterman at Texas. Sixteen of us went to the NFL. Coach Akers had mentors in the community for all of us." Felix Garrett, a principal in town, talked to Sampleton twice a week. Dentist Norman Mason wrote him letters every week, starting when he was a junior in high school at Seguin. ... Defensive tackle Tony Degrate, one of Texas’ three Lombardi Award winners, said, “My whole four years, I never felt the color of my skin was a factor. Coach Akers treated us all as individuals. There was not a greater coach on this earth than Fred Akers.” When Akers told Degrate before his senior year that he should set his sights on the Lombardi, he said, "I almost fell out of my chair. So I learned never to lower your expectations. Instead, raise them.”

Former Texas football coach Fred Akers, who led the Longhorns to the brink of national championships twice during his 10 years as UT's head coach, died Monday at the age of 82.

5. Senior Day x 2. Former Longhorns quarterback Robert Brewer said he had a “healthy fear” of Akers. “Coach Akers had such a presence. He demanded excellence on and off the field.” … Asked whether his son, Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer, will return to school for a second senior season, he said, “I don’t know. But if you’re thinking about anything other than what you’re doing now, you're not doing the right thing. He’ll hit it hard for four more days (until the season finale), and then we’re going to sort that all out.”

6. Live and learn. Whittier, honored with a statue as the first Black letterman at Texas, had a white roommate as a freshman in senior halfback Billy Dale, a self-described conservative from Odessa Permian, who was told by Darrell Royal he'd share a dorm room with Whittier. “Mack Brown said about his life journey that, ‘We are like pieces of clay, and each person who touches us makes an impression,'" Dale said. "Julius did so on my life journey. As Julius and I soon learned, we had nothing in common except the love of football. While Julius was a critical thinker, I was not. I was from West Texas and viewed the world as simple, uncomplicated and linear. Julius was from San Antonio, and his view was complicated, thought-provoking, deeply penetrating and personally intrusive. Julius forced me outside my comfort zone, and I did not enjoy it. So we argued, and I learned more from Julius than he learned from me.” Dale said, “After listening to his mellow soft-spoken voice, I thought this guy was too nice to be a football player. That opinion changed before our first game as teammates. Bobby had a game day ritual that scared me to death. He morphs into an animal on game day. In the locker room, his eyes would glaze over, and he would scream and pound on his locker with his helmet with wild fanatical gestures. His locker incurred less punishment than his opponent.” 

7. Say what? The organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics that were postponed last summer to 2021 announced cost overruns that total $2.7 billion more than it first projected. That raises the tab to $15.3 billion, an outrageous outlay of money. Just anchor the Games in three previous host cities that already have existing infrastructure.

8. Scattershooting. While wondering whatever happened to Garland wide receiver Malcolm Williams, who as a sophomore caught a 68-yard touchdown pass from Colt McCoy to beat Kansas 51-20 in 2009 but left the team later. ... Bobby Wuensch, one of Texas’ best offensive linemen ever, lives in Houston where he has run the family business, which provides ship parts for the ocean vessels that dock at the Port of Houston.

9. On the couch. Enjoyed “Hillbilly Elegy" so much, Amy Adams and Glenn Close both could be up for Oscars in this sorrowful tale of poverty and addiction. Gave it eight ducks.

10. Crazy prediction: Urban Meyer will be the next head coach at Notre Dame within two years.