Bohls, Golden: Lose to the Kansas Jayhawks? What's the worst that could happen to Texas?
American-Statesman columnists Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden weigh in on 10 topics of interest from this week's college football slate of games:
1. If Texas loses to Kansas, what's the worst that could happen?
Bohls: Besides just losing to Kansas? Hey, the Jayhawks already cost Charlie Strong his job and threatened to derail Tom Herman’s tenure early had not Cameron Dicker hit the winning field goal to hold them off 50-48 in their last meeting (2019, since COVID-19 canceled last year’s matchup). If Texas falls as a mind-boggling 30-point favorite, Steve Sarkisian almost certainly would make staff changes and fret about losing more players to the transfer portal and committed players. But that won't happen. Texas will rout Kansas 45-17.
Golden: Mass hysteria, dogs and cats living together, etc. My one-time acquaintance Bill Murray knows a thing or two about Groundhog Day and the Horns have woken up the last four Sundays with the same loser feeling dancing in their guts. The monthlong nightmare ends with a 51-10 win. We may even get a feel-good video or two from the locker room. (Too soon?)
Texas recruiting notebook: Longhorns commits react positively to the Bo Davis video
2. Will Baylor knock off unbeaten Oklahoma in Waco?
Bohls: No. The Sooners will be stewing over the fact that they remain No. 8 in the College Football Playoff rankings despite being 9-0, and they'll handle Baylor by two touchdowns behind the irrepressible Caleb Williams.
Golden: No. The Sooners dangerously struggled with the upset bug, but they're in great shape to make a run at the College Football Playoff after coming off this bye. The Bears are really good, but Oklahoma will leave town with the win.
3. Where does Spencer Rattler fit next season?
Bohls: Anywhere but Norman, according to his Instagram posts and his father’s comments. Would Texas be interested? The Horns offered the former Elite 11 MVP a scholarship out of high school. So did Texas A&M, which might want the competition among Zach Calzada and probable starter Haynes King. Notre Dame could use a veteran quarterback, as could a whole bunch of schools in 2022.
Golden: It won’t be in Norman. Rattler will have to sit down and evaluate what went wrong in losing his job to Williams, a freshman. He'll enter the portal and resurface at a Power Five program. I could see him being a fit at a place like Miami, which is really starving for some arm talent at quarterback.
4. Where does Cameron Dicker rank among Texas' all-time kickers?
Bohls: Hey, Texas might be more KU than DBU with all the great Longhorns kickers. Completely dismissing their pro careers, I’d take Phil Dawson (his 59 field goals are the most, and he had that amazing 50-yarder to beat Virginia), Justin Tucker (he missed only eight of his 48 tries and gave the Horns bragging rights over the Aggies) and Jeff Ward (for volume and pressure kicks), with Russell Erxleben fourth and Dicker fifth.
Golden: Dicker has the numbers, but I wouldn’t rank him in Texas' top three. He’s behind guys like Tucker, Erxleben, Dawson, Hunter Lawrence and Ward. Best nickname, though. Tucker the Kicker just doesn’t roll off the lips.
5. Is Jimbo Fisher showing us that he's a top-five coach in college football?
Bohls: Absolutely. I’d put Texas A&M's Fisher fifth behind Nick Saban (duh), Dabo Swinney (duh), Lincoln Riley (six straight Big 12 titles) and Ryan Day (he’s 21-0 in Big Ten games and owns Michigan). But Jimbo is a rock-solid fifth with a national championship at Florida State and winning 17 of his last 20 games with the Aggies, edging out Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and Georgia’s Kirby Smart.
But check back on these standings in January.
Golden: He’s a great coach with a national championship under his belt, so I will give him top-five status. With that said, the Aggies let a great opportunity to make the playoff get away with those losses to Arkansas and Mississippi State. That falls on Jimbo. Had they won just one of those, the Aggies would still have a shot at cracking the CFP.
6. Just how could the CFP committee rank Michigan ahead of Michigan State?
Bohls: There is no logic at all in ranking Michigan ahead of the Spartans when the Wolverines lost to them just two weeks ago. It just makes no sense, especially when the committee correctly ranked Oregon ahead of Ohio State on the strength of the Ducks’ head-to-head win in Columbus.
Golden: Because the CFP selection committee wants us throwing shoes at the television during the ratings show. Head-to-head must not matter to those guys. It makes no sense whatsoever. Maybe that’s what the committee members want.
7. Pick your Top 25 upset.
Bohls: Seven ranked teams got knocked off by unranked teams last week, with six more the week before. After picking Purdue to knock off Michigan State last week, I’ll stick with the Big Ten and call Penn State at home upending Michigan. The No. 23 Nittany Lions surrendered 357 yards on the ground to Illinois but allow 137 yards on the average and have held four opponents to below 70.
Golden: Purdue goes to the Horseshoe and becomes the Spoilermakers with a win over No. 4 Ohio State.
8. If you were Nebraska's AD, would you fire Scott Frost?
Bohls: I would not. I’d retain him for one more season as Trev Alberts has, even with a 15-27 record in four years, because Tom Osborne isn’t available. The Cornhuskers have improved but just incrementally, as Steve Sarkisian likes to say. All their losses have come by nine points or fewer. Nebraska might already know that if home boy Frost can’t turn this around, no one can.
Golden: I would, but I live in Austin, where the last two coaches didn’t make it to a fifth year. I know Frost is a favorite son of Lincoln, but he won’t last another season. He has already had his salary cut and had to fire two assistants. His 15-27 record just doesn’t cut it.
9. Should TCU seriously consider hiring Deion Sanders?
Bohls: No. That sure smacks of a publicity ploy. He just doesn’t have the experience yet. Not sure coaching 14 games in college at Jackson State qualifies him for a Power Five job yet. He might be the Clyde Drexler of college football if the Horned Frogs do that and make a celebrity hire.
Golden: I would go for a more experienced coach than Prime. TCU legend LaDainian Tomlinson, a close friend of Deion’s dating back to their time doing a show together on the NFL Network, is on the university’s board of trustees and might be pushing for Sanders. The allure is there — Sanders is a legend who knows the area well for recruiting purposes — but his lack of experience should be a source of concern.
10. Who are the best/worst play-by-play and color analysts in college football?
Bohls: I don’t think they come any better than Gus Johnson and Joel Klatt on Fox. Johnson's enthusiasm and Klatt’s edgy, crisp and knowledgeable style are the perfect blend. But I also love Joe Tessitore (even if Texas isn’t back). I really don’t have a worst because after all, hey, it’s football.
Golden: I’m a big fan of the Fox duo — Johnson is also my favorite college basketball play-by-play guy, and Klatt's a friend of our "On Second Thought" podcast. They lend great perspective and keep things loose in the booth. Gary Danielson appeared lost in thought during A&M’s win over Alabama. I’ve always thought he was a Sabanist. Not a whole lot of objectivity coming from him.