Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s Wednesday, April 11th. On this date, the Texas Rangers opened their new stadium — at the time it was known as The Ballpark in Arlington — with a 4-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Also on April 11, Apollo 13 launched — two days before the oxygen tank fatefully exploded and 25 years before Tom Hanks brought the story to film (1970); the New York Mets played their first game (1962); the old New York Highlanders started wearing pinstripe uniforms, one year before the team got renamed … wait for it … the New York Yankees (1912); and several Masters winners were crowned, including Phil Mickelson twice (2004 and 2010), Jose Maria Olazabal (1999), Bernhard Langer (1993), Seve Ballesteros (1983), Craig Stadler (1982), Ray Floyd (1976) and Jack Nicklaus twice (1965 and 1966).
Happy birthday, Blake Brockermeyer. The former UT All-American tackle and 1995 first-round draft pick turns 45 today.
How ’bout them Horns?
It was good to see Texas and Texas A&M baseball play another close one Tuesday night, this time at Olsen Field. The laments over the loss of this rivalry have already been written, but it sure was nice to see. The 22nd-ranked Aggies won 6-5 by getting out of a dangerous eighth inning that saw Kody Clemens’ RBI single make it 6-5 and then Texas work it to bases loaded with two outs.
But Ryan Reynolds, who was 1 for 3 with an RBI single heading into the at-bat, hit a 2-2 chopper back to the mound for the third out. Three straight groundouts for Texas in the top of the ninth ended it.
It was the third straight 1-run game the Longhorns and Aggies have played.
Here’s Danny Davis’ game story ($), which reminds us that there’s a big series this weekend in Norman. And here’s how the Bryan-College Station Eagle saw things. The Eagle also had a nice rivalry column from Travis Brown, which starts off like this:
“A lone, burnt orange-clad Texas fan found himself on a stage of sorts, wandering his way to a seat in the balcony of Blue Bell Park after the start of the Aggies’ midweek baseball game with Texas on Tuesday.
“The throng of A&M fans that filled the general admission section rewarded his tardiness with a unified, sarcastic wave. The Longhorn fan brandished a solitary finger at his audience.”
Nice. Here’s the full column.
Since Texas and Texas A&M tangled for the third time in the Houston regional of the 2014 NCAA baseball tournament (after splitting the first two, Texas won the decisive game 4-1 to advance to the super regionals), the two schools have faced each other 20 times in various sports.
Texas is now 12-8 in those head-to-heads after Tuesday’s loss. The Longhorns hold a 3-2 advantage in NCAA postseason meetings. By sport — Texas is 3-0 in volleyball, 1-0 in women’s basketball and men’s tennis, 3-1 in women’s swimming and diving, 2-2 in baseball, 1-1 in men’s basketball and men’s swimming and diving, and 1-2 in softball.
|Baseball||Texas, 4-1||Houston/NCAA regional||June 2, 2014|
|Men's swim/diving||Texas, 153-113||Austin||Oct. 17, 2014|
|Women's swim/diving||Texas A&M, 169-131||Austin||Nov. 7, 2014|
|Women's basketball||Texas, 67-65||Little Rock, Ark.||Dec. 21, 2014|
|Women's swim/diving||Texas, 166-134||College Station||Nov. 6, 2015|
|Men's basketball||Texas A&M, 84-73||Bahamas||Nov. 25, 2015|
|Baseball||Texas A&M, 5-4||College Station||March 15, 2016|
|Men's tennis||Texas, 4-3||College Station/NCAAs||May 15, 2016|
|Softball||Texas, 5-0||Lafayette/NCAA regional||May 20, 2016|
|Softball||Texas A&M, 9-3||Lafayette/NCAA regional||May 21, 2016|
|Volleyball||Texas, 3-0||Austin||Sept. 14, 2016|
|Women's swim/diving||Texas, 166.5-128.5||Austin||Nov. 3, 2016|
|Baseball||Texas, 4-3||Austin||March 14, 2017|
|Softball||Texas A&M, 3-1||College Station/NCAAs||May 21, 2017|
|Volleyball||Texas, 3-0||College Station||Sept. 13, 2017|
|Men's basketball||Texas, 73-69||Houston/exhibition||Oct. 25, 2017|
|Men's swim/diving||Texas A&M, 158-142||College Station||Nov. 3, 2017|
|Women's swim/diving||Texas, 151.5-148.5||College Station||Nov. 3, 2017|
|Volleyball||Texas, 3-1||Austin/spring match||April 4, 2018|
|Baseball||Texas A&M, 6-5||College Station||April 10, 2018|
IN OTHER NEWS:
Tom’s going on tour: Remember back in 2014 when Charlie Strong went on his “Coming on Strong” tour of the state, introducing himself to the UT fan base? Tom Herman’s about to do the same thing. And Chris Del Conte’s saying it’ll become an every-year thing. It kicks off in Midland on April 24 and stops include Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley. Here’s Brian Davis’ story ($).
Is football back?: That’s the question Sports Illustrated is asking. Or, more specifically, is it now just hard to win here? Their story makes the case that perhaps the sheer mountain of athletic bureaucracy and red tape are keeping Tom Herman and Chris Del Conte from fixing the program. “Perhaps we’re putting too much blame on the coaches and not enough blame on the place,” SI writes. “We’re about to find out how much that matters — if at all — because Del Conte likely will streamline some of the issues that Mack Brown, Charlie Strong and Herman have faced.” Here’s a link to the story.
An honor for Mack: Mack Brown is this year’s winner of the Football Bowl Association’s Champions Award, given to a coach or administrator who “over a long career furthers the cause of the college football bowl industry.” Make sense. Mack won a national championship, 244 career games, led UT to bowl games in 15 of his 16 seasons and went 10-5 in them, including three BCS bowl wins. Past winners include LaVell Edwards, Bobby Bowden, Grant Teaff and Frank Beamer.
There are only 85 coaches — from all levels — that have won 200 or more games. At 244, Mack ranks 33rd overall and the 10th most by a coach with at least 10 years at an FBS-level school.
Women’s golf finishes 7th: No. 6 Texas finished 7th on Tuesday at the Silverado Showdown in Napa, Calif. Senior Sophia Schubert and freshman Kaitlyn Pap each finished in the top 10 individually; it was Schubert’s fifth top-10 finish in as many events this season and her fourth top-five. Texas finished 10 over par; the field included seven of the nation’s top 20 teams. No. 8 USC won the event, 10 shots ahead of Texas.
And, there’s this little game courtesy of Kirk Bohls’ nine things, one crazy prediction column on Wednesday: In his first five Masters tournaments, Jordan Spieth is a cumulative 39 under par. In Tiger Woods’ first five, he was 40 under par. Spieth already has three majors and three more runner-up finishes. … Kirk also wrote that a couple of golfers and caddies at August National told him that UT’s Doug Ghim — who finished as the low amateur — really could have used a veteran caddie there instead of his dad. “He cost Doug a lot of strokes,” Kirk was told.
Kirk’s crazy prediction? That Spieth will surpass Tiger’s 14 major golf titles. Here’s Kirk’s full column ($).
Around the Horns
Football: Texas had another media availability after practice Tuesday night and we also got to watch a bit of the start of workouts. Danny Davis, who usually provides observations from practice on Hookem, was in College Station but Brian Davis wrote on Collin Johnson, who’s saying all the right things this spring. “I definitely want to be that elite guy,” he said. Here’s Brian’s story ($). Also: P.J. Locke III’s out for the rest of the spring. … Also, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Malik Jefferson is visiting the Houston Texans.
Baseball: Second baseman Kody Clemens was named to the USA Baseball Golden Spike Award midseason watch list on Tuesday. He’s one of 40 players on the list for the award, given to the top player in the country. Semifinalists are named on May 21. … Tickets went on sale Tuesday for the Texas-Texas Southern game on April 18 at Constellation Field, which is the home of the Sugar Land Skeeters. It’ll be considered a home game for UT. Tickets start at $10 and can be found at SugarLandSkeeters.com or at (281) 240-4487.
Softball: Texas (23-14) plays at No. 24 Texas State (29-8) at 6 p.m. tonight in San Marcos. It’ll be on radio at 105.3. The Longhorns beat the Bobcats 3-0 at McCombs Field on March 21.
Women’s golf: Former UT golfer Katelyn Sepmoree will play her first LPGA event starting Wednesday at the Lotte Championship in Hawaii. She’s in her rookie season. She was at Texas from 2010-13, earning all-conference honors as a senior.
Women’s tennis: Texas moved up one spot, to No. 5, in this week’s Oracle/ITA Division I national poll. It’s the first time the Longhorns have cracked the top 5 since February 2006. The Horns have won 11 straight matches for the first time since 2005. Sophomore Bianca Turati, last year’s Big 12 freshman of the year, is ranked No. 1 in women’s singles; she’s 25-2 and hasn’t lost in two months. … Another sophomore, Petra Granic, was named the Big 12’s women’s player of the week on Tuesday; Granic, who hasn’t lost since Feb. 11, extended her singles winning streak to nine matches in Texas’ sweep of TCU and No. 15 Texas Tech.
Soccer: Texas’ final match of its spring schedule is Saturday against Northwestern State, 2 p.m. at Wylie High School. No admission for those wanting to go.
Around the Big 12
Let’s start off with the biggest news of the day around the conference. Charges were filed Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York against Adidas executive James Gatto. At the heart of the case are alleged illegal payments to a mother and a guardian of two Kansas basketball players — $90,000 — intended to sway their influence over the athletes’ choosing the Jayhawks. Here’s the full story from the Kansas City Star. … Are stats everything when it comes to college quarterbacks? The Dallas Morning News came up with its top five all-time TCU quarterbacks — and the list doesn’t include the Horned Frogs’ No. 1 or No. 2 career passing leaders. … Speaking of quarterbacks, TCU ended spring practices on Tuesday without naming a starter. But the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is saying it’s Shawn Robinson’s job to lose. … The Daily Oklahoman had a nice spring football read on Shane Richards, a fifth-year senior offensive lineman for Oklahoma State who still carries the sting of having been asked to redshirt in 2017. … Kansas State is in spring practices with an open battle at quarterback between Skylar Thompson and Alex Delton, the Kansas City Star wrote. And did you hear about the time Bill Snyder got the name wrong of a wide receiver he was praising? … TCU baseball is going through a tough stretch. The Horned Frogs edged UT-Arlington 6-5 Tuesday night and probably gladly just took the W, the Star-Telegram wrote. … The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote on redshirt freshman Adrian Frye, the young cornerback who has impressed during spring practices. … Texas Tech baseball, ranked No. 6, lost Tuesday night at Dallas Baptist, 6-5. Here’s the A-J’s game story.
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