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Breakfast with Bevo: Texas-Baylor rivalry raises a degree or two

Posted September 30th, 2014

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Good morning. Breakfast is served.

It’s September 30th — 273 down, 92 to go.

And 28 till the very first College Football Playoff poll is released.

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YESTERDAY: The Chiefs spanked the Patriots, 41-14. Jamaal Charles, who scored three touchdowns, did a lot of the spanking. The Raiders fired Dennis Allen and the Bills  benched EJ Manuel. Enter Kyle Orton. The Astros have a new manager (A.J. Hinch) while the Minnesota Twins are looking for a new one — Texas ex Ron Gardenhire was fired after 13 seasons there.

TODAY: The MLB playoffs begin (Royals-A’s, 7:07 p.m., TBS). ESPN’s “E:60” will profile Jamaal Charles (7, ESPN). And UT beat writers Brian Davis and Ryan Autullo’s weekly Longhorns chat starts at 11 a.m.

TOMORROW: More baseball playoffs (Pirates-Giants, 7, ESPN). No. 2-ranked Texas hosts Iowa State in volleyball (7, Gregory Gym, LHN). And Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden will hold their weekly live chat at 11 a.m.

Sept. 30 has a sports history. On this date, former Royals pitcher Dan Quisenberry died, at the age of 45 (1998); Yankees Tim Raines, Derek Jeter and Paul O’Neill became the first players in MLB history to hit back-to-back-to-back homers in a playoff game (1997); the NHL went on strike (1994); Royals third baseman/DH George Brett became the 18th player in MLB history with 3,000 hits (1992); Bowie Kuhn stepped down as baseball’s commissioner (1984); Seoul, South Korea was selected to host the 1988 Summer Olympics (1981); Roberto Clemente recorded the 3,000th — and final — hit of his career (1972); Babe Ruth played his final game as a Yankee. He went 0 for 3 (1934); and Ruth hit his 60th homer of the season, breaking his own record set six years earlier (1927).

Last year on Sept. 30, legendary Longhorns quarterback James Street died. He was 65. And the Rangers’ season ended with a 5-2 wildcard tiebreak loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Today’s sports birthdays: Former U.S. Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu (33), Martina Hingis (34), Jeremy Giambi (40) and Jamal Anderson (42). Other notables: Eric Stoltz (53), Fran Drescher (57) and Angie Dickinson (83). Oh, and Barry Williams — “Greg Brady” — turns 60 today. Sixty!

TODAY’S TRIVIA: Speaking of the Bradys, what NFL Hall of Famer played a cameo in a 1973 Brady Bunch episode called “Mail Order Hero”? (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)

TODAY’S LEAD: TEXAS FOOTBALL. Texas has won 10 of the last 11 games over Baylor when they’re played in Austin. The Longhorns have owned the Bears over the long haul of the series, enjoying a healthy 74-25-2 edge. But it’s been a tale of two programs since 2010 — the Longhorns have gone 8-5, 9-4, 8-5 while the Bears have made it to a BCS bowl, won a Big 12 title and produced a Heisman Trophy winner.

The teams meet Saturday at DKR as programs trending in opposite directions. Texas is in reshaping/rebuilding mode as Charlie Strong has cleaned house, set a firm tone and is trying to change the culture within the program. Baylor’s red hot, leading the nation in scoring offense (56.8 ppg) and total offense (641.0 ypg) with five straight wins vs. state opponents and a 12-3 record vs. in-state schools over the last four years.

On Monday, Strong praised what Art Briles has built in Waco and set the framework for Texas’ game plan: Sustain drives, avoid mistakes, play tough defense and win on special teams. And avoid the pressures of having to match Baylor score for score.

Our staff takeaways from Monday’s presser (Bohls was up in Waco, chatting up the Bears):

From Cedric Golden: “The Texas players must have some real interesting conversations behind closed doors regarding Baylor, but those true thoughts aren’t for public consumption — unless you’re receiver John Harris, who basically said that Texas is still Texas and Baylor is still Baylor. Earth to Mr. Harris. The Bears are the best offense in the country and the Longhorns aren’t even in the top five in their own state. This isn’t 2005.”

From Brian Davis: “It’s pretty obvious that both Charlie Strong and his players know the task that lies ahead. But you’ve got to like their confidence. Say what you will, but when John Harris says, ‘They’re still Baylor,’ that’s exactly how these players think. If somehow they can pull off an upset, Strong will jump-start his program.”

From Ryan Autullo: “The media got a chuckle when Charlie Strong asked us for Saturday’s point spread. Coaches typically don’t delve into that world. The situation became more comical when Strong responded ‘Wow!’ when told his team is a two-touchdown underdog. By the end of the day, the line was 16 points.”

Our coverage today centered on the role reversals for this Texas-Baylor matchup. For instance, the Longhorns are 16-point underdogs. At home. As if Texas, which is still raw from last year’s loss in Waco that decided the Big 12 title, needs more motivation ($), Davis wrote. Our Longhorns notebook ($) led off with Sunday’s meeting on campus between Strong and NFL commish Roger Goodell, who wanted to talk some core values.

What others are writing: The Dallas Morning News wrote on how both sides of the rivalry were playing it. Harris’ comments, just like Steve Edmond‘s earlier this year, basically boil down to good old fashioned bulletin board material, wrote the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

OPPOSITION RESEARCH: What’s up in Waco? Bohls wrote about Baylor’s high road being taken ($) in this week’s rivalry talk. Or, in the Bears’ case, the lack of rivalry talk. And our Bears notebook pointed out more good news for the offense ($) — the running game, obviously overshadowed by the passing game, is in fine form and Baylor’s receiving corps is finally all healthy. The Waco Tribune-Herald also addressed Baylor reaction to Longhorns comments, noting that they likely raised an already-hot rivalry a few more degrees.

Some quickie Baylor notes, coming out of the 49-28 win over Iowa State:

Sophomore RB Shock Linwood had his first career three-TD game.

Sophomore WR Corey Coleman, playing his first game, had 12 catches for 154 yards. Both were career highs.

Speaking of sophomore WRs, KD Cannon also posted a career high with nine catches.

Baylor has started 4-0 in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1937 and 1938.

AROUND THE BIG 12: Keep your eye on TCU, wrote Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; the Horned Frogs aren’t ready to win the Big 12, but they do look ready to win one of their next two games, including Saturday’s game with Oklahoma. The S-T’s TCU notebook detailed the defensive game plan to stop OU’s passing attack. Think Texas Tech wouldn’t mind having one of those former Lake Travis quarterbacks still in Lubbock? Starter Davis Webb is hurt, and his status for Saturday is uncertain, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reports. Speaking of former Lake Travis quarterbacks who are no longer in Lubbock, Baker Mayfield‘s waiver request to the NCAA asking to make him eligible to play immediately was denied on Monday. That means he won’t play this season and he loses a year of eligibility. The Daily Oklahoman was all over the story. In other Sooners developments, the bye week was spent in part trying to bring Oklahoma’s freshman receivers up to speed. And, over at Oklahoma State, coach Mike Gundy was critical of the Cowboys’ offensive line, which has yet to spring a 100-yard rusher (sound familiar?). OSU, meanwhile, is reconfiguring its defense to account for injuries heading into Saturday’s Iowa State game. The Tulsa World dug back into OU running back Samaje Perine‘s high school days at Hendrickson in Pflugerville to find the origins of his bullish running style. The World also wrote about Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman‘s big arm, and how he’s been using it so far — 12 of his 49 completions have gone for 30 yards or more. And the World explored the effect that OSU’s recent run against teams from Texas — the Cowboys are 22-3 vs. Texas teams over their past 25 meetings — is having on recruiting kids from the Lone Star State. Kansas is scrambling. After firing Charlie Weis on Sunday, the Jayhawks now must find a new head coach, reported the Kansas City Star, which was all over the story from different angles, including interim coach Clint Bowen‘s immediate To-Do’s.

BIG 12 STANDINGS
T-1: Oklahoma (1-0, 4-0) Next: At TCU, 2:30 Saturday, Fox
T-1: Baylor (1-0, 4-0) Next: At Texas, 2:30 Saturday, ABC
T-1: Kansas State (1-0, 3-1): vs. Texas Tech, 6 Saturday, ESPNU
T-1: TCU (1-0, 3-0): vs. Oklahoma, 2:30 Saturday, Fox
T-1: Oklahoma State (1-0, 3-1): vs. Iowa State, 11 a.m. Saturday
T-1: Texas (1-0, 2-2): vs. Baylor, 2:30 Saturday, ABC
T-7: Texas Tech (0-1, 2-2): At Kansas State, 6 Saturday, ESPNU
T-7: West Virginia (0-1, 2-2): vs. Kansas, 3 Saturday
T-7: Kansas (0-1, 2-2): At West Virginia, 3 Saturday
10: Iowa State (0-2, 1-3): At Oklahoma State, 11 a.m. Saturday

AROUND THE FORTY ACRES: A quick sweep of UT teams.

Football: Approximately 7,000 tickets were still available for Saturday’s Texas-Baylor game as of late Monday afternoon. They can be purchased at www.TexasSports.com/tickets, or by calling (512) 471-3333, or by going in person to the Bellmont Hall ticket office on the west side of DKR during normal business hours. … LB Jordan Hicks was named the Big 12 defensive player of the week on Monday; he had a team-high 11 tackles at Kansas, and added an interception, a tackle for loss and a QB pressure. … Next Saturday’s Texas-Oklahoma game will kick off at 11 a.m.

Men’s basketball: On the former Horns front, the San Antonio Express-News wrote on Spurs guard Cory Joseph, calling 2014-15 a “make-or-break season” for him.

Volleyball: No. 2 Texas (9-0) hosts Iowa State on Wednesday (7, Gregory Gym, LHN).

Soccer: Texas fell to No. 17 West Virginia on Sunday, 2-0. The Horns fell to 6-4-2 overall, and 1-1 in the Big 12.

Swimming/diving: All-America sophomore Mark Anderson placed 7th in the men’s platform finals late Sunday at the Pan American Festival in Mexico City. Cory Bowersox, a junior, placed 8th in Saturday’s men’s three-meter finals.

Women’s tennis: Freshmen Ryann Foster and Danielle Wagland won their second match in as many days on Sunday to advance to the qualifying draw at Los Angeles’ ITA All-American Championships, the first of three national championships in the college season. The qualifying doubles draw begins today, and a pair of qualifying-round wins would place them into the main doubles competition, which begins Thursday. Sophomore Ratnika Batra begins play in the qualifying singles draw today as well. Two-time All-American Breaunna Addison has already secured a spot in the main singles draw, which begins Thursday.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Joe Namath played a guest role in a 1973 episode of “The Brady Bunch,” lured to visit the Brady’s home to see a supposedly ailing Bobby.

ON SEPT. 30 …

1968: The Boeing 747 was rolled out and shown to the public for the first time.

1962: Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.

1955: We lost James Dean in a car accident. He was only 24.

TODAY’S LITTLE NUMBER: 9. Interceptions for Texas, through four games. The Longhorns had 10 picks all last season.

TODAY’S BIGGER NUMBER: 17. Season sacks for Texas, which ranks tied for fifth nationally.

TODAY’S BIG NUMBER: 119. Weeks, out of the past 124, that Texas’ volleyball team has been ranked in the Top 10 of the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll. And the Longhorns have been in the AVCA’s Top 25 for 159 straight weeks, dating back to 2004.

OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.

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