College Confidential: TCU offense vs. OU; Texas vs. possible job openings

Posted Thursday, Oct. 03, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Star-Telegram writers Jimmy Burch and Stefan Stevenson sound off on the issues of the day in college football in College Confidential at star-telegram.com.

TCU’s inconsistent offense had a breakthrough second half in the rain last week against SMU. How can the Horned Frogs keep the momentum going this week against Oklahoma?

Jimmy: Receiver Ja’Juan Story, a high-profile transfer from Florida, showed up in a big way against the Mustangs. Now that he’s healthy, keeping him prominent in future game plans would be wise.

Stefan: Quarterback Trevone Boykin, obviously, has to play well for TCU to have a chance. Whether that means the Frogs run it 50 times or Boykin throws for 300 yards, the offense has to hang with OU early. TCU’s defense is good enough to do its part.

Texas needs a new athletic director and could need a new football coach by the end of the season. Where would you direct university President Bill Powers to look for replacements?

Jimmy: The only vacancy, at present, is for an AD. Louisville’s Tom Jurich has a stellar reputation and a strong track record for hiring coaches. West Virginia’s Oliver Luck is a bright guy with Texas ties. If the coaching job opens, which appears likely, I’m not sold on the interest level of Alabama’s Nick Saban. But Louisville’s Charlie Strong or Clemson’s Dabo Swinney probably would be very receptive to hearing a sales pitch from Texas officials.

Stefan: TCU’s Chris Del Conte is often mentioned for AD jobs, but I know he likes it in Fort Worth. As for coaches, Florida’s Will Muschamp could be a possibility. He has recent Texas ties and is a proven top defensive coach.

It is early, but Big 12 teams were 4-0 when playing at home in conference games in September. That includes a couple of upsets. Will this be a season-long trend? If so, which contenders are good enough to go on the road and win key games in this league?

Jimmy: When a league has lots of competitive balance, like the Big 12 does this season, there will be more upsets. And those tend to occur when the underdog plays at home. So, yes, I consider this a trend to track in 2013. Baylor has enough firepower on offense and Oklahoma has enough talent on defense to go counter-flow and become road warriors. Those two jump out.

Stefan: Agreed on OU and Baylor. Oklahoma State’s stock is down after losing at West Virginia, but I could still see the Cowboys being tough to beat the next couple of months.

Notre Dame plays Saturday in Arlington against No. 22 Arizona State, giving local fans a chance to watch two teams with high-profile bowl hopes and rosters with future NFL stars. Which players from this game should fans focus on if they want to see someone who might play for or against the Dallas Cowboys in the near future?

Jimmy: Notre Dame touts four defensive starters as potential All-Americans. All four should play at the next level: OLB Prince Shembo, CB Bennett Jackson, DL Louis Nix III and DL Stephon Tuitt. But the most electric player in Arlington will be Arizona State RB Marion Grice, who leads the nation with 12 TDs (8 rushing, 4 receiving).

Stefan: It’ll be interesting to see the atmosphere surrounding this game, which is an odd matchup for a neutral site game. If you’re not excited by the stars on the field, you could find a bunch of legends watching from the sidelines, including former ASU stars and Dallas Cowboys Darren Woodson and Danny White. Irish fans should look for Joe Montana, Joe Theismanm and maybe even TV star and alumnus Regis Philbin.

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