BOZICH | Monday Muse: Charlie Strong please send Jordan Spieth g - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Monday Muse: Charlie Strong please send Jordan Spieth good seats at Texas ASAP

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Rick Bozich writes about Charlie Strong, Mike Leach and Damien Harris in the Monday Muse. Rick Bozich writes about Charlie Strong, Mike Leach and Damien Harris in the Monday Muse.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Charlie Strong will do the job at the University of Texas – if the folks in Austin give him time, like at least all five years of his contract. He’ll get the Longhorns into the four-team playoff in the next four seasons.

Let there be no mistake about the confidence that I have in Strong’s ability to build a program and win.

Some people likely disagree with that – and that makes it a perfect opening topic for the Monday Muse.

Like Texas fans who watched the Longhorns make Notre Dame look like a favorite for the 2015 national title and also made ND quarterback Malik Zaire look like a favorite for the Heisman Trophy when the Fighting Irish popped Texas, 38-3, Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

Some people is pretty vague, right? OK, I’ll give you a name – Jordan Spieth, winner of two major golf championships in 2015, frontrunner for 2015 Sportsman of the Year and Longhorns’ fan extraordinaire.

Check Spieth’s Twitter account from Saturday night, especially the one that has been re-Tweeted more than 20,000 times and favorited 23,000:

“Texas offense looking about as useful as my last four rounds.”

Ouch.

Send him some tickets, Charlie. Spieth has not deleted that Tweet yet.

For the record, Strong is now 6-8 in Austin since leaving Louisville after the 2013 season. The more alarming number is this: Texas has been outscored 117-20 in its last three games, while losing to TCU, Arkansas and Notre Dame.

“I don’t think we’re going backwards,” Strong said after the defeat Saturday. “It’s the first one of the season. We have to somehow get it moving forward.”

Send Spieth some tickets, Coach. Really good seats.

2. LOOKING AHEAD

Early odds for this week’s games, along with the projections by the Sagarin Ratings:

Louisiana Tech at Western Kentucky, Thursday, 8 p.m. – Hilltoppers favored by two. Sagarin’s numbers also favor WKU by two. Interesting. Louisiana Tech beat WKU, 59-10, last season.

Houston at Louisville, Saturday, noon – Louisville by 11. Sagarin numbers favor Cards by 10.74. Funny how his numbers are usually right there.

Kentucky at South Carolina, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. – Gamecocks by 9 ½. Sagarin numbers favor South Carolina by 11.45.

Florida International at Indiana, Saturday, 8 p.m. – Hoosiers favored by 7 ½. Sagarin numbers favor IU by 14.8. Apparently Vegas saw the IU-Southern Illinois game and Sagarin's mainframe missed it.

3. My Conference Vs. Your Conference

Here is how they rank after one weekend of games:

1. SEC – Only Vanderbilt and a lightning storm in Baton Rouge stopped the SEC from a 14-0 start. But with wins over Wisconsin, Louisville and Arizona State, they’ll take 12-1 and brag all week.

2. ACC – The overall record of 10-3 looks fine, but the ACC whiffed in its three big moments, like Auburn over Louisville, South Carolina over North Carolina and UCLA over Virginia, with two games played at neutral sites.

3. Big 12 – Nice win by TCU.  Ugly loss by Texas. Still, 8-2 is what everybody expected – except the folks dressed in burnt orange.

4. Pac-12. Five losses in 12 games. Hot seat alert for Mike Leach at Washington State. Offense alert for Stanford at Northwestern. National championship talk smashed for Arizona State against Texas A&M.

5. Big Ten – The Big Ten needed a receiver from Southern Illinois to drop a two-point conversion at the goal line at Indiana to finish with a 7-6 record.  Special credit to Penn State for looking exceptionally bad. Only Northwestern can brag.

4. DEAR FLORIDA: HIRE MORE SECURITY

I don’t know if times are tight in Gainesville but when I read the story that thieves broke into a team bus that took administrators from New Mexico State to The Swamp for a game against Florida Saturday night, I remembered this wasn’t the first time Florida showed a lack of defense off the field.

After checking with my friend John Clay of the Herald-Leader in Lexington, I confirmed it. In 2002, thieves broke into the coaches’ locker room during a Kentucky game at Florida, stealing wallets, jewelry and money. (The link, if you have forgotten.)

At least Florida has pushed the robbers outside the stadium. That's progress, right?

5. ANYBODY STILL WANT MIKE LEACH AT KENTUCKY?

Didn’t think so, although some Leach Fan Club members were pushing his name relentlessly after Kentucky fired Joker Phillips.

But I had to ask, even after Leach backed up his 3-9 performance at Washington State last season by losing a home game to Portland State Saturday. And remember Portland State is one of the three teams Leach beat in 2014.

No wonder they’re going with stories like this one in Pullman, speculating whether the Cougars have the money to buy out the rest of Leach’s contract at Washington State. It would apparently cost around $4.8 million -- and you'd miss all of Leach's smart-aleck answers.

6. DALYN DAWKINS SIGHTING

Remember Dalyn Dawkins, son of former Louisville star Ralph Dawkins and a member of the James Quick, Jason Hatcher, and Ryan White championship teams at Trinity?

After one season at Purdue, Dawkins transferred to Colorado State. He thought he’d be playing for Jim McElwain. But the coach left for the Florida job. Now Dawkins must play for former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo.

He earned five carries for 37 yards as the Rams blitzed Savannah State in their season opener. Dawkins, a redshirt sophomore, also caught a pass for 27 yards.

7. DAMIEN HARRIS MAKES ALABAMA ROTATION

Some people questioned Damien Harris’ decision to take a scholarship offer from Nick Saban at Alabama over an offer from Mark Stoops and Kentucky because they said Harris, a freshman from Berea, would be buried on the Crimson Tide’s depth chart.

Wrong.

Harris carried the ball nine times for 23 yards as Bama overpowered Wisconsin Saturday night. And according to this story at AL.com, Saban loves his freshman.

He's shown a lot of toughness,” Saban told Michael Casagrande. “He's a bright guy, so he's been able to learn his position.

“We're sort of counting on him being a player behind Derrick (Henry) and Kenyan (Drake), and we have a lot of confidence that he can do well. He's a good receiver as well as a good runner, and he's shown that he has a lot of toughness and resiliency. We're anxious to give him an opportunity."

8. THIS WEEK’S GAME OF THE YEAR

Is Tennessee for real? Is Oklahoma actually a fringe national championship contender?

We’ll have more answers Saturday when Bob Stoops takes the Sooners to Neyland Stadium for a game against Butch Jones and the improving Volunteers.

Both teams dominated Mid-American Conference teams Saturday. The Sooners popped Akron, 41-3, while Tennessee overpowered Bowling Green, 59-30.

Oklahoma beat Tennessee, 34-10, in Norman last season.

The rematch will be played Saturday at 6 p.m. in Knoxville. Oklahoma opened as a 3-point favorite, but the game is now listed as pick ‘em. If the SEC wins this one, too, look out.

9. A KICK AND A TRIPLE CHEESEBURGER, PLEASE

Penn State fans didn’t have much fun Saturday. How can a fan base celebrate anything about a 27-10 loss to Temple to open the season?

Well, by celebrating the arrival of Penn State’s 5-foot-10, walk-on kicker.

What’s so special about a 5-10 kicker? Small guys and former soccer players have always ruled at this position. This guy is both.

This small guy is actually a big guy. Joey “Big Toe” Julius weighs 257 pounds.

He became a Twitter sensation Saturday after making a 34-yard field goal. People like people who like to eat.

I’m awaiting confirmation if Julius celebrated with that triple cheeseburger.

10. POLL RESULTS

If you could pick one local quarterback  to direct your team this season, who would you take?

1.         Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky – 34.7 percent.

2.         Reggie Bonnafon, Louisville – 24.6.

3.         Will Gardner, Louisville – 16.5

4.         Patrick Towles, Kentucky – 15.2

5.         Nate Sudfeld, Indiana – 9.1

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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