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Tag:Texas A&M
Posted on: August 11, 2011 12:45 am
Edited on: August 11, 2011 9:28 am
 

Looks like Texas A&M to SEC could happen

Gene Stallings foretold the current upheaval a year ago.

The Aggies former coach and regent said all the right things about staying in the Big 12. But in the same breath Stallings said that if things did break up he'd rather see the school join the SEC rather than the then-Pac-10. Don't forget that Stallings has extensive experience in the SEC as a national championship coach at Alabama.

Obviously, things have progressed -- or degenerated -- since then. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said Wednesday night he is taking "very seriously" reports that A&M is in conversations about joining the SEC. There were indications at the Big 12 media days last month that the school was close to joining the SEC in 2010 before it decided to stay with the reconstituted Big 12.

The Aggies continue to lean eastward toward the SEC and away from the Big 12. It's a given that the school feels a certain independence and a desire to break away from Texas' influence. The recent rancor over the Longhorn Network was merely a symptom of that rancor. It still believes the SEC could be a long-term home because ...

--Stability. The SEC has it. The Big 12 doesn’t.

--Money is no object. The payouts in both conferences are essentially going to be equal when the Big 12 goes to market for its primary rights in a couple of years.

--Arkansas is a natural rival from the old Southwest Conference.

--If the SEC were to balance things out at 14 teams (for now), Missouri would be an obvious candidate. That would given the Aggies two travel partners in a league that would stretch from South Carolina to Houston.

As for the SEC, it would love to have recruiting access to Texas. Texas -- and the rest of the surviving Big 12 -- would then have to battle SEC schools coming into the Lone Star State for recruits.

Remember, if this happens it won't be portrayed as a predatory move by the SEC in any way. This will be A&M trying to get away from Texas and strike out on its own. Whether the SEC then chooses to go to 14 or 16 will be the next issue. You can bet the Big Ten and Pac-12 commissioners aren't going to sit on their hands and lose traction in the marketplace.

As far as those long-term deals signed by conferences? They can all be adjusted. I'm told they all include periodic "look-in" clauses that would allow for adjustment due to change in membership.

As crazy as the summer of 2010 was, it's hard to believe that the Big 12 might not make it to the 2011 kickoff with a solid 10 going forward.
Category: NCAAF
Posted on: July 31, 2011 6:53 pm
Edited on: August 1, 2011 7:49 am
 

Texas A&M goes to NCAA on Longhorn Network

Texas A&M is urging the NCAA to use a 17-year-old rules interpretation that it believes would keep the Longhorn Network from airing high school games.

CBSSports.com obtained documents that show A&M wants TLN classified as an "institutional publication", per bylaw 11.2.3.4, which would make it an "athletics representative of the institution." The 1994 interpretation dealt most mostly with what was, at the time, an explosion among specialty print publications. Several newsletters, magazines and weeklies sprung up in the 1990s that covered individual schools' sports. Several of those publications reported recruiting news in varying degrees as part of their coverage.

They were, in essence, what could interpreted as print versions of what the TLN is attempting to become in 2011. A&M is asking that the NCAA apply that Nov. 1994 ruling -- regarding those print publications -- to video-based publications.

If not, the school said, "the NCAA, in allowing institutions to create video-based publication agreements without any restriction on content, is opening Pandora's box."

A&M even uses a quote Texas AD DeLoss Dodds to drive home its point about TLN being an "athletics representative."

“This is yet another step leading up to our launch which will offer viewers unprecedented access to our sports programs …” Dodds said in a January press release.

All of it means that Monday's Big 12 AD meetings in Dallas to discuss "institutional networks" could be the most significant for the conference in more than a year. During the 2010 spring meetings in Kansas City, the seeds were planted for Nebraska and Colorado to leave the conference. During those meetings, Texas reaffirmed its desire to start a network.

"Our goal is to keep this together," A&M AD Bill Byrne said. "I don't see anything contentious about it."

The league recently agreed to a lucrative 13-year, $1.2 billion deal with Fox for its secondary rights. It figures to score another windfall when its ABC/ESPN rights expire after 2015-16. But cracks already are beginning to appear nationally and in the Big 12. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott reiterated last week what he told CBSSports.com in May.

" ... It's my view there will be further expansion down the road," Scott said during the Pac-12 media days.

Texas A&M appears to have leverage with a potential move to the SEC. That could lead to a tsunami of conference realignment if other conferences are forced to react within the marketplace.

Texas has long been speculated to become an independent if it isn't happy with the Big 12. (Although it has never been addressed what would happen with Texas' highly-competitive minor sports.) The school came within a heartbeat of joining the Pac-10 in 2010. A portion of Texas' contract with ESPN states that if Texas is not a member of a conference, ESPN would have 60 days to make an exclusive deal for those TV rights. It would have 48 hours to match any competing offer. That information was reported by the Austin American-Statesman after a Freedom of Information request.

Given the potentially shaky Big 12 partnership, a school like Missouri suddenly would have multiple options in perhaps the SEC, Big Ten, Big East, even the Pac-12. There is every indication, though, that the current situation will be resolved. That still doesn't mean the Big 12 is a long-term proposition.

The growing controversy over broadcasting high school games seems to have only two resolutions. Either it will happen or it won't. Texas and ESPN officials have said they are fine if the NCAA restricts the airing of high school games. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe has put a moratorium on the practice until the issue is resolved.

Also at issue is Texas' intention to broadcast a conference game on TLN. That raises issues as to whether a conference member would be helping promote the network by its participation.

What you don't hear at the moment is Texas and ESPN backing down on their own on the issue of high school games. Technology, at this point, is moving faster than the NCAA's ability to react to it. Texas' intent to show high school content via broadband distribution and a coming Longhorn application has Texas A&M and others concerned.

Adding to the confusion is that Texas, the Big 12, NCAA and ESPN are all in a symbiotic relationship. Texas is a member of the Big 12 which is a member of the NCAA. All three have financial relationships with media giant ESPN.

Texas and ESPN announced the 20-year, $300 million partnership in January.

The Longhorn Network is the first individual school-centric endeavor on a major network (ESPN). It is launching Aug. 26 but not before having somewhat of a national referendum on the future of such businesses -- and possibly the Big 12 itself.

After a much-hyped, regents meeting earlier this month Texas A&M president R. Bowen Loftin said TLN's intentions create "uncertainty," in the Big 12. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said last week it is "common sense" that Texas not air high school games. While proclaiming solidarity among conference members, commissioner Dan Beebe said, "Any time there is any kind of perceived crack, there's going to be a lot of vultures in the air."

The issue has attracted the attention of the NCAA which has called an Aug. 22 in Indianapolis to discuss the issue. Among those invited include Texas, Notre Dame and the Pac-12. All three have networks or aspirations of forming one.

At issue is whether the ESPN/Texas partnership creates an unfair recruiting advantage. In early June, TLN chief Dave Brown specified in a radio interview that the network intended to show up to 18 high school games as well as travel to other states to show the games of players who had committed to Texas. That's where A&M, and others took notice.

Texas A&M is lobbying the NCAA hard to the point that ruling in favor of Texas "may cause more than simply discussion and consternation among the NCAA membership. It may lead to undesirable developments, a fear of creeping recruiting advantage that compels members to try to create situations for themselves similar to the Longhorn Network ...

" ... then the next step," A&M states to the NCAA, "could easily be an initiative to broadcast nonscholastic events during the otherwise slow collegiate sporting event summer period and it does not take much of an imagination to target men’s and women’s basketball summer tournaments/camps as being of interest to sports fans."

The NCAA already has its hands full with controlling the influence of those non-scholastic events. Basketball is rife with abuses. The association's enforcement department is working diligently trying to control non-scholastic third party influences in football.

College athletics is watching the TLN situation closely. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said Thursday that the Big Ten Network is not interested in televising high school games at this time. That could change, he added, the NCAA allows it.

In that case, he said, "we'll probably have to take a look at it."

At the time the original legislation was passed in 1993, 24/7 networks dedicated to one school didn't exist. Texas A&M argued to the NCAA that "the intent and spirit of the rule was that these type of outside/independent entities ... have greater flexibility in conversations with high school-aged individuals ..."

Dodds said Texas would be not involved in selecting high school games to be broadcast.

"We'll just have to let the process work itself out," ESPN's Brown said last week. "We would have liked to have done them [high school games], one game a week, two games a week. If we have to go in another direction we will."

Coach Mack Brown said last week that high school coaches and players would be hurt most through lack of exposure if their games weren't broadcast.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 5:54 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 12:04 am
 

Big 12's Four Little Piggies should find shelter

DALLAS -- You'd think they would have learned by now, the Big 12's Four Little Piggies.

Excuse the analogy regarding what are really Tigers, Jayhawks, Wildcats and Cyclones, but the conference's North Division leftovers would -- like the nursery rhyme Three Little Piggies -- be wise to look for sturdier homes.

That lesson was driven home last summer when conference realignment came up on Iowa State, Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State and smacked them over the head with a lead pipe. Surprise didn't even begin to describe it when the league started falling apart.

Few knew that Nebraska had secretly begun talking to the Big Ten in January 2010. Texas was going to do what Texas was going to do. The Pac-10 came along and almost conducted a daring raid.

The 4LP came this close to being homeless. The four would have found a home somewhere but that's the point. Better to go house-shopping on your own rather than waiting until a hurricane ruins the neighborhood.

Four schools that had been joined together for parts of a century suddenly would have been scattered.

Missouri: It went from thinking rather foolishly that it was Big Ten bound (it wasn't) to being nowhere but the Big 12 when Nebraska left.

Kansas: The seriousness of conference realignment hit home when a school with a top-five basketball program would have been looking for a home.

Kansas State-Iowa State: Total wild cards. Their markets (small) wouldn't have taken them anywhere specific.

Most likely the four would have ended up in some combination of the Big East and/or Mountain West. Perhaps Conference USA would have been involved trying to make itself into a BCS-worthy league. The Big East was considering inviting all four Piggies if the Big 12 split according to sources. 

The lesson to be learned as conference upheaval once again strikes the Big 12 is for the Four Little Piggies to be proactive. If their administrators aren't maintaining back-channel communications with other leagues then they are foolish. However, the reaction of Jamie Pollard seems typical.

"We're married, I'm married," Iowa State's AD said. "I'm not going to be talking to someone else I’m going to be married to."

The Big 12 was a contentious union for its first 15 years. Thirteen months later, here we are again with Texas A&M upset with Texas' launching of The Longhorn Network.

"That issue [with Texas A&M] has been around that institution for a long time," said Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe. "Thankfully, the coaches and administrators and others are adamant about being in the Big 12."

Beebe has long preached the dangers of a school moving out of its natural "geographic proximity." For what is believed to be the first time on Tuesday, he basically tipped his hat and wished Colorado good luck for getting closer to its fan base.

"When you remove your institution from your orientation, your rivalries, I think it's really going to be problematic ...," Beebe said. "Colorado went to its orientation because they had 50,000 more alums that were located in the Pac-10 footprint than the Big 12 foot print."


Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 8:43 pm
 

NCAA calls summit re: college networks

The NCAA has called an Aug. 22 summit to discuss collegiate networks, CBSSports.com learned Monday afternoon.

Texas received a letter dated Monday from Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs, inviting it to participate in an "educational summit regarding NCAA member and conference networks broadcasting youth sports." The growing issue of broadcasting high school games has become big enough for the main stakeholders to discuss the issue. The meeting will include representatives from Texas, BYU, the Big Ten, Notre Dame, the Pac-12 and the Mountain West. All of those entities have or are starting collegiate networks.

The move almost assures that The Longhorn Network will launch Aug. 26 without broadcasting high school games at least at the beginning of the season. The issue has become the latest hot-button offseason item in college sports because of Texas A&M's concern over Texas gaining a recruiting advantage.

"I'm stunned [at some of this]," said Texas AD DeLoss Dodds. "We've been saying the same thing from the beginning of this. We are not and will never do anything [to violate rules]. I'm a little surprised people would be concerned about us doing something."

Dodds added that the Big 12 ADs will meet Aug. 1 to discuss the issue. Those ADs, minus Texas, are still considering starting their own network. The issues are significant and confusing enough that the NCAA seemingly hasn't been able to rule on the legality of Texas broadcasting high school games.

"If you read Sports Business Journal or the New York Times, you'll see that viewership is up but attendance is down," said A&M AD Bill Byrne. "I'm worried about that. Everybody has a big flat screen. I've got one at my house. If it's a bad day, you don't have to go out to the ballgame, you can stay home. I worry about overexposure." 

Dodds also told CBSSports.com that Notre Dame may be interested in starting its own network after speaking to ND AD Jack Swarbrick.
Posted on: July 24, 2011 3:40 pm
Edited on: July 24, 2011 4:35 pm
 

Five things about the Big 12

Heading into the conference's media days in Dallas beginning Monday, here are five key issues.

1. Stability. The Big 12 was a shotgun marriage from the start. We're just seeing the latest manifestation of the cultural and geographical incongruity. Texas A&M and Oklahoma are upset at the way Texas has pushed the Longhorn Network on the conference. There was a vague idea that TLN was going to broadcast high school games, but that quickly became a deal-breaker when TLN head Dave Brown went on Austin radio on early June and went Manifest Destiny on the Big 12. Eighteen high school games? Broadcasting out-of-state high school games of 2012 Texas commits? All parties are working things out. The league should stay together -- this time. The point is, the league needs to calm down when level-minded observers point out the conference's instability. Note to the Big 12: The current lineup may last 50 years (doubt it) but quit getting upset every time someone points out Texas is the big dog and usually gets its way. That alone might be enough someday to break up this league. It won't be over this issue, but the Big 12 will continue to live in a constant state of flux.

2. Oklahoma rules. With Texas down and not looking to rebound anytime soon, Oklahoma looks like it is ready to run away and hide in the new Big 12. No surprise. The Sooners won seven of the 15 old Big 12 titles and are loaded again this year. While Bob Stoops hasn’t been able to follow up on that 2000 title, this would be only the second time in the BCS era the Sooners will have been picked as a preseason No. 1.

3. How the North was lost. The remaining members of the division formerly known as the North in the Big 12 face a distinct competitive disadvantage in the new 10-team league. Notably, there will be no more scheduling holes that allowed Kansas to win 12 games in 2007 without having to play Oklahoma or Texas. That's one example. There are more. Point is, the new round-robin Big 12 schedule is going to make it extremely difficult for Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State or Iowa State to make a serious run at a title in the 10-team league. Those schools will be playing Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma each season. Since 2005, the remaining North schools have lost 75 percent of their games to those three. Add to that the reality that every other year, teams will be playing five of nine conference games on the road. Not only is there a competitive disadvantage -- only Kansas State among the four has won a Big 12 title -- there will be a physical toll as well. With a round-robin schedule, there will be fewer breathers.

4. Mack Brown's future. Texas' coach did what any veteran would do when the program slides off the edge of the cliff. He changed his coordinators. Much of the Horns' ability to turn around immediately from a 5-7 disaster will be on the shoulders of co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin and defensive coordinator Manny Diaz. Harsin is credited for making Boise State a huge offensive force in recent years. Diaz's career has soared since he began as an intern at ESPN. If Texas doesn't rebound quickly and begin competing for the conference title again, will this be Mack's final year?

5. Bring the kids, spread out a blanket and watch the fireworks. For whatever reason, the Big 12 has become the most entertaining league in the country. This is a conference that produced Vince Young, Chase Daniel and Jason White. The conference has made its on-field rep with great offenses and great offensive players. Three of the top six players in total offense came from the Big 12 last year. The top two receivers in the country (Justin Blackmon, Ryan Broyles) were also from the Big 12. Oregon's LaMichael James led the country in scoring. No. 2? Lou Groza Award winner Dan Bailey of Oklahoma State. The Cowboys and Sooners were 2-3 in passing. With Baylor maturing and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State at the top of their offensive games, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to "hang half a hundred on 'em," as Barry Switzer used to say.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 11:12 am
 

Longhorn Network resolution could last to August

A decision on The Longhorn Network's now-controversial programming plan is likely to last into August, Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe told CBSSports.com.

Texas A&M, among others, is concerned about TLN's televising high school games and one conference game this season. Beebe released a statement Thursday saying those plans for the network are on hold until a resolution can be reached.

"We need to construct scenarios where everybody benefits," Beebe said.

All parties are essentially waiting for the NCAA rule on the "legality" of TLN to be able televise those high school games. That would seemingly violate NCAA Bylaw 13.10.3 that prohibits a recruit from appearing on "a program" in which a member institution is "instrumental in arranging for the appearance" for the recruit.

The wording, as usual in the NCAA Manual, is complicated and probably has a lot to do with the issue possibly extending into next month. You can read it here.

Texas likely would prefer that the NCAA become the bad guy in this situation. If the NCAA says no, Texas saves face by having to acquiesce to association rules. If the NCAA rules in favor of Texas, then the issue becomes stickier. A&M released a strongly-worded statement Thursday stating its displeasure with the situation.

There is also concern among conference teams playing Texas on TLN. They would essentially be driving ratings and cable subscriptions for a conference rival. Beebe said that one possible solution could be that the Texas opponent in that case could also show the game on its own "carriage system." (broadband, streaming, etc .)

The issue seemingly will not be resolved next week during the Big 12 media days in Dallas. Not all the athletic directors will be available.
Sources within the Big 12 and ESPN are confident the issue will be resolved without any damage to the current conference structure. Thirteen months after Nebraska and Colorado split off, the Big 12 is still dealing with questions about its stability.

In essence, the televising of high school games on TLN is not a deal breaker for ESPN or Texas. Texas AD DeLoss Dodds said he would be comfortable if the NCAA rules prep games cannot be televised.

A&M became further alarmed in early June when TLN chief Dave Brown detailed the high-school plan during an Austin, Texas radio interview.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:26 pm
 

Big 12 in uproar over Longhorn Network

At one point Thursday afternoon, I Tweeted "Big 12 making WAC look stable."

One Big 12 loyalist immediately shot back: "u know something we don't?"

Apparently. Start with the new, 13-month old league looking a lot like the 15-year old previous version of the Big 12 that almost disintegrated last year. It looks just as shaky and twice as disparate. Texas is starting a network on its terms. Everyone else in the Big 12 is having problems with those terms. They include televising high school games and as well as one conference game.

Several issues: Texas A&M, among others, isn't happy with Texas essentially having its own televised recruiting service. That, and conference rivals helping drive ratings and subscribers by playing Texas on its own network.

Commissioner Dan Beebe seemingly had calmed the waters by issuing a Thursday statement saying the issue needed "clarification" and that the league would "manage the interplay". Beebe concluded by saying the pause button had been it on TLN. It could show no more than one game (the opener against Rice) and no high school games until things were sorted out.

I thought these types of conflicts would be avoided for at least a few years. But who knew Texas and ESPN would launch a network without getting these issues resolved with the rest of the Big 12? Or maybe it doesn't matter. It's the other members -- particularly Missouri, Iowa State, Kansas and Kansas State -- who are just happy to be in a BCS conference at this point.

As one executive intimated to me this week: These schools DO understand why the conference stayed together, right?

Answer: Texas.

That kind of gives you a picture of where things stand at the moment. Texas has all the power, as usual. And most of the rest have to take it except for Texas A&M, and perhaps Oklahoma. A&M made it clear to me Wednesday that the administration is upset with comments made by TLN network chief Dave Brown, a long-time power broker in college football for ESPN. 

A&M and OU have some leverage, which translates into jumping to the SEC if pushed too far on this issue. Read this scathing statement from Aggies' AD Bill Byrne.

“I have continued to have concerns about the Longhorn Network since the original announcement by ESPN and Texas. Since last summer, the Big 12 member institutions have committed to work together in a spirit of unity and equality. Recent news reports concerning this network; however, have created a considerable amount of uncertainty.

We had an agreement in place that Big 12 members would have the right to one non-conference football game and four to six basketball games for third tier, or institutional rights. The concept of the Longhorn Network broadcasting two live football games -- with one of these being a conference game -- had not been discussed among the Big 12 athletic directors.

Our concerns were heightened further when news reports surfaced that the Longhorn Network would be broadcasting high school football games featuring Texas high school recruits, including recruits living outside the state of Texas. Knowing how restrictive NCAA rules are regarding any collegiate representative contacting prospects, we contacted the NCAA for an interpretation. We are still waiting for the NCAA's response.

I have continued to communicate our concerns to the conference office and my fellow athletic directors. We are pleased that the Commissioner has started to address these concerns, but many questions remain. These are significant issues for all of collegiate athletics as they relate to broadcast rights, revenue distribution and the recruitment of student-athletes.”


There it is. A&M ain't standing for it and -- best guess -- the SEC would take an Aggie-Sooner package in a heartbeat. That would likely set off a chain reaction of new conference realignment that could lead to the era of super conferences.

What's likely to happen? ESPN isn't going to risk the disintegration of the Big 12 (a partner) to show high school games on TLN (a different, new partner). ESPN made a financial commitment to the Big 12 last year to keep Texas in the fold, if for no other reason than the Horns having a launching pad for that network. Essentially, we're talking about Big 12 game inventory (a lot) being worth more than TLN's (a little) to ESPN.

If the NCAA doesn't rule that the high school games are an unfair recruiting advantage, Texas/ESPN will simply back down and not show them. It's worth it to keep everyone happy. Sources here at the SEC media days told me that the high school programming isn't a huge deal. It would be nice to have on the TLN but its absence is not going to wreck it.

Guess that means more re-runs of the Mack Brown Show. I'm sure A&M will be happy with that.
Posted on: June 29, 2011 11:33 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 12:09 pm
 

Taylor Martinez says Pelini 'misunderstood'

LINCOLN, Neb. -- They call him T-Magic. His coach seemed to call him out last fall in what might have been the turning point in Nebraska's season.

Huskers' quarterback Taylor Martinez said Tuesday that coach Bo Pelini "misunderstood" events surrounding his injuries during a bitter loss to Texas A&M. Martinez went into detail about the contentious situation the night of Nov. 20 in College Station. During that game, Martinez reinjured his right ankle and had to leave early during a 9-6 loss to the Aggies.

That's when controversy sprouted. Back in the lockerroom after being examined, Martinez said he spoke to his father, Casey Martinez, via cell phone during the game.

By the day after on Sunday, Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman had criticized Pelini's sideline behavior. The coach had to shoot down rumors that his quarterback had left the team.

What the public saw that night was Pelini berating officials and getting in the face of his quarterback. Martinez had emerged from the lockerroom after treatment early in the game, only to have Pelini poke a finger in his chest on the sideline.

Here's how Martinez saw it:

"I hurt my [left] turf toe then two plays later, that's when our center stepped on me. I went to the sidelines, then went back and got X-rayed. After I got X-rayed, I went back to the lockerroom. I couldn't move at all. It was so painful, my left toe and my right ankle. I was in so much pain. I didn't think I was going back in.

"I was trying to walk to our lockerroom to feel it out. I plugged in my phone for the charger. It was on and it lit up. I saw it. I saw my dad called me. I called him back and told him I didn't think I was going back in. I couldn't move at all. I explained to him what happened."

Martinez did eventually return in the second half but threw for only 107 yards in the game. Nebraska came into the game 9-1 and ranked ninth. It finished the season losing three of its last four, including the Big 12 title game to Oklahoma and the Holiday Bowl to Washington.

Was Martinez surprised how much was made about the night of Nov. 20?

"I was, but people could have their own assumptions of what happened. Maybe they don't think it's a correct thing, that what I did was call my dad and let him know what happened. I got turf toe and he didn't know about that. He actually thought I tore my ACL or broke my femur or whatever. He was concerned like any other father would be."

So he called you. Was he just taking a shot and hoping you'd answer the phone?

"Yeah. He knew I went to the lockerroom. I thought I was done. I didn't think I'd be able to go back in. I knew it was him who was calling. I explained to him what happened. The trainer was next to me ...

"Coach Pelini misunderstood what one of the trainers told him [about] what was going on. That's when Coach Pelini came over and talked to me about it. He was heated because of everything going on, everything going on in the game."

These are revealing comments from the rising redshirt sophomore known for his aversion to media. Maybe it's because it was the offseason and he was relaxing on his turf in the Nebraska athletic offices. Maybe Martinez is opening up. Maybe this means Nebraska is getting the leader it desperately needs at quarterback. Backup Cody Green left the team in the offseason.

Whatever the case, Big Red Nation is agonizing over which Martinez shows up this season, the Huskers' first in the Big Ten. The Good T-Magic looked like a Heisman candidate during the first half of 2010. After the injuries, the Bad T-Magic lost mobility and effectiveness.

"It [injuries] pretty much changed everything," Martinez said. "I was pretty much playing on one foot. You can't move. I think Tom Osborne said it's like Peyton Manning breaking his arm, comparing me with my ankle."

Martinez said both the turf toe and ankle will be 100 percent going into the season. Pelini is expected back in the office this week after taking some time off. 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com