Wednesday Longhorn Sports Page

Stay up to date on all things Burnt Orange with a daily stop at IT's Longhorn Sports Page, with links to the latest news and opinion articles on UT football, basketball, baseball, recruiting and other sports from around the web.

Football

No More 'Mack The Nice'?
InsideTexas.com
Texas' official Holiday Bowl depth chart will not be released until just before kickoff, head coach Mack Brown said Tuesday, re-emphasizing a previous stance that all starting jobs are "open" following his team's 38-30 loss at Texas A&M.

A Meeting With Mack
InsideTexas.com
Away from lights and cameras of the weekly press conference, Texas head coach Mack Brown discusses with beat reporters bowl preparations, if this game compares to the disappointing 2003 Holiday Bowl, when he plans on addressing coaching changes, his team's leadership (or lack thereof) and more.

Brown brings back old motivational trick
Austin American-Statesman
Coach hopes the "Not Our Standard" up-down exercises will build team chemistry for Longhorns in the Holiday Bowl. Tactic was used in 2004-05

Shipley may apply for sixth year of eligibility
Austin American-Statesman

Coach turns up heat in Texas' bowl preparations
Dallas Morning News
Texas players knew as soon as Mack Brown convened the Longhorns for practices leading up to their Dec. 27 meeting in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl against Arizona State that he wasn't happy.

Texas RB Charles waiting on NFL report
Dallas Morning News
Texas junior running back Jamaal Charles confirmed he has sent in paperwork to an NFL advisory committee that attempts to gauge where players might be selected in the 2008 NFL draft.

Brown pushes Longhorns during bowl practice
San Antonio Express-News
After Texas' disappointing road loss to rival Texas A&M last month, coach Mack Brown said everything was open for review. And that included the starting lineup. Now, after the Longhorns have endured more than a week of 6 a.m. practices and watched reels of game film — the good plays, and the bad ones — Brown says there's still more to review as UT heads toward a Dec. 27 meeting with Arizona State in the Holiday Bowl.

Brown takes page from Barnes' tough-guy approach
San Antonio Express-News
Mack Brown has long been chided for being "Mack the Nice," but even he is following a course that Barnes could appreciate. Since the Longhorns lost to Texas A&M in late November, their football practices have been mini-gauntlets. They're practicing is full pads, hitting, swarming – and basically doing all the things they didn't do in the 38-30 loss to the Aggies. Like showing effort.

Longhorns are having their up-downs
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
At least once during Texas' bowl practices, quarterback Colt McCoy has had to stand in the middle of a circle of his teammates and watch his fellow Longhorns do an "up-down" drill. And it was all his fault. "My name is Colt," he said. "And I had one too many NOSs." NOS stands for Not Our Standard, and it has become the metaphor for how No. 17 Texas (9-3) is treating its preparation for the Holiday Bowl against No. 12 Arizona State (10-2) on Dec. 27 in San Diego.

Texas puts jobs up for grabs
Arizona Republic
Arizona State football coach Dennis Erickson chuckles at the thought of his Texas counterpart, Mack Brown, being unhappy about a season-ending loss and opening up all his players' jobs for the Holiday Bowl. "They must have a lot of players," Erickson said. "We don't have enough guys to open jobs up. The only job that might be open is mine."

In Texas Longhorn country, success means playing for championships
Phoenix East Valley Tribune
At most schools, nine regular-season wins and a trip to one of the better non-Bowl Championship Series games is not cause for blowing up the depth chart and returning to training camp-style practices. However, that is happening at Texas, where — in the aftermath of an ugly loss against rival Texas A&M in the regular-season finale — coach Mack Brown is making even accomplished veteran players earn their starting assignments for the Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl against Arizona State.

Football recruiting

Colorado Lands Top 100 Member
InsideTexas.com
Bryce Givens made an early commitment to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but after a weekend visit to Colorado he decided that it was best for him to help build a strong program with Dan Hawkins at Colorado. Scout.com caught up with him for his reasoning behind the switch.

Player Journal: Russell Shepard
InsideTexas.com
Cy Ridge quarterback and 2009 Texas target Russell Shepard gives the first of his player journals, allowing Shepard speak to unfiltered. Shepard writes about his invitation to a Texas junior day, the calls and letters he's still getting from coaches and a call from Vince Young's trainer.

Mullen star tackle Givens giving up Nebraska for Buffaloes
Denver Post
He passed on Big Red turmoil, then made Texas toast before deciding to head to Boulder, where Buffaloes roam. Bryce Givens, a nationally ranked tackle at Mullen High School, had quite the recruiting odyssey before committing Sunday night to the University of Colorado.

D.J. Grant shoots up ESPN 150 rankings
ESPN.com
This close to national signing day it is rare for a prospect to emerge into the ESPN 150 and even more exceptional to find a talent deserving of a top-20 national ranking. However, after watching updated senior film on LBJ High School wide receiver D.J. Grant (Austin, Texas/LBJ), we feel he possesses the physical tools needed to explode onto the college scene early and the upside to develop into a legit playmaker at the University of Texas.

Hoops

Texas Tops Oral Roberts in Defensive Struggle
InsideTexas.com
It was a poor shooting night for Rick Barnes' Longhorns, but Texas stood strong on the defensive end in a 66-56 win over Oral Roberts on Tuesday to extend the Longhorns' record 11-0.

Texas drives past Oral Roberts
Austin American-Statesman
Changing speeds, direction and tactics as he dribbles the basketball, D.J. Augustin is a man with options. If one path to the scorebook is closed to him, the Longhorn sophomore creates another. Augustin, defended adeptly by Oral Roberts Tuesday, nevertheless managed to score 24 points as the fourth-ranked Longhorns remained undefeated with a 66-56 victory in front of 6,961 at the Erwin Center.

No. 4 Texas holds off Oral Roberts, 66-56
Dallas Morning News
The message got through to the fourth-ranked Longhorns. A two-and-a-half-hour film session Sunday in which coach Rick Barnes shredded his team for shoddy defense was not lost on his players as they held Oral Roberts to 37.1 percent shooting in a 66-56 victory in front of 6,961 at the Erwin Center on Tuesday night.

Augustin's 24 points spark UT
San Antonio Express-News
Texas coach Rick Barnes contends his Longhorns' nonconference schedule is one of the toughest — if not the toughest — in the country. And it's only just beginning. If Tuesday's tilt with Oral Roberts, an NCAA tournament team last year, is any preview, Barnes may just be right. The fourth-ranked Longhorns needed a late surge to hold off the Golden Eagles for a 66-56 victory at the Erwin Center. Now begins the rest of the gauntlet.

Augustin makes difference again
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
More than once this season when the game was in the balance, the scales tipped in Texas' favor because point guard D.J. Augustin brought his game to weigh. Other teams have tried various schemes to blunt the obvious, with little success... Oral Roberts guard Adam Liberty found that out Thursday night as Augustin compensated for a poor shooting night (6-for-20) by nailing 11 of 12 free throws to lead the No. 4 Longhorns (11-0) to a grind-it-out 66-56 victory over the Golden Eagles (6-4).

Eagles get close, stumble
Tulsa World
Continuing to impress defensively, Oral Roberts played the nation's No. 4 basketball team to a first-half standstill on regional television, but couldn't keep up the pace. Texas scored the first eight points after intermission to break a halftime tie and staved off the Golden Eagles 66-56 to stay unbeaten in 11 games -- the Longhorns' best start since 1981-82.

Michigan State's Izzo eyes big week for Spartans
Associated Press
Tom Izzo isn't an easy grader. But with final exams finished, his Michigan State basketball team earned high marks for its classroom work and its first 10 games. The No. 9 Spartans (9-1) will try to keep a demanding coach happy when they face San Jose State (3-4) Wednesday at the Breslin Center, then No. 4 Texas (11-0) Saturday at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Alumni

Clemens denies doping
Associated Press
Roger Clemens denied allegations by his former trainer that he took performance-enhancing drugs, calling them "a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take." The accusations against the seven-time Cy Young Award winner from former trainer Brian McNamee were the most striking in last week's Mitchell Report. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell wrote that McNamee said he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998 while with the Toronto Blue Jays, and steroids and human growth hormone in 2000 and 2001, while with the New York Yankees.

Other:

Burnt Orange Glasses: Your Cheatin' Heart
InsideTexas.com
"Your cheatin' heart will make you weep/ You'll cry and cry, and try to sleep/ But sleep won't come the whole night through/ Your cheatin' heart will tell on you." -- Hank Williams, 1952

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