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July 27, 2014

Ketch's 10 Thoughts From The Weekend



"They used to call me Crazy Charlie. Well now they can call me Batman!"

Hey, Texas fans, this is what you wanted.

Over the last four year years, as the Texas football team floundered in a living nightmare of what could at-best be described as a world of mediocrity, knowing full well that the head coach in charge was far on the other side of his best days, this is what you said time and time again that you wanted.

When the standards in the program continued to drop and poor decision after poor decision was met with annual raises, I swear as God as my witness that this is what you said you wanted.

Much like when Joe Clark first arrived at Eastside High way back in the 1980s, the Texas Longhorn football program was a broken place when Charlie Strong was hired in January. If the on-field results and the current state of the roster haven't opened your eyes to that painful reality, then the news of numerous dismissals from the program last week over issues of Strong's core values being trampled on must surely have your attention.

Also, just like Joe Clark, if Strong believes in his soul that the only way he's going to get those test scores up is by putting locks on the doors and throwing all of the dope dealers out of the school, then you need to save your outcries of unfairness and let the man do his job because contrary to some popular belief, this program isn't inches away from being elite again.

As I've written before when I compared Strong to fellow disciplinarian Norman Dale, this isn't about anything other than Strong's core set of principles serving as the foundation for every layer in his program.

With days until the start of his first pre-season training camp, if Strong believes that he has to eliminate a few characters in order to keep the rest of his team from being infected by a mindset of selfishness, hard-headedness and misplaced priorities, then so be it. In the case of each and every player that was dismissed during that 48-hour window that shocked much of the Longhorn world, not a single athlete involved was a first-time offender of Strong's core set of values. And in some cases they weren't second or third or fourth chances.

If you're Strong and you've got a team meeting with the players that have given every ounce of trust in their football souls to you, you can't take any chances that there's a misplaced soul among the bunch. That probably means you have to test those with previous strikes in an effort to separate the committed from the non-committed, and those that fail have to hit the curb for the betterment of a bigger picture.

If there's a Sams in the bunch that Strong believes will actually take advantage of one last chance, then Strong can make that decision, but the decision is his and his alone, and everyone that plans on wearing burnt orange to DKR this season better trust that he understands more than anyone else what he's doing.

I'll end this section with comments from Clark's character in Lean on Me as he introduced his vision for Eastside High with one cold-blooded, direct hit on all of those that stood in his way on that first day of school.

I want all of you to take a good look at these people on the risers behind me. These people have been here roughly five years, and done absolutely nothing. These people are drug dealers and drug users. They have taken up space. They have disrupted this school. They have harassed your teachers. And they have intimidated you. Well, times are about to change. You will not be bothered in Joe Clark's school. These people are incorrigible. And since none of them could graduate anyway ...

You are all expurgated. You are dismissed! You are out of here, forever. I wish you well! Mr. Wright ...

Next time, it may be you. If you do no better than they did, next time it WILL be you. They said this school was dead, like the cemetery it's built on. But we call our Eastside teams "Ghosts," don't we? And what are ghosts? Ghosts are spirits that rise from the dead. I want you to be my ghosts. You are going to lead our resurrection, by defying the expectation that all of us are doomed to failure. My motto is simple: If you do not succeed in life, I don't want you to blame your parents. I don't want you to blame the White Man. I want you to blame yourselves. The responsibility is yours!


No.2 - #LetsRide (Tallahassee Style) …

As far as commitments in the 2015 recruiting class for the Texas Longhorns are concerned, news hasn't been much bigger than the slice that was delivered on Sunday when Tallahassee Lincoln wide receiver John Burt made his commitment to the Longhorns official.

The 6-2, 180-pound Burt represents exactly the type of prospect that Strong is looking for in that he brings the talent of a national Top 100 prospect in the package of a young man that isn't afraid of the challenges of embracing Charlie Strong's vision of building a championship.

More than anything else, if Strong is going to enjoy the type of success in Austin that everyone demands he eventually attain, he's going to need it with high-level talent emerging as Charlie Strong's guys. The players on campus might struggle with Strong's level of expectations because they didn't volunteer for his methodology, but Burt knows exactly what he's walking into and he possesses zero fear about the quest in front of him.

"Early on, my first two years, I can bring size and speed. I can bring some underclassmen leadership and once I build my way up, I bring overall team leadership to go with the with on-field stuff," Burt said about the set of skills he'll provide the Longhorns.

Leadership. Team-first attitude. High-level skill.

I'm telling you right now that Strong will take 84 more guys with Burt's hunger for the dish Strong is serving and he'll go into battle against anyone with them.



No. 3 - You want Nostraketchus, I'll give you Nostraketchus (5.0) …

With the commitment of Burt on Sunday and the expected verbal pledge from Du'Vonta Lampkin on Monday afternoon, it's once again time to break out the recruiting class forecast that you all constantly covet.

Current committed players are bolded)

Quarterback (2): Zach Gentry (Albuquerque, NM) and Kai Locksley (Baltimore, MD)

Current rankings: Gentry (4 stars/5.8/No.9 pro-style QB) and Locksley (4 stars/5.8/No.12 dual-threat QB)

Quickie thoughts: Gentry's performance at the Under the Lights Camp really settled any concerns I had about whether he was the right quarterback for the Longhorns in this class, as his skill and upside as a passer is as high as any player at the position that the Longhorns have recruited since Garrett Gilbert (and if it's not Gilbert it would have to be Jevon Snead). Meanwhile, don't look for Locksley to announce anything soon, but the feeling throughout the recruiting industry is that the Longhorns are in terrific shape with him as well.

Running Backs (4): Jordan Stevenson (South Oak Cliff), Kirk Johnson (San Jose, Ca.), Tristan Houston (Houston North Shore) and Chris Warren (Rockwall, Texas)

Current rankings: Stevenson (3 stars/5.7/No.30 RB/No.29 LSR), Johnson (3 stars/5.6/No.59 RB), Houston (3 stars/No.46 RB/No.68 LSR) and Warren (4 stars/No.16 RB/No.158 national/ No.22 LSR)

Quickie thoughts: The projections at this position haven't changed a lick in months and I'm not going to start shuffling names for the sake of shuffling names at this point. Three commitments are in and Warren looms as the most likely fourth candidate in this class. The Longhorns don't have a lot of young depth at the position heading into this season, but the cavalry is on the way.

Wide receivers (3): John Burt (Tallahassee, Florida), Ryan Newsome (Aledo) and a Recruit to be named later

Current rankings: Burt (4 stars/No.7 WR/No.61 national) and Newsome (3 stars/No.41 WR/No.49 LSR)

Quickie thoughts: The commit from Burt on Sunday gives the Longhorns one of the top pure wide receiver prospects they've picked up in years and gives them another link to the state of Florida, which you can rest assured Charlie Strong will attempt to dip into again before this recruiting year concludes. Meanwhile, nothing has happened to make me think Newsome won't be a future wide-out running buddy with Burt.

Tight ends (2): Will Gragg (Pine Bluff, Arkansas) and a JUCO player to be named later

Current rankings: Gragg (4 stars/No.9 TE)

Quickie thoughts: One way or another, the tight end position needs an upgrade and while the names on the tight end portion of the recruiting board are somewhat limited at this point, you have to bank on the Longhorns finding someone that Strong envisions being able to help this area of need right away.

Offensive linemen (6): Patrick Vahe (Euless Trinity), Ronnie Major (Huntsville), Toby Weathersby (Houston Westfield). Garett Thomas (Many, Louisiana), Tyler Moore (Galena Park North Shore) and a JUCO Player to be named later.

Current rankings: Vahe (4 stars/No.16 OG/No.34 LSR), Major (3 stars/No.42 LSR), Weathersby (4 stars/No.15 OG/No.13 LSR) and Moore (3 stars/No.70 LSR)

Quickie thoughts: With four commitments in the cupboard, the only question that remains is whether the Longhorns will take five or six linemen in this class and you'd have to think at some point that a JUCO addition will emerge as part of the play because the Longhorns need players up-front to contribute right away and they need those players fast.

Defensive tackles (3): Du'Vonta Lampkin (Houston Cy Falls), Darrion Daniels (Dallas Bishop Dunne) and a JUCO/OOS player to be named later

Current rankings: Lampkin (3 stars/No.21 DT/No.48 LSR) and Daniels (4 stars/No. 12 DT/No.155 overall/No.26 LSR)

Quickie thoughts: Lampkin is expected to commit to the Longhorns in the next 24 hours and will give the Longhorns a foundation piece at the position in a class that needs talent and bodies. Like the offensive line, this is a position that could see JUCO or out of state help emerge later in the year that's not yet on the UT recruiting board.

Defensive ends (3): Charles Omenihu (Rowlett), Louis Brown (Burton), and Takkarist McKinley (Contra Costa C.C.)

Current rankings: Omenihu (3 stars/No.36 LSR), Brown (3 stars/No.36 Ath/No.62 LSR) and McKinley (4 stars/5.9)

Quickie thoughts: Strong has locked in on two of his future defensive end prospects with the commitments of Omenihu and Brown, both of whom will arrive with frames that have tons of upside. It's pretty clear at this point that Strong prefers tall, rangy, athletic pieces of clay that he can develop in every way possible, as opposed to some of the shorter, more compact players that the Longhorns have targeted over the course of the last decade. Strong's lack of all-out pursuit of new A&M commit James Lockhart is further proof that he cares less about recruiting rankings at this position and more about the type of player at the position he covets. Stop me if you've heard this before, but it's hard to imagine that the Longhorns won't look for a JUCO addition to the class that can potentially give the team immediate depth because both Brown and Omenihu project as players that will likely take a season or two before they can truly be counted on to contribute on the two-deep.

Linebackers (3): Cameron Townsend (Missouri City Ridge Point), Deandre McNeil (Mesquite Poteet) and Malik Jefferson (Mesquite Poteet)

Current rankings: Townsend (3 stars/No.31 OLB/No.46 LSR), McNeil (3 stars/No.74 LSR) and Jefferson (5 stars/No.2 OLB/No.1 LSR)

Quickie thoughts: I get the sense that Jefferson is perhaps the only remaining true must-have in this class for Charlie Strong, as no other player the Longhorns are recruiting seems to get as much personal attention from the Texas head coach.

Defensive Backs (5): DeShon Elliott (Rockwall Heath), Keivon Ramsey (Converse Judson), Holton Hill (Houston Lamar), Kris Boyd (Gilmer) and an OOS player to be named later.

Current rankings: Elliott (3 stars/No.38 OLB/No.57 LSR), Ramsey (3 stars/No.34 S), Hill (3 stars/No.29 CB/No.37 LSR)) and Boyd (4 stars/No.12 CB/No.13 LSR)

Quickie thoughts: The injury to Ramsey and the dismissal of Chevoski Collins will likely ensure that the Longhorns take at least five defensive backs in this class and don't be surprised if the Longhorns start aggressively pursuing out of state talent to round up the final pieces of this position group.

No. 4 - Scattershooting on the Longhorns …

… The Longhorns keep chopping wood with Malik Jefferson and they'll have enough for a house at the end of this recruiting year. You can just feel the Longhorns gaining momentum.

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… Of the names that figure to no longer remain in the program, the loss of Kendall Sanders and Josh Turner loom fairly large in my mind when we think about the 2015 on-field product, as Sanders is the most explosive/electric after the catch of all the Texas receivers and Turner felt like a safe bet as a starter in his fourth year in the program.

… The depth in the secondary is very quietly one of the team's biggest question marks and I'm not sure the coaches even know how everything will turn out in six weeks or so. The young guys like Edwin Freeman and John Bonney are going to have to get ready in a hurry.

…. Cross your fingers that Monday isn't nearly as dark as Friday, but several names loom as potential dismissals before the team officially reports, including several names mentioned by sources that would represent on-field losses. If the bleeding stops right now, consider it all a win.

No. 5 - An anatomy of Aggie obsession and misplaced focus …

You may or may not have heard this about me before, but I have what some might call a special relationship with the fans of Texas A&M University.

Aggies.

You see, over the course of the last two decades, I've been the one member of the media that directly or indirectly covers their program that has shot straight with them through good times and bad. The issue with Aggies is that of all the fan bases in America, I've never met one that lives in such a state of insecurity that it never actually wants the truth.

It was more than a decade ago at the Texas State 7-on-7 Tournament when I ran into one of the most worshiped Aggies of them all, a guy that actually runs a successful Texas A&M online publication. While this particular reporter and I had experienced friction prior to this particular afternoon, a truce of sorts existed on this day and we actually seemed to enjoy each other's company for about 10 minutes.

At some point during the conversation we started to discuss the fan bases that we both covered and the conversation went something like this …

Me: "Man, I don't know that I could do what you do."

Him: (laughs) "Yeah."

Me: "Let me ask you something, do you really believe everything that you're reporting to them or is that just not something you can do?"

Him: (laughs) "Let me tell you something, if I didn't tell them what they wanted to hear from me, I wouldn't have a job. I'm sure you know what I mean."

Me: "Actually, I don't. I feel pretty strongly that the most important thing that my subscribers want out of me is the truth and honesty, whether it's good or bad."

Him: "Well, it's not like that here."


In over the decade or so that has passed since that conversation on one of those incredibly hot A&M intramural fields, nothing has ever so perfectly outlined the exact mentality of Aggies everywhere than that conversation with a person who almost certainly knows them better than anyone else on the planet.

So, as fate would have it, because I've been reporting online about both programs since 1996, I'm as much of an accurate historian of the program as anyone living today and that truth bugs the ever-living sheepskin out of all of them. Deep down after all of these years, my constant correct pegging of a window that stretched over a span of 17 years represents the only real honesty they've ever received.

When the dynamics between the programs started to shift in the mid- to late-90s in a way that left the Longhorns on higher ground in recruiting, I was the one that correctly pointed it out, but they forever put their collective heads into the sand.

When Mack Brown started to dominate R.C. Slocum in recruiting in a way that could never be reversed, I was the one that correctly pointed it out, but they just love that sand so much.

When their program remained an absolute also-ran for most of the first decade of the new millennium, I was there to correctly pointed it out, but man, oh man, that sand. It's everywhere in College Station.

When Dennis Franchione and Mike Sherman were completely inadequate for what the task of coaching successfully at A&M required, I was the one that correctly pointed it out long before their fans held the eventual uprising, but … MUST… PUT … HEAD … IN … SAND.

Years before A&M hired Kevin Sumlin, I constantly stated that the Aggies needed to create a game-changer by hiring the first black head coach at a major program in the history of the Lone Star State. As the idea of leaving the Big 12 for the SEC became a reality, I was there applauding the Aggies for daring to change their lot in life by daring to be great.

The reason those Aggies suffocated for more than a decade on all of that sand is because the only kind of truth they come out of the sand for is a truth that allows them to feel incredibly good about themselves … and for more than a decade most of the truths about their existence as football fans didn't exactly provide them that feeling, which leads to a certain kind of behavior that is so easily spotted that it's actually embarrassing.

They shoot the messenger. And insult him. And obsess over him. Rinse, wash and repeat for two decades.

Don't get me wrong, I've missed some A&M predictions over the years and Aggies everywhere still let me hear about it at every chance. For instance, I missed game on game predictions involving the two teams in 2006 and 2007 (never mind the fact that I correctly nailed the other 16 outcomes of games between the two teams from 1994-2011). You also might have seen countless times on my Twitter timeline that I forecasted a 6-6 record for the Aggies in their first season in the SEC, not knowing that Johnny Football would even be on the team after an off-season arrest (more on that in a second), let alone set the entire college football world on fire with his electric play. When it comes to the big picture with the Aggies, I'm pretty much undefeated in the last 20 years, but when denial is essentially the school's second nickname, the truth is more easily ignored in the name of a trivial misstep than it is accepted in any measure.

All of which brings us to today. The Aggies have an institutional control problem, as 19 arrests involving A&M football players have occurred in the last 25 months, a number that is so outlandish that it represents not only the largest number in the nation during the same time-span by a mile, but it ranks as one of the most impossibly bad achievements in the history of college football.

To give you a little perspective, the numbers from the last 25 months register as nearly twice as large of a number as the amount of arrests the Miami Hurricanes absorbed in the entire decade of the 90s and is quickly chasing down the Urban Meyer Florida Gators (31 arrests from 2005-10), a program that pretty much ranks as the Babe Ruth of college football jailbirds .

At A&M's current pace, they'll have 66.5 arrests over the same time Meyer's program was setting the gold standard for program, which means that if getting arrested was a game, the Aggies would be leading the rest of the nation 55-3 in the second quarter.

For those keeping score, here's you roll-call: Johnny Manziel (6/12), Jordan Richmond (11/12), Kenneth Marshall (11/12), Kirby Ennis (2/13), DeShazor Everett (7/13), Floyd Raven (7/13), Kenneth Marshall (11/13), Darian Claiborne (12/13), Darian Claiborne (2/14), Isaiah Golden (2/14), Kenny Hill (3/14), Ricky Seals-Jones (4/13), Edward Pope (4/13), Howard Matthews (4/14), Gavin Stansbury (4/14), Isaiah Golden (6/14), Darian Claiborne (6/14) and Victor Davis (7/14). (Note: A&M fans have claimed that Jordan Points belongs on the list, but I cannot find anything online confirming that)

Inexplicably, as Texas players Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander were charged with one of the most disgusting set of allegations in the history of the Longhorns program, Aggies started coming out of the woodwork on my Twitter feed in the name of distracting from the realities of their own lack of institutional control. When news of Friday's slew of UT dismissals over team violations took place, you'd have thought that the chain gang national championship earned over the previous two years had never even happened.

Actually, that's perfect Aggie head-in-the-sand logic. Only an Aggie would dismiss 19 arrests as a critically serious problem because of anything that could happen at another school. You might recognize it as a kissing cousin of the "I jumped of a bridge because someone else jumped off a bridge" line of critical thinking.

Just when you were thinking to yourself that even the Congress Avenue bats must be blushing at the batshit craziness of it all, something absolutely inexplicable occurred.

As I surfed on my own message board on Thursday afternoon, a post popped up called "LOL aggie player suspect in robbery ...". It turns out that discussion on multiple message boards was taking place over a post that was made on Gigem247 of the 247 Sports Network. As far as I could tell, 247 star Taylor Hamm was indicating that some sort of legal situation with an A&M player was taking place and all speculation was pointing to freshman wide receiver Speedy Noil.

My mind was absolutely blown. My first reaction was, "You have to be kidding me? Another one? And it's Noil of all people?" For those with shaky memories (Yes, I'm talking to the Aggies reading this right now), Noil hadn't been on campus five minutes earlier this year before he was in a car with two A&M players who were arrested for drug possession. Somehow the kid avoided the situation without so much as an MIP and now he was again in trouble with the law? Suddenly, my phone was buzzing with text messages with people asking me if I had any info on the story.

All I knew about the situation was that the information and original speculation had originated from an A&M website and surely this "reporter" wouldn't speculate about a potential arrest of a current player unless he was absolutely sure that something had actually happened. Surely, he wouldn't scream, "Fire!" in a crowded theater on his own board.

It was at this absolutely flabbergasted moment when I Tweeted the following (all Tweeted images are courtesy of my stalker GoodBullHunting):

Ketch-001

Let's beak down the three parts of the Tweet:

a. "Tell me that No.20 didn't already go down..."

I'm literally so dismayed at the idea of another A&M player arrest taking place before I could get an entry into the office pool that I'm begging someone to tell me it didn't really happen.

b. "good grief."

Seriously, if this was really No. 20, that projected 66.5 arrests number might jump up to 80. When is enough, enough?

c. "That was speedy...er... fast."

You see what I did there? It's called a pun and I created it in association with the name of the player that Aggies everywhere were discussing with Hamm's report. At best, I was sophomorically humorous and at worst I was a little bit of an asshole, but let's make one thing clear … at no point did I ever specifically mention Speedy Noil's name in any Tweet. Using the word "speedy" is not the same as using the name "Speedy." One is an adjective and the other is a proper noun. It might seem like splitting hairs, unless correct context and use of the English language matters at all.

As you can imagine, Aggies everywhere went mad with misplaced blame because it makes a ton of sense to be more upset at an incredulously smart-ass Tweet than the epidemic of mug-shots that is defining the program more than the landmark win over Duke in the last bowl season.

Before long, word got out that the Bryan Police Department was going to put out a statement regarding the tsunami of speculation that was occurring, all of which seemed to include the Noil's name. Then the most inexplicable thing of all occurred … the Bryan PD confirmed that no A&M football players had been arrested on Thursday, which represents a pretty banner day regardless of circumstances for Kevin Sumlin and his coaching staff.

Immediately, my mind went to Hamm, as no bathroom full of recruits in the world would likely save his hide from a fan base that wakes up on a daily basis looking to boycott any perceived slight against their beloved university by 9 a.m. After nearly 20 years of witnessing their misplaced frustration up-close you would have thought I might have seen what would happen next coming from a mile away … but, I didn't.

THIS IS ALL KETCHUM'S FAULT!!!! HE USED THE WORD SPEEDY IN A SENTENCE!!!!!! HE REPORTED THAT SPEEDY NOIL HAD BEEN ARRESTED!!!!! GET HIM!!!!!! FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, that's right, the Aggies blamed me.

In fact, the enabling website GoodBullHunting went so far as to write an article, attempting to expose all of my sinister activity that clearly needed to be exposed.

GBSH writes: "Ketchum's tweets are in response to a Bryan Police Department search for aggravated robbery suspects, which was first publicized by Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle. This report led to rumors on Aggie message boards which Ketchum seemed to accept as fact without vetting any sources."

Translation: The genesis of this story originated from the reporting of the most respected A&M athletic reporter on the beat, was perpetuated by a moderator of an A&M online community and the Aggie fan-base reacted in such a way that the Bryan PD had to make a statement, but instead of focusing on how all of this could have happened in the first place, let's instead focus all of our energy on a random Tweet by the person you obsess over the most because … MUST … PUT … HEAD … IN … SAND.

In doing so, let's disingenuously showcase a couple of Ketch's tweets and a retort from Hamm on Twitter denying that anything was officially reported, while ignoring every piece of context behind the story and forgetting to include screenshots from Hamm's website or any other with maroon colors that might have actually caused the ruckus in the first place.

Also, let's examine the following charge: "Ketchum seemed to accept as fact without vetting any sources"

Dear Encyclopedia Brown, do you know why it only "seemed" as if I was assuming this information as fact without vetting any sources? It's because I wasn't sure. Hence the following piece of the Tweet that sent you into the foolishness you delved into: "Tell me that No.20 didn't already go down..."

No, I didn't "vet sources" before wondering aloud about what would be a 20th arrest in 25 months, practically threatening to break Meyer's arrest record at Florida in time for the holidays, because there were already reporters on the A&M beat saying things like, "We acknowledge that there is a legal situation playing out."

You just left that part out, which is why so much of this is apparently confusing to you.

In continuing to pretend that I'm the story of the day, GBSH then mentioned the "Code of Ethics" contract that I've stated numerous times each person in the Rivals Network must sign before reporting in the network. Essentially the contract says that those that work for Rivals/Yahoo aren't allowed to cheer at games , party in Vegas with the players we cover or (allegedly) involve ourselves in the recruiting process of student athletes in a way that might impact their actual recruitment … yanno … all the things that makes for an inspiring A&M reporter.

Why does GBSH bring up the "Rivals Code of Ethics?" Because in a world where right is left and down is up, my public pondering about the things that the Aggie World is discussing is a clear violation of sorts. What violation is actually occurring?

GBSH writes: "If the dangerous practice of identifying student-athletes in criminal investigations without any substantiation is not covered by the ethics code, perhaps it's time for an update."

Uhhhhh … no such thing ever occurred. At no point at any point in this story did I actually type anything that remotely says, "Texas A&M freshman wide receiver Speedy Noil is involved in a criminal investigation and is potentially in jail right now."

I never directly mentioned his name. I never indicated that I had any original information on the story. I never specifically mentioned charges or what it might involve. I never said that it would be "VERY significant" like some of the folks that actually triggered all of this discussion did. No, I used the word in the midst of a play on words, which doesn't actually do any of the things GBSH seems to think it does.

Let me explain this to the Aggies so that you understand clearly. Me using the word "speedy" (without capitalization, no less) in a sentence doesn't actually implicate Noil in a crime any more than using the word "hopeless" in a sentence specifically implicates that almost every Aggie reading this has earned every joke ever written about them.

You can call me a smartass. You can say I have the wit of a 13-year old. What you cannot say is that I specifically implicated Speedy Noil's name in a crime because that simply is not what happened. The rules of the English language are on my side on this one.

But … but … but ... GBSH also points out that on my own website Orangebloods.com, I typed the following in response to someone's dismay over the rumors being spread from College Station: The kid can make 50+ million playing football if he stops being a idiot."

Ok, you just discovered my first real crime of the day. In responding to a post, I used the word "a" in a sentence when it needed to be "an" and that's pretty unforgiveable, even if it was almost certainly just a typo on a message board post. It was pretty idiotic of me, actually.

Speaking of the word "idiot," you could probably take exception to that word IF Noil hadn't already put his potentially immense future in jeopardy in February when he was involved in the whole situation that led to two A&M football players being arrested because of the presence of pot and alcohol in a car full of under-21s, which GBSH conveniently leaves out of his expose. Whether Thursday's ridiculousness is included in the conversation or not, Noil does need to stop doing idiotic things and I'm not the one that should be sending home this message, as he needs to be hearing it from the head coach that challenges himself to turn these men into some sort of public usefulness.

Finally, GBSH concludes: While we do not have specific details concerning the Bryan PD investigation, it is clear that Ketchum's assumption of an arrest was baseless.

Again, we live in a world where the creation of assumptions that are based on commentary and speculation from multiple reporters covering the subject matter and an entire A&M online community are baseless because … well … MUST … PUT … HEAD … IN … SAND. IT MUST BE KETCH'S FAULT!!!!!!!!

Ironically, the great hall monitor of the A&M Internet world has one small blind spot in the prism through which he views the entire world … the actual football program that he writes about. Do you want to know how many stories I found on GBSH.com focused on the epidemic of A&M arrests, the kind that would actually hold A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin even 2-percent responsible? You get one guess …

None.

The Aggies are in the midst of a string of arrests so chronic that even Barry Switzer is shaking his head in bewilderment and the focus is on me for either the second or third or fourth time this year (I lose track) over absolute nonsense that distracts from the harsh realities of the truth that surrounds them. You better believe the "dangerous" Geoff Ketchum is always under surveillance at all times, but Sumlin's increasingly concerning inability to install discipline in his program? You guys know the drill, already …



The only real truth in the end is that I continue to be the only person in existence daring enough to continuously challenge this failed misplaced group think for the better part of the last 20 years and continue to do so because I'm brave enough to have accepted that being a truth-teller means constantly running into minds that create nicknames for those that won't buy into the idea that illogical is logical just because. Frankly, I deserve a damn medal, but I don't do it for the glory as much as I do it because it needs to be done.

I suppose there is also one more truth out there …

If Aggies everywhere held Kevin Sumlin and his Aggie coaching staff within 1/10 of the accountability demanded of me at all times, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place because those 19 arrests in 25 months we're talking about wouldn't likely exist. Wait a minute, the Aggies never talk about those types of things. 

Oh, those pesky codes of ethics, indeed.

No. 6 - A picture is worth a 1,000 words …

Earl Thomas with his daughter at Seahawks training camp (via @Seahawks)

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No. 7 - A little Myles Turner talk …

I was surfing around the Internet this week taking a look at the draft stock of incoming freshman Myles Turner and the updated forecast for the Texas big man is pretty fascinating.

ESPN's Chad Ford has him ranked at No. 5.

DraftExpress has him projected at No. 18.

NBADraft.net has him projected at No. 15.

A guy at BleacherReport has him projected at No. 5

It seems far-fetched to believe that anything short of a disaster this season would send him back to college for a second season when you consider that at worst he's projected as a borderline lottery pick going into his freshman season.

It's a bit of a surreal feeling to be back to the point of having fairly big expectations for the basketball program once again, but if Turner is the guy NBA people believe he can be, anything shot of a Sweet 16 bid will represent a big disappoint.

It's time to cross that bar, at a minimum, once again.

No. 8 ? Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind …

… A few thoughts from UFC Fight Night:

a. Robbie Lawler's win over Matt Brown was one of the fights of the year in my estimation and both men came out looking better to my eyes for having survived it. It's flat out amazing to see what Lawler has done this year and he seems to be getting better after each fight. His rematch with Johnny Hendricks is going to be a war.

b. I was more impressed with Anthony Johnson on Saturday night than I have ever been with Daniel Cormier. Holy hell, those uppercuts!

c. Look, I like Clay Guida like everyone else does, but his days of being anything more than a gate-keeper in the UFC are over. That's his fourth loss in his last six matches and the second time in three fights that he's been stopped with a submission or TKO.

… Gennady Golovkin is the biggest must-see in boxing right now for my money. I'd pay $100 to see him fight Miguel Cotto at Madison Square Garden in what would be the unquestioned fight of the year.

… The Ryan Howard situation in Philadelphia makes me want to stop watching baseball for pretty much forever.

… I've read more on Liverpool's pre-season in the last week than the Dallas Cowboys … thanks, Jerry.

No. 9 - Pop goes the culture because the culture goes pop …

… Hottie of the Weekend: Megan Fox can still bring it, toe-thumbs and all

… Tom Hardy is the new Mad Max: See the trailer

… No filter: Lana Del Rey and her Pepsi cola

… Happy 50th: Sandy hits a big one

… Words you never want to say: I was among those hospitalized at a Keith Urban concert

… Jailed: When stalking Rihanna goes bad

… Poor Lams: Khloe Kardashian Shares TMI About French Montana Sex Life

… Miley Link of the Weekend: Pharrell's 'Come Get It Bae' Music Video

No. 10 - The List: Aretha Listen/Subscribe Via Spotify

Last five songs out: Spanish Harlem , Until You Come Back to Me , Freeway of Love, A Change is Gonna Come and Do Right Women, Do Right Man

10. Something He Can Feel

The En Vogue girls wish they killed this song on the level of Aretha.

9. Sparkle

Starts a little slow, heats up in the middle and gets smoking hot by the end.

8. I Say a Little Prayer

One of a couple of songs that might not make my favorite list of ten, but you just can't leave this one out.

7. Night Life

This cover of one of Willie's classic is an underrated gem.

6. I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

One of the best from the sultry Aretha collection.

5. Think

You pretty much can't have an Aretha list without any of the top five.

4. Ain't No Way

One of the great underrated songs of all-time, Aretha just pours everything she has into the song.

3. Chain of Fools

One of three songs the Lady Soul album that make the top four. Let that sink in when we talk about great albums of all-time.

2. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

One of the all-time classics, but not No.1 on the list.

1. Respect

Probably the greatest women's anthem of all-time.

Archives List

Blues/Jazz: Eva Cassidy, Janis Joplin (Listen via Spotify ), Norah Jones (Listen via Spotify), Amos Lee (Listen via Spotify), Toni Price (Listen via Spotify) and Stevie Ray Vaughan ( Listen via Spotify )

Classical: Johann Sebastian Bach ( Listen via Spotify) and Beethoven ( Listen via Spotify)

Country: Gary Allen (Listen via Spotify), Brooks and Dunn (Listen via Spotify), Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash (Listen via Spotify), George Jones (Listen via Spotify), Robert Earl Keen (Listen via Spotify), Natalie Maines (Listen via Spotify), Willie Nelson (Listen via Spotify), Reba (Listen via Spotify ), Gary Stewart (Listen Via Spotify ), George Strait (Listen via Spotify), Keith Whitley (Listen via Spotify), Hank Williams Sr. ( Listen via Spotify). ) and Dwight Yoakam ( Listen via Spotify )

Electronic: Daft Punk (Listen Via Spotify

Funk: Chuck Brown, James Brown (Listen Via Spotify , Kool and the Gang and Prince (Listen Via Spotify (Part I) and Listen Via Spotify (Part II ? After Hours))

Metal: Metallica and Pantera (Listen Via Spotify

Pop: Hall and Oates (Listen via Spotify), George Michael (Listen via Spotify), Billy Ocean ( Listen via Spotify ), Rihanna (Listen Via Spotify and Frank Sinatra ( Listen via Spotify )

Punk: The Clash (Listen via Spotify)

Random: Best of 2013 (Listen via Spotify), Cartoon themes, One-hit Wonders from the 1990's (Listen via Spotify), TV Themes and My Number 1's on Spotify

Rap: 2-Pac (Listen via Spotify), 8-Ball and MJG, Beastie Boys (Listen via Spotify), Biggie Smalls (Listen via Spotify), Drake (Listen via Spotify), Eminem (Listen to Spotify), Ice Cube (Listen via Spotify), Jay-Z (Listen via Spotify), Kool Moe Dee (Listen to Spotify), Kendrick Lamar (Listen via Spotify), NWA (Listen to Spotify), Outkast (Listen via Spotify), RUN-DMC (Listen via Spotify), Scarface (Listen via Spotify), Snoop Dogg Listen via Spotify , A Tribe Called Quest (Listen via Spotify), UGK (Listen via Spotify) and Kanye West (Listen via Spotify),

R&B: Aliyah, Boyz II Men (Listen via Spotify), Ray Charles (Listen via Spotify), Sam Cooke (Listen via Spotify), Al Green (Listen via Spotify), Whitney Houston (Listen via Spotify), Jodeci (Listen via Spotify), Mo-Town (Listen via Spotify), R. Kelly (Listen via Spotify), Otis Redding (Listen via Spotify), Lionel Richie and Jackie Wilson (Listen via Spotify)

Reggae: Bob Marley (Listen via Spotify)

Rock: AC/DC, Aerosmith (Listen via Spotify), Arcade Fire (Listen via Spotify), Arctic Monkeys (Listen via Spotify), Beach Boys (Listen via Spotify), The Beatles, Bon Jovi (Listen via Spotify), David Bowie (Listen via Spotify), Jeff Buckley (Listen via Spotify), CCR (Listen via Spotify), Eric Clapton (Listen via Spotify), Dave Matthews Band (Listen via Spotify), Gary Clark Jr. (Listen via Spotify), Phil Collins (Listen via Spotify), The Eagles, Joe Ely (Listen to Spotify), Genesis (Listen via Spotify), Guns N' Roses Listen via Spotify), Heart (Listen via Spotify), Jimi Hendrix (Listen via Spotify), Billy Joel (Listen via Spotify), Elton John (Listen Via Spotify), Journey (Listen Via Spotify), Led Zeppelin, Stevie Nicks (Listen Via Spotify), Nirvana (Listen via Spotify), Roy Orbison (Listen via Spotify), Pearl Jam (Listen via Spotify), Tom Petty (Listen via Spotify), Pink Floyd, Queen (Listen via Spotify), Reckless Kelly (Listen via Spotify), Lou Reed ( Listen via Spotify ), The Rolling Stones (Listen via Spotify), Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen (Listen via Spotify), The Strokes (Listen via Spotify), U2 (Listen via Spotify), Van Halen ( Listen via Spotify ), Velvet Underground ( Listen via Spotify ), Jack White ( Listen via Spotify )
and ZZ Top ( Listen via Spotify )



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