The Morning Stake

The Morning Stake | 2022.08.09

A wild realignment evening.

I had a family obligation last night, so didn’t have a ton of time to write yesterday evening.

Conference Realignment

Sports Business Journla’s John Ourand on Twitter reported that FOX, CBS, and NBC emerge as the front-runners for the Big Ten television rights, while ESPN and Amazon are on the outside looking in. It is being reported that CBS is expected to pay $350 million a year for the 3:30 Big Ten games only. The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach further reports that the CBS news for afternoon games, and NBC would pick up games in primetime with FOX taking the noon games.

If ESPN is out completely then that changes a ton and then the question what does ESPN value more, the Big 12 or the Pac-12 or both? My head is spinning after hearing this news and I probably need someone much smarter than me to figure out what this all means.

SI’s Pat Forde, Ross Dellenger, and Richard Johnson write about the direction of college athletics (which may be out of date by now) and if you can’t get enough of reading this sort of stuff, this was a fun read for sure.

Big 12

This report is via ESPN, but it doesn’t matter where you find the news, Oklahoma assistant coach Cale Gundy resigned for repeatedly saying “supposedly” the n-word from a player’s iPad. The initial report was that he inadvertently read the word, but then the statement from head coach Brent Venables was that Gundy repeatedly said the word.


Dave Campbell’s Texas Football’s Mike Craven is ranking the top 50 Texas college football players and has running back Tahj Brooks at No. 19:

The 5-10, 230-pound Brooks is a bowling ball that leverages his strong lower body to run through arm tackles. He averaged 6.5 yards a rush in 2021 and is at 5.3 in his college career. Brooks is also a reliable pass catcher out of the backfield with 19 career receptions for 113 yards. He’s a red zone threat with 11 touchdowns over the last two seasons. He’s a hard-nosed, powerful runner who sets a tone. He’s not a guy that will outrace defenders to the end zone, but he’s going to convert on short yardage situations and keep you in front of the chains on early downs.

The Ringer’s Kevin Clark talked with Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid about this past season and how the Chiefs are reinventing their offense. I know that this isn’t Texas Tech football, but like a lot of you, I will absolutely tune in for a Kansas City game. In any event, Mahomes went back to figure out what he can do to be a better quarterback:

The biggest thing, Mahomes said, was doing a deep dive on his own fundamentals. Studying the way he carried the ball. Ball placement. How to make his throwing base better. “Whenever you get in kind of a slump like that, I guess you would say it’s about, ‘How can I go back and just make it easier?’ This position is already so hard, why make it even harder?” he said. “For me I started being more patient, started taking the underneath stuff, and then started opening it up.”

Mahomes needed, he said, to hold the ball higher so he could get it out faster. He needed to have a better lower-body base when making his second or third read on a play. He said he tended to bring his feet too close together and have long strides while moving, and he worked on getting his feet in the exact right spot while throwing as the play extended. “Once I started doing that, and taking those completions, taking that stuff over the middle, and to the flats, I think it made defenses come up. And that allowed me to take that big shot that we always love doing,” he said. “Getting the ball out faster, making the right decision, not hanging on that one read.”

The heart of the matter last year is that for much of last season, defenses were taking away the deep shot, something Mahomes is better at than all but a handful of quarterbacks in NFL history. In his first three years as a starter, Mahomes was first or tied for first in deep touchdown passes (20-plus yards) each year. Last season, he tied for eighth place with seven, about half of his typical output. Defenses did this by putting a lid on deep passing, dropping two deep safeties, which leaves holes in coverage for shorter passes, or allows for an easier run game, while adding an extra defender on deep passes.

“He was able to see some different coverages a little bit, more zone than what he’s seen in the first few years,” Reid said of Mahomes’s 2021 season. “And so he worked through all that, and now he’s got a whole package of things in his head to counter.” He is, Reid said, “working his tail off.”


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