• Texas went into the locker room on Senior Night leading Baylor, 36-34, on Monday night at the Erwin Center.

    The Longhorns, who fell to the Bears in overtime in their Big 12 opener two months ago, shot 45.8 percent from the field and had two players score in double figures. Sophomores Sheldon McClellan and Myck Kabongo both scored 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting.

    Pierre Jackson, the Big 12's leading scorer, scored a game-high 13 points and hit three three-pointers in the first half. The rest of his team scored 21 points and shot just 31.3 percent from the floor.

    Texas took its biggest lead of the half after a Kabongo layup put the Longhorns up, 12-9, at the 14:39 mark. But a 9-0 run by Baylor gave the Bears their biggest lead of the first half at 18-12.

    Neither team was able to hold onto a lead for very long after that as Texas worked its way back in the game and took a one-point lead into the final minute of the first half. Jackson hit a pair of free throws to give Baylor a 34-33 advantage before Jonathan Holmes' three-pointer with 13 seconds left put the Longhorns up two points heading into the second half.

  • Colt McCoy flees from a Titans lineman during the 2012-2013 season. His future in the NFL remains unclear at this point.
    Colt McCoy flees from a Titans lineman during the 2012-2013 season. His future in the NFL remains unclear at this point.

    Entering the fifth week of the offseason, NFL rosters already have had some significant changes. Atlanta released three former Pro Bowl players in Dunta Robinson, John Abraham and Michael Turner, and Kansas City has already called dibs on Alex Smith to come and compete for the quarterback position under newly hired Andy Reid. But not all changes have occurred on the roster.
     
    The Cleveland Browns coaching and managerial staff has been broken down and rebuilt since Jimmy Haslam purchased the franchise last October. Mike Holmgren retired from the team presidency while general manager Tom Heckert and head coach Pat Shurmur were fired.
     
    Since then the front office hired Michael Lombardi as vice president of player personnel and named Rob Chudzinski head coach, Norv Turner offensive coordinator and Ray Horton defensive coordinator.
     
    After going 23-57 in the past five seasons, it seems obvious that some changes need to be made. But what does this mean for the roster?
     
    With the large struggles the team has had both offensively and defensively, the new staff will have to figure out which players will best fit their system in an effort to turn the organization around.
     
    So what will become of Colt McCoy?
     
    The name that hangs from the Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in architectural eternity has almost been completely forgotten in the NFL. Ever since his concussion-filled career sent him to the bench, he has yet to break through as a starter in competition with Brandon Weeden.
     
    Weeden struggled in his first season at the helm, but will the UT all-time passer have a chance to compete in a Norv Turner-style offense? The real question may be whether or not McCoy will still be around when training camp begins.
     
    Trade rumors circulated around McCoy at the beginning of the 2012 season, but with the available market they may decide to keep him around. 
     
    With limited quarterback talent in this year’s draft, it is likely that the Browns will address other needs with their sixth overall pick. With Jason Campbell and Matt Moore as the plausible available free agents (there’s no way the Ravens are letting Joe Flacco go), they don’t seem to be players that could take the job from Weeden, either.
     
    With the managerial and coaching staff only a month into their new positions, there is little clarity in what plans they have for the quarterback position.
     
    McCoy may just end up getting another shot in Cleveland. If not, he can always rely on his Dunkin’ Donuts stores for his revenue.

  • With Selection Sunday less than two weeks away, and only two games left in the regular season, this is the postseason bid I foresee for the each team in the Big 12.

    The Locks:

    Kansas

    The Jayhawks should close out the regular season with another Big 12 title. As I have said earlier in a previous blog post, the Jayhawks should be the favorites to win the Big 12, until they don’t win the Big 12. Kansas (25-4,13-3) looks poised to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament after perhaps winning the Big 12 title outright for the ninth season in a row.

    Postseason prediction: No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament

    Kansas State

    The Wildcats could split the Big 12 title with Kansas if both teams win the same amount of their last two games. That task will be extremely difficult with a trip to Stillwater looming to end the regular season Saturday. The Wildcats (24-5, 13-3) still have good NCAA Tournament prospects, and have shown no drop-off following the departure of Frank Martin.

    Postseason prediction: No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament

    Oklahoma State

    The Cowboys are clicking right now, and are arguably the best team in the Big 12 when playing their best basketball. Despite the fact that they will not win the Big 12 (barring a slide by Kansas), the Cowboys (22-6, 12-4) have the potential to go the furthest in March of all the teams in the Big 12.

    Postseason prediction: No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament

    Should be in:

    Oklahoma

    The Sooners blew a 22-point lead in a loss to the Longhorns last Wednesday, but bounced back nicely with a win against Iowa State that should put them in the tournament. The Sooners (19-9, 10-6) should go dancing, assuming they sweep this week against West Virginia and TCU as expected.

    Postseason prediction: No. 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament

    Iowa State

    The Cyclones missed two golden opportunities to win crucial games this past week. Despite this, they have looked good enough this season and won enough games to make the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year. If the Cyclones (19-10, 9-7) win against Oklahoma State this week, they should be a lock for the tournament.

    Postseason prediction: No. 11 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

    Could make it:

    Baylor

    The Bears lost a must-win game against Kansas State in heartbreaking fashion, and now will likely miss the NCAA Tournament despite having one of the more talented teams in the conference. Baylor (17-12, 8-8) will need to grab wins this week against Texas and Kansas as well as at least one in the Big 12 Championship to feel confident about making the field of 68.

    Postseason prediction: NIT

    Need to win the Big 12 Championship

    West Virginia

    The Mountaineers have had a rough inaugural season in the Big 12, and will likely miss the postseason all together. However, coach Bob Huggins should have the Mountaineers (13-16, 6-10) back on track for the 2013-2014 season.

    Postseason prediction: None

    Texas

    The Longhorns have already set their own record for losses in Big 12 play, and will finish below .500 overall baring a long run in the Big 12 Championship. Texas (13-16, 5-11) will need to win the Big 12 Championship to extend its NCAA Tournament appearance streak to 15.

    Postseason prediction: None

    Texas Tech

    The Red Raiders lost head coach Billy Gillispie before the season began, but did manage to steal a couple of conference wins from foes. Baring them winning the Big 12, the Red Raiders (10-17, 3-13) will miss the postseason.

    Postseason prediction: None

    TCU

    The Horned Frogs (10-19, 1-15) went from mediocre in the Mountain West to historically bad in the Big 12. Their win over Kansas, should give fans hope for the future under coach Trent Johnson.

    Postseason prediction: None

  • It is just about midseason in the National Hockey League. After the league's fourth lockout in 20 years shortened this 2012-13 regular season to only 48 games, many fans were left questioning if they would ever return to the sport.

    If the league experiences a fifth lockout anytime soon, those fans may never return. But for now, they are back and filling arena seats in impressive fashion.

    This season, 16 of the NHL's 30 teams are averaging sellouts at their home games. The highest-attended home games are those of the Chicago Blackhawks (surprise anyone?). Currently their home venue, the famed United Center, is filling 109 percent of its seating capacity.

    Five more teams are within 3 percent attendance of an average sellout.

    Some teams though, naturally have trouble filling their seats with fans even in a normal season. The Phoenix Coyotes for example, are only averaging 76.9 percent of their arena's capacity. This is mainly because of the fact that Jobing.com Arena is located in Glendale, Ariz., about 20 minutes from downtown Phoenix. It's unfortunate that a playoff-contending team only fills three-fourths of its arena.

    Meanwhile the Islanders have less of an excuse for their alarmingly low attendance. They play in New York City, and are only averaging 79 percent arena capacity. In an area so densely populated, that really is a shocking number.

    But those two notorious examples aside, this season has marked the return of the hockey fan. You can credit that to the highly competitive hockey that fans have seen since the first puck dropped on opening night.

    There haven't been division and conference races this tight in while. In the east standings, the No. 2 team is separated from the No. 8 team by only seven points. In the west it's even more insane: The No. 3 team is separated from the No. 14 team by only six points. There are just not enough playoff spots to go around. It's a virtual lock that there will be several playoff-worthy teams left out of the chase for the Stanley Cup.

    Conference and division races this close will require our attention for the full season - even if lockout-shortened. Fans really don't know what will happen over the next 25 games.

    But for now NHL is once again thriving, and some of the most passionate fans in sports are reuniting with their beloved teams.