So Ryan Mallett's out for the spring, and probably out for the fall, and it doesn't really matter all that much because Casey Dick was getting more snaps than him anyways? (Well, not quite. Mallett's still a lock if given a pass by the NCAA. That's just not a likely outcome.) In the meantime, Dick does seem to be the presumed starter, with Alex Mortenson somewhere in the mix, but don't expect the same Casey. He's hitting D.J. Williams over the middle, fer Chrissakes! So that means the linebackers have to do something other than stop the run? What are these so-called “crossing patterns”? I didn't even know that was legal.
Darren McFadden's got a blog on a website called yardbarkers.com, though it seems to be more of a half-assed video blog than a soul-searching diary of his thoughts and feelings leading up to the draft. Don't expect any more insight into the ingratiating running back than the average Razorback fan has gathered over the last few seasons. He's just cashing in any way he can before the big payday on April 26, and more power to him. Mostly he seems to be lolling around Beverly Hills, watching basketball games, soaking in the sun, and soaking up the big news that he's gracing the cover of EA Sports' NCAA Football 2009. In a perfect world, Digital D-Mac would be every bit as unstoppable as Bo Jackson from the Super Tecmo Bowl of my childhood.
Some of the conditions needed for Wally Hall's spooky “domino” piece to even approach reality seem like they could possibly be falling into place. In a recent column, Hall described one convoluted Rube Goldberg machine of a job search the end result of which would land Kentucky coach Billy Gillespie in Stillwater with the Cowboys and send Pelphrey back home to the Wildcats. After that, he ate three bags of Cheetos and stared at his computer's screen saver for an hour.
Billionare OSU alumni T. Boone Pickens and co. approached Bill Self and were (lucky for them) rejected. Billy Gillespie might indeed be next in line. Yes, OSU could scrape together enough change to lure the San Diego Chicken away from the Padres, but Gillespie's not going anywhere. I've got three reasons why.
First, he's busted his ass in Lexington, and by late January had pieced together a really good team. If Patrick Patterson hadn't gone down with a stress fracture toward the end of the season, things would have looked a lot different in Atlanta. Second, Gillespie's like a basketball monk, a life-long bachelor who lives for the sport. Scrutiny means nothing to a guy who lives in his office. He won't trade scrutiny in Kentucky for exile in Stillwater. Third, putting together the kind of money it would take to get Gillespie in Stillwater is simply not cost-efficient. He's a great coach, but he's not the only great coach.
Even if this is all a lot of speculative bullshit and Gillespie indeed bolts for Oklahoma's second-best basketball program, Pelphrey's not going anywhere. The Wildcats would be crazier than they look to go after him on the basis of last season. If they do, they can have him. I'm happy with his performance so far, but I'll take the buyout over uncertainty any day of the week.
In all likelihood, the situation will be resolved by the time this column sees print. Despite sounding like some hapless villain from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” Pickens will get what he decides he wants. But I'll eat my brand new Naturals hat if all those delicious, conspiracy-laden dominoes aren't left standing.