Former University of Texas quarterback Todd Dodge coached Southlake Carroll High to a 79-1 record and four state titles in the past five seasons. Hired away by nearby North Texas, Dodge opens his collegiate head coaching career as a massive underdog. The Mean Green travel to Norman to play Oklahoma on Saturday night.
The matchup presents an interesting challenge for Sooners coach Bob Stoops. Without any tape of Dodge-coached college team, how will Stoops get a feel for Dodge's tendencies?
"We've studied a lot of Southlake Carroll tape," Stoops said on the weekly Big 12 coaches conference call. "Everybody has a track record of what they like to do and how they like to play. We've studied that real hard."
Studying film of Missouri, which uses the spread "Dodge Ball" offense that Chase Daniel directed for Dodge at Southlake Carroll, might not be a bad idea.
Dodge isn't used to losing. His Southlake Carroll teams won the last 48 games he coached, taking the state title all three years. Dodge brought his assistants with him from the high school powerhouse, which had better facilities than North Texas and drew bigger crowds. The move makes sense for Dodge, though. If he can build a winner against such tall odds, look for him to become a prominent candidate to replace Mack Brown, once the popular Longhorns coach decides he's had enough.
Dodge's personal winning streak will come to an end Saturday. Oklahoma 41, North Texas 10 sounds about right. Redshirt freshman Sam Bradford emerged from a three-man competition to become the Sooners' fourth starting quarterback in four seasons (Jason White, Rhett Bomar, Paul Thompson), which sounds like a lot until compared to Kansas University. Todd Reesing will be KU's fifth starter (Adam Barmann, Brian Luke, Jason Swanson, Kerry Meier) in three seasons.
Some of the other games involving Big 12 teams:
Kansas 41, Central Michigan 13: Jake Sharp hasn't found the end zone ... yet. Here's guessing he will multiple times in multiple ways Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
Missouri 38, Illinois 17: Daniel has two terrific tight ends, a talented tailback and a number of wide receivers from which to chose. Mizzou will score a ton of points this season.
Auburn 38, Kansas State 13: Long day for Josh Freeman shouldn't make anybody doubt he's on his way to strong career.
Colorado 17, Colorado State 10: Few things arouse suspicion in sports the way a coach's son starting at quarterback does. CU starts redshirt freshman Cody Hawkins, son of coach Dan Hawkins, so the 5-foot-11 born leader has a lot to prove. Cody posted phenomenal numbers during his prep career in Boise, but Boise isn't Texas, the state from which so much of his competition comes. Rivals.com talent evaluators don't consider this to be a case of favoritism. Hawkins was the 17th ranked quarterback in his high school class, according to the internet scouting service.
Georgia 24, Oklahoma State 17: Mike Gundy's Cowboys won't embarrass the Big 12 here, but won't win between the hedges. (Love typing "between the hedges.")
Nebraska 38, Nevada 13: NFL prospect and Arizona State transfer Sam Keller makes a loud debut.
(The contest is currently closed. Good luck to all who entered.)