LOS ANGELES – Bear Bryant would have turned 100 this week, and that is fitting because there are about that many story lines leading into top-ranked Alabama’s game at No. 6 Texas A&M on Saturday.
Bryant coached both schools to some of their most famous football glories.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, is so talented and polarizing CBS is devoting an extra camera — the “Johnny Cam” — to follow his every gesture.
This does not necessarily comply with the mantra coaches preach about selflessness and teamwork.
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“Everything that we do here at Texas A&M is about team and it’s about building our team, building our program and not the individual,” coach Kevin Sumlin said. “Saturday afternoon, you’re going to have two football teams and I just don’t understand why there’s got to be one guy singled out with a camera. That’s not what we try to be about, that’s not what we promote.”
The best way to get a sense of Manziel’s off-field life would be to read Ian Fleming or watch one of those most-interesting-man beer commercials.
In a nutshell, a 29-24 victory at Alabama on Nov. 10 cinched the Heisman for Manziel and unleashed a manic run of jet-setting and autograph signing that led to an NCAA investigation.
Manziel was not made available to media this week, which is usually the coach’s call. Sumlin said the decision was made by Manziel’s family and extended family of advisers and lawyers. Sumlin said he would “respect his wishes on that.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart are about as good as it gets when it comes to mixing defensive fronts and coverages, but Manziel is a game-plan wrecker.
“I think that he’s going to make some plays,” Saban said. “And I think athletically he extends a lot of plays but he extends a lot of plays to pass. It’s not like he’s just a runner that only extends the play scrambling and takes off running.”
Flooding postponesColorado game
The game between Fresno State and Colorado in Boulder was postponed on Friday because of flooding that is devastating the state.
The teams were scheduled to play Saturday at Folsom Field. No makeup date has been announced.
“Even though the weather is improving, Boulder is still designated as a national emergency site,” Chancellor Philip DiStefano said in a statement. “Our community is hurting.”
• Jay Ajayi rushed for four touchdowns to lead Boise State to a 42-20 victory over Air Force on Friday night.
• Oklahoma State President Burns Hargis says the school will conduct an investigation into possible rules violations in the program that have been alleged in a series of stories by Sports Illustrated this week, and will ask the NCAA to be part of the review.
In a video statement posted online, Hargis calls the allegations “very disturbing.”
SI’s stories included numerous former Oklahoma State players making allegations of cash payments to players, academic misconduct, inconsistent enforcement of drug policies and some of the school’s recruiting hostesses having sex with prospects.