John Werner

College SportsWacoTrib.com

John Werner: 12-team College Football Playoff best idea yet

Nothing can replace March Madness. But it looks like we’re nearing the end of December Drabness. College Football Playoff representatives announced Thursday they will consider expanding from four to 12 teams to compete for the national championship. Six spots will be reserved for the highest-ranked conference champions, and the other...
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College SportsWacoTrib.com

John Werner: Baylor's rise from ashes to Final Four remarkable

INDIANAPOLIS — Taking over the Baylor basketball beat in 1987, my first assignment was to fly to Hawaii to cover the Maui Classic. It was a slice of paradise. Not only did I get to see the Bears play some powerhouse teams like Illinois and Stanford, I had enough time to go snorkeling, watch the Haleakala volcano at sunrise, and drive across the island to see its unique black sand beaches.
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John Werner: Baylor men the lone Big 12 rep heading to Sweet 16

INDIANAPOLIS — The Grateful Dead loving, tie-dye wearing hippie basketball player turned commentator Bill Walton must be on to something. Walton’s Final Four prediction included Oregon, Oregon State, USC and Colorado, with his alma mater UCLA thrown in just in case. Walton is an unabashed Pac-12 homer, but right now...
College SportsWacoTrib.com

John Werner: March Madness different but still intriguing

March Madness is my favorite time of the sports year. No. 14 seeds beating 3 seeds, last-second shot drama, coaches blowing gaskets, and unsung heroes getting a final shot at glory are all part of the fun. Survive and advance. Due to COVID-19 precautions, it’s going to be different and...
College SportsWacoTrib.com

John Werner: Don't forget sacrifices athletes are making

With COVID-19 shutting down the season on March 10, 2020, Baylor couldn’t wait to play softball again for the first time in almost a year. The No. 18 Lady Bears have a lot of reasons to be excited. Since the NCAA didn’t count last year’s shortened season against player eligibility,...
Waco, TXWacoTrib.com

John Werner: Backpacking lessons handy in frozen Waco

When you’ve backpacked at places like Mount Rainer and Grand Teton, you learn how to high-altitude camp in snow and ice and sleep in enough layers to make it through the night without getting frostbite. You don’t expect to use those lessons in your own house. Especially in low-altitude Waco,...
College SportsWacoTrib.com

John Werner: No. 2 Baylor men's biggest hurdle isn't Gonzaga, it's COVID-19

No. 2 Baylor’s biggest obstacle to winning its first national championship isn’t No. 1 Gonzaga’s dynamic offense, Villanova’s toughness and pedigree or Michigan’s athleticism. The Bears’ biggest hurdle in finishing off their best season in school history is COVID-19. There’s no defense in college basketball that could lock down the...
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John Werner: Big 12 home courts no advantage in COVID era

More than football or baseball, basketball fans can make a huge difference because they’re so close to the action on the floor, often intimidating visiting teams and even referees. Anybody who has ever stepped into Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse can immediately feel the history inside the arena. Just look up into...
NFLWacoTrib.com

John Werner: Alabama easy to root against, hard not to admire

Alabama has become to college football what the New England Patriots were to the NFL. It’s easy to root against them, but it’s hard not to admire them. Unless you’re a Patriots’ fan, who didn’t get tired of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady winning championships? Six Super Bowl titles from 2002-19 made the Patriots the greatest dynasty in NFL history (Sorry Coach Lombardi).
NFLWacoTrib.com

John Werner: Smith deserving winner, but Lawrence had best career

If Hollywood handed out the Heisman Trophy, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence might have walked away with college football’s highest honor Tuesday night. Tinsel Town history is dotted with instances when the Oscar was presented as a sort of lifetime achievement award. Remember when Paul Newman won his only Academy Award...
College SportsWacoTrib.com

John Werner: Charlie Brewer's legacy secure at Baylor

For Baylor fans who want to see Charlie Brewer play his last season of college football, they’ll have to flip around to find the Utah Utes on TV or subscribe to Pac-12 Networks. After taking most of the offensive snaps for the Bears the last four seasons, Brewer announced that...