• After missing a berth in the last two Wrangler National Finals Rodeos, Justin Maass (a six-time qualifier) seems intent on booking his room in Vegas early for 2012. Maass, of Giddings, Texas, entered the week leading the tie-down roping world standings and added to his lead by sharing the win with Matt Shiozawa at the Matagorda County Fair & Rodeo in Bay City, Texas, with an 8.6-second run. Maass' season total of $35,241 is not only the highest among any of the timed-event leaders, but it is the most money he's had this early in the season in his 16-year PRCA career.
• Caleb Smidt, a senior at Sam Houston State, is sticking to his word that he will not buy his PRCA card until after he graduates this spring, and this is very good news for any timed-event cowboy whose goal it is to earn a 2012 Resistol Rookie of the Year Award. Smidt finished third behind Maass and Shiozawa in the tie-down roping at Bay City and paired with Cole Davison to win the team roping in 3.7 seconds. His $8,383 as a team roping header would have him leading the rookie standings and his $7,303 in tie-down roping would have him second to Codie Poe. Smidt would be the only rookie qualified in the all-around category and fifth in the all-around world standings. Such balance has been the hallmark of Smidt's ProRodeo permit-holding days. Entering Bay City, Smidt had earned $11,291 as tie-down roper and $11,235 in team roping.
• Reigning World Champion Tie-down Roper Tuf Cooper won the all-around title at the 18th annual Glen Rose (Texas) PRCA Rodeo. The twist? He did it without winning any money in tie-down roping. Cooper and fellow Texan Trey Johnson shared first place with 2010 Wrangler NFR team roping average champions Luke Brown and Martin Lucero, each pair posting a time of 4.1 seconds and banking $1,905 apiece. Cooper's career earnings in team roping entering the week were $2,829, or 1.003 percent of his total earnings.