November 28, 2007

Today's Random Points

A few random things today in the world of sports...
  • We both agree that Les Miles is likely good as gone. Poor LSU fans have to go through hating a former savior again and just as soon as Ryan Perriloux is gone the one of us that's a Tulane fan can start cheering for LSU. WWLTV in New Orleans is reporting that Michigan has gotten permission to talk with Miles after the SEC championship. So long, Les.
  • In our opinion Jacoby Ellsbury would be too much to give up to have the best starting rotation in MLB, although...damn that's a nice thought.
  • Texas basketball is now 6-0 after beating Texas Southern 98-61. Damion James and DJ Augustin had great games for the Horns. Texas has now beaten each of its opponents by 15 or more points, accomplishing that feat for the first time since the 1915-1916 season (no crap, that's what Craig Way said). The Horns have the biggest test of the season on Sunday at 8 ET against #1 UCLA.
  • Finally, ABC...what the hell is this? Just let the starting safety name the lineup or have Cartman drop the f-bomb.

November 27, 2007

Nice Season, Ricky

Well folks, it's just you and me. One of us is away in Spain for the next few weeks, so as far as content and editorial control goes, it's just me. Obviously the end of November/start of December is a hotbed of sports news and I'll be reporting on all of it, so long as it isn't depressing (we didn't start this blog to make ourselves sad). Where to begin?
  • Like Roger Dorn in Major League II, Ricky Williams had a nice comeback last night with Pittsburgh. 6 carries for 15 yards and one season ending injury was his line, thus ending his comeback attempt for one more year.
  • Texas basketball still isn't depressing...yet.
  • Les Miles yesterday gave us this gem of a quote which really shows his genius. Les says:
    "This team has not lost a game in regulation. I know it does not mean much to you guys (media.) The point is, in a 60 minutes game, we play as competitive as we can be. There is not a team that we have played that has bested us in the first 60 minutes. If you had to look at the length and width of the game, that is how it is measured. Then you go to overtime, and I think our overtime system is just as flawed as any other overtime system. It’s just the way it is and it is probably correct. You have to decide it then where it takes the length of the field and certain situations out of it. It is imperfect, but a darn good system. You tell me if there are other teams in this country that can say that. If you just give us ties, like in the old system, we are undefeated with two ties. Maybe that adds up as one lost."
  • To summarize the above quote, LSU is undefeated, the overtime system sucks, the overtime system is a good system, LSU should have two ties, LSU should have one loss. We'll be sorry when he's in Michigan.

Finally, if only this were Ed Hockuley...

November 24, 2007

It Feels Good To Laugh Again (AKA b-ball preview post)

We've been doing this whole blogging thing for seven months and have now hit baseball, off, and football season. It's time, therefore, for basketball season. We know, we're 5 games into the season, but this is as good as any time to do our first basketball post of the new season.

For the first time in our career as Texas fans, the basketball program is healthier than both the football and baseball programs. To illustrate this point, think about this: without defections to the NBA, the Texas starting five this season would probably be DJ Augustin, Kevin Durant, Lamarcus Aldridge, Daniel Gibson, and Connor Atchley(?). Obviously players leaving early is a part of college basketball, but the fact that Rick Barnes has fielded another solid squad which should be playing well into March is a testament to his coaching ability (no matter what Bill Simmons says) and the positive direction in which Longhorn basketball is headed.

To start with, if you look closely at our dream lineup you might notice one player who doesn't fit in. That's right, Connor Atchley. So far everybody's favorite neo-Jason Klotz has been playing very well for the Horns, a fact that bodes extremely well for the future. Aside from clamping down on defense and rebounding, Connor has put in 12.4 points per game (up from 3.9 last season). Say what you will about Rick Barnes as a recruiter first, coach second; the fact that he has turned Connor into a useful member of a basketball society is proof that Barnes can teach and coach, too.

Damion James has brought energy and enthusiasm on the defensive end, much like James Thomas circa 2002-2003 (yeah, we know, our frame of reference for Texas basketball remains that season. Our glorious, glorious freshman year of school). Justin Mason seems like a whole new player (a player named, say, Royal Ivey. Yep. We went there), AJ Abrams has been lights out on both sides of the court (a great account of his defensive impact on Tennessee sharpshooter Chris Lofton can be read here), and DJ Augustin is playing PG as well as anybody in the country (there will be no TJ Ford comparison).

We can't wait to see what happens when you throw in the potential of Gary Johnson with the already impressive play of Alexis Wang...Wang...well, just Johnson, just Gary Johnson. All kidding aside, should Texas develop a defensive and offensive interior toughness, this Horns team could go far into the postseason.

Finally, and best of all, we don't expect Bill Simmons to be watching the Horns this year, which is probably best for all of us. The Horns season continues Wednesday against Texas Southern and then a big early season matchup with UCLA on Sunday in Los Angeles.

We Remain on Team Mack

As usual, Peter is right. Over on Burnt Orange Nation, PB has the analysis spot-on when it comes to Mack Brown and the job he and his staff did this year with the Longhorn football team. It was not good, and there will be, ahem, concern expressed about the program from many areas of the fanbase over the coming offseason. And trust us: we, too, are concerned and hope to see significant improvement in 2008 over the last 2 seasons.

BUT: at most schools, a national championship is worth at least 5 years of goodwill for a head coach. Next year will be Year Three after the 2005 national title season, yet already many Texas fans seem to be headed toward outright anger at the coaching staff. For our part, you will hear criticism when it is warranted, and there will certainly be times when it is. But to not appreciate that a 9-3 season (albeit with 3 bad losses) is the worst moment in Mack Brown's tenure at Texas is ludicrous. Next year, we need to see some improvement. But we also need to understand as a fan base that the program is still pretty damn healthy.

We said back in May, when it's easier to be coolheaded about the Longhorns, that we thought all 3 major men's sports had coached that Texas fans could (and should) be proud of. That has not changed. Mack Brown remains a class act who represents the University very well. Do we need to get better at tackling, cut down on the arrests, and get more consistent quarterback play? Yes. Has Mack earned the benefit of our support as he attempts to improve in all those important areas? Absolutely.

Mack Brown is clearly not perfect, but in the game of college football there aren't a whole lot better. This team obviously had significant flaws due to faults of both players and coaches. We as fans, however, must remember that many of the causes of these flaws are unobservable due to our position outside the program.

We can empirically see that the pass defense has been atrocious the last two seasons. We cannot, however, say that the problem this year is a lack of fundamentals or the coaching staff failing to teach the basics (as one e-mail we received argued). The reason the linebacker corps sucked at tackling is because Bobino, Derry, and Killebrew simply do not excel at tackling. You can teach a hungry lion not to eat the gazelle all you want, but you shouldn't be miffed or blame the teacher when the gazelle gets eaten.

You may remember in Week One when Texas was played tightly by Arkansas State. After that we agreed in a conversation that Texas was probably a 3-4 loss team this season. The product on the field this season simply was not all that good, and the Texas team at the end of the regular season is pretty much the Texas team we expected at the beginning. If there's one thing you can count on a mediocre team to do over the course of a season is to play mediocre. We aren't shocked or mad at the head coach, we are just hoping the staff continues to field a winner (and improve) as it has the better part of the last decade.

We remain hopeful that the best analogy of 2007 is the 2003 season. Texas went 10-3, had an embarrassing loss to a rival (65-13 was worse than losing to aggy), and had a lot of young talent to build on. That offseason was a positive one, with major coaching changes and the introduction of Greg Robinson. An important junior RB returned to give Texas a strong running game, and the linebacker corps and secondary had lots of talent waiting to become stars.

Mack has been one of the best coaches in college football for the better part of a decade. Supporting his efforts and avoiding unnecessary/unsubstantiated criticism is the only way to approach this offseason.

Hook 'em.

November 23, 2007

The Price We Pay...?

Remember this? One of us is a big believer in karma, the other is at the LSU-Arkansas game so he can't argue. Should Texas not pull it out just remember that there is a price to be paid for success, and the 2004 & 2005 Horns were worth it.

November 22, 2007

Diary of an Unsuspecting Contender

This is a special post from currently-Spain-based Kansas student Jonathan Orlansky, otherwise known as jaybro.

At the University of Kansas, we have an understanding. In gratitude for success in any capacity, we are to thank, praise, and sacrifice goats to one man, and one man alone: Dr. James Naismith. As you should well know, Dr. Naismith was a professor of Science at our prestigious institution who came up with the awfully good idea of basketball. He put up some peach baskets, very cleverly crafted some inflatable rubber, and provided the United States with its most accessible, most original, and arguably most fun sport (you’re welcome). Since that time, it has been the responsibility of the Jayhawks to be the greatest basketball program of all time.

I. 1,900 wins
II. 50 conference championships

However, in the past we have been humble enough to limit ourselves to unspeakable greatness in that one sport alone. To attempt even to be competitive in any other sport was a crass and ungentlemanly notion. However, as many have come recently to notice, our sense of decorum seems to have quite startlingly and suddenly fallen away. How to explain a University of Kansas football team at 11-0? My answer was instant and decisive: this could only be the work of Dr. Naismith.

An oft-mentioned, but under-appreciated part of the Professor’s legacy is that, at the time of his innovation, he was the football coach of the proud Jayhawks. Football is a sport not quite graceful enough to have been invented by Naismith (that, as is known by all you attentive sports fans, was Abner Doubleday), but curiously, Naismith was a better leader of exclusively white football teams than equally stark basketball teams. Naismith remains the only basketball coach in the history of the university to retire with a losing record, whereas his football years were some of our finer times.

To come to the point, I think the truth is clear: reincarnation is heavy. Before ridiculing Mark Mangino for his size, bear in mind, he’s eating for two: his primary person (or pod), and the soul of the inventor of basketball, dead for nearly 100 years. The ever-wise and powerful professor looked down from his personally furnished fluffy cloud, where he had just finished beating Jesus at ping-pong for, like, the fifth time in a row, and he saw his proud Jayhawk footballers in need of his help.

We were in the hands of a coach so inept that he would sit out in the fourth quarter a running back who ran for more yardage than Gail Sayers ever approached (Jon Cornish; look for him in the CFL), so dull that he would refuse to blitz one of the most highly regarded linebacking corps in the country. Dr. Naismith knew it was time for Chapter Two.

So the poor, unsuspecting, already large man became the home of the spirit of one of the great minds ever to grace sports. Since then, the formerly inept KU football squad has become the only team in the country to be in the top twenty in both passing and rushing offense, the only undefeated team from a major conference, and proudly stands as the least penalized team in the country, all this with an undersized quarterback, an overslow halfback, and a completely white tailback.

We’ve got a big game coming up against Missouri on Saturday, by far the biggest challenge of the season. The good doctor will have to pull out all the stops, and swing around the very large arms of his surrogate with tremendous focus. But if he is able to accomplish a victory in that game (and do the same the following week against Oklahoma), then I swear on the Rock Chalk foundation of the Kansas Union that I will go to New Orleans, wrap my arms halfway around Mark Mangino, lean into his ear and whisper, “I know you’re in there. Thanks for coming back,” before being dragged away by security.


November 20, 2007

Suggestions for Pacman

Aside from sharing a nickname with possibly the greatest non-Tecmo Bowl video game ever made, Pacman Jones has not given football fans much to like about him lately. The former West Virginia Mountaineer standout and current Las Vegas "rainmaker" recently agreed to accept probation on charges related to a triple shooting in Sin City. A little known part of the deal requires Jones to perform 200 hours of community service within a year. We thought maybe he could use some help in figuring out how to fulfill that commitment.
Note: Input from jbrater was used and appreciated.
  • Wash our cars. OK, so only one of us has a car because the other one lives in a place with big, fancy "public transportation." But still, if Pacman washed our one car, that would take, like, half an hour. Only 199.5 to go! The car is really dirty.
  • "Make it Rain" on Atlanta. Pacman enjoyed "making it rain" so much in the Las Vegas strip club where this whole incident took place that we thought he might have the power and ability to help out the Southeastern United States with its terrible drought. Atlanta needs some drinking water, Pacman! Make it happen! We believe in his powers, we'll say 195 to go!
  • Attend a Notre Dame football game, in the stands, without a bag on his head. Someone has to. 192 to go!
  • Disconnect the transmitters at the Big Ten Network headquarters. Someone has to. 190 to go!
  • Get rid of those damn ghosts. Those guys are always trying to eat you when you're just trying to get some tiny, yellow, dot-shaped food and the occasional piece of fruit. It's not cool. 180 to go!
  • Partner with Blackwater USA to form a private contracting defense unit to protect Vince Young from the cornerback blitz. VY needs some protection back there! He's getting hit way too often. Also, his receivers suck, do something about that. 150 to go!
  • Go to Buffalo and start a counseling group for people who continue to insist that the Music City Miracle was a forward pass. No explanation necessary. 130 to go!
  • Start an after school program to help steer troubled kids in the right direc... wait, never mind. On second thought, best just to keep Pacman as far away from schools as possible. 130 to go!
  • Write an episode of The Office for production by NBC. The funniest show on television is not going to be showing new episodes because of the selfish writers strike. It was all fun and games when it was Letterman getting cancelled, but now it has gone too far. 95 to go!
  • Blog. This crap is hard, he'll see...60 to go!
  • Dance-a-thon. If you thought blogging was hard, try dancing...36 to go!
  • Jerry Lewis telethon. We doubt he'd be offended by anything Mr. Lewis would have to say. 14.5 to go!
  • Help Mark Mangino lose weight. Seriously, he's a little big. Our worry is that KU will make it to the championship game and he won't be able to fit into the Dome. Just stay away from Mother's. o to go!

And that is how we suggest Pacman Jones should complete his 200 hours of community service. Just stay away from the kids.

November 19, 2007

Let's Set The Record Straight...

Tim Tebow is no Vince Young. That is not debatable. That is fact. Dennis Dodd says:

Tim Tebow became the first 20-20 player in NCAA victory in a victory over Florida Atlantic. He now has 20 rushing touchdowns and 26 passing TDs. The last guy to change the game this much was Vince Young. But Vince, for all his bulk, wasn't as powerful of a runner. His arm can't compare to Tebow's. We now have a new, better run-pass hybrid. Tebow has rushed for more touchdowns than 77 teams.
WHOA! Stop right there. That kind of seems like saying that LT isn't as powerful a runner as Ron Dayne. What the hell does that even mean? Isn't a "powerful" running quarterback just a euphemism for a quarterback who averages 4.1 yards per carry and gets his team's every carry? Statistics don't even begin to tell the tale of VY's dominance over college football.

To begin with, the most important statistic is that Tim Tebow is 8-3 as a starter. VY was 30-2.

VY's sophomore season Cedric Benson got 2 carries for every 1 for VY. The next year five Longhorns got 75 or more carries. This season only one Gator other than Tebow (181)has gotten 75 carries (Kestahn Moore --98).

Finally, think about VY's numbers if Texas hadn't been so dominant in 2005. Vince took the final snap for the Longhorns in four games in 2005. In three of the 13 games he didn't even make it through the third quarter (four counting CU where he only finished the first series of the fourth quarter). Tebow has finished all but two games.

That Tebow is a better passer than VY is obvious, but lots of quarterbacks can throw better than VY (Stephen McGee cannot). Tim Tebow has had a great year for a Florida team that lost a lot of talent. To say that Tim Tebow even compares running the ball, however, is ludicrous. We are to Tim Tebow running the ball as Tim Tebow is to VY.

Oh, and the next time Tim Tebow does this will be the first.

Mike Huckabee for President

We don't normally delve into politics, and we also don't know much about Mike Huckabee. That having been said, because of the below ad we now endorse him for President.

What To Wish For

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. As already stated, OU losing was fun (although it IS earily similar to last season's collapse by the Horns). The Oregon loss may hurt the Horns as it opens up a potential at-large bid for KU should they lose to Mizzou but stay in the top four of the BCS (giving them an automatic at-large bid). Ohio State winning was bad for the Horns in that Texas loses its chance at the title game, but it was good in that Ohio State will likely be in the top four. An LSU-Ohio State championship game remains our favorite scenario, followed by an LSU-KU championship game. The possibilities are in order of preference:

  1. OU loses to Okie State, Texas wins Big XII, Texas plays in Fiesta
  2. Texas beats Aggy, OU beats Okie State, KU wins Big XII, Texas plays in Sugar
  3. Texas beats Aggy, OU beats Okie State, Mizzou beats KU, OU wins Big XII, Texas plays in Sugar
  4. Texas beats Aggy, OU beats Okie State, Mizzou beats KU in a close game, Mizzou beats OU, Texas goes to mid-level non-BCS bowl
  5. Texas beats Aggy, OU beats Okie State, OU beats KU in a close game, Texas goes to mid-level non-BCS bowl
  6. Texas beats Aggy, OU loses to Okie State, Texas loses in Big XII championship, Texas goes to Holliday Bowl
  7. Texas loses to Aggy, OU loses to Okie State, Texas wins Big XII championship, Texas goes to Fiesta
  8. Texas loses to Aggy, OU beats Okie State, who cares.

November 18, 2007

This Week's Top Ten

Texas wins the Big XII South regardless of the A&M game should the Pokes beat the Sooners. Sweet. The only way the OU loss could have been better is if it was the Horns winning (or Baylor, that would rock too).

  1. KU -- Jaybro, just so you know, we considered dropping them to know...just to show you we can. But in all reality, the idea that Kansas would not be number one in anybody's poll right now is just ridiculous. The fact is, up to now they are undefeated in a BCS conference--one which, by the way, has 4 teams in the BCS top ten. Being number 1 right now really means very little; it only matters who's 1 and 2 on Dec. 3. That said, KU may finish out with a loss next week and get hosed out of an at-large BCS bid (in likely thanks to Texas), but they certainly deserve to be tops in a poll that matters (read: not this one) for at least a week. For our part, we see no reason not to think Kansas legitimately is the best team in America. Great QB play, solid O-Line, a great secondary, and linebackers that won't knock your head off but who play the position very intelligently. We say the Hawks will beat Mizzou next week and then win the Big XII Championship (note: should Texas sneak into championship game, this pick is subject to change).

  2. LSU -- A decidedly lackluster performance in the defensive and kick-coverage areas of the Ole Miss game still produced a comfortable win for the Tigers. The question remains: will we see the LSU team we saw against Va. Tech again? That team was the absolute best squad in the country, hands-down. But LSU has not strung together a truly great performance since then, and they will need to return to form if they want to beat a talented Arkansas team playing for its coach and then either the Other UT or UGA on Dec. 2. Wins in the next two weeks do appear to have LSU in almost guaranteed Championship Game position.

  3. Mizzou -- The Other Tigers are good. It seems to us, however, that Chase Daniel is a lot like Dennis Dixon and Sam Bradford--a compliment to be sure, but also a liability. If Daniel goes down, it is unlikely that Missouri will be able to generate anything offensively. He is not the only weapon, but he's the one who makes the rest of the offense effective. So, as long as he stays healthy, that showdown with the Jayhawks in KC next weekend will be an absolute classic. By the way, Jaybro: now that Missouri is relevant, are you learning to hate them yet?

  4. WVU -- Pat White, Pat White, Pat White. Pat White. The Moutaineers may be the last team LSU wants to see in the national championship game simply because of the mobile QB factor. Even the disappointing Ole Miss quarterback Brent Schaeffer (sp?) made the LSU defense look silly a few times simply by being able to scramble.

  5. Ohio State -- With UO and OU both losing, Ohio State is suddenly back into the realm of "we could conceivably be in the championship game!" But tOSU could suffer for the simple fact that it plays in the Big Ten (jbrater, let us explain before you get all defensive). Much like last year's Michigan team, Ohio State will not have played for 2 weeks the day after conference championship games. Out of sight=out of mind for voters. The other issue is that 12-1 is inherently more impressive than 11-1. So, we aren't saying that they'll be hurt by their conference because it's inferior; we're saying they'll be hurt because of the conference's scheduling policies. Of course, it's possible that these same liabilities could turn into advantages: if LSU and KU/Mizzou both lose in their conference championship games, the Buckeyes will be thrilled that they didn't have to play in one.

  6. Arizona State -- Meh.

  7. UGA -- The Dawgs are in a similar position to that of last year's LSU team: they appear to be playing about as well as anyone out there right now, but they may have hit their stride a bit too late to make noise in the conference. LSU fans are praying that Tennessee can hang on and beat Kentucky next weekend, because playing a hot Georgia team in Atlanta is not the Tigers' idea of a fun obstacle on the way to the Superdome.

  8. Texas -- WOOOO! Say what you will about the 'Horns' season--they're a 2-loss club on a 6-game winning streak. After what looked to be a disastrous season, it looks like Texas is bound for the Cotton Bowl at worst, Sugar Bowl at best. That is, as long as they can bring an end to the Land of Frantasia in an appropriate manner the day after Turkey. This is a recovery that shows character, and the youth in burnt orange is enough to have all of us really excited for 2008.

  9. Va. Tech -- The Hokies are right where they belong in the 9 slot. They have taken care of all the teams they were supposed to beat, and their 2 losses have both come at the hands of the team ranked number 2 in the country at the time (LSU and then Boston College). Va Tech also should have beaten BC, and in their effort exposed several of the Eagles' weaknesses that have since been exploited by 3 opponents in a row (2 losses for BC and a blown opportunity by Clemson). Va Tech is a not a national title type of team, but they are certainly the class of the ACC. You know Beamer's boys will be fighting hard to beat cross-state rival UVA next week so they can get another shot at Boston College in the conference championship game.

  10. OU -- How can Texas be ahead of OU? Well, we're a Texas blog, so OU sucks. At least when Mack Brown loses he doesn't have a "I'm getting screwed, whom can I blame for this loss?" look on his face. Stupid Stoops.

November 17, 2007

Some Random Musings

  • One sign the Hornets may be good this season as compared to last (7-2 to start this year, 8-3 to start last year) is margin of victory. Last year's 8 wins: 5.38, this year's 7 wins: 13.58. Last year the Hornets won 12 of 38 wins by double digits, but this year they've won 5 of 7 by double digits. Just saying...
  • To set the entire A-rod record straight, here is how things have gone down for him since the season ended. A-rod (or Scott Boras, whatever) declared free agency during game four of the World Series. Then A-rod (or Scott Boras, whatever) asked the Yankees for $350 million which was kind of like when Homer demands $100 billion from the Tobacco company for his Tomacco plant. Then A-rod goes back to the Yankees when it's clear that nobody really wants him and signs for $275 million. And that is why the Yankees are still the only Yankees no matter what Jbrater says.
  • Along those lines, reason #842 to hate A-rod is that he stays while Torre gets the boot.
  • With A-rod going back to the Yankees the question would have become: do we cheer for Alex Rodriguez the Yankee to beat Barry Bonds? Thanks go out to the Feds for solving that question. Bonds goes to prison, the record (rightly or wrongly) probably gets wiped off the books, and we can go along with hating A-rod for being the bastard that he is. Barry Bonds looks bad, A-rod looks bad, Scott Boras looks bad, and the Red Sox are World Series champs...awesome.
  • Speaking of awesome.

November 15, 2007


Head over to Burnt Orange Nation and check out this week's 40ASNCGOW if you have the chance. It's Ohio State-Michigan this week. Sorry to ruin the surprise.

November 13, 2007

Top Ten

KU loses to Mizzou and OU, LSU loses to UGA, Oregon loses to UCLA, OU loses to Tech, WVU loses to Cincy, Mizzou loses to KSU, OSU loses to Michigan, Arizona State loses to USC. Anybody else feeling a UGA-Texas championship game? Anyhow, here's how things shaped up this week:

  1. KU -- Before Jaybro pipes in, we had decided to move KU to #1 on Saturday night. The rationale is simple: going undefeated is hard, that's why so few teams do it. This season there is only one school from a BCS conference that has not lost. Until it loses that team will occupy our #1 spot, then all bets are off. The cupcakes clearly did serve their purpose.
  2. LSU -- If/when KU loses, things are going to get interesting. Ole Miss generally plays LSU close, and Arkansas will not be a pushover for a Tigers team that hasn't always played up to potential. Our guess, however, is that the biggest challenge to playing in New Orleans for the Tigers will be Georgia in the Georgia Dome. Did anybody else find it funny that Les Miles quoted Bo Schembechler when denying an interest in the Michigan job?
  3. Oregon -- Not far behind LSU, especially if they win out. Has a potential Heisman winner ever received so little fanfare? That's what you get for playing at a non-USC West Coast school.
  4. OU -- Remember last year when OU got screwed by the officials at Oregon? We know we'll laugh when the national title game is LSU vs. Oregon. Plus, OU sucks.
  5. WVU -- The team nobody is talking about, but we wouldn't want to face the Mountaineers in the championship game. At #6 in the BCS, however, WVU may be the odd team out in any scenario involving three one-loss teams. We would have liked to see Rich Rodriguez back roaming the same Superdome sidelines where he terrorized C-USA defenses as Tulane's offensive coordinator.
  6. Mizzou -- Why not? Only loss is a close one to a top five team. If they beat KU and OU, it will be tough to keep Mizzou out of the championship game. Odds of that seem low though.
  7. Ohio State -- What a bad loss for the Buckeyes. It would almost seem to benefit them by losing to Michigan, kinda makes firing Lloyd Carr a bit more difficult.
  8. Arizona State -- If they win out they could find themselves back in the discussion. Odds are even if they win out they're looking at a Rose Bowl birth.
  9. Georgia -- Quietly UGA has put together a nice year and can play spoiler to an LSU championship. Let's see, Georgia versus LSU with the national championship game in New Orleans on the line. Seems like we've seen this before.
  10. Texas -- Who would have thought that out of Nebraska, Okie State, and Tech that the Tech game would have been the easiest to watch? The Horns put together a complete game and head to College Station staring at a BCS bowl game. We would LOVE to watch the Horns in the Sugar Bowl this year. We're just saying, it would be nice.

November 11, 2007

Gone Bowlin...

A great breakdown of Texas and the BCS can be found here. The point is: beat Aggy and Texas has a great chance at a BCS bowl, which we thought might happen. Considering all that's happened this season, that would be a heck of an accomplishment for the Horns. To summarize the post:

Assuming LSU and Oregon go to championship, Sugar gets first choice.
Ten BCS bowl spots, two championship teams, four other BCS automatic bids.
Four at-large bids.
Let's assume Hawaii gets one of them after climbing to the top twelve.
Only BCS teams in the top four get automatic at-large spots, can't predict the future so let's just assume that doesn't happen.
So, three at-large bids remain.

At-large candidates (if they don't win their conference championship:
Georgia, LSU, WVU, Ohio State, Arizona State, USC, Texas, KU, Mizzou, OU.

Here is how each team could get an at-large bid:

Georgia -- Loses the SEC Championship game, hard to believe a 3-loss UGA team gets an at-large over Texas.
LSU -- Loses to UGA in SEC Championship game, hard to believe a 2-loss LSU team gets an at-large bid in a BCS game (remember, Sugar Bowl will be taken by UGA in this scenario).
WVU -- Does not win Big East, hard to believe a 2-loss WVU team gets an at-large bid over Texas.
Ohio State -- Loses to Michigan, hard to believe a 2-loss OSU team losing two straight gets an at-large bid over Texas.
Arizona State -- No way a two-loss ASU team gets in over Texas, a one-loss ASU team may get a Rose Bowl bid if Oregon goes to the national championship game.
USC -- A 2-loss USC team probably gets a Rose Bowl bid over Texas, but USC playing ASU next week means that only one of these Pac-10 teams can get an at-large bid. We'll give one of the at-large bids to the ASU/USC winner.
KU -- A 1-loss KU team goes to the Cotton/Holiday Bowl in our opinion. An undefeated KU team goes to the national championship game in our opinion. KU losing would be good for Texas as it removes LSU & Oregon as at-large possibilities.
Mizzou -- Assuming a 1-loss Mizzou team does not go to the title game, a 2-loss Mizzou team seems like a less attractive option than a 2-loss Texas team. A 1-loss Mizzou team goes to the Fiesta Bowl as the Big XII representative, so they are unlikely to be an at-large team.
OU -- Here's the trick. If OU wins the Big XII it probably goes to the Fiesta Bowl. If it does not the question becomes which is more attractive to a BCS Bowl: a 2-loss Texas team having won 6 straight or a 2-loss OU team coming off a conference championship loss. Our guess is that Texas gets the nod as the bigger television audience that will travel better and stay in hotels as opposed to trailers.

So, the guess right now for at-large spots: Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, ASU/USC.

Sugar Bowl here we come?

Of course it's all moot if Texas doesn't beat Aggy.

November 7, 2007

Top Ten -- Week Ten

Oregon wins out. LSU wins out. Ohio State wins out. LSU wins the SEC Championship. LSU, having won all but one game while playing the most difficult conference in NCAA sports will play Ohio State for the national championship in New Orleans. Some voters (and most of the media) will bitch that Oregon deserved it more. Few will defend the logic that LSU deserves it because defending what is obvious does not sell papers.
  1. Ohio State -- We've been saying it for quite a while that this is a good (but not spectacular)football team in a season devoid of consistently good football teams. Ohio State - Michigan may decide the Big Ten and give Lloyd Carr a chance to save his job.

  2. LSU -- It was only a matter of time for Boston College. The Tigers have now won two games they probably should have lost, lost one they probably should have won, and then won the Alabama game that could have gone either way. Ole Miss and Arkansas could be surprisingly tough, but it's looking like the road to New Orleans will run through Georgia again.

  3. Oregon -- We are less impressed with this win than we are with last week's victory over USC. Two more road games could be tough, but if they win out it will be VERY interesting to see how the BCS works out. Once again the lack of a Pac-10 championship may give the Pac-10 team the shaft as going 12-1 is inherently more impressive than going 11-1.

  4. Kansas -- Are you kidding? 76 points? Against a non-Baylor conference opponent? We aren't saying it is even likely, but if KU wins out it deserves to be playing for the BCS championship. How people (and we're basing this on Mark May leaving KU out of his top five) are still ignoring the Jayhawks is beyond us. (Note: this blog does not in any way officially endorse the view that Mark May is a person.)

  5. Oklahoma -- ou sucks, and that's what makes it so hilariously delightful that all the media talk about one-loss teams getting into the championship game boils down almost exclusively to LSU and Oregon. Will sooner fans soon become so enraged that they invade the ESPN set and start ripping analysts' scrotums (scrota?) off? Only time will tell.

  6. West Virginia -- By virtue of playing a somewhat weak schedule, and with the South Florida loss looking worse and worse each week, the Moutaineers will likely end up in another BCS bowl game-but not the championship game.
  7. Mizzou -- The Tigers and their Border War rival Jayhawks have led the resurgence of the Big XII North this year. Who saw that coming? We all expected that the Northw ould produce a couple of legit teams again eventually, but we figured it would be Nebraska and Colorado returning to prominence.
  8. Boston College -- We feel bad for the Eagles, but honestly? An Ohio State-BC championship game would have been way too boring for us. Plus, the Celtics appear to be pretty good now, the Patriots are dominant, and the Red Sox have just won the World Series. Enough already.
  9. Arizona State -- On the big stage with a chance to prove they belonged in the national conversation, the Sun Devils instead proved that everyone was right not to take them too seriously.
  10. Georgia -- The 'Dawgs have quietly compiled a 7-2 record while playing in the cannibalistic SEC East. It is Tennessee, however, that controls its own destiny in the division by virtue of the Vols' 35-14 thumping of the Bulldogs. Both UGA and LSU will be hoping that Bad Tennessee shows up for at least one of their 3 remaining conference games (Arkansas, Vandy, and Kentucky) so that Georgia can play the Tigers in Atlanta. A win over higher-ranked Georgia would do more for LSU's BCS numbers than would a win over The Other UT.

November 6, 2007

Some More Disagreements. And the Odd Agreement or Two.

Which is more impressive -- New England at 9-0 or Miami/St. Louis at 0-8?
Abram: I think if you use the word "impressive," it has to be the Pats. But if you're asking which one I am enjoying more, the answer is unequivocally Miami and St. Louis. I do feel a little bit bad about the Dolphins, as the wheels have clearly come off that once-proud franchise since the Sabanator left 10 months ago. But it's really fun to watch the Rams lose. Why would a human being take greater pleasure in two teams' pain than in one team's success? It's called Schadenfreude (forgive the World of Warcraft graphics. The song is what's important).

Jeff: There's an NFL saying that goes "any given Sunday..." They never say how that saying ends, but I imagine it has to do with parity in football. It is really hard to lose every game. Really hard. That two teams have lost every game this season is pretty difficult to do in a game where you've got a fifty-fifty chance at winning any game. I just hope the Rams losing streak continues one more week, although by the end of the season they may be the most dangerous 1-15 team in NFL history.

Which is your favorite Okie State comeback?
Abram: It has to be 2004, simply because it was my last home game as a student. In fact, as I recall you said you were leaving at halftime if we didn't score before the 2nd quarter ended to cut it to 35-14. Thankfully, we did. Otherwise you would have missed the greatest comeback ever, and I would have had to walk home by myself because I'll be damned if I was leaving my last game early and you're just weaselly enough to actually leave me there alone. The other reason that one was my favorite is that The Longhorns played easily the most perfect half of football I've seen in a long time in the second half of that one. I love the now-legendary halftime speech when Mack Brown told the team, "Longhorn pride is gonna make this sucker 42-35" and he had to apologize to them later because they actually made it 56-35. Also, I saw zero plays of this year's contest because I was at the LSU-Alabama game.

Jeff: Abram is going to say 2004. It was his final game, I said just before halftime that I'd leave if we didn't score on the final drive to make it 35-14 (we did), and it was the first time I'd ever been at a game where you knew your team was going to win down 35-21. But the real answer is 2005 for one reason. Down 28-12, VY had his 80 yard touchdown run. The most amazing part is that he did it in something like 34 VY ended with 500 yards of total offense as Texas ran away with the win. I love that game because if there is any game that sums up VY (and any play other than 4th and 18) it is that one.

Who's your #2 on January 8th?
Abram: What a ridiculous question. Who's coming up with these? Us? Look, who knows? I guess I will make the prediction based on the following set of assumptions: 1. LSU wins out and actually comes up with a couple of blowouts in the process. 2. Ohio State wins out. 3. Oregon wins out (safest assumption so far). 4. OU or Mizzou beats Kansas. If all 4 of those things happens (and I'm sure that at least one of them will not), then I'd say the number 2 at the end of the bowl season will be Oregon. LSU would not have much problem with Ohio State, and Oregon would slip past the Buckeyes easily into the 2 spot assuming they beat (insert team here) in the Rose Bowl.

Jeff: Can I say Texas? No, probably not. I don't think it'll be LSU (who could easily have 4 losses right now), OU sucks, KU probably won't beat OU and Mizzou, and Mizzou is Mizzou. The answer, therefore, is Oregon.

Who will be awarded the Heisman?
Abram: I don't care. Dennis Dixon? Yeah, I think it'll be Dixon. He's good.

Jeff: Vince retroactively. Screw the Heisman. Seriously. Since somebody has to get it I'll say Ray Rice.

Bill Belichick is an ass: agree or agree strongly?
Abram: I strongly, strongly agree. I will point to one particular example that points to the overall issue. Last weekend, his Patriots blew the Redskins away and there was some hand-wringing on television about whether Belichick was running up the score. In his postgame press conference, Belichick managed to pull off what seemed impossible: he made my stomach churn while saying something I agreed with. When it comes to the running up the score in the NFL, what exactly is he supposed to do? The defensive players are paid a lot of money to keep the score low--the offensive players are paid to keep it high. If he kicks a field goal? "You're humiliating them!" If he kneels it? "You're humiliating them!" If he runs it right up the middle, begging the D to stop it, and they instead allow a touchdown? "You're humiliating them!" The fact is, he's in an uncomfortable position because there is no good option. The only thing I took issue with was the way the Pats were still celebrating after TDs late in the game. Grow up. BUT: as Belichick answered the question about whether he was running up the score by putting it in the endzone, and he gave the exact right answer ("what do you want me to do? Kick a field goal?"). But the way he said it showed a portal to an empty and terrible soul. Showing a little humanity by way of one sentence would have been fine. Something like: "Well, it's a tough situation because you're kind of damned if you do, damned if you don't." But the man had utter contempt in his voice for no reason. That's kind of why I think he's an ass.

Jeff: Up 77-0 against Texas A&M, Bob Stoops got the ball back midway through the 4th quarter deep in Aggy territory. What did Bob do? He ran it. Four straight downs. Dives. Up the middle. That is what you do up big to avoid running up the score. You score a touchdown then your opponent deserved it. What did Belichik do? He threw it, and threw it, and threw it. He is an ass. Screw him.

The Hornets are 3-0. Do you care?
Abram: The short answer: nope. The slightly longer answer: I care more than I would if, say, the Timberwolves were 3-0. Are they? I don't know. I like the Hornest as much as any NBA team--I just can't care much about a league that the players don't care about either.

Jeff: The Hornets are doing a really good job of selling their product to New Orleans. The Hornets are doing a really good job of trying to be a part of the community. The problem is that nobody cares about basketball. You could fill the New Orleans Arena twice with all the people on the Saints season ticket WAITING LIST, but you can't get 10,000 people in the Arena for a Hornets game. This is a city that sells out Arena Football is football crazy. But the NBA generally sucks, so nobody cares. Except me. I care. Go Hornets!

November 3, 2007

Texas To Play Four 4th Quarters Against Texas Tech

We literally have NO idea what to say. Honestly, we're just really happy the Horns won. Navy won, so we figured that Texas losing was the price to pay. It was ugly, but when has it not been against Oklahoma State in the last six years (answer: last year)? Texas got the 'w', and if it gets two more wins it may get to a BCS bowl. By no means is this Texas team a good one, but at 8-2 it certainly isn't a bad one either. It is simply an exciting but deeply flawed football team that holds a lot of potential for the future. In the mean time, enjoy Texas's drive chart for the 4th quarter this week.