December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Here's to a happy and healthy new years celebration and a good start to 2008 from the staff at 40AS. Let's all hope 2008 brings more crying Aggies (see below), arrested Sooners, and Gary Johnson. Hook 'em and happy new year!

December 29, 2007

Why The Holiday Bowl Mattered...

We've always said (actually, somebody else has always said, but not remembering who, we're going to take the credit) that a team's bowl game is the first game of the following season. The only time it really isn't true is when a team loses its identity in the offseason and has to start over.

To prove our point, take a look at Texas' recent bowl history and compare them to the seasons that followed:
2006 Alamo Bowl -- 'Meh' bowl win over Iowa, 'meh' season in 2007
2006 Rose Bowl -- VY over USC, VY leaves, next season does not correlate
2005 Rose Bowl -- VY over Michigan, VY over college football in 2005
2003 Holiday Bowl -- Bad loss to WSU, rough start to 2004 (12-0 anybody?)
2003 Cotton Bowl -- Texas overpowers LSU, starts over in 2003
2001 Holiday Bowl -- Wild and unpredictable win over Oregon, unpredictable and inconsistent team in 2002

Texas started over in 2003 and 2006 but every other year the bowl game correlated with the team that followed. Even the 2004 Horns which won the Rose Bowl over Michigan were not a very good team until the second half of the season.

So, you may ask, what does it all mean? The answer seems to us to be that it means a lot...maybe. Mack Brown in his post game interview with his stepson (whose name you'd think ESPN would have figured out and broadcast during the game, we're shocked they didn't) was a lot more like the Mack Brown of 2004 and 2005 than of 2006 and 2007. Colt McCoy did exactly what Texas needed (run when possible, throw well enough to keep the chains moving), and Jamal Charles proved why he is a special back.

More importantly, perhaps, the defense put pressure on Arizona State all game, causing numerous turnovers and making plays all over the field. This was a defense we hadn't seen all year. Lost in all the hooplah with "touchedballgate" (which could use a post by itself. INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE ANYONE?!) is the amazing play by Roddrick Muckelroy and Roy Miller to cause and recover the fumble respectively. Throw in solid offensive line play by a line without a single senior, and you can see why there is reason to be optimistic.

You can obviously make the argument that the Pac-10 sucks, Arizona State was not that talented, and Texas was simply fired up. All of that is true and could certainly mean that 2008 will be no different than 2007.


We like to think that Mack has proven he can/will change. The Mack Brown of 2005 that won a title was a product of disappointments in 2001, 2002, and 2003. As we said after the A&M loss, Texas is lucky to have Mack Brown. With the victory, Texas has now won 10 or more games 7 straight seasons. No other school in the country can claim that. We, therefore, enter the 2008 offseason cautiously optimistic that Texas can compete for another title.

December 28, 2007

40AS Guide to the Bowl Season, Part II

Before getting into the continuation of our bowl preview, we'd just like to say: WOW. We know that Texas' performance in last night's essentially meaningless Holiday Bowl was also, in many ways, essentially meaningless. But last year's lackluster (albeit victorious) Alamo Bowl performance set the stage for an often-frustrating 2007 season. Hopefully, this fantastic Longhorn showing against Arizona State will have an equal and opposite effect on the mood surrounding 2008.

All in all, the coaches and players are to be commended for viewing the Holiday Bowl--which has become a punch-line in sooner fans' jokes about Texas--not as a consolation prize, but as an opportunity. They took full advantage of that opportunity and showed the country, on a day when they had the complete college football spotlight all to themselves, that Texas football isn't going anywhere.

Now, on to the bowls. Today's pop culture comparisons will come exclusively from "The Simpsons." Except for one. Can YOU find the one that isn't from "The Simpsons?" We bet you can!

Champs Sports
Boston College vs. Michigan State
ESPN HD, Today
Artie Ziff: Like Artie, both of these schools have delusions of grandeur. On the surface, Artie, MSU, and BC all have everything they should need to be successful. In Artie's case, money; in the schools' cases, resources. But Artie can never attain Marge, and BC and MSU are and seem destined to remain middling football programs.

TCU vs. Houston
NFL Network, Today
Disco Stu: Mister Irrelevant as always, Disco Stu never has a plot-significant line. He is good for a laugh almost every time he speaks, but no episode would be noticeably different without him. This game, sandwiched between two others that feature teams from major conferences, will be good for some entertainment during commercials but no one will watch the end or remember who was playing in it come New Year's Day.

Maryland vs. Oregon State
ESPN HD, Today
Marshmallow Man I: He'll be patrolling the Terps' sidelines.

Meineke Car Care
UConn vs. Wake Forest
ESPN HD, Dec. 29
Grampa Simpson: Grampa always seems a little bit out of his element--what with the senility and all. These two basketball schools are out of their element playing in football bowl games as well, but in a good way.

AutoZone Liberty
UCF vs. Mississippi State
ESPN HD, Dec. 29
Troy McClure: Washed-up actor McClure is always looking for his big "comeback," which sort of comes in the form of his starring role in "Planet of the Apes: The Musical." Except that his comeback is merely a return to mediocrity and some level of credibility. On a related note: congratulations on your comeback, Mississippi State!

Valero Alamo Bowl
Penn State vs. Texas A&M
ESPN HD , Dec. 29
Rainier Wolfcastle: This thinly-veiled Schwarzenegger character, as action hero McBain, kicks ass and takes named whenever anyone pisses him off. It looks to us as if Dan Connor and the rest of the Nittany Lions might be set to do the same after this little incident no doubt angered them. Also, A&M doesn't have a real coach for this game.

PetroSun Independence Bowl
Alabama vs. Colorado
ESPN HD, Dec. 30
Lionel Hutz: Just like Springfield's top lawyer (who has studied at all the major academic institutions: Harvard, Oxford, the Luve-ra), Nick Saban swooped in with lots of promises to fix what was ailing Bama. But now, 6-6 with another Indy Bowl berth and an all-too-recent loss to UL-Monroe, the Tide will be scrapping to avoid a losing season.

December 27, 2007

One Last Game Day

For the final time in the 2007 season, the Football Longhorns will lace 'em up and toss the pigskin around tonight. The Holiday Bowl is being called "the most exciting matchup of the non-New Year's Day bowls," "the REAL start of bowl season," and other such terms of backhanded praise in the national media. And, all in all, those are pretty accurate assessments. This is the first game of bowl season that should drum up significant national interest, and in all honesty it's a pretty important game for Texas.

A strong performance against a solid Arizona State team tonight could be a starting point for success next year. Will we see John Chiles? What about the young linebackers? Will we play with a sense of urgency and purpose? Obviously, for your actual well-thought-out football analysis you should visit BON, but these are some of the key questions to concern yourself with as you watch tonight's contest with an eye toward next year--which, to be honest, is what every team's fans except those of Ohio State and LSU will be doing during their bowl games.

Most of all, though, our advice is to spend the rest of your day trying to recall that Mid-June feeling of despair when all you really want is for college football season to start. In Mid-June, you'd kill to watch Texas in the Holiday Bowl. In Mid-June, you swear that you don't even care if we win the Big XII--you're just ready for football to start. Remember that feeling today, because after the final buzzer it's yet another long Texas Football Offseason until the Horns kick off against 2007 New Orleans Bowl Champions Florida Atlantic next August 30.

December 26, 2007

Happy Christmas (War is...Oh, Wait)

Last night, the Trail Blazers and Sonics played a Christmas night ballgame in Portland wherein the home-standing Blazers wore their road unis and the visiting Sonics wore their...road unis. The result was a red and green combination on the court that we found hideous and unnecessary until Benji pointed out that it was Christmas, and red and green are generally accepted as Christmas colors. We felt stupid. But honestly, Christmas to us just means a day when everything is closed, so we didn't feel that stupid.

In any event, KD scored 23 points in a losing effort for Seattle. He was only 8-20 shooting the ball, however, bringing his season field goal percentage to 40.5%. So that stat may be some cause for concern for The Man Who Stole Texas' Heart. But on the whole, the fact that Kevin is still averaging 20 points an outing after 28 games in the League can only be encouraging, especially when you consider that the kid still has 5-8 years before he really hits his prime. He's good.

On the subject of basketball, by now we have all had plenty of time to reflect on the fact that the Michigan State game didn't go well. What we have to keep in mind is the following: first, Michigan State is very good at basketball. Second, the Horns were 11-29 from 3-point range, and against good competition we're not the kind of team that can overcome an off-night from downtown. And third, it was our first loss of the season! This is a really fun team to watch, and they're going to win a whole bunch more games before this year is over.

On the other hand: check out the box score from the Michigan State ballgame. Look particularly at the far right column, which shows playing time for each individual Longhorn. That, friends, is a scary sight. Texas' starting five can play with anyone in the country, but we are seriously hurting in terms of bench contribution. Depth is an integral component to a successful run deep into March, so here's hoping Ricky B can develop that young talent sooner rather than later so that those kids are poised to play serious minutes this season.

One final thought: watch on Dec. 29 for the first day of Post-Football Basketball Season, when most Texas fans will finally turn their (our) full attention to roundball. Turn on the TV at 11 AM CDT, tune it to ESPN2, and watch the basketball Horns take on another solid (albeit less solid) Big Ten opponent in Wisconsin. The Badgers' only two losses this season are to highly-ranked Duke and Marquette.

December 19, 2007

40AS Guide to the Bowl Season: Part I

Many people are going to give you a lot of baloney with their "analysis" of which bowls you should watch and why. We, on the other hand, will give you exactly what you want: a ridiculously brief synopsis of each bowl game, including each game's big storylines, players to watch for, and why you should (or shouldn't) watch--all provided in the form of comparing each game to a characteror reference from popular TV or movies. This way you can not waste your valuable time but know what to watch. Here you go (our comments in bold and italics)...

San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia
Utah vs. Navy
Popeye: Because he's a sailor-man, and we're pulling for Navy. Obviously.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Memphis vs. Florida Atlantic
"Sports Night:" This may, in the end, turn out to be a very entertaining and close game. But it won't matter, because no one will be watching. Including people in Memphis, who will be too busy getting pumped for the upcoming roundball showdown with the Hoyas. Bowl
Southern Miss vs. Cincinnati
The Noid -- This is the closest we're going to come to a Bowl.

New Mexico
Nevada vs. New Mexico
Rob Schneider is "The Carrot" -- Da Derp Dee Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb

Pioneer Las Vegas
Gary -- Dum-dum-dum-dum-dum

Sheraton Hawaii
Boise State vs. East Carolina
Steve the Pirate: In "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," the good guy underdogs beat the bad guy favorites in the final showdown. Just like the good guy Broncs beat the sooners last year. Also, East Carolina is the Pirates. This one is airtight.

Motor City
Purdue vs. Central Michigan
Pete from "Rudy": There is a scene early in the movie when young Pete requests that the TV be switched to watch some of the Indiana-Purdue game at halftime of the Notre Dame game. He is told that is not a possibility because "we only watch one team in this house." Listen up, Ruettiger family: either broaden your horizons, or your college football watching is over until next season.

Pacific Life Holiday
Arizona State vs. Texas
George from "Seinfeld:" You know that George is a terrible person, and you shouldn't care if his life sucks. But somehow, you always pull for him to do well. We know we ought not to care so much about this game, but...well, we have a disease.

December 16, 2007

Caption Contest

" Rrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"
Back by popular demand is the 40AS Caption Contest. Remember, use the comment feature to add your caption. Winner will get a crappy prize...probably.

December 15, 2007

Deconstructing the Mitchell Report

We know that much of the media has been waiting for our response to accurately frame the Mitchell Report's identification of NINE Yankees who 'roided. The most shocking revelation from the report, however, was easily that Nationals outfielder Nook Logan appeared on the list. Talk about destroying our trust in the game.

Other than Logan, the biggest revelation of the Mitchell Report was clearly Roger Clemens. Many are already claiming that Clemens' 1998 season with the Blue Jays is tarnished, and it seems to reason that so is everything that followed. The thing with steroids is that they don't just improve a players' ability to hit or pitch, they also enable a player to play longer and more often than somebody of his age should be able. That explains Clemens and Bonds, who combined remarkable skill with steroids to smash conventional wisdom of what a player should be able to do.

Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens would have made the Hall of Fame without steroids, but would Clemens and Bonds have been considered the greatest players at their respective position had they not have had amazing seasons late in their careers which can be attributed to cheating? Had Roger's career diminished after Boston as it is now (and as one can assess it may have without steroids), he would have probably struggled to hit 300 wins and probably would not have had a title. Had Barry Bonds not taken steroids he probably never hits 73 home runs and his career would likely have been done several years ago.

The Mitchell Report clearly is not perfect, but it forces issues to the realm of public debate that have never been debated before with names being mentioned. As more players admit to steroid use, baseball will be able to move on past this ugly era and focus on the fact that the Boston Red Sox are World Champions.

December 12, 2007

Toddling Descendant of American Legend Murders Innocent Caniform for Fun

Editor's note: in an effort to improve the quality of our comments, we have given jbrater a different forum to exhaust his opinions. So, without further ado, here's jbrater:

Eat your heart out, Ralphie
I will try my best not to make fun of the South in this post.
So i'm enjoying my afternoon caffeine fix when this doozy comes my way via the good 'ole series of tubes we call the internets.
My initial reactions:

- Wow.
- WTF?
- Colbert would absolutely go to town on this one. This had to happen during the writers' strike!?!

Fight on, young soldier of liberty, fight on.
- Aside from being stupid, I think this story is kind of emblematic of the way our culture interacts with a mythologized version of our past. The legend of Davy Crockett killing the bear, as I recall it, is more or less a story of incredible resiliency and survival, displayed at a very young age, in the new frontier. The story was almost definitely apocryphal, (notably reminiscent of the myth of Hercules strangling snakes as a baby) but it was a nice symbol of the strength and vision of our then-nascent society. This, on the other hand, is a kid hiding in a tree with a marvel of modern technology, a hunting rifle with a scope, shooting a big dumb animal that was most likely looking for some berries or insects to eat, completely oblivious and indifferent to said kid's existence. The kid's aim is impressive, but the fact the bear was "10 times his size" isn't really relevant here, is it?

Note: this isn't meant to be an indictment of hunting. I don't really have a problem with hunting. Just saying...

- It would seem, based on the interviewees, that the Crockett family has suffered some... degradation... over the last 10 generations.

"I was up in the stand and I seen the bear," Tre Merritt said. "It came from the thicket and it was beside the road and I shot it."
But then again, this is a five-year-old. I'm sure by the time he grows up his command of the English language will have improved, just like his grandfa...

"His 10th great-grandfather was Davy Crockett," Mike Merritt said. "And Davy supposedly killed him a bear when he was three. And Tre is five and really killed a bear. I really doubt if Davy killed one when he was three."

Never mind.

December 11, 2007

TJ Ford Injured in Atlanta

TJ taken off the court on a stretcher following a late fourth quarter flagarant foul by Atlanta rookie Al Horford. You can watch the video on the ESPN link. Gutwrenching and sad...get well TJ!

Things that make ya go 'hmmmmm'...

Who would have thought that Olindo Mare would turn out to be one of the better free agent acquisition of the offseason? Think about it for a second...
Eric Johnson just dropped a TD pass and really hasn't done much.
Robert Meachem has not played a down.
We can't spell Kaesviharn.
Jason. David.

Amongst that group, Mare doesn't look so bad. Obviously David Patten (31 catches, 505 yards) was a great signing, and Johnson (42 catches) has been an alright target for Brees. The point remains, however, that a good offseason (Brees, Bush, Colston, Faine, Evans, Harper, Hollis Thomas, Fujita, etc.) is the difference between 2006 and 2007. As Bill Simmons pointed out last year: "One smart free agent signing (Brees), one smart coaching hire (Sean Payton), one blue-chip pick (Bush) and one lucky late-round pick (Colston) and suddenly you're a playoff team."

Oh, and Payton...the Henderson reverse to start the Falcons game?


December 10, 2007

Assessing the Horns

We're now 9 games into the 2007-2008 basketball and we can only imagine how good this team would be if Rick Barnes could coach (note: kidding). This start is clearly better than any Texas basketball team we've ever followed, so we thought it would be fun to compare the '07-'08 Horns to our favorite Texas basketball team.

DJ Augustin vs. TJ Ford:
This is by far the most difficult comparison. Both are fantastic point guards, but in different ways. As quick as DJ is, he doesn't hold a candle to TJ in that regard. DJ has a better jump shot and can has a pretty three-point shot unlike TJ. We also feel that TJ's leadership is the intangible that puts him on top, for now. Edge: TJ Ford.

Damion James vs. James Thomas:
The James Thomas of 2002-2003 was a beast on the glass, had a serviceable jump shot, and knew how to put it in the hoop near the rim. Damion James is a year younger, less a beast on the glass, a sweeter jump shot, nearly as much skill around the rim, and a FAR better free throw shooter. Considering the rebounding, we'll give a slight overall nod to the man from zip code 12345. Edge: James Thomas.

Justin Mason vs. Royal Ivey:
Both wear #24, both do many things well but nothing particularly excellent, and both are shutdown defenders. Given his skills as a defender and experience, however, it's hard to place Mason over Royale with cheese. Edge: Royal Ivey.

Connor Atchley vs. Jason Klotz/Brian Boddicker:
What was your first thought when Connor got the ball at the top of the key against UCLA with Texas down 61-58? Don't be ashamed to admit it was: "shoot it, Connor!" Connor has become a major asset to this team that Jason Klotz never was in 2002-2003. With the exception of his hook in the lane to put OU away during the home win (the only time we ever rushed the court, awesome moment), Jason Klotz really didn't do a ton. Brian Boddicker had his moments but seems to not have quite the same inside presence as Connor. Edge: Connor Atchley.

Alexis Wangmene vs. Brad Buckman:
The two freshmen seem to be having a very similar impact on their respective basketball teams. They average similar minutes (~15 minutes per game), and both are having significant albeit somewhat limited impacts on the offensive end and in rebounding. Buckman is probably a little further along than Wangmene at this point, but for all intents and purposes they're about even. Edge: None.

AJ Abrams vs. Brandon Mouton:
The two are virtually nothing alike, but since the Mason/Ivey comparison had to be made, we're stuck comparing AJ and MOOOOO-ton. AJ is such a unique offensive talent that he doesn't really compare to anybody on the 02-03 team, but there isn't a Mouton on the 07-08 team either. AJ has added considerably to his game and is much more of an overall offensive threat than he has ever been, but his size is still a liability on the defensive end. Mouton was the jack-of-all-trades for the Horns, able to score and defend as well as anybody on the team. Brandon led the team in scoring 7 of the last 14 games, including 27 against UCONN and 25 against Syracuse. In all, neither player really has a counterpart. Edge: Brandon Mouton.

Dexter Pittman and Clint Chapman vs. Sydmill Harris and Deginald Erskin:
Big Dex and Clint Chapman compare favorably with what Sydmill and Deginald brought to the table. Sydmill was never the three-point specialist that he was made out to be, and circumstances prevented Deginald from really contributing once the season got going. Pittman and Chapman are likely to see significant improvement over the course of the year and could be contributing solid minutes off the bench by tourney time. Edge: Dexter Pittman and Clint Chapman.

Harrison Smith vs. Kenton Paulino and Terrell Ross:
If the 07-08 Horns have a real weakness it is the lack of backup point guard play. Should DJ get in foul trouble, Texas may have trouble running its offense. KP didn't really produce much his freshman year, and Terrell Ross is best known for not screwing things up during the scariest five minutes of our Texas basketball watching career following TJ picking up his fourth foul against UCONN. We had confidence that things would not go immediately and completely to hell without TJ. Harrison Smith...not so much. Edge: Kenton Paulino and Terrell Ross.

JD Lewis vs. Chris Ogden:
It is the O-Zone. Edge: Chris Ogden.

Ian Mooney vs. Drew Gressett:
Please. Edge: Drew Gressett.

Why the 02-03 Horns:
One word -- experience. The 02-03 Horns lost 4 of its first 18 games before winning 7 of the next 8. The Horns as we remember them, that team that went to the Final Four, was born during this stretch. It was here that this became the team we know and love, including the biggest regular season win we've ever experienced (at OU). The 02-03 Horns played great defense, could score when they needed to, and the best player in the country. Considering that the 02-03 Horns had significantly more experience and we know they were a Final Four team, it's hard to even think that the 07-08 Horns can compare.

Why the 07-08 Horns:
Had we compared the first nine games of the 02-03 Horns (7-2) to the 07-08's first nine games, we would have to say that this year's team is better. Two wins over top ten teams, including the biggest regular season win since ruining Hollis Price's senior night. This Texas team doesn't defend as well but is more potent offensively and has already shown it can play with (and beat) any team in the country. Should this team finish its non-conference schedule strongly and have a strong conference record, a #1 seed is certainly not out of the question.

The Final Comparison:
The 2002-2003 Horns have our edge with four of five starters and most of the bench. Considering it had more experience and played better defense, the 2002-2003 Horns have the overall edge...for now, but we feel these Horns can accomplish just as much.

December 9, 2007

You + Me = We

That's right, we're back together again. We just wanted to let you know, and to get jbrater's post off the top of the blog. We'll be back later this week with posts about basketball, football, and everything in between.

December 5, 2007


(Editor's note: we welcome back occasional guest columnist and regular commenter jbrater with a word on why his Detroit Tigers may now compete for the right to lose to your defending world champion Boston Red Sox in the ALCS in 2008)

Hannukah came early this year! Wait, actually, it came right on time.
We interrupt this regularly scheduled reality to bring you a world in which the Detroit Tigers control all human life.

It started innocently enough, when Jim Leyland, if rumors are to be believed, walked into the Marlins office in Nashville and said "We want Cabrera." Anybody who knows anybody who knows anything about Jim Leyland knows that if Jimmy Leyland says he wants something, odds are Jimmy Leyland is gonna get said thing.

Leyland gets what leyland wants

I, like most of the at-that-time-still-in-tact universe, was not, however, aware of this exchange, and so I assumed the the rumors trickling out about a cabrera/Willis for Miller/Maybin + whatever remains of the Tigers Farm System was little more than the Tigers pulling a Steinbrenner and getting involved in negotions to drive up the price for the White Sox or Angels.
Well... turns our there was a little more to it than that. The deal is done. The Tigers are unstoppable.

Now although the Red Sox don't usually receive much attention in major media outlets, some may speculate that the world series champs plus Santana make a pretty freaking formidable squad. They are correct.
And now... look at this lineup:
1) Granderson - CF
2) Polanco - 2B
3) Cabrera - 3B
4) Sheffield - DH
5) Ordonez - RF
6) Guillen - 1B
7) Renteria - SS
8) Jones - LF
9) Rodriguez - C

Right now I'm seriously considering drafting those guys as my fantasy team. The problem is, I wouldn't be able to, because at least 6 of them would go in the first two rounds. This is a lineup with 7 all-stars, 1 future all star, and Jacque Jones. This lineup will shatter every offensive record in the books.

I haven't witnessed pandemonium like this since ridiculous day at the deli... when prices were so low, it was ridiculous.

This, ladies and gentleman, is the beast of the apocalpyse. Call Batman. Get Beowulf. Dial up Chuck Norris. We're gonna need a bigger boat.

Imagine a word in which the Detroit Tigers control everything. A word in which a shadowy entity controls all life, and to step out of line is to perish. A dystopian realm of misery and madness.
Big brother is watching you
What's the name of that story, again?
It's coming to me...

It's coming to me...

Oh yeah.


December 3, 2007

Some More Points

A few thoughts from the world of sports:
  • Pats in another tight game that they'll probably end up winning. That's two straight games that the Pats haven't looked like world beaters. Like I said earlier, going 0-16 (Dolphins) is harder than going undefeated (Dolphins).
  • John Clayton called 'The Play' the worst call he's seen in 30 years. Still too painful to read, but it's ironic that the Saints scored a TD on that same play on the Monday Nighter last year (if you don't know what I'm referring to you aren't a Saints fan). Yep. That's right. I've never seen a call like that before. It was just as bad as Tim Couch's hailmary for the Browns first win in 1999, the missed XP after the miraculous TD against the Jags in 2003, and the Vikings fumbling the snap on a two-point conversion and still running it for the winning score in 2002.
  • It wasn't exactly Texas ruining OU's Senior Day in 2003 (Hollis Price's only home loss), but we're 24 hours later and the win over UCLA seems like the biggest regular season win since that game.
  • The Michigan State game in less than three weeks could be the third game against a top ten team this season.
  • Damion James won Big XII Player of the Week this week, the second straight for a Longhorn.
  • Finally, Michigan lost to Harvard, (insert obligatory Appy State joke here). The best part of the whole story: Harvard is coached by Tommy Amaker who was fired by Michigan in March.

December 2, 2007

#8 Texas 63, #2 UCLA 61

Thus ends the weekend. What a win! DJ Augustin was the best player on the court, Damion James was the player we all hoped he would become, Justin Mason made some plays, AJ Abrams hit a couple of big shots, and Connor Atchley(!) hit the biggest shot of the season to tie the game up at 61. When (we hear it's when, not if) this team gets Gary Johnson, the Horns could become scary good. #2 UCLA was the highest ranked team Texas has ever beaten in a true road game and is the second top ten team to feel the wrath of Barnes. It'll be interesting to see where the Horns, with the best resume in the nation, are ranked this week.

Texas returns to action on Wednesday against North Texas in Austin before meeting Rice in Houston on Saturday.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Saints Style

You're up by three points. There is 3:36 left in the game and your opponent only has one timeout left. You have the ball at midfield. Second and ten. You have all the momentum, are averaging 8 yards per pass attempt, and 4 yards per rush attempt. Do you:

A) Run the ball up the middle twice, hoping to get a first but knowing that you can pin the opponent deep in their territory late

B) Run it once and throw it once, hoping to run a little time off the clock but thinking you've got a good chance to pick up the first down and end the game

C) Throw it twice, knowing that you have a smart quarterback and a good chance to pick up the game and the win

D) Run a shotgun draw, reverse pitch the wide receiver involving two players with sketchy hands and a penchant for coughing it up.

Yea, we'd do option D too. At least you've gotta give credit to Sean Payton...for admitting that this was the worst game he's called as the Saints coach. Actually, that's pretty much all I wanted to hear.

In other news, BCS is about to be announced, the guess is LSU vs. Ohio State, Texas is Holiday Bowl bound, and the Horns are about to square off in basketball against UCLA in a huge early season test. Should be fun.

December 1, 2007

The Kase for Kansas

Quick, name the BCS teams that had only one conference loss this season. There are three: Ohio State, Virginia Tech, and Kansas. Ohio State is in the title game, Virginia Tech is unlikely to make it because of a bad loss to LSU, and Kansas is about to get screwed.

We can all agree that all things being equal, a team that wins its conference should be ranked ahead of a team that does not. We can also all agree that if Team A beats Team B then Team A should be ranked ahead of Team B. So why should KU get in ahead of everybody else? The answer is easy, all things are not equal.

A few things to say first about this season.

A lot of media folks are going to say that every team other than the team chosen for the #2 spot is getting screwed. The reality is that only KU is going to get screwed. No team "deserves" the #2 spot. In college football, when you lose two games, you have no argument that your team should be in the national championship game. None. Whatsoever.

The fact of the matter is that KU has one loss to a top five team at a neutral site by eight points. No two-loss team can compete with that. Considering that KU did not get the chance to play for its conference title because it plays in one of two divisions in all of college football where 7-1 did not get it done, it becomes even harder to defend the "not a conference champion" argument.

Finally, other than the conference champion argument, there is the schedule argument. Kansas quite clearly played a cupcake schedule. But the thing about this season is that everybody sucked. The media is going to talk about how KU didn't beat anybody, and it's true. But nobody beat anybody. LSU, who probably played among the toughest schedule in the country, only beat two teams with fewer than four losses, and one with fewer than three. Not exactly your typically tough SEC schedule.

The media will gripe about how this year finally proves that a playoff is needed. The truth, however, is that it is only their idiocy that will prevent the true deserving #2 team from getting to New Orleans. Ohio State clearly deserves to go. Virginia Tech has a 41-point loss on its schedule. UGA has an ugly 21 point loss on the books and did not win its conference. USC lost to Stanford. Nothing needs to be said about Mizzou and WVU. Screw OU. Appy State has losses to Georgia Southern and Wofford.

The point is, nobody really deserves the #2 spot, but KU doesn't not deserve it most.