Gabriel's Horn

A terribly biased view of sports through the Eyes of Texas.

Archive for the ‘meat and taters’ Category

Number 2 and Falling

Posted by burntorangehulk on November 20, 2007

Editor’s Note: This week we welcome back an old friend now under the name Burnt Orange Hulk. BOH graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in advertising. He is currently making the world a better place. What the f*** are you doing?

As we approach the last week of the regular season, enjoy his breakdown of #2 Kansas and join us in hoping to see more insightful, if angry, commentary from one of our favorite Texas Exes.
–txhny

The Kansas football team makes the grade on the field the same way every great football team does in the classroom – with a high school caliber schedule. Taking a look at the teams Kansas steamrolled on its way to the top, you’ll find 75 losses. Multiply that by 1 Div – IAA, 2 MAC’s and a Sun Belt and you have a recipe for hype. Kansas must have hired a great resume writer because they are essentially a community college GPA padder being considered for an executive position. We’ll see if they can write a decent cover letter on Saturday against Missouri. If it’s impressive, they’ll get the final interview against the leader of the Big XII South. Assuming Kansas can sweet talk its way into the corner office, an Ivy League graduate will be waiting to show off the fruits of an expensive education… in his own backyard. Don’t expect this one to end like Pursuit of Happiness. The Rubik’s Cube might be difficult, but it doesn’t hit back.

Giving credit where credit is due – Mangino is a fantastic coach. He orchestrated an Oklahoma offense in 2000 that made a statement against Texas and went on to crush everything in its path. At the time, coaches snubbed Quentin Griffin before he strolled through the Texas D-line on his way to a game winning touchdown against Florida State for the National Title. This year the Big XII passed on another Texas player under Mangino’s enormous belt, who’s been passing on them ever since. As a resident of the Lake Travis area, my family enjoyed watching Reesing throw in high school. He’s a stellar athlete who learned from an incredible coach. Scouts – take notes from Mangino because the best from Lake Travis has yet to come. While Kansas’s schedule is weaker than Mangino’s metabolism, he sweats out every ounce of performance his players have to offer and that’s the sign of a great coach.

The “Opponents”


Florida International
– Well, they’re perfect at losing coming in at 10 and counting, allowing 395 points. Don’t give up yet, Kansas is just getting started.

Central Michigan
– A more respectable record with 5 losses, but wins only over teams with roughly 8 losses. I wouldn’t go reaching for the Gatorade cooler.

SE Louisiana
– Stumbling to 8 losses, barely beating a winless S F Austin, and allowing 45 points against 7 loss Div I-A Texas State.

Toledo
– They carry 6 losses and have allowed 433 points to date.

Kansas State
– A squeaker win for KU against a 6 loss team that lost to the worst of the Big XII. Yes, they beat Texas in a freak show of Texas turnovers and return fiesta, but accomplished nothing more. Not to mention they allowed the train-wreck that is Nebraska to put up 73 points.

Baylor
– 9 losses, allowed 444 points, Coach fired. We really don’t need to get more in depth than that.

Colorado
– Another squeaker against a 6 loss team with its only legit win coming over OU. And OU sucks! (Ahem… TECH.)

aTm
– 5 losses with wins over a pathetic schedule of certified losers who scrape the bottom of the barrel for opponents. Coach soon to be fired.

Nebraska
– Don’t even call this experiment by the name Nebraska. Nebraska is a team I love to fear and share a cold one with. This thing I call Nebifornia has 6 losses and no resemblance of Nebraska football. Luckily for Callahan, the fans in that stadium are too classy to boo him off the field every week. The 76 points Kansas put up was impressive, but Nebifornia seems to have abandoned the concept of defense. Coach soon to be fired.

Oklahoma State
– Maybe the only quality win for the Jayhawks all season. A team with the most respectable, 5 loss, schedule. OSU is an inconsistent team with scattered talent that has a historical inability to finish games versus anyone besides OU (and they’re going to beat OU)! Coach Gundy, I don’t give a damn how old you are. I’m 26, and I’m talking shit about your team!

Iowa State
– What can we say about this 9 loss Baylor of the Big XII North? Well, they opened the season by falling to 8 loss Kent State. Even the Texas offense, in its struggle to establish a post-Vince game plan, kicked this team around like a rusty can in the gutter.

Missouri
– Consistent offense and highly capable defense. They stifled high flying Tech, and kept it interesting against a healthy OU. If Kansas can take down the Tigers, not to mention convincingly, I will be impressed. This is definitely the match up I didn’t expect to stay awake through.

The Key Question:
Is Kansas a vastly improved football team emerging from the shadow of the basketball stadium, which deserves kudos from a conference full of teams that haven’t pulled their own weight in recent years? YES. Is Kansas the number 2 team in the nation? NO.

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Posted in Big 12, burntorangehulk, Kansas, meat and taters | 2 Comments »

Meet The Opponent – Texas Tech

Posted by TxHny on November 9, 2007

 

This week we have a battle of the interior against our fellow Texans at Tech. I always look forward to playing Tech, especially when they are in Austin. Those Tech sonsabetches drink like fish when they get into a wet city, which usually provides entertainment for us local folks.

But on to what you are interested in – who is going to win the game this weekend and why? There are some Longhorn fans (one in particular, who I had a rather long GChat ‘discussion’ with regarding most of the following) who think Texas is going to lose this weekend. The argument:

 

  • Tech has the number 1 passer in the nation.
  • Tech has the number 1 and 4 of the top ten receivers in the nation.
  • Texas has some pretty significant injuries.
  • Texas has a less than stellar pass defense.
  • Tech does have a “weak” run defense, but less than half of Texas’ yards are rush yards.
  • Tech has the No. 7 pass defense in the nation.
    • Oh, and the best we’ve played are the Number 56 and 57 pass defenses. (OU and KState)
  • Texas’ top rushers are:
    • Jamaal Charles (awesome.)
    • Colt McCoy (really?)
    • Vondrell McGee (if only he could get more plays…)
    • John Chiles (WTF!?)
  • Texas has corners that are around 5’10, and they have receivers that are 6’2.

If you look at it that way, it looks like perhaps he has a point. This doesn’t bode well for Texas. We’ve got one key rusher and we’re facing the best past defense in the nation. That makes it tough for us to get points on the board. On the other side, as far as defending this air bombardment, there is a reason I didn’t list our pass defense’s rank. (Just comfort yourself in knowing that it is better than Texas A&M’s.) Who cares about our rush defense – Tech isn’t going to run it.

However, I still think the Longhorns will come out on top this year. Why? I’m so glad you asked.

The big, big reason I believe this is because of Tech’s current record. They have 6 big games this year. They’ve got two left with Texas and Oklahoma to finish out the end of the season. The other four ‘big’ games were Colorado, Mizzou, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M. Three losses and a W against Fran&Co. So who exactly has Tech been smacking around with the air attack and pass defense? I give you the list of Tech’s prestigious wins this season: SMU, UTEP, Rice, Northwestern State, Iowa State, and Baylor.

Don’t get me wrong, Texas certainly hasn’t played a list of powerhouses, but I think our schedule is stronger than Tech’s. If we had that same schedule, I think our numbers would be a bit different.

A closer look….

OFFENSE

Passing – Advantage: TEXAS TECH

This is certainly Texas Tech’s strong point. Gimmick offense it may be, however, it is working for them. Graham Harrell has put up 4412 yards, completing 73.5% of his passes. Yes friends, that is 441 yards per game in the air. Harrell has several options, but hooks up most frequently with 5 WRs led by the kingpin, Michael Crabtree. Crabtree has 1512 yards this season, averaging 150 yards a game. Amendola is close behind with 1014 yards, at 100 yards a game. The rest is split between Eric Morris, Edward Britton and Grant Walker, who collectively have less yards than Crabtree.

Texas on the other hand splits the offense a little more evenly between passing and rushing. Colt McCoy has completed 65.6% of passes for 2632 yards, that’s 260 per game. Colt connects primarily with Nate Jones, Quan Cosby and Jermichael Finley (628, 519, and 500 yards respectively.)

However, to make things a little more even, the Masked Wino has done an excellent comparison of situations in similar games.

Passing Yards (Texas/Tech)

Rice 333/481
Iowa State 298/460
Oklahoma State 282/646
Baylor 293/490

TOTAL 1206/2077
ADVANTAGE: TECH

You’ll see here that Tech certainly has more yards on us for similar opponents.

Rushing – Advantage: Texas

Tech’s top three rushers garner a measly 725 yards (Shannon Woods, Koby Lewis, and Aaron Crawford). Texas on the other hand has many more rushing weapons, led by Jamaal Charles with 1192 yards. The top 5 rushers for the Longhorns have 1959 yards this season. Take a look at the head to head comparison provided by TMW.

Rushing Yards (Texas/Tech)

Rice 227/111
Iowa State 216/29
Oklahoma State 307/72
Baylor 177/73

TOTAL: 927/285
ADVANTAGE: Texas

Texas seriously outnumbers Tech in this department, which should come as no surprise to you.

Offensive Summary, Advantage: Texas Tech

So as far as offense, Texas is half and half and Tech is the airball. If we look at the head to head chart (for similar games of course), Tech has the advantage – but not by much.

Total Offense (Texas/Tech)

Rice 560/592
Iowa State 514/489
Oklahoma State 589/718
Baylor 470/563

TOTAL: 2133/2362
ADVANTAGE: TECH

Additionally, first downs are very important, and Texas Tech takes that cake as well, again by very little. I think that means that this will be a defensive battle. Who can hold who to less yards?

DEFENSE

Pass Defense – Advantage, Texas Tech

Briefly, Texas has some issues to overcome on defense – but I have been pleased with our growth this year. Is it where I’d like us to be at this point in the season? No, but progress is progress. Does this little discussion here mean I think we have the best defense in the world, no it doesn’t, but I do think it has what it takes to beat Texas Tech.

Tech has allowed 1783 yards on the pass, that’s 178 yards per game. That is a low number. We split our offense, and we have 260 per game. Texas on the other hand has allowed almost 250 yards per game. Again, the Texas D has some issues. However, when we take a closer look at TMW’s chart, it doesn’t look nearly so lopsided.

Opponents’ Passing Yards (Texas/Tech)

Rice 279/212
Iowa State 135/187
Oklahoma State 430/244
Baylor 284/191

TOTAL: 1128/834
ADVANTAGE: TECH

Rush Defense – Advantage: Texas

On the rush, Tech has held opponents to 1663 yards this season. Nearly half of those yards came during the three losses this season. (Hence, my other key point: the rush is the key to beating Texas Tech.)

Texas held opponents to only 1011 yards. Two teams were held to less than 10 yards (Rice being -11.)

For the head to head on similar opponents, Texas’ strength on defending the rush becomes clearer.

Opponents’ Rushing Yards (Texas/Tech)

Rice -11/99
Iowa State 93/100
Oklahoma state 164/366
Baylor 8/91

TOTAL: 254/656
ADVANTAGE: TEXAS

Defensive Summary, Advantage: Texas

Opponents’ Total Offense (Texas/Tech)

Rice 268/311
Iowa State 228/287
Oklahoma State 594/610
Baylor 292/282

TOTAL: 1382/1490
ADVANTAGE: TEXAS

Opponents’ First Downs (Texas/Tech)

Rice 17/25
Iowa State 14/17
Oklahoma State 29/29 Baylor 19/21

TOTAL: 79/92
ADVANTAGE: TEXAS

On total defense, Texas has the clear advantage holding the same opponents to less first downs and less total offense. Texas Tech does have a primarily pass offense, but without a solid rushing threat they will have trouble exploiting our defense. Pass defense may be our weakest point, but Texas has a rush/pass offense that Tech may have trouble defending. This isn’t our first rodeo with Tech, and you can bet that we’ll be ready.

OVERALL SUMMARY

Texas will win this game. We have the overall defensive advantage and a serious weapon in Jamaal Charles. The rushing attack is the key to beating Texas Tech.

Texas also has the X-factor and the home field advantage. It causes me near cardiac arrest every game, but even if we are down at halftime we will make adjustments and we will come back and win.

Texas Keys To Winning This Game:

-Pressure pressure pressure on Harrell.
-Make them earn all offensive yards, so no broken tackles. After the first hit, our opponents usually eek out another 3-4 yards until another defender jumps in.
-Rush, rush, pass pass. Wear out their pass defense and expose their joke of a rush defense.
-Colt, we normally give you two credits per game for interceptions, fumbles etc. I’m going to have to ask you to not do that at all, okay?

Credit, thanks, etc:
http://www.mackbrown-texasfootball.com
texastech.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/text-m-footbl-body.html
http://www.cfbstats.com

Posted in Big 12, meat and taters, Meet The Opponent, texas tech, themaskedwino, txhny | 2 Comments »

Meet the Opponent Returns – Oklahoma State

Posted by TxHny on November 2, 2007

 

Dear Horn readers, sorry for the lack of content. Back firing on all cylinders – much the way I hope our team is this Saturday.

(Oh and side news – I got a new Mac computer. Bow down, Dell!)

Up on the slate – Oklahoma State Cowpeople. As others have noted, Texas is not exactly out of a BCS bowl. There are several, albeit remote, possibilities that would see Texas in a bowl game. I’d love to see those play out, but they rely heavily on 1) our ability to win out and 2) chance, luck and the complexities of rolling a twenty sided die. (Yes. That is a D&D reference. You like it.)

wet-hot-20-sided-die.jpg
“No dungeon master worth his weight in geldings would go anywhere without his… 20-sided die!”

I guess that is getting a bit ahead of ourselves, for now let’s take a more in depth look at Okie Light.

This year OSU has had three losses: Georgia, Texas A&M, and the roughest for the Cowboys – the less than Trojan-like team from Troy University. Georgia and A&M aren’t exactly cupcakes – but losses there didn’t really help them out. Alternatively, they did beat K-State, Nebraska (by 31 points) and Texas Tech. The big factor in this game on Saturday? Who shows up. Will it be “the same OSU team that played Troy” vs. “the Texas from last week’s 4th quarter” — or will it be “the OSU that trounced Nebraska” vs. “the Texas that was 10-7 with Baylor for large parts of the game”?

(Credit where it is due. This post not possible without the help of ESPN and cfbstats.com)

OFFENSE

Rushing – Okie Light
Right now Okie Light is rushing an average of 256.63 yards per game, led by Senior RB Dantrell Savage. (A little comparison – Texas is averaging 186.67 yards per game led overwhelmingly by Jamaal Charles.)

Passing – Texas

Oklahoma State has 1847 yards, 1300 and change thrown by Sophie QB Zac Robinson. Robinson has completed 56% of his passes for 12 TDs, throwing only 7 interceptions. Comparatively, Colt has thrown 65% of his passes for 15 TDs, 2350 yards and 13 interceptions (OUCH!).

Receiving – Texas

The Pokes have a stable receiving core led by Adarius Bowman (50 Receptions for 802 yards), Brandon Pettigrew (19 Receptions for 362 yards) and Freshman Dez Bryant (15 receptions for 190 yards).

For Texas, Nate Jones and Quan Cosby have been so clutch this year. It certainly hurts not having Sweed out there but these guys have really stepped up. Jones (53 receptions for 585 yards), Cosby (46 receptions for 472 yards) and Finley (30 receptions for 421 yards) have put up a total of 1478 yards trumping OSUs top three recievers.

Offensive Summary:

Texas MUST shut down the Oklahoma State ground game. I won’t show you the painful YouTube clips of UCF running all over us. If we cannot shut them down on the ground, the game could get very, very ugly. Oh, and Texas MUST shut them down in the air. OSU hasn’t gotten much attention this year – but they have the ability to put up significant yards both in the air and on the ground. If we lay over, they will happily march over us.

Texas has the edge in the air – that is if good Colt plays on Saturday.

shady-colt.jpg
Will the real McCoy, please stand up, please stand up.

DEFENSE:

DAMN IT. Kindle out for the season with a “stinger.” I’m getting really sick of all these “stinger” injuries.

Mini-Okies have picked off six from opponents this year, and has allowed 15 passing TDs and 11 rushing TDS. They’ve allowed opponents to rack up 308 yards per game passing and 122.75 yards per game rushing.

Texas has had 11 picks and allowed only 17 TDs (10 passing and 7 rushing). Texas gives up the most yards per game on the pass. (227.6 yards per game, only 94.11 yards per game on the rush.)

OVERALL SUMMARY

1. Our defensive players must step up this week, particularly with the latest stinger injury. Please Killebrew. I’ll take back everything negative I’ve ever said — just please, please shut them down.

2. Oklahoma State is weakest on pass defense. We must make it a point to abuse this. These little two and three yard rushes are not going to cut it.

3. Oklahoma State is beatable, some would even say obviously so. However, as we are in the year of the upset, you can’t count anyone out – particularly someone who has nicely beat two teams, one a Texas loss and the other a Texas struggle. CAN Texas beat them? Hell yes. WILL we beat them? That depends on …

4. Who shows up – easily the most important factor in this game.

Posted in Big 12, Get your act together dammit, meat and taters, Meet The Opponent, Oklahoma State, Texas, txhny | 1 Comment »

Want a Slice?

Posted by TxHny on November 2, 2007

I’ve recently made the argument to friends, colleagues and anyone else that will stand around while I yammer that Texas, Texas A&M and OU cannot all be good at the same time. And like most, I’m sure right now you are saying, “Txhny, but what about the game in ____, when ____ and ____ were both in the top 10 and….” Yeah, I know. I also hear your argument, “but Texas is soooo big. There are so many great players – isn’t there enough to go around?” No. There isn’t. There are only a few dynamite players per year — Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, Cedric Benson, Jamaal Charles, etc. etc.

My point is simple: Texas is awesome and everyone would like some of the sugary Texas pie. However, no matter how tasty and talented, there is only so much to go around. Let me explain.

texas_pie.jpg
Pie a la tacklin’ fuel.

I salute Texas High School football programs (prioritized right above TAKS scores), coaches, robustly funded athletic programs and all the teachers who fudge grades for the greater good of footballdom.

greatergood.jpg
The greater good.

Their work produces finely tuned athletes for both college and professional football, and now with an even butterier crust! And who vies for the largest slices? Texas, Texas A&M and OU. One major talent base, three programs seeking to be a power-house. Whoever gets the biggest slice wins.

“Txhny, you are seriously off your rocker. This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You can’t just pull whatever you want out of your cute white shiny ass and call it logic.”

And you’re right. Gentlemen, I give you numbers, statistics, fancy charts and several hours of my time cursing at Excel.

The method of my madness: Several weeks ago, billyzane of BON fame did an analysis of games 2001-2006 to determine which factors are the best predictors of success in college football games. This article and his other Football by the Numbers pieces are outstanding. You can read this particular one here. To make my point clear, I took the predictors of success identified by billyzane, and then did comparison charts with numbers from Texas, Texas A&M and OU over the span of 9 years. We’re in “year 10” and I’ll do another post or two with predictions and then a final sum up.

rivals-recruiting-rank.gif
(You’ll have to click to see it big, but you can get the gist. Red: OU, Orange: TX, Maroon: TAMU)

This particular factor was not listed by billyzane. And if you hate Rivals – please feel free to take it up with them. This is just what I used as a sort of overall indicator. As you can clearly see, Texas is opposite of OU and Texas A&M.

Next, let’s look at total wins per season. Okay, this is also not a billyzane predictor – but again – just another overall success indicator. What do we care about? Wins! Bowl Games! image002.gif
In particular, look at years 2000, 2003 and 2005. In 2000, OU won the national championship and in 2005, Vince Young won. After 2000, OU sort of evens out. Championships win recruits. Texas was also on the upswing. At this point we see Texas A&M make a pretty significant dip. After 2003, the OU dip in wins coincides with a slight upswing at Texas A&M. (And yes, I realize that this relationship is perhaps affected by the fact that they are all in the Big 12 South. I’m not saying this is perfect, I’m saying it is interesting.)

And on to predictors of success, as defined by billyzane. First up, Net Rush Offense. This chart is actually a bit surprising.image003.gif
It shouldn’t be a huge shock to you that large numbers of rush yards equals success. However, I find it really interesting that in this particular subject all three tend the same. And please note the Cedric Benson/Vince Young factor in 200-2005. Also note the steeeeep drop back to reality in 2006. (A little Texas bragging — in 2004 Ced had 1800 rushing yards by himself, almost as many as Texas A&M had as an entire team.)

Next, let’s look at total offensive yards. Again, shouldn’t be a shocker that this is a big indicator of success. Yards = TDs = wins. image004.gif
Again, look at the areas of huge upswing – OU in 1998, 2001-2003, Texas in 2003-2005. Those are areas of big success for those programs. And they coincide with a big drop for someone else.

First Downs per season is also another good indicator of success. Keep in mind on all of these charts, that the year after is likely quite influenced by the year before.image006.gif

This is a nice chart to illustrate my point.
image007.gif
I couldn’t find statistics for OU in this category – so we’ll this is simplified by comparing only Texas and texas A&M. One goes up, the other comes down.

image010.gif
And total pass offense. Not as in line as the rush offense, but expected since there was a disparity in total offence. However, notice the high peaks and the low peaks.

Anyway – perhaps this doesn’t solidly reinforce my point – but I think it is food for thought. I’m working on getting some other stats as far as number of Texas players per season and working some of that up.

Any approval or dissent regarding the above, discuss in the comments.

-txhny

Posted in Big 12, game observations, meat and taters, Oklahoma, random babble, Texas, Texas A&M, txhny | 3 Comments »

Big XII Roundtable: The Aftermath

Posted by TxHny on October 10, 2007

This week’s roundtable is hosted by Bring on the Cats. Head over to check out the rest of the Big 12 blogger responses.

1. Some teams are coming off a big win or wins (Oklahoma, Colorado, KU, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Missouri), while others are dealing with the sting of a tough loss or losses (K-State, Texas, Nebraska, Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma State). Tell us where your team is headed in the wake of the first two weeks of conference play.

I know you never thought you’d hear me say this after two conference losses (actually, 4 in a row, but who’s counting?) but I’m oddly comfortable with Texas. Sure, we can talk about our troubles, but I don’t think any of them mean you can count the Horns out. (Well. Unless your talking about National Championships or Big XII titles….) We lost the OU game, but it was the first time this season I’ve really been satisfied with our performance. Up next is Iowa State and Baylor — which will be a nice break before Nebraska and Oklahoma State. Then we’ll face Texas Tech and Texas A&M.

The question is — will we win out? I think everyone knows we could. If I was a betting sort of gal (which I am), I’d say we still have one loss coming our way. That being said, I’m not sure if it will be Leach’s pirates, our sheepish friends in College Station or if the Huskers will serve up the loss.

2. Colorado and Texas A&M have emerged as unlikely conference leaders at 2-0 (give yourself a cookie if you predicted that), while preseason darlings Texas (0-2) and Nebraska (1-1 and not playing well) are floundering. Do the current leaders have the wherewithal to make it to San Antonio, or will somebody from elsewhere in the pack overtake them?

I think Texas A&M and Colorado have what it takes to get to San Antonio, but I don’t think they will. Oklahoma is still kind of a big deal. The Colorado game is what it is: an upset. I don’t believe it is an indicator that we should all start doing bows to Colorado or treating Oklahoma like they aren’t going to rip someone a new one given the opportunity. In the North, I wouldn’t count Nebraska and Mizzou out either.

Is Texas A&M the real deal? Eh, tough to say. They’ve only got one loss, and while it looked bad on TV, no shame in losing to Miami. However, they haven’t really beaten anyone significant. I think after this Saturday we’ll see how the Ags measure up. A loss this weekend will be tough because the Ags have a long season ahead.

Enough rambling:

North: Missouri
South: Oklahoma (Sucks).

3. A few weeks ago we did a ranking of the six BCS conferences, with most bloggers picking the Big 12 in the middle of the pack, which would be a big improvement over the last couple years. Have the middle and bottom teams of the conference improved significantly, or have the teams at the top declined significantly? Or is it something else?

“One thing is for sure, Texas is not the same team it was with Vince Young.” You can say that again.

K-State has come a long way, and I’m not just saying that because they beat us twice. Okay, really, I’m saying that because they beat us twice in a row. Even though Texas is not what it was, beating us twice in a row certainly isn’t something a lot of teams have done.

Colorado is markedly better. It was just an upset, but last years Buffs team couldn’t have pulled it against OU.

Missouri has a couple of impressive wins under its belt. Is this team good enough to carry the hype? I’d like to hope so.

Oklahoma State has lost a bit of its former steam. The team isn’t terrible, but I’ll wait before I start throwing around words like “improved”.

Texas Tech is the same ol’ Tech we know and love.

Texas A&M is currently featuring Fran’s last stand. If the Ags win 5 of 6 they’ll be the team Aggies have been desperately awaiting, if he loses 4, 5 or 6 of 6, this will be the straw that broke the sheep’s back and will clearly mark a low for Aggies.

4. Getting waaaaay ahead of ourselves: What if Missouri or KU goes undefeated and wins the Big 12 Championship Game? Would they get a shot at the national championship game?

No. And that is all I have to say about that.

5. Rank the conference teams

1. OU

2. Missouri

3. Nebraska

4. Texas

5. Kansas

6. Colorado

7. KState

8. Texas Tech

9. Texas A&M

10. Oklahoma State

11. Baylor

12. Iowa State

Posted in Big 12, meat and taters, Roundtables, txhny | 6 Comments »

Meet the Opponent: RICE

Posted by TxHny on September 20, 2007

Well Longhorn fans, it is that time of year again. Texas vs. Rice, Saturday 22, 2007 at 6pm.

Why indeed? I always enjoy football, particularly home Texas games. The atmosphere, the tailgating, the Longhorn comradery and the legitimate excuse to pop open a beer before noon. You might not think much of Rice as an opponent but, [Insert my typical, long, drawn-out rant about how playing teams like this can do nothing but hurt us. Win big, win small, lose – doesn’t matter. Still hurts us.] let’s just hope this is another great game enjoyed by all.

Wasn’t that benevolent?

We introduced you to Rice last year by showing you a bit about Owl traditions, but this year we’d like to take a more in-depth look at some Owl statistics for this season.

Rice has played three teams: Nicholls State, Baylor and Texas Tech. All three were losses. Rather than focus on the negative, we’re going to take the stats game by game and walk you through the strengths and improvements of Rice. I didn’t take the time to make my long rant about playing teams like Rice, and I won’t do it here either. However, if Texas wins by only a touchdown or two – things could get very, very ugly come October 6th. If Rice can play their strengths and exploit our weaknesse (which are numerous), they’ll be able to shut us down.

(Credit where it is due. This post not possible without the help of ESPN and cfbstats.com)

OFFENSE

Rushing
Nicholls – 117 yards, Baylor – 110, Texas Tech – 99

What does this mean? This is a fair number of yards. Nicholls and Baylor aren’t exactly powerhouse opponents, but the Owls can make some runs. The average yards per carry over the three games decreased but that makes sense considering the increasing difficulty of opponent.

The rushing is led by C. J. Ugokwe who has picked up 157 yards so far and averages 4 yards per carry. Not much statistical improvement here over the first three games, but again, likely tougher defenses.

Passing
Nicholls – 28 attempts, 11 compl, 101 yards, Baylor – 30, 23, 239, Texas Tech – 38, 20, 212.

What does this mean? Rice has improved over the course, in spite of more challenging opponents in the air. Junior QB Chase Clement is settling in and making more completions. After throwing three INTs against Nicholls, he gave up only one pick against Texas Tech. We can expect Rice to be (or at least try to be) a thorn in the side of the Longhorn pass defense.

Receiving

Leading the receiving corps is Junior WR Jarrett Dillard, followed by Tommy Henderson. Dillard has picked up 244 yards this year and is averaging 14 yards per catch. Add on Dixon and Knox, and the Owls have plenty of receivers to hit.

Offensive Summary:

Texas will face a team with improved offensive play. The Owls offense is balanced, splitting the ground and the air. Texas has given up 974 yards to opponents this year. Needless to say, our defense needs work. Despite the improvement of the Owls and my disapproval of the Longhorn D, I simply don’t think it will be enough to give Rice a ‘W’.

DEFENSE:

The Owls have 4 sacks this year, two against Baylor. On the slightly negative side, Rice has given up 1394 yards to opponents this year. That seems really awful, but 991 of those yards are in the air. With two “pass-first, pass-only” teams (Baylor and Tech), this really isn’t so bad. After all, Graham Harrell’s arm is registered with the U.S. Military as a WMD.

There are some names on the line worth mentioning, and if we continue our current path these guys are going to hit us where it hurts.

Brian Raines, Jr LB, has 14 solo, and 12 assisted tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss. Andres Sendejo, Sophomore DB, has 14 solo tackles himself including 1 tackle for loss. Chris Jones and Brandon King, also DBs, have 11 solo tackles.

OVERALL SUMMARY

The rant I said I wouldn’t make is now finally rearing its ugly head. Rice does not have the assets to beat us, if we play at least as “well” as we have the past three weeks. That said, Longhorn fans want blood. Mostly because our foes want us on the chopping block and this game has the potential to put us there. Eeking out pathetic wins against unranked teams is not making us look good to the rest of football-dom.

We have three choices here:

1) beat Rice by the standard 40 points. Everyone says, so what? It’s Rice. You’ve always beaten them. You’re bigger, stronger, faster, better recruited, have state of the art facilities and the best coaches (arguable, of course) in Texas. We have yet another win against a cupcake that makes our schedule wither in comparison to the likes of the SEC.

2) barely eek out another pathetic win against an unranked team, i.e. Texas wins by a touchdown or two, and kicks a field goal (that’s my-boy Ryan Bailey!) for good measure. Everyone does that stupid clap song “O-VER-RAT-ED – clap clap clap” when we play them. Some of the Texas fans join in. This sentence enters the vocabulary of our opponents: “Well, you know Texas only beat Rice by a touchdown or two, which completely confirms the jeers we were saying after that Arkansas State game.”

3) upset. Normally I’d say never going to happen, but again, Michigan changed everything.

Are any of these good for us? No. No they aren’t. Alright. If you know me personally, I’ve said this 100 times. Now it is officially on the blog. And I promise to never bring it up ever, ever again.

Posted in blog love, Get your act together dammit, meat and taters, Meet The Opponent, Rice, txhny | 2 Comments »

BlogPoll Roundtable – Story Lines Emerge

Posted by TxHny on September 20, 2007

You already have the eloquent, thoughtful responses from our host and fellow Longhorn blogger at BON. If that wasn’t enough (What is wrong with you?), you can read here for the not so eloquent, reasonably well thought out (over a nice post-work Shiner Blonde) answers from a fan of the female persuasion.

1. Handicap your team’s chances to win your conference championship. If your team is not the favorite, who is?

Everyday I have to put up with this smug Sooner co-worker. Normally his pitiful attempt to string sentences together (an exaggeration, he’s actually a fantastic attorney) do nothing but lay the foundation for the Longhorn smack I love to deliver. Lately, I have no retort. No, not even slights about crying children or getting Bomar’d do the trick. And while we’re discussing characters, story lines and the like, write this down: Oklahoma is the Juggernaut, bitch. If OU doesn’t take Big 12 , it is because A) UT is like, “j/k we’ll start playing for real now”or B) Mizzou pulls a fantastic upset.

Plus, if I can’t see Texas and LSU in a game (which I’m not ruling out yet!), I’d like to see Oklahoma and LSU. In addition to the wonderful things I love about Louisiana, I think it would be grand to see victory snatched from Stoopsy-poo twice by LSU. OU may be the Juggernaut, but I think LSU is in the end the better team

2. Outline the (realistic) best case and worst case scenarios for your team.

Best Case: In much the way Aggies wish for Fran, I wish our offensive play calling would continue to suck, we get our asses handed to us by K-State, again and then Ding! Dong! Greg Davis is dead. Or at least fired. Thanks for the help, friend, but don’t let the door hit ya on the way out. You are the weakest link. Goodbye.

Worst Case:
We pull three to five (seven?) more mediocre-performance wins, squeak by Nebraska and OU if God really did bless Texas, I’m hospitalized for heart failure, and we’re still not utilizing our talent or our size, we still think a handoff out of the shotgun is fooling anyone and Greg Davis remains on the coaching staff.


That isn’t very lady like. Or mature. Or any of the things I’d like to be. So I’ll put this on the record:

Best Case: Realistically? Texas obliterates Rice and Kansas State, with momentum beats the Sooners, and coasts through the end of the season. I say coast, not ignoring Nebraska, Texas Tech or Texas A&M. Coast in the way that we play these challenging opponents in an impressive way and use our strengths to win decisively (i.e., our new found amazing defense holds Graham Harrell to 200 yards passing, etc*). I agree that a BCS game is not out of reach, but I won’t be shocked if we end up out of the picture. Maybe this year I’ll actually spend the first part of the year with my family and celebrate my Mom’s birthday with her, rather than calling her completely wasted on my road trip.

Worst Case: We beat Rice by less than two TDs, lose to KState, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. That will make us 7-5 at the end of conference play, with only one win to a then-ranked opponent: TCU. I’ll still be a longhorn fan, and I certainly won’t tear any testicles over it, but it will be one long and terrible off season.

*Sidenote: That kid has like 439 yds/game and 14TDs. Whoa.

3. We’re only three games in to the season, but teams and storylines are starting to take shape. Compare your team to a character or theme from a fable or children’s tale.

Come on?! The three little pigs?! How can I beat that? Sigh…. How about…

London bridge is falling down,
falling down, falling down,
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair Lady.

Or, slightly more creative…

Bobino, Dockery, dock,
We’re almost out of clock.
We barely won,
Our team’s is down
Hickory, dickory, dock.

Not optimistic enough for you?

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe
Catch a Sooner by the toe
If he hollers, its 4th and go!
Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

Out goes one (TCU)
Out goes two (UCF)
Out goes another one (Texas A&M)
And that is you. (Fiesta Bowl!)

(And themaskedwino just got home from Happy Hour(s), and has offered the following. Verbatim.)

“WHeeee!!!!
Little Mister Mack Brown,
Sat on his… something,
Eating his BBQ…and beans,
Along came a Sooner
who tried to spoon her (him)
and frightened Mack Brown away

Wait…you can’t do away, because its ‘beans’….

Along game a Sooner
who tried to spoon her (him)
and so he called him a queen…s!”

little-miss-muffet-nursery-rhymes.jpglittle-miss-muffet-nursery-rhymes.jpg
Who buys this shit?

4. Imagine you’re the coach of your team. Give three specific changes you’d implement immediately which you think would have the biggest impact on improving the team.

1. Fire Greg Davis. Alright, last shot for this post. I’m just bitter. Can you blame me?

1. Experience clearly isn’t working so let’s get some fresh meat in there against Rice to get a few game time downs. We’ve got to get it together before we play OU.

2. Blocking, tackling, aggressive defensive play. We saw a little bit of this against TCU, but overall I’ve been unimpressed. Opponents that aren’t as strong and aren’t as big are breaking two, three, four tackles before we get them down or out. You think Justin Blalock or Derrick Johnson would stand for that? Or more, those big corn fed Huskers? Hell no, motha fu**a! Our blocking is abysmal. Jamaal Charles can run but often he’s out there without a blocker. Why? Why? Aggressive play. Man up. You heard me. Our team just doesn’t look fired up, they don’t look like they want it. I want to see some hits.

3. The screen is not the only option to do an outside run. The handoff from the shotgun isn’t surprising anyone. Let’s see some magic from the offense, okay?

5. USC, LSU/Florida, and Oklahoma have established themselves as the frontrunners in the early going. Which other team or teams are you eyeballing as potential BCS party crashers?

It is very early to make bowl predictions, but what the hell. I’ll admit I haven’t really looked at these folks upcoming schedules so these may be totally improbable- but these are teams, BCS worthy or not, that have certainly caught my eye.

Clemson, Boston College, Alabama, South Carolina and Oregon. The BCS party crashers are more likely Boston College and Oregon, but then again I would have put a grand on Michigan against App State if someone would have been willing. I think the bigger concern for me is not the who, but the what. Even if Texas isn’t one of the games, I’d really like to see some interesting bowl games (i.e. Boise/Oklahoma). I feel like every year I’m all psyched up about the bowl games and they are this huge let down. One team annihilates the other, as expected, or I get so annoyed with the culmination of crap that I’m tempted to watch the South Parks I have saved on my DVR.

Posted in Big 12, blog love, Get your act together dammit, meat and taters, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Roundtables, Texas A&M, txhny | 3 Comments »

Meet The Opponent: Central Florida

Posted by TxHny on September 13, 2007

This week Texas faces the University of Central Florida as their first road opponent of the year. And the treacherous Texas schedule continues. (Sorry if my sarcasm dripped on your keyboard. )

Sarcasm aside, UCF is going to show up ready to play. They shut down NCState in Week 1, and had Week 2 off. As PB notes, experience is UCF’s biggest asset.

Texas looked significantly stronger and more organized in the second half of the TCU game. Arkansas State and, surprisingly, TCU let us get away with sloppy, lackluster play for 6 quarters. UCF will not be so forgiving. Coach O’Leary is no stranger to wins, and the Knights can and will capitalize on the mistakes and weaknesses of the Longhorns.

In particular, watch out for Kevin Smith (no, not one of my favorite Ex-Cowboys and Ex-Mustangs). The Junior Golden Knight racked up 217 yards against the Wolf Pack, with 6.2 yards per carry. Check out this 80-yard run:

And, an amateur clip from the NC State Game. Oh, and one very excited fan.

For those of you hitting the road, good luck.

Posted in Central Florida, meat and taters, Meet The Opponent, txhny | Leave a Comment »

No more cupcakes, please. I’m full.

Posted by RubyLynn on September 7, 2007

Well, if the Horns were going to have a mediocre week, this was the week to do it. The media almost forgot all about our dismal performance against the piglets, thanks to Michigan. (We won’t dwell on that here, we’re still trying to get HOT HOT HOT!! out of our heads.)

If Arkansas State was a joke, well then TCU is a heart attack. ESPN is calling this a battle between the two best teams in Texas. That may or may not be, but in front of us lies two paths…

We could a) get our asses handed to us by TCU and become the Big 12 joke o’ the week and join Michigan (while on a slightly higher sludge covered toadstool) in the trenches fighting for our good name the rest of the season.

fuck-you-charlie-brown.gif
Son of a bitch.

Or b) We could hope the depth chart shuffle and having Week 1 under our belts will make the difference. We beat TCU, an actual ranked team with a decisive win. With a chance to play a more than worthy opponent and the confidence of a win, we could head towards the rest of the season with purpose and conviction.

prepare-to-die.jpg
Prepare to die.

What will the ‘Horns face this Saturday?

The ‘Horns will walk into DKR to face a team that is 5-0 in Big 12 play. That is pretty impressive, even considering two of those five are Baylor.

We’re going to go over some high points on the Horned Frog offense and defense, but we’re not aiming to redo what’s already been done.

On offense you can expect to see hard runs on the ground. They are going to grind our defense and if we have the holes we did last week, it won’t be pretty. QB Andy Dalton threw for 208 yards last week and the offense racked up 181 yards rushing. The rushes were spread out among several players, mostly RB Joseph Turner, WR Ryan Christian, RB Aaron Brown and RB Justin Watts.

TCU’s greatest strength lies in their defense. Senior linebacker David Hawthorn is a scary mofo. You will hear his name on Saturday. Not Hawthorn, but still scary…

As for Texas, there are still a lot of question marks. The depth chart has been shuffled and hopefully corrections have been made. The question on our minds – Will we see John Chiles this week?

Prediction: Close, low scoring game.
Texas: 17
TCU: 9

Having the game at 6pm is great. I get to watch other games all day long and finish it off with the Longhorns. Other good games to catch this week:

Oregon v. Michigan – Come on, you know you want to see what Michigan does after last week.

South Carolina v. Georgia – A game I’m really looking forward to watching.

Notre Dame v. Penn State – Go Nittany Lions! ND, you suck. (DVR it if you want to watch the entire massacre, it is on at the same time as our game.)

Virginia Tech v. LSU -The battle of the tragedies!

Posted in blog love, meat and taters, Meet The Opponent, TCU, themaskedwino | 2 Comments »

Arkansas State, Be Warned: This May Get Ugly

Posted by TxHny on August 31, 2007

> ** CRAIGSLIST ADVISORY — AVOID GETTING YOUR ASS KICKED BY DEALING LOCALLY
> ** Avoid: Robert Killebrew, Lokey and Okam, Brandon Foster
> ** Beware: Jamaal Charles, Limas Sweed, Quan Cosby, Colt McCoy
> ** More Info: http://www.mackbrown-texasfootball.com/

If only scheduling Texas actually came with such a warning.

In any event, gameday is finally here and we’re just as excited as when we almost got an autographed Vince Young jersey for $70 on Craigslist. (Damn scam artists hippies!)

Even though nary a Texas fan is really worried about this game from a win-loss perspective, let’s consider what the Arkansas State Indi….uh… well, we’ll get to that… are bringing to DKR tomorrow. (It feels so good to type that.)

The NCAA has banned certain logos, mascots and trademarks affecting the Arkansas State Indians. As the University considers choices for the new mascot, we will refer to them as the Arkansas State Piglets. Afterall, they are the benign kid sister of the team we all know and loathe: the Arkansas Razorbacks.

piglet-1.jpg
Tigger: I sure like bouncing. Wasn’t that fun, Piglet?
Piglet: Y-yes, but the best part is when it stops.

The Piglets have favored the rush in the past, out rushing their opponents by about 300 yards overall in 2006, the most impressive numbers put up by RB Reggie Arnold. They average 4.6 yards per attempt on the rush, which isn’t too shabby.

The passing game is a mixed bag, despite expected improvement this year from Corey Leonard. He was right at 50% last year and threw for 1,321 yards. He hit receivers Jones, Dejohnette and Higgins for 8 TDs, but also threw a painful 8 interceptions. (However, after Miss. State racked up 6 INTs last night this looks comparatively better.)

Special teams leaves much to be desired and another thorn in the side of the Piglets is going to be penalties and turnovers. In addition Leonard’s interceptions, there were 15 fumbles in 2006 and about 50 yards per game in penalties. If Arkansas State wants to at least appear competitive, they will need to avoid these mistakes.

While some of the numbers look encouraging, even a conservative (which we will be) Texas is going to absolutely dominate.

A couple of writers over at the Statesman had a particularly… um…enlightening? No? Okay….. take on this weeks Longhorn debut.

http://www.statesman.com/news/mplayer/longhorns/28433

Oh and we have it on good authority that Colt does indeed walk on water. Credit: All those calf raises he did over the summer.

“Ohh, it’s the deep burn. Oh, it’s so deep. Oh, I can barely lift my leg ’cause I did so many. I don’t know if you heard me counting. I did over a thousand.”

anchorman.jpg

Posted in meat and taters, Meet The Opponent, politically correct, scheduling | Leave a Comment »