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Friday, September 30, 2005

Texas Football: Avoiding Misery in Missouri 

I had planned to write a preview before each Texas game this Fall, but the pre-Rice post was lost in a Blogger error (I forgot the cardinal rule of Blogger -- alwasy copy the post before publishing), and I didn't feel like writing it again.

It didn't matter. Texas steam(roll)ed Rice and went into the bye week with a 3-0 record.

College football has gotten interesting the past week. USC looks unbeatable, LSU showed just how big-time Les Miles isn't, and Ohio State and Tennessee look like one-loss teams that plan on sticking around to see what happens in the BCS race. Throw in Florida, Virginia Tech and Florida State, and there are quite a few teams with legitimate Pasadena aspirations.

Of course until they lose Texas is a no-brainer for a Rose Bowl berth. They'll hope to continue that in Colombia, Mo., tomorrow morning.

Missouri comes in as the classic "trap" opponent. Along with Iowa State they're probably the best team in the Big XII North, and they have Brad Smith, who is as dangerous a dual-threat QB as you'll fine north of Austin. But they're far from a complete team. New Mexico showed that a few weeks ago.

Still, Texas comes off of a bye and plays an early game (today's AA-S covers their lackluster early-game performances in recent years) a week before heading to Dallas to try and erase five years of futility against OU. Kansas caught Texas napping in a similar situation last year and almost knocked the Horns from BCS contention.

So... what to think about this game?

I'm not an expert on Mizzou, but I do know that (a) Brad Smith is dangerous; (b) the Tigers gave Texas a run for their money last season in Austin; and (c) Texas has a history of hiccupping on the road against teams they should beat.

But come on... this isn't the same Texas team that lost to Stanford in 2000, Arkansas in 2003, and struggled at home against Oklahoma State three years ago or Missouri last season. This is the team that didn't quit against Michigan and proved that history didn't matter three weeks ago in the Horseshoe. No matter how much the Horns are licking their chops for revenge next week, Mack Brown won't let his team lose focus tomorrow.

Mizzou will keep it close early. Smith will make a few plays and Texas' running game might come out sluggish. But if they don't dominate from the outset (they might, but I'm not looking for it to play out that way) expect the Horns to make something happen late in the first half and open up a big lead in the third quarter. Final score: Texas 38, Missouri 13.

On other games of note, here are a few more predictions:

Michigan State over Michigan.
Florida over Alabama.
Iowa State over Nebraska.
Notre Dame over Purdue.

And my upset of the week...

Arizona State over USC.

Just kidding. But the Devils will give'em a game.


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Austin: Rock Me Like a Hurricane (Rita) 

What an apt name for a Hurricane: Rita.

It makes me want to go to Hurrican Rita Happy Hour tonight and have conflicting thoughts as to whether I'd prefer a Hurricane or a Margarita. Of course I'll stick with beer (unless it's at a Tex-Mex joint), so as not to seem gay. And by gay I mean happy, and since a hurricane is imminent I wouldn't want to appear happy, right?

Seriously, why are we preparing for a hurricane in AUSTIN, FREAKING TEXAS!?!?!?

Hurricanes happen in South Carolina and Alabama and on occasion, the Texas coast. But Austin is 200 miles from the coast. Sure we get a little wind and rain every fifth year when a tropical storm hits Corpus Christi, but we're not talking about wind and rain. Meteorologists are saying that Rita could still be a Category 1 hurricane when it hits here on Saturday. How strong is that? I have no idea, but it's more than wind and rain.

And I thought a lack of Texas football meant this weekend would suck.


Friday, September 09, 2005

Politics: Kanye's Boo-Birds 

Karol at Alarming News notes that New England fans booed Kanye West's NFL Kickoff show performance. I tried to comment, but it wasn't working, so I'm posting my comment here instead.

Maybe they were just booing because that douche from Maroon 5 was with him?

Seriously, Kanye made an error in judgment with his ill-timed quip, but it strikes a chord at a problem that the GOP simply hasn't made a substantial effort to fix. Of course many blacks think the President doesn't care about them (along with the GOP). The left has perpetuated this claim for years, and stodgy old curmudgeons like Trent Lott don't help matters when they make dumb comments. Republicans have to do a better job of this, and simply appointing a few black government officials isn't the answer. It's time for the GOP to articulate why they do care. Kanye was out of line, but he isn't 100% wrong.
Agree? Disagree? I don't think this whole deal is a typical "Left-Wing Hollywood" needs to shut up. Kanye represents a substantial part of American society that almost overwhelmingly shares his opinion. His comment bothers me much more than Sean Penn's petulant rant de jour.


Texas Football: Screw the 'Shoe! 

I don't like Ohio State.

I don't like those goofy pot leaf stickers they wear on their helmet (a practice that really should cease after high school). I don't like those goofy sweater vests that Jim Tressell wears. And I don't like that goofy "t" they put before their initials, as if there aren't a ton of other schools that are "The..." university of wherever (including the one they play tomorrow night), who don't feel the need to highlight it.

I think The Horseshoe is an overrated venue. I think Woody Hayes was a bastard. And I think that Ohio State is the Notre Dame of the 2000's (getting every luck break, as they did en route to their most recent national title), though ND never lost four games during their heyday as the Bucks did in 2004.

I think there's probably some OSU fan somewhere that hates Texas just as much, and I don't like that guy either.

You've heard a lot about Teddy Ginn, Jr., this week. You've also heard a lot about Vince Young. Which guy is going to make the bigger difference tomorrow night? I don't know, but if I had to bet, it'd be on the guy that's going to touch the ball 50 times, not the guy that's going to touch it 15.

You've heard a lot about AJ Hawk and the OSU linebackers this week. They're good. You know who else is pretty damn good? Aaron Harris. The only reason you haven't heard more about him is because he's spent three years in the shadow of a guy named Derrick Johnson. Maybe you've heard of him. He's about to make a run at NFL Rookie of the Year.

You've heard a lot about Ohio State's team speed this week. Yeah, they're fast. Texas has a few guys that can run, too. One of them is Michael Huff, who may just be the best damn DB in college football. Another one of them is Ramonce Taylor, who seems to score almost every time he gets the ball. Then there's that guy named Young. Ask Michigan how fast he is. No, ask them how quick he is. Hold on, I think he just scored on their asses again.

You've heard a lot about The Horseshoe this week. Ohio State is 6-0 all time at night in the 'Shoe. They haven't lost a home non-conference game since 1990. Hell, let's qualify things and see what kind of accolades Texas can come up with to match. We haven't lost a regular season night game on the road since, uh, 1998. Yeah, that must mean we're going to win. It's no less retarded than omitting conference home games. Maybe OSU is undefeated under the lights. But they've never played Texas in those games. And we've played in plenty of hostile environments before. Try wearing burnt orange in Fayetteville, Ark., and come back and tell me about a raucous atmosphere. Pack 25K more into the 'Shoe and Ohio State still couldn't muster the hatred and passion for beating Texas that Arkansas brought. And if you don't believe me after that, then go ask Nebraska what kind of regard Texas shows for long home win streaks (and they were countin every game when texas beat them in 1998, and again in 2002).

Here are the facts going into tomorrow:

- Ohio State is fast. Texas is fast.
- Teddy Ginn makes plays. Vince Young makes plays.
- Ohio State has a great defense. Texas has a great defense.
- Ohio State beat a cupcake last weekend. Texas beat a cupcake last weekend.
- Ohio State has questions at QB. Texas has questions at RB.
- Ohio State's LBs and DBs are among the nation's best. Texas' DL and DBs are among the nations's best.
- Ohio State returns almost everyone from a team that lost four games in 2004. Texas returns almost everyone from a team that lost one game in 2004.
- Only one team will win this game.
- No one can say with any certainty who that team is right now.

I'm not making a prediction on this one, except to say that college football fans are in for a treat. Actually I will make a prediction: one of these teams is headed to Pasadena. But which one?

Ahhh, screw it.

Texas 20, Ohio State 16

Screw the 'Shoe.


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