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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Texas Football: The Texas Tech Game 

Week Nine: No. 5 Texas (7-1) at Texas Tech(5-3)
Last Week: Texas 22, Nebraska 20; Texas Tech 42, Iowa Stae 26
Last Meeting: 2005 -- Texas 52, Texas Tech 17
All-Time Series: Texas leads 41-14

Whew... I'll be the first to admit Texas was lucky to escape Lincoln with a win. At the same time Nebraska was lucky to get back in that game. Still, it turned out to be a great game between the Big XII's two best teams, and for anyone that doubts me, I defy you to travel to Memorial Stadium and afterward try to convince me that there i a better venue in the conference. There's not. So you can't.

I'll let Matt recap the Nebraska Game in this week's TWTWB

Uh oh.

We’ve talked about uh oh games before, where something seemingly magical happens during the course of a game and you begin to wonder if its destiny that this team is going to do something.

The ball going through Buckner’s legs. Vince Young running 80 yards against Oklahoma State last year or for 20 yards on 4th and 18 the year before. It was Derek Fisher beating the Spurs with a turnaround jumper propelling them to the NBA Finals, the Red Sox coming back from 3-0 down to win the ALCS and then the World Series. Tom Brady getting an improbable reversal of fortune on an obscure NFL rule.

Moments like this happen in sports and it’s not explainable in any other way but “uh oh.”

I sat there in the Nebraska Memorial Stadium stands last week. We had pretty much dominated all day, but Nebraska had used two trick plays to take the lead late in the ballgame, 20-19.

But we had a storybook team, right? One that came back multiple times last year, one that you knew was about to go win the national championship when we stopped USC on 4th and 2.

1st and 10. Running play. Not much. 2nd down. Colt McCoy goes back to pass, gets hit, fumbles. Adam Ulatoski jumps on the ball. 3rd down. McCoy bootlegs right, somehow avoids a sack, finds Jermichael Finley on the sideline, 1st down in Nebraska territory!!!

But Finley dropped it.

We looked at the red numbers on the Nebraska scoreboard, knowing that with the new clock rules and with Texas only holding two timeouts, it was all over if the Huskers got a first down, and even then was extremely unlikely to drive the length of the field in these conditions. The snow was falling like Christmas Eve in upstate New York, Nebraska fans were in a frenzy like I had never seen before, our offense was inconsistent at best all day. I sat down on the rented seat cushion and pulled my ski hat over my eyes and just wished at that moment that my legs would quit shivering, not knowing if it was due to the cold or the nerves.

I thought about the long, 13 hour drive back to Texas, knowing our season was over and a Big XII title game appearance not a given. I thought about how lucky we were last season to see what we did, and pulled up my ski hat and only got a reminder that it wasn’t last year as Vince Young stood on the sidelines not in stormtrooper white but with a black leather jacket and a Sean John hat on.

As play resumed after a TV timeout, Nebraska ran two running plays and got the ball to a 3rd and 3 in their own territory, with the play of the game about to happen. Stop them here and Texas still had a chance, how little it was, let them get the first down and the long drive back to Austin got longer.

Nebraska lined up, shifted like they always did into a multiple receiver set. Terrance Nunn in the right slot. Zac Taylor hiked the ball and went back in the pocket.

“Oh crap. Oh crap. Oh crap, they’re throwing,” went through my head.

Complete. First down. Game over.

Then it happened. Aaron Ross put his helmet on the ball. Nunn, who on subsequent viewings of the game I determined was hit much harder than that multiple times, fumbled.

Ball on the ground.

Marcus Griffin on top of it.

“Uh oh.”

2:17 left. Texas drove the field and in a Hollywood ending, a little known walk-on kicker named Ryan Bailey (“Who the f is Bailey?” was uttered many, many times in the stands) put the ball through the uprights and after a couple of heart-stopping hail marys, Texas got on the bus with a 22-20 win.

A lot has to happen. Some teams still need to lose one game, much less the two that we might need them to lose. Other teams don’t have much of a schedule left but still stand in our way. Who even knows if our computer rankings will improve enough to help us at all.

But I do know this. In 2004, nobody wanted to listen when I said that Texas was going to the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. Last year I was rooting for USC the entire season, much to the chagrin of many, because I knew that a Texas/USC Rose Bowl would be one for the ages.

This year?

It’s a little early for predictions. You’ll get that possibly next week when I do HornMafia’s Bowl Game Predictions. But there have been no big upsets in recent weeks. But you know they always happen. It’s statistically impossible for it not to happen. So they’re coming. Maybe in bunches.

Perhaps Michigan falls. Or Florida. Or USC. West Virginia.

When they do, enjoy it. This is what it’s all about. Just think back to that dark Nebraska afternoon, take a swig off your beer and think:

“Uh oh.”
This Week's Game in a Nutshell

I've worried about this game since April. Tech has talented WR's, and Texas has a defensive backfield that, to be honest, has a few holes. Nebraska found a way to put up several big plays -- game changing plays, of you will. So with Tech hosting the Horns in Lubbock, I have to assume that they'll manage to do the same, at least once or twice. They simply have too much talent on offense (outside of the QB position, anyway), and they no longer throw 1 scrubs on defense. Texas Tech is not going to a New Year's Day bowl this season. This is the their major bowl. This is the game they'd want to win most no mater what. They will come out fired up. Will it be enough?

Well remember that Colt McCoy and the Texas Longhorns just became the first team in who knows how long to win their their school's third consecutive game in Lincoln, NE. Texas battled the cold, the snow, a good team, and a great crowd, and found a way to pull it off. Texas Tech wants to win this game. Nebraska wanted to win just as badly, and they have a vastly superior team to the Red Raiders. As I said last week, Texas wins unless it beats itself.

The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

Someone from the Texas defense slips in front of a Graham Harrell pass, and returns it to the house. My money is on Michael Griffin, who has to bounce back from an awful outing last weekend.

Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

Worst road game I ever experienced came in Lubbock in 2002. Texas gave away the game (the only Horns loss to Tech since 1998), and the aftermath was surreal -- bizarre, even -- in its tension. Tech fans were ecstatic, drunk, and looking to start whatever they could. My buddy Wheeler literally had to break a beer bottle to back off a group of frat boys from assailing four girls that were with our group. I threw a pocketful of change at a suburan, at least the 20th car to honk at us and give either the fnger or the "Horns Down" as they drove by, and then walked into the street to call them out. They kept driving. I felt like a man. In retrospect it was all pretty stupid.

Semi-Relevant Quote from the Big Lebowski

"I don't like your jerk-off name. I don't like your jerk-off face. I don't like your jerk-off behavior, and I don't like you, jerk-off. Do I make myself clear?"

Yep. That pretty much sums up what I think about Lubbock, TX, and Texas Tech University, in general. But then again they aren't the Aggies or Sooners, so they do have that going for them.

Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

Red Raider fan "jaydavis" would like to "Bitchslap" Mathew McConaghy.

Does this "Super ut fan" but the heck out of you as much as he bugs me? Would love to see somebody just punch his lights out..............

I get so tired of seeing him on the sidelines during a ut game.
You know, I realize that not even all Texas fans like Matt M hanging out on the sidelines and acting as the de faco celebrity voice of Texas athletics, but I don't care. I like him. I think he's funny. And I think it's lame that a Texas Tech fan would complain, because the next even pseudo-celebrity from outside of West Teas to publically acknowledge Red Raider athletics will be the first.

And by the way, y'alls bar district sucks ass. But I am happy to see Tech continued their string of making A&M their bitch.

Random Texas-Nebraska highlight that has little to do with this game, but was sweet nonetheless

"Dammmmmmnnnnnn... you go knocked the F--- OUT!!!"

Prediction: Texas 38, Texas Tech 17



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Texas Football: The Nebraska Game 

Week Eight: No. 6 Texas (6-1) at #17 Nebraska (6-1)
Last Week: Texas 63, Baylor 31; Nebraska 21, Kansas State 3
Last Meeting: 2003 -- Texas 31, Nebraska 7
All-Time Series: Texas leads 6-4

"What If" time... If Billy Pittman doesn't fumble on the 2 against Ohio State, and if Nebraska actually tries to move the ball against USC, is Saturday's game in Lincoln another No. 1 vs. No. 2 hype-fest?

No, I don't think so either. Still, it's an intriguing game between the two preseason Big XII division favorites. Surprisingly Texas has had Nebraska's number since the conference's formation, going 5-1 against the Big Red, including the memorable upset in the 1996 conference title game. Four of the six Big XII meetings have gone down the final moments, incluing both of Texas' trips to Lincoln

But this is 2006, and it's hard to predict what is going to happen. Does Texas unleash Colt McCoy against the Huskers, or does Greg Davis play it conservative? Can Nebraska's QB Zac Taylor find holes in banged-up Texas secondary? Do I spend the entire fourth quarter yelling, "Whose House? Horns House!"? (I hope so, I hope not, I really hope so).

Semi-Witty Comment about TWTWB

coming as soon as Matt finishes it...
This Week's Game in a Nutshell

Both of these teams played too close to the proverbial vest in their losses this season. Both feature offenses that can pile up yards and points when clicking, but will they gameplan to do so? Nebraska still carries one of the great home field advantages in college football, but will the 11 am kickoff work to Texas' benefit? It's hard to be raucous when you just polished off your breakfast an hour ago.

Simply put: Texas wins this game if Colt McCoy continues his trend of weekly improvement. The Horns have too many weapons around him to lose focus in a big game such as this one. By the way, does anyone remember what happened that last time a freshman QB in burnt orange visited Memorial Stadium? Texas 20, Nebraska 16. I know Texas won't have Ricky Williams to rely on, but Nebraska won't have Eric Crouch either (or the 90's Blackshirts).

The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

Have I even gotten close on one of these yet this season? Let's start this week: Colt McCoy breaks open the game with a play-action seamer to Jermichael Finley for six.

Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

1. Texas' one conference loss to Nebraska came on the day I graduated from college. I skipped commencement to watch the game, much to my parents' dismay. I think Matt and I got drunk three times that day, the second two to drown the sorrows of a 22-6 conference title game loss.

2. When Mike Jones stumbled his way to the game-winning TD against Nebraska in 99 (the regular season game) I turned to high five the stranger next to me and in the elation of the moment I missed and smacked him right in the face, knocking off his glasses. Oh well, the Horns won and Matt and I celebrated by watching Pat Green (before he sold out) kick ass that night at Stubb's.

3. Four years ago my buddy Kenny acompanied us to Lincoln for the game. He boarded the departure flight Sunday still wearing the same clothes he wore when arriving on Friday. He stunk. Bad.

Someone Else's Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

A chronology of events for Saturday, December 4, 1999, and the early
morning hours of Sunday, December 5, 1999:

6:00 Arise, play the Eyes of Texas and Texas Fight at full-freaking blast

6:20 Get in car, drive to New Braunfels

7:30 Tee off (me and a buddy were the FIRST tee-time of the morning)

8:50 Turn 9 (crack open first beer)

8:53 Crack open second beer

8:58 Crack open...(you get the idea)

10:30 Finish 18 (holes, as well as beers), sign scorecard for smoooooth 95

10:35 Headed for San Antonio

10:50 Buy three 18-packs for pre- and post-game festivities

11:10 We decide we don't have enough booze, so we double-back to a
liquor store and buy the good ol' 750 ml plastic bottle "Traveler" Jim

11:50 Arrive at the tailgate spot. Awesome day. Not a single cloud in
the sky. About 70 degrees.

11:55 I decide that we're going to kick the shit out of Nebraska.

11:56 I tell my first Nebraska fan to go fuck himself.

12:15 The UT band walks by on the way to the Alamodome. We're on the
second floor of a two-story parking garage on the corner (a couple
hundred of us). We're hooting and hollering like wildmen. The band
doubles back to the street right below us and serenades us with Texas
Fight and The Eyes of Texas. AWESOME MOMENT.

12:25 In the post-serenade serendipity, 50-100 grown men are bumping
chests with one another, each and every one of them now secure and
certain of the fact that we are going to kick the shit out of
This is really long (but really worth it, too); Read the rest here.

Semi-Relevant Quote from the Big Lebowski

"You're g------ right I'm living in the f'ing past!"

It's actually sad to see Nebraska fans forced to live in the not-so-recent-anymore past. I hope Bill Callahan gets them back to the level of success they enjoyed 5-10 years ago. The Big XII needs a national power in the North, and Nebraska is the team that needs to play that role.

Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

Nothing deluded or rational, per se, about this one. Instead it's the gang at Big Husker Fan debating the effects of what will be damn-near frigid temps in the opinions of the visiting Texans. I bought a new Burnt Orange fleece, so I hope it's cold. Football is meant to be played in the cold. For the record I don't think the cold will adversely affect the Horns, much like I didn't think the heat would hurt Ohio State.

Random Texas-Nebraska highlight that has little to do with this game, but was sweet nonetheless

If you look closely (the video on this sucks) you'll see Matt McConaughy leaping about six feet in the air. If you look even closer you still won't see me smack that guy's glasses off of his head.

Prediction: Texas 30, Nebraska 20



Thursday, October 12, 2006

Texas Football: The Baylor Game 

Week Three: No. 6 Texas (5-1) v. Baylor (3-3)
Last Week: Texas 28, Oklahoma 10; Baylor 34, Colorado 31 (OT)
Last Meeting: 2005 -- Texas W 62-0
All-Time Series: Texas leads 69-22-4

Burning Question: How did Baylor ever win 22 games against the University of Texas? Burning Question #2: Will they ever win again? They certainly won't this year. I'll give Baylor credit for winning back-to-back Big XII games... for the first time ever, but I sure hope their fans aren't actually expecting an "I-35 Surprise." The odds are more likely that the Baylor Board of Regents would sponsor a campus-wide dance marathon afer church Sunday afternoon.

Texas comes in off of a win aganst OU. Damn, that feels good to say. Bear fans... I'm going to steal a phrase from the run-through sign that preceded Temple High School's thrilling 37-21 win over Converse Judson in 1992: "You're Just Another Stepping Stone."

Bayor may be improved but the only real suspense this week comes in the form of TWTWB's secret ballots (i.e., Matt's personal opinion)

Well if it’s mid-season, it can only mean one thing. Well two things. First, it’s October and second, it’s time for the second annual HornMafia’s Mid-Point of the Season Awards.

MVP – Troy Smith, Ohio State

Did you expect anyone else? The only way Smith doesn’t get this at this point is if A.) Ohio State chokes down the stretch; B.) Bo Jackson regains eligibility; C.) it comes out he exchanged lurid emails with 16 year olds; or D.) somebody else wins it.

Freshman of the Year – Colt McCoy, Texas

Yeah, yeah, redshirt, who gives a shit what color his shirt is. Any freshman who can win the Texas/OU game wins a place in the heart of Texas fans forever, although he’ll never be as cool as James Brown.

Coach of the Year – Greg Schiano, Rutgers

Rutgers has gone from Team We’ll Schedule to Get An Easy Win Over a BCS Conference School to 5-0 and in the Top 25. But seriously, who even knew Rutgers was the state university until a couple of years ago? What’s wrong with The University of New Jersey? New Jersey University? UNJ? NJU? Almost looks like Ninjitsu. They could throw throwing stars everywhere. And has Rutgers ever finished in the Top 25 in any sport? You never hear Dick Vitale talking about Rutgers, and never hear about Rutgers’ steely resolve in Omaha. Hockey? Do they have hockey?

Worst Coach of the Year – Larry Coker, Miami & Bobby Bowden, FSU

Seriously. Has the state of Florida had a recruiting drought the pass few years? Was Coker busy playing Cancer Patient #3 in Hollywood and Bowden too busy picking out snazzy eyeglasses to wear on the sidelines and coming up with inane country stories to tell to ESPN Gameday? I was on the Coker bandwagon, but beating Houston at home by one point and not facing Andre Ware or David Klinger is horrible. And Bobby, change up the playbook, buddy, I think Chuck Amato knows what you’re doing.

Surprise of the Year – (Tie) Michigan & Missouri

Look! Michigan has speed! They don’t look like they should be wearing leather helmets anymore! And speed wins football games! Or perhaps maybe they just beat an overrated Notre Dame team and then have beaten a bunch of nobodies. Nah, that couldn’t be it.

Missouri’s record is sure a surprise, but what’s even more of a surprise is how a Division-I coach can change his offense on the advice of a high school coach (Southlake Carroll’s Todd Dodge allegedly told Gary Pinkel he should switch to the spread offense SLC has used so effectively) and win 6 ballgames? What’s next? Jeff Sluman calling Makaveli for golf tips? Roxy Roxborough calling Seth for gambling tidbits? Lindsay Lohan calling Robbi for drinking advice?

Disappointment of the Year – Notre Dame

I dunno, maybe people looked at the fact that they had a quarterback that everyone was giving the Hesiman Trophy to in April and a coach that has Super Bowl rings and thought Notre Dame was a shoo-in for the national championship race, but it just hasn’t been there for Notre Dame this year. Perhaps Charlie Weis should spend less time in the off-season intimidating local reporters and more time finding a running game and getting someone on defense that doesn’t remind everyone of a matador.

The Quincy Carter Award – Drew Tate

Last year’s winner, Chris Leak, is having a resurgence this year, but seeing as how Drew Tate is a senior, that isn’t likely for him unless it comes for the Grand Rapids AFL team next year. Iowa had big expectations coming into this season (again) but Tate hasn’t come through, already nearly equaling his interception total (5) that he had all last year (7). Have fun in one of those New Year’s Day But Nobody Can Really Tell You What Exact City They Are In games, Drew.

The Our Armed Forces Needed a Morale Boost Award

The Aggies did their part for the country, letting Army stay in the game for all 60 minutes. Army was so fired up they went out and beat Baylor the next week. Unfortunately for Aggie fans, Fran really was all he can be.

The Witness Protection Program Award – Adrian Peterson (second half against Texas), Oklahoma

When his team needed him the most, Oklahoma tailback Adrian Peterson pulled an ARod, rushing for 38 yards in the second half and dropping a pass that was eventually ruled a lateral and a defensive touchdown for the Horns. Have fun in Oakland, Adrian. They play for championships, there, too.

The Sergio Leone Award – Ryan Perrilloux, LSU

Sergio Leone was an Italian director who was offered the chance to direct an epic movie about a New York family coming of age in the post-war era. Leone turned down the part and years later The Godfather won multiple Academy Awards and launched the careers of not only several actors, but of director Francis Ford Coppolla as well.

Ryan Perrilloux of course spurned the Longhorns at the last second and switched his commitment to LSU, where he was last seen playing the part of Chris Leak on the practice team. Texas, meanwhile, is just fine with Colt McCoy. Hopefully McCoy can take down the heads of the five families as well.

The Drunken Tailgater Award – UTWiz, Ohio State

Let’s just hope you didn’t hear any dueling banjos in the creek, Jeremy.

The Worst Job Decision Award – Stadium Cleaner, North Carolina State University

When word “leaked” of NC State students urinating in the stands to avoid new seating policies at Carter-Finley Stadium, cleanup workers threw up a bit in their mouth when they realized what the stench they smelled every week was.

Play of the Year – Oregon’s Onside Kickoff “Recovery”

Oregon won the game, while the Texas fans also won as they got to see Bob Stoops’ I Really Want To Throw the Visor to the Ground Look for an entire week.

Biggest Game of the Second Half – Ohio State v. Michigan

It might not last past this weekend, but if the teams were to be unbeaten and untied when they meet on November 18th in Columbus, it would be the first time in 33 years that it happened. Michigan in true Buckeye/Wolverine fashion will promptly lose by 30.
This Week's Game in a Nutshell

Baylor is better than last year, while Texas isn't quite as good. So hel, maybe the Horns only win by 40 instead of 62. *yawn*

The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

Aaron Ross breaks the school record for career punts returned for a TD.

Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

I have some realy bad memories from Texas-Baylor games. I saw us lose one year when Brett Stafford killed a rally instead of the clock by throwing a fourth-down pass out of bounds. Of course I was present for the "Bullshit on the Brazos" that took place during Grant Teaff's 1992 swan song. And in 1998, in my first-ever attempt to sneak a flask into DKR-Memorial Stadium, I successfully evaded stadium security only to realize that somewhere between the gates and my seat I lost all of my cash, and thus was unable to buy the necessary mixer for my (cheap) bourbon.

Semi-Relevant Quote from the Big Lebowski

"F--- it, dude, let's go bowling."

Amazingly enough the Baylor Bears could find their way into a bowl game this season. Of course they fall to 3-4 on Saturday, but winnable games remain at home against Kansas and on the road against Oklahoma State. That means they must only defeat Texas Tech (in Lubbock), or Texas A&M or Oklahoma (both at home) to become bowl eligible. I hope they do. And I hope they send Frachione on his merry way out of College Station with another big win over the Aggies. Sic'em!

Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

"Cristobo," at BaylorFans.Com, thinks there's "no way" Texas covers the 29-point spread. His fellow Bear fans don't seem quite as optimistic.

You know, I respect the long-standing Baylor backers. Hell, I grew up watching Texas lose to Baylor as often as they beat them, and I remember when 7-4 and a trip to the Bluebonnet Bowl was worth celebrating. So I can understand how exciting it is for them to face the achievable goal of going to a bowl game this year, and I'm happy for their team if they do.

But read a few more of those threads and you'll see why I think their fans are self-righteous jackasses (though maybe I'm not being fair, as I cringe at the though that outsiders might lump me in with some of the jackases at HornFans.com).

Random Texas-Baylor highlight that has little to do with this game, but was sweet nonetheless

Kirk Gibson, take a seat!

Bonus Random Texas-Baylor highlight that has little to do with this game, but was sweet nonetheless


Prediction: Texas 41, Baylor 6



Thursday, October 05, 2006

Texas Football: The Okahoma Game 

Week Three: No. 7 Texas (4-1) v. No. 14 Oklahoma(3-1)
Last Week: Texas 56, Sam Houston 3; Oklahoma, idle
Last Meeting: 2005 -- Texas W 45-12
All-Time Series: Texas leads 56-39-5

Here's all I ned to say about this game: OU Sucks.

If "OU Sucks" doesn't motivate you then maybe Matt's TWTWB can

’Motherfucker. I. Will. Not. Lose.’ – Sean Carter, aka Jay-Z

This is what I wrote one year ago for this game:

Sure it will still be silly to talk about Pasadena after this weekend, but finally the monkey would be off our back and we can talk about what can be, not what could have been.

Stores in Austin tried to get cute and make T-shirts and bracelets that said "Reverse the Curse". Others said that maybe Mack just can't do it against Bob Stoops. We thought about different t-shirts we could wear, different seating arrangements and whether or not we needed to get our prostate exam this year.

None of that matters, of course.

For, not unlike the Ohio State game, this one comes down to one man and one man only.

Vincent Young.

That was then. This is now.

We heard all off-season how this team felt slighted in all of the talk last year about how Vince Young was the entire team. They felt disrespected this year when people told them that they couldn’t win without Vince, couldn’t win those close games they won last year when #10 did his heroics.

At some point you have to quit talking and show people.

The first chance to do that this year was September 9th, when Ohio State came to town. The Buckeyes were the #1 team in the country, had Heisman candidates at every skill position and brought College Gameday and the ABC Prime-Time crowd with them.

I don’t really want to say it, but Texas wasn’t ready.
Troy Smith made them look ordinary, which he will do to a lot of teams this year, but the Longhorns barely put up a fight, losing 24-7. The defense looked clueless, the offense was inconsistent and the special teams failed to capitalize. Ohio State has gone on to make other big teams look stupid, but this was the team that Vince built, dammit. We’re not supposed to go down like that.

Let Vince be Vince.

The turning point of Vince Young’s career came after a near disasterous win over Missouri in 2004. The coaches pulled Vince aside that week and quit trying to fix his throwing motion, quit trying to make a square peg fit into a circle.

You know what happened after that.

For not unlike Ohio State, this one comes down to one man and one man only.

This year, not unlike Ohio State, this one comes down to 22 men and 22 men only.

This isn’t Vince Young’s team anymore. I hope everyone took what they learned last year and built a good foundation, but this is Jamaal Charles’ team. This is Selvin Young’s team. This is Limas Sweed’s team. This is Kasey Studdard’s team. This is Tim Crowder’s team. This is Brian Robison’s team. This is Michael Griffin’s team. This is Colt McCoy’s team.

Superman is gone. It’s time for the Legion of Super Heroes to save the day.

I’ve read quotes as late as this week that Texas is still searching for it’s identity, that Mack Brown doesn’t listen to rap music on his iPod anymore (probably a good thing) and that the Vince Vibe is gone.

Well, if I’m Mack Brown, I’m telling guys that if you want to find your identity, it’s out there on the floor of the Cotton Bowl.

James Brown. Butch Hadnot. Stoney Clark. Johnny Walker. Peter Gardere. Keith & Kerry Cash. Bubba Jacques.

They all found their identity in this game, because this game is larger than Ohio State at home. It’s larger than a meaningless Rose Bowl victory over Michigan. This is bigger than the Horseshoe at night.

It’s Texas/OU at the State Fair of Texas. With the ferris wheel, the funnel cakes, the beer in wax cups, the Fletcher’s Corny Dogs. It’s the OU band high-stepping on the field to the drum cadence that if most of us didn’t already hate it, we absolutely despised it in the years of 2000-2004. It’s the Ruffnecks firing that damn cannon and Boomer Sooner played 200 times a game. It’s 7 year old kids doing the Horns Down in your face. It’s the Sooner Schooner flying across the field and the cheerleaders running the flags after OU scores.

Time to show everyone that it wasn’t just Vince, boys. Oklahoma might have one loss and be ranked #12, Texas might be favored in Sin City, but deep down you know the rest of the country is saying, “Yeah, let’s see them win without Vince.”

Superman will be in a hotel in Indianapolis, no doubt keeping his eye on things. But that Vince Vibe is still there, deep in the bowels of the Cotton Bowl, underneath the Ferris Wheel, underneath the new scoreboard, underneath the OU fans filing into their seats chanting “OU”, down that infamous tunnel where Brian Bosworth caused near riots, into the visiting locker room, into the heads of every player in there.

’we. Will. Not. Lose….fucka!’
This Week's Game in a Nutshell

The great Dr. Marvin Olasky had a prrofreadng mark he used when we stated the obvious in our journalism stories: "TEK." This. Everybody. Knows. Well Dr. O... if you happen upon this I hope you won't feel disappointed that I'm about to make a TEK statement. Stop Adrian Peterson. If that happens, Texas wins. Sooner QB Paul Thompson does not beat Texas. Adrian Peterson might.

The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

Rhett Bomar is going to wince the first time he sees a Burnt Orange tidal wave engulf Thompson. Then he's going to laugh and change the channel.

Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

1. Ten years ago we lost to a winless OU team. It was my first Texas-OU game. Blech.

2. Three years ago I paid $200 to watch us lose 65-13.

I bring these up because I once again have shelled out $200 to see this game, on the ten year anniversary of my first Texas-OU experience, and joining me will be my buddy Ernest, who has never seen the Red River Rivalry in person. I thought there were some coincidences here, I guess.

Semi-Relevant Quote from the Big Lebowski

"You don't want to know dude. There are ways."

Indeed there is a way. It involves a $50 bill, a shady ticket-taker, and balls of pure brass. If you have #1 an #3, and you can find #2, you can join in the fun.

Bonus Semi-Relevant Quote from the Big Lebowski

"I've had a long day, man, and I hate the f'ing Eagles."

So do I, Dude... Go Cowboys. Go to hell, Philly.

Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

Go to SoonerFans.Com for the former. If they're not still bitching about Oregon then you'll probably find lots of deluded talk about this game.

Random Texas-OU highlight that has little to do with this game, but was sweet nonetheless

Nothing random about this, but it sure is sweet. Stonie is the man!

Prediction: Texas 27, Oklahoma 23

Bonus Prediction: I eat three Fletcher's Jalapeno & Cheese corny dogs. Yum...



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