b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Texas Football: The Kansas State Game 

Week Five: No. 7 Texas (4-0) vs. Kansas State (2-1)
Last Week: Texas 58, Rice 14; Kansas State (bye)
Last Meeting: Kansas State 45, Texas 42 (2006)
All-Time Series: Texas leads, 5-4

I'm not going to lie; last week felt good. It would be folly to read too much into the Horns' 58-14 win against Rice, but for the first time all season Texas came out and played like Texas.

So what now?

This team still has a bevy of questions to answer, and unless their bizarre 4-0 start has been the product of a cunning ruse, meant to instill a false sense of confidence in our neighbors north of the Red River, then fans have every right to continue feeling a slight bit of unease.

But watching Colt throw downfield, Limas outrun coverage, Vondrell McGee show flashes of brilliance, and a trio of young linebackers swarm to the ball, sure made it seem like this team does have a shot in hell to pull off a third straight win against Oklahoma.

First things first: Kansas State will serve as a litmus test for the Horns. They need to win another convincing game headed into OU. Can they do it?

This Week's Game in a Nutshell

More Muckleroy and Norton; less Derry and Killebrew. More throwing down the field; less throwing bubble screens and hitches. More mixing it up on offense; less time spent on page one of the playbook.

Last year Texas fell prey to a confluence of emotion (or lack thereof) and bad breaks. It's unlikely to happen again.

According to NCAA 2008...

Texas 20, Kansas State 7. I'll take it.

Matt's theme in this week's TWTWB fits this site's motif like a stack of hundreds in the hand of a Capo...

What we learned last week: We learned that Michael Hart is a horse and may very well lead Michigan to the Big 10 title, which will only lead to more heartache for Michigan fans…We learned that prior to last week, LSU kicker Colt David’s 15 yard touchdown run on a fake field goal would have been the longest run from scrimmage for Notre Dame this year…We learned that Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy is an idiot, and before the season starts you can mark Mike Leach and Texas Tech down for one loss that comes out of nowhere, and THAT is why they will never even play for the Big 12 title…We learned that Jovorskie Lane shows more aggression towards the waterboy than on the field, that Dennis Franchione was the biggest fraud outside of Enron in this state, that A&M fans are real classy and will vandalize their starting quarterback’s car when they don’t win a football game, and that Martellus Bennett obviously should have followed Gus Hansen to LSU…We learned that it is indeed possible to have a lead on Oklahoma this year and perhaps the other 118 teams should bother showing up the rest of the season…And finally, we learned that Texas can indeed push a lesser team around the field and that John Chiles could probably start for the Chicago Bears on Sunday.


He had taken the Jones Beach Causeway, as always, because it was usually deserted this time of night, at this time of year, and he could speed recklessly until he hit the parkways on the other side. And even there traffic would be light. The release of driving very fast would help dissipate what he knew was a dangerous tension. He had already left his bodyguard’s car far behind.

The causeway was badly lit, there was not a single car. Far ahead he saw the white cone of the manned tollbooth.

There were other tollbooths beside it but they were staffed only during the day, for heavier traffic. Sonny started braking the Buick and at the same time searched his pockets for change. He had none. He reached for his wallet, flipped it open with one hand and fingered out a bill. He came within the arcade of the light and he saw to his mild surprise a car in the tollbooth slot blocking it, the driver obviously asking for some directions from the toll taker. Sonny honked his horn and the other car obediently rolled through to let his car slide into the slot.

Sonny handed the toll taker the dollar bill and waited for his change. He was in a hurry now too close to the window. The Atlantic Ocean air had chilled the whole car. But the toll taker was fumbling with his change; the dumb son of a bitch dropped it. Head and body disappeared as the toll man stooped down in his booth to pick up the money.

At that moment Sonny noticed the other car had not kept going but had parked a few feet ahead, still blocking his way. At that same moment his lateral vision caught sight of another man in the darkened tollbooth to his right. But he did not have time to think about that because two men came out of the car parked in front and walked toward him. The toll collector still had not appeared. And then in the fraction of a second before anything actually happened, Santino Corleone knew he was a dead man. And in that moment his mind was lucid, drained of all violence, as if the hidden fear finally real and present had purified him.

Even so, his huge body in a reflex for life crashed against the Buick door, bursting its lock. The man in the darkened tollbooth opened fire and the shots caught Sonny Corleone in the head and neck as his massive frame spilled out of the car. The two men in front held up their guns now, the man in the darkened tollbooth cut his fire, and Sonny’s body sprawled on the asphalt with the legs still partly inside. The two men each fired shots into Sonny’s body, then kicked him in the face to disfigure his features even more, to show a mark made by a more personal human power.

And later…

”Sonny’s dead, they got him at the Jones Beach toll,” his bodyguard would tell Tom Hagen on the phone.

You might as well have called all of your friends at 10:42 PM on November 11, 2006 and told them, “The Longhorns are dead, they got ‘em in Manhattan, Kansas.” Because for all intents and purposes, the loss to the Wildcats that night sent the 2006 Texas team spiraling down a chasm from which they seem to have only recently emerged.

The Longhorns were riding high into that game, having won 8 games in a row since their loss to #1 Ohio State in early September in Austin. With continued success and a couple of breaks here and there, Mack Brown’s team stood within striking distance of working their way into a rematch with Ohio State in Glendale, AZ for the national championship.

The KSU game started out promising, too. Freshman sensation Colt McCoy led the Longhorns on a 14 play, 80 yard drive to open the ballgame, but on a 4th and Goal situation from the half-foot line, the call from the booth was a QB sneak, which got into the end zone but left McCoy out of the game with a neck stinger injury that would prove fatal to the Texas season.

It was all Kansas State after that, as freshman QB Josh Freeman threw for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns and the Wildcats ran more trick plays than the entire Boise State playbook on their way to a 45-42 win.

McCoy tried to play the next game against Texas A&M, but was wildly ineffective. The Texas rhythm was completely gone, and they lost that day too, 12-7, their first loss to the Aggies since 1999. A lackluster win over Iowa in the Alamo Bowl left the Longhorns at 10-3 for the year, a record most teams would gladly take, but left the Horns knowing they were better than that.

Like the death of Sonny Corleone, the loss to K-State was a major setback.

In the Mario Puzo classic The Godfather, the Corleone family comes under attack after they refuse to grant the financial and political backing to the drug kingpin Virgil ‘The Turk’ Sollozzo, who is working with the Tattaglia family to bring narcotics to the northeast portion of the United States. Don Corleone is shot, but he survives in a weakened state, leaving oldest son Santino Corleone as the family’s boss. But when Santino’s sister Connie calls him telling him that her husband Carlo Rizzi has beaten her yet again, this sends Sonny into a rage, and he leaves to beat Rizzi senseless. Little does he know, however, that it is all a set-up, as Rizzi has tipped off the other families that Sonny Corleone will be on his way to his house...

That evening Don Tommasino returned and took Michael aside. News had come from America, he said. News that it grieved him to tell.

Santino Corleone had been killed.

In order to bring his son Michael home safely, Don Corleone made peace with the other families, and Michael was allowed to return and became the de facto head of the family.

The Corleone family was weakened, however, with other families taking business interests away from them, their political ties said to be faltering, and the fact that Michael had been a civilian most of his life. On top of that, the Corleone family had never avenged the death of Sonny Corleone.


After the death of Don Corleone to a heart attack, and during the Confirmation into the Catholic Church (at least in the movie) of Michael’s nephew, Corleone had the leaders of the other four families assassinated, along with Vegas typhoon Moe Greene and his brother-in-law Carlo Rizzi, in order to settle old family debts.

You have to answer for Santino, Carlo.

I’m pretty sure that the Barzini and Tattaglia families didn’t tear down the tollbooths after the death of Sonny Corleone, but Kansas State fans sure did after the final seconds ticked off the clock last November.

You can argue among yourselves who best represents whom in this analogy (although Ron Prince is most definitely Bruno Tattaglia), but the fact of the matter is that even if you think the match-ups on either side are a toss-up (which they are not), even if you think Kansas State is building a fine program in Prince’s second year (which they are), and even if you think Texas this year best resembles The Longhorn Mafia more than the Corleones, you have to admit that the Longhorns have the one intangible that keeps a team focused no matter who they play the next week or how they’ve played in recent weeks.


Many fans and members of the national media have already written off the Longhorns this year, citing their slow start to the season as a weakened team that might be able to spend Christmas in San Diego if they are lucky. Others say they are too young and don’t have the experience required to make a late season run.

And yes, the Longhorns have certainly helped dig that hole of perception, but a convincing win on Saturday will erase the demons of last year and give the team confidence heading into the much celebrated match-up with Oklahoma.

On Saturday afternoon, in the “church” that all Longhorn fans hold dear, when the intro starts playing and the smoke starts blowing, when Texas Fight starts blaring and the burnt-orange clad Longhorns (get it, Godfather fans?) run down the tunnel, pre-season expectations will go out the window and the national media will be shut-out of mind. Yes, winning will be the first priority, but also, remember this:

It’s time to settle all Family business.
They Said It...
"I think you know who Freeman is now you jack ass... over ranked!!!"

- LM Blog Commenter Jim T, after KSU beat Texas last season.
I italicized "after" because Mr. T evidently lacked the wherewithal to retort with such vehement defiance prior to the game. And I'm confused as to whether or not he felt compelled to label me over ranked [sic] or the Horns

Who is Freeman, by the way?

- "They’re real vulnerable right now. I wouldn’t really mind playing them this week because I don’t think they’re playing very good football."

- KSU LB Justin Rowland, 9/19/07
They weren't. Now they are. I commend Rowland for having the wherewithal to call out the Horns with vehement defiance prior to the game... before the game. I'm of the belief that if it takes two-bit trash talk like this to stir your adrenaline then you have no business playing for The University of Texas, but that doesn't make the comment any less asinine. Why take the chance to awaken the proverbial sleeping giant?

"Last year's loss isn't about this team. I'm sure some players use revenge. If somebody wants to stay mad over last year, that's their deal. And some will. But that's not my deal ... I really feel like if guys can't get excited about playing in the opening conference game, they shouldn't be playing anyway."

- Mack Brown
Texas has played down the revenge angle all week, and why not? The Horns could hang a Rice-like beating on K-State and it wouldn't change what happened a year ago. Move on.

The Things I Think About

By Saturday evening Texas will have played, and hopefully defeated, two teams -- TCU and Kansas State -- whose primary color is purple. Of the other two major college teams that sport purple -- LSU and Northwestern -- which is more likely to face the Horns later this season? LSU could find their way to the Cotton Bowl, a potential Texas destination, if the SEC proves as brutal as advertised. Or they could continue to maul opponents en route to a BCS appearance. Most Texas fans would scoff at a potenital Horns-Tigers match-up in that setting. Meanwhile, the other Wildcats sit at 2-2, and by my count they have only three winnable games remaining (Minnesota, at Eastern Michigan, Indiana). They'd have to pull the upset against Michigan, Iowa or Illinois to become bowl eligible.

The odds of Texas playing a third purple team, in other words, look bleak.

In the Huddle with "Sir Rod"... and Friends

"Sir Rod" Walker says:

Hey! Quiet in the Huddle! Listen up... last week's win was great! Not from the standpoint of execution, but it IS a morale booster and confidence builder. With those two alone, one could think he's superman! that's how i hope these Horns feel.......just like superman! Football isn't about just being fast and quick though. You MUST have technique. You can be strong like superman, but if someone has better technique.... super is no more. So we must be smart about this game. It can't look like we have flaws. Our next opponent needs to be shakin' in their cleats after this game!!!! We need to blow these guys out early in the first half! Now buckle you chin straps tight... keep your head on a swivel....and kill any Wildcats you see! READY, BREAK!!!!

Stoney Clark says:

Coming soon...

Tailgate Talk

It's going to be hot. Damn hot. And we're not going to serve any wildcat meat. Look for a potential discussion about assorted hijinks from the Mackovic era.

A few other College Football-related Thoughts

  • Is it advantageous for Big East teams to consistently play on Thursday and Friday night, or does it just highlight the league's second-tier status?

  • I'm not sure if this t-shirt is an indictment of how low Miami has sunk, or if it's just a hillarious snipe at our brethren in College Station.

  • "Kentucky" and "No. 14"? It seems too low for a basketball poll and incongruous in every sense with a football poll

  • See above... replace "Kentucky" with Cincinnati," and "No. 14" with "No. 24."
  • When did USC get a monopoly on Saturday primetime games?

  • OU Still Sucks...

  • Fifteen Years Ago this Week

    (note: 2007 marks the 15-year anniversary of the Temple Wildcats' 1992 5A Div. II Texas State Championship, which came during my sophomore year of high school. I'll re-cap that season throughout the fall.)

    Temple finished a perfect 5-0 non-district slate with a 49-7 shellacking over Tyler Lee. Nothing of note occurred in a game that Temple led 42-0 at the half. Ho-Hum... almost one-third of the way to the state title.

    Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

    Last year I watched Texas-Kansas State at Ringer's sports bar in Austin. It reminded me why I hate watching Texas games outside of the stadium or someone's home. After the game my friends and I decided to get rip-roaring hammered. I remember very few details from the end of the game until I woke up the next morning. And I'd like to forget all of them.

    Semi-Relevant Movie quote from a football movie about a team that used to matter

    "No one comes into our house and pushes us around."

    - Coach Dan Devine, Rudy
    Though Texas lost two home games in both 2006 and 1999, Mack Brown-coached Texas teams have not had consecutive seasons that featured home losses. Either that's a stat that could fall by the wayside in 2007, or Texas fans should feel the comfort of history on their side when Kansas State visits on saturday (and when Nebraska and Texas Tech visit later this seson).

    I'm giving everyone a reprieve from kanye, Jay-Z and Fitty this week.

    Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

    Come on Texas fans...

    you guys have a fine team, but do you really think you terrify anybody??

    I am sure our coaches are very worried, as they are for any game....mainly because coaches OUGHT to worry about every game....even teams like Arky St.

    As for a fan being worried??? I have seen the Horns and Mack way to many times to think that we don't have a chance. You might say that scoreboard last year was because of Colt getting hurt...ok...who's to say he won't get hurt again?? I promise you he will get hit hard a few times...

    With that said, UT has done nothing all that special under Mack Brown except with Vince Young (who indeed was a stud) and outside of that...get your tails handed to you by Bob Stoops and thus not win the South almost every year.

    Let's get this straight....I HATE ou WITH A PASSION. I cheer against them in every game and in every sport and I cheer just as hard for the Horns during the RRS as I do for my Cats...but come on....

    Are your memories THAT short???

    I dislike Stoops as much as you do and he was one of our own...however, if the cards had been played differently and Stoops would have ended up at UT. Let's just say you wouldn't have had to rely on VY's talent to win you one NC and he would be the best thing since "sliced bread". You would have won multiple NCs during the past few years (even without VY)....IMHO.

    In closing...should you win in Austin?? Sure.

    Is there any indication it will be a blowout?? No.

    Good luck and no matter what happens vs. KSU....PLEASE, PLEASE find some miraculous way to beat ou. IF Mack can do that this year, I will be the first one to come to your board and proclaim him a GREAT coach.

    I don't see me making that post anytime soon....but, I would love to be wrong.

    Folks, Mack's main goal next weekend is to make sure that "ksucatinokc" posts a mea culpa.

    The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

    Colt McCoy runs a QB sneak that doesn't result in him leaving the game.

    Random KSU video that makes me hope I don't look like this when I play Guitar Hero with the blinds open

    Prediction: Texas fans celebrate a victory with a rousing chorus of "Beat OU!"



    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Texas Football: The Rice Game 

    Week Four: No. 6 Texas (3-0) vs. Rice (0-3)
    Last Week: Texas 35, UCF 32; Texas Tech 59, Rice 24
    Last Meeting: Texas 52, Rice 7 (2006)
    All-Time Series: Texas leads, 67-21-1

    Another week, another less-than-impressive performance... After three games I think there are three ways to look at this season:

    1. "Gloom and Doom"

    Texas has more arrests and/or suspensions since opening camp than wins. The offense has sputtered for as many quarters as they've clicked. Colt McCoy is either in a sophomore slump or he's still feeling the effects of last season's neck stinger. Jamaal Charles continues to fumble, almost nullifying the fact that he's proven himself the best guy on the field when the offense has the ball. Longhorn linebackers still have a ways to go to match the productivity of the Tyson King-led units of the mid-90s. While Texas ekes out wins against seemingly inferior opponents, the boys in Norman have disposed of opponents with the kind of ease that Texas did in 2005.

    2. "Silver Lining"

    Despite their struggles Texas is still 3-0. The secondary, much maligned in 2006, has now stymied two consecutive opponents. Nate Jones has emerged as a playmaker in Billy Pittman's absence, making opponents pay for double-teaming Limas Sweed. Jamaal Charles has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in all three games, despite running behind a banged-up, inexperienced line. Oklahoma hasn't really played anyone, anyway. No Texas players have been charged with armed robbery and double homicide.

    3. "Completely Delusional"

    Well, Ohio State won a national title with close wins over crappy teams, too.

    This Week's Game in a Nutshell

    Rice is horrible. If Texas does not come out and stomp them from the opening kickoff then take your life savings and put every single penny on OU to cover in two weeks. Hell, parlay it with the over and make a 250 percent profit.

    According to NCAA 2008...

    It's a blowout. The Texas offense rolls up 400 yards to the Owls' 65, in a 41-0 pounding. Life needs to imitate video games. Cedric Golden, from the AA-S, concurs.

    Matt visits the football mailbag in this week's TWTWB...

    What we learned last week: We learned that either Tennessee is really, really bad and Fulmer will be sent packing later in the year, or Florida is vastly underrated and Tebow will have TWO big breasted women on his arms soon…We learned that Nick Saban likes to score 21 points in the first quarter and have a commanding lead, and then allow 21 points in the 4th quarter at HOME to COMPLETELY screw me and others out of money, er, satisfaction of being correct…We learned that although Tyrone Willingham’s Washington program has made some progress, they don’t have the athletes to hang with the big boys and sure can’t overcome 3 interceptions…We learned that Boston College might be the most underrated team in college football, armed with a senior quarterback who throws for 435 yards against an outstanding defense and a rushing defense that ranks 4th in the country. With nothing but patsies from now until a late October match-up with Virginia Tech, watch out…We learned that USC has an offensive line that makes holes big enough to run an entire fleet of trucks through it. Sure they allowed some junk yardage late, but they made it clear the road to the national title goes through South Central Los Angeles (yikes)…We learned that (sigh) hopefully the golf games of Texas alums were much better than the team last week. But we did learn that Texas might have the best onside kick return unit in the country.

    So we’ve got that going for us.


    This week we dive into the old mailbag. Please remember that these might not be actual letters from actual readers. They might in fact be complete fabrications dreamed up in between the 20 spam MySpace friend requests I have received in the past two days.

    Excuse me sir, is IBM hiring?

    C. Weis
    South Bend, Indiana

    Sorry, not sure your fat ass could get in under the insurance plan.

    It really is amazing how bad Notre Dame is when they’ve had how many good-great recruiting classes in recent years? Does Weis owe his entire legacy to Bill Belichick and his video camera? Certainly would explain his and Romeo Crennel’s complete failures as head coaches (F you Cleveland, $1 bet to anyone out there they don’t score 50 points in the next four games).

    Or perhaps Weis just needs to put his ego aside and realize that coaching in the NFL and coaching college football is completely different and adjust accordingly. I think Pete Carroll might be able to help you out.

    Why the hell did I go for 2 last week, up by 11 with a little over three minutes left in the game?

    M. Brown
    Austin, TX

    I have no idea, good sir, that is an outstanding question. Perhaps you felt the need to win over pollsters with a rousing 36-32 win over Central Florida. Or perhaps you wanted to honor Lamarr Houston for his outstanding work with the Austin Children’s Hospital or perhaps you wanted to give walk-on Kendal Carrillo a chest bump all the way from Orlando. Perhaps you had money on the Over. Perhaps you had 6-4 in the Athletic Department’s weekly Squares pot. Or perhaps you just forgot the score.

    How do we get back on the winning track?

    G. Patterson
    Fort Worth, TX

    Make up “Beat SMU” t-shirts?

    Was it really that bad last week against USC?

    B. Callahan
    Lincoln, NE

    Um, yeah. Your DL looked like those little plastic guys on the old electronic vibrating football game who would get pushed all the way to the edge of the field. I think one of your DL ordered a hot dog from the concession stand since he was already over there. Another had to prove he was part of the football team once he was pushed down the ramp and out the gate.

    Hello Mr. Craig, we hope you enjoyed your recent stay at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Any feedback that you have would be greatly appreciated. We use these comments to make the stay for our guests as enjoyable as possible.

    Caesar’s Palace Management
    Las Vegas, NV

    Do not EVER, under any circumstances, get rid of the Pussycat Dolls Casino. I’m serious. It’s the most genius idea ever. Just help a brother out and offer a couple of lower denomination tables. There is a reason my ass is stuck in the original tower overlooking other rooms (although the girl changing clothes across the way was a plus). And please, don’t ever let me bet on the Cincinnati Bengals or New Orleans Saints again. Use your face recognition software for good and not evil and keep me away from those teams. And why can’t you help a brother out again and offer some free drinks in the sports book? I’ve seen the Travel Channel, I know your ass ain’t broke.

    What do you make of the Longhorns recent problems with the law?

    K. Bohls
    Austin, TX

    I just like to pretend we’re all just fans of Texas in NCAA 2008 and somebody has all of their budget in recruiting and training and 0% going to discipline. Although I’m getting damn tired of Lee Corso saying the same f’ing thing 4 times in a quarter.

    What do you think of Texas’s chances in the Red River Rivalry this year?

    K. Sherrington
    Dallas, TX

    Let’s just say this. I hope four people get hit by a bus every morning when I wake up: 1.) Osama bin Laden; 2.) Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt; and 3.) Sam Bradford.

    My best odds are probably with Bradford, since the boy looks dumber than a sack of rocks and there aren’t many busses on the Afghan/Pakistan border with all four tires. And of course I couldn’t be so lucky to get Spencer Pratt out of this world.

    There is a lot of football to be played, but since the Longhorns season opener hasn’t been held yet, I really think it’s unfair to think they’ll be up for a big game in two short weeks.
    They Said It...

    “"Why do our safeties hate Pythagoras?"

    - Henry James, live blogging the UCF game on Barking Carnival .
    My 6th grade math teacher, Dr. Coburn, would have loved that one.

    "Neither [Mack] Brown nor his players should be let off the hook, because they're looking soft on the field and may be doing hard time off it."

    - Kirk Bohls, on Texas' slew of legal troubles
    What a cute pun. You're better than cheesy hyperbole, Kirk.

    "I'm responsible for making all the final decisions on football at The University of Texas, and it's obvious that I need to be more accountable and do a better job.."

    - Mack Brown, on Texas' slew of legal troubles.
    Brown said exactly what needed to be said. Sure, we all wish that he would vocalize that level of accountability for what happens on the field, but wins and losses are only part of the equation. I don't believe that Brown's spiels on character and "winning with good kids" are lip service. He wants to win with integrity, and the actions he's taken this year have shown sincerity in that effort.

    In the Huddle with "Sir Rod"... and Friends

    "Sir Rod" Walker says:

    Coming soon...

    Stoney Clark says:

    Coming soon...

    Tailgate Talk

    It's going to be hot. Damn hot. And we're not going to serve any owl meat. Look for a potential discussion about the worst QB in Texas history: Shannon Kelly or Mark Murdoch.

    A few other College Football-related Thoughts

  • I cannot in good conscience cheer for a guy in Razorback red, but Darren McFadden certainly would look good in Cowboys blue and silver next year.

  • Has any coach since John Mackovic consistently teased a fanbase with greatness, only to consistently dash their optimism, as much as UCLA's Karl Dorrell?

  • Way to go, Sylvester Croom! Hopefully that win against Auburn marks a turning point.

  • So much for USC preparing for a fight in Lincoln... It's hard to say which national title contender has had the most impressive win thus far: USC over Nebraska? Florida over Tennessee? LSU over Virginia Tech?

  • Louisville over Kentucky? Oops... nevermind. Maybe they should have played it on Thursday night.

  • OU Still Sucks...

  • Fifteen Years Ago this Week

    (note: 2007 marks the 15-year anniversary of the Temple Wildcats' 1992 5A Div. II Texas State Championship, which came during my sophomore year of high school. I'll re-cap that season throughout the fall.)

    Temple not only had the opportunity to face both defending 5A state champions in 1992 (Permian and Killeen), they also met the other eventual 5A state champ, Converse Judson. The week four encounter took place Judson's Rocket Stadium, where the home team hadn't lost in almost ten years. The streak didn't reach a full decade. Temple couldn't bottle up All State RB Jerrod Douglas, who churned out more than 250 yards on the ground, but a big third quarter turned a double-digit deficit into a comfortable 37-21 win for No. 1 Temple. The message on Temple's pregame run-through sign said it all: "You're just another stepping stone."

    Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

    My first encounter with the Longhorn Hellraisers came during the '95 Texas-Rice game. One of them kept shouting with the utmost gusto at Rice LB Larry Izzo, calling him a "trash-talkin' dog." That was the best he come up with, based on the number of times he yelled it. After a while I felt genuinely uncomfortable that the guy continued to embarrass himself in such a manner. Over Larry Izzo, of all people. The Longhorn Hellraisers, folks... at least back then I suppose they didn't do that cringe-worthy dance to "The Wabash Cannonball."

    Semi-Relevant Song Lyric from a Rapper whose work (like Texas'?) was more impressive a few years ago

    "I do what I want, I don't care if I get caught. The DA can play this mothaf---in' tape in court."

    - 50 Cent, "Heat"
    Well hopefully this won't be so semi-relevant by season's end. I should probably confess, by the way, that I named two of my three fantasy football teams "Mack Brown's Bail Bonds." The one good thing about the continues scrapes with Johnny law is that it keeps my team names fresh and topical.

    Bonus Semi-Relevant Quote from a TV show that Bill Simmons is crusading to save.

    "Every man at some point in his life is going to lose a battle. He's going to fight, and he's going to lose. But what makes him a man is that in the midst of that battle, he does not lose himself."

    - Coach Eric Taylor, Friday Night Lights.
    If we look past the unrealistic expectations that plague our fanbase, we will all realize that this team is going to lose a game this season (and most likely every season). I think what I expect to see, along with every rational fan, is a team that represents itself with pride each week, and with an effort becoming of the adulation and fervor of its fanbase. Texas fans didn't see that in weeks one or three. If that's the case in week six then Mack Brown and company deserve whatever criticism they receive.

    Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

    This section will have to hibernate for a week, while we await a game with an opponent that has a message board worth quoting.

    The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

    A Texas LB makes a meaningful tackle. We're really setting our sights low, huh?

    Random highlights that are best enjoyed with the computer's sound down and something more upbeat playing on your iPod.

    Prediction: Rice fans leave DKR wishing they still had Todd Graham and Major Applewhite on staff.



    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Texas Football: The UCF Game 

    Week Three: No. 6 Texas (2-0) vs. Central Florida (1-0)
    Last Season: Did not play
    Last Meeting: Never Met
    All-Time Series: Never Met

    M-I-C... K-E-Y... M-O-U-S-E...

    Aside from some fans' characterization of Texas Tech's backyard offense, America's favorite rodent rarely crosses over into football conversations.

    It did happen once, when Rice's M.O.B. played the Mickey Mouse March in lieu of the Aggie War Hymn during their "Farewell to the SWC" halftime show against Texas in 1995. And then of course there was last Saturday, when Texas' second-half demolition of TCU caused an elated Mack Brown to scream, "we're goin' to Disneyworld!"

    Okay, not really.

    Brown's rejuvenated Texas Longhorns did [coachspeak] take care of business [/coachspeak], though, and now they'll venture away from Royal-Memorial Stadium this weekend for a road clash with the University of Central Florida in beautiful Orlando, Fla., no more than a Colt McCoy-to-Nate Jones post pattern away from the Magic Kingdom.

    That doesn't mean that the Longhorns view this weekend as a vacation (see: "They Said It," below), especially in light of recent history. Rubbing shoulders with Mickey and the gang has probably become passe for a Texas program that took in Disneyland before taking out Michigan and USC in back-to-back trips out west. And this weekend's contest won't quite match the paegantry of the Rose Bowl.

    At least it won't for Texas fans (see: "Rational/Deluded Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board," below).

    This Week's Game in a Nutshell

    Texas has played one complete half of football in its first two games. But in outscoring TCU 34-3 in the second half the Horns finally showed the level of football that expected of them this season. Still, it would not surprise me to see the Horns mired in a close game on Saturday, at least for a while, due to two factors: (1) Talented RB Kevin Smith, who impressed with 218 yards against NC State, and (2) the adrenaline factor from a team opening a brand new on-campus stadium.

    Texas rolls into Bright House Networks Stadium as the very first opponent to face UCF there. If they can contain Smith and force QB Kevin Israel to win the game, then Texas will likely leave Bright House Networks Stadium as the very first opponent to beat UCF there. Even the amped-up crowd will have a hard time fazing a Longhorn team that simply has too many weapons.

    According to NCAA 2008...

    A late defensive stand preserves a 21-14 Texas win. The Longhorn D sacks Israel four times, but a tipped pass on 3rd and long finds its way into the hands of a Knight WR, continuing a drive that reaches the Longhorn 19 before ending on downs. Would Texas fans find satisfaction in a seven point win?

    Matt chimes in with a Vegas theme and a lot of inside jokes in the Week Three TWTWB...

    What we learned last week: We learned that even if Notre Dame is a 20 point underdog, take the other team, you would have won the last 4 games…Virginia Tech’s defense might be good enough to stop the pathetic offenses in the ACC (At week’s end the ACC had 4 offenses at or worst than 109th in the country), but they have nothing on LSU, of course not many teams do…Hail to the (sometimes) Victors, just about 353 days until the 2008 season starts, Michigan!....It’s a little harder to run the ball against Wake Forest than it is Nevada, Nebraska. You’ll have to score more than that to be in the same stadium as your opponent this weekend…Randy Shannon, you really, really have your work cut out for you. The Hurricanes are barely even a tropical depression at this point…You have 12 quarters of football before Dallas, Longhorns. Let’s make them count a hell of a lot better than the first 6.


    This week we get our annual chat with Roxy Roxborough, bookmaker at the LM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Hey Roxy, how are you? You know were coming out there to visit you this weekend, right?

    What? Really? (Whispers under his breath to somebody in the room: Get those girls out of here, tell them to take their letterman jackets with them). That’s great, HornMafia! We’ll be ready for ya!

    So what are your thoughts on the young season?

    Well, I can’t really tell you because the whole just getting out of rehab thing, but from what my DVR was able to hold, it looks like it’s a two horse race between LSU and South Florida.

    South Florida?

    Yeah man, did you see their game last week against Auburn? You don’t go into the SEC and win at night, homey!

    But Roxy, it was one game and Auburn is pretty average this year.

    Are you doubting me, HornMafia? You watch out for Matt Grothe. He’s a Heisman lock for this year.

    Just like the Baylor quarterback a couple of years ago and Michigan State defensive lineman Otis Wiley last year?

    I was a drunk bastard last year. Now I’m clean.

    Yeah, no wonder our sports book has been in the red for the past 6 years.

    Is that a shot at me you little bastard? It wasn’t the gambling losses that killed us. It was Isabella Soprano at the Bunny Ranch taking all of our winnings.

    Sigh. Okay, what are the Longhorns’ chances this year?

    Ah man, between the bicep flexing, Jordan Shipley dying in the off-season, Sergio Kindle and Henry Melton playing Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie and Colt McCoy looking like he’s been with Isabella Soprano more than I have, they’re done.

    Done? Don’t you think you’re being a little hard on them, especially McCoy? And Shipley isn’t dead, he just tweaked a hamstring.


    I’m sorry, Roxy.

    Nah, seriously? Do you want this job? Do you think its easy setting lines on a bunch of roided up freaks? Do you think it is easy keeping the feds off the trail? Do you think it is easy burying hookers out in the desert?


    Gas prices, man! It takes forever to drive out there, and the hot weather just sucks it up.

    Stop. I don’t want to hear it. Did you go to the VMAs last week?

    Yup. Sure did. Had backstage passes. Tried to slip a little GHB in Britney’s drink but that bitch is so hopped up on everything else all it did was make her tired and lethargic. Then I was playing dominoes with Kanye West and I won and he started bitching at me and throwing shit around. Took my picture with The Hills girls. Grabbed Audrina’s ass, she didn’t appreciate that very much. Told Rhianna that her song was highly annoying, her bodyguard didn’t appreciate that very much. So they kicked me out of backstage and I made my way to the front. Told Kid Rock that Tommy Lee said he had a small weiner. Then I ended up playing blackjack with Justin Timberlake all night and woke up the next morning in the Playboy Suite at The Palms next to that chick from The Pussycat Dolls with nothing on but a Larry Bird jersey and a half-smoked pack of Menthols by my side.

    Wow. Just wow. Okay Roxy, let’s wrap this up, any “unique” odds on the board this week at the LM Casino?

    Oh yeah, of course.

    - Odds that Drew and Pope end up at The Bunny Ranch this weekend: 100 to 1
    - Odds that Bucharest could tell them the fastest route: 2 to 1
    - Odds that Lloyd Carr wins Coach of the Year: 1,000,000 to 1
    - Odds that Sam Bradford can find South Carolina on the map: 50 to 1
    - Odds that Lou Holtz goes to the hospital on the air this year: 3 to 1
    - Odds that Iowa State wins a game this year: 50 to 1
    - Odds that Gene Chizik uses more than 2 formations: 75 to 1
    - Odds that the week before the OU game more than 50% of Longhorn fans will convince themselves that Arkansas State could go to the BCS: 2 to 1
    - Odds that SMU gives up the most passing yards in collegiate history: 2 to 1

    - O/U on how many wins Lavorskie Lane gets to flash the Horns Down after: 5
    - O/U on how many A&M fans are secretly going to wish they didn’t beat Texas last year by the end of the 2007 season: a bunch
    - O/U on how many beers the LM can put away at Canary Hut: 52
    - O/U on how many wax paper cup beers the LM can put away at the State Fair: 72
    - O/U on how many tailgates EUnit makes this year: No Line
    - O/U on number of mayors doing shots at the LMFZ tailgate: 1
    - O/U on how many spy movies are in Bill Belichick’s Top 5: 5
    - O/U on how many players suffer year ending injuries on HornMafia’s two fantasy football teams: 3
    - O/U on how many trips to rehab Lindsey Lohan makes in 2008: 3
    - O/U on how many trips Sam Bradford makes to Big Red Imports in 2007: twice a month
    They Said It...
    “I do think it’s the best crowd since we’ve been at the University of Texas.”

    - Mack Brown, on the 84,000+ at DKR-Memorial Stadium last week.
    Um, Mack... You've hosted Top 10 teams in Texas A&M (1998), Nebraska (1999) Ohio State (2005) and Texas Tech (2005). I attended each of those games, and if it seemed like the crowd on saturday equaled any of those, it's because the previous week's crowd made it seem raucous, by comparison. With that said, Texas fans did help create a boisterous effort to rally the team in the second half. Mack may just feel bad about that "suicide watch" quip from a week ago.

    "We were hunting and pecking until we could find something that worked."

    - Texas Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis
    I would say something here, but UT blogger Henry James already said it: "And there it is. Davis gives us a name for his offense. Steve Spurrier has the Fun ‘n Gun. Greg Davis has the Hunt ‘n Peck."

    "It's a business trip."

    - Frank Okam, describing the Horns' weekend excursion to Orlando, Fla.


    In the Huddle with "Sir Rod"... and Friends

    "Sir Rod" Walker says:

    The play is comin' in from the sidelines... we have cameras everywhere thanks to the New England Patriots video staff... let's hear what Sir Rod has to say... HUDDLE UP!!!

    Although I've never played in the state of Florida... I HAVE been there on many college football excursions. One Word, Two Syllables, 'ROW-DY'! I don't care who you are! You can be Florida's lil' league football team, 'the Mini-Marlins' vs. Florida State... the Florida State fans will try to MOB those little kids. They just don't give a dolphins nose, or whatever it is. Anywho... all i'm sayin' is... new stadium... sold out game... only a speck of orange in the stands... AWWW THE HELL WIT IT... WE GONE KICK THEIR ISSSSISS!!!! (Thank coach "Wackovik" for that 'dirty word'). ...readyyyy BREAK!

    Stoney Clark says:

    I hope all you Horn fans had a great week after the victory over the Horned Frogs. I capitalized the H and F out of respect for the fight they put up on Saturday and to show some respect for the 'ol Southwest Conference.

    When I signed a free-agent contract to play for Tampa Bay in 1996, my roommate was a defensive end from UCF and we were both fighting for spots on the team. To get away from the stress and worry of training camp, we took a drive to his old college campus and spent the day there with some of his old teammamtes. I recall Orlando being a beautiful place, and thinking we had things a lot better on the 40acres than those guys had it there.

    I expect Texas to arrive back at Austin Bergstrom Intl. 3-0 after a tough game against UCF. Texas being 2-0 is great, but it also means UCF has two game tapes to break down and find the weaknesses in UT's secondary and along the interior lines. For some reason it seems like we're rebuilding, and 3-0 is a hell of a record for a rebuilding year.

    Tailgate Talk

    I'm not sure where Texas fans intend to congregate this weekend, but I'll join them in spirit from the Caesar's Palace sportsbook in lovely Las Vegas, Nev. A quick of review of the TCU tailgate shows that: (a) frog legs really don't taste like chicken (b) Texas in September is still unbearably hot, and (c) Austin has a pretty damn cool (jello-shot imbibing) mayor.

    A few other College Football-related Thoughts

  • Michigan and Notre Dame battle to see which team can avoid a 3-0 start. Does that exemplify parity or parody in college football? Or am I just reaching to make a bad pun?

  • Let me get this straight... Texas wins by eight against Arkansas State and drops three spots in the polls. Texas A&M blows a double-digit lead against Fresno State, ekes out a 2-point win in TRIPLE OT, and JUMPS to No. 18?

  • Florida State visits Boulder to take on the Buffs. Five years ago this would have been a pretty solid game. Now it's a half-step better than Michigan-Notre Dame

  • Tennessee-Florida on Saturday... Meh. Give me Tennessee-Indy on Sunday

  • I'm sure that no one expects Nebraska to cover 10.5 points against USC, much less win outright. But as someone that has made the trip to Lincoln twice in the last five years, and seen Nebraska take superior Texas teams to the wire both times, I say this: Get ready for a fight. The Huskers' have seen one opponent come to town since 1991 and leave with a double-digit win (Kansas State, 38-9, in 2001).

  • OU Still Sucks...

  • Fifteen Years Ago this Week

    (note: 2007 marks the 15-year anniversary of the Temple Wildcats' 1992 5A Div. II Texas State Championship, which came during my sophomore year of high school. I'll re-cap that season throughout the fall.)

    Temple 56, San Angelo Central 28. You know, there's not a lot in San Angelo.

    Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

    It's hard to have a personal anecdote about an opponent you've never played. Hell, I've never even been to Florida. My friend Candace did spend a semster working at Disney World, thought, where she "sold plush toys, and told kids to have a magical f---ing day."

    Semi-Relevant Song Lyric from a Rapper that's just plain Goofy (sorry)

    "Bow in the presence of greatness, you should be honored by my lateness; That I
    would even show up to this fake shit, so go ahead, go nuts, go ape shit"

    - Kanye West, "Stronger"
    We're Texas.

    Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

    UCF fans debate: Which is bigger: Texas game or '05 C-USA champ game?

    SadUCF Knight answers, "I think Texas, hands down..." His fellow Knight fans seem to agree. Well, Mack, there you go... your team has the bullseye. Now respond.

    By the way... on the first page of their board I saw five tailgating-related threads. I almost wish I were headed to Orlando instead of Vegas. Almost.

    The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

    Greg Davis runs a Mickey Mouse offense at some point.


    Random highlight that has absolutely nothing to do with Texas-UCF, but was more a more enticing recollection of Texas against a Florida team than highlights from the 1991 Cotton Bowl

    Prediction: The Knights have to wait at least another week to walk out of Bright House Networks Stadioum victorious.



    Monday, September 03, 2007

    Texas Football: The TCU Game 

    Week Two: No. 7 Texas (1-0) vs. No. 19 TCU (1-0)
    Last Season: Did not play
    Last Meeting: Texas 27, TCU 19 -- 1995
    All-Time Series: Texas leads 60-20-1

    There's a great little "dive" -- Adair's -- located on the fringe of Dallas' Deep Ellum bar district. It sells canned beer, has a great shuffleboard table, and as I recall, a pretty solid jukebox. If you've ever been there and sat along the back wall, just around the corner from the bar, you may have noticed the following, scrawled among all the other graffiti covering the red and pink brick:

    Nov. 7, 1992 TCU 23, Texas 14.

    Texas fans became accustomed to John Mackovic's ability to take a ranked Texas team on the road and lose to an unranked conference foe, and that disturbing trend began with TCU in 1992. In the fifteen years since, Texas and TCU have faced each other just three times -- all Texas wins -- and John Mackovic's presence on the Forty Acres has long since vanished. So why do I mention this game?

    I do so because a TCU upset would damage Texas' 2007 season just as much as it did that of the 1992 Horns, whose losses in two of three post-TCU games ended any hopes of a bowl berth. A Horned Frog win won't likely cause the Horns to miss the 2007 postseason, but after a less-than-impressive debut against Arkansas State, losing to TCU would represent a huge step back for this program.

    Texas and TCU aren't the same teams they were in 1992. But Texas obviously isn't the same team it was in 2005 either. The Longhorns cannot show up Saturday night, put forth another lackadaisacal effort against TCU, and walk off of the field still undefeated. It's not time to espouse doom and gloom in Austin, but it is time to step out of the funk that has marked Texas' past four games, dating back to Kansas State in 2006.

    TCU wants to show they can play with the elite in college football. TCU wants do to Texas what they've done to Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Baylor in recent years. TCU wants to make a trip to the BCS. If Texas doesn't want to stop them from doing all of those things on Saturday, and if they don't display the level of passion and focus necessary to do so, then the back wall at Adair's may just find some fresh graffiti come Saturday night.

    This Week's Game in a Nutshell

    See comment from Lokey, Derek, a few sections below.

    According to NCAA 2008...

    Ladies and gentlemen, EA Sports has the Greg Davis offense down pat. With about three minutes to go and his team leading 20-7, Davis' offense runs a delayed draw to Jamaal Charles on 2nd and 7 from the TCU 32, and then sends Colt McCoy on a QB Draw on 3rd and 6, which loses three yards, pushing them out of field goal range.

    The Texas defense finishes strong this time, though, avoiding any late unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Texas holds on for the 20-7 victory despite getting only 53 yards from JC on 19 carries. The Horns rack up just 248 yards in total offense, which still almost doubles the anemic 131 yards TCU amasses.

    Matt gives us reminiscing, rappers, and rants in his Week Two TWTWB

    What we learned last week: We learned that the Sylvester Croom Era will likely not go down in the annals of SEC Football lore, unless you want to mention coaches that have failed to recruit a single athlete that can play D-1 football…We learned that 3 quarterbacks later, Notre Dame won’t have to worry about scheduling practice around Christmas break…We learned that Tennessee and Phil Fulmer “need to get back to basics” for about the 12th time in the last 3 years…We learned that no matter how talented they are, or how much money T. Boone Pickens gives them, Oklahoma State is still Oklahoma State and they are what they are, a mid-tier BCS conference team that can’t play with the big boys…We learned that Todd Dodge is sentimental, and wanted to give up 79 points in respect to Southlake Carroll’s 79-1 record in Texas Class 5A, or perhaps he might want to install an actual collegiate defensive scheme…We learned that when you take a team’s mascot away, they get really pissed.


    It was November 18th, 1995 the last time that TCU came into Memorial Stadium (the DKR part hadn’t even been added yet).They were led by quarterback Max Knake on a 64 degree day, which was probably pretty warm by the end of the day on the Astro-Turf field. The Horned Frogs left that day with a 27-19 loss to the #10 Longhorns, as a freshman fullback by the name of Ricky Williams had 73 of an eventual 6279 yards in his career. The Longhorns celebrated their victory on the track surrounding the stadium, but TCU didn’t hang their head. It was a closer game than many thought it would be, and Frog fans stayed until the end. They saw I-35 very clearly, seeing as how the east side of the stadium only had one deck, and knew they had a long way home, but didn’t think it would be this long until they saw Austin again.

    The next year was the first for the newly-formed Big 12 conference, as Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Baylor split off from the Southwest Conference and joined the members of the old Big 8, who also split off. Texas ended up winning the inaugural Big 12 Championship Game in a miraculous upset, while TCU was sent off packing to the Western Athletic Conference, where the first two years there saw them post a 5-17 record.

    Texas had its own problems in 1997, which led to the firing of John Mackovic and the the hiring of Mack Brown from North Carolina. TCU fired head coach Pat Sullivan after the ’97 season as well, and hired Dennis Franchione away from New Mexico. The Horned Frogs went 7-5 in 1998 and beat USC in the Sun Bowl. Although TCU shined with Franchione’s coaching and Ladainian Tomlinson at running back, ol’ Fran was looking at greener pastures after the 2000 season, left for Alabama, and TCU promoted defensive coordinator Gary Patterson to the job.

    Two more conferences for TCU later, here we are.

    Although Texas holds the all-time advantage in the series 60-20-1, TCU always seemed to play it even with the Longhorns, including a 23-14 win in Fort Worth in 1992 (TCU hasn’t won in Austin since 1967).

    While decades have passed since the formation of the Southwest Conference, and a little more than a decade has passed since the dissolution of the Southwest Conference, here we are, with #7, established Texas playing underdog, #19 TCU, with the Frogs searching for respect against Goliath.

    The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same.

    So, in honor of Kanye West releasing his new album, Graduation and 50 Cent releasing his new album, Curtis, on the same day next week, let’s see if we can’t compare that heavyweight battle to this one.

    Kanye West songs include:

    Gold Digger – TCU probably has this view of Texas due to the Longhorns jumping ship to the Big 12 conference, while TCU co-eds get this name due to a lot of them going to school to get their MRS degrees.

    Jesus Walks – As in Vince Young walks into the corner of the endzone with 19 seconds left in the game to give Texas a national title.

    All Falls Down – TCU fans tore down the goalposts with their 1997 victory against SMU…their only victory that season.

    Diamonds From Sierra Leone – Aren’t those rings beautiful?

    Through The Wire -- While Texas didn’t play through the wire last year, TCU has cost themselves a chance at BCS games with losses to Utah and Southern Mississippi in recent years.

    50 Cent songs include:

    In da Club – TCU is trying to show they belong in the club of college football’s higher tier, while the Longhorns are in the VIP suite sipping Christal (although probably too much judging by last week, and please, I implore you, don’t drive after you do). And I hate Spencer Pratt for overusing this term.

    21 Questions – It’s about how many questions the average fan had for Mack Brown last Saturday night, while TCU didn’t have that many people in the stands last week to ask questions.

    Ayo Technology – This new song by 50 Cent was supposed to be called “Ayo Pornography” before that was shelved in this post-Janet Jackson world. In other words, a sad reality of what you think is true and what is actually true, or an average TCU fan’s mindset.

    Get Rich or Die Tryin’ – Since we have passed the line of where Rhett Bomar jokes are still funny, let’s just say that TCU will do anything to get to the top of the football world.

    Wanksta – Wanksta = fake. Do I need to explain this one?

    Just poking a little fun, TCU fans. Welcome back to Austin. Is Michael Reeder still your kicker?
    They Said It...

    IT WAS OVER WHEN... Colt McCoy found Antwan Cobb in the end zone with 2:49 remaining in the first quarter. That score was all the lead Texas would need.

    ESPN's College Football Overview

    The boys in Bristol may have been too wrapped up in the post-Michigan fallout to notice that a recovered onside kick proved to be the actual game-clincher.

    "We do have one of the few fan bases that goes on suicide watch after a win... Our fans need to understand that every year it gets tougher. Every team gives us its best shot."

    Mack Brown.
    True, true and true... but none of those statements make what happened last week acceptable. Except for Michigan and Virginia Tech, no one else in the Top 10 saw an unranked team come to town and play them as close to the vest as Arkansas State played Texas. It's not unreasonable for fans to expect a team rated as highly as Texas to dominate inferior competition.

    "We've got to go out and hit them in the mouth. If we don't do it first, they'll do it to us."

    Texas DT Derek Lokey

    Somebody gets it.

    In the Huddle with "Sir Rod"... and Friends

    "Sir Rod" Walker says:

    November 7, 1992. I remember that game!! I remember it all too well. We as a team were sooo pissed at coach 'Wackovich' that when TCU started tryin' to tear down their goal post....(I wanted to get up there and help'em!) There are other memories about the Horned Frogs... Whether we play at home or on the road... whenever we got inside the locker rooms, we'd sit down on our chairs with our headphones on and read the game program. Well, on the cover of TCU's program was a big picture of a Horned Frog and a Longhorn w/ captions. It had the Horned Frog drinkin' a beer and askin' the Longhorn, "do you want a brewsky!?" They had the Longhorn sitting in a chair with its legs crossed replying, "no thank you. I'm a tea sipper," as he holds the tea cup w/ two fingers and the rest stickin' out! We thought that was rather hilarious.

    Texas will have to get their act together, though, if they want to win this game. TCU has truly been a powerhouse during and since Ladanian Tomlinson... very competative and great coaches... a LOT of trick plays, too! It's gonna be interesting.

    (Drew: Although he's far too modest to mention it, "Sir Rod" ran for more than 100 yards -- not once, but twice! -- against the Frogs, in 1991 and 1994. By comparison, Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams never ran for 100 yards against TCU*.)

    *Ricky did only face them once, in 1995

    Stoney Clark says:

    Texas Christian University. I feel like they, along with the Universtiy of Houston, benefitted greatly from the creation of the Big 12 and their placement in their respective conferences. I was a freshman getting my first playing time in 1992 and only saw mop up duty against TCU. Their starting quarterback was a good friend of mine from Gladewater, Leon Clay, and I had mixed emotions about the loss. I was upset the team I was representing lost, but was happy to see Leon do well in his senior year campaign.

    My next three years we beat TCU convincingly. They had good players, but not the caliber of players that are recruited to play at Texas.

    I am ashamed to say, I wasn't in attendance for the season opener against Arkansas State and didn't listen to but a few plays on the radio. I hope Texas is ready to play, as I'm sure this is the game that TCU's head coach has instructed his players, could be something they'll remember the rest of their lives. Hook 'em!

    (Drew: Stoney Clark terrorized opposing offensive linemen from 1992-95, and is best remembered for hitting OU's James Allen in the closing seconds of the 94 Red River Shootout with a flying body block that probably made The Ultimate Warrior proud (and Allen's future chiropractor rich). I'm looking forward to his weekly contributions to the previews).

    Tailgate Talk

    On the menu this week... frog legs. I've never eaten frog legs. Supposedly they taste like chicken, right? Much like with the actual game, I'm approaching the situation with reservations, but also keeping a positive outlook. For the record, opposing mascot-themed fare has met with both positive (Buffalo burgers before Colorado in '05) and negative (various pork items before Arkansas in '03) results.

    A few other College Football-related Thoughts

  • Congrats and thanks to Michigan for replacing the 1997 Longhorns as the highest-ranked team to ever fall completely out of the Top 25.

  • Based on scores alone there's no way Virginia Tech marches into Death Valley and upends LSU, right? Maybe so, but the Tigers put up one of the least impressive 45-point wins ever.

  • ESPN's Tuesday episode of College Football Live called this is a big week for the Big 12. Does that mean that they're not going to qualify any potential OU victory against Miami as one that came against a sub-par Canes squad?

  • Am I the only one that thinks Colorado's Dan Hawkins bears a slight resemblance to former Bengals head coach Bruce Coslett. Go Play intramurals, brotha...

  • The worst thing about week one of the season is by far the knee-jerk reactions based on small sample sizes. "Oklahoma's running game is unstoppable right now," "this looks like the Miami defense of old," and "Colt McCoy isn't playing like the quarterback that replaced Vince Young," are all bold statements to make after a single week's worth of games

  • OU Still Sucks...

  • Fifteen Years Ago this Week

    (note: 2007 marks the 15-year anniversary of the Temple Wildcats' 1992 5A Div. II Texas State Championship, which came during my sophomore year of high school. I'll re-cap that season throughout the fall.)

    In recent years high school football has seen its share of national exposure. And had ESPN2 existed in 1992, I have no doubts that the worldwide leader in sports would have have made the trip to Temple, Texas, for a showdown between Odessa Permian and Temple. The teams ranked No. 1 and No. 3, respectively, in the weekly Associated Press schoolboy poll, and USA Today also listed both in their top 25 national rankings. The overflow crowd of 11,000-plus witnessed a jewel of a game, which featured long drives, big plays, and even bigger stops. The deciding moment came when Temple DB Tony Lott forced a Permian fumble deep in Temple territory to preserve a six-point lead and a 20-14 Wildcat victory, vaulting Temple to the top of the state rankings. It marked the first of many big victories on Temple's way to their second state championship.

    Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

    I have a grand total of two UT-TCU memories: (1) Grady Cavness knocking the ball through the back of the endzone for a safety in the '92 loss, and (2) James Brown limping his way to a win over the Frogs in '95.

    One of Matt's high school buddies attended TCU, and he apparently belonged to the same fraternity as Chris Klein (aka "Oz" from the American Pie movies). As the story goes, the term "MILF" was popular among the brothers, and Klein's influence got it into the script, meaning that a TCU fraternity is indirectly responsible for "MILF" finding its way into the American pop culture lexicon. I don't really buy it either.

    Semi-Relevant Song Lyric from a British band that has probably never seen a Texas Football game

    "And how can we win when fools can be kings? Don't waste your time or time will waste you."

    - Muse, "Knights of Cydonia"
    There's a Greg Davis joke in there somewhere.

    Double Semi-Relevant Song Lyric from a rapper that's so arrogant he'd fit in well in the Texas fanbase

    "My life's like Grand Theft Auto PSP; I'm in the Volvo puffing on the la-la, ducking from the po-po."

    - Jay-Z, "Oh My God
    There's a Robert Joseph joke in there somewhere.

    Triple Semi-Relevant Song Lyric from the same song by the same rapper

    They gunning for me, Wanna see me fall; You know my story, I been through it all. Nights I felt like dying, But I ain't crying; What didn't kill me, Made me strong as iron"

    - Jay-Z, "Oh My God"
    Mack Brown is right; everyone is gunning for Texas. It's time to get that swagger back, boys. Derek Lokey is going to hit somebody in the mouth. Who's going to follow him?

    Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

    You've got to love a site called KillerFrogs.Com.

    Coach offers a pre-game pep talk, "Gather 'round men...":

    Time to strap in on. Four to go 'til "the day." The day you've been waiting for your whole life--the day that we're gonna go into DKR-Memorial Stadium and put everything we've got on the line. The day that all your hard work's gonna pay off and we're gonna show the nation that the Horned Frogs of TCU are for real.

    Now you'v heard a lot of nice things about TCU comin' out of Austin this week, and I wanna warn ya--these Texas folks are smoothe. They mutter platitudes about our program--they talk about the nice little program up 35 from Austin, pat us on the head--and then expect us to bow and scrape on our knees before 'em. They sit on their imaginary thrones and toss out complimentary bs and think we're gonna come into DKR and return the favor. Don't you buy it for one second--they don't respect you. They think you're suckers who will buy the crap they're sellin' and then roll over when you get to Austin. KNOW THIS--They kicked us to the curb and left us for dead over a decade ago--and they intend to do it again.

    Oh, they're gonna be ready, make no mistake. They've heard the rumblin'--the talk that TCU is for real and can challenge anybody in Texas--and they're gonna bust their asses to squash any more of that speculation. But no matter how ready they are--they're not superhuman. They're a bunch of blue-chippers who can play good football when they want to, but they're not the football gods they or their fans would like you to believe they are. They sweat, bleed, and hurt just the same as you or I-- whether there are 10 Longhorn fans in the stands or 100,000. You forget about all the trappin's of DKR--it's all meant to intimidate and make you feel small. You put it out of your heads--come out and smash 'em in the mouth, keep smashin' 'em in the mouth, and don't let up to the final gun and I'll promise you--you'll have the respect and admiration of all of Texas and the nation.
    It's like someone mixed Henry V with Knute Rockne and threw in a pinch of Jim Wacker... I'm even fired up reading that, and I'm hoping they get their ass kicked. Nice job, Coach! (Much better than this blather from someone named Gunner, who, as my buddy Robert might say, is developing prepackaged excuses -- "prepared in advance like Democratic Party talking points":

    They do that stuff in Austin. I expect it to happen to us Saturday. Remember, they have no shame. And you thought Bill Clinton was bad. The BCS doesn't embarass them, stepping on TCU, SMU, and Rice, didn't bother 'em, and Arkansas State doesn't bother 'em either. And if it happens again this Saturday, who will it hurt???? Not the Welfares.

    Ohh, did we figure this into our negotiations with UT? Not!

    We got Big 12 refs for a road game??? What????
    Do people still say "not"?

    The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

    Jamaal Charles take a delayed handoff from Colt McCoy, jukes three TCU defenders, and darts to the outside of tackle Tony Hills... where he's buried for a one-yard loss.

    Oh, and Derek Lokey is going to hit someone in the mouth.

    Random highlight that has absolutely nothing to do with Texas-TCU, but was accurate nonetheless

    Prediction: Frog legs don't taste like chicken.



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