b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

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.



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