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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Texas Football: The Nebraska Game 

Week Eight: No. 19 Texas (6-2) vs. Nebraska (4-4)
Last Week: Texas 31, Baylor 10; Texas A&M 36, Nebraska 14
Last Meeting: Texas 22, Nebraska 20 (2006)
All-Time Series: Texas leads, 7-4

Eight Years.

Nebraska has not beaten Texas in eight years. Oops... this was last week's theme. Nebraska isn't Baylor. Nevermind...

Before ESPN created a hypothetical tournament that pitted 2005 USC agaist the likes of 22 mini-Ditkas, the All-Madden team, and Caesar's Roman Legions (captained by star tailback Maximus Decimus Meridius), there existed a college football team so dominant that their closest equal could barely stay within five touchdowns of them in the de facto national title game.

This powerhouse beat four top ten teams in all, and their closest margin of victory was a comfortable 14 points. The only disappointment in the entire season came when their star quarterback finished second in the Heisman Trophy balloting. By all accounts it was one of the most remarkable performances in NCAA history.

Twelve years later that once-proud program limps into Austin on the heels of back-to-back losses. Both were blowouts. Both came at home, in a stadium that once saw 47 consecutive visitors leave in defeat. And both were so embarrassing that fans flocked to the exits well before time expired.

The team in question, of course, is Nebraska. Their 2007 season has deteriorated in recent weeks. Despite a 4-1 start, a three-game losing streak has the uskers at .500 now, with losses likely in every remaining game (at # 19 Texas, #9 Kansas, Kansas State, at Colorado). Athletic Director Steve Pederson has already lost his job, and head coach Bill Callahan is almost certainly soon to follow. In short, 2007 marks the nadir of Cornhusker football.

It's sad to see an elite program reduced to also-ran status. Maybe they kind of are Baylor...

But with a tradition of success.

This Week's Game in a Nutshell

Run the football. I know that Texas' most successful play these days is for Colt McCoy to escape the pocket, buy time, and wait for a WR to find an open spot, but Nebraska has had difficulty stopping the run. This should be a good week to rebuild Jamaal Charles' confidence.

According to NCAA 2008...


TWTWB should return this week

Coming soon...

They Said It...

"I really believe that kick was worth a scholarship at Texas. It kept us in the conference race and it kept us in the national race. If he didn't do anything else since he's been here, I would have thought that beating Nebraska at Nebraska was enough to warrant a scholarship."

- Mack Brown
"Who the hell is Bailey?" That's what we all thought last season (for those of us shivering uncontrollably in the stands, it's what we thought once we could think about anything other than the bitter cold). Yet unknown Ryan Bailey trotted onto the near-frozen field, nailed a game-winning chip shot, and -- I'm sure -- got laid every night afterward for the rest of the season. A scholarship had to have been the last thing on Bailey's mind when he drilled that kick. But I agree with mack; it was well deserved.

"We didn't play well last time we were home. We want to give fans a good show."

- Brian Orakpo
If by "good show," Brian, you mean, "ass whooping," then I'm on board.

"I’ve done an excellent job in every area. It’s hard for the media to know, but what we’ve done off the field, and what we’ve done on the field. I think it’s well-documented."

- Bill Callahan
Sure you have, Bill. I'm reminded of an employee review I did recently. The subject chose to look past chronic absenteeism, low quality work, and a sense of entitlement matched only by incredible laziness, and award ratings of "outstanding" or "exceeds expectations" across the board on the self-review portion. I suspect Dr. Tom will choose to excercise more rational judgment, as I did, when it comes time to true up the inflated self-assessment

The Things I Think About

I'd like to see someone create a video showing the career highlights of Derry, Bobino and Killebrew. Imagine "One Shining Moment" blaring out as Bobino bounces off of the FB on a blitz, or Killebrew hits someone three feet out of bounds, or Derry jumps on the pile when a ballcarrier has been down for a few seconds. Matt wants to tailgate graduation ceremonies this May. I think it's a great idea.

Betcha Didn't Know

Nebraskans like to mix their beer with tomato juice, creating a "bloody beer." Yes, it's as disgusting as it sounds. But they love it. If you feel compelled to show a little hospitality this weekend (and you should with these folks) then order them a bloody beer. You're under no obligation to drink one yourself.

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

"Sir Rod" Walker says:

Coming soon...

Stonie Clark says:

Coming soon...

Tailgate Talk

This week's menu: corn. Corn on the Cob. Corn Chips. Marie's Creamed Corn (if we're lucky). But under no circumstances will I partake in any "bloody beer." Additionally, we're bringing back an old tradition this week -- the Friday night tailgate. Look for a special appearance by the Sidetrack's band*.

*The Sidetracks band will actually perform at Scholz.

A few other College Football-related Thoughts

  • It's conceivable that no legitimate undefeated teams remain after this week. At this point I'm rooting for a two-loss team to play in the BSC title game, partly because I think Florida may very well be the nation's top team

  • Is there a reason that SEC fans are so in love with their conference? I don't understand how these teams can hate each other with such fury, but yet pull together to proclaim their collective greatness.

  • Les Miles may keep finding ways to win, but he's still horrible.

  • That said, I do agree with Stewart Mandel that LSU has demonstrated as much, if not more, than Ohio State when it comes to being the best team in the country.

  • Texas Tech... yep, that's about right.

  • 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 beat either Killeen Ellison or Copperas Cove. I don't really remember which. No matter, it was a mauling.

    Personal Anecdote Involving This Week's Opponent

    Last year Matt and I, along with his girlfriend and her parents, roadtripped from Austin to Lincoln. The drive wasn't honestly that bad -- at least not "bloody beer" bad. Anyway... we spent Friday evening at Sidetrack's, a Lincoln bar especially popular with the younger crowd. For those familiar with Pete's on Sixth Street, think of Sidetrack's as Pete's, but cruder, and with pitcher upon pitcher of "bloody beer." The tomato juice-infused concotions and terrible bar food aside, Sidetrack's provided plenty of eye candy and ample entertainment, complete with repeated choruses of "Screw the Sooners" from the Sidetrack's band. Yours truly even matched livers with a local in a chugging contest. I lost. What can I say? Midwesterner's can drink beer.

    Semi-Relevant lyric from a fellow Texan (who attended Texas Tech)

    "I wanna go time travelin' through Texas you and me
    I wanna be there, breathe the air and see all I can see
    In my Texas time travelin' machine"

    - Cory Morrow
    Last year Ryan Bailey punched through a field goal in a driving snowstorm. Four years earlier Nate Vasher snared an interception inside his own five. From 1996-99 fans saw James Brown convert fourth and inches, Major Applewhite complete a desparation touchdown heave across his body, and Mike Jones rumble a couple of dozen yards to paydirt. They represent five signature moments in five exhilerating Texas wins over Nebraska. One-sided or not, this Big 12 rivalry has seen its share of magical moments. It's a shame that Bill Callahan's "dead man walking" routine means fans won't likely get to see another storybook ending unfold -- not without a time machine.

    Deluded/Rational Thoughts from an Opposing Message Board

    Red Reign comments: "Texas shows Nebraska respect"

    Of the other 11 teams in the Big 12, Nebraska seems to be the one that Texas fans most admire. Part of that stems, I think, from the fact that prior to the Big 12's formation, Nebraska owned college football. But even moreso, Texas fans remember the class Nebraska displayed in defeat in 1996, the ovation they gave Ricky Williams in 1998, and hospitality they offer everytime Texas makes a trip to Lincoln.

    Nebraska fans deserve better than what Bill Callahan has given them.

    The Greg Brown Memorial Pregame Premonition

    Jamaal Charles... okay, nevermind.

    Random Texas-Nebraska highlight that hopefully won't need to be repeated on Saturday

    It's worth noting that I found three videos of last year's game posted by Husker fans, though I'm not sure why. One even highlighted the score at the end, despite spending more than four minutes making it look like Nebraska dominated Texas.

    Prediction: Texas won't need any late-game heroics...



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