Red River Shootout 2 for the Big 12 Championship
Longhorns vs. Land Thieves
It has been over a century since the Longhorns and the Land Thieves met twice in the same season. In 1903, Texas and Oklahoma met twice, with a 6-6 tie in Austin and then an 11-5 win in Norman. Ralph Hutchinson’s Varsity would close the season with a 29-6 win over Texas Agricultural & Mechanical to finish 5-1-2. In 1901 Texas beat Oklahoma twice, 12-6 and 11-0. That season also ended with 32-0 Thanksgiving Day win over the Aggies in Austin. I believe this will be the first game not played in the Cotton Bowl since 1923, when the teams met in Austin and played at Clark Field. Texas Memorial Stadium would open the next year, and the Sooners and the Longhorns would play in Dallas, a tradition that continues (State Fair play started in 1929, and the first Cotton Bowl match was in 1932).
This will be our 114th meeting, and Texas leads the all-time series 62-46-5.
Texas and Oklahoma meet in AT&T Stadium at 11:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Texas is in the game thanks to the great October win over the Land Thieves in the Cotton Bowl and all the other pieces falling in place. The game will be broadcast on ABC. Sean McDonough (PxP), Todd Blackledge with analysis, and the great Holly Rowe on the sidelines. On the radio as always with Craig Way, Roger Wallace, and Craig Way. Bob Cole’s Austin Radio Network around here (104.9, 98.5, 99.5, etc.), KRLD 1080 in Dallas, and KFYN 104.3 in Paris.
Last time we met? This video of the “Greatest Red River Showdown Ever”. Maybe not, but it was a heck of a game.
The Land Thieves are ranked No. 5 in the CFP rankings, No. 5 in the AP and Coaches. Texas is No. 14 in the CFP and No. 9 in both AP and Coaches.
Speaking of polls, the Land Thieves are the only team since the advent of the AP poll in 1936 to win four straight games while giving up at least 40 points.
Texas is coming off a hard fought road win in Lawrence. More on our game with the Jayhawks below.
Oklahoma is in the Championship Game thanks to a heck of a win over West Virginia in Morgantown. Kyler Murray and Will Grier in an absolute shoot-out, but the Land Thieves got the 59-56 win. Grier threw for 539 yards and 4 touchdowns, and that wasn’t enough (plus WVU ran for 165, so over 700 yards of offense). Kyler threw for 364 and ran for 114.
The Land Thieves have the number 1 scoring offense in the nation (50.3 points per game), number 1 in the country in total offense (583.8 yards per game), and number 1 in long scrimmage plays. This is the very best offense in the country. Who we have already beaten once.
A tidbit from Tom Herman on his weekly TV show. They are redshirting John Burt this year. With the new rules, he can play 4 games and still redshirt. He’s been activated for this game. His fifth game against the sooners.
We are big underdogs. Line was Texas -8 Thursday night. Over/under is 77.5.
Oklahoma is the home team, and they chose to wear their “Roughrider” alternatives. So the Horns will be in Burnt Orange.
ESPN reporters’ picks. 12-3 for the Land Thieves, but one for Texas is Ivan Maisel, and he is the brightest of that bunch.
Let’s do this Texas
Class. Here is how you do it.
A significant amount of media and social media attention has been on Sam Ehlinger and Kyler Murray. As you may recall, Kyler refused to shake Sam’s hand after Texas beat the Land Thieves in the Cotton Bowl 48-45 to hand Kyler his first loss since kindergarten (or something like that). Not one to learn from his mistakes, at a media day this week Kyler was asked about Sam Ehlinger’s game. Kyler, manning up and showing that Sooner class, said “no comment”.
Texas QB Sam Ehlinger was asked about Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray’s no comment about him yesterday. Ehlinger responded by saying, “I’d like to comment on that. I respect his game.” pic.twitter.com/CU5X1UQxJR
— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) November 27, 2018
Sam was asked about Kyler’s “no comment”. Sam said “I’d like to comment on that. I respect his game.”
I am pretty sure that I could end this week’s newsletter right here, and that would pretty much make a clear statement about the players and the teams and the programs. But what fun would that be?
Well, a bit of an interesting segue. Funny how much attention has been paid to the issue of opposing teams doing the “horns down”. I’m with the greatest answer to a question in Texas football history – we don’t give a shit. I don’t. But I have a lot of friends who do. My take is that if you are doing that crap, then you are insecure. But I am old school, and I like Coach Royal’s advice – act like you been there before.
Nevertheless, the Big 12 office has made it clear that the officials will throw flags for unsportsmanlike conduct, which includes taunting (inside family joke there). The Mountaineers got penalized twice for it. The Big 12 posted a link to NCAA Rule 9.1 regarding sportsmanship:
The tweet said “If in the judgement of the on-field officials, any action by game participants deemed an ‘Unsportsmanlike Act’ is subject to penalty in accordance with college football rules.”
As an aside, please take the time to go read the rule. I hate the BS and celebrations in the NFL, but pretty sure based on the rule that there could easily be a dozen unsportsmanlike penalties in every FBS game if they wanted to get serious. We need to lighten up, and teach sportsmanship instead of micromanaging behavior. These are students; let’s do some educating on how to be sportsmen.
I am with Coach Herman in the relevance of this issue: “I didn’t even know until late in the day,” Herman said of when he learned of the ‘Horns down’ controversy. “I didn’t even know we were wearing orange until today, so it’s irrelevant.”
Governor Abbott has wagered with Oklahoma Territory Governor Fallin on the game. We lose, Land Thieves get Texas barbecue. Land Thieves lose and Texas gets barbecue sauce. Who the hell let Greg make that bet? Some of their crappy 3.2 beer would have been a better bet. But then again, they don’t have anything I want anyway. This is under the Horns Up! Heading because Ms. Fallin isn’t worried about an unsportsmanlike penalty.
Land Thieves are mad. I guess they feel robbed. “Ahead of one of the most anticipated OU-Texas matchups in history, and certainly the most unique, getting tickets to the Big 12 Championship game Saturday has proved problematic for a majority of Sooner season ticket holders.” The video has nothing to do with the story, and I have no idea why. But a one word guess: Oklahoma.
Texas Longhorns 2018
This year’s Longhorns are racking up the honors and awards. I haven’t even had time to keep up with all the weekly awards and honors. But some of the big ones are starting to roll in.
Big XII Defensive Lineman of the Year: Charles Omenihu
Big XII Defensive Freshman of the Year: Caden Sterns
All-Big 12 First Team
- Andrew Beck (FB)
- Charles Omenihu (DL)
- Kris Boyd (DB)
- Caden Sterns (DB)
All-Big 12 Second Team
- Zach Shackelford (OL)
- Cameron Dicker (PK)
- Gary Johnson (LB)
- Calvin Anderson (OL)
- Samuel Cosmi (OL)
- Davante Davis (DB)
- Cameron Dicker
- Sam Ehlinger (QB)
- Breckyn Hager (DL)
- Lil’Jordan Humphrey (WR)
- Brandon Jones (DB)
- P.J. Locke III (DB)
- Chris Nelson (DL)
- Charles Omenihu (DL)
- Elijah Rodriguez (OL)
- Patrick Vahe (OL)
Big XII Honors
Not a big shock. Kyler Murray is Offensive Player of the Year.
Pooka Williams Jr. is Offensive Freshman of the Year.
All of them: http://www.big12sports.com/pdf9/5479797.pdf
This from the Big 12, and we need to do something about this. Let’s go Horns. “Oklahoma has won the most individual awards in the 22-year history of the Big 12 with 43. K-State is second (33), followed by Texas (31), Oklahoma State (19), Baylor (15), Iowa State (14), Kansas (8), TCU (8), Texas Tech (8) and West Virginia (6).”
Longhorns vs. Land Thieves
Texas comes in 9-3 overall and 7-2 in conference. The Land Thieves are 11-1 and 8-1. You know the 1.
We’ve run about 100 more plays (899 to 785), and they have over 2 thousand more yards of offense (7,005 to 4,970). They have scored 604 points. Texas has scored 380.
These are two very different teams, and Texas is going to have to play its best game of the year to win. I think they can.
One of the best pieces of analysis I read on this game, from Ian Boyd on Inside Texas: “The biggest issue that Oklahoma had against West Virginia was how they played the inside receivers. Virtually all of Will Grier’s 539 passing yards and four touchdowns came from throwing the ball on the Sooner safeties and nickel backs (when they were in nickel). Things are bad in Norman right now at safety and they had two main lineups they tried to utilize against the Mountaineers.”
If you are subscriber and have not read this, worth your time:
This is the most extensive statistical summary I have ever included. Because it is the Big 12 Championship Game, I thought it insightful to see our respective rankings not only nationally, but also in the conference. Therefore, the stats have the national ranking first, then Big 12 where I was able to find it. It takes about 4 seconds to realize the task ahead for Coach Todd Orlando and the Texas Defense. Good luck men.
|Rushing Offense||#85, #7 B12 – 156.4 ypg||#8, #1 B12 – 264.3 ypg|
|Passing Offense||#37, #6 B12 – 257.8 ypg||#8, #3 B12 – 319.4 ypg|
|Total Offense||#60, #6 B12 – 414.2 ypg||#1, #1 B12 – 583.8 ypg|
|Scoring Offense||#46, #5 B12 – 31.7 ppg||#1, #1 B12 – 50.3 ppg|
|First Downs||#27, #6 B12 – 23.5/game||#5, #2 B12 – 26.2/game|
|Sacks Allowed||#49, #3 B12 – 23, 183 yards||#16, #1 B12 – 14, 83 yards|
|Tackles for Loss Allowed||#38, #3 B12 – 63, 268 yards||#13, #1 B12 – 51, 167 yards|
|Third Down Conversions||#24, #3 B12 – 45.1%||#4, #1 B12 – 50.4%|
|Fourth Down Conversions*||#3, #1 B12 – 75%||#13, #3 – 66.7%|
|Red Zone Offense||#90, #6 B12 – 81% / 64%||#19, #1 B12 – 89% / 70%|
|Long Run Plays||#92, #8 B12 – 55, 8, 5, 0, (0, 50+)||#3, #1 B12 – 107, 35, 18, 11, 7 (50+), 6 (60+)|
|Long Pass Plays||#53, #6 B12 – 119, 47, 18, 6, (0, 50+)||#10, #3 B12 – 147, 64, 35, 20, 12, 7, 4, 2|
|Long Scrimmage Plays||#52, #6 B12 – 174, 55, 23, 6||#1, #1 B12 – 254, 99, 53, 31, 19, 13, 6, 3|
*Both teams gave 12 attempts
|Rushing Defense||#36, #2 B12 – 136.5 ypg||#63, #7 B12 – 162.4 ypg|
|Passing Defense||#104, #7 B12 – 255.8 ypg||#127, #9 B12 – 286.6 ypg|
|Total Defense||#63, #3 B12 – 392.3 ypg||#111, #10 B12 – 449.0 ypg|
|Scoring Defense||#51, #1 B12 – 25.2 ppg||#99, #12 B12 – 32.8 ppg|
|Sacks||#49, #4 B12 – 28, 189 yards||#64, #6 B12 – 25, 157 yards|
|Tackles for Loss||#27, #3 B12 – 85.5, 328 yards||#64, #6 B12 – 72, 283 yards|
|First Downs Allowed||#55, #3 B12 – 20/game||#120, #10 B12 – 24.3/game|
|Third Down Conversions||#105, #6 B12 – 43.2%||#109, #8 B12 – 44%|
|Fourth Down Conversions||#7 B12 – 55%||#10 B12 – 65.5%|
|Red Zone Defense||#5, #2 B12 – 71% / 55%||#129, #10 B12 – 95% / 86% (next to last)|
|Long Run Plays Allowed||#36, #2 B12 – 51, 12, 3, 3, 1||#38, #3 B12 – 53, 14, 6, 2, 0|
|Long Pass Plays allowed||#105, #7 B12 – 118, 37, 22, 13, 6, 3, 1||#128, #10 B12 – 138, 47, 23, 15, 6, 2, 1|
|Long Scrim. Plays allowed||#72, #4 B12 – 169, 49, 25, 16, 9, 4, 1||#109, #8 B12 – 191, 61, 29, 17, 6, 2, 1|
|Turnovers||#6 – 10, 5F, 5I||#14 – 12, 5F, 7I|
|Turnover Margin||#22 – 17:10 +.58||#83 10:12 -.09|
|Penalties||#99, #5 B12 – 84, 706 yards||#73, #7 B12 – 74, 740 yards|
*Based on total number of penalties.
|Passing||Sam Ehlinger||#39, #4 B12 – 2778 yards, 23 TDs, 231.5 ypg||Kyler||#8, #2 B12 – 3674 yards, 37 TDs, 306.2 ypg|
|Receiving||LJH||#24, #6 B12 – 1058 yards, 8 TDs, 88.2 ypg||M. Brown||#8, #3 B12 : 1264 yards, 10 TDs, 105.3 ypg|
|C. Johnson||#62, #11 B12 – 768 yards, 6 TDs, 69.8 ypg||Lamb||#53, #10 B12 – 882 yards, 9 TDs, 73.5 ypg|
|D. Duvernay||#n/a, #22 B12 – 468 yards, 4 TDs, 39 ypg||L. Morris||#n/a, #24 B12 – 426 yards, 8 TDs, 35.5 ypg|
|Rushing||K. Ingram||#114, #9 B12 – 676 yards, 3 TDs, 61.5 ypg||K. Brooks||#25, #3 B12 – 993 yards, 12 TDs, 99.3 ypg|
|T. Watson||#141, #10 B12 – 656 yards, 3 TDs, 54.7 ypg||T. Sermon||#84, #6 B12 – 863 yards, 11 TDs, 71.9 ypg|
|S. Ehlinger||#n/a, #22 B12 – 376 yards, 11 TDs, 31.3 ypg||K. Murray||#85, #7 B12 – 853 yards, 11 TDs, 71.1 ypg|
|Tackles*||G. Johnson||#176, #13 B12 – 74 (48)||Kenneth Murray||#13, #2 B12 – 133 (60)|
|A. Wheeler||#260, #16 B12 – 72 (48)||C. Bolton||#22, #3 B12 – 120 (51)|
|Tackles for Loss||C. Omenihu||#39, #3 B12 – 16, 68 yards||C. Bolton||#85, #8 B12 – 11.5, 48 yards|
|G. Johnson||#5 B12 – 14, 51 yards||K. Murray||#85, #8 B12 – 11.5, 42 yards|
|Sacks||C. Omenihu||#25, #2 B12 – 8.5, 56 yards||C. Bolton||#14 B12 – 4, 29 yards|
|G. Johnson||#8 B12 – 5.5, 32 yards||K. Murray||#14 B12 – 4, 25 yards|
|Interceptions||C. Sterns||#13, #2 B12 – 5, 55 yards, 1 TD||P. Motley||#36, #4 B12 – 3, 17 yards|
|B. Jones||#11 B12 – 2, 26 yards||R. Barnes||#20 B12 – 1, 32 yards|
* the national rankings are per game. Big 12 on totals. The NCAA website wouldn’t sort the way I wanted. Some national rankings were not available based on the source or lack of updating (thanks NCAA).
Land Thieves Defense
|Rushing Offense – 156.5 ypg||162.4 ypg – Rushing Defense|
|Passing Offense – 257.8 ypg||286.6 ypg – Passing Defense|
|Total Offense – 414.2 ypg||449.0 ypg – Total Defense|
|Scoring Offense – 31.7 ppg||32.8 ppg – Scoring Defense|
|First Downs – 23.5/game||24.3/game – First Downs Allowed|
|3rd Down Offense – 45.1%||44% – 3rd Down Defense|
|4th Down Offense – 75%||64.5% – 4th Down Defense|
|Red Zone Offense – 81%/64%||95%/86% – Red Zone Defense|
|LRP – 55, 8, 5, 0||53, 14, 6, 2- LRP Allowed|
|LPP – 119, 47, 18, 6||138, 47, 23, 15 – LPP Allowed|
|LSP – 174, 55, 23, 6||191, 61, 29, 17 – LSP Allowed|
Land Thieves Offense
|Rushing Defense – 136.5 ypg||264.3 ypg – Rushing Offense|
|Passing Defense – 255.8 ypg||319.4 ypg – Passing Offense|
|Total Defense – 392.3 ypg||583.8 ypg – Total Offense|
|Scoring Defense – 25.2 ppg||50.3 ppg – Scoring Offense|
|First Downs Allowed – 20/game||26.2/game – First Downs|
|3rd Down Defense – 43.2%||50.4% – 3rd Down Offense|
|4th Down Defense – 55%||66.7% – 4th Down Offense|
|Red Zone Defense – 71%/55%||89%/70% – Red Zone Offense|
|LRP Allowed – 51, 12, 3, 3||107, 35, 18, 11 – LRP|
|LPP Allowed – 118, 37, 22, 13||147, 64, 35, 20 – LPP|
|LSP Allowed – 169, 49, 25, 16||254, 99, 53, 31 – LSP|
As good as the Sooners are on offense, their defense is atrocious. Near the very bottom in the country in pass defense, red zone defense, and long pass plays allowed. Texas is a little better in all those categories, and for Texas to win, OU will need to play down to their average, and Texas will have to step up.
The players haven’t changed a lot since my pre-RRS email in October. Kyler, of course. Sermon and Brooks running the ball; expect to see more Sermon and less Brooks. And the big Land Thief receivers, Marquise Brown and Ceedee Lamb.
Keys to the Game and a Big 12 Championship
This is probably obvious by this point in the season, especially if you know my biases. I am pretty sure if we don’t achieve the first two, the rest won’t matter. But if Sam plays well and the defense can slow down Kyler, we are in this game, and the rest of the keys will unlock the treasure chest.
- Slowing down Kyler Murray. We aren’t stopping him. The digest of the lengthy stats is this: He averages exactly 12 yards per passing attempt. 17 yards per completion. So pretty much a first down every single time he completes a pass, on average. He averages 7.55 yards per rushing attempt. Same problem. [Basically same averages in RRS 2018 1.0 – he averaged 11.69 yards per passing attempt and officially 8.36 yards per rush attempt; passes included the 77 bomb and 67 yard race for a score, which skews it a bit, but averages are what they are. Rushing, if you use net gained, it was 10.55 yards per rush attempt. He is really good.]
- Todd Orlando is going to have to have a great plan. Riley and Murray and the rest of the Sooner brain trust (oxymoron) figured it out by the fourth quarter in Dallas in October.
- Sam Ehlinger. If this game was decided on sportsmanship and class alone, we wouldn’t need two bullet points to talk quarterback. Just one, and I would have Texas winning by 40. In the Cotton Bowl, Sam outdueled Kyler passing, with 10 more yards, and had just 20 less rushing. So pretty much equal in that game. Until Kansas, Sam remained perfectly clean (except Maryland). I am assuming he got hurt early and that’s why his passes were so off. He has to be well on Saturday. But honestly, it isn’t Sam’s arm that will decide the game. And maybe not his legs. No, I think it will be Sam Ehlinger’s heart. Sam Has It. But, the legs are going to be a differentiator, and don’t be surprised to see Sam run for 100+.
- We cannot start slow. We have to score early, and we have to have ball control. The Sooners have the ability to score on every possession. The way to win is limit OU possessions.
- Keep playing clean football. The first three quarters of the Kansas game were excellent – no penalties. The last thing the Land Thieves need is free yards. Keep it clean Horns.
- LJH and Collin Johnson need big games again. They have the size advantage, use it.
- Oklahoma loses, and they miss an opportunity to play in the College Football Playoffs. Because of two losses, both to Texas. How fine is that? So the key? Play loose – the pressure is on the Land Thieves.
- Dicker the Kicker. Nail them all kid.
Texas will win, 42-41.
The official preview:
Official Texas Game Notes:
Paul Wadlington’s preview on Inside Texas:
Bill Connelly, on SB Nation:
Texas Longhorns 24, Kansas Jayhawks 17
Obviously a good win and a great first three quarters and a very frustrating fourth quarter. We can’t afford another fourth quarter collapse against the Land Thieves. Regardless, that was our first victory in Lawrence since 2014. A win is a W, and that win put us in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday.
This week’s look back at last week’s stats versus the season. Game stats in parenthesis [sorry, realize aggies are reading this – those are these thing-a-mig-jigs ( ) ].
|Rushing Offense – (143) 157.6 ypg||174.4 ypg – Rushing Defense|
|Passing Offense – (154) 267.2 ypg||255.2 ypg – Passing Defense|
|Total Offense – (297) 424.8 ypg||429.6 ypg – Total Defense|
|Scoring Offense – (24) 32.4 ppg||30.5 ppg – Scoring Defense|
|First Downs – (19) 23.9/game||22.2/game – First Downs Allowed|
|3rd Down Offense – (40%) 45.6%||46.1% – 3rd Down Defense|
|Red Zone Offense – (100) 79/64||78/62 – Red Zone Defense|
|Rushing Defense – (137) 136.5 ypg||160.6 ypg – Rushing Offense|
|Passing Defense – (159) 264.5 ypg||195.3 ypg – Passing Offense|
|Total Defense – (196) 401 ypg||355.9 ypg – Total Offense|
|Scoring Defense – (17) 25.9 ppg||24.5 ppg – Scoring Offense|
|First Downs Allowed – (14) 20.5/game||18.3/game – First Downs|
|3rd Down Defense – (50%) 42.4%||37.9% – 3rd Down Offense|
|Red Zone Defense – (0%) 73/56||78/56 – Red Zone Offense|
Looking back at a couple of my keys to the Kansas game:
- Stop Pooka! The kid is good, and Orlando better have something ready to slow him down and stop him when possible. Texas: We did, except for one play, when he busted a great scoring run for 57. Outside of that play, he had 15 rushes for 46 yards. Got to do that to Kyler on Saturday.
- Block Joe Dineen, Jr. Every play. Texas: Well, we didn’t, and it is probably why we didn’t score more. Joe had 14 tackles, 11 solo. 7 Jayhawks tied for second in the game with 5 tackles each.
- Play defense like we did last Saturday. D line needs to get after it, as they should be able to dominate the Jayhawk offensive line. Get after the quarterback, get stops at the line of scrimmage. Texas: Didn’t get a chance to watch replays, but 3 sacks for 14 yards, and 8 TFL for 35 yards. Pretty sure we can check that one off.
- Error free football. No turnovers, play another clean game like last week. I think that can make a huge difference. Note the high ranking Kansas has in this department. Can’t give them an edge. Texas: First three quarters, other than Sam’s interceptions (one of which was in the fourth), we did play almost perfect football. Our first real penalty was the delay of game on our second fourth quarter possession. Then an Ossai offsides. Then the “weird” one – illegal batting, when Collin Johnson knocked the kickoff forwards. Then on third and 2, B.J. called for the face mask, which gave the Jayhawks a first down on the Texas 21. Field goal, to close to 24-17. We fortunately recovered the next onside kick (thanks LJH), and ran out the clock. But the plethora of penalties and mistakes in the fourth damn near cost the Longhorns a shot at a conference championship and nearly gave us a loss in Lawrence. Enough of that.
- It is an 11:00 a.m. start. Historically not our best time. Get started early, let’s not start slow and play from behind. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Texas: One score in the first half against Kansas.
I said Texas wins this 38-17. Got it half right! But Texas Wins!
One of the greatest people to ever be associated with Texas athletics is Mack Brown. Coach Brown accepted another challenge – returning to Chapel Hill to rebuild the Tar Heel football program. As of a few hours ago, he’d already brought Greg Robinson on board. And Tim Brewster, who has presumably painted the station wagon Carolina Blue. I’m guessing it took several coats of paint to cover up that ugly-ass maroon. Have fun boys.
Coach, hope you have fun, and as soon as you aren’t having fun, get back on ESPN. Because we all had fun watching and listening to you!
Mack Brown will be inducted to the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame next Tuesday. 21 Longhorns have preceded him, and he joins Dana X. Bible and Darrell K Royal as Texas coaches. This is a big deal, and well-deserved.
My favorite picture of Mack, Sally, and me, when we worked in the Caritas soup kitchen one day.
We had a great Thanksgiving weekend. We missed Kathryn & Mark & Peter and Mary Elizabeth & Parker, but it was a relaxing weekend of great food, a fair amount of wine and tequila, and a whole lot of football. Glad I have clients who respect holidays and family. I am really, really grateful for that.
CFP Rankings: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Georgia. Then, OU, Ohio State, Michigan, UCF, Florida, and Louisiana State. Texas is 14, West Virginia at 16, Iowa State at 23.
AP Poll: Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, UCF, Michigan, Texas, and Washington. West Virginia at 15, Army at 23, and Iowa State at 24.
Coaches Poll: Roll Tide, Clemson, L’Université de Notre Dame du Lac, UGA, Land Thieves, Urban’s Having Yet Another Meltdown, Centrally Located on the Peninsula, Wolverines, Texas, and Florida. West Virginny at 16, and Army at 25.
Going to be a great weekend of football.
The MAC Championship from Ford Field in downtown Detroit has Northern Illinois and Buffalo. 6:00 p.m. on ESPN2. SUNY favored by 3.5, and the over/under is 51.
The PAC-12 Championship game has No. 17 Utah and No. 11 Washington, 7:00 p.m. on FOX, from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Huskies are favored by 5.5, and the over/under is 45. My main question is, if Bill Walton’s Conference of Champions wants to have a well-attended game, why are they kicking off at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday afternoon in an area not exactly known for its light traffic? Just curious. This is going to be a great football game.
The Sun Belt championship will be played at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone, North Carolina, as the U LA LA (they just call themselves Louisiana now) Ragin’ Cajuns face the Appalachian State Mountaineers who are, surprisingly, still coached by Scott Satterfield. Many thought he might be heading east to replace Larry Fedora in Chapel Hill. But I digress. 11:00 a.m. on ESPN, and you have to think that given the ratings for the first Red River Shootout of 2018, the ratings for this game will be dismal. Let’s hope everyone has reason to stay glued to ABC. Mountaineers favored by 16.5, and the over/under is 58.
The Conference USA Championship features UAB and Middle Tennessee. 12:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network. The Blue Raiders are 1 point favorites over the Blazers, and the over under is 44.
The American Conference Championship Game will be played in Orlando, as 8-4 Memphis faces undefeated and No. 8 Central Florida, without Mr. Morton. 2:30 p.m. on ABC, which I think is pretty aggressive by the WWL, thinking Texas and Oklahoma are going to finish in less than 3.5 hours. UCF favored by 3, and the over/under is 64.5.
Number 1 Alabama and No. 4 Georgia meet in Atlanta in Mercedes-Benz Stadium for the Southeastern Conference Championship. 3:00 p.m. on CBS. The Crimson Tide only favored by 13.5, and the over/under is 63.5.
The Mountain West CG features a rematch of No. 25 Fresno State and No. 22 Boise State, both 10-2 and 7-1. They will play on the Smurf Turf. 6:45 p.m. on ESPN. Broncos favored by 2.5, and the over/under is 52.5.
No. 2 Clemson and Pittsburgh meet for the ACC title in Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. 7:00 p.m. on ABC. Ridiculous line of the year: Tigers favored by 27.5. Over/under is 52.5. Clemson should win this easily.
Two 8-1 teams meet for the Big 10 Title. Sounds good, until you realize it is No. 6 O-H-I-O State and No. 21 Northwestern. 7:00 p.m. on FOX. Buckeyes favored by 14.5, and the over/under is 61. This would be a huge upset, and I have to pull for the underdogs. Good luck Wildcats.
Big 12 Week 14
How is this possible? Well, somewhere along the way, it seems that a not very confident ISU AD had Incarnate Word on the calendar, assuming that the Cyclones would not be in the Big 12 Championship Game. A funny thing happened on the way to Ames; the University of Incarnate Word Cardinals won their conference and made the playoffs. Eric Morris’s team lost to Montana State last week, but in the meantime, Iowa State re-scheduled with 7-3 Drake. 11:00 a.m.
The Big Game was postponed due to fires, and it worked out for Stanford and Cal. 2:00 p.m. on the PAC-12 Network. Stanford favored by 3 and the over/under is 47. It will interesting to compare the attendance in this game to the attendance in the PAC-12 CG. Go Cardinal.
Previews on the Interwebs
HornMafia from the BC, with the Week That Will Be: Championship Saturday
Bill Connelly with advice for those who enjoy the sporting life.
Big 12 Week 13
The Land Thieves and Mountaineers was quite the shootout. OU was favored by 2.5 and won by 3. But they blew way past the total of 84 as the final score was 59-56. West Virginia punted twice. The Land Thieves punted once. Unbelievable.
Baylor stunned Texas Tech 35-24, getting bowl eligible and getting Kingsbury fired. I gave him a lot of grief, but I liked Coach Skinny Pants. Good luck.
I cannot believe the Okie Aggies laid an egg in Amon Carter. But I know the Texas Christians are happy to get bowl eligible. Both teams finish the season at 6-6 overall.
Iowa State survived a hard fought game with K State, 42-38, as the Cyclones scored 21 in the fourth quarter and finished tied for the third in the conference with West Virginia. Let that sink in.
Last Week in the Rest of the Top 25: Rivalry Week
Ole Miss got whipped in the Egg Bowl, 35-3. Tough year for the Landsharks.
UCF stayed undefeated, beating South Florida 38-10, but McKenzie Morton, the Central Florida quarterback, suffered a horrific leg injury. Word is he was lucky not have it amputated. This is a brutal game. For what it’s worth, Central Florida covered.
Washington stunned Leach and his Washington State Cougars 28-15. We watched that game. Snow was incredible.
Alabama rolled over Auburn 52-21.
Clemson 56-35 over South Carolina.
Notre Dame survived a scare in the Coliseum, defeating Southern Cal 24-17 to remain undefeated and almost assuredly earning a spot in the playoffs.
Things did not go well for Michigan at Ohio State. Didn’t see that one coming. Buckeyes 62-39 over the Wolverines. Bad loss.
George wins Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate 45-21 over Georgia Tech.
Big game at Kyle Field, as Texas Agricultural & Mechanical officially scored 74 points to LSU’s 72. I use the word officially quite intentionally. Seven thrilling overtimes, and it was the first time in years I have felt good about Big 12 officiating.
Way too late for any other reviews. Heck, everyone watched football last weekend. Y’all know what happened.
Thanks to Matt Dow for reminding me about this great article. Worth including again. Dan Jenkins and a football weekend for the ages – “The Disciples Of St. Darrell On A Wild Weekend”.
Dell Med. You may recall I was an advocate for the medical school. I played a quite minor role, but my old pre-med education and a lot of strong feelings about delivering quality healthcare for all was a great motivator for pushing for a medical school at our State’s University of the First Class. A great article on example of the dividend the hard work of Senator Watson, Bill Powers, Frank Denius, and so many others:
This is old, and I’ve been saving it for the right time.
Texas played a great game against No. 7 North Carolina Thanksgiving night. Texas won 92-89 to improve to 8-3 all-time against the Heels.
With the win, Texas got the privilege of playing Michigan State and Tom Izzo. Izzo is a great coach, and when you poke him in the eye, he tends to respond. Spartans did, and Texas was beaten 78-68.
But overall, a successful road trip to Las Vegas, and Texas is in the top 25 for the first time in a couple of years, at No. 17 in both polls. The Horns play Radford Friday night in the Erwin Center, 6:00 p.m.
Beat the Hell out of OU
All of this is from this year’s Red River Shootout newsletter. But why not?
Lendy Holmes, allow me to introduce you to Mr. Quan Cosby.
— Chris Bennett (@chrisgb00) October 3, 2018
OU-Texas Tunnel story on Fox Sports Southwest (2008). 7:42. Not sure I have had this in the email before. Really good.
Texas Sports Pre-Land Thief Video from 2015. 4:33.
Jordan Shipley kickoff return. Short
Red River Shootout – 10 minutes, but good.
Rites of Autumn – 5 & half minutes. Some good commentary from the great Robert Heard.
Red River Rivalry – about 90 seconds
Red River Rivalry – 4:30.
Finally, Cross Canadian Ragweed. Boys from Oklahoma. Not politically correct, NSFW, and if you are easily offended by improper language, just skip it.
This time of year, one of the most important charities in your community that needs support is your food bank. In Austin, please consider the Central Texas Food Bank:
And I leave you with Mr. Sooner, courtesy of Jon Levy. What a culture.
God Bless Texas.
Tailgating before Home Football Games:
Lot 38, East of Sid Richardson Hall.
HOOK EM HORNS!!
© Timothy C. Taylor, Sr. 2018. All Rights Reserved (as to original material).
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