Sunday, November 29, 2009

Longhorns need Chaffeurs

I think now we can safely say that AlcoholEdu is not working for the Texas football team. According to this handy website, 72% of UT students consumed alcohol in the past 30 days; 69% had at least one sexual partner in the past year, and 19% regularly skip breakfast. I have no idea why the last stat is in there? I think those 19% don't need food in their stomachs to absorb alcohol? Do they skip breakfast because they're trying to get back to their place and get their textbooks for today's classes? And at least 2% of the Longhorn football players are stupid enough to drink and drive.

The Texas Longhorn football team is going through yet another bout of driving under the influence charges. Today, it's Marcus Davis, a couple of weeks ago, it was D.J. Munroe. Looks like we're back to 2007, when there was seemingly a weekly arrest of Longhorn footballers.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sooners Blank Boone State

Some thoughts from today's game:
  • The Pokes had 15 possessions in the game. They were 0-14 on third down, and they had 4 drives that obtained a first down.
  • In those four drives, the Cowboys had six first downs; 3 of those were via penalty. The Pokes did not have a first down in the second half.
  • Zac Robinson was clearly not himself. Gundy was in a difficult situation. Do you start a dinged up Robinson, or a healthy Brandon Weeden, who played one game against a Division 1-A foe so far? If you consider the 2009 Colorado Buffaloes a D1-A team.
  • The O-line played very well today, particularly in the second half. The Pokes were a top 10 defense against the run, and this was one of the few games where we've been able to run the ball with any authority.
  • The Cowboy punter, Quinn Sharp, has some serious wheels. Once he used the angle to cut Ryan Broyles off to prevent a score, and on Broyles 88 yard punt return, Sharp nearly ran him down from behind.
  • Tress Way was phenomenal punting the ball today. He averaged 59 yards per kick, and the Cowboys were able to return two of the kicks for a total 6 yards.
  • I was having John Blake era flashbacks with the offense in the first half. We were just out of synch...we would be in good field position, and I just expected something bad to happen. Fortunately, they got out of the funk.
  • DeMarco Murray is a special back. I hope he comes back next year.

I'm tired. Boomer!

Thoughts on Rival QBs

Two great QBs in the Big 12 played their last regular season game this weekend, Colt McCoy and Zac Robinson. I would be remiss if I didn't say a few words about each:

Colt is a Texas QB that's tough not to love. I would have never thought from seeing this kid his freshman year he would be the winningest QB in NCAA history. Even though he's 3-1 against my Sooners, I've enjoyed seeing him grow as a leader on and off the field for the Longhorns. Colt's a great QB, fine ambassador for his university and a great witness for his Savior.

Zac Robinson, OSU's QB, has been fun to watch as well. Another kid that didn't look like much, but goes out there and gets the job done. Zac threw it well and ran it well, and was a heck of a competitor. His injury against Tech two weeks ago limited him in his last game today, and even as an opposing fan, I'm sad to see him go out on such a sour note, when he was clearly dinged up. Zac will finish his career as the leading passer and leader in total offense at Oklahoma State. He's always been fun to watch, and his elusiveness as a scrambler was fun to watch - when it was against someone else.

To each of you, I tip my cap, and wish you well in your future endeavors.

O or Zero

A personal blogging highlight of last week was being blasted on for analyzing the Pokes BCS chances. Fortunately, so quickly after the game, we have a hat that commemorates the BCS chances of Boone State.
I'm not sure if the zero on this hat is for the a) chances Oklahoma State now gets BCS bid; b) number of wins by Coach Hair Gel against OU; c) number of points scored today; d) number of third downs converted today, or e) all of the above.
There's another thread on this evening called, "the gap is closing" to which I say, "Be sure and balance out your register and clock out before you leave."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Reagan was an Aggie Fan

Several weeks ago, I showed my loyal reader(s) several famous people flashing hook em horns signs. I found some bonus material that at least one former President was not a Texas, fan, but an Aggie. Ronald rest in peace. And Gig 'Em.
I know if Reagan were still around the Aggies would have a much stronger defense program.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sooners Nine Point Favorites

Saw in my local paper, which provides betting lines, that the Sooners are a 9 point favorite. Checked it online b/c figured it was a typo. Nope. Here are some factoids for you:

  • Sooners are 1-5 against teams with winning records. The victory: 65-10 against 6-5 Texas A&M.
  • The Sooners are 0-3 against ranked opponents.
  • Oklahoma State is 4th in the country in rushing defense. They allow fewer yards per carry than Nebraska.
  • Oklahoma State is the 96th rated passing defense in terms of yard per game. This is mainly b/c their foes abandon the run early. They are 19th in yards per attempt and 30th in passer rating.
  • The Sooners will start their 9th different offensive line grouping in 12 games.

This is mitigated by...

  • Landry Jones stats at home: 93 of 145 for 1308 yards and 18 TDs. He is the 4th best passer in the country at home. As a side note, he's the 96th rated passer on the road.
  • Stoops' squads are 65-2 in Norman.
  • Coach Hair Gel is 4-0 - I mean 0-4 - vs OU,
  • I've never put anything beyond lunch money on a game in my life.

Will Boone State really get a BCS bid

Much speculation going on about Oklahoma State going to a BCS game this year. I am interested to see how this plays out. First of all, the BCS selection isn't about field performance, it's about performance in the bleachers, so to speak. Can you fill the seats? Can you make the seat guarantees? The only way Okie State does this is through their owner/GM, Boone Pickens. Let's take a look at OSU attendance this year, in a stadium that is listed with a capacity of 60,218

Georgia - 53,012
Houston - 50,875
Rice - 51,083
Grambling State - 56,901
Missouri - 55,752
Texas - 58,516
Texas Tech - 52,811
Colorado - 50,080

Ponder for a moment that the second best attended game this year was Grambling State, the only 1-AA team on the schedule.

The Pokes also returned tickets to Oklahoma this year for the Bedlam game. The Sooners are in the middle of their most depressing season of the Stoops reign, the Hair Gels are having an historic season, and
they can't even sell the visitor ticket allotment for their most hated rival? But they're going to go to a BCS game? This smells like Boone either buying his way into the game, or the Big 12 lobbying hard for that second $17 million bowl payout. Or, perhaps it makes sense.

With the extra BCS game added, the "equal access" provided by adding a fifth BCS game really has provided additional access to the automatic qualifiers. There are 10 BCS bowl slots, and six automatic qualifiers. A conference cannot have more than 2 BCS participants in a season. Ergo, if you give one slot to TCU or Boise State, you've got nine slots to dole out. You'll have three automatic qualifying conferences with two slots and three with only one.
  • Iowa as a second Big 10 school is a no-brainer. They filled their 70,585 seat stadium to capacity 6 of 7 home games this year, and are highly ranked.
  • The SEC runnerup is a no-brainer. Bama and Florida travel well, the trip will be to the Sugar Bowl, and it's a top 5 team.
  • The third slot is then up for grabs between a) Boise State; b) a second Big 12 team; c) a second ACC team (Georgia Tech or Clemson); d) second Big East team (Cincinnati or Pitt); e) second Pac 10 team (loser between Oregon-Oregon State. If Oregon wins, Oregon State is not getting a second Pac 10 bid as an 8-4 team, and I think it's unlikely USC jumps in as a 9-3 team.

If Oregon loses to Oregon State, the Beavers go to the Rose Bowl and the BCS suits would then have to contemplate 10-2 Oregon vs 10-2 Oklahoma State.

IF OSU beats OU this weekend to finish 10-2 and 2nd in the Big 12 South, and Oregon beats Oregon State, there's really just a couple of scenarios that make sense: a) if Texas beats Cash Machine U and Nebraska, they will play in the BCSNCG and Oklahoma State will play Texas Christian in the Fiesta Bowl; b) Texas loses the Big 12 championship game, Nebraska goes to the Fiesta Bowl and Texas goes as an at-large team; If c) happens, where Texas loses to A&M bit wins the Big 12 the following week, I have no idea what happens.

Boise State playing TCU in the Fiesta Bowl doesn't make any sense. The David vs David story line doesn't play well. They played in the Poinsettia Bowl last year. Cincinnati backing into a BCS bid as a Big East second representative doesn't make sense.

As a result, I have to resign myself to the fact that if OSU beats Oklahoma this weekend, the Pokes are going to the Fiesta Bowl and we are going to the freaking Sun Bowl.

The Sooners have to keep the nation's longest home winning streak alive. It's for the kids.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Mangino under Fire

Shamangino is coming under lots of heat this weak for allegedly all kinds of stuff. Let's break it down. He's yelled at people and humiliated them in front of teammates. Oh, I see. Let's go to the video.

We're surprised by this? First of all, he's doing nothing that many high school coaches and college coaches around the world do. Let's look at Bob Stoops encouraging Dominique Franks during the Miami game (it's at about the 1:10 mark)

Clearly Bob is asking Dominique if he's feeling okay and how his family is doing.

The reality is players get yelled out all the time. I have no doubt that if you put a mic 24/7 on any 50 division 1 college coaches that 40 of them are yelling at their coaches and using peer pressure and humiliation to challenge their players and extract more out of them.

Do I think yelling at people overall is a good management tool? It doesn't work well where I work. Do I yell at people sometimes anyway? I have from time to time.

Has Mangino been a prick to others in the administration? Sure sounds like it. That's not uncommon either. Many people in sports and other industries are nice in public and a nightmare in private, particularly to people lower in the org chart. For example, I worked at a golf club where Barry Switzer was a member. As a bag attendant, he was very difficult to deal with, and complained all the time. When the cameras were on, he could charm your socks off. Do I think belittling a lower level employee disqualifies him from being a head football coach? No. Does it make him seem like a prick? Yes. If being a saint is a requirement for being a head coach, we're going to have to reduce the number of football teams.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nike Slogans that Didn't make the Cut

With the new NIke uniforms, we also get slogans cleverly created by Nike. First of all, the "stake our claim" bit with the Sooners is lame. We got to thinking what slogans didn't make the cut?

Florida: We miss Dan Mullen.
Virginia Tech: haud offensus? Haud forsit! (translation: Latin for No offense? No problem!)
TCU: Stop tailgating and get in the stadium.
Ohio State: Winless vs the SEC since 1989.
Florida State: Coach needs his bran. Now!
Texas: I'm not as think as you drunk I am.
LSU: Jarrett Lee sous le vent c'est notre quarterback a nouveau? (translation: French for Jarrett Lee is our quarterback again?)
Miami: Larry Coker won a champsionship? Seriously.
Oklahoma: Please accept this loaner car as a token or our appreciation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Staking our Claim to the Wrong Place

As part of the nike jersey whoring, Nike and OU have partnered to sell you this handy shirt. Order here. Here's my beef with the shirt. It shows the Sooners "staking our claim" to Texas with a flag over the city of Lubbock.
I mean no disrespect to the Dust Pirates, but when the Sooners talk about Texas colleges and beating them in football, it's a) Univ of Texas; b) Texas A&M; c) Texas Tech. To a Sooner, Tech is that cousin that's kinda quirky and lovable. That date is not circled on the schedule. Texas is. If Nebraska's on the schedule, that's circled. OSU is circled. Texas A&M is circled (great band). Texas Tech is not.
However, I'm sure the issue here is that Texas Tech Football is affiliated with UnderArmour, not Texas. The Nike marketing folks weren't going to insult the Horns by allowing that flag to be staked closer to Austin, TX.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weis Fired, Stoops Hired?

Reading today that Weis may be canned from Notre Dame and that Stoops is a leading candidate, is interested, etc. Several thoughts come to mind.
  1. First of all, No! I have no desire to see anyone else coaching the Sooners right now. I received an email on this today while I was playing golf. I shared the rumor with the other gents in the group. The Texas grad in the group said, "I'll personally donate to Notre Dame to get Bob Stoops out of the Big 12. I can probably find some other Longhorn fans that will do the same." I think that says alot.
  2. Second, I doubt this. Agents contribute to speculation by facilitating or not denying when question arise. Why would an agent categorically deny something like this? Playing along can get their client an extension, a stay bonus, a raise, or all of the above. Recruiting a college coach is done through recruiting firms and the coaches agents. My perception is that an actual interview between head coach candidate and hiring person(s) is fairly late in the process. Furthermore, Stoops counseled Urban Meyer a few years ago about how staying in Florida allowed him to recruit in-state almost exclusively, while he'd be travelling all over the country recruiting for Notre Dame. Stoops has three children, though I believe they are approaching teen years (when you become stupid as a parent).
  3. Third, this could be true. Some have criticized Stoops this year for having a down year, like you're supposed to lose four o-linemen and two receivers, have your QB and best offensive threat lose the season to injury and not miss a beat. These folks are not rational. I'm sure there are some idiots in Southern California that are ready for Pete Carroll to step down after a three loss season also. The Head Visor may have had enough, and ready for a different fan base to badger his when he fails to meet over-inflated expectations.

Obviously, we'll be monitoring the situation closely.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Case for Keenum

Since the Sooners have more wounded than a M*A*S*H* episode, we're now going to cover Case Keenum, LandThieves choice for Player of the Year.

Many people would dismiss Keenum because he plays in Conference USA, so he "doesn't play the schedule" that some of his peers play. Actually, courtesy of the Cougars playing 3 BCS automatic qualifiers in non-conference competition.

Case Keenum vs Miss State in Starkville: 39-52-434, 4 TDs, 2 Ints; 3-13 rushing, 0 TDs
Tim Tebow vs Miss State in Starkville: 12-22-127, 0 TDs, 2 Ints; 22-88 rushing, 1 TDs

Case Keenum vs Oklahoma State in Stillwater: 32-46-366, 3 TDs, 1 Int; 5-16 rushing, 1 TD
Colt McCoy vs Oklahoma State in Austin: 16-21-171, 1 TD, 0 Int; 11-34 rushing, 0 TDs

Case Keenum vs Texas Tech in Houston: 38-58-435, 1 TD, 1 Int; 8-27 rushing, 1 TD
Colt McCoy vs Texas Tech in Austin: 24-34-205, 1 TD, 2 Ints; 8-5 rushing, 0 TDs

Tebow has passed for 1531 yards this year and run for 578, for a combined total of 2109. Keenum has accomplished that yardage total in five games on four separate occasions. There is only one five game stretch to date that Keenum has not met that mark in passing yards alone. In their game against common foes, Keenum outgained Tebow by 219 yards and accounted for three more TDs.

McCoy has passed for 2447 yards, 17 TDs and 9 picks to date. Keenum has thrown for 3815 yards, 28 TDs and 5 picks. In their two games against common opponents, McCoy was 40-55-376 yards with 2 TDs and 2 picks. Keenum was 70-104-801 yards with 4TDs, 2 picks and 2 rushing TDs. Sure, Keenum threw nearly twice the number of passes, but his yards per attempt was almost 8, while McCoy's ypa was less than 7.

The Gloves

Here is a pic of the Nike Pro Combat gloves. Seems like the somewhere it should say, "Insert Ball Here". (HT: Friends of the Program"

New Nike Uniforms for OU

Info's been trickling out this week, but nothing official from Nike yet. However, the fine folks at Friends of the Program have uncovered the new Nike Uniforms. I took the liberty of grabbing the photos off the site. Here's the Sooner uni.

My first reaction is that Nike stole the creative design of the Penn State Nittany Lions and changed the blue to crimson, and added a stripe on the shoulder. Wow. Big thumbs down.

Now, let's take a look at the Va Tech unis. As you can see, these are wildly different. First of all, they have no stripe on the sleeve. Second, there are more stripes on the helmet. Finally, there numbers have some trim elements that the Sooners don't have.
Sadly for Virginia Tech, this is an improvement over the normal ugly--- uniforms they normally wear.
What I don't understand is why the uniforms have to be so alike? Is it because OU is playing like an ACC school this year?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Fraudulent Unbeatens - Cincinnati

      Today we're going to look at Cincinnati, one of the unbeatens that I believe is fraudulent. First look at their schedule to date.
    • Rutgers - 6-2 against the 126 ranked schedule. It's really tough to identify Rutgers signature win. Is it Howard? Florida International? Maryland at 2-7? Texas Southern? Army at 3-6? Or Connecticutt at 4-5?
    • Southwest Missouri - 1-aa team. 1-7 this year, with a win against Quincy. I thought he was dead.
    • Oregon State - the best W on the Bearcats schedule to date. The Beavers are 5-3, and have played one of the tougher schedules in the country.
    • Fresno State - a 5-3 team with losses against Boise, Cincy and Wisconsin. Hard to identify their premier it Hawaii? San Jose State? New Mexico State? Utah State? UC Davis?
    • Miami (OH) - the ChickenHawks are 1-9 this year.
    • South Florida - 6-2 following the Bill Snyder school of non-conference scheduling. They played Wofford, Western Kentucky and Charleston Southern to start the year. They have beaten West Virginia.
    • Louisville - 3-5, with signature wins against Indiana State, Southern Miss and Arkansas State.
    • Syracuse - the 'Cuse is so bad their starting QB hadn't played FB in four years. That's like using your tight end for a guard. They are 3-5, with wins against Northwestern (who's apparently good enough to knock with Iowa from the unbeaten ranks), Maine and Akron.
    • Connecticut - the Huskies are probably the top four win team in the country. They've had a DB killed at a school function, and their five losses have been by a combined 15 points. UConn even had the guts to play two automatic qualifying non conference games this year.

    So, after this review, Is it news that they are undefeated? Or is it that they one their one big non-conference game, then have mowed through a mediocre conference?

    On the other hand, their second string QB rocks. Zach Callaros has completed 76% of his passes, averages 12 yard per pass, has a 10-1 TD-Int ratio and runs for 6+ yards per carry. If he played for Florida, he would be a Heisman candidate. Of course, the Florida O-coordinator appears to be the Dean Smith of football.

    We'll find out about this team in the next three weeks, as their schedule has ended up being pretty backloaded, with West Virginia, Illinois, and Pitt in these last three games.

    Prediction: 11-1

    Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Pick the Heisman Candidate

    Pick out the Heisman Trophy candidate from these two players

    Passing Yards-Tds-Rush Yards-TDs

    Game 1: A) 51-0-(6)-0; B) 188-1-1-1
    Game 2: A) 286-3-4-0: B) 234-4-71-1
    Game 3: A) 336-6-0-0: B) 115-0-76-1
    Game 4: A) 188-1-(17)-0; B) 103-1-123-2
    Game 5: A) 0-0-0-0; B) 134-1-38-0
    Game 6: A) 250-1-(4)-0; B) 255-1-69-16
    Game 7: A) 252-2-11-0; B) 127-0-88-1
    Game 8: A) 294-4-(3)-0; B) 164-2-85-2
    Game 9: A) 245-0-(17)-0; B) 208-1-27-1

    Season Totals: A) 1902-17-(32)-0; B) 1531-11-578-9

    Player A is Landry Jones, Player B is Tim Tebow. The difference between the two? 7 interceptions, 3 losses as a starter and a lot of hype. I'm a big Tebow fan, but the discussion involving him as a Heisman finalist this year is baffling. The leadership is there, but the stats just aren't. If you're voting for the Heisman and reading this blog (let's be honest, they're probably mutually exclusive lists) pick someone else. Choose McCoy. Or Shipley. Or Case Keenum. Or Mark Ingram. Or even, heaven forbid, Jimmy Clausen.

    Saturday, November 7, 2009


    Here are the drives for the Sooners against the Huskers:
    1. 16 yard drive to the Husker 29. 46 yard field goal missed.
    2. 2 yard drive to the Husker 28. 45 yard field goal missed.
    3. -10 yard drive starting at midfield. Punt.
    4. 2 yard drive to the Sooners 4. Punt.
    5. 0 yards prior to interception on drive starting at Sooner 8.
    6. 45 yard drive to the Husker 35. Turnover on downs.
    7. 4 yard drive to the Sooner 24. Punt.
    8. 59 yard drive to the Husker 28. Field goal made.

    At the end of the first half, the Sooners have made it to midfield or into Husker territory 5 times, and have three points.

    1. 5 yard drive to the Sooner 28. Punt.
    2. 28 yard drive to the Husker 44. Interception.
    3. 11 yard drive to the Sooner 25. Punt.
    4. 26 yard drive to the Husker 24. Missed field goal.
    5. 32 yard drive to the Husker 39. Interception.
    6. 43 yard drive to the Husker 24. Turnover on downs.
    7. 41 yard drive to the Husker 33. Interception.
    8. 0 yard drive to the Sooner 48. Interception.

    In the second half, the Sooners had five possessions in Husker territory, and came away with zero points.

    Pellini had an offensive game plan that was straight out of the Pat Jones playbook. Run the ball and hope you don't fumble. The Husker scoring drives were 1 and 33 yards. And they won handily.

    This was the worst offensive performance since the season opener against TCU in 2005. Or the 2005 Texas game.

    The Bugeater-LandThieves rivalry

    There's been some talk these past couple of weeks about Big 12 realignment, as well as about a schedule format that would facilitate restoring old rivalries, like Oklahoma-Nebraska. First of all, I love the Oklahoma-Nebraska rivalry. The Husker fans are great. They are the classiest fans you'll ever meet, and the Oklahoma-Texas rivalry will never match the Huskers-Sooners in mutual respect of the fan bases.

    However, the Big 12 North-South scheduling format didn't kill the luster of the OU-NU shootouts. Gary Gibbs hampered by probation and a disgrunted fan base, accidentally maimed the rivalry while cleaning a gun and Schnellenberger, Blake and Bill Callahan shot it in the back while it was trying to run for help. Let's look at some facts.

    While Switzer was battling Osborne from 1973-1988, Nebraska was ranked, on average, 4.75 in the country coming into the game. OU was unranked twice coming into the game, but the other 17 games were ranked an average of 5.26. The win loss records of the two teams, outside of games with one another, during this time was 145-24-4 for Oklahoma and 153-24-2 for Nebraska. In that entire 16 season period, at least one of the teams was in the top 10, and 11 times both teams were in the top 10. Only two times was a team not ranked entering the contest.

    Since 1989, there have been 15 games between the two. Only five times have both teams been ranked coming into the game since, and only twice have both teams been ranked in the top 10.

    You can reset the Big 12 scheduling format all you want, but the reality is there are generally three things that make rivalrys great: 1) geography; 2) playing for something; 3) recurring matchups.

    1) Oklahoma-Nebraska does not have geography on it's side. The state of Kansas lays between them, so it's not like it's a border war.

    2) As for playing for something. The schools are playing for some piece of crap oak bucket, an axe or egg bowl or a hat. In the 70s and 80s, they were playing for the right to go to the Orange Bowl and play for the national championship. That's what made this rivalry great. Courtesy of some bad coaching hires, the rivalry diminished.

    3) as for recurring matchups, playing every year does make a great rivalry, but it adds additional flavor. Let's face it. Mississippi State plays LSU in the SEC West every year since 1944, but outside of Louisiana and Mississippi, no one cares. There's no history to it, there's probably never been an SEC or SEC West title on the line (too lazy to look it up).

    I'd love to see the Husker-Sooner rivalry regain it's former luster, but the reality is that will happen from both schools return to excellence at the same time, not when they play each other annually When one is ranked 20th, and the other is not even receiving votes, it's not a great rivalry, it's a rivalry with great history.

    Sunday, November 1, 2009

    Stat of the Week

    If the season were to end today, Landry Jones 17 passing TDs would rank as the 9th highest total in Sooner history. And the 8th highest total this decade.

    Fat Little Girlfriends

    You can say a lot of things about them, but you also have to include devotion and loyalty.