Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | September 16, 2011

Le chaim! (or, NCAAF, Week 3)

Now things are getting serious.  Big, huge, monumental matches this weekend.  But first to the important stuff.

Tulsa hosts Oklahoma State Saturday night.  The Golden Hurricane has little hope against the fiery Cowboys, but at least the game will be in snug little H.A. Chapman stadium, where the gang from Stillwater can’t fit all that many fans.  It’s always like a foreign occupation when the big state schools play Tulsa in Tulsa:  the Big State band takes up half of one side of the stadium, and you can’t park any closer than the McDonalds way the heck down 11th Street between Harvard and Yale.  Whatever points OSU is giving, take ‘em.

Oklahoma puts its #1 on the line in Tallahassee.  Big game of the week.  Fanfare.  Confetti.  Both teams looked overwhelming in their first outings.  The Oklahoma D was faster and funnier than at any time in the last several years against Tulsa; it will lack Travis Lewis tomorrow, but it’s got the speed.  #5 FSU’s offense has some excellent skill and promise but hasn’t faced a real test yet this season (e.g., QB E.J. Manuel).  Meanwhile, if Landry Jones gets the protection he got from his front four in the Tulsa game, he’ll be productive.  He’s becoming a smarter ball-tosser with each game.  OU giving 3 is about right.

Navy visits #10 South Carolina (motto:  “The other USC”) for the Mids’ toughest game yet.  Sadly, we don’t see Navy taking the honors in this one.  Army hosts Northwestern, which for some reason is favored only by 6.

Virginia Tech, hanging in there at #13 after trying to commit suicide last week, hosts weird no-name opponent Arkansas State (1-1, Sunbelt) in what ought to be an easy win for the Hokies.  We can hope the Hokie Fairy will shake some anti-penalty dust on the field at Blacksburg.  Tech gives 24, but we’d be wary of the Red Wolves covering.

Nevada is favored by only 6 over the San Jose State Spartans, who suck this year, so the crushing loss to Oregon is having its lingering effects.  We think the Wolf Pack will show better than that tomorrow.

In other action, we simply must report that the Golden Bears of California are hosting one of our all-time favorite teams, the Presbyterian Blue Hose.  The FCS/Div IAA Blue Hose play in the Big South, and beat the Div II Crusaders of North Greenville U (Tigerville, SC) last week.  Much as we’d love to root for the Blue Hose, we do try to cheer on Cal when we can.  There’s no evidence of betting odds on this one.

#3 LSU has already knocked off surging Mississippi State in the Thursday night game, 19-6.  #2 Alabama hosts one of the losingest, toughest-hanging teams around, the Mean Green of North Texas, on Saturday, and unless the Tide doesn’t show up for some reason, they’ll win.  #4 Boise State will probably wipe the turf with Toledo Friday night, but the Rockets did give Ohio State a scare last week, so there may be a hurdle or two in the cakewalk.

Speaking of Ohio State, the #17 Buckeyes are favored over Miami in the much-anticipated Ineligibowl on Saturday night.  We’re in a place in the Grand Cycle of NCAA Football where that rates a WHAT. EVER.

Also rating same in terms of cosmic significance to the BCS is the annual September rivalry match between Florida and Tennessee, also known as Black Saturday for all the travel stops up and down I-75.  Yeah, the Gators are #16.  Have fun, dudes.

#6 Stanford travels to meet a mushy Arizona and Oregon hosts Missouri State, a Div IAA opponent.  The overdogs should win with no problem, but struggling #23 Texas may encounter another Bruin trap as it takes on UCLA in the Rose Bowl.  Might be a photo finish in that one.

In Division II, SWOSU’s 1-1 Bulldogs take on conference foe Henderson State in Arkadelphia (Arkansas, silly).  The Henderson State team is the Reddies, whatever that means.  The Reddies are also 1-1.  Meanwhile, after a 41-0 drubbing by the steak-filled coaching staff at Colorado State-Pueblo, the well-traveled Northwestern Oklahoma State Rangers will bump into the University of South Dakota Coyotes in Vermillion, SD.  USD is a Div IAA team, and all things being equal, should outmatch the Rangers for a second week.

In Division III, Christopher Newport hosts the (we are not making this up) Sea Gulls of Salisbury U (MD), in the Captains’ first ever lighted night game on Saturday.  Salisbury plays in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and has won its first two games, but we feel sure the Captains can beat a team that sports a cartoon sea gull as its mascot.  After a week off, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology heads for Kalamazoo to take on the Kalamazoo College Hornets.  The Hornets, a non-conference opponent, come in 1-1, with a reasonable scoring history, so the Fightin’ Engineers have their work cut out for them.


Responses

  1. I dunno OC. LSU looks really really good. When you consider all the meaningless yards they gave up to Oregon in the last quarter and MSU in the last minute and a half even their excellent statistics are quite inadequately descriptive of their story. Would love to see a rematch from 2003 against the OU offense and we might be on the way if they can get out of Tellahassee in tact but I agree that its going to be a much much closer affair than last year. Honestly though, the lack of playmakers for FSU certainly diminishes the significance of Travis Lewis absence and 3 seems a very safe line.

    For some reason I think Arizona should be competitive against Stanford but their inexperience and rather unimpressive performance last week makes this supposition only slightly better founded than one that the Obama Jobs Plan will actually create a dozen permanent jobs in the private sector.

  2. Am I wrong to find the the Texas/UCLA game MUCH more interesting than Florida/Tennessee? I mean *Florida/Tennessee* with Coach Boom making his “Rivalry” debut. On the one hand Texas/Florida very similar in some ways: very very recently at the very apex of the game, still loaded with talent, both re-building (Florida a tad more so). Tennessee a bit more of a team on a slight rise, UCLS a bit down with a famous alumn’s last season to redeem himself as coach. On balance similar games and the intensity of the (somewhat) traditional (perhaps THE in the late 90s) SEC rivalry should make that the more compelling game. And yet …

  3. Tight fit in Tallahassee! OU is thicker up front on D than I thought.
    No one thought Travis Lewis would be ready. I almost dropped my chips. Note to all OC’s. Mobile quarterbacks get hit a lot. Injuries follow.
    Tulsas’ 33 points was impressive against OSU. Hope the quarterback is okay.
    UCLA really stinks.
    PC Original beat Choctow 42-21.

  4. Who’s to say what’s right and wrong, cavalier? I confess to losing interest in the Texas-UCLA bout, as it became steadily clearer that it was UCLA stepping into the Bruin trap. But in comparison to the SEC marquee game, I confess to finding the PAC-12/Wherevertheheckthey’regoingtobenextyear game more “interesting.”

    It should certainly help the Longhorns’ ranking, at any rate. Maybe the Shootout on the 8th will be a really good game.

    So, maybe wreed knows if OU and UT (the good one, not the SEC mess) are going to bolt the rapidly shrinking Big-non-12 (but not Big X ’cause that’s those other guys)?

    I don’t know if I can take another conference shake-up of that magnitude. Meanwhile: hey, did anyone happen to see that OSU-Tulsa game? I had to hit the rack. It was midnight in Tulsa and the game still hadn’t started, due to the weather delay. Huge lightning-laden thunderstorm pounding Tulsa. I see this morning that they did actually play (Cowboys, 59-33), but what a mess. Bad news: Tulsa QB G.J. Kinne (aka “Mr. Productive”) went out in the 1Q to a knee injury. Don’t know how bad it is. It obviously didn’t help the Golden Hurricane. The field is artificial turf, so at least the players weren’t knee-deep in mud.

    VA Tech could have looked stronger against Arkansas State, but bagged the 27-6 win and got some good practice in. Oddly, we got the game here.

    Navy gave Spurrier’s #10 squad some serious competition. They were ahead for much of the game, but the Gamecocks finally went ahead with a TD in the 4Q to pull it out 24-21. The size of the South Carolina (motto: “The other USC”) defense took its toll in the end, but Navy’s triple option had them buffaloed for a good bit. (We think of the Navy defense as “small but pursuing.” They may not be able to rassle you down like a brick wall in an open-field match up, but they’re gonna keep up with you and dog your footsteps.)

    Army, meanwhile, knocked off favored Northwestern, putting in a not-darn-too-shabby performance. 10 December, anyone?

    Nevada probably looked like they’re still rebuilding; we didn’t see the game, but they beat SJSU only 17-14. They surely would have done better against the Presbyterian Blue Hose, whom Cal allowed to score 12 points on them. Which was pretty sporting, we think. Cal ran up 63 in that win.

    Speaking of other divisions, our SWOSU Bulldogs beat the Henderson State Reddies, who frankly deserved to be beaten for having such a silly name. I mean, I get “Blue Hose,” which presumably refers to the socks worn by the athletes. I don’t want to think about what Reddies might refer to, however. Anyway, SWOSU 17-13.

    Northwestern OK State lost, as expected, on the road at U South Dakota.

    In Div III, we are saddened to report that Kalamazoo’s Hornets stung Rose-Hulman rather badly, 43-22.

    CNU’s Captains managed to lose under the lights to (wait for it) a flock of sea gulls. Yes, the Captains, after posting 16 unanswered points in the second half, were topped 27-23 by smelly foraging marine birds. We comfort ourselves that at least the band was presumably in tip-top shape.

    As to the OU-FSU game, it was indeed tight. Definitely highlighted weakness on both sides, as well as strengths. It was a good thing the Sooners had Travis Lewis, who was cleared to play at the last minute. Even with Lewis, though, they need to work on that mid-region screen-pass zone, where they kept being beaten all night. I would have liked to see them lean a bit more towards “staying with the ball” on D, and a little less toward the clever shifting sets. They did keep the ‘Noles off-balance much of the night, but if Manuel had been in for the whole game, the outcome might have been different.

    LSU and Alabama both look strong — so does Boise State — but honestly, I don’t see one team that looks overwhelmingly dominant. If LSU’s going to be the BCS champ, I really think they’re going to have to get something bigger going on offense.

    Glad to hear the Pirates bagged another win. It’s hard to be humble when you’re a Pirate.

    • OU and Texas were granted permission from the league to leave on Monday. President Boren says there is no hurry on their decision. I believe it is a done deal. I have no specific info, just a hunch.
      Away games will be out of reach for most fans.

  5. Well, yeh. My Fl/Ten Texas/UCLA comment was relatively early in the affair. I was watching the second half at the gym but lost interest and switched to the Washington/Nebraska which promptly got out of hand, as well.

    South Carolina again involved in possibly the most exciting game of the weekend (though more competition last week). Don’t know precisely what to make of them. Lattimore has always been and continues to be a beast. It is intensely un-American not to LOVE the name JA – DA – VE – ON Clowney. Fantastic effort for the Middies. It would be entirely inappropriate to question their patriotism and I’m sure that they their appreciation of same has only grown now that they have gotten to see him up close and personal

    I think OU did OK but reasonably impressive for FSU. Their defense should probably be fine against LSU or Bama (both of which are actually very different from FSU in having potentially explosive playmakers and rather pedestrian signal callers). As I say above its the OU offense vs. their D thats the most prospectively exciting match up.

    Heretofore LSU has had more of a chance impress than Bama. They will again next week in Morgantown but Bama will have Ar Kansas (as Les Miles likes to say) which might be their toughest test yet and while I certainly think they’ll win the fashion in which they do so should tell us something. Generally you’d have to pick Saban or (formerly) Urban Meyer over Miles and yet … he’s manages a .500 record against both.

    I fell asleep in the 3rd quarter of the Stanford game. I kept checking by the OSU game had not gotten started yet. I don’t know about all this delaying football games because of weather stuff but it does strike me as very very dangerous to play that late into the night. Players loose their sharpness with the long delay, instincts cannot be that sharp at that time of night and in such a violent sport all sorts of nasty things can happen.

  6. Looks like (maybe) OU/Texas/OSU/Texas Tech will go west.
    OU/Texas met in Norman yesterday to discuss that very option. David Boren wants to go west.
    The pack was looking for OU/Texas/Colorado to go together last year. OU/Texas changed their minds at the last minute. The Longhorn Network was a part of that change.
    Nebraska and Texas A&M ended the Big 12.
    A&M will dwell in the lower regions of the SEC.
    The loss of a power conference in the Heartland is not good for football.
    I am really pumped for a 10 PM kick off in Pullman, Washington.
    The service academies did looked strong. Navy was playing a SC team that did not focus as well as they should have after Auburn. Takes nothing away from the fine Navy performance.
    The FSU/Clemson (at Clemson) game is dangerous for FSU for the very same reason.
    Missouri travels to Norman Saturday. It may be ugly.
    A personal note from the past. I attended the 77-0 Missouri game in 1986 (Norman). I read two newspapers and a magazine.
    Switzer said he thought of sending someone to explain to Coach Widenhofer ” how to rotate your D when the triple option is going to the pitch man Every Time.”
    Regards to everyone.

    • The PAC was looking. Never type before coffee.

  7. From the East Coast Desk of TOC Sports:

    A. Football is a game that must be played hard and serious right up to the very last snap of the game. Saturday, under the new lights of POMOCO Stadium, the CNU Captains entered the last 10 minutes of the 4th quarter with a ten point lead and a fumble recovery in Salisbury territory… Salisbury scores two touchdowns in five of those minutes because the Offensive minds on the Captains’ sideline thought tanking a total of seven running plays into the line of scrimmage even after a Seagulls touchdown… was sufficient offense… The Captains lost 26 to 23…. because they quit playing football before the game was over. ‘Nuff said.

    B. Frank Beamer will never get IT… and therefore never win his most desired National Championship. Well he’s majorly successful, runs a great and basically class football program, so why won’t he win a Crystal Trophy?

    OFFENSE — or basic lack thereof… and not necessarily what you think. OFFENSE is a mindset, and a plan, besides being earnest execution on the field. Championship teams have both DEFENSE and OFFENSE. Tech most often has D, but rarely O, and the O is more often than not incomplete.

    Frank Beamer needs an Offensive Coordinator… the current pet incumbents are probably all really wonderful folks… great guys for a poker game… some cigars and single-malts or Cognac in the evening…. but I get the serious impression that both the game planning, play calling, and preparation are sorely taxed for championship level effort, and the Quarterback coaching is functionally mediocre at best.

    Logan Thomas is going to be great.. or an abysmal failure.. without a “real” Quarterback Coach… The will tend more toward the latter than the former.. not that he will be a complete failure, but the challenge to be Championship Great has no real support. Tyrod suffered from the same problem; he’d have been even better if he’d had consistent experienced help.

    Frank’s “Need Yesterday” list should be:

    1. Chad Pennington
    2. Fridge for OC – or someone who can take advantage of this offense…

    –TMF

  8. Fridge for OC——??????

    if you think that he can do a better job on the blog than Dyer, it’s just another dubious opinion from you.

  9. “OFFENSE — or basic lack thereof… and not necessarily what you think. OFFENSE is a mindset, and a plan, besides being earnest execution on the field.”

    Truer words never, ever, ever spoken about Beamer Ball.

    Regrets on the Captains and their playing-cessation problem. Sadly, a number of teams suffer from it.

    I presume fuster knows you meant “Fridge for Offensive Coordinator,” and is merely in chain-pulling mode.

    For wreed: one question. In the 77-0 blowout, did you actually stay all the way to the end of the game? That would be some serious Sooner fandom.

    I agree that losing a healthy “Big 12” in the heartland would be a bad thing. I’ve been sad to see the Big 10 looking weak and pathetic in recent years; I think we have about the right number of automatic qualifying conferences, and fewer of them would not be good. The ones there are should be about equally competitive. Breaking up the Big 12 entirely seems to set us on a bad road. I know Nebraska and A&M committed the treachery, but I blame it on Kansas, which can’t seem to find its behind with both hands these days.

    • I don’t know….not only am i not not going on record as preferring Perry as blog host, I’m even dubious about him doing a better job than Dyer as an offensive coordinator.
      Perry was a defensive player, despite Ditka’s using him on goal-line offense (and that was only to screw with the curmudgeonly egotistical Buddy Ryan).
      No one ever accused Perry of being a student of the game while he was playing or of being a disciplined, coachable player.
      Furthermore, it’s nearly impossible to imagine Perry being as well-prepared day-in and day-out as Dyer.
      Dyer is more suited to offense and more cerebral and likely to be able to creatively compose a complex, 11-part battle plan.

      That said, what’s up with Tony Romo’s Ribs?

      • Fridge refers to Raph Friedgen – former coach of the Maryland Terrapins – unceremoniously and unjustly fired by said institution of Yankee indoctrination…

        A large man of some appetite… combined with a name… suggests a long history of being called “Fridge”…

        He is to this day, one of Frank Beamer’s best friends in coaching, and if Fridge was anything he was an excellent Offensive Coordinator… and developer of quarterbacks.

        It would be nice to have him be granted the dignity of cooking some snapping turtle for soup.

        Maybe he could add in some juicy frog legs… eh?

        Fear the Turtle – NOT!

        As the kids say in Blacksburg… Gobble Gobble… B*** oops family site…

        -TMF

        • thanks for the info correcting my mistaken presumption.

          I’ll leave a leg in my will.

    • I stayed till the last whistle and Ruff Neck Guns to go off. I didn’t want to lose my place in the last magazine article.
      The look on the Missouri players faces was worth waiting for.
      They wandered around like deer on an inter-state.

  10. Those Okie schools miss OC and are “moving out west” to join her. It is a road all to well traveled and not always felicitously. One certainly hopes the Sooners and Cowboys will enjoy greater success than Tommy Joad and the gang (I wrote a term paper on the Grapes of Wrath sophomore year of high school. Enjoyed Great Gatsby much much more but thats a whole other story). In any event given the political and policy climate today the trip west doesn’t make sense and, indeed, it is the Pac – Southwest – Great Planes 51 that needs all those eyeballs and fans from the former South West Pac 8/12/11.

    Its not as if Va Tech hasn’t had the athletes for a great offense. Also, as OC notes above, LSU has hardly been an offensive juggernaut and this is especially inexcusable given all the 5 and 4 stars they recruit on that side of the ball.

    Its interesting that some of the greatest coaches field particularly potent offenses. Bobby Stoops was hired by OU in large part because of his defensive prowess and while he did have some great defensive players and great defenses (and as we saw this past Saturday has one today) his tenure has become much more associated with record setting offenses and Heisman winning QBs.

    Bill Bellichick, too (wasn’t his father a coach at Navy?) was also celebrated for his D and yet lately the Pats have been setting offensive records of all sorts.

    Still, both won the actual championships early with the great defenses. Both, however, are very well positioned to win it all again this year so we’ll just have to see.

    All of which is a particularly ponderous and prolix way of saying that I completely agree with TMF.

    • Well I would guess that Texas pretty much sealed the deal. I don’t think A&M’s move will be helpful unless the SEC aura convinces more Texas kids go to A&M to play in it.

      Nebraska went to the logical place as it will be better placed with Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota with whom they have more in common and to join a conference that actually put together a proper TV network and has more TVs available than any other conference in the land. And while its football prowess is not that great, its basketball is.

      That is why I figure ND will never join the Big Ten – ND’s deal with NBC would cut into the Big Ten deal. I guess maybe the ACC will take them when the Big East implodes. So you will have the ACC, SEC, Big 10 and the Pac 12+. Where do the remaining Big 12 schools go? Would the Big 10 take Mizzou and Kansas? Is Iowa St worth having (I think academically it isn’t strong enough).

      Fun times in colege football.

  11. What a catch by Hixon!!!

  12. Yeah, the Giants are for real. Rams taking it in the shorts, as expected. Giants getting good pressure on Bradford — although not as bad as that awful business with the Saints and Bears yesterday. Note to Lovie Smith: it’s not wimpy to protect your QB. It allows him to do football stuff, like set up to pass and pick receivers.

    • I’ve been watching the Giants pretty closely for quite a while.

      They don’t seem all that real right now. The linebackers ( including the starting ML) are mostly raw, raw rookies and haven’t much of a clue about how to play pass or when. The cornerbacks not injured and playing non-atrociously total out at 1.
      After two games everybody in the league has seen that play-action is gonna result in an easy 12 yards.
      The D looks like it could be could if they get a couple of the injured to return or could crumble with any more injuries to the backs or backers.

  13. fuster, My dad is a big Giants fan (in the old days when living in Washington DC, he sometimes drove an hour north to some rest stop so he could get a reception on a portable TV and watch the NYG if they were not televised in DC) and he’s not too bullish on the NYG this season. That being said, he tends to fall a little on the pessimistic side when making such assessments.

    Miraculously, the Redskins sit alone atop the NFC East. I expect that not to last, but I could see them having a chance at 3-0 as they play a rather banged up Dallas Cowboys squad on Monday night.

    On a somber note, my top fantasy football RB (Jamaal Charles) is gone for the season. Grrrrrrr.

    P.S. No need to make a crack about dad and the rest stop – Suuuuure he was going there to watch a football game… That joke almost tells itself here.

    P.P.S. I was in Toronto this past wknd with said dad and brother. We saw all 3 Yanks/Blue Jays games (including Mariano’s record tying 601st save). I fear though that they are not going to make much noise in the playoffs. I don’t think their starting pitching is sufficient.

    • RE, i hate to go to a football post and have a baseball game break out, but I’ll just say that none of the other likely AL playoff teams have starting staffs that are much better. (Angels and Rays probably won’t be in)

      Philly looks set to win WS if they get there.

      Your dad’s likely right about the Giants. They had a season’s worth of major injuries on D before the season started on top of losing a bunch of players from the offense during the off-season.

      Gonna be real difficult to replace 8 or 9 starters on the fly.

  14. One interesting thought about this conference breakup as what happens when a college goes to a conference that doesn’t play one of its sports? For instance the Big East plays men’s soccer, the Big12 doesn’t. I am sure there are other examples. Does anyone end up getting to a spot where they have to fold teams that already exist because there is no one to play?

  15. It’s an interesting question, JEM. Schools that play in FCS/Div IAA and lower often play different sports in different conferences. Quite a few of them are IAA for some sports and Div II for others.

    Even in FBS, when C-USA was first started, Tulsa and o0ther C-USA schools had teams that still had to play in other conferences (Div IAA mostly) because C-USA didn’t “do” those sports. I’m not sure of the status on those sports today. I don’t think that will be an issue for either Oklahoma or Texas migrating to PAC-whatever or the SEC, but I’m sure it comes up in some cases.

  16. This just in. OU/Texas/OSU/T Tech will be going west.
    Okay they will not be going west.
    OU/Texas will be going west.
    Okay, not really.
    Pac 12 wants OU/Texas.
    No they really don’t.
    Missouri has an offer from the SEC.
    Maybe they don’t.
    The Big East (falling apart also) wants the Big 12 leftovers.
    The Big 12 leftovers are very upset with OU/Texas. The leftovers may leave just to spite The Big Boys. That would leave OU/Teaxas with no place to go.
    OU wants the league commissioner fired. He got a contract extension a year ago.
    There is one common denominator: The Longhorn Network. Texas decided they did not have to share revenue with other members.
    Nebraska,Colorado were incensed about this.
    OU is threatening to drop a fire bomb if Texas does not relent on the revenue topic.
    That is all folks.

    • PS: Texas did not want to share Longhorn Network revenue with Pac 12 members.
      Apparently the Pac 12 commissioner did not find that amusing.
      Texas has expections that OU/Texas interests are tied together.
      Cracks are forming.
      The Big 12 is the laughing stock of the football world.

  17. At least the procedures are clear and unambiguous, wreed. Many thanks for the illuminating updates.

    I hate to see this happening to the Big 12. Not that it has always been there; I of course remember when OU was in the Big 8, and the showdown with Nebraska was the Game of Games every year. But until Nebraska and A&M decided to depart, it was a conference filled with storied teams from my favorite places. I guess life does have to move on, but one does wish it didn’t have to look quite so much like mid-procedure in a slaughterhouse.

    • I am going to fess up that I am a closet Cal Berkley football fan (18 years). I have a very worn Cal sandwich cap to prove it.
      Love the campus. Walk there whenever I can. A ray of sunshine in the East Bay.
      Yes, there are a lot of idiots there, but I love it.
      They have had some talent and a few decent teams over the last half decade.
      Most of their players seem to be literate.
      That is my Pac 12 story. I will save my Merlin Olson story for the holidays. ( Cal/Stanford game mid 90’s).

  18. I remember the the old SouthWest Conference I think it was called. Texas, Arkansas, A&M. The fact of the matter is that Texas created this mess by trying to pull a ND. They aren’t, and they failed miserably. Everyone else in the Big 12 at this point wants to wring Texas’ neck. Completely understandable.

    Nebraska made a very wise move. The Big10 is by far the best run conference, almost always a step ahead of everyone else, and by far the most profitable.

    The problem now is that the PAC12+ has decided they don’t like Texas’ network anymore than the Big 12 does. I still think the Big 12 as we see it is about to change. Then Texas will get to be like ND, they will be independent because no one else will want them.

  19. Yep, that’s the buzz around SOCAL. “PAC-12 doesn’t like the Texas Network thing.” OU/UT to PAC-12 ain’t happenin’. Which is fine with me. It’s not clear why it would be better to be in a conference with UCLA and Arizona than with OK-State and Kansas State.

    So what’s next? Go begging at the SEC’s door and have them reject the Texas Network baggage, but with a nice southern drawl instead of a Valley accent?

    wreed — you do that ‘fessin’ up. I’ve taken on Cal on behalf of a brother-in-law alumnus, and also because USC is extremely annoying and UCLA is worthless. Might as well have a California team to root for, even if it’s kind of half-hearted. Fortunately, politics don’t make it onto the football field at Berkeley nearly the way they do at Stanford (home of the Heathered Mauve).

    I’ll be interested to hear your Merlin Olson story. (That’s a blast from the past. There’s a whole generation now that knows him only from his thespian oeuvre, a staple of the Hallmark Channel.)

    • Cancel the move out west, I guess. Texas appears to be too big for their chaps (and anyone else’s for that matter).

      I must say the Big 12 has never really been my thing. I confess to having harbored a fondness for the SWC. The Big Thing about the Big 8, of course, was the Nebraska-Oklahoma game you mention, which at the time was much bigger than Texas/OU (Texas on a bit of a downswing in the 80s). Obviously NU/OU lost A LOT of luster with OUs down years in the 90s and Nebraska for most of the last decade. (of course Texas/OU has reacquired some much meaning of late). During the broadcast of all those 80s’ games they almost alway had a feature or a few highlights from the 1971 game – often characterized as one of the greatest (perhaps THE greatest) games ever played. There was the big punt (kickoff?) return by Johnny Rodgers and some Gregg Pruitt highlights (he was my favorite player on the Browns just as I was getting into football).

      So I dunno. Missouri to the SEC? Still? Call me old fashioned but the geographical designations retain some appeal as we look forward to TCU in the Big East?!?!?

  20. I’m going to have to rename this the Confession Thread, what with all the confessin’ goin’ on.

    As for teams and conference geographic designations, there’s always Louisiana Tech (motto: “What the heck are we doing in the WAC?”). It wouldn’t be a whole lot stranger to have TCU in the Big East, I guess. Certainly TCU wouldn’t have to travel as far to play Providence as LA Tech does to play Hawaii. But then, TCU would obviously be a more natural fit for a revived and refreshed Big 12.

    Big East’s Pitt and Syracuse off to the ACC… C-USA’s East Carolina applying to join the Big East … now C-USA and Mountain West looking to combine forces and create a new automatic-qualifying conference … basically, we’re looking at an FBS-wide earthquake.

    C-USA and MWC combined? Still wouldn’t be trying to have a conference that includes Hawaii, but it would definitely make for a lot of travel. For the smaller, less well-funded schools, it would really cut into the opportunities for the fan base. (It would for the bigger schools too, but it wouldn’t hurt them as much.)

    Sigh.

    • Thank you for your dispensation on the Cal thing. (LOL) ESPN is reporting that the Big Twelve Commissioner is without a job this morning.
      I guess David Boren really is a heavyweight. Beebe will get about a 3 million$$$ parachute.
      You can bet your booty Texas will start to share The Longhorn Network revenue. That was Borens’ only other stipulation to keep the Big 12 together.
      TCU and (wait for it)……….. Air Force are the flavors of the day for the Big 12.
      BYU is like Notre Dame around here. That boat will not float.
      Perhaps the Big 12 could get some stimulus money through the Air Force connection.
      I have some great green ideas. I need about 50 million.


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