California Post Game

Six-Foot Putts

I was thinking about my frustration and disappointment over the California loss while I was playing golf Sunday afternoon.  On the second hole, I made an eight-foot putt for par. This got me thinking about how close football games and six- to eight-foot putts have much in common. In the groups that I play with, a high percentage of golf rounds, are defined by how many six- to eight to foot putts were made and missed. Similarly, a team’s season is often defined by its record in games decided by seven points or less. I was two for two in six- to eight-foot putts during my nine-hole round, and hence I had a good round as defined by my golf handicap. My score was 41 for those of you who are interested.

To convert a better-than-average percentage of six to eight-foot putts, a golfer must have a fundamentally sound putting stroke that he or she can execute under pressure.  The more six-  to eight-foot putts made, the more confidence the player will have, and confidence is perhaps the most important attribute in being a good putter.  To give those of you who are less than avid golfers some perspective, Phil Mickelson has made 69.81 % of his seven-foot putts on the PGA tour in 2016.

Are the Longhorns fundamentally sound enough and can they execute under pressure well enough to have a better-than-average chance to win close games?  On offense,  yes, on defense and special teams, no.  One out of three won’t cut it in the seven out of nine remaining games which will likely be close ones for Texas. Clearly, Texas’ season will be defined by how much they can improve on defense and special teams.

Turning Point
By now, the performance of the defense in the Cal game has been well reported and analyzed.  As bad as the defense played, I thought the turning point in the game was the interception of Buechele’s first- down deep pass down the right sideline with 1:32 remaining in the first half. Texas had acquired the ball on a kickoff after Brandon Jones blocked a Cal punt resulting in a safety, giving Texas a 33-28 lead. Before the interception I thought … we have the ball, and we can end the half with it, score at least a field goal, and make sure Davis Webb doesn’t get another shot at our defense until the second half.  If Texas could have gone into halftime with a 36-28 or 40-28 lead and momentum, I believe Texas wins the game.  The pass reminded me of something that Darrell Royal once told a UT backup quarterback after he had a long pass attempt intercepted.  “That was chickenshit, keep it on the ground.”

Mr. Fixit

John, you’re a bore; we’ve heard this before
Now for God’s sake, John, sit down!
~”Sit Down John” From the musical 1776

At his Monday press conference, Strong vowed several times to fix the defense.  It reminded me of a song from the musical, 1776, which I was amazingly lucky enough to see during its first run on Broadway on an eighth-grade field trip.  In the play, the character John Adams over and over again urges the Congress to declare independence from England. Finally, Congress breaks into song, Sit down John!

Well, how many times over the past two seasons have we heard Charlie Strong say he was going to fix something?  Before Strong, we heard Mack Brown repeatedly declare he was going to fix whatever was ailing his football team.  Folks, I hate to break it to you, but neither Brown nor Strong ever got anything fixed. Last year, Strong was going to fix the offense by demoting Shawn Watson and elevating Jerrod Heard. Aided by opponents with porous defenses (Rice and Cal), the fix seemed to work, but as the season wore on the offense proved to still be broken, as evidenced by a finishing the season ranked 92nd nationally in total offense.

In my 47+ years of closely observing college football, I’ve never seen any coach, during the season, fix any part of his football team that had systemic problems. Let’s hope there really is a first time for everything.

Hook ‘Em.


Over/Under Results

The California O/U was the toughest test of the season so far with an average score of 5.3.  15 out of 16 players went over on 32.5 minutes of possession for Texas. If they had all been right I think Texas would have won the game. Texas time of possession 31:47. 13 of 16 players went under in 1.5 turnovers for Texas. Again, if they had been right, Texas probably wins. Texas had two turnovers.  If you went under on 79.5 total points scored, don’t feel too bad. 13 of 16 took the under.

David Frink, Mike Frank and Greg Swan tied for first with seven correct answers. Mike and Greg correctly picked Ohio St. and Texas A&M in the tiebreaker. They also both predicted a big win for Texas in predicting the score so I hate to have come up with a winner from that metric but we can’t have ties. Therefore, Greg Swan returns to winners circle this week by predicting a Texas win by fewer points than Mike Frank did.

Congrats Swanee!

5 Comments to “California Post Game”

  1. Playing in the Big 12 you would think He and Bedford would have a few skull sessions about the spread during the off season.

  2. I posted it at 2:12 a.m. Sunday morning, but believe it bears repeating. Essentially, I firmly believe, and have publicly stated, Charlie Brown is not a good coach. He’s a great talent evaluator and recruiter (we believe), but he is a lousy coach evaluator, is disorganized to the max, mismanages his player personnel (why is that Roach fellow not a starter and why ARE Dylan Haines or Sheroid Evans, as just a couple examples?) and does not take appropriate responsibility for his team’s abominable preparation and or execution. He threw everyone but himself under the bus in his post-game interview Sunday morning, as did Vance Bedford, in his hallway interview with LHN. No accountability!

    I hope he can “fix it,” but have significant doubts. I also have repeatedly said another firing this soon after Mack Brown’s would be bad for the program. I believe that and sincerely hope it’s not necessary. But on a quite personal note, I have invested too much of my time, my devotion, my thoughts, hopes, dreams, my money, and my extreme level of support to continue watching the kind of shit-show we saw against California. Yet, it keeps happening. Someone needs to make it stop. Right Now!

  3. Disappointing effort to say the least.

    Not the WE blog though, appreciate the explanation by way of Golf analogy. The game reminded me of your prediction that Texas would continue to be “no shows” or lose games they should win under the CS Admin.

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