Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

Kansas Post-Game

You Know What I’ve Noticed?

I’m very observant. I’m also an excellent driver. Anyway,here are just a few of the things I’ve noticed about the Longhorns and life in general.

D’Onta Foreman had a 93-yard touchdown run against Kansas, an 81 yard run against Oklahoma, and has a 6.9 yard per carry average for the season. Yet, Jonathan Gray, with a 4 yard per carry average, whom can only imagine in his wildest dreams a 93-yard touchdown run, is the starter and get 41% more carries than Foreman.  Hey Charlie, take your “J Gray” and s…….t.

In his press conference today when asked about Gray getting more carries than Foreman, Charlie Strong said “we don’t count carries,” in his next breath he said how many carries each of them had versus Kansas.  Keep counting Charlie. Maybe the light will come on.

Speaking of underperforming seniors, guard Cedric Flowers and center Taylor Doyle block absolutely nobody on about half of Texas’ offensive plays. Yet Strong says they’re key leaders. Go figure.

In my last column I wrote that you could access an article by Scipio Tex “here,” but there was no there “here.” So here it actually is.

People in their twenties think almost everything is “amazing.”

The clock in Jerrod Heard’s head doesn’t function when he drops back to pass.

Speaking of passing, Jay Norvell must have found out sometime before the Kansas game that it’s legal to throw a forward pass over the middle.

When I’ve misplaced something, I almost always find it in the last place I look.

Kansas has a really good basketball team.

If Baylor was 8-0 having played Texas’ schedule, they would be #1. So we got the going for us; which is nice.

I live a drive and eight iron away from the elementary school my kids walked or rode bikes to when they attended just a few years ago. Okay more like 13-16 years ago. Now-a-days I see almost all the kids being dropped off and picked up.  That’s a little bit sad. I’ll never forget finding a dead Diamondback rattle snake on my way home from school when I was in second grade.  When I was in third grade, from the classroom window, I saw our family’s dog Teddy running around the schoolyard. My teacher, Miss Shipp, let me leave school to take him home. Shockingly, I lived to tell the tale.

Ok, no more social commentary.

On “Swoopes there it is!” It seems like a 4-5 team that ranks #101 in total offense shouldn’t have a chant for an offensive player. Or any player of any kind. Just saying.

The second quarter of the Kansas game was the worst college football I’ve ever witnessed in person. Looking on the bright side, only about 60,000 people were there to see it.

Over/Under Results

Wade Wallace who has won twice this year and has been knocking on the door for his third win for weeks finally, as Bum Phillips would say, kicked it in this week winning his third Over/Under of year by posting nine correct answers. Mark Adams and D.R. Flowers tied for second with eight correct.

The “Not So Fast” Lock of the Week

Willie Earl came down to earth this week with his pick of Houston -8 versus Cincinnati. Houston won 33-30. Oh well, four out of five ain’t bad. We’ll give it the old college try again on Friday.

HooK ‘eM,

W.E.

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Kansas Pre-Game

Charlie’s Choices Rejoinder

 

I shared a column with you about the state of Charlie Strong’s rebuilding process written by Scipio Tex, the lead writer for Barking Carnival.  If you haven’t read it, access it here.  In my opinion, he is the best and most knowledgeable writer of anybody there is on the subject of Texas football.

I’ve read this article from start to finish three times, trying to determine whether Scipio is endorsing Strong’s performance so far and calling out fans who have lost their faith in Strong as unreasonable, kneejerk, and unsophisticated.  My conclusion is he’s leaning in that direction. If he is, then as much as I like him as football writer and analyst, I’m calling him out for indulging in the condescension of the intelligentsia.

To build his case for Strong, Scipio cites Mack Brown’s tenure at North Carolina where he started 2-20 before posting a winning record in his third year, and eventually getting the Tarheels into the top 10. His inference here is that impatient Longhorn fans should take heed of the North Carolina administration’s virtuous patience and quit their carping. His point is worth noting, but for every instance he can cite where patience paid off, I’m sure thorough research would reveal an equal number of failures.  Case in point – our own David McWilliams’ record in his first three years at Texas was 16-18, including 4-7 and 5-6 records in years two and three. He was granted a fourth year, and had a dream season in 1990, going 10-2 before reverting back to his mean of 5-6 in his fifth and final year.

Scipio concludes his article discussing the matter of faith.

Strong hasn’t helped himself in some key areas.  Right now, faith in Strong is largely a matter of, well, faith. Faith that he’ll make the right coaching hire on offense, faith that he’ll close the 2016 recruiting class with the same miracles that he did in 2015, faith that his development plans are still on-line, faith that he’ll jettison a few of the generational peers on his staff where most programs house their ambitious ace recruiters, faith that he’ll persevere and sell us his vision on the field since he can’t do it from the pulpit.

I think one of my loyal readers — who happens to be my brother David — answers the faith question with home run here:  I’ll stick by my belief that there are dozens of head coaches who could have, would have assembled an appropriate staff AT THE START OF THE FREAKING REBUILD.

Another one of my readers joined in with a point that Scipio Tex would have to tip his hat to: Compare Strong to Stoops first year at OU. He was a defensive coordinator like Strong. He hired Mike Leach and Leach went out and found Josh Heupel. Strong did nothing to upgrade the QB situation, even after the disasters at the end of last season. He also brought in a staff that had very little recruiting connections in Texas, and he kept the worst coach from Mack’s staff. I hope to be wrong, but I think it’s going to be a slow death march for a couple of years. By then a coach like Tom Herman will be long gone.

To conclude my rejoinder to Scipio, I will quote my father when he paraphrased the opening of “If” by Rudyard Kipling. If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, then maybe you don’t know what the hell is going on.

Lock of the Week

This is getting scary. Willie Earl’s lock of the week is still undefeated at 4-0 after last week’s pick of Houston -12.5 versus Vanderbilt.This week I’m going with the Cougars again at -8 at home versus Cincinnati.

HooK ‘eM,

W.E.

Over/Under Contest

Kansas Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: Predict scores



    TCU at Oklahoma St.
  • LSU @ Alabama
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Iowa State Post-Game

Inexplicable

Does anybody really know what time it is
Does anybody really care
                                                        -Robert Lamm, Chicago Transit Authority

The way I see it, we can go one of two ways on this thing. The first option is what I’m in this blog business for:  to analyze and comment on Longhorn football. In other words, to still give a s….The second option—which I’m seriously inclined to opt for is—I just don’t care anymore.  After all, that’s evidently how a great many of the Longhorn Football players feel.   Ok, I’ll go through with this column as if I still care.

The expectations for this season weren’t all that high taking into consideration that the schedule was one of the most difficult of any team’s in the country.  Nobody was demanding or expecting the Longhorns to compete for a conference championship, or win nine or ten games this season.   But I think it was completely reasonable to expect Charlie Strong’s team to be competitive in all 12 games, to win games against Iowa State, Kansas, Texas Tech, and Rice, and pick up a couple of more wins in games versus West Virginia, California, or Oklahoma State.  A win against Notre Dame, TCU, Oklahoma, or Baylor would be a huge bonus. Charlie Strong

The fact that the Longhorns were not the least bit competitive in three games to date, including the latest debacle against lowly Iowa State, is a disturbing indicator for the probability that Charlie Strong will ever have a championship caliber program at Texas.  If Strong’s teams can’t even be competitive in five out of their last 10 games, and 20 games into his tenure at Texas leads me to believe—even with three or four solid recruiting classes under his belt—that his team’s seasons will always be marred by three or four really disappointing outings.  In short, it’s hard to convince me today that Charlie Strong will ever win more than eight games at Texas.

More to come on this subject Friday.

Over/Under Results

About a week before the 2012 season I had lunch with my friend Art Zeitz. We were talking about the upcoming season for the Longhorns and Art told me flat out that he was drinking the burnt orange Kool-Aid. Those were his words.  He thought 2012 was going to be a return to the glory days for UT.  I felt compelled to try and disabuse him of that notion. We all remember how 2012 turned out.

Well, Art’s not drinking the Kool-Aid any more if his winning entry in the Iowa State Over/Under contest is any indicator. In a week with the highest contestant turnout of the season, when the average score was 4.5, Art scored a 9 to edge out Reed Ramlow for the victory. Art saw right through all the hype over the Longhorns recent success and came very close to a perfect score. It was Art’s second win of the season.

Reed Ramlow is also to be applauded for a great outing with eight correct answers. Incidentally, Art took Reed’s place–when Reed joined the Peace Core and moved to Korea–as my roommate at the fabled Bluffs of Barton apartment complex in 1980. I’ll never forget the day that Reed came in our apartment and announced his plans. Of course I thought it was joke. It wasn’t and the rest is history.

HooK ‘eM,

W.E.

 

 

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Iowa St. Pre-Game

Willie Earl Has Questions

I have some questions for Coach Strong and his staff as we get ready for the Iowa State game on Saturday.  Just because I write a bunch of stuff about Texas football every week during the season doesn’t mean I’m less superficial in my analysis of the team than the average fan who spends an inordinate amount of time watching and thinking about the Longhorns and college football in general.  That superficiality means that most of my questions are about offense. So here goes.

  1. Have you specifically coached Jerrod Heard about throwing the football into the tuba section when possible, instead of taking a sack, or running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage? If not, why not? If you have please do so more emphatically with threats of bodily harm if Mr. Heard continues to be noncompliant.
  2. Are you going to insert Tyrone Swoopes and the short- yardage package every time it’s third and one no matter the field position? I think the development of this package was innovative and gives the offense a great option to go to some of the time. I think it becomes unimaginative and limiting when you go to it on every short-yardage situation. The third and one on your own 29-yard line in the fourth quarter against Kansas State illustrates my point. Yes, the play would have been successful had Swoopes thrown a better pass and Andrew Beck had caught the ball, but the ceiling of that play was about a 10-yard gain at best.  I suggest leaving Heard and Daje Johnson in the game. They are the most dynamic offensive weapons Texas has had since Vince Young and are threats to go all the way on any play.

If you put Swoopes in and sucker the defense into thinking the play is going to be a Swoopes plunge or a short pass, and Swoopes throws the bomb to a wide open receiver for six, then of course I would approve.

  1. Speaking of Daje Johnson, he’s averaging 10.4 yards per touch in 2015, and you’ve only put the ball in his hands 25 times in the five games he’s played. I’ll give you credit for four more touches on passes he’s dropped. Anyway, why not flip him the ball on that jet sweep at least 10 times a game? I promise if you do that he’s going to break at least one for 50+ yards. Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers ran the power sweep over and over and over again until his opponent stopped it. That’s what you should do with the Daje jet sweep.
  2. In the Kansas State game, what happened to the counter draw play that worked so well in every game this season, including the 81-yard run by D’onta Foreman against Oklahoma? You are going to run that play against Iowa State and the rest of your opponents this year, aren’t you?
  3. Jonathan Gray has 94 carries this season with a 4.1 yard per carry average. D’onta Foreman has 62 carries for the season with a 5.9 yard per carry average. Foreman is clearly bigger, stronger, and faster. Why does Gray get 50% more carries than Foreman? I mean, what gives?

Those are all the questions I have for now Coach Strong, which means things are going pretty well on the offensive side of the ball, in my opinion. Keep up the good work.

Iowa State

At a glance, I can see that Iowa State is giving up 187 yards a game on the ground. That includes wins over Kansas and Northern Iowa where they gave up only 38 and 126 yards respectively.  The Horns should rack up another 300+- yard rushing yards, and I have a feeling Daje Johnson will break a long kick off or punt return against Iowa State in route to a 34-16 win.

If Texas doesn’t win, I’ll have a lot more questions.

Keep an Eye On

Oklahoma State goes to Lubbock at 7-0 this weekend to face the mighty Red Raiders. Smells like the Cowboys first loss of the season to me.  I almost made Texas Tech + 2.5 my lock of the week.

Lock of the Week

Last week, with OU coasting to a 63-27 over Texas Tech, Willie Earl’s lock of the week moves to 3-0. This week, I may be a sucker, because but Houston giving only 12.5 at home versus Vanderbilt seems like a sure thing.  I’m taking our former foe and giving the points anyway as my “Lock of the Week.”

HooK ‘eM,

W.E.

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Kansas State Post-Game

The One that Didn’t Get Away

After further review, I think a case can be made that the Longhorn’s win over Kansas State was as much a step forward for them as was their win over Oklahoma.  In awful conditions, against a team that has been the Horns’ nemesis for the last decade, they found a way to win a game that they are better known for losing.

One Column Week

You’ve heard of a “three dog night,” now I give you a “one column week.”  See you Friday with all my up-to-the- minute thoughts on the Longhorns in my Iowa State Pre-Game column.

Over/Under Results

David Frink, who was one of the 40,000 or so to brave a torrential downpour and cheer on the Longhorns versus Kansas State, took home his first Over/Under victory of the season last week with nine correct answers. The alliterate ones, Reed Ramlow and Wade Wallace tied for second with eight correct.

The Oklahoma win not only invigorated the Longhorns, it also rekindled participation in Over/Under with the second largest turnout of the season for the Kansas State contest.

Remember, if you don’t play, you can’t win.

HooK ‘eM,

W.E.

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