Observations on a Ending and a Beginning
I came to realize just a few hours before the TCU game that, right up until the end, Charlie Strong still had the support – by my WAG – of about 30 to 40 percent of the Longhorn fan base and these fans were passionate about their support. At my group’s tailgate before the game, I found myself the aggressor in an argument with a friend about whether Strong should be fired. It felt like an argument about politics. I have steadfastly avoided arguments about politics for at least the past 20 years, and I will continue to avoid them as long as I possess control of my faculties. The good news is, I de-escalated my aggression before any serious damage to the friendship had been done. I’m guessing my friend and I weren’t the only ones having this argument throughout the fan base. I don’t know what to make of it, but I think it’s fascinating that an argument about whether a football coach should be fired could be akin to an argument about partisan politics.
There were some, ahem, interesting theories going around last Thursday night and Friday about why Texas wouldn’t hire Tom Herman. I think my favorite was the one about Texas Governor Greg Abbott vetoing the hire so the University of Houston constituency wouldn’t be angry with him about their coach being poached by UT. It makes me smile just to write that.
I don’t know whether Tom Herman will be any more successful than Charlie Strong was, but I like listening to him talk. I do have to chuckle when I hear him quoted as saying how much harder the Texas players will have to work and how much tougher they’ll have to be to play for him. Doesn’t every new coach say this?
I read on one of the blog sites that Shane Buechele isn’t a good enough runner to be the quarterback in Tom Herman’s offense. As L.M. Boyd used to write, “Interesting, if true.”
I also read that contrary to conventional wisdom, Major Applewhite would be Herman’s offense coordinator at Texas. Really interesting, if true.
Tom Herman will have a tough early test when the Longhorn take on USC in Los Angeles on September 16. USC will likely be ranked number 2, 3, or 4 in the 2017 preseason rankings.
I’ll bet the house on Alabama beating Florida in the SEC championship securing a playoff spot. I think there’s about a 50 percent chance that either Washington loses to Colorado in the Pac 12 championship game or Clemson loses to Virginia Tech in the ACC championship game. If one or both of those teams lose, it will be fun to watch which teams are selected to join Alabama and Ohio State in the college football playoff.
I’ll sign off on the Longhorns 2016 season with this. It seems like a lifetime ago when Texas was playing Alabama in the BCS Championship game. Texas Football’s irrelevance this time of year has become so much a normal way of life that a 7-5 record would be considered a success by some Longhorn players and fans. All the theoretical talent Charlie Strong has left to build on aside, Tom Herman will have to dig Texas out of a huge hole.
TCU Over/Under Results
It seems fitting that our man in Hanoi, Reed Ramlow, won the TCU Over/Under the same week that Fidel Castro assumed room temperature. Reed, D.R. Flower, and David Bergstrom finished tied in regulation with 9 correct answers. Reed emerged victorious as the only one of the trio to pick both Ohio State and Washington in the tiebreaker. Reed plays Over/Under without the benefit of being able to view the Longhorns games in person or on television. Well done sir.