Baylor Over/Under Results

Mark Homer Stephan broke through for his first win of the season this week—maybe his first win ever—with seven correct answers.

For the second week in a row there was a large logjam for second place involving players with six correct answers. Last week seven players tied for second. This week there were six that included Greg Swan, Mitch Lewis, Wes Peoples, Clayton Frink, Wade Wallace, and Helen Frink.

Game Notes

  1. It was another large field with 18 players.
  2. Only five players picked Baylor to score first which they did.
  3. Only one player picked Baylor quarterbacks to have less than 1.5 touchdown passes. Robert Brewer, excuse me, Charlie Brewer threw two.
  4. The average score was 5.1

Recently I was asked if I ever play Over/Under. I’m sure that’s been a burning question for many of you.  I did once maybe seven or eight years ago but my game is devising questions that limit the scoring average to around five.  I consider it a loss if the scores average six correct answers or more. I consider it a win if the winner has seven or fewer correct answers or if the scoring average is below five.

Pardon me while I pat myself on the back for winning this week.

See you Friday.

W.E.

Willie Earl Back On the Couch

Patient 191855

This was the patient’s first session since 11/16/18 when the Longhorn Football team was racking him with worry.

Session transcript from 10/22/20

Therapist: It’s been while. So, how ‘ve you been?

Patient: I’m okay, I guess. Do you know that Barry Manilow song, “Tryin’ to Get the Feeling Again?

Therapist: I’m not sure I’m familiar with that one.

Patient:  Well, the opening lyrics are,

Doctor, my woman is comin’ back home late today
Could you maybe give me something?
‘Cause the feelin’ is gone
And I must get it back right away

Therapist notation: The patient is a terrible singer.

Therapist: Are you and Helen having troubles?

Patient: It’s a little more serious than that. Remember when I was here a couple of years ago because the Longhorn Football team was driving me crazy?

Therapist: I do. Are they giving you trouble again?

Patient: It’s complicated. They’ve lost two in a row and their record is 2-2 which is really disappointing but they’re lucky not to be 1-3.

Therapist: So, you’re disappointed in team and you’re worried about their future?

Patient: No, that’s my problem! Remember the song.

Doctor, my woman is comin’ back home late today
Could you maybe give me something?
‘Cause the feelin’ is gone
And I must get it back right away

Therapist: These lyrics say something to you about the Longhorns?

Patient: Yes! “my woman” is the team and I don’t seem to care that they stink!

Therapist: Interesting. Do you often see your life through song lyrics?

Patient: Doesn’t everybody?

Therapist: To tell you the truth, in the 30 years that I’ve been in practice, you’re the first patient who wasn’t in a hospital who’s ever sung during a session.

Patient: So, you think I’m crazy?

Therapist: (Long pause) No, I, I don’t.  So, you’re not bothered by the team’s mediocre performance but that you don’t care that they’re mediocre?

Patient: Exactly! (singing)
I’ve been Up, down, tryin’ to get the feelin’ again
All around tryin’ to get the feelin’ again
The one that made me shiver
Made my knees start to quiver

I guess I really liked living and dying with the Longhorns and now that I don’t, I feel empty inside.

Therapist: Why, do you think you don’t care anymore.

Patient: I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m a fair-weather fan but they haven’t been any good in 10 years. The last championship they won was in 2009. Since then, they’re 73-58. In the 10 years prior to that they were 110-19.

Therapist: I had no idea the contrast was so stark. Let’s explore your feelings a little more. What’s gone wrong over the last 10 years?

Patient: Coaching. It started with Mack Brown. He was the architect of the 10-year 110-19 record from 2000-2009.

Therapist: Architect?

Patient: He was the head coach. His team won the National Championship in 2005. He followed that up with four more solid years that included another berth in the National Championship game and a Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State. Those years were glorious.

Therapist: I see. So, what happened after that?

Patient: I guess Mack Brown got tired. He coached less and less and played golf more and more and the team went downhill fast. He tried to “fix” it by hiring new assistants but then he delegated too much of the coaching to them and the whole operation became disjointed. After the 2013 season, the school president and athletic director asked him to resign. You might say he was fired.

Therapist: Fascinating. Sounds like a UT Business school case study. What happened next?

Patient: They hired Charlie Strong to replace Mack Brown. Strong had three good years as the head coach at Louisville and was considered an up and coming star in the college coaching ranks. Overlooked was the fact that he had only been a head coach for four years, all at Louisville. Coaching at Louisville bears little resemblance to being a head coach at Texas where you’re expected to compete for a national championship in short order.  To use your business school analogy, it was kind of like going from convenience store manager to Walmart Super Store manager in one step.

Therapist: Very interesting. Go on.

Patient:  In three years at Texas, Strong’s record was 16-21 and he was fired after the 2016 season. When it became apparent that Strong would be let go after the 2016 season, there was a consensus among the UT administration, big-money donors, and fans that Tom Herman, the coach at Houston, was a must-have as the next head coach. 

So, UT got in a bidding war with LSU for Herman’s services and won—paying  Herman a salary that made him the third or fourth highest paid college coach in the country.

At the time I wondered why everyone was so hot for Herman when his resume was remarkably similar to Charlie Strong’s.  Houston is in the same conference as Louisville. Not quite the bigtime. Not only that, he had only two years of head coaching experience.

Therapist: Sounds like UT made an impulsive decision to hire Mr. Herman.

Patient: Exactly! And after Texas lost the very first game of Herman’s tenure to Maryland—a game Texas was heavily favored to win—Herman revealed his not so pleasing arrogant and condescending personality.  Now, in his fourth year at Texas there seems to be another growing consensus that Herman will be fired at the end of this season.

Therapist: I can certainly see why you’re frustrated about Texas Football.

Patient:  But that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you! I’m not frustrated. I guess I’m weary and beyond caring as a diehard, orange blooded fan.  I have to say, watching the program’s travails is entertaining in cynical kind of way in the same way the Dallas Cowboys are entertaining.

Texas paid a premium to hire this arrogant you-know-what and then gave him a raise after a 10-4 season that Mack Brown would have called, “not our standard.”  And as you peruse today’s morning sports section, you’ll find Oklahoma State, Iowa State, and Kansas State in the top 25 and Texas isn’t. Not only that, SMU is # 16 and wait for it . . . the Aggies are #9! 

If they’re not already, Texas should be a laughingstock of a major college football program.

Therapist: In what you describe I can see the futility of UT’s efforts in the arena of bigtime college football.

Patient: (Singing again)

Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don’t think that I can take it
‘Cause it took so long to bake it
And I’ll never have that recipe again
Oh, no

None the less.

HooK ‘Em,

W.E.

Baylor Over/Under

  • He's averaging 40.5 per game in 2020
  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Oklahoma -6.5 @ TCU
  • Nebraska +25.5 @ Ohio St.

Oklahoma Post Game Thoughts

Hard not to be emotionally involved in that one.  I wish we’d won.

During the game, I told Helen that Texas was a stupid football team.  How are they stupid? I don’t have the energy to count the ways.

Briefly

  1. I could argue that the two blocked kicks against Texas were the difference in the game. Texas has allowed two punts and one field goal to be blocked through four games. I don’t have the data, but it seems to me that teams that have punts and kicks blocked almost always lose.
  2. If I was Tom Herman, I would have seriously considered going for two points after the touchdown that tied the game at the end of regulation.  I have a witness. It’s possible that since Texas didn’t have any timeouts left, Herman didn’t think he had time to get a play called. Of course, that’s a terrible reason not to go for it since every game plan should include the play you’re going to call for a two point conversion.  I don’t think Herman is a quick-twitch thinker. To be fair, Herman would have been roundly criticized—not by me—if he had gone for two and failed.
  3. Of all the criticisms of Tom Herman I’ve read in the last 48 hours, the one that made the strongest impression on me was this.  Herman has his second-best offensive tackle playing center. Derek Kerstetter is good pass protector as a right tackle. He’s not a good center. In year four of his tenure, Herman doesn’t have a starting-caliber true center.
  4. On a sugar high after the Sugar Bowl, Chris Del Conte gave Herman a five-year contract extension. When will we ever learn?

HooK ‘Em,

W.E.

Oklahoma Over/Under Results

Unlike the game in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, the Oklahoma Over/Under contest did not need overtime to determine a winner. Mark Adams wins with seven correct answers. It’s Mark’s first win of the year. Mark is a veteran player who has multiple wins over the years.

Kelly Malek, Andy Garrod, Dan Adams, Reed Ramlow, D.R. Flower, Mark Stephan and David Frink tied for second with six correct answers. That’s a seven-way tie for second for those of you scoring at home.

Game Notes

  1. The turnout was the largest of the year with 19 contestants.
  2. The scoring average was 4.9.
  3. Jake Smith aggravated a hamstring in pregame warmups and did not play costing 14 of the 19 players a shot at a correct answer.
  4. 15 of 19 players were wrong in predicting that Texas would exceed 30:15 in time of possession.

W.E.

Oklahoma Pre-Game

Texas Football in Crisis?

I read in one of Kirk Bohls’ column this week that the Texas fan base is “seething” after the loss to TCU. Besides the TCU loss, he wrote that the fans are “furious” about Tom Herman’s 27-16 record at Texas and his endorsement of his players’ snub of “The Eyes of Texas.” I guess he has evidence to back up these claims but doesn’t cite any in his column. 

I can share that I heard from three diehard Texas fans after the TCU game that they were no longer emotionally invested in the program because of years of mediocrity. I can relate but I can’t claim that those three are a representative sample of the entire fan base.

If it is accurate that a significant segment fan base is angry or disinterested, I would say that after one loss the anger is premature.  Further I would suggest that those fans who are angry had outsized expectations—again—of how good the Longhorns were going to be this season.

This is team coming off a barely above average 8-5 2019 season. The program was in such a state that Herman replaced both coordinators and some key position coaches. As I mentioned in the first column of the year, replacing that many coaches is not an earmark of a program on the rise.

If history has taught us anything, it is that four- and five-star recruits don’t directly correlate with elite college football players and that two or three consecutive top 10 recruiting classes don’t directly correlate with a top 10 team. 

Three games into his fourth season as coach, Tom Herman is doing no better than Mack Brown during his last four years at Texas and Charlie Strong’s brief three-year tenure at developing elite talent into championship teams. Three different coaches with different styles and personalities failing in a similar fashion. It makes you wonder, what gives?

It was reported and opined that in his last three or four years at Texas, Mack Brown took the “CEO” head coaching style too far and was delegating too much of his duties to coordinators and staff.  I heard second hand from a former player who was close to the program that Brown was playing golf with big-money-donors on Fridays before home games. That’s what I call delegation.

I don’t think it’s controversial to suggest that Charlie Strong at Texas was in over his head. The “Peter Principle” on display.

Hiring Tom Herman theoretically addressed the failings of his predecessors. He was a hands-on, fanatically detail oriented coach/executive.  And . . .  he was in Mensa!  I like to call him “Mensa Boy.” At 27-16, it’s too early to judge that Herman is not the answer for Texas, but it’s trending in that direction.

Even though Oklahoma is unranked coming off two consecutive losses and start a redshirt-freshman at quarterback, while Texas has Ehlinger, the Horns are a 2-point underdog. This suggests that the reputation of annually being overrated has caught to Texas.

While actual, real-life turning points are rare, this year’s Oklahoma game could be one for Tom Herman and the Texas program.  A game plan featuring sideways passes like last year’s and missed tackles in the double digits won’t get it done even against what looks to be Oklahoma’s worst team in more than 20 years. You don’t have to be in Mensa to figure that out.

Details

I attended the Texas-TCU game. It was little bit like going to a preseason scrimmage back in the 70s. Besides the friend I went with, no one was sitting within six feet of me. The fans behind me were two rows back and were the closest to me. There was no one within 20 feet of me to my right or left beyond my friend. Annoyingly, the jumbotron volume was literally ear-splitting. I suppose the people in charge are trying to compensate for the absence of about 85,000 fans. Bad plan, in my opinion.

The most lasting impression I took from of going to a Texas game in this most unusual year was what happened immediately after the game ended. We all knew that a large majority of the Texas players would not sing or acknowledge “The Eyes of Texas.” What had slipped my mind regarding the Longhorn post-game tradition was the players’ acknowledgement of the fans during the playing and singing of “The Eyes.” I don’t know what happened after the UTEP or Texas Tech game but it was a sad coda to the TCU loss that all but five or six players hastily left the field without acknowledging the fans after the game.

The detail-oriented Herman and Chris Del Conte should have anticipated this scene and come up with a plan, one way or another, for the players to acknowledge the fans after games.

A little levity
Scipio Tex’s used this diagram in his TCU Post-mortem to illustrate Texas’ defense on Max Duggan’s fourth quarter touchdown run.

BEAT The Hell OUT OF OU!

W.E.

Hook ‘Em,

Oklahoma Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Texas Tech + 12.5 @ Iowa State
  • Virginia Tech + 4.5 @ North Carolina

TCU Over/Under Results

This week’s contest came down to photo-finish between Tom Yoxall and Wade Wallace who tied in regulation with seven correct answers.  They both went 1-1 in the pic ‘ems losing on Oklahoma and winning on Georgia. Both players predicted Alabama would blowout A&M. Tom’s margin was 34, Wade’s was 22. The actual margin was 28 so they were both six points off and still tied forcing the contest to go all the way to total points scored in the Alabama-A&M game. The actual point total was 76 on a score of 52-24. Wade’s prediction of 45-13 and 58 total points scored was nosed out by Tom’s 51-17 and 68 total points making Tom the winner. You follow?

Congratulations, Tom.

Wes Peoples, David Bergstrom, and Rick Mosher tied for third with six correct answers.

Over/Under Notes

  1. Seems like about once a year the staff formulates a flawed question and we got it out of the way early this year with #10: Which team scores the most points in the fourth quarter? If the teams scored the same number of points—always a distinct possibility—the question becomes invalid. Well, that’s what happened with both teams scoring 10 in the fourth.  Therefore, we threw out the question.
  2. Question #7 was: 6.5-point lead for Texas going into the 4th quarter.  16 of 18 players predicted over which was incorrect as Texas trailed at that point in the game.  Were the Longhorn fans’ expectations for the Horns too high?  Yes. As usual.
  3. With 18 players entering the TCU Over/Under, we scored the highest turnout thus far for the season and it was tied for the fourth highest turnout in history. 

Which contest had the highest turnout in history you ask? That would be the Texas-Oklahoma game in 2008 with 24 entrants.
Ah, those were the good old days.

W.E.

TCU Pre Game

Jump Around

In honor of the House of Pain let’s Jump Around.

Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin

Fox Sports’ college football analyst Joel Klatt said this week on the Colin Cowherd Show that Oklahoma is getting antsy because they haven’t won a National Championship since 2000. That drought is their longest since the 18-year dry spell from 1956 to 1974.  The Longhorns current drought is only 14 years and counting, so there.

Speaking of championship dry spells, the Longhorns haven’t won the Big 12 since 2009. Oklahoma has won seven since 2009 including the last five and have qualified for CFP playoff four out the last five years. Texas has yet to qualify.  Ouch.

Klatt and Cowherd were plugging the Texas-TCU game which Fox is carrying and Klatt is calling. Cowherd asked Klatt if this was a must win game for the Horns and Tom Herman. Klatt said yes because Texas should be the best college football team in the state. The Horns lost to TCU and Baylor a year ago. Herman is 6-4 versus TCU, Baylor, and Texas Tech since he became the coach in 2017.

Klatt also said Sam Ehlinger is likely a second-round draft pick in 2021 and could sneak into the first round if he has a Joe Burrow type year.

 “I got the skills, come get your fill”

With all due respect to Devin Duvernay, I think Joshua Moore has a chance to be the best Longhorn receiver since Roy Williams. Going out on a limb, I think he could end up being the best Longhorn receiver ever. Moor has size, speed, and excellent ball skills. We’ll see.

Tom Herman and the coaching staff deserve credit for successfully bringing Moore back into the fold after his 2019 arrest for gun possession. Obviously, Moore also deserves credit for turning his situation around.

“Get up, stand up (c’mon!) see’mon throw your hands up”

The TCU game time is 11am. Texas is 5-5 in 11am starts in the Tom Herman era.

“I’m coming to get ya, I’m coming to get ya”

Not so much for the Longhorn pass rush. Alan Bowman threw 52 passes last week and nary a sack for the Horns.

“I’m the cream of the crop, I rise to the top”

I hope Bijan Robinson’s career at Texas turns out better than the Horns’ last two five-star running back recruits. Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray weren’t exactly busts but their careers at Texas didn’t reflect their five-star status. During August I kept reading how Robinson was an irresistible force in preseason workouts. Though Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson are solid veteran performers, I was hoping Johnson would emerge as the lead back. Through two games he has 12 carries for 50 yards with a long run of 12 yards.

For comparison, in their first two games, Earl Campbell gained 139 yards on 23 carries and Ricky Williams ran 24 times for 165 yards. While researching this, a smile came to my face when I found that in Campbell’s first two games his teammate, wishbone halfback Graylon Wyatt, was the Texas’ leading rusher with 210 yards.

“I won’t ever slack up, punk you better back up”

I read this week that Texas Defensive Coordinator Chris Ash was insanely detail oriented. C’mon man, stop writing and reporting that this coach or that coach is detail oriented. I can’t think of a bigger sports cliché.

“I came to get down, I came to get down”

Getting down with my game prediction, in what I see as a theme for the 2020 season, the Horns will trail late in this game before coming back for another heart-stopping victory. Call it 35-31.

“So get out your seat and jump around!”                    

HooK ‘Em,

W.E.

TCU Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Oklahoma - 10.5 @ Iowa State
  • Auburn +6.5 @ Georgia

Texas Tech Observations

  1. A blocked punt, a nearly blocked punt, a D’Shawn Jamison fumbled punt, an onside kick not recovered. So far, I’m not impressed with the much ballyhooed offseason hire of Special Teams  Jay Boulware.

  2. Tackling was once again an issue and one blogger wrote that it’s something that can be fixed quickly. Could be the dumbest thing written about UT Football so far in 2020 given that tackling has been an issue going on for—oh, I don’t know—a decade.
  3. Surprise, the catch-all excuse for college football coaches in 2020 is no spring practice.
  4. I admit that I wrote the game off when Texas Tech went up 56-41. Resigned to a loss and somewhat disgusted, I left the television for about three minutes doing grill prep for a Saturday night cookout. When I got back, Ehlinger was throwing a TD pass to Eagles to pull within eight points.
  5. I know the conventional wisdom in college football is to play defense first when you win the coin toss before overtime so you know when you get the ball if just a field goal wins the game. But I think Texas Tech coach Matt Wells made a big tactical error by letting Texas take the ball first in overtime when his defense was gassed and the Horns had all the momentum.  
  6. At times during the first half, I thought Texas varied the offense for the sake of varying the offense when they might have built an insurmountable lead if they had continued to do what was working. Overconfident maybe?
  7. I wrote last week: Alan Bowman is another in a seemingly endless supply of good passing Red Raider quarterbacks and I’m confident he will put up 300 plus yards passing versus what I believe are the overhyped individual talents in the Longhorn secondary. Told ya.
  8. Saturday evening, I wasn’t all that satisfied with the win but then I looked at Oklahoma and LSU. 2-0 is 2-0.

That’s all I got for now.

HooK ‘Em,

W.E.

Texas Tech Over/Under Results

Texas Tech Over/Under Results

Andy Garrod and Helen Frink emerged from a large field of 17 players this week and tied for first place with eight correct answers.  Two strong performances in a week when the average score was a very average 5.7.

Andy and Helen both went 1-1 in the pick ‘ems. They both were wrong with TCU which was getting 2.5 points and lost by three. They both were right in picking Vanderbilt which was getting 29.5 and kept it close losing 17-12.

So, it came down to their predictions of the final score in our game. Neither one was very close but who foresaw anything close 63-56?  Andy Garrod wins at the gun by virtue of being closer in the point differential of Texas’ win with his 42-17 versus Helen’s 48-13.

Congrats to Andy and Helen.

David Bergstrom took third place by himself with seven correct answers.

Points of Interest

  1. Only two players guessed SaRodorick Thompson would go over 105.5 yards rushing. He ended up with 104 yards.
  2. Only five players guessed right on what Texas rusher would have the most carries. Roschon Johnson and Same Ehlinger were both correct answers with 16 carries. David Bergstrom was the only player who picked Ehlinger. Andy and Helen picked Johnson.

W.E.

Texas Tech Pre-Game

Setting the Lubbock Record Straight

Since 2000, Texas is 8-2 versus Texas Tech in Lubbock. Texas’ last Lubbock loss was in 2008, a game I refuse to revisit or discuss.   Despite this success in Lubbock, and because of 2008 and a bad 3-5 stretch from 1974 through 1988, some Longhorn Football fans of my generation have an irrational fear of playing Texas Tech in Lubbock. Since I am a totally rational individual—especially when it comes to Texas Football—I have no such fear of Lubbock. I actually have very fond memories of Lubbock. But that’s another story for another time.

What does concern me about this year’s trip to Lubbock

1. Aside from some garbage time yards in the second half, the Texas offensive line’s inability to open holes for the running game against lowly UTEP.

2. The Texas defense’s inability to put consistent pressure on the UTEP quarterback. 

If Texas doesn’t improve on these two fronts, they may end up in a scoring fest of a shootout in Lubbock.

If the game does become high-scoring shootout, I’m confident in Texas’ offense to hold up its end of the bargain with or without an effective running game. An effective running game would be a bonus as it could shorten the game and earn the defense a valuable respite from chasing Tech receivers all over the field.

Texas Tech 35, Houston Baptist 33

Do we all agree that the Horns should not be overconfident because of Tech’s close call with FCS opponent Houston Baptist?  After all, Tech did lead 21-3 midway through the second quarter and they did amassed a kind of balanced 430 yards passing and 194 yards rushing.  

Alan Bowman is another in a seemingly endless supply of good passing Red Raider quarterbacks and I’m confident he will put up 300 plus yards passing versus what I believe are the overhyped individual talents in the Longhorn secondary.  Whether that translates into a close game depends on which team wins the turnover battle and the timing of the turnovers.

I’m calling it a close game into the fourth quarter with Texas finally pulling away for 48-34 win.

The Human Ace Bandage Award

A couple years back, I got quite a chuckle when my favorite sports commentator, Tony Kornheiser, called Sam Darnold the human ace bandage. I think the descriptor is so useful that I’ve decided to create an award for a Longhorn who is struggling because of injuries to get on the field.

Helen, Tony and Willie Earl

So, without judgement or derision, the first ever Longhorn Human Ace Bandage Award goes to Jordan Whittington. Whittington missed all but the first quarter of the opening game of the 2019 season when he reaggravated a sports hernia injury.  In the season opener this year against UTEP, Whittington suffered a torn meniscus and will be out three to four weeks.

Here’s to hoping he gets well soon and stays well.

Program Stability

After losing three out of four games late last season, Tom Herman seems to have righted the ship with wins against Texas Tech and Utah to finish last season followed up by another top 10 recruiting class in 2020.

Herman did overhaul his coaching staff after last season which is not usually the earmark of a stable program, but the waters seem calm and I can’t recall hearing any suggestions recently that Herman is on the hotseat. 

I do think Herman’s seat will get quite warm if he loses to Oklahoma and three other conference foes in 2020 like he did last year, and I don’t think another Alamo or Texas Bowl win would help him much.

Okay, call me Captain Obvious but early in this weird season I’m straining for brilliant insights.

RIP Gayle Sayers

Even though Gayle Sayers didn’t play for one of my teams, he was one of my boyhood heroes. When you first saw Sayers play you were seeing something you’d never seen before. When I heard the news of his death this week, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my father during a trip too Rehoboth Beach in the summer of 1968 comparing Sayers to Red Grange.

Bittersweet.

HooK “Em,
W.E.

Texas Tech Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Iowa St - 2.5 @ TCU
  • Vanderbilt +29.5 @ Texas A&M

UTEP Over/Under Results

Most players showed their rust in the first week of the Over/Under competition for 2020.  In a large field, the average score was 4.9.

Rising above the carnage, Mike Frank posted 7 correct answers to win the UTEP Over/Under. Mark Adams, Dan Yoxall, Rick Mosher, and Mark Stephan tied for second with 6 correct answers.

On to Texas Tech.

W.E.

The Ins and Outs of Longhorn Football 2020

First of all, Season’s Greetings to all from Willie Earl. Now on with the show.

Lots of changes going on over there in Longhorn Football land so I thought it might be useful to provide you with a guide to who and what is in and out as we get started on what we hope will be a 12-game season for the Longhorns when it’s all said and done.

In

Campbell-Williams Field.

I’ve always thought it was dumb to name a field inside of a stadium and naming the field for a guy because he gave a zillion dollars to UT was crass (even for UT) to boot.

Renaming the field after the Longhorns’ two Heisman Trophy winners was one of the best things to happen around here in 2020. It really is sublime.  Kudos to Dahr, Randall, and Rob Jamail, Joe Jamail’s three sons for requesting the change. If that’s what really happened.

Out

34% of UT’s season ticket holders have opted out of the 2020 season. I couldn’t find out how many season ticket holders there are, but I’m guessing the number is around 60,000. That would mean about 39,000 are still in. Only around 25,000 per game will be allowed in the stadium. Seemingly, that would mean some season ticket holders won’t be able to use their tickets game-to-game.  My guess is the attendance for the UTEP game will be closer to 15,000.

After attending more than 90 % of UT home games from 1974 – 2016 I have attending about two games a year since. If 2020 was Ordinary Time, UTEP would not be one of the two games I’d go to. Just for fun and to be able to say I was there, Helen and I might go Saturday night. “Call me irresponsible.”

In

Texas has two new coordinators. Chris Ash on defense and Mike Yurcich on offense.  I think it’s unusual for there to be such optimism surrounding a team when both its coordinators were fired at the end of the previous season.  I don’t expect the offense to look any different. Hopefully Chris Ash has closely studied the game film from the Alamo Bowl. Rinse and repeat.

Out

151 receptions for 1945 yards with the departure of Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson.

In

Joshua Moore returns after a yearlong suspension for a misdemeanors weapon charge. According to the arrest affidavit, Police monitoring downtown Austin on July 5, 2019 at the police department’s Real Time Crime Center (RTCC) noticed a man “remove a firearm from his waistband, walk in between two vehicles, appearing to chamber a round by pulling the slide of the gun to the rear, and then place the firearm back into his waistband.” When the police arrested Moore, they found a Glock 19 — 9mm pistol in his waistband with a 30-round magazine and a live round loaded into the chamber.

Hopefully, it’s onward and upward for Moore. He’s a talented deep-threat receiver with good size whose potential contribution could go a long way toward replacing the loss of Duvernay and Johnson.

Out

Brennan Eagles as a starting wide receiver. Eagles—for now—has been supplanted by graduate-transfer Tarik Black from Michigan. Bet he’s glad to be a Longhorn in 2020.

In

Receiver Jordan Whittington a 2019 Five-Star recruit is back after missing all but the first half of the Louisiana Tech in 2019. Five-Star recruits currently on the roster are Whittington, safety Caden Sterns, and freshman running back Bijan Robinson.

You might find this list of all time Texas five-star recruits interesting.

https://247sports.com/college/texas/Sport/Football/AllTimeRecruits/

Out

The Showband of the Southwest is out of Longhorn games for the foreseeable future.

In

“The Eyes of Texas” I guess they’ll play it over the PA system.

Out

Speaking of “The Eyes of Texas,” Caden Sterns, is opting out. There will probably be more Longhorns who will join him.

In

I’m all in on the strong possibility that by the end of the season San Ehlinger will join Vince Young and Colt McCoy on the list of 21st Century all-time great Longhorn Quarterbacks.  He does need to curb his tendency on occasion to abandon the pocket too early and run. I predict that he will have a better NFL career than McCoy and Young though that’s not a very high bar to clear.

Out

I’m out—for now—on the offensive line. Herman is pleased with depth that he has but outside of left tackle Sam Cosmi, that depth is comprised of journeyman Derek Kerstetter, who has been moved from right tackle to center this season, and a collection of unproven or undistinguished talents.

For this team to win a championship the offensive line has got to be better than it was in 2019.

In or Out?

Are you in on the expectation that in his fourth year it’s time for Tom Herman to deliver either a Big 12 Championship or a top five final ranking or both? Or is this a freebee season on expectations for Herman and all head coaches because of Covid 19?

HooK Em,

W.E.

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Dallas + 3.5 @ LA Rams
  • Tampa Bay + 3.5 @ New Orleans