Archive for the ‘2018’ Category

On to Arlington!

Kind of has a ring to it doesn’t it.

Coming Friday, Big 12 Championship pre-game thoughts, as with regrets, I have a few.

Kansas Over/Under Results 

Mark Adams, Wade Wallace, Mitch Frink, and Greg Swan tied for first place with six correct answers. In the tiebreaker Mitch and Mark both picked losers in West Virginia and Michigan were eliminated.  Both Greg and Wade picked Oklahoma—a winner—and Michigan a loser—so we went to their score prediction for Texas-Kansas. Wade had Texas winning 41-20. Greg had Texas by 31-10.  Since both their predictions had the same point differential, the staff—after discussion—decided to declare a tie.

Mike Frank, Clayton Frink, and David Bergstrom tied for fifth place with five correct answers.

The average score was a low, low 4.25.

In future contests if there’s still a tie after comparing point differentials in the score predictions, we will go to the total points scored prediction.  Using the Texas game as an example, the total points scored were 41. Greg’s 31-10 was right on the money but since we didn’t have a policy in place, we declared a tie.

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As of this writing, Sam Ehlinger will play tomorrow versus Kansas. Ehlinger was out for most of the Baylor game and the second half of the Iowa State game because of a right shoulder injury. That’s almost 15 percent of the season that Ehlinger has missed so far. The initial injury to the shoulder and the re-injury occurred when Ehlinger was running the ball. The threat of quarterback runs are a major component of the offense that Texas runs now.  Ehlinger’s health and availability is an issue that Tom Herman could be dealing with for what’s the remainder of this and the next two seasons.

Speaking of backup quarterbacks, the new redshirt rule allows a player to appear in up to four games without burning a year of eligibility. Shane Buechele has appeared in two games this season.  Let’s say Ehlinger goes down tomorrow with a season ending injury, and Buechele leads the Horns to a victory.  Heaven forbid that Ehlinger goes down for the year, but if he does I assume Buechele will end up appearing in five games this year and use his junior year of eligibility.

I wonder if Buechele would prefer to redshirt this year and transfer to another school with two years of eligibility remaining. I also wonder, with three games left at most, if there’s any chance we’ll see either Cameron Rising or Casey Thompson this season. They could play in any or all the games remaining without using a year of eligibility. This is the kind of thing that I think about before I go to sleep at night. Do you think there’s something wrong with me?

While we’re on the subject of redshirts and eligibility, freshman Ayodele Adeoye (add to dictionary), a four-star recruit has appeared in two games, Texas Tech and Iowa State. Adeoye has been impressive in practice and it would be nice if he could be an upgrade now over Anthony Wheeler but I haven’t noticed him on the field and officially he has no tackles.  Keep an eye out for him against Kansas.

One other interesting note on red shirts and then I’ll move on. Receiver John Burt has played in three games but he will definitely be redshirted this year. If Collin Johnson and or Lil’ Jordan Humphrey leave after this season for the NFL , I hope Burt can compensate for those losses and be the difference maker we had hoped for after he led the team in receptions in 2015.


Mensa-boy Tom Herman needs to do a better job of clock management. After Andrew Beck recovered Iowa State’s onside kick there was 1:33 left in the game. Iowa State had one time out left. If Herman had instructed Buechele to take a knee four times, there would have been less than :10 left when Iowa State got the ball back down by 14 with no timeouts. Instead, stupidly, Herman called a running play.  Daniel Young fumbled and Iowa State got the ball back with 1:26 left with one timeout. Bad things still could have happened. Luckily they didn’t, but if Herman makes another flub like this, it could be costly.

Wouldn’t it be something—after nine years in the wilderness—if by Friday around 2:30pm or so the Horns had secured a spot in the Big 12 Championship game.

I don’t know if I can watch.  Okay, I probably will.

Sorry that this a bit brief, but it’s post-Thanksgiving dinner at my house and I’m going to try and fall asleep watching the Cowboys and Redskins.

HooK ‘Em,


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Don’t Stop Believin’

Saturday night in Royal-Memorial Stadium was reminiscent for me of joyous evenings from years gone by when the Longhorns would dominate a worthy contender in a key game. The Texas Tech games from 1975 and 1995 come to mind as well as the 1984 Auburn and the 1990 Houston games.

Late in the fourth quarter, when “Don’t Stop Believin” played, and the near full-house—young and old alike—sang along  and spread points of light all across the stadium with smart phone flashlights, I’m hard-pressed  to think of a place where I’d rather have been.

HooK ‘Em,


Over/Under Results

On a night when many of the gamers were flummoxed by the strong showing of the Longhorns defense and the short duration of the game, Mark Adams turned a stellar performance with nine correct answers and was the easy winner.

Greg Swan was second with seven correct. Helen Frink, Wade Wallace, John Scott, David Bergstrom, and Rick Mosher tied for third with six correct.

The average score was 4.75.


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Willie Earl on the Couch

Patient 191855

This was the patient’s first session since he and his wife became “empty-nesters” about 10 years ago.

Session transcript 11/16/18

Therapist:  So how’ve you been?

Patient: Things are okay with me these days. Got a good job, got a good office, got the same wife, and the family is fine.

Therapist: These are positive developments. So what brings you in today?

Patient:  The Longhorns are having their best season in years and they had a thrilling win over a big rival Saturday night, but I’m feeling a little empty inside.

Therapist: You’re talking about a football team?

Patient:  Yeah, of course. They nearly blew a 17 point in the fourth quarter and had to score a last minute touchdown to win, just like they nearly blew a 21 point lead in the fourth quarter to Oklahoma. It almost takes all the fun out of it to almost lose games when you have such a big lead.

Therapist: Your team won these games and yet you’re not feeling as good about that as you think you should?

Patient:  That’s right. When you build a big lead you just want to relax and start celebrating but you can’t because the defense is so terrible. Against Texas Tech they gave up almost 600 yards of offense and allowed 24 points in the fourth quarter!

Therapist:  So, you’re finding this worrisome?

Patient:  Absolutely.  They rank #86 in total defense in the country and that’s out of only 129 teams!  If the defense was even a little better we’d probably be 9-1 instead of 7-3.

Therapist:  Can you think of any strategies to deal with these feelings you’re experiencing?

Patient: Yes. Todd Orlando the defensive coordinator, uh, you know, the guy who is in charge of the defense, could do a better job of teaching the players fundamentals in tackling, containment, and backside protection. But I’m afraid there isn’t enough time for that before the next game.  Also, I don’t understand why Anthony Wheeler plays at all!

Therapist: I hear what you’re saying but I’m wondering what strategies you can use to deal with these feelings of emptiness and frustration you’re experiencing even as your team is having a good year.

Patient: Well, it’s been a good year so far but it could all go down the drain just because our defense can’t stop anyone.  Texas Tech was 10 for 15 in third down conversions. For the season our defense gives up third down conversions more than 43 percent of the time. That ranks 105 out of 129 teams. And the defense gets even worse in the fourth quarter. Texas Tech scored on their last four real possessions and with their third string quarterback!

Therapist: Are you able to talk to Helen about this?

Patient: When I try, she says, “Where does it hurt?”

Therapist:  So she’s not very empathetic?

Patient: Nope. It’s the same thing she used to say to our kids.

Therapist: And how does that make you feel?

Patient:  Frustrated that individually, on paper, our defense looks good but the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Therapist: Is there anything positive in your life that you can focus on to help relieve your frustration and feelings of emptiness?

Patient: Well, our quarterback Sam Ehlinger is very good and he might end up being one of the Longhorn greats. He just set the Big 12 record for the most consecutive past attempts without an interception at 280. Overall, the offense is pretty good averaging 33.2 points a game which ranks 37th nationally.

Therapist:  You mentioned earlier that the family is fine. That must make you feel good.

Patient:  Yeah, yeah they’re all fine but I’m really worried about the game this week.  If we win, we’ll have a chance to get into the Big 12 Championship, but Iowa State has the best defense in the Big 12, so it might be hard to outscore them, which seems to be the only way can win games this year. And adding to the defense’s woes, Brandon Jones, our best defensive back may play after missing the last two games with an ankle injury but he won’t be 100 percent.

Also, though I think Tom Herman is doing a pretty good job, I’m not sure he’s very good during games at “situational football.”  As far as in-game coaching, I think Iowa State has the edge with their head-coach, Matt Campbell.

Therapist: Are you still taking your meds?

Patient:  Helen asked me the same question just the other day. I am but I’m not sure they’re helping.

Therapist: Perhaps you could think about not letting the fortunes of a football team affect your overall happiness and well-being as much as it seems to be.

Patient: Yeah but, in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.

Therapist:  Well, our time is up for today. Try to relax this weekend.

Patient: Fat chance.


HooK ‘Em,


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Texas Tech Over/Under Results

In a finish as exciting as the actual game, Steve Holstead edged by a nose, Mike Frank and David Bergstrom in the tiebreaker to win the Texas Tech Over/under. Holstead, Frank, and Bergstrom were tied at the end of regulation with seven correct answers.  They were still tied after each of them picked against the line, Ohio State—a winner and Iowa State—a loser.  Holstead broke the deadlock by nailing the point differential for the Clemson at Boston College game. The actual final score was 27-7 Clemson. Steve predicted 38-18. Bergstrom predicted Clemson, 55-24 and Frank had it Clemson by 59-24.

John Scott, Joe Grubbs, Helen Frink, and Tom Yoxall tied for fourth with six correct.

All players were awarded a correct answer to, More touchdown passes, Texas or Tech because each team had four.  Willie Earl regrets formulating a flawed question which stood a good chance of ending in a push.

The average score of 5.4 was skewed higher by the aforementioned flawed question.


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