Archive for the ‘2019’ Category

OU Week State of Mind Throwback Thursday

Ball control.  Grind it out on the ground. Play keep away from Oklahoma’s explosive offense and rollup a significant time of possession advantage. That’s the key to victory over Oklahoma right? Maybe.

Last year’s game in the Cotton Bowl, Texas had a significant 33:10 to 26:10 advantage in time of possession but it wasn’t the decisive factor in the game. Oklahoma scored six touchdowns on drives lasting, 2:40, 4:44, 1:11, 2:00, 0:11, and 1:05. That’s an average of 1:59 per touchdown drive. Oklahoma didn’t need much time to score last year and they don’t this year either.

Since 2007, the average number of possessions per team in college football is 13. Oklahoma had 12 possessions (not counting their final possession that came with: 09 left in the game) in last year’s game. They scored on seven of them. 

It would be nice on Saturday if the Texas defense could hold Oklahoma to scoring on less than 50% of their possessions.

Oh yeah, so what was the decisive factor last year?  Turnovers, Oklahoma had three, Texas didn’t turn it over.

See you again tomorrow.

Hook ‘Em,


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OU Week State of Mind Take the Points Wednesday

No, this isn’t about the point spread.

This is a memo to Tom Herman. When you’re in reasonable field goal range and it’s fourth down and it isn’t a fourth quarter do-or-die situation, take the damn points.  Going for it on fourth down may make you feel manly but it’s not the smart play. I don’t care what your binder says. Take the points. Tom Landry always took the points. Take the points.

Oh yeah, you can say that Oklahoma is going to score a lot of points and you need all the points you can get. Exactly, that’s why you take the points. Even if you’re inside the Oklahoma five yard line, you take the points. The argument that if you don’t make it you still have them pinned inside their five doesn’t work because it’s highly unlikely that your defense can keep their offense pinned.

See you again tomorrow.

Hook ‘Em,


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OU Week State of Mind Hypothetical Tuesday

So far this season Oklahoma has beaten, Houston, South Dakota, UCLA, Texas Tech, and Kansas. These teams are a combined 10-16. The best among these vanquished opponents is Texas Tech at 3-2.

Texas opponents so far this year are a combined 16-11. The only Texas opponent with a losing record is Rice at 0-6. The best team Texas has played is LSU who is ranked #5 nationally and is 5-0.

For those of you keeping score at home, the line printed in my newspaper this morning moved up to Texas +10 ½.

If Texas was 5-0 against the teams that Oklahoma has played and Oklahoma was 4-1 against the teams Texas has played, would Texas be favored by 10 ½?

Speaking of hypotheticals, if Jalen Hurts had transferred to Texas, would he be the starting quarterback?

See you again tomorrow.

Hook ‘Em,


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West Virginia Over/Under Results and OU State of Mind Day One

There was a five-way tie for first place this week that included Mark Adams, Reed Ramlow, Clayton Frink, Mark Stephan, and Helen Frink with six correct answers.  Mark and Mark were the only ones in this group that correctly picked Baylor and Iowa State in the tiebreaker.  Both of them had Dallas beating Green Bay.  Mark Adams edged Mark Stephan for the win by predicting Dallas would win by 10 points compared to Mark Stephan who had Dallas winning by 17. Six is the lowest winning total I can remember in a long time.

Overall it was a tightly bunched field with a seven-way tie for sixth place.

Digging deeper into the results, it was interesting to me that David Bergstrom and Mark Stephan were the only two out of 14 contestants to predict that the game would last longer than 3:45. It lasted 3:46. Mark Stephan can thank the always moronic Big 12 officials for getting him into the five-way tie by deciding they needed to review West Virginia’s incredibly obvious incomplete pass at the Texas two yard line near the end of the game.  

Clayton Frink and Eric Vogl were the only contestants to correctly predict that West Virginia would score first.

OU State of Mind Day One

Yesterday, a guy on the driving range asked me what I thought about the Oklahoma game and added that he thought Texas would be lucky to stay within two touchdowns.  He’s not an Aggie in case you were wondering. I told him I was a little bit more optimistic than that.

This morning, I heard a similar line of thinking to the guy’s on the driving range from a national talk radio host.  The betting line printed in my local paper this morning favors Oklahoma by 10. If you could get Texas +10 I think it would be a good bet. It will be interesting to see if that line moves during the week.

If I had to make a bet today straight up, I’m picking Texas and regular readers of this column know I’m no burnt orange Kool-Aid drinker.

Stay tuned, for more OU Game analysis coming tomorrow and every day this week.

Hook ‘Em,


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On the Road

                                                                                              I have nothing to offer except my own confusion
-Jack Kerouac

When I typed the title for this column I said to myself, “Oh yeah, that’s the title of that Kerouac book. I read “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac about 25 years ago and thought it was mostly gibberish.  I think Truman Capote opinion of the book said it best, “That’s not writing that’s typing.” 

Anyway, after a bye week, Texas plays their first road conference game of the year Saturday at West Virginia.  I’m weary of the phrase “trap game” so let’s go with, “take care of business game.”  This is a “take care of business game” for the Longhorns. Though West Virginia is 3-1, the consensus is that they’re not very good (Texas is favored by 11) but wins over North Carolina State and Kansas in Lawrence looks pretty respectable to me. Like most conference road games, if the Longhorns don’t start quickly, the game will likely still be in doubt into the fourth quarter. 

Run on the Road

Against Oklahoma State, 17 of Texas’ first 20 plays were runs, resulting in a 14-3 lead for the Horns. From my seat on the 15 yard line at the northeast end of the stadium, on a Keaontay Ingram carry, right in front of me, I watched the Texas offensive line push the entire OSU defensive line back five yards paving the way for a 14 yard gain.  I can’t remember the last time I saw a Texas offensive line do that.

A heavy, heavy dose of the running game is the best prescription for success on the road and I hope that’s what Tom Herman and Tim Beck prescribe for the offense in Morgantown.

It says here Sam Ehlinger will make sure the Horns “take care of business” Saturday afternoon. I’m calling it, Texas 41-16.

Speaking of Ehlinger, he’s eleventh nationally in yards passing per game, tenth in passing efficiency, and sixth in passing touchdowns. Don’t let yourself forget what a luxury it is to have him.

 50 Year Anniversaries

It’s been a banner year for 50 year anniversaries with countless articles, essays, and documentaries commemorating the moon landing and Woodstock. It’s also the 50th anniversary of Texas’ second national championship. The highlights of that championship are well trod ground but I thought it would be interesting to take a brief look at a game Texas played during that season 50 years ago today.

Navy versus Texas October 4, 1969

Navy’s football program had fallen a long way since their glorious 1963 season when Roger Staubach won the Heisman Trophy and they were ranked # 2 with a 9-1 record before the getting trampled by the Longhorns 28-6 in the 1964 Cotton Bowl.   From 1964 through 1968, they were 18-28-4 and had lost their first two games of the ’69 season to Penn State and Boston College before traveling to Austin. Texas was 2-0, beating Cal 17-0 and Texas Tech 49-7.

It was a pleasant 81 degrees with 18 mile per hour winds out of the south, southeast at the 7 p.m. kickoff for the near sellout crowd of 63,500 in 65,000 seat Memorial Stadium.

Playing its second game ever on the newly installed Astroturf, Texas opened the scoring at 13:22 in the first quarter with a 43 yard touchdown run by Jim Bertelsen. Ted Koy scored two more touchdowns for the Horns in the first quarter with runs of one and three yards. 

James Street, Terry Collins and Eddie Phillips scored on runs of six, two, and 15 yard runs in the second quarter. Texas led at halftime 42-3.

Eddie Phillips added a seven yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Tommy Asaff scored for the Horns on a one yard run in the fourth quarter after which Rob Lane, Texas’ backup kicker—the son of Bobby Lane—kicked the extra point to complete the scoring for Texas.

The final score was 56-17 Texas and it was Texas’ 12th straight win of a winning streak that would stretch to 30.

For the game, Texas ran the ball 83 times for 523 yards. Jim Bertelsen was the leading rusher with 99 yards on eight attempts. Eddie Phillips added 81 yards on nine attempts. Paul Robichau (you remember Paul) had 79 yards on 13 attempts.

Future all Southwest Conference quarterback Donnie Wigginton was Texas’ leading passer completing five passes in eight attempts for 51 yards.

Randy Peschel was Texas’ leading receiver catching four passes for 46 yards.  None of his catches came on a “53 Veer Pass.”

Few college football games were televised in 1969. As I recall, usually there were only two games televised in a given television market on Saturdays and often only one. Navy versus Texas wasn’t on television anywhere. During Texas’ National Championship run in 1969, only three of their games were televised during the regular season.  Until 1969—except for the Orange Bowl—college football night games were rarely televised. Preempt Lawrence Welk for a college football game?  It just wasn’t done, until 50 years ago on the same night Navy played Texas.

1969 Ole Miss vs. Alabama Still Legendary


Good Luck to the Astros and all you “Astro Buddies” out there!

It’s a great of time of year.

Hook ‘Em,


West Virginia Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Baylor +1.5 @ Kansas State
  • TCU +3.5 @ Iowa State
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