Archive for the ‘2022’ Category

Star Power

Steve Sarkisian is the producer and director of a star-studded offensive production that includes headliners Bijan Robinson, Quinn Ewers, and Xavier Worthy, with strong supporting players in Roschon Johnson, Jordan Whittington and Ja’Tavion Sanders. If the director and the cast can nail the scenes in the last half of the story this production could be up for some major honors when awards season comes along if you get my meaning.

Quinn Ewers

Bijan Robinson is a Heisman candidate, but Quinn Ewers is—to use an old cliché— the straw that stirs the drink. We’ve seen in just one quarter of the Alabama game and three from Oklahoma how Ewers opens up the offense and Sarkisian’s playbook. He makes everything blend and fizz.

From what we’ve seen from Ewers so far he looks like the best Texas quarterback in a generation. Yes I know that would mean he’s better than Vince Young and Colt McCoy. Call my supposition blasphemous if you will but Ewers’ passing is more potent and more valuable than Young’s running, and I don’t think I’ll get an argument in asserting he’s a far superior passer to either McCoy or Young.

Casual confidence

Quinn Ewers doesn’t swagger and doesn’t seem to celebrate his talent much. But he has the confidence–after a very short time–of a four-year starter. When he stands in the pocket whether it’s clean or muddled he looks casual like he’s throwing the football around in the street with friends. And he remains casual looking when he throws those intermediate darts and 50-yard bombs alike. I can’t imagine another college quarterback that can match his arm talent. I think there’s only about five NFL quarterbacks who can. No B.S. And he’s ours. Amazing.

Do you think Arch Manning is rethinking his position?

A glorious Saturday

I wasn’t in the Cotton Bowl last Saturday but I’m sure it was a glorious experience for the Texas fans that were as the Oklahoma side of the stadium emptied midway through the third quarter. It wasn’t too shabby for those of us who watched on television.

Virginia is for Lovers

The icing on the cake for me was to be in touch during and after the game with two great friends who I have known for 40 + years.

During the game and later during the Notre Dame – BYU game Joe Camarda and I were actively texting. Joe, who lives in one of my three hometowns, Reston Virginia, is my Masters, Players Championship, and U.S Open running buddy and partner in various other adventures. We drove from Reston to Austin where we hung out for a couple of days and then to Dallas for the 1978 Cotton Bowl. To say it was a great road trip would be damning it with faint praise.  Texas lost to Notre Dame spoiling a perfect season that would have ended in a National Championship had the Horns prevailed. It’s funny that in the years gone by since that game the loss takes nothing off the luster of that magical 11-1 season that came with a Heisman for Earl Campbell.

Anyway, for some reason Joe roots for the Horns as long they’re not playing Notre Dame. Joe, we’ve got to get busy with the historical novel we’ve been taking about for so long, Bill and Joe’s Excellent Bicentennial.

Joe wasn’t the only friend of 40+ years residing in Virginia that I heard from last Saturday. Reed Ramlow, my Daily Texan compadre, former roommate, and 30-year expat returned stateside checked in with me from a writer’s conference in Richmond. One afternoon in 1980 when Reed and I were living in the Bluffs of Barton, he came home and announced he was joining the Peace Corp and would I write a brief personal reference. Now Reed and I were former fraternity wise guys and were still on the party circuit so at first I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. Reed joined the Peace Corp which set him on a 30-year odyssey through Asia, Africa, and probably a few other continents. Our continuing friendship through all those years and since he’s come home have made me a smarter person.

It really was a Glorious Saturday.

On to Iowa State

Statistically, Iowa State has the best defense in the Big 12 giving up just 13.7 points and 277.5 yards per game. Granted, some these numbers were accumulated versus Southeast Missouri St. and Ohio University but games versus Baylor, Kansas, and Kansas St. are also included. Holding Kansas and Kansas St. to 14 and 10 points respectively looks impressive.

On the flipside, Iowa St. is last in the conference in scoring 23.2 points per game and yards per game at 364.

These statistics would suggest that Iowa St. poses reasonable opposition to the Texas offense and defense. Can the Texas offense run up big numbers against a good Iowa St. defense and can the defense dominate another struggling offense. I’m more confident in the former than the latter.

Golf is life

Helen Frink’s favorite golf expression is post birdie F ‘up. This refers to a golfer having a bad hole after birdieing the previous hole.  Will Texas have post birdie F ‘up—so to speak—against Iowa St. after the Oklahoma game?  The Eight Ball answers, my sources say no.

Then there’s this golf maxim. It’s not how good your good shots are, it’s how good your bad shots are.

We’ve seen Quinn Ewers play great against Alabama and Oklahoma. How good will his bad game be?

The Eight Ball answers, cannot predict now.


Will Texas beat Iowa St. Saturday? Willie Earl answers yes, 45-12.


Song of the week

This is a nice way to remember the Beatles. Though soon to break up, here they are, still young (all four still in their 20s), having fun, and looking fabulous.

Read more

Oklahoma Over/Under Results

Well, well, I hate to be redundant, but we had yet another barn burner for the Oklahoma Over/Under. For the first time in Over/Under history, there was a tie for first between two players who posted a perfect 10 score. Dan Adams and Helen Frink were the perfect ones.  Helen nosed out Dan for the win because she picked TCU and A&M in the tiebreaker. Dan picked Kansas which lost by 7. The line was 6 ½. Unfortunately for this Frink household, Helen was declared ineligible at the beginning of money ball because of her proximity to the Wille Ear staff so Dan takes the bag which was $50 this week. Congratulations Dan!

Thank goodness Hudson Card played one series and relieved the staff of deciding whether Card being the holder for extra points and field goals should be counted as playing in the game. Only two players predicted that OU would go over 99.5 yards in the first quarter. The average score was high at 6.9.


Read more

OU Actually Sucks–For Now

I’ve always thought that the chant by Texas fans was classless. How can we complain about Horns down when we do that? I’ve never chanted that at an OU game or any other game. But currently with Oklahoma looking like a bad football team I couldn’t resist the headline.

In case you’re not following Oklahoma football closely, they have suffered two straight losses at the hands of Kansas State and TCU. In those two games OU has given up 96 points and 1177 yards. OU did amass 550 yards and score 34 points in the loss to Kansas State.

Oklahoma was the consensus pick by the media to win the Big 12 again but perhaps it was just out of habit. They returned only 9 of 22 starters and of course Lincoln Riley went to USC and took Caleb Williams with him. That smarts. Oklahoma hired longtime Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to succeed Riley. So far it’s not working out all that great. Is Bob Stoops ready to step in as interim coach if Texas puts a thrashing on them? Just a thought.

As of this writing, Texas is an 8 ½ point favorite. By game time I’ve heard it could go a 10-point spread if Oklahoma’s quarterback Dillon Gabriel, who is in concussion protocol,l is officially ruled out for the game.

Not a must win

I don’t know what a must win game is. I do know what a bad loss looks like and If Texas loses this game it will be a bad loss. Clearly on paper Texas is a far superior team as of today and a loss would damage Steve Sarkisian if not the team and the program. The West Virginia win righted the ship. It was a win against a conference opponent and Texas dominated. Now Sarkisian needs to get a win away from home and it wouldn’t hurt if it came against Oklahoma. It would be Texas’s first two game win streak since early last season. A lot of chips are on the table for Sarkisian in this hand. I suspect that Texas will race to big lead in the first half as they did last year in this game, and it would be nice if Texas doesn’t let Oklahoma doesn’t stage another comeback.  From what we saw in the first quarter of the Alabama game I don’t this stage is going to rattle Quinn Ewers. The Texas media and certain readers of this column are touting the player development under Sarkisian. Saturday this development will be tested. Onward and upward.

Hudson Card

I’m not the first one to say this but hats off to Hudson Card for not taking his ball and entering the transfer portal after Quinn Ewers and Arch Mannin decided to come to Texas. Card was rewarded, so to speak, for sticking around and his performance has been strong considering the circumstance and his ankle injury.

My wife Helen is a high school guidance counselor and an associate of hers told Helen that when Hudson transferred to Lake Travis not because he was recruited by the school but because his family move to the area, neither he nor his parents asked for special treatment. They didn’t send Lake Travis coaches game film or anything like that. Hudson just signed up for football and showed up for practice. It seems evident that Hudson Card is an individual of high character at a young age.  I’m a Hudson Card fan.

The OU game

I could go on and on about what Texas-OU is all about. In fact, I have on this here blog. If you’re not a longtime reader and are interested in my perspective, check out these columns from years gone by: OU Weekend 1977 and Why I love OU Weekend. I hope the OU game is as big a deal to the current generation Texas of students and fans as it was to mine.

Cheers to all of the Longhorn revelers who will be there tomorrow.

Now let’s go win one for the old—okay—older Longhorns.


Hook ‘Em,


Song of the Week

One of the great rock songs of the 70s Rock Era

Read more

West Virginia Over/under Results

WVU Over/Under Results

It was yet another barn burner this week with a plot twist at the end.  David Frink, Greg Swan, and Mark Stephan tied for first place with 8 correct answers. Mark Stephan was eliminated when he missed both of his picks as he went with Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Greg and David both went 1-1 picking Oklahoma and Kansas State, so it came down their score predictions for WVU versus the Horns. To clear up any confusion on how the score prediction tiebreaker work, it simply comes down to the most accurate point differential in the predictions. Greg had Texas winning 45-24, that’s a 21-point differential not far off the 18 points that Texas won by. David had Texas 31-24 for a 7-point differential. So, Greg noses out David for the win this week. But there’s good news for David because Greg did not opt in the money ball game, so David takes the $50 bag.  Congrats to David and Greg.

Mike Frank, Mark Adams, Wes People, Mitch Frink, and Tyler Cotton (the protagonist’s namesake in my coming college football novel) tied for fourth place with 7 correct.

Only one player went under on third down conversions for WVU. Just three players went under on 1.5 sacks for Texas.

There was a season high 21 entries which is also in the top 10 all time for the number of entries for one game.  The average score was 5.7


Read more

Fourth Down Showdown

In October of 1977 (there he goes again with the 1977), a week after Texas had defeated Oklahoma in heart-pounding game that concluded with a fourth down goal line stop by Texas in which Johnny Johnson knocked himself out when he tackled Thomas Lott, Texas was playing #8 Arkansas in Fayetteville. Once again the outcome wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter when Ham Jones, capping off an 80-yard drive, scored the only touchdown of the game, on 1-yard run that sealed a Texas win 13-9. The touchdown was set up by a 28-yard screen pass and run by Earl Campbell. Though Earl had 188 yards on 34 carries, he lost three fumbles during the game. Two weeks in a row and two dramatic wins over highly ranked bitter rivals that were exhausting watches for Longhorn fans.

I watched the game with my brother David at his duplex off of Barton Springs Rd. Just minutes after the game ended, the phone rang, and I answered. It was my father calling from Reston, Virginia. A nano second after I answered, my father screamed “I’m sick of this s – – t”!  The s – – t he was referring to were the dramatic finishes to the Oklahoma and Arkansas victories.

Back in real time, I’ll bet there are Texas fans that are sick of the current excrement coming from the Texas football team. I’m not one of them. It’s been several years since I’ve been perturbed by UT football, and you know my opinion on Steve Sarkisian.

Bad look?

Squatting on the sideline, staring at his big, laminated play card looking for answers as his team falters down the stretch, Steve Sarkisian looks in over his head.

Just the facts ma’am

Courtesy of Rod Babers here are some bad facts on Steve Sarkisian’s coaching record.

– He’s 1-6 in road games in 2021 and ‘22

– He’s lost 5 games in which Texas was leading in the second half in 2021 and ’22.

– Dating back to 2010, 80% of college football teams that have the lead to start the second half win.

-Dating back to 2010, 84% of college football teams that have the lead starting the 4th quarter win.

– In his tenure at Texas, 4 of his 7 wins have come against non-power 5 opponents. For the record, those wins were against ULM, UTSA, Louisiana, and Rice.

-He’s 3-6 in the Big 12.

– His overall record at Texas is 7-9.

– In his head coaching record overall, he’s won 38% of the games versus head coaches that have won 60% or more of their games.


After the Texas Tech game, a reader texted me his observation that the Texas offense was vanilla and stale with a lack of varied formations and motion during the second half.  This is a point that Rod Babers has been harping on and breaking down all week on his talk show. Willie Earl has readers that are experts.

During the game a reader texted me that Pete whatever his name is, the Texas defensive coordinator, should be fired after the game. I agree. During the game another reader texted me that Texas will win no more than 5 games this season. I can’t go all the way to agreement with that but give me a few days. I also received a text offering testosterone replacement.

A reckoning?

I read a book a few years ago by an author who was an alcoholic and after ruining yet again another family gathering with her drinking, she decided to quit drinking forever. And I read that George Bush 43, woke up hungover after bender celebrating his fortieth birthday and decided to stop drinking.

Could Steve Sarkisian, after blowing yet another second half lead against Texas Tech by repeating for the umpteenth time some of his coaching bad habits, have decided this week to stop ruining family gatherings (Texas football games) and break those habits?

We may soon find out.

Hook ‘Em,


Author’s note        

The title for this column was partially inspired by the Clair Bee book, “Fourth Down Showdown”. I read it when I was in the sixth grade. Good read.

Willie Earl’s Song of the Week

This song is a shout out to Tom, Andy, Bob, Molly, Kate, and Zach

Read more
Page 4 of 6« First...«23456»