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Parting Shots and Over/Under Season Accolades

Watching the Oklahoma – Oklahoma State game last Saturday night, I couldn’t help thinking the Longhorns should have beaten these teams. And I couldn’t help noticing that Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have improved since the Longhorns played them while the Longhorns have regressed. If Texas were to play either of these teams now, the games would not be competitive. This is a troubling observation for Steve Sarkisian, Chris Del Conte, and Texas fans.

Heading into the offseason, I’m far from confident that Steve Sarkisian will be successful in turning the program around. To me, the aura of his program feels hauntingly like Charlie Strong’s.

I look forward to pointing out how wrong I was.

The Green-Eyed Monster

Comparing Steve Sarkisian to USC’s and LSU’s new coaches Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly has me feeling bitten by the Green-Eyed Monster. I have little doubt that Riley and Kelly will be successful at reviving their new programs and I’ll bet you right now that they won’t have losing seasons in their first year with their new teams.

Gary Patterson Coming to Texas?

There’s less chance of this happening than a coach with four straight winning seasons and four straight bowl wins being fired.

There’s less chance of this happening than a team favored by 31.5 points losing at home.

There’s less chance of this happening than a popular coach at one of the top five all-time football programs with a 74% winning percentage over 12 seasons and two recent College Football Playoff berths leaving for another program.

There’s less chance of this happening than Texas not having a single player named to the first or second-team defense All-Big 12.

But seriously folks, knock me over with a feather in Gary Patterson serves in any role at Texas in 2022.

Over/Under 2021 Season Accolades

Over the 12-game season, 27 different players entered Over/Under at least one time. The largest turnout was for Arkansas with 21 players. The lowest turnout was for Baylor with 13 players.

D. R Flower posted a perfect score in the TCU contest and Andy Garrod was perfect in the Tech contest.

Over/Under 2021 All-Stars         

Dan Adams         2 wins

D.R. Flower         2 wins

            Here is your Complete Over/Under  Winners Circle for 2021

Louisiana         David Frink

Arkansas          Reed Ramlow

Rice                  Clayton Frink

Texas Tech        Andy Garrod

TCU                   D.R. Flower

Oklahoma         D.R. Flower

Oklahoma St.    Wade Wallace

Baylor               Steve Holstead

Iowa St.             Greg Swan

Kansas               Dan Adams

West Virginia    David Bergstrom

Kansas St.          Dan Adams


It’s the Little Things

Throughout the Texas Football season, I review Willie Earl’s distribution list, blog comments, and Over/Under entries and see names of friends from Rummel Creek Elementary school, Herndon High School, The University of Texas including Sigma Phi Epsilon, and The Daily Texan, The Bluffs of Barton, Time Warner Cable, all the friends and acquaintances I’ve made over the last 40 + years, and of course family members and their friends. Seeing those names blended together brings me pleasure and a smile. It’s like reviewing the guestlist for the greatest party I could ever attend.

Thanks to each and every one of you for reading and playing.

See you next year, if not sooner.

Regards and Hook ‘Em,

Willie Earl

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Kansas State Over/Under Results

It was tough sledding for the contestants in this final game of the season. The average score was an all-time low of 4.  Dan Adams, Mark Adams, and Mitch Lewis tied for first in regulation with six correct answers. Mitch picked Kansas and Alabama in the tiebreaker while Mark and Dan picked Kansas and Auburn. Kansas and Auburn were the winning picks. So, Mitch was eliminated while Mark and Dan proceeded to the final tiebreaker, predicting the final score of the Kansas State Texas game. It was photo finish my friends. Mark predicted Texas would win 35-28.  Dan predicted Texas would win 34-28. Since the final score was Texas 22-17, a five-point differential, Dan by the slimmest of margins beat out Mark by one point. Wow, what a finish. For those of you who don’t know, Mark and Dan are brothers. Dan is the oldest. Make of that what you will.

Only one of the 15 contestants correctly went under on 12.5 total points scored in the fourth quarter. Just three of 15 picked Michigan over Ohio State against the line.

On Friday, I will post my final column of the year with a season recap of Over/Under and some parting thoughts (shots) on the Longhorns season.

W.E.

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An Ad Campaign, Who’s Watching, and West Virginia Over/Under Results

Ad Campaign Idea

I’m thinking most if not all of you missed Reed Ramlow’s comment on this week’s column.

Six-year guaranteed contract for Sark, and still paying Tom Herman. Agents 2, Del Conte and the Board of Regents, 0. If I were a sports agent, I’d target Texas. Dr. Pepper could do a new TV ad series called “Dumbassville.” The Boz can reappear as sheriff. He’d get a kick out of it.

I’m in advertising so believe me when I tell you, Reed’s idea is a winner!

Who’s Watching

According to Willie Earl’s internal polling, 31% of the Texas fans who watched the Arkansas game on television watched the West Virginia game.

West Viriginia Over/Under Results

Despite the Longhorns struggles on the gridiron, almost all the regular Over/Under players turned out for the West Virginia contest.

Reed Ramlow and David Bergstrom tied for first place with seven correct answers. David nosed out the red-hot Mr. Ramlow in the tiebreaker by picking two winners, Ohio State and Kansas City. Reed went with Michigan State and Kansas City. David has placed and showed a couple of times this season, but this is his first win since 2019.

Andy Garrod, D.R. Flower, Greg Swan, David Frink, Mitch Lewis, and Mark Stephan tied for third with five correct answers.

No player picked Roschon Johnson to be Texas’s second-leading rusher. Johnson tallied 77 yards while Keilan Robinson led the team with 111 yards on 9 carries. It’s the first time I can remember a question that nobody got right.

One is the Loneliest Number.

Only one player correctly predicted the Dak Prescott and Patrick Mahomes would tie for the most touchdown passes. Neither threw one.

Only one player predicted that Texas would lose a 4th quarter lead.

Only one player picked Kansas State over Baylor.

The average score was 4.7.

W.E.

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Del Conte Excuses

“Don’t just stand there, do something!”  I guess that’s what Chris Del Conte was thinking when he offered up this explanation for Texas’ disastrous season under Steve Sarkisian in the “Forty Acres Insider”  

. . . it’s important that we discuss the reality of the situation facing Coach Sark and our Football program. It came up in Monday’s press conference and is something we’ve talked about. This isn’t to cast any blame or make excuses; it’s just factual that we have some real depth issues. As injuries mount, it’s even more glaring. When you look at it, 52% of our 2018 signing class and 46% of the 2019 class are no longer here. That’s nearly half of the student-athletes from two classes that were ranked as the third-best in the nation and should be making up the juniors and seniors on our roster today. Overall since 2018, we’ve lost 33 percent of the last four classes. That’s a lot of attrition to manage. And when it rains, it pours. We had 25 guys miss practice last week due to a flu bug and virus and missed three others who were out due to COVID-19 protocols.

Well, Chris, you forgot to mention all the 11am starts. You know our boys like to sleep in so 11am is not ideal. And, just when the boys were getting used to waking up early to play at 11, they had to play two straight night games. One of them on the road!

Anyway, I would speculate that Del Conte didn’t actually write that statement. But did he read it before it was released? Maybe some of my journalist and public relations friends and relatives can help me here.

I can’t remember what we were talking about when I was in my teens and my father posited the idea, don’t do something, just stand there. Seems like Chris Del Conte would have been wise to take that tact in this circumstance.

Del Conte’s statement brings an Abraham Lincoln quote to mind. “The man murdered his parents, and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.”  After all, Del Conte supervised Tom Herman for three years and issued a statement on December 12 last year that Herman would be the Texas coach in 2021 then fired him three weeks later. Real good for program stability Chris.

*****

Speaking of attrition, former UT and NFL defensive back Rod Babers, on his daily Austin radio show, compared and contrasted Texas’ player attrition since 2014 with Oklahoma’s. Texas’ was in the mid 40% range while Oklahoma’s was just marginally lower at about 40%. That works out to about eight more players since 2014 that left Texas than left Oklahoma. Let’s see here, since 2014 Oklahoma has won 84 games, Texas 52. Oklahoma has won six Big 12 Championships. Texas has won zip, zero, nada championships since 2014. Seems like Oklahoma deals with attrition better than Texas.

*****

As a Texas fan, what concerns me is the possibility that Steve Sarkisian is just a poor gameday coach. Yes, he’s a good play designer. Maybe he’ll be a good recruiter and maybe he’ll foster a great “culture.” But I have seen nothing this year that suggests he’s anything but a liability on gameday when the bullets are flying.

West Virginia

The actual start time is 12pm Eastern Standard Time. So, it’s not really an 11am start. So, the Horns have that going for them, which is nice.

Steve Sarkisian has settled on Casey Thompson as the starter. Hudson Card is not quarterback 1A.

Jordan Whittington returns after a four-game absence.

Texas wins 38-34.

Hook ‘Em,

W.E.

Willie Earl Songs of the Week.

Needs no introduction.

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A Fact, A Possibility, and Kansas Over/Under Results

Fact

Since 2016, Kansas has beaten Texas more times than Texas has beaten Oklahoma.

Possibility

If Texas loses their last two regular-season games and Kansas wins one of their two remaining games, Kansas will finish higher in the Big 12 standings than Texas based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Kansas Over/Under Results

Dan Adams and Mitch Lewis tied for first place this week with seven correct answers. Dan edged Mitch in the tiebreaker going one for two with his picks of Penn State which was wrong and the Cowboys which was right. Mitch went ofer in the tiebreaker picking Penn State and the Falcons.

Andy Garrod, Mike Frank, David Frink, and Wade Wallace tied for third with six correct answers.

Only two of 17 players predicted that Kansas would ever take the lead during the game. Those two players did not place in the top six.

Interesting that only five of 17 players guessed that the total points scored would be an even number. I would have expected a fairly even distribution on that question.

The average score was 4.8.

W.E.

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