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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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All I Know about Texas Football

All I know about Texas Football

Pushing People Around

For years on his Austin talk radio show Jeff Ward former all American kicker for the Longhorns lectured listeners that football wasn’t about scheme as much as it was about pushing around your opponent. If you couldn’t do that, it didn’t matter what schemes you ran offensively or defensively.

This year Texas has the worst offensive line I can remember dating back to 1974 when I first watched most if not all the games each season. Couple that with a defensive line that is as bad as any of the historically bad defensive lines Texas has had over the past seven or eight years, and you have a football team that can’t push around their opponents.

Great Offensive Mind

Before the season started, I bought into the hype about Steve Sarkisian being one of the best offensive minds in football. Going back to point #1, maybe a great offensive mind can’t overcome the inability to push around your opponent. When Sarkisian was at Alabama, its offensive line was very effective at pushing around opponents.

Quarterbacks who are future first-round draft picks (Tua and Mack Jones) and are throwing to future first-round draft pick receivers (Jaylen Waddle and Devonta Smith) might make a lot of offensive coordinators seem like great offensive minds.

Can’t Connect

You do have to give credit to Sarkisian for scheming plays that are getting Texas receivers wide open 30 plus yards down the field. Casey Thompson and Hudson Card have failed to connect with these open receivers time and time again as the season has worn on. Would the Baylor and Iowa State games have turned out differently if Thompson and Card had connected with a wide-open Xavier Worthy for touchdowns?  Definitely, maybe.

Rusty?

Obviously, Sarkisian is being outcoached during halftime and second halves during this four-game losing streak. Maybe he’s rusty. He hasn’t been a head coach for a full season since 2014.

The Rebuild

Texas Football has hit a new low with its third head coach in eight seasons. The only reason Steve Sarkisian isn’t about three weeks from being fired is because it’s his first season. Unless Sark and his staff hit it out of the park in recruiting and the transfer portal between now and February, it’s going to be a long couple of years for Sarkisian and Texas Football.

Chris Del Conte, UT Fans, boosters, and administrators need be prepared for a long couple of years. Let’s say the Longhorns finish this year 5-7, 7-6 next year, and 8-5 in 2023. Should UT you give Sarkisian another season? I say yes. Everyone involved has to be realistic about where Texas Football is. Firing a coach every three or four years isn’t the answer. This isn’t a two or three-year rebuild like it was for Alabama with Nick Saben or Oklahoma with Bob Stoops. This year Texas only has two All-Big 12 players, Bijan Robinson and Xavier Worthy. The franchise quarterback probably isn’t on campus yet and the offensive and defensive line require total rebuilds.
Of course, if Dabo Swinney walks through the door in January happy days are here again. Right?

Transfer Portal

Speaking of the transfer portal, why wouldn’t Bijan Robinson consider it?

Bo Davis

Evidently, Texas losing is no big deal not only to me but to some of the players as well. Seems like the last three coaches have been trying to root out that attitude with no success.

Maybe Bo Davis should be promoted from Defensive Line Coach to defensive coordinator or even head coach.

8-Ball

I asked my 8-Ball if Texas would win two of its final three games to qualify for a bowl game. The 8-Ball replied, “Outlook not so good.”

Paraphrasing the great Jimmy Webb, And that’s all I know.

Willie Earl’s Song of the Week

“GATOR!”

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Iowa State Over/Under Results

Mike Frank and Greg Swan put in outstanding performances this week and tied for first with nine correct answers. Greg outlasted Mike in the tiebreaker going one for two on the pick ‘ems. Mike Frank uncharacteristically whiffed in the tiebreaker picking West Virginia and Auburn to beat the line.

It’s Greg’s first win of the season. If memory serves, I don’t think any player has more career wins than Greg but he has been in a bit of a slump. Not sure, but I think it may have been a couple of years since he’s had a victory.

Fun fact, Greg and Mike were Sig Ep Sing-Song Leaders.

Dan Yoxall and David Bergstrom tied for third with 8 correct answers.

The average score for the 19-player field was 5.7

Mike and Greg were two of only three players who predicted that Hudson Card would play more than 10 snaps. Frankly, I don’t know what the rest of the players were thinking.

17 of 19 players took LSU and the 29.5 points against Alabama and 17 of 19 predicted that the last team to score would win.

We’ll try to think of something fun to make the Kansas Over/Under a game you’ll want to play even if the game itself holds little interest.

W.E.

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