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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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Texas Losing, No Big Deal

Several years ago, a friend and passionate Longhorn Fan who lived in Dallas told me that if the Horns lost to OU, he wouldn’t look at the Dallas Morning News coverage of the game. A loss was just too painful to revisit. I don’t know if he kept the paper around the house and eventually read some of the game stories. I’m guessing not. If my count is correct, I’ve been to 44 Texas-Oklahoma games, and I always read the Morning News coverage of the game win or lose. The coverage was so comprehensive and interesting that I enjoyed reading it.

In the waning years of the Mack Brown era, a college friend and Longhorn fan wrote me in an email exchange that he could no longer muster any emotion while watching Texas games. I concurred. I imagine that he has regained—briefly—and lost his passion for Texas Football a few times—as I have—since then. I wonder how he’s feeling now. I should check in with him to find out though I’m pretty sure I know.

After Texas losses from the late 80s through the early 2000s, I would occasionally call into post-game talk radio shows to vent and comment. For the last decade or so, up until this year, after a loss I would head straight to Barking Carnival and Inside Texas to read post-game analysis by writers that I respected for knowing more about football than I did. In addition to trying to be better informed, I was looking for confirmation of my critiques of the Longhorn coaches and players. Did it make me feel better and more philosophical about the loss? No. That, and not wanting to devote any more of my weekend to Texas Football after the game is over is why I’ve changed my post-loss routine this year. I don’t read Inside Texas, the Statesman, or listen to talk radio after games Saturday or Sunday. Monday I’ll usually read Kirk Bohls’ column if there is one. By Tuesday or Wednesday I’ll see if there’s anything interesting on Inside Texas. Then I’m ready to start writing my Willie Earl column for the new week.

Saturday shortly after the Baylor game, Helen and I were out and about and running errands like nothing eventful had happened and I commented, “Remember when Texas losing would be a big deal to us?” 

Cycles

1965-70
I first became a Longhorn fan in 1965. They were ranked #1 before they lost to Arkansas that year and ended the season 6-4 which was the first of three straight 6-4 regular seasons. In the 1968 season, Texas embarked on a 30-game win streak over three seasons that included three conference and two national championships.

1971-83
Texas won five outright conference championships and shared another. In 1977 and 1983 the Horns had two national championships in their grasp before they slipped away in Cotton Bowl losses to Notre Dame and Georgia. They finished the 1981 season ranked #2, in 1972 #3, and in 1975 #6. The Longhorns were undefeated at home from 1968 to 1975. Let that sink in a minute.  Their worst season during this span was 1976 when they finished 5-5-1

1986-89

The last year of Fred Akers’ tenure and the beginning of David McWilliams were lousy years with losing seasons in 86, 88, and 89 and a cumulative record of 21-24.

1990-97

The Longhorns seemed to be back in 1990 with a conference championship, and a #3 ranking heading into the Cotton Bowl versus Miami. After losing to Miami 46-3, the Horns finished with a 10-2 record and #12 national ranking. The Miami debacle sent Texas into a downward spiral. They lost their first two games in 1991 and finished 5-6 leading to the firing of David McWilliams.

John Mackovic’s first two years, 1992-94 were lackluster with a combined record of 11-10-1. Texas finished the 1994 season with three straight wins that included a win over Mack Brown’s North Carolina team en route to an 8-4 record.

Texas went 10-2-1 in 1995 to win the conference championship in the last year of the Southwest Conference. The season included the Horns’ first win over A&M in five years and only the second in 12 years dating back to 1983. How did we survive that? The season did end on a bit of a sour note with a loss to Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

Texas followed up their Southwest Conference Championship in 1995 in ’96 with a Big 12 Championship in its inaugural year. Roll Left! Sure could use a play-call like that now.

Texas went 4-7 in 1997 which featured Route 66, the 66-3 loss at home to UCLA. Mackovic was fired at the end of the season.

Bring on Mack Brown!

From a historical perspective, we’re living in a very long bad cycle.

When does it end?

Oh well, to paraphrase Bill Belichick, “On to Iowa State.”

Willie Earl’s Song of the Week

“Wedding Bell Blues” Written by Laura Nyro. Performed by Marilyn McCoo and The fifth Dimension

Bill
I love you so I always will
I look at you and see the passion eyes of May
(Eyes of May)
Oh but am I ever gonna see my wedding day
(Wedding day)
I was on your side Bill when you were losin’
(When you were losin’)
I’d never scheme or lie Bill there’s been no fooling
(There’s been no fooling)
But kisses and love won’t carry me
‘Til you marry me Bill

I used to get that all the time 🙂

Speaking of Marilyn McCoo, Wow.

Sorry about the grainy video. It’s great anyway.

Hook ‘Em,

W.E

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Baylor Over/Under Results

College football analyst Steve Holstead wins his first Over/Under this year with an outstanding performance posting eight correct answers.

Andy Garrod, David Frink, Reed Ramlow, and Tom Yoxall tied for second with seven correct answers.

Just two of the 13 players went over on 27.5 carries for Bijan Robinson and only two went under on 1.5 sacks for Baylor.

The average score was an absolutely average 5.4.

We need a big turnout this week for Iowa State to get the Longhorn’s ship turned around.

W.E.

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