Friday, September 05, 2014

The Predictions

Leading up to the season I start getting the itch to write a prediction piece.  I’ve never predicted out a season before…especially a season with a brand new head coach…who kicks people off the team with zest...and a quarterback that can’t seem to stay unhurt….with the toughest out of conference schedule in the league…

As a compromise to being a wimp and not doing predictions and doing predictions blind, I decided to watch one game before predicting our fate.  Keep in mind that this is my team and I’m a total homer.  It pains me to make predictions that do not start with a W.   And I’m trying hard with this ‘fresh start’ team and coach to keep optimistic.   And I know very little about any other teams.  And preseason rankings are dumb. And I don't know how many more players Coach Strong is going to kick off the team. Also, my predictions are going to get less and less and informed as I roll through the season, and you'll deal with it and like it.  Enough disclaimers?  With that I bring you:

Football Girl’s Fabulous Fortunes!



Texas vs BYU
Last year’s match-up was embarrassing. So embarrassing that it resulted in the mid-season firing of Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz who…quite honestly offended me in his lack of leading a defense. We missed just about every tackle attempted last year, and it was a disaster that their QB almost broke VY’s record despite his giant knee brace and torn ACL (or whatever he had going on under there). I have much more faith in this year’s defense – I don’t care who the opponent is (as long as they’re in the FBS, ehem, OKState), holding an opponent to less than 100 yards is legit. As for the offense, we have a lot of moving parts right now and it could be really bad. With Ash and Espinosa out, we need Swoopes and/or Heard to man up and be ready to play ball.

My Point(s):
1.      I’m liking what I see with Gray, Brown, Harris
2.      I’m a little scared about Swoopes’ on the field smarts
3.      BYU QB Taysom Hill must be contained
4.      20% of rain…last year the rain did not work in our favor

My Prediction:
1.      Texas wins.  Revenge Style.


Texas vs UCLA (Cowboys Stadium)
Not for nothing, but UCLA did not look like the #7 team in the land when they played Virginia last weekend.  Hootie Hoo.  UCLA's offensive line allowed five sacks and their rushing game was...messy.  UCLA has to face Memphis before Texas, and Memphis is no slouch.  I think both teams will be meeting undefeated and the hype will be high. 



My Point(s):
1. UCLA's offense only managed one of the 4 touchdowns against Virginia
2. We beat them last time we met, so...

My Prediction:
1.      Texas wins.  By just a litte.



Texas at Kansas
I hope I don't have to eat crow on this one (get it?), but Kansas is having a rough time lately.  Some of my favorite football memories are at Kansas games, and I really do hope that they can get it together and be a competitor in the future.  Since KU had a bye last week I really can only go on what the pollsters and history are saying...and from what I understand, Weis and the team have been working hard this offseason to prepare to do whatever it takes to win,and a team with a lot of veteran players may be the jumpstart they need to get a win streak going.  That is all.

My Point(s):
1. I don't know what I can say without sounding like a jerk
2. The overall TX-KU results are Texas -11, Kansas - 2
3. Now I sound like a jerk

My Prediction:
Texas wins and I look like a jerk.


Texas vs Baylor
Well, if you've said so far that I was a homer, listen well! Even I won't predict a win against Baylor.  While true, SMU isn't the powerhouse they were in the old days when money was flowing out of socks and cars were handed out more often than grades, Baylor looked fierce  The Bears are all hyped up in their shiny new (and awesome looking) stadium and playing like champions. Art Briles has turned the program around.  I'll admit, I was skeptical that the Bears would stay relevant when RGIII departed.  And I was wrong.  It's going to be a long drive home from Waco.

  

 My Point(s):
1. Baylor's stadium is so pretty!
2. Baylor will win the Big XII

My Prediction:
I'm going to be Sic ('em Bears) when we lose to Baylor




Texas vs OU (Cotton Bowl)
Oh you, OU.  This is such a crapshoot for me, or anyone for that matter, to pick. Ranked 4th in the preseason (and those are always accurate...amirite SC?), they handed Louisiana Tech a 48-16 beating in the season opener.  The Sooners are out to prove that they aren't flukes and their win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl was just the beginning. From what I saw of the massacre, Trevor Knight looked legit and both the passing and running games solid.  I know I'm giving a lot of props here, and believe me, it hurts.  I will say it's hard to tell what the team is really made of until they get on the field with a higher quality opponent (sorry bulldogs!).  Still, the Red River Rivalry is not a game that's won in the preseason, or in the first five games of the season.  The Gods of The Majestic grant victory to the team that brings it and leaves it all out on the field.

My Point(s):
1. OU is probably pretty good, no matter how much I make fun of their cream-puff opener.
2. I don't like it that Trevor Knight is only a Sophomore.
3. I heard there are going to be fried bacon cheddar mashed potatoes at the fair.  Yum. 

My Prediction:
1. We are going to lose to OU, but it will be close. 
2. It will rain.



Texas vs Iowa State
Well.  Another team that I just don't know much about and am just making grand assumptions about....now I remember why I've never done an entire season of predictions at once...because it's hard.  I am fairly confident that when we play the Birds with Teeth that we'll come home with a win...and after our two game losing streak (if the Football Girl Prophecies are true) we'll be looking for a solid win to get us back on track. Iowa State got trounced by North Dakota State in the first week (NDSU is one of the best FCS programs, but...still and FCS program).  Sam Richardson, ISU's QB is slippery and pretty accurate...but unfortunately I don't think he has the offensive line to back him up or the defensive unit to keep other teams from whomping up on them.

My Point(s):
1. I'm happy the game is at DKR so I don't have to hear that tornado siren all the time.

My Prediction:
1. Texas will Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin-wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin-wiiiiiiiiiiiiin (that's a siren sound)



Texas at Kansas State
I don't care if Kansas State is 0-7 when we play them and we are undefeated.  KSU is going to get out it's turban and it's crystal ball and they are going to foresee the future, write down all of the plays we're going to run and destroy us.  K State has our number like no other...I can dream and wish that it was a Bill Snyder/Mack Brown thing and now we're in a new era....but I don't know.  In the all-time series, K State is up on us 8-6....seven of those losses since 1998 (Mack's era).  The Wildcats are (at time of posting) ranked 20th.  You have to love Bill Snyder, who when asked if senior Tyler Lockett would play this season answered "If I want him to..."

My Point(s):
1. Sr QB Waters had a double-double (not really) throwing for two and rushing for two TD's in the opener.
2. K State is 100% in 4th down conversions thus far in the season

My Prediction:
1. I dread this game every year, 2014 being no exception.  We're going to lose.



Texas at Texas Tech
I was not the most impressed watching Tech play against Central Arkansas last week.  I'm not the only one....Coach Hottie-McRayBans called the win "embarrassing" and is hoping to get everything on track.  Tech QB Webb was 39 for 52 with two picks and four TD's.  Their defense didn't too look good, allowing UTEP 406 yards of offense. It's not that best that we'll be playing in Lubbock, a place that can be really scary if you're....um, not a Red Raider.  It's an intimidating environment, especially for a squad of players who have never played there before, but frankly at this point I don't think the Red Raiders are anything we can't handle.


My Point(s):
1. Tech had 15 penalties for 114 yards.
2. Tech has only hung one win on Texas in the last decade.

My Prediction:
1. All we (will) do is win (this game) no matter what what what.



Texas vs West Virginia
The last two WVU/Texas meetings have been nail-biting and exciting. Each team has won one game since WVU joined the BIG XII, both on the other's home turf, and the highest margin of victory has been a whopping seven points.  Last year's game in Morgantown ended with couches burning and overtime.  This year, we hope will have the same flare, and judging by the numbers WVU put up against Alabama last week, there's reason to hope the Mountaineers can put up a good season. QB Trickett looked good setting career numbers against the tide, but the WVU defense did look a little weak on the pass rush.  After Coach Strong hinted that we're going to run, run, run the ball, this may bode well for us.

My Point(s):
1. WVU is 6-12 in conference play since joining the BIG XII---
2. I'm not kidding about the couch burning.  Google it.

My Prediction:
1. Texas wins.  Moonshine also wins.


Texas at Oklahoma State


Well, if you want to talk about a game that is a crapshoot.  Texas and Oklahoma State have such a fun rivalry, it's another one of those games where it doesn't really matter who's higher in the rankings.  The overall record is Texas 23 - OSU 5.  Pretty lopsided, though three of those wins were since 2010.  I think we can all agree the last three seasons of Texas Football have been pretty pitiful, but props to the Cowboys...it's always a fun road trip.  Oklahoma State put up a great opener against #1 Florida State, with 203 yards passing and 161 rushing.  They had 2 fumbles on each side of the ball and had a bit of trouble converting on 3rd and 4th downs.  The Cowboys are a young team with some trouble on the pass defense but, as I've said many times in these predictions...it's still pretty darn early and I've only had a chance to see footage from one game. 

My Point(s):
1. Mike Gundy is a MAN.  He's 47.
2. Not a lot of hotels in Stillwater

My Prediction:
1. Texas wins.  Maybe. Probably.  I'm sticking to it.  For now.



Texas vs TCU


Thanksgiving game. Turkey.  Football. Tailgate. Frogs. Horns.  Personal dislike. 

That is all. 




My Point(s):
1. Texas over TCU - 62-21-1 all time
2. If you don't know how I feel about TCU and Gary Patterson...read up

My Prediction:
1. Texas wins.  














The Questions


The first game has come and gone like a drone in the night.  I’d like to say that it has helped me form some amazing opinions about my Longhorns, but I feel I am left still with many questions.   Now that I’ve finally rid myself of the glitter of the game (literal glitter…I had an unfortunate shirt selection leaving me looking like a vampire that was really into football) questions like these remain….
 
Why was there a man in a jet pack flying for a very short distance?  I kind of liked it because it was a freaking jet pack and you don’t see those a lot.  But I was expecting something different from the Mighty Fine promotion.  Shouldn’t the Mighty Fine Gorilla have been wearing the jet pack?  Shouldn’t they have explained that it was a little game, to guess which colored dot he was going to land on?  I would have liked a little jet pack tour...fly up to the upper deck, making it rain Mighty Fine burgers or cold hard cash. 
 
Why did Tyrone Swoopes come in for the last 45 seconds of the game just to take a knee?  At the time I conjectured that David Ash was hurt, and while he did end his night with concussion-like symptoms, they allegedly came much later, after in the game.  Considering Swoopes had been named QB2, maybe should he have come in the game earlier, like when we were up over 20 points?  Now we’re left with him at QB1 (for now…I heard Heard is possibly moving up the ranks) and he's played only five games in 2013 (5 of 13 for 26 total yards….and two sacks). 
 
Who were the orange people that ran on the field with the team?  As the longhorns ran out onto the field and made their way to the North end zone to say a prayer (or tie their shoes…whatever that pre-game ritual is) along with them ran a small squad of players in all orange uniforms who headed straight to the sidelines.  Was it a small Longhorn army of Stormtroopers? Were they players on the roster weren’t able to suit up?  Were they spies?  Were they the ghosts of coaches past?  Whoever they were, I liked it.
 
Why did the band pause during the spelling song?  A staple of the band is playing a song I call the spelling song.  (I assume it has another, more official name.)  This pseudo “Texas Fight” has a cadence which the fans yell along the letters that spell T-E-X-A-S then yell “Texas Fight” during each stanza…this goes on five or six times.  Most students have vulgar additions to say with each letter that eventually you have to drop when you sit with real adults.  I digress.  It’s a tradition each season, that at the game before Oklahoma, after the third stanza, the band pauses at a certain point and everyone is supposed to yell “Beat the Hell Out of OU”.   It’s something to look forward to every year, it means that corny dogs and wax cups full of beer are in your very near future.  Unless it’s 2014, when I guess the band has just decided to pause whenever they want.  It caused confusion and I did not like it.  Sometimes they paused, sometimes they didn’t. What am I supposed to yell when they pause?  “Beat the Hell Out of UNT?”  “Please, oh Please let us win this game”?  “Why are you pausing, it’s not OU?”  Meh.
 
Did the players have their ‘Horns up?  I have to admit I was a little too interested in this.  From my perch in the end zone, I didn’t notice any players throwing up their ‘Horns during the game, so I anxiously awaited the playing of “The Eyes of Texas” after the win to check it out.  And wouldn’t I be damned that the godzillatron never once showed the players, only Charlie Strong.  I didn’t notice the classic unison hand chopping during “when Gabriel blows his horn” which normally can be seen from our seats. I did notice Coach Strong had his 'Horns up.  I wonder when he earned that right?
 
Aside from all the questions left unanswered, I was happy to see a pumped up crowd for the first time in a long time.  I was also very impressed with our defense, to see actual tackles being made and followed through on.  I have high hopes and expectations for the defense, having held UNT to just 94 yards of total offense, about 15% on conversions, and snagging four takeaways.  It was disappointing that our offense fumbled in the manner they did, costing the hard working defense a shutout.
 
Offensively, I like what I was seeing from John Harris, Malcolm Brown and Jonathan Gray.  I’m disappointed to be losing both QB David Ash (for at least one game) and 5th year Center Dom Espinosa (out for the year), but we will have to move on through the pain.  In my mind, Ash has always been questionable to remain healthy through the season, but Espinosa’s ankle injury is a blow, as he has started every game for Texas since 2011.  The upside is that hopefully redshirt freshman center Jake Raulerson has been practicing with Tyrone Swoopes and Jerrod Heard and it might help ease the transition.  Or maybe not.
 
With one winning game under our belt buckles, the season is just getting underway.  A lot of football is left to accompany our unanswered questions.  I feel like we’ve suited up and are running wind sprints into the unknown…and I’m excited.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The Anti-Encouragement

While perusing my sports stories I came upon this article on ESPN.com:
 
 
I'm not going to lie.  I'm skeptical that this kid is going to make it through the season without a major injury.  But I digress.
 
Most disturbing is this quote:
 
"I told him the only thing I need him to do is manage the offense," Strong said. "I don't need you to be a great player; just play within yourself."
 
Geesh, Coach strong, you might think it, but don't say it.  It sounded a lot like the disturbing pre-game talk Mack Brown gave to Case McCoy last year before the Texas/Oklahoma game.  I looked everywhere for the quote, and can't find it.  It was basically: "Don't be a hero.  Just don't mess it up."
 
Of course, to this, Case McCoy had the best response ever.
 
"This is a game that I could be remembered for the rest of my life. I'm preparing and [practicing] for a game I'll be remembered for forever."
 
And a game to remember forever it was.
 
For weeks, even after the infamous OU game, the Longhorns had been touted as the underdogs, and when asked why, Case was pretty upfront.





Monday, July 28, 2014

The Little Future Sooner

 
You little future Sooners.  So tough and adorable with your smack talk.  
 
 
At least Texas fans know how to use proper grammar, such as apostrophes and capitalized letters. 
 
Kid, I'm happy for you that you can kick a 66-yard field goal.  At practice...with no interference. 
 
I'm also happy that Texas has had a player do better than that in an actual game...67 yards.  In fact it's the current NCAA record for the longest field goal. 


 
 





Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Article

My mom sent me this article to read about TCU which I am not going to lie, I really enjoyed.  I'll follow up when we get some responses from GOG (Good 'ol Gary).  For now, just enjoy:
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Comparison


This Barking Carnival article comparing the (2nd) LeBron James Decision to the Big XII Conference Realignment is maybe my favorite thing related to LeBron James.

Except for this commercial:

 

The Rules

“I don’t want to talk about things. I’d rather do things. We just talked. Now it’s time to do."
Charlie Strong - Head Coach, The University of Texas
 
 
I realize this is old news but I've been thinking about football season and getting excited about our new coach.  I asked The Googler to find me the new "rules" that Coach Strong smacked down in January.  I got excited again just reading them.
 

Players will attend all of their classes and sit in the front two rows of all of their classes. GAs, academic folks, position coaches will be checking constantly now.  

No headphones in class. No texting in class. Sit up and take notes. 

A-wicka-wicka-wicka-wicka-wicka-NO FUN!
If a player misses a class, he runs until it hurts. If he misses two classes, his entire position unit runs. If he misses three, the position coach runs. The position coaches don't want to run.

No earrings in the football building. No drugs. No stealing. No guns. Treat women with respect.

Players may not live off campus anymore, unless they're a senior who hits certain academic standards. The University will buy out the leases for every player currently living off campus and put them in the athletic dorm.

The team will all live together, eat together, suffer together, and hang out together. They will become a true team and learn to impose accountability on each other. The cliques are over.

There's no time for a rebuild. "I don't have time for that." The expectation is that Texas wins now.

Players will learn that they would rather practice than milk a minor injury.

The focus is on winning and graduating. Anything extraneous to that is a distraction and will be stamped out or removed.


I'm curious to see, come football season how and if these rules are enforced.   And if we'll hear about any violations and the subsequent punishments. 

But for now, a slow clap for you, Coach Strong.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Hiatus


“Oh where have you been, my burnt orange one?”  - Bevo Dylan.

 It’s a question I get asked with shocking regularity for a gal with a little blog.  Obviously, they’re not asking it exactly like that, but the question comes up.  

If you’re a regular or semi-follower, you’ll note that I haven’t put anything up since October, just before the Texas-OU game. 
Before you start thinking that I stopped writing because of our performance last season, let me stop you.  We won the Texas-OU game (handily, I might add) and the three that followed…including a game against the team with the coach I love to hate, TCU.  Aaaaand let me just point out that I’ve written plenty of blogs through plenty of terrible seasons. 
I love my Longhorns to a fault, win or lose.  And Mack Brown.  Which leads me to the real point of the story:  Why I stopped writing.
The talk about Mack Brown retiring had begun to absolutely infuriate me.  To the point that I couldn’t even talk about it.
It’s not because I didn’t think Mack’s time to retire had come.   I did.
It’s not because I didn’t think it was time for a change. I did.
It’s because I believe Mack Brown earned the right to be treated with respect, and he earned the right to walk out the door with dignity on his own terms. 

I was ready for a change, but let’s be frank, here… (“Hi, Frank!”)…there’s not a single thing I can do about it.  Change was going to happen when it was going to happen, and nothing that a bunch of sportswriters, whiny fans or Monday morning quarterbacks could do was going to change that. 

So until the powers that be were ready to make that change, I made the decision to support my team and my coach the way I always had. 

By the time Coach Brown retired, it had been a two season long circus.  Each win brought speculation that Mack was being fired.  Each loss brought speculation that Mack was being fired.
My facebook post the day of the announcement.  I
deleted six rude Mack-hating comments from the
post that day.
The breaking point for me came when people began to insinuate that Texas fans would prefer to lose games in order to speed up the Mack ousting process.   As a Texas fan, I was not surveyed.  And had I been, my answer would have been an absolute “no”.   But the lack of polling wasn’t what got me the most.  What made me angriest was the idea that there were probably people out there who felt this way. 

To me, a FAN is someone who is enthusiastically devoted to their team.  Win, lose, bad staffing, good staffing.  You are a supporter of a greater thing.  To wish for losses is basically to wish to hinder the success of our players.  Which I personally think is a pretty crappy thing to do.

I needed to take a break from inviting people to spread their negative energy on me.  I still attended and watched the games, cheered for my players, coaches and school, and frankly, I did so with much more joy than I had over the previous season and a half.   

I stopped letting the haters in. 

I walked away from conversations about firing Mack Brown. 

I unfriended people on Facebook who took random comments I made (typically not football related) and turned them into rude remarks about how I refused to get on the Mack-Hating Bandwagon. 

I turned the TV and radio off when discussions about Mack Brown’s future started.

And it felt awesome to just enjoy the season, to enjoy the time with my friends & family, surrounded by burnt orange. To support Coach Brown in what I was confident would be his final season.
It felt pizza awesome.

I wish the rest of Longhorn Nation would have given Coach Brown the same respect, but I can’t control them.  I can’t control a desire to win that is greater than a desire to be a FAN.
And now that the dust has settled, I am ready to come back.  Now that we’ve all got our poopy-pants off, I hope the Longhorn Nation can come together with a new, positive attitude about our team.  Hopefully the complaining hasn’t gone on for so long that there’s no reversing it.  We would be doing a disservice to our players and new coaches if we didn’t look at the upcoming season with fresh eyes and hearts.

We are mere months away from a new era in Longhorn Football.  And let me tell you, I can’t wait!  I think Coach Strong is going to be good for The Program.
And I can’t wait to write about it.


Not this program.




Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Rivalry

I could do the research, but I'd rather cheat and use theirs: Things To Know About The Golden Hat

Hook 'Em