Friday, August 21, 2015

The Rapist

I just finished reading the Texas Monthly article “Silence at Baylor”  about Bears via Boise State defensive end Sam Ukwuachu.  From the article, it sounds like this kid has at best a violently bad temper and at worst is a rapist and violent criminal.  

Disturbing is the fact that less than 90 days ago, Baylor DC Phil Bennett insinuated that Ukwuachu would be playing for the Bears in the fall – even though he knew full well that Ukwuachu had been accused of felony sexual assault to the extent that he was going to stand trial in Waco before the end of June.


Ukwuachu, who transferred to Baylor in the spring of 2013, was removed from the Boise State team for violence against a fellow lady student.  Boise State chose not to grant a waiver for Ukwuachu to be eligible to play in the 2013 season, citing they would not be supporting Sam in his athletic career moving forward.  He then was suspended for his first eligible season, 2014, for “some issues.”


Some issues?  Like the fact that he’s a rapist?  Gotcha. For God’s sake, Baylor paid for this particular rapist to go to school for two years (and graduate).


Yet, despite yesterday’s guilty verdict of second-degree sexual assault, I haven’t seen any mention of Ukwuachu being kicked off the team.  That seems like a no-brainer to me, and maybe it's implied.  Are we supposed to derive hidden meaning from this generic Title IX statement issued by Baylor after the verdict:

“Acts of sexual violence contradict every value Baylor University upholds as a caring Christian community. In recent years we have joined university efforts nationally to prevent campus violence against women and sexual assault, to actively support survivors of sexual assault with compassion and care, and to take action against perpetrators. We have established and fully staffed a Title IX office that employs a Title IX Coordinator and two full-time investigators. Maintaining a safe and caring community is central to Baylor’s mission and at the heart of our commitment to our students, faculty and staff.”

It sure doesn’t seem like sexual violence contradicts every value at Baylor, unless the university harbors different values than its football program.  Why has Ukwuachu remained on the team, allowed access to football facilities and been touted as on the 2015 roster when the University has known since October 20th of 2013 that he has been accused of sexual assault and more recently has had pending sexual assault charges against him?

Oh, because between October 20th, 2013 and August 17th, 2015, Baylor conducted their own “investigation” of the assault complaint and cleared him. This Deadspin article has the best summary and commentary I’ve run across. The investigation included reading text messages, interviewing the accused and the victim, interviewing a friend of the victim, looking at results of a polygraph taken by the accused, and interviewing the roommate of the accused. 


I left out the other parts of the investigation because…there weren’t any.  This unacceptable and shoddy investigation did have two points of interest.


One: The polygraph reviewed was commissioned by the accused independently, and the investigator was not present for it.  Which is not at all suspicious, in fact, it’s so legit that courts almost never allow them as admissible.  Oh, wait. 


Two: The roommate of the accused said he was home in bed at the time of the assault and heard nothing, but actually his cell phone records show that his phone was in a different part of town at that time.  I don’t know many college kids that are EVER five feet from their phone.  I’d give him the benefit of the doubt, but the roommate was so hesitant to testify in court that he had to have an ankle monitor fitted because he was in contempt of court for missing his grand jury summons.

It’s worth noting that the investigator did not bother to examine the results of the victim’s rape kit or speak with her psychologist.  Just saying.

Shame on the Waco Police Department, who’s shoddy at best handling of the assault and complaint delayed justice for this victim.  According to the Texas Monthly article:

“While Jane Doe went to the hospital immediately following her encounter with Ukwuachu and spoke with an officer there, detectives suspended the case after taking a report and investigating. But it wasn’t until months later that the details made their way to a prosecutor’s desk—and once they finally did, assistant district attorney Hilary Laborde found enough in the investigation to pursue felony sexual assault charges against Ukwuachu. The incident between Ukwuachu and Doe occurred on October 20, 2013, but he wasn’t indicted until June 25 of the following year.”


Shame on Baylor.  I guess the pressure to be the “One True Champion” has forced you to make some bad decisions in the ethics department.  I refuse to believe that the Baylor Program made frank and direct contact with the Boise State Program and was left with insufficient information to know that this kid is bad news.  If, indeed Boise State representatives refused to tell them why the player was released, it should have been clear that it was something pretty serious.  Red flags go up when Freshman All-Americans are cut from teams in a shroud of secrecy.  

Just for fun, I read news articles citing Ukwuachu's dismissal from 2013 and the comments sections were filled with innuendo and references as to why he was dismissed.  While it’s true that “the comments section” of a web article isn’t conclusive proof, it should have raised enough concern to be looked into.  I’m sure Baylor’s athletic department is filled with lackey employees who can spend a few hours doing some Google searches on a player you’re thinking of picking up.


Shame on Coach Briles, who now claims he knew nothing about Ukwuachu’s previous history with violence or why he was let go from the Boise State program. It’s no big secret I’m not a fan of Coach Briles, but honestly, short of a polygraph test, you will not be able to convince me he didn’t know what the deal was with this kid.  


And just to be clear, I’m not talking about an Ukwuachu commissioned polygraph.


Briles claims that when he spoke to then head coach Chris Peterson at Boise State about Ukwuachu, there was "No mention of anything beyond Sam being depressed and needing to come home [to Texas]," Briles said. "So that was our information. And that's what you go by."


In fact, according to The Washington Post, Coach Peterson said in a statement that "After Sam Ukwuachu was dismissed from the Boise State football program and expressed an interest in transferring to Baylor, I initiated a call with coach Art Briles. In that conversation, I thoroughly apprised Coach Briles of the circumstances surrounding Sam's disciplinary record and dismissal." 

But Briles still insists "No, No. That's not true.  Lord, no.  No, there's no truth.  Find out who informed us and talk to them, please."


Tsk Tsk...I know you're a Christian University, but I wouldn't bring God into this one, Arty.

If Peterson is lying, that’s a pretty bold faced one.  If I had to choose between Briles and Peterson in a truth competition, it would be no big surprise who I’d side with.


Also, am I supposed to believe that when the investigation into the allegations was conducted at Baylor that Coach Briles wasn't informed?  Well, I don't.  But if you do, I've got a ticket in the Longhorn's section of the National Championship game I can sell you. 


Sidebar: Noted rule follower, Texas Head Coach Charlie Strong weighed in on domestic violence this summer, purporting that much of the responsibility for players making it to the NFL despite having a history of violence against women, lies with the colleges.

“Part of the problem is, if we allow it to happen in college, when they make it to the NFL there is not much we can do because we have allowed it to happen,'" Strong said. "So now, their hands are tied. I look at it like this. Some of the things we allow to happen just baffle me. "There is no way a guy should hit a woman," he said. 


"There is no reason for it. If it happens, you need to find somewhere else to play. It isn't hard. Sometimes people think it's hard. You have values. Treat women with respect. No drugs. No weapons. How hard is that? I don't get it"

Coach Strong has kicked players off the team for much less than RAPE.  And he’s done it swiftly and mercilessly.  Like less than 24 hours after he finds out about a rule violation.  

Don't misunderstand me, I love it.  Also, loveable is the assertion that he "didn't kick them off the team."  Oh, Coach Turtleneck, I heart you: End Sidebar.


I love college football, I love my team, and I love our players.  But under no circumstance do I want my University to hide or conceal crimes or harbor criminals in the program hoping they can get away with it.  There’s no convincing me that Baylor wasn’t “trying to get away with it.”

I didn’t make the best decisions in college, but I can sure as shit promise you that I wasn’t raping people and expecting to get away with it.  (To be perfectly clear on that statement, I wasn’t raping people at all.) 

College athletes are under immense pressure to preform, and know full well that the four (or so) years they have on that field are nothing but a long and publicly scrutinized job interview for the NFL.   Is it impossible to not deal drugs, drive a boat stoned, shoplift crablegs, beat the hell out of women in bars, and rape women?  Just for four years?


The entitlement, lack of remorse and accountability that exists in college football programs is sickening.  Not only are players giving themselves a bad name, but the Universities they play for and their law-abiding teammates who are working hard to achieve their dreams as well.  Those players, the good ones, should be taking a stand against the teammates & administrations who let them down.  The behavior will only continue as long as it’s tolerated.  And rewarded.


To sum it all up, when referring to the outcome of the trial, Briles said it was "unfortunate for everybody concerned."


Certainly not unfortunate for the rapist who was convicted.  "Unfortunate" indicates you have befallen an unfavorable circumstance out of your control.


Not particularly unfortunate for Briles & the Baylor Administration. They are fortunate to rid their program and institution of a violent rapist.  Even if the price was to have been exposed for what they truly value. 


But it is unfortunate for the victim, who was raped, forced to re-arrange her schedule, forfeit her dream of playing soccer for Baylor, now suffers from PTSD and had justice dragged out just shy of two years.

All so Coach Briles and the Administration could protect their “values”

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The False Statement

Interesting read on ESPN.com regarding the Texas OU game.

“I've been on that side where I did let it get too big,” McCoy said. “In this game, it's one of those deals where you just can't turn the ball over. It's a rivalry game and, in this rivalry game, you have to decide it's OK to punt and kick field goals. We're going to take care of the ball and execute. You take care of the ball in rivalry games and the rest will play itself out.” 

No, it's not okay to kick field goals, not the was we're kicking them now.  Hush.

The Legends

I thought this article on ESPN.com, where legends give wisdom/advice to Charlie Strong on the Red River Shootout was pretty darn cool.

Some things I thought were interesting:

Barry Switzer, head coach, Oklahoma (1973-88): [The Longhorns] are playing [against] a program, in my estimation, that has a greater tradition than them. That's something that isn't easy for Texas to swallow. But all you got to do is check the records. Check the record book. Go back to the war. Don't give me this 1800s bulls---. Oklahoma has more national championships, won more games than they have. We're a step better.

...except when you play head to head?

Oklahoma vs Texas
 Texas          60
 Oklahoma    43
Ties             5

Billy Sims, RB, Oklahoma (1976-79): You can throw out the records. Both sides are going to come to play.

Case McCoy, QB, Texas (2010 - 13): Just talking about it gives me chills. There's really no words to describe it unless you can actually go experience it.

Derland Moore, DT, Oklahoma (1970-72): The hard hitting. The emotion. The lack of cheap shots. It's straight-up. Everyone hits you between the hashes. Texas is a very, very worthy opponent. I remember some teams we played would cheap-shot you. But Texas, nope, they're coming right at you. They're going to let you know they mean business.

Meeeeh...I will say a lot of calls aren't called....I've seen a lot of cheap shots (on both sides of the Red River) in my 16 Texas-OU games.

James Brown, QB, UT (1994-97): [Charlie Strong] He'll have many more. Don't get caught up in the venue or the long history of the Texas-OU rivalry. He needs to make his own history and he can start on that Saturday.

Chilling.  

Tony Casillas: I would say to not to eat a lot beforehand.

Hilarious

And my favorite, the statement I think sums it up the best:

Derland Moore, DT, Oklahoma (1970-72): A lot of emotion. It's the greatest game in the world. There's nothing more exciting. Nothing riles the fans up more than this game. It's a classic. And it doesn't matter who's better. It matters who wants it the most.

The Bears

Prediction wise…I was right and wrong….for some reason I was convinced this game was in Waco.  Maybe it was wishful hoping…a drive from Waco to Dallas saves me a good 3-4 hours in the car as opposed to driving to Austin.   Regardless, we lost … as predicted.


Our defense played so well!   And according to this article, we’re not the only ones who think so. 
“He [Briles] said, 'This is the first time we've been shut down,'” Strong said. “I said, 'Well, I understand that, but I would have loved to have gotten that win.'”

(I’d like to take this time to say that everyone always talks about what a classy guy Coach Briles is.  After this game, I’m not so convinced.  I know our game play likely threw a wrench in his plans, but I didn’t care for his antics on the sidelines (or the field, rather) on Saturday.   Ironically, Gary Patterson and I might actually agree on something for the first time.

Those not at the game may not have noticed some of the strange things the Baylor coaching staff did this weekend.   For one, in what can only be described as an attempt to ice our offence, Coach Briles stepped onto the field and called a delay of game.  Which the refs totally went with…but more on that later.  In another instance, while refs discussed an on the field pass interference ruling, a Baylor Coach took the liberty of walking on the field, picking up the flag and handing it to the refs while still conferring.  What?!  Sideline warnings, and what appeared to be an amazing amount of coach to ref contact…I wasn't a fan.)

I digress.  I’m so pleased with our defense, holding Baylor to ZERO offensive touchdowns until halfway through the third quarter.  After that, the wheels popped off a little and we lost control.   And, unsurprisingly, our offense was not able to score. 

The saddest thing about that is this stat:
Total Yards:
Baylor – 389
Texas – 334

We controlled the ball six minutes longer than they did.   We drove the ball 99 yards in one drive, just to fumble and turn the ball over on the goal line.   Two interceptions.  There's clearly a lack of 

Penalties...though I wanted to shake John Harris for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, we did well.   I think Baylor was feeling pressure like they hadn’t before, attributing to 10 penalties for 95 yards. 

The reffing was some of the most terrible I’ve ever seen.  Not bad calls, necessarily, I think those rarely change the outcome of a game.   It was mostly what I would call flat out incompetence.  

From the phantom false start they were trusting Art Briles on, to the 4th down stand they were determined to take away from us, I heard things on the ref microphone I’d never heard before.
“Holding, on the kicking team, half the distance to the goal”… excuse me?  “Oh, we meant receiving team.”  How about “the ruling on the field stands. Texas ball.”  Then they talked about it for 8 minutes, got back on the microphone and proclaimed “correction, it was 3rd down.”  Uh, yeah, one down ago?   I’ve asked people that watched the game on TV, and they’ve said that none of this was really discussed during the broadcast.  It’s hard to explain to people that weren’t there how TERRIBLE the officiating in that game was.

I’d like to know why Coach Strong thought our (at that time) 3-6 field goal kicker was capable of making a 32 yard field goal.   That blocked attempt lead to the only score of the quarter.  Kind of how I felt after Coach Strong made comments I didn’t agree with regarding the defense at the BYU game, I felt a little like he knew nothing about his team.  When they lined up to kick, the entire stadium sighed. 

All in all, we put up such a great defensive showing against Baylor, it’s hard to be too upset.  I am so proud of that side of the ball.  Hopefully we keep things tight and take advantage of the rain against OU.  And maybe this is the week that the offense (and special teams) get it together and come to play real ball.


The Jayhawks

In light of the Kansas game, I get to talk about one of my favorite things:  The Texas Defense.
 
Finally a shut-out!!  I mean, sure, a shut-out against Kansas is kind of like kissing your cousin, but in all honesty, I think our defense needed to be able to look at a game and see conclusive results of their hard work. 

Not only did the defense shut out the Jayhawks, but:

They did it on the road
They turned the ball over four times
They didn't allow a rush longer than 20 yards

I can’t say I was super concentrating when I watched this game, so I don’t have a ton to say.  I was at a sports bar and the game was being shown on a tiny TV in the corner…if it wasn’t hard enough to watch from that angle, the Texas A&M / Arkansas game was playing and I wanted very much for Arkansas to win.  It didn’t help that Fox Sports changed the channel of the game at the last minute and this was just a little too much for the TV Wrangler at the bar to comprehend.

Prediction wise, I was totally on point:










I’m loving when I can see John Harris or Jaxon Shipley connect on a nice pass, and we got to see that against Kansas.  Six receptions each, averaging just over 14 yards.  

I’m thrilled that three defenders had takeaways: Duke Thomas (had 2), Jordan Hicks and Quandre Diggs, who is one of my favorite players, all had interceptions.

I’m not exactly sold on our kicking game yet.  Nick Rose missed an extra point (no excuse!) and a 48 yard field goal.  While Rose did nail a 42 yard field goal, it was his career long and he is 3 for 6 this far in the season.  Maybe I’m spoiled after years of AMAZING kickers like Kris Stockton, Dusty Mangum, Justin Tucker, Ryan Bailey, and Hunter Lawrence.  Even Anthony Fera pulled it together for a great 2013.  

Unfortunately, in this time of darkness when the offense can’t necessarily score touchdowns, a kicker with a higher than 36.6 yard average is valued and preferred. 

Instead, we have the 162nd ranked kicker in FBS.  Out of 175.  I’m just saying.  That’s not going to get it done.

All that being said, I’m happy with our defense.  Even though we weren’t playing the greatest team, I hope the confidence has been boosted on all sides of the ball to give us a little momentum in the weeks ahead.






Wednesday, October 08, 2014

The Bruins

Oh UCLA…I had such great hopes for beating you.  And my dream was so, so very attainable.  Until it wasn't.  Our dreams went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in a swing of 3:10 seconds.

With 4:17 seconds left in the game, Texas, up 17-13 recovered a fumble on the Texas 25.   The offense chose to completely waste this opportunity by spending 1:11 seconds on the field and going 3 and out.  UCLA promptly returned our punt 45 yards, and five seconds later, UCLA scored a passing TD pushing the score 20-17.

Texas, with three minutes left and the chance to win the game, chose again to completely waste a possession by showing another three and out for four whopping yards for one minute and ten seconds.  UCLA spent the next 1:50 running out the clock for the win.

I am convinced that if we are going to win any games, the defense will be required to score all of the points.  I am unimpressed by what our offense is attempting to do.

That being said, here are some things we did well:
No turnovers:  Good
Defense:  Good
Time of Possession: Good

That is all. 

Prediction wise, I was close...except we lost by just a little.  



I’d like to point out that many UCLA fans (also many Texas haters), as well as many media outlets have claimed the game was only so close because UCLA had to win the game with their back-up quarterback. 

Am I delusional?  Isn't Texas also playing with their back-up quarterback?  Whenever I point this out, I am met with scoffs.  Simply because the Swoopes name has been around Texas for so long, people forget that Tyrone took less than 20 snaps in 2013. 

Frankly though, Swoopes simply wasn't ready to play in 2013.  And IMHO, he’s not ready to play now.  Regardless, he’s our starting quarterback.  Considering the coaching staff doesn't appear to have plans to burn Jerrod Heard’s red-shirt, I can only assume he’s not ready to play either. 

Mediocrity at quarterback doesn't have to equal disaster, but bad on the field QB decision making will.




The Cougars

Well, BYU came and went.  While my prediction was wrong, I may not have been too off point on my points.


Most notably, we did nothing to contain Hill.  And the beast unleashed on us a wrath of 181 yards passing and 99 yards rushing. 

Below are some comments that Coach Strong made about the game that I can’t say I’m totally on board with: 

"We gave up 28 points in the third quarter, allowed their quarterback to think we went into this game saying that we were going to stop the quarterback from running the football and we did not allow that to happen," Strong said. "You can't do that if you think you're going to play great defense. It wouldn't ever happen. We've still got a ways to go.”

"It's the second ballgame," Strong said. "I don't know how much of a reality check, but the reality is we need to come prepared and play great defense if you want to go play and compete.

The score at halftime was BYU – 6, Texas – 0.  Going into the locker room, BYU was held to 2 field goals and no TD’s, offensive or otherwise. 

To me, it appeared that two teams went into the locker room and only one team made offensive adjustments.  That team was not Texas.  Unless you mean backward adjustments.  In the 3rd quarter, Texas had two straight drives with less than one yard gains…well, three if you count the fumble by Marcus Johnson on the kick return
.   
The fourth quarter wasn’t much better.  Four drives:

5 snaps for 17 yards
3 and out for 17 yards
5 snaps for 11 yards
3 and out for 5 yards

It’s true, the defense did not contain Hill in the second half – but I would imagine the defense had trouble keeping up because they had been on the field 10 minutes longer than the offense.  A three and out offense doesn’t do much to keep our boys on defense rested.  Four turnovers doesn’t give the defense much time to prepare and adjust. 

Our defense wasn’t the problem in this game.  If the offense can’t stay on the field and make something happen, it’s going to be a long season with very few wins. 






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.