Gather round the table BONer fam and let's talk college football...don't know if Sunday Supper will become a weekly staple, but there seems to be three or four big storylines that develop every fall Saturday and yesterday was no exception despite the dearth of what most would deem "big games."
Most of the topics I'll touch upon below have been mentioned to some extent in the comments on the various threads, but I figured it would be good to consolidate them for further discussion. So here we go...
"I thought you said you were packin' XII inches" - Attention Big XII conference apologists, get ready to be roasted by the punditry and the masses this week and probably for the rest of the season. Despite being depleted by injuries, OU was still technically ranked in the Top 10 going into this weekend, and their game last night against the Canes was probably the Big XII's last opportunity to earn some national respect between now and the post season.
Other than OSU's win over Georgia, the Big XII as a whole really hasn't had a signficant non-conference win. Folks might even start calling us the "Pac XII," as the conference will undoubtedly be chastised for the same reason the Pac 10 has been ridiculed in previous seasons - having one dominant team and a bunch of also-rans. Making matters worse, Texas, as the dominant team, hasn't had the opportunity to prove its prowess on the field after four wins over less than spectacular competition.
And now that we're entering conference play, any win over a fellow Big XII opponent will be met with additional skepticism voiced with the always irritating: "Yeah, but who have they beaten?"
All the Longhorns can do now is put their heads down and go about the business of winning every game. The toughest opponent now may be apathy considering Texas should be a heavy favorite going into just about every game for the remainder of the regular season. And given the inconsistent play that has marked the first month of the season, that's a huge concern considering the fact that every team is capable of playing much better than they have the previous week or weeks (hello UTEP).
More after the jump...
"Holiday...celebrate...everybody spread the word...I live in my coach's doghouse" - Methinks the officials doth protest too much. I'm not a fan of conspiracy ref theories, but I don't think there's any doubt the officials negatively effected the outcome of the Geogria-LSU game by calling multiple questionable excessive celebration penalties. With a minute remaining, LSU still may have been able to march down the field for a score to win the game from deep in their own territory, but their effort sure was made that much easier after Georgia was forced to kick off from their own 20. Heck, the Tigers barely had to go more than 10 yards in that minute to be in FG range.
In the same way people like to say that holding can be called on any play, it seems the excessive celebration penalty can be called after every score and/or any big defensive stop. Players almost never contain their enthusiasm. Even worse, the interpretation of the rule is hardly precise and its enforcement rarely consistent.
Personally, I think anything short of spiking the ball or taunting the opposing players should not warrant throwing a flag. This is football, damn it. It's an emotional sport. And while the players can no longer claim ignorance as they know full well the refs will be looking for any display that calls attention to one's self, it's only human nature to want to celebrate. End of the day, this game is still a form of entertainment and entertainers entertain.
"How do you stop a not so unique QB sneak, unique up on him and punch him in the face " - This week's Mike Leach Coaching Genius Award goes to U-Dub's Steve Sarkisian. After Washington took down USC, the pundits were all a flutter about how much of an offensive coaching guru Sarkisian is for the adjustments he made to move the ball on the vaunted Trojan defense. Well, after watching the Huskies thwarted time and again on Notre Dame's 1-yard line with one quarterback sneak after another, I guess I'm not seeing it.
Obviously the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, particularly when you only need to go a few inches. However, if say there is a thousand pounds of pissed-off humanity between you and the end zone, you might consider going around it or throwing over it.
I don't fault Sarkisian for calling the QB sneak the first time or maybe even the second time during the 4th quarter against Notre Dame, but the third and fourth times were asinine. A TD on either trip inside the Irish 1-yard line would have forced ND to score twice to tie or win the game. You owe it to your team to get more creative than that on the goal line.
And lastly, a few parting shots from the Saturday of our discontent...
- The famous smiling Miner fan sitting with his digitally prospecting girlfriend on the mountain overlooking the Sun Bowl finally got the happy ending he was hoping for...UTEP beating #12 Houston 58-41 only a week after getting blasted 64-7 by #2 Texas has to be one of the most remarkable turnarounds in college football history.
- Did the Aggies choose to wear all-white uniforms in their blow-out loss to Arkansas because they were celebrating throwback night or did the engineers at A&M mistake the fabric softener for the Clorox again...somewhere Joe Kines, who is always hungry for an eatable metaphor, is renaming the Wrecking Crew the Marshmallow D. Sidenote: I'm now convinced that no team looks better than Texas wearing the all-white unis. Yeah, you heard me right Penn State.
- Raise your hand if you think Taylor Potts' concussion symptoms might be due to, I don't know, a hit he sustained a few weeks ago...if you saw the HBO Real Sports episode about concussions, you'll be apt to agree that these injuries are very, very serious. A speedy recovery to Potts and Tim Tebow, hopefully the doctors don't let them anywhere near a football field until they're 100%.
- Dear Landry Jones, your mustache does not make you look intimidating, it makes people concerned that you've been taking bong hits off a car's tailpipe again. If you want to look older so badly, try smoking something else.
- And finally, dear Longhorns, please stay humble and vigilant. It's all there for the taking provided you take care of business and remember that the next game is always the biggest game. We're Texas indeed and we'll always be proud of that and you.
See you at CU,