FanPost

The 7th Stage of Manny Diaz

Guilty as charged. I read every word out of training camp that raved about Manny Diaz and our defense. I drank every last drop Burnt Orange Kool Aid, and bought into the fact that we had the 3rd best defense in the country, right behind the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. Like a lot of you – I am going through every one of the 7 stages of grieving over the demise of our vaunted defense. After running quickly through each stage, I want to focus on the 7th stage of Manny.

Stage 1 – Shock and Disbelief. This hit me as soon as Wyoming laid 178 passing yards us in the first quarter. WTF?

Stage 2 – Denial as in – this is just random variation and no way the tackling stays this bad all year.

Stage 3 – Anger. During the Mississipi game. How the bleep do you give up this many yards to a chicken shirt program?

Stage 4 – Bargaining. Yeah we were bad, but give Manny the extra bye week and it is lights out in Stillwater.

Step 5 – Guilt. How could I be so stupid? How could I buy into the fact that we could shut down Okie Lite? Why do you even read about this team? What kind of worthless, sunshine pumping fan are you?

Stage 6 – Depression. Right before the final drive led by David Ash. We are this bad. If you think this is bad, wait for WVU.

Stage 7 – Acceptance and hope. Here is where I am at, and here is what is so important. Let’s go bullets to get through this:

• First – it is fair to say that if this was going to get fixed we would have seen more improvement coming off the bye week. So with all apologies to Jack Nicholson, this is "As Good as it Gets" for Manny – but at least his chances with Helen Hunt would be much more legitimate than a sixty something Jack.

• But maybe things are not that bad. Maybe this is life in the Big XII. Maybe these offenses are so well designed, so simplified, so perfected, that you just have to accept the fact that you are going to give up huge chunks of yardage.

• LSU celebrated their defensive effort against WVU. That had top 10 picks at CB, DL that heard their name called early as well. They celebrated despite giving up almost 500 passing yards to a younger Geno Smith and Company.

• So even though we are not a shutdown D, don’t we still have an edge in the Big XII? With these offenses it boils down to who makes the big plays to create turnovers. No one will do that better than Texas.

• Who do you trust to get a key sack more than Big Oak? Maybe Jackson Jeffcoat. Someone more likely to get a take-away than Kenny V? Only Quandre the Giant.

• So I have crawled off the ledge. While the style may not be what I had anticipated, the substance is still there. Do we not still have 5 or 6 sutd athletes that will be selected in the first 3 rounds of the NFL draft? Aren’t they much more likely to turn in a game saving play than any other defense in the Big XII? With the offense so much better than anticipated, I am as hopeful for this team now as I was in the pre-season.

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