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Party's Over: Back To The Business At Hand

I hope everyone had their proper fill of food, family and football Thursday. It must have been an especially gratifying day for Cowboys fans, and maybe Joey Harrington fans, if any such exist. Oh, and Larry Johnson's not too bad.

In our, the collegiate, domain, Miami survived four turnovers by doing what it does best, knocking off Boston College in the process. The Eagles, meanwhile, are stuck in a holding pattern, mirroring (almost exactly) their 2005 season, in which they opened their schedule 6-1, including a narrow victory over Clemson, before finding ways to lose two more regular season contests. They'll await their bowl assignment, assuredly another mediocre one, while Maryland and Wake Forest battle for the right to take on Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game.

Speaking of Georgia Tech, the Jackets are probably the ACC's last best chance of being anything more than a B+ team. Virginia Tech is finishing strong, but they lack a resume worth getting too excited about. Only Georgia Tech, were it to close the season with wins over Georgia and the Maryland-Wake winner, would make for a worthy BCS team. For all the talk about the Big East's supposed suckitude, the ACC may legitimately lack an elite team this year. And that's less than you can say about the more maligned Big East.

For Texas fans, the goals of the season are all on the line this morning. The scramble to stay in the national title hunt was fun, but realistic fans knew that a repeat performance was highly improbable. What's important is that Texas beat Oklahoma to control its fate throughout the remainder of the regular season. The loss to Kansas State was a painful one, but it was a stumble the team can still survive, thanks to taking care of the Sooners in October. Beat A&M, and Texas heads to Kansas City with a chance to earn a trip to the Fiesta Bowl. This is, without a doubt, a good thing.

If Texas should lose (God forbid)... well, the ice cream would all start to melt. Texas fans would be left hoping for an Oklahoma State upset of Oklahoma on Saturday. If that failed to materialize, Longhorn fans would have to watch in horror as the Sooners took on Nebraska in the Big 12 championship. If you thought that losing to Kansas State was painful, imagine the indignity from losing to the Aggies in Austin, then awaiting a bowl assignment as Oklahoma played for the Big 12 title.

If that thought made all the turkey in your stomach start to come back up, you're not alone. I realize that the Kansas State loss took the wind out of a lot of our sails, but there's a lot on the line this morning. The 'Horns still have a lot of good things in front of them, but it all starts with a win today. If you're feeling down about the Horns... well, get over it. Time to get fired up about the Aggies.

If you thought losing to Kansas State was painful,

just imagine what a loss to the Aggies today would be like.

So scarf down that last turkey sandwich before you head down to the stadium or settle into your couch for the game and get revved up once again about this team. The success of the 2006 season depends on victory.

Hook 'Em