Let's start with an active sport, shall we? I'll be launching a Texas Baseball Report this week, but seeing as the 'Horns are matching up with Rice tonight, it bears mentioning today as well. My duties as co-host of EDSBS Live tonight will prevent me from getting to the Disch, but I urge all of you not glued to your internet radios to get out tonight to support the 'Horns. The #9 Longhorns (22-8) square off for one game with #8 Rice (19-9) tonight at 6:05 p.m. at Disch-Falk Field. Lefty Austin Wood (3-0, 3.65) will take the mound for Texas tonight, while right hander Chris Kelly (0-1, 4.62) will go for Rice. I'm going to save the deep statistical dive for the first Texas Baseball Report, but here's a teaser for you: what Bradley Suttle and Kyle Russell are doing so far this year is positively disgusting. Throw in the hottest pitcher in the country (Adrian Alaniz), and Texas is way ahead of where they were last year. The only issue for the 'Horns is in the bullpen, where Randy Boone has been overworked (17 appearances already, good for 7th most nationally) and Augie is feeling out who he can trust. In any case, you never want to put too much stock in one game in baseball, but a Tuesday night showdown with Rice is exciting regardless. (TexasSports has your preview, if you're interested.)
Since I already brought it up, I'll self-pimp a little: make sure you tune in to tonight to EDSBS Live, as Orson and I talk college football for an hour and a half. As outstanding as Orson and I are - as people, bloggers, weight lifters, and leaders of men - the greatness of the show is that 90% of it is spent talking with other folks. Hope to see some of you at the show tonight: remember, you can chat with the hosts via telephone or the live online chat forum. I'll have more show details later today.
Since we'll be tackling the greatest Longhorn football players of the 1990s later today, allow me a word on today's discourse on the players of the 2000s. I thought the input was strong, as always, though there seemed to be some confusion on the project itself. To clarify: I'm compiling a list of the "Top 40 Longhorn Football Players Of All Time" for a 2007 Texas football preview book that I'm editing. I've got a solid idea of which players should be on the list, but I've come to realize that gathering community input on this list will make it far more robust, and help clarify my thoughts on various players throughout Longhorn history.
Most critically, your input will help me sort out the players on the margins of the Top 40 list. For example, Cory Redding is a terrific borderline case. He was an outstanding Longhorn who played a lot of football, but was never a dominant player in the same way that some of the "locks" on the list were. Getting input on players like Redding, Kris Stockton, and others is immensely valuable. The more I've thought about this chapter of the book, the more I've come to realize that gathering community input is going to help make it a great chapter, instead of a "one man's opinion" type of list. Keep the commentary fast and furious.
(The only exception to this, of course, is the Great Chris Simms & Major Applewhite Debate, which is obscenely divisive and rarely instructive - though always entertaining. You'll have to wait until we publish The Eyes Of Texas 2007 to see where I stand on that one. . . )
Our Pageant Master brought this up yesterday, of course, but it's worthy of front page news: Vince Young was a judge in this year's Miss USA pageant on Friday night, and wouldn't you know it, Miss Tennessee Rachel Smith was crowned the winner. Coincidence? You tell me.
Football Outsiders' Michael David Smith, who also files notes for the AOL Fanhouse, has a licensed picture of Miss Tennessee, which I think definitively answers any questions regarding the legitimacy of the outcome. As neat a story as the VY-Tennessee connection is, any fool who complains about this young woman repping the ladies of the USA should probably send PHF a private message.
(By the way, I've just set a record for Blog Synergy: Michael David Smith was last week's guest on EDSBS Live, is a contributing author of The Eyes Of Texas 2007, and filed a blog post both about our man VY - a member of the Top 40 Longhorns Of All Time - as well as beauty pageants. I'll take my bow now and accept your praise ahead of time.)