The Pokes go trick-or-treating at Mack Brown's house.
Trick or treat! For 11 years, Oklahoma State has dressed up like a cowboy, usually one named Pistol Pete. Its players take along the biggest bag they can find because they hear that this year, the richest guy in the neighborhood is giving away gigantic portions of candy. So, decked out in their brightest orange, they make their way to Mack Brown's house. (Every other year he moves to Stillwater for the purposes of my column.)
Surely, they think, this will be the year we hit the mother lode. They ring the doorbell. Brown doles out heaping helpings of candy. So much, in fact, that the Cowboys have trouble handling the bag. That's when Brown swoops in and says, "Let me lighten that load for you," and the Cowboys lose all their candy and go home like Charlie Brown on Halloween with nothing but a rock.
Or maybe Brown is more like Lucy, and every year he pulls the football away just as Oklahoma State is about to kick it, and the Pokes wind up flat on their backs.
Mack Brown should listen to his mother.
So when Texas trailed in 2004, Brown walked silently into the dressing room and wrote "42-35" on the chalkboard. Actually, he underestimated his team. Texas won, 56-35, one of eight second-half rallies overseen by Vince Young.
After the game, Brown phoned his mother.
"Everybody's bragging on your halftime talk. What about pregame?" Katherine Brown said. "Could you give a pregame talk that's more decent than that to get them started right?"
We just do whatever works.
The 2007 Heisman winner and 2008 runner-up, Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy, have seen their production reduced, in some cases significantly. McCoy set the all-time accuracy record last season (76.67 percent). This season, he is completing "only" 71.65 percent of his passes. More telling is his overall efficiency, having dropped from fourth last year to currently 29th in the latest NCAA statistics. More than halfway through the season, McCoy has thrown as many interceptions (eight) as he did all of last season.
Most telling, he has become less of a rusher with a total of 104 yards and one touchdown this season compared to 561 yards and 11 touchdowns in '08. That's clear evidence that Texas is relying more on its stout defense.
Late bloomer Curtis Brown is delivering this season.
His friends in the secondary call Brown the "Cat."
"It's cause you can't knock him off his feet," said Duane Akina, the Longhorns secondary coach.
"He's been nice to watch. He's a phenomenal athlete, probably one of the most phenomenal I've ever coached."
Longhorn receivers are fighting it out. Playing time is at a premium.
"Everybody wants to play and be a part of what we’re doing," McCoy said. "When you have a little competition like this, it requires them to come to practice and be prepared every day. If they have a good week of practice, they know you’ll see them get a chance to play more on Saturday. It has helped us and you can see it in our offensive work."
The Longhorns' weekly meeting was all about the BCS standings.
Brown appears to be done hiding any expectations or information from his team.
He said the team meets every Sunday, and this past Sunday they talked about the BCS standings and everything else in the college football world.
He said he addressed the team and discussed the other six unbeaten teams. He talked about the BCS standings and where the Longhorns stood.
He informed them about national perception and how two unbeaten teams almost lost last Saturday.
No, he hasn't graduated. Jordan Shipley is still around.
Every team has that one player who opponents feel has been around forever.
For Texas, that player is undoubtedly wide receiver Jordan Shipley.
But even players such as OSU running back Keith Toston said they can’t believe Shipley is still around.
"He’s definitely been there since I’ve been (at OSU)," Toston said. "I actually hadn’t watched him too much before the last couple of weeks, and I actually thought he had graduated, but he didn’t."
The Pokes haven't missed Dez Bryant at all.
Life goes on.
Fans may be jarred by the NCAA's decision, but there is no shock within the OSU program. If Bryant had been playing all season, producing at his typical level, a suspension during Texas week would have rocked the Cowboys. But because they had a month-long adjustment period before the NCAA's verdict was announced, OSU's coaches and players probably didn't blink when the bad news arrived.
In three games with Bryant this season, OSU had an overall total of 26 wide-receiver catches and averaged 201 passing yards. Zac Robinson completed 59 percent of his passes.
In four games without Bryant, OSU had 50 wide-receiver catches and averaged 255 passing yards. Robinson completed 70 percent of his passes.
Hubert Anyiam is OSU's go-to receiver.
When the season began, he was hoping to be the receiver opposite Dez Bryant. He figured his role would be to make sure that the best receiver in college football didn't draw too much attention from opposing defenses.
Now, he's replacing Bryant as the go-to guy for quarterback Zac Robinson going into Saturday's game against No. 3 Texas.
Someone over at Scout has an idea about how to beat Texas.
McShay's analysis is based on Texas quarterback Colt McCoy's struggles of passing the ball downfield. According to McShay's statistics, McCoy is completing only 36.6 percent of his passes more than 5 yards downfield, which is the lowest percentage of any quarterback in the FBS.
His idea for beating the Longhorns is rather easy. Namely, he says that if wide receiver Jordan Shipley is covered tightly on every snap and defenses try to jump McCoy's short routes, their opportunities of winning are much easier.
It's an interesting idea. It will be interesting to see if veteran OSU defensive coordinator Bill Young follows that plan.
The Pokes will not be wearing black jerseys on Saturday.
Amid a student movement for a "Blackout" on Saturday, rumors had swirled that Oklahoma State might wear black jerseys against Texas.
"We aren’t wearing black jerseys on Saturday," OSU spokesman Kevin Klintworth said. It’s unclear whether the Cowboys have black jerseys or, even if they do, if it is a possibility they would wear the black jerseys at any point this season.
"We know it's going to be a competitive game every year," McCoy said. "Last year was
close at our stadium. The year before that, we had to come from behind in the
fourth quarter. I know this one will probably be the most fun of them all.
They're a good team, it's at their place and at night. We definitely have
to be prepared and ready for the challenge."
"We've been beating the hell out of UT; then it comes to the fourth quarter and something
happens and they end up winning the game," Oklahoma State sophomore wide receiver
Hubert Anyiam said. "It's just been bad. Last year it happened. If we get up again,
we just have to finish the job."
"That question comes up every year," Gundy said. "I’m not so sure it’s snake bit, but the
fact that when we played Texas, they have had some good football teams. If you look back
over the last four years and see what their record is, it’s probably good."
What the rest of the country is saying about the Longhorns
This guy isn't telling us something we don't know. Texas can't afford to slip up on the road.
Since Florida or Alabama can't both finish unbeaten, Texas controls its fate, something the Boise States, Iowas, Cincinnatis, TCUs and even USCs can't claim.
We should go undefeated.
Don't be surprised if there are as many as six unbeatens, although I'd anticipate four. I'd expect unbeaten Florida and Alabama to play for the SEC championship. Of course, the general populace of Louisiana would emphatically disagree with that. If Texas gets by Oklahoma State on Saturday, I think the Longhorns will finish unbeaten, too. - OLIN BUCHANAN
I think Alabama, Texas, Iowa, TCU and Boise State will finish the season unbeaten...But Texas, TCU and Boise State appear to have smooth sailing to an unbeaten record. The Longhorns' last big test will be this weekend at Oklahoma State. - TOM DIENHART
Texas' last tough game is Saturday at Oklahoma State; if the Longhorns win that, just pencil them in as national title game participants. - MIKE HUGUENIN
I believe there will be four undefeated teams. While Texas, Alabama and Florida have looked vulnerable at times this season, I think all three will be 12-0 by the time they enter their respective conference championship games. Texas could stumble at Oklahoma State this week and Florida may struggle at South Carolina on Nov. 14, but I believe the Longhorns and Gators ultimately will survive those matchups. Texas shouldn't have a problem winning the Big 12 championship game and will be undefeated as it heads into the BCS title game against the winner of the Florida-Alabama SEC championship game. - STEVE MEGARGEE
If everything goes as planned, the top four teams should end up in Pasadena.
No. 4 playing No. 3 in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 and, six days later, No. 2 putting rose petal to the metal against No. 1.
It could happen.
Take a look at this week's BCS standings: Florida, Alabama, Texas, Iowa and USC.
If everything goes to form (yeah, right, when has that happened?), the winner of Florida-Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game would face undefeated Texas of the Big 12 for the BCS championship.
And that might leave No. 3 Iowa vs. No. 4 USC in the Rose Bowl.
Dr. Saturday looks at the chaos known as the BCS.
Thanks, John. John Mackovic believes the Horns are the No.1 team in the country.
Texas is No.1 because they appear to be the toughest team to beat. The defense does everything and can dominate a game if the offense is out of sync. Of course, with Colt McCoy, the offense is in rhythm almost all the time.Although there are fewer big play makers around this season, McCoy continues to shred defenses. The special teams are exemplary in every phase — they block kicks, return kicks and outperform every other team they play.
That's what the country is waiting for. An All-Texas BCS title game.
Parents in Oklahoma face a tough decision about Saturday night.
Several University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University fans in Tulsa considered this fact when contemplating the conundrum of college football on Halloween night.
Both OU and OSU will play at home Saturday. The two evening games will be televised, offering plenty of potential distraction for football-fan parents of young witches, ghosts and vampires.
Sometimes cowboys are just dense.