The thrilling run has led some to label them a team of destiny. Excuse the Longhorns if they don't quite see it that way.
"We haven't done anything yet," reliever Austin Wood said. "We expect to get here every year, whether we do or not. That's not the point. The tradition at Texas is to win national championships.
"We've put ourselves in great position to do it, finally. We've put ourselves in some tough positions during the tournament, but we know if we play our brand of baseball, we're pretty good."
AP Photo/Ted Kirk
"Do you think this team has what it takes to beat a team that is playing as well and is as hot as LSU?" Augie was asked by the ESPN crew Saturday.
"I don’t know," he deadpanned. "Ask me that question in hindsight."
The Horns and the Tigers have been on a collision course.
"Up to this point, we've been kind of rolling pretty well," LSU designated hitter Blake Dean said. "So, I don't think we've reached a stress point any game here lately."
Garrido has noticed.
"I mean, they've earned everything that they've gotten so far," he said. "So please don't misunderstand me. They've done a great job in the tournament. But if we had to stretch this out and play (Saturday), it would have weakened us certainly."
It seems only fitting that two of the blue blood baseball programs in the country will meet for the title.
The sport’s winningest coach, Augie Garrido, will be in the UT dugout in search of his sixth national championship overall, and his third national crown with Texas since 2002.
All numbers aside, all that matters to the Tigers is that the team across the diamond is wearing that burnt orange with the familiar ‘T’ on its caps.
"I love it," LSU senior Louis Coleman said. "Growing up, I didn’t know too much about college baseball but when I started listening, all I heard about was Texas and LSU being the greatest programs."
The Longhorns know drama.
Connor Rowe made his mom cry Friday night, and he couldn't be prouder.
"It really didn't hit me what I had done until I got back to the hotel," Rowe said. "I went to hug my mom, and she was bawling. I think it meant more to her than it does to me.
"She still can't believe it happened. I'm a little proud that I could do that for my mom."
The Longhorns have taken their fans on an emotional ride since the NCAA tournament began May 29. They have won games with a walkoff grand slam and a walkoff walk. They've staged several rallies, none as dramatic as Friday's ninth-inning comeback against the Sun Devils.
The Tiger's head coach is ready to play Augie Garrido.
"If you're a hitter, you want to face the best pitcher in the country," Mainieri said Saturday at practice. "If you're a pitcher, you want to get the All-American hitter out. What do I get to do? I look across at the other dugout and see Augie Garrido. I say, 'Wow, this is the big time.' We're going to match wits, Augie and I, for the national championship. Are you kidding me? You can't dream that up. I'm so looking forward to it."Don't get me wrong. I don't think I'm going to outcoach Augie Garrido during the game. He's been around too long. He's too bright. I just relish the challenge of it."
In fact, the Horns were Mainieri's choice.
Mainieri can say it now. The LSU coach, if his team reached the championship series, wanted to play Texas.
"Not because I felt like we had a better chance against Texas — and all the other teams are outstanding, too — but Texas represents a program of excellence," said Mainieri, citing the Longhorns' tradition and Garrido's career. "If this coach (Mainieri) is ever fortunate enough to coach a national champion, that's the kind of team you're supposed to beat."
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
Maybe we should do an article on the most overrated sports writers... In case you missed it, Pete Flutak thinks we are overrated.
Texas - It's all relative. Everyone feels bad about what happened to the Longhorns last year so they're the automatic No. 2 pick over Oklahoma. I have a gut feeling that the Sooners, rebuilt O line and all, are better, and I have another gut feeling (or maybe it's the burrito I ate) that there will be at least two losses (OU and Oklahoma State). Again, it's all relative. Of course this is a top five team.
ESPN's Tim Griffin has some thoughts on just that subject.
Texas has a few running backs on the roster. Here's a preview.
Colt McCoy has a very busy summer.
Yippee. According to Matt Hayes, Sporting News, we don't actually have the Big 12 's worst nonconference schedule.
Barking Carnival went to the Frank Denius lecture series at the UT Club and came back with a whole bunch of Muschamp.
Muschamp’s three ringleaders on defense are Earl Thomas, Rod Muckelroy, and Sergio Kindle. In a word: relenteless. We don’t have much depth at tackle and some people need to step up. This isn’t news but when Muschamp says it you get the sense that every DT on the roster is well aware of this little predicament. He loves the athleticism of his secondary and this year they’ll actually know what position to be in. We don’t have a lot of LBs but loves his first four and looks for a big year from E. Acho. Tariq Allen needs to lose some weight but he hits people. Hard. Like Will Muschamp would if he didn’t have a foot long steel rod in his leg. Or on his desk somewhere.
Other quotes that caused instant murmurs of giddyness and highstepping back to the parking garage:
You’re going to need a GPS to find Sergio Kindle on gameday.
Baylor's football team is one to watch next season. They expect that a strong finish in the 2008 season will carry over into 2009.
Thanks, Joe. When Joe Castiglione took over as AD at Oklahoma, he inherited a mess. But save your sympathy. This is the man that hired Bob Stoops.
Castiglione knew he'd found his man in Florida defensive coordinator Bob Stoops. But Stoops delayed giving him an answer because he had agreed to also interview at Iowa. When officials from his alma mater slow-played him by telling Stoops they had another interview to complete, he walked out of the room, called his agent and said he was taking the Sooner job.
This seems like a waste of blog space. The post should only consist of two words: Sam Bradford. The Crimson and Cream Machine previews their upcoming season. The first position to review? Quarterback.
Very sad news... One of the 2009 Sooner recruits won't make it to Norman this year.
The Sooners celebrate an anniversary.
Switzer responds to a 1989 Tulsa Tribune editorial calling for his resignation by saying, "Why should I? I know I never asked anybody, coach or alumni, to cheat for me. My violations are things out of not knowing the little rules."
An article on everyone's favorite scalawag coach from OU.
Obviously Barry doesn't realize that he caused some problems for Oklahoma.
Did the end of the Barry Switzer era at OU also end the era of the Wishbone offense?
What happened to... The Atlanta Constitutional Journal has an article on Josh Jarboe. (Video NSFW)
Everyone is feeling the pinch. Big 12 athletic departments find ways to save money.
For instance? Both UT and A&M have cut out free soft drinks for their athletic department employees. They've cut sharply down on their use of printers — "Ink costs quite a bit of money," Dodds said — and urged their workers to be money-smart on the road.
"Like where they park at the airport," Dodds said. "Those little things add up, and over a year's time might save you a half-million dollars."
The bigger things include fewer chartered flights, more of the commercial variety and more bus rides.
Must be tough in the state of Oklahoma, too. Someone is selling 2 OU football 2009 season tickets. The tickets include all the great Sooner football amenities: Access to club level bathrooms, concessions, elevator, TV's, air conditioned area w/ tables, etc. Seats have arm rests and backs. Front row with no one obstructing your view.
Yes, Tom, we had the same reaction when we heard Oklahoma was going to Miami. In 1978, Nebraska upset the No. 1 ranked Sooners then received an Orange Bowl berth. The Orange Bowl committee, in their wisdom, decided the best opponent for Nebraska would be... Oklahoma. This video has Nebraska coach Tom Osbourne's reaction. Classic. Thanks to Dr. Saturday for finding this gem.
For all the number crunchers out there. The National Championship Issue has done a study of loses in the AP & Coaches Poll.
More numbers. The National Championship Issue has found that nearly 75% of the first place votes cast (AP & Coaches Poll combined) in the BCS era went to one of five teams. The remaining 25% were were spread among another 28 teams.
It is hard to imagine the Cotton Bowl without Fair Park.
This gets my vote for the biggest pile of crap that I have read in a while. I bet you will agree. (No, Thayer Evans hasn't shown up on the radar lately.)
[Note by dimecoverage, 06/21/09 5:24 PM PDT Addition to BDR... Fabulous article in repsonse to John Lopez's diatribe about UT bias in the media. Even better is the part about Garrido and the Horns.]
Now about these Longhorns, and if you don't like these Longhorns, you probably don't like the black bean nachos with extra jalapenos at Berryhill.
Sometimes, a team becomes something more than a team. It becomes a living, breathing organism that functions as one. It's the whole being greater than the sum of the parts.
That's what Augie Garrido has constructed with these Longhorns. If you take them apart piece by piece, you might not be all that impressed.
They're essentially nothing more than a very fundamentally sound, very smart baseball team. They do the basics. They pitch the ball and catch it. Doing those things isn't enough to win a national championship.
That's where the magic comes in. The Longhorns advanced to the championship round of the College World Series Friday night by rallying from behind three times to, finally, beat Arizona State with ninth-inning home runs from Cameron Rupp and Connor Rowe.
Three days earlier, the Longhorns had come from six runs down to beat the Sun Devils.
They'd trailed Southern Miss in the eighth inning, got the lead back in the bottom of the eighth, then lost it again, only to win in the bottom of the ninth. Magic? You're darn right.
Remember they had to go 25 innings to beat Boston College and survive the first round of the tournament.