until Texas vs Kansas

Wednesday, August 31


A moment of silence for those in peril

Today we’ll take a moment of silence, so to speak, forget about sports, count our blessings, and offer our prayers for those suffering in the world. In particular, our hearts are with everyone in the Gulf Coast region and the city of New Orleans. Reports today are speculating that people may not be able to return to the city for as long as three months. The death toll in the region is up to nearly 100 and rising quickly. It’s unbelievably tragic, and should remind us all that life is short and we are very blessed.

Things are no better over in Iraq, where the entire country is dealing with daily crises. Yesterday, some
600 people were killed in a stampede after rumors of a suicide bomber broke a huge crowd on a bridge into a panic. Thousands of other innocent civilians have died during the campaign to establish democracy in Iraq. Our thoughts and prayers go out to our brave military personnel in Iraq and the many innocent citizens of Iraq that are living in a war zone.
--PB and AW--

Tuesday, August 30


ATL College Pick Em League

All Things Longhorn invites you to join us in our 2005 College Pick Em League over on ESPN.com. To join the league, go to the Pick Em home page found here and sign up for the league. The league's group name is Hornsblog and the password is vinceyoung. Submit your picks each week and compete with the Hornsblog authors. The 2005 champion will receive a University of Texas t-shirt of their choice from the Co-Op's online store.
--PB and AW--


ATL Roundtable: Is cheating worth the risk?

Today's topic: Would you risk the penalties that come if you're caught cheating to have the chance to win a national title?

Travis Richmond
I have a friend who heard from reputable sources that Nick Saban was dirty at LSU, and that he left before the NCAA came down on the program. The same thing just happened at South Carolina, where Lou Holtz quit before they got on probation. Now other coaches are cleaning up their mess. If what I heard about LSU is true, it means both Saban and Hotlz were willing to cheat to win. One succeeded, one did not.

If you knew there was a 50/50 chance of success, would you want your school (in this case, UT), to do “whatever it takes” to try to win it all? By 50/50, there’s a 50% chance you win a national championship within four years, but there is also a 50% chance you will be busted and put on probation, win or lose.

If you ask me, I say go for it. National championships are forever, and if you get busted people will forget. The UT baseball team was put on probation three or four years ago, but no one cares because they won a pair of national championships and went to Omaha four times. If we’re cheating, we certainly have something to show for it.

If we want to win, we have to do what everyone else is doing. Probation is reserved for really, really egregious offenses. I mean, did Colorado even get put on probation? I honestly cannot remember, and I don’t think we’d do anything that bad, with rape and all.

Forget the high road. Let’s make some money for the school, expand DKR to 100,000, and get Mack Brown on the cover of Sports Illustrated with Vince Young. It would be a sight to see. We deserve it. We’re long-suffering fans. We’re almost Charlie Brown, really. Every year we actually think we’re going to beat OU, and then Bob Stoops pulls the football.

Well this year, I want to kick that bastard’s ass. And if I have to risk a coin flip for probation, I say go for it. I’m sure LSU fans agree. Think about the lifelong memories some LSU fans had from watching the Tigers win the national championship in the Sugar Bowl, an hour from campus! I didn’t go to the Rose Bowl last year, but if the Horns go this year I’ll be there, and I cannot even put a price on how great it would be to see Texas beat USC in their home stadium, to deny the three-peat and be labeled as best college team ever, while giving us out first football championship in nearly 40 years.

It would be perfect and worth the risk.

Peter Bean
Um, no. Hell no. I’ve heard a lot of ideas over the years from you, Travis—most of them good. But this ranks as the worst. I can be a hyper-critical fan and I’m pretty tough on the Texas coaches, but one thing I absolutely love about Mack Brown and the Texas program is how clean, honest, and dignified he and the program are.

Honestly, the only thing that saves me from total humiliation regarding our five straight losses to Oklahoma is the fact that their players can barely read and are destined for jail if they don’t make it in the NFL. I absolutely love that Mack Brown fields a nationally elite program with reputable young men with good character, makes every effort to graduate as many of his players as he can, and has a very low tolerance for players with shady character. That he develops young men with good character while also developing a nationally competitive football team is perhaps Mack Brown’s greatest achievement, and a great source of pride for me personally and the university as a whole.

I’m as big a sports junkie as you’ll ever meet. I cried in 2002 when my Giants lost in seven games in the World Series. I worship Barry Bonds, the greatest hitter any of us have ever seen. And it pains me constantly as my hero gets trashed by fans and the media because of his questionable dealings with steroids. You think that people don’t care about cheating? Ask Rafael Palmeiro if he thinks the juice was worth it.

They say that flags fly forever. But even for us die-hards, some things have to be more important. Cheating is not the answer.

Andrew Wiggins
I couldn’t agree more with Bean, or disagree more with Travis. The cost of cheating is just too high. At the risk of sounding like a bumper sticker, We’re Texas. We are not Colorado with rape scandals. We are not Ohio State with players who get paychecks and cars. We are not Baylor basketball or SMU football or any of the other countless programs who got caught for not playing by the rules.

Bean is right. We are a football team and a university that holds itself to a higher standard. There is nothing wrong with good character and there is absolutely nothing wrong with good character combined with solid athletics. I will say it again—Mack Brown may not be the best tactical football coach in the nation, but he does things the right way. I have no doubts about his integrity or character. I have no doubts that Moms all across this country believe him when he promises to take care of their sons. He is fallible for other reasons, but certainly not for his character. And I believe completely that there is probably not one player or coach with the football team would answer yes to this question. Some would think about it, but none would go for it.

Not to get too philosophical, but this is a very slippery slope. If we cheat this much, maybe just a little, maybe a check here or a car there, how can we be assured that other universities haven’t gone a step further? How could we call them cheaters if they get caught? How could we feel superior if we were to win a national championship? Did other teams cheat as much as we did? Did they cheat less? Was the season fair? Why should there be any rules at all, at that point?

Cheating allows for too many questions with no justifiable answers. Cheating forces you to beg for respect. Winning the right way commands respect and produces actual admiration. We do deserve success and national championships for no other reason than we are doing it the right way.


Herbstreet's Hardware

Best Uniform: Texas (All White). Looks good in his uniform: Vince Young. These are just a couple of the Herbies, pre season awards by ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, posted on the web Monday. He hands out plenty of other top awards and top five lists as the college football season begins this weekend. I love lists like these just because so many make you gasp in confusion. There are plenty of Longhorns on the list: Vince Young, Rodrique Wright, Aaron Harris, Michael Huff. Herbstreit also includes Coach Mack Brown on a five man list of best game day coaches (Bob Stoops is also on the list). He goes further to predict division and conference winners. Big 12: Texas A&M. (Texas is his sleeper) What do you think? Who do you think will take the North and South Divisions and then the overall Big 12 championship?

Monday, August 29


Taking aim

The Longhorn football team has a theme, Take Dead Aim. This is one of the many insightful catch phrases of legendary golf instructor, Harvey Penick. Many of you know Penick as the author of The Little Red Book or maybe as the former coach of Longhorn golf stars Tom Kite and Ben Crenshaw. I love the theme. Mack Brown explains its significance in the linked article. Basically it is a better and less cliché way of saying one game at a time. Anyone who has ever played golf or participated in a season knows this cliché is absolutely true. You play the front nine at even par only to let your mind drift towards your first round in the sixties and before you get to the eighteenth tee you are staring at an eighty. Or you win a few games at the beginning of the season and start dreaming of a national championship. I will continue to take my shots at Mack, the coach, but this is another great decision by Mack, the motivator and Mack, the leader. So, that said, bring on Louisiana-Lafayette.

Friday, August 26


ATL Roundtable: Texas passing attack

We’re introducing something new here at All Things Longhorn: the ATL Roundtable, where we’ll be breaking down an interesting topic three ways, between ATL’s two regular authors—Peter Bean and Andrew Wiggins—as well as Travis Richmond, former editor of the sports page at the university's daily newspaper, The Daily Texan, and an avid Longhorn fan as well. These roundtables are meant to spark discussion, and we strongly encourage readers to jump in the fray at the end of the posting in the comment section.

Today's Topic: How effective will the Texas passing attack be this year?

Peter Bean
Let’s start with some stats, gentlemen. Here are Vince Young’s statistical passing totals:

2003, freshman: 84-143 (58.7% completion), 1155 yards, 6 TD, 7 INT, 96.2 yards per game, QB Rating 130.6

2004, sophomore: 148-250 (59.2%), 1849 yards, 12 TD, 11 INT, 154.1 ypg, QB Rating 128.4

And now, for comparison, another African-American Big 12 quarterback who can run as well as pass, Reggie McNeal:

2002, freshman: 24-45 (53.3%), 456 yards, 6 TD, 3 INT, 57 ypg, QB Rating 169.1

2003, sophomore: 113-221 (51.1%), 1782 yards, 8 TD, 7 INT, 148.5 ypg, QB Rating 124.5

2004, junior: 200-344 (58.1%), 2791 yards, 14 TD, 4 INT, 232 ypg, QB Rating 137.4

What can we make of this? We can pretty much ignore McNeal’s freshman year, as he only played for limited minutes, and didn’t even appear in three games. So, let’s compare McNeal’s sophomore-junior campaigns against Young’s freshman-sophomore seasons and see what we can learn.

In McNeal’s first full year as a starter, he was solid, but far from a strong passing quarterback. Only one more touchdown than interception, a mediocre completion percentage, and an unspectacular quarterback rating. Fast forward a year to McNeal’s junior year and we see a huge improvement. McNeal was very good last year, with a strong completion percentage, quarterback rating, and TD-INT ratio. The Aggies clearly trusted him to pass more, too, as evidenced by the 56% increase in passing attempts.

Basically, after a freshman year in which he was learning the college game, McNeal had a rough sophomore year and a breakout junior year. And let’s not forget: after McNeal’s 2003, plenty of people were clamoring about how he couldn’t pass and was too one-dimensional.

Sound familiar? It should. Vince Young, with the benefit of a redshirt year upon arriving in Austin, had a productive-but-rough freshman year and an improved, but not spectacular, sophomore year. Is there reason to think Young can break out in the way that McNeal did?

In my mind, I think we’re going to see significant improvement in the Texas passing game and Vince Young this year. Last year’s receiving “core” was pathetic. As one of our more poetic readers pointed out in the comment section, “Limas Sweed fucking sucks!” Well, he certainly sucked last year. But he’s still big and talented. The tight ends are solid. And, like McNeal in 2004, I think we’ll see Young have a much improved year passing the ball. I don’t think we’re going to see numbers that, taken without consideration for his running, would blow anyone away. But I think you’ll see fewer interceptions, more touchdowns, and more deep balls. I’m not expecting Peyton Manning here, but something closer to Reggie McNeal of last year would be just fine.

And lest we give McNeal too much credit here, let’s not forget who the better runner is. In Young’s first two years he ran for 998 yards and 11 TD (2003) and 1079 yards and 14 TD (2004). McNeal can’t touch that. He ran for 370 yards and 4 TD (2003) and 718 yards and 8 TD (2004). Give me Young any day of the week.

Andrew Wiggins
Don’t call me an Aggie, but McNeal for Young is more than worth considering. In his first two years at UT, Young was a run first, pass second quarterback. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Texas won a BCS bowl (during which Young was spectacular) for the first time in team history and has beaten everyone but OU since Young took over.

We hear week after week how difficult it is to defend against Young. But we must remember that the last two years Young has had Cedric Benson at his side. This year that will not be the case. Texas has successfully gotten away with running until it can’t run anymore before even considering passing. I don’t think this is going to work again this season without Benson. Romance Taylor and Selvin Young have extremely big shoes to fill. Unless they provide a second serious run threat, Young and the Texas offense will be in trouble.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that they do. Are we now to assume that OSU, OU, and A&M won’t be able to scheme a defense to stop the run enough on first and second to force third and long. Third and long is the demise of all offenses but will be even more so with Texas without a legitimate passing threat from Young. I agree with Bean that we may see better years from our young wideouts but unless Young develops into a more accurate, more consistent passer, it won’t matter who is running the routes.

Technique is why I will place Reggie McNeal slightly above VY. Young is probably a better athlete and is certainly better at making defenses miss with the ball in his hand. McNeal is without a doubt a better passer, though. He has the technique, arm strength, and confidence to make the throws necessary to run a quality offense. In my opinion, Young may have the arm strength but in no way does he have the technique or confidence to become a quality passer. I predict both McNeal and Young will have outstanding years and both will show improvement from their last two. McNeal will improve his accuracy while continue to come up big in big games. Unless Young has improved his mechanics in the off season to allow him to throw the ball over his shoulder and down the field with strength, he will remain simply a great running quarterback.

Travis Richmond
Reggie McNeal is a good quarterback. Vince Young is an unstoppable player. Now you tell me which one you would rather have. It’s college football. You take the best player and build around him. If you’re USC and you lose Matt Leinert, you’d want the better passer. But if you are Virginia Tech and the offense is going to the Michael Vick show, you want the unstoppable player because on every play he is the number one option.

Texas this year will be the Vince Young show. That’s fine with me, because I think he is the most exciting player in college football, and when you have the number one guy, you showcase him. There was no doubt what the Atlanta Falcons were going to do after they traded for the No. 1 pick to draft Vick. It was going to be his show.

Now with Benson gone and no established receivers, it’s got to be the Vince Young show. The coaches knew this last year and they started making plans for it. The idea was cemented when Young took over the Rose Bowl. What we saw was not the original game plan. Cedric Benson got hurt on the first series, and from there the playbook went out the window. We should have lost that game, and the coaches basically knew it. Without Benson, our offense had no one to pound the ball with. So the coaches just let Vince “wing it” out there. It was like a video game. And most importantly, it worked.

Here’s something I never thought I’d say: that Rose Bowl may end up being one of the most important games in Texas football history, and not for what it accomplished but what it may lead to. If we open the offense up this year, it will be because the coaches found out on accident that it would work, and that Vince was that damn good.

But if we see the same old bullshit, with Vince playing in handcuffs, we’ll have two losses by the middle of October.

We’ll know very soon. If you see wild and crazy Texas, almost streetball style, in the opener, this could be the year. If I see Selvin Young get 20 carries and Vince is running for less than 100 yards, I am going to be pissed because it will mean our coaches don’t have the balls to let the man play.

Young is the Heisman favorite by a mile at this point, believe me. Everyone around the country saw the Rose Bowl, and no one wants a repeat winner in Leinart. Vince also has the two giant showcase games early to solidify his role as favorite. We’ll know very early on whether Mack Brown is smart enough, and ballsy enough, to let the Vince Young show take the stage.

Thursday, August 25


Smile! You're on Mack Brown TV!

Mack Brown is on the cover of Texas Monthly. The full article is not available unless you are a subscriber, but the first sentences are enough for me. “I like happy people,” says Mack Brown, the head coach of the University of Texas football team. “I really do. And I like my staff, and I want positive people around. I don’t want negative people around these kids. I tell ’em, ‘If you don’t like it here, leave. If you stay, be upbeat, positive. I want you to have some fun.’”

Maybe it’s my glass half empty attitude that makes me dislike him. Or maybe it’s his eternal optimism year after year after limited off season changes. Mack Brown and staff have been nothing but successful since they arrived. But success is not what Horns fans demand. True fans demand ultimate success: conference championships, BCS wins, and eventually national championships. Mack is a great recruiter, a great motivator, and a great person. He is honest, caring, motivated, and dedicated. I am still waiting to write and see that he is talented enough to take Texas to the next level. Once again at ATL, talk and articles are cheap; we measure success with results. I hope we get them this season in Columbus, in Dallas, and in College Station.


Hippie former football star back on field

Say hello once again to our old friend, Ricky Williams. He is back with the Dolphins preparing for the NFL season. His season, though, won’t start until he sits out his four game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Check out this brief, yet entertaining take from his press conference yesterday. Ricky has no interest in joining the military (no shocker there), has no reason to shave (I’m envious), doesn’t miss weed (I’m not buying it) and isn’t having fun playing football but doesn’t mind (look out). If Ricky isn’t happy, don’t be surprised to see him walk away from the game without notice some time during the long NFL season. His body has always had immense talent, but unfortunately his head sometimes gets in the way. I sincerely hope he makes it this time.

Wednesday, August 24


Basketball team set to compete in Guardians Classic

The Longhorn basketball team will host a regional section of the Guardians Classic basketball tournament in Austin on November 15 and 16. Assuming they beat Southern and the winner of the Samford-Sacramento State game (God help us if we don’t), the Horns will advance to the semifinals of the tournament to meet the winners of the other three regionals, hosted at Iowa, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The semifinals and finals will be held in Kansas City the following weekend. See the complete bracket here.

This is a nice early season test for the Horns, assuming that the four regional hosts all make it to the second weekend. All four reigonal hosts made the NCAA tournament last year and will return competitive teams this year.


Battle of the acronyms

Can the YMCA compete with the NFL? Apparently, the answer is no. For those of you who don’t know, I work for the YMCA in Austin. We are currently hiring counselors for our after school programs, and I recently placed an ad online to recruit for these positions and have received many applications. The other day I got to work and checked my email only to see an email from former UT football standout Roderick Babers. He was interested in applying for a position. I emailed him back and have been awaiting his completed application. However, I am no longer holding my breath. Babers just signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos. I guess the opportunity to work 20 hours a week for a low hourly wage can’t compare with the chance to play corner in Denver. So sad.

Tuesday, August 23


How Sweed it would be

Limas Sweed says he’s ready. The 6’5” receiver, a sophomore this year, has, on all accounts, worked his ass off during the offseason to improve, as outlined in this lengthy feature article on him. It won’t be hard for him to improve. Sweed, like every Texas receiver not named David Thomas last year, stunk. He was passive, he ran crappy routes, and he got muscled around by smaller cornerbacks.

That’s all going to change this year, Sweed says. Sweed, who chose to wear Roy Williams’ #4 jersey, has worked on being more physical, running crisper routes, and being more assertive on the field. He even spent time this summer working with Roy Williams himself, learning some “tricks of the trade.”

The motto around here at All Things Longhorn is “talk is cheap,” but in this case, I’m desperately hoping that this is true. Texas will not run the table if it can’t open up the field and complete some long passes, and apparently, Sweed’s our best shot to do so. Forget the questions surrounding Vince Young’s passing ability. Whether they are legitimate or not is another debate, but last year he had nobody to throw to. Tony Jeffrey made one
enormously important catch, Sweed was a ghost, and that’s about all there was to speak of. Texas had a strong enough defense last year; what they didn’t have was a passing attack. Bob Stoops knew it, spent a lot of energy keeping Benson from going wild, and shut out the Horns. Believe me, he’ll do it again if we remain unable to stretch the field with some passing.

You’re going to hear a lot of discussion about the running backs and replacing Cedric Benson. Trust me, it’s not nearly as important as getting a real passing game going. Texas football is like the Denver Broncos: it doesn’t matter that much who’s doing the running. (And between Vince Young, Selvin Young, and Ramonce Taylor, there will be plenty of rushing yards.) It matters far more that Texas establishes a legitimate passing threat.

I’m not the only one who seems to realize this, of course. Greg Davis is talking a lot about how Texas will in fact be stretching the field with deeper throws this year. It’s about time, Greg. I almost vomited in Simms, Williams, and B.J. Johnson’s senior year when Davis kept calling those plays with the ridiculous horizontal passes that went nowhere. It’s so easy to gameplan against it’s not funny. Let’s hope Davis has evolved enough to understand how crucial it is in the college game to be able to pass the ball. And let’s hope Limas Sweed is indeed ready to catch it.



Welcome back, Tucker

We all know football season is right around the corner: for those of you who need the visual reinforcement, we've even got a countdown at the top of this page. But today, Texas received excellent news regarding this year’s basketball squad. P.J. Tucker is now eligible. For those of you who don’t remember, Tucker was declared academically ineligible for the spring semester last season. Tucker’s absence, coupled with an injured LaMarcus Aldridge, caused the Horns to skid into March and exit the tourney in the first round. I’ve said this before: Texas is a Final Four team with Tucker, Aldridge, Gibson, and Buckman.


The scoop on Ohio State

One of the most pleasant surprises that this whole blogging thing has brought me has been the connection I've established with other sports junkies across the country. I've become email buddies with bloggers from schools all over the country, as well as other Horns fans. It's one of the unanticipated rewards that I enjoy most about this whole thing.

And on that note, let me direct you guys to an Ohio State blog that I've come across after its author contacted me via email. We're all very anxious about the game, and this is a great site to check in on for news on the Buckeyes as the game approaches. You can check out Buckeye Commentary at www.buckeyecommentary.com I've added a permanent link to the site on the left column of this blog.


The ATL Preseason Top 25

I’m participating in something pretty interesting this year, the Bloggers Top 25 College Football Poll, which you can find here. I don’t get too carried away with this blog, or blogs in general, but I will say that I think this is pretty cool. All the kudos go to the blogger from Michigan, Brian, who has put this together, and who runs an impressive blog, which you can check out here. Rest assured that All Things Longhorn is a long way from that kind of comprehensiveness.

Nonetheless, when I was invited to join this poll, I thought it would be fun and joined in. I cast my preseason ballot today, and it’s time to unveil it for the readers here. (See my ballot
here.)As you can see, I checked Texas in at #4. Can we run the table and get to the Rose Bowl? Sure we can. We’ve always got the talent to run the table. Will we win at Ohio State, in Dallas against OU, and at Texas A&M? Maybe, but I doubt it. I see Texas losing one of those games and going 11-1. Is that enough to get us in the Rose Bowl? In some years, it can be.

If Texas does manage to run the table, it would be difficult to imagine that we wouldn’t be the BCS #1 team. Even if USC goes undefeated, their schedule is a walk in the Pac 10, err… park… compared to the tough schedule the Horns face. The computers will favor Texas handily, and the standards for USC are going to be so high that even close wins may be viewed by some virtually as losses. If Texas runs the table, mark my words, they will be the BCS #1 team heading in to the Rose Bowl.

But before we start counting our chickens, let’s take off the rose tinted glasses and be realistic. Mack Brown gets outcoached by the best on a regular basis. Greg Davis is still calling the plays. And we face three very, very good teams away from home. Texas’ year to run the table was last year, folks. It was an easy schedule and we missed a grand opportunity. I’ll reserve further judgment until we see Texas play at Ohio State, but this blogger is skeptical that we can win ‘em all. Of course, if we do, I’ll be on the first plane to Pasadena. You got a couch ready for me, Windler?



Preseason Top 25

My Preseason Top 25:

1) Southern Cal
2) Michigan
3) Tennessee
4) Texas
5) Louisiana State
6) Florida
7) Oklahoma
8) Ohio State
9) Iowa
10) Louisville
11) Boise State
12) Purdue
13) Virginia Tech
14) Miami (Florida)
15) Texas A&M
16) Georgia
17) Auburn
18) Florida State
19) Cal
20) Pittsburgh
21) Oregon
22) Fresno State
23) Texas Tech
24) Arizona State
25) Penn State


Monday, August 22


Brought to you by the number '2'

The 2005-2006 Texas sports preseason evaluations are brought to you by the number '2'. As in #2. In virtually every football preseason poll, the Horns are checking in at #2. And lest we forget that it's never too early to talk rankings, in any sport, for any year in the future, Andy Katz has already offered his preseason college hoops rankings. Where are our Horns? Yep, #2.


Brown optimistic about defense

Mack Brown said he expects the Longhorns defense to be sharper in the early season this year. New defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, who orchestrated the outstanding Auburn defense last year, has left the basic scheme installed last year by recently departed Greg Robinson. As the Horns return the bulk of their starting defense from last year, the players are much more familiar with the system than they were at the beginning of last year.

Okay, Brown's optimistic. What's new? I'm happy to hear that the Horns will be more comfortable with the defense at the start of the year now that it's not new, but, uh, Mack... weren't the players pretty familiar with the defense last year when we had trouble with that team from Michigan? I remain optimistic about this team, but cautiously so. Talk, after all, is cheap, cheap, cheap. I'll wait and see how the Horns look in two weeks.

Tuesday, August 16


Where is the Jitterbug from?

Horns fans: we have an outside visitor raising a ruckus about Vince Young! Follow this link to see the biting witticisms from the self-identified "Jitterbug." Apparently, he thinks Vince is nothing more than an over-hyped wide receiver under center. Rather than quibble over Young's merits or demerits, let's quibble over Jitterbug's!

So, let's get an open thread going here. First off: where does Jitterbug go to school? Cast your votes in the Comments section below.

A) Texas A&M (The poor sentence structure, the hazy arguments, the deep resentment and bitterness all suggest a 5th grade reading and writing level and a frustration from a decade of irrelevance)

B) Oklahoma State (Some might argue that 5th grade is too charitable. In that case, perhaps you'll want to vote him a Cowboy.)

C) Oklahoma (His second post may just be a smoke screen. Note the insertion of Peterson cock into mouth. He's not fooling me!)

D) Notre Dame (There's something about these comments that suggests this guy's favorite team provides nothing of value to root for, so he's taken up the hobby of bashing other teams. Notre Dame certainly fits that bill.)

E) Boston Red Sox (Now that Sox fans can't cry about their team and the Yankees, they've got to find something to gripe about. Why not Texas? I'm pretty sure
New Englanders don't like our state much, anyway.)

F) Other (Nominate your own school! Where is Jitterbug from, and why does he feel the need to bash Texas?)

That's all the posting from me for a week, boys and girls. I'm off to Detroit until next Monday, but I'll eagerly look forward to seeing the results of our little poll...


Brown closes football practices from public

Mack Brown and the Longhorn coaching staff have closed football practices from the public and media to “protect the privacy of our student-athletes with regard to injuries.” Uh-huh. And George Bush doesn’t hold press conferences because he doesn’t want to overwork journalists.

Brown offered the injury smoke screen to shield what are probably his true intentions: to mask what the Longhorns intend to do this season. So why the change this year? The most reasonable explanation is that the Horns have a pretty damn meaningful game early in the schedule—they travel to Columbus, Ohio on September 10th to face Ohio State in just the second game of the year. That’s a change from years past, where the toughest pre-Oklahoma opponent was, at best, Arkansas.

So while you’ll hear Mack Brown talk about not wanting his players’ parents to hear about their injuries on the internet before hearing about it from the players and coaches, just wink and nod. It’s never quite that simple.


Thursday, August 11


Fans beware of preseason hype

The USA Today Coaches preseason poll was released on Tuesday and Texas checked in at #2, behind only (surprise) USC. The Trojans received 1,547 points and 60 of the 62 first place votes. Texas trailed USC with 1,405 and received the other two first place votes.

Talk about respect. Looks like people feel like this is Texas’ best team in some time. Sure, we’re usually in the top five to ten, but number two? Hmm… what changed? After all, we lost one of the best running backs in the country and the best defensive player in the country?

Two things happened last January that changed the perception of the Longhorns. First, at the Rose Bowl, Texas (and by extension, Mack Brown) won a big game. A really big game. And second, a couple days later, Oklahoma got absolutely pounded by USC. They also lost their Heisman winning quarterback. Oh, and we didn’t. Vince Young had a pretty good Rose Bowl.

So, to recap: Texas wins a big game and has an exciting, improving quarterback. Oklahoma loses a big game and its big time quarterback. This, then, is the year that Texas beats OU, right? Apparently, the coaches who vote think so.

But as Lee Corso always says, “Not so fast, my friends.” What about Vegas? As I mentioned earlier in this blog, Vegas doesn’t even have Texas as favored to win the Big 12! OU checks in as the favorite to win the Big 12 at 7/5. Texas is an underdog, at 8/5. Who do you trust more? The coaches voting in the USA Today Poll, or the Vegas oddsmakers?

Forget all that for a moment, though. The real matchup problem in this game is not New OU Quarterback vs. Vince Young. It’s Mack Brown vs. Bob Stoops. The Mack Attack is 0-5 against Stoops in this century, lest we get too excited about our chances this year. And last I checked, Greg Davis is still calling the plays for the offense.

In case the coaching mismatch isn’t enough, let’s not forget that it wasn’t Jason White who bludgeoned the Longhorns last year—it was that freshman running back… Adrian Peterson. And he’s still wearing Oklahoma maroon. Texas, meanwhile, is still sorting through its running game options (besides Vince, of course).

It’s far too early to break this game down too much, and there’s so much that’s going to happen between now and then. I just caution you now, Longhorn fans: temper your expectations. Be reasonable. Watch closely. And for God’s sake, don’t look any further than Columbus, Ohio. On September 10th, we’ll get plenty of answers.



Texas loaded with 'A' grade talent

Someone must be taking PJ Tucker to class. I know it’s early but the doldrums of summer force me to look ahead, way ahead. Both PJ Tucker and Daniel Gibson are on the pre season Wooden Award list given annually to the best college basketball player. Yes, just about every college player you have ever heard of made the list, but Texas is one of only six schools to have multiple players. Even without high school standout, former Texas signee, and current Utah Jazz prospect, CJ Miles, Texas will easily be a top ten team with Tucker, Gibson, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Brad Buckman.--AW--


Maybe a name change is what we need...

Our annual spanking in Dallas has a new name, Red River Rivalry. Apparently, SBC wanted to change things up. Maybe the name will lead to a different outcome this October 8th at noon in front of a national TV audience. By the way, Texas leads the all time series 55-39-5, but the Sooners are quickly closing the gap.

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