Friday, September 30, 2005

Weekend Preview will not be seen this week due to technical difficulties.

Blogger ate my post and I forgot to back up.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rainy Day Blog Posts #12 and #35

More Rita Stories

Our sports blogger friends weren't the only ones affected by Hurricane Rita. Some of the players for Texas and Texas A&M had to deal with the tragedy as well.

Texas RB Jamaal Charles, a Port Arthur native, told the San Antonio Express-News that he was "heartbroken" when it happened, but also says that his family is safe.

Texas A&M CB Danny Gorrer, also of Port Arthur, said that his family is in Lufkin and OK, and DT Red Bryant, who is from Jasper, said that his family is OK also despite a tear in the roof of their house. (Dallas Morning News)

Where was this from the Rangers' in August?

The Texas Rangers are 15-10 in September, which is a nice September record to have until you consider that they were 18-29 from the All-Star Break to August 31.

Quips Rangers' blogger Austin Swafford, "Yeah, now they start winning. Go figure."

The Ticket of a Generation?

This weekend's Saints-Bills game in the Alamodome is seen as huge. Some say that a sell-out would go a long way towards landing the Saints in San Antonio long-term.

The Express-News's Buck Harvey wonders about the true significance of the game:
The NBA Finals seventh game just three months ago — that doesn't compare to watching someone named J.P. Losman play quarterback, does it?

The Saints' historic first regular-season game here is worth a watch, but San Antonians would react far better if they had their own team. They would react differently, too, if an offseason had been spent marketing the team.

Instead, the Saints were unsure where they would play until 17 days ago, and the Spurs know how demanding selling that ticket would be. They market a well-run and championship organization, and yet they have to work the full year to optimize sales.

And when the first round of the playoffs come? Then the Spurs scramble, even with Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili to sell, because there's so little time.

Given that, San Antonio has done well to break the 50,000-ticket barrier for Sunday's game. But is that enough, or will fans also need to throw wadded-up bills at the Saints as they leave the field?
San Antonio has a small TV market in terms of actual people, but it's a Sun Belt market that is growing, and San Antonio is home to major companies like SBC Communications and Clear Channel (they of the radio, billboard, and concert promotion buisness). San Antonio also has a high per capita income. Throw in the fact that the high-tech hub of Austin, another growing, high-income market, is only 2 hours away, plenty of time to drive to a game on Sunday, and you can see why Tom Benson might find this market attractive.

Still, I get Harvey's point. San Antonio should not have to prove that they deserve an NFL team based on the ticket sales for this game.

Of course, Jerry Jones could still find a way to thwart the whole thing, and render this all a moot point.

Tomorrow: Weekend Preview

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Torbush's head on chopping block; Bennett's should be.

Aggie Fans fault Torbush for near miss against Texas State

The Aggie defense, once one of the best in the nation, has fallen on hard times.

Against Clemson, they allowed 396 yards of total offense, and allowed Charlie Whitehurst to complete 73% of his passes. They also gave up 9.7 yards per pass attempt (that's counting incompletions) before Whitehurst left with an injury.

Against SMU, they allowed 3o9 yards passing, and SMU's only touchdown came on a long passing play.

Against Texas State, Bobcat QB Barrick Nealy threw for 378 yards (at 34 attempts, that's 11.1 yards per pass attempt) and 3 touchdowns.

As a result, the Aggies are statistically last in the Big 12 in defense. Defensive Coordinator Carl Torbush, naturally, has been taking the heat from Aggie fans and pundits.

To Torbush's credit, he's been a standup guy about the whole thing:
"It starts with me ... [The Aggies] have not gotten better-than-average play from any position. That's disappointing for me because I felt like we would be better at this point than we have been."
Unfortunately, he also got the dreaded "vote of confidence", so for all that honesty, he may still get fired.

Speaking of the "vote of confidence"

Carl Torbush is taking the heat for a 2-1 season, Phil Bennett, who's SMU Mustangs scored fewer points on A&M than Texas State did, is surprisingly not under any pressure despite a 7-25 career record.

And Tim Cowlishaw wonders why:
We are 17 seasons removed from the death penalty at SMU. Forrest Gregg and Tom Rossley combined to win seven of the team's first 39 games after the NCAA shut down the program. More than a decade later, Bennett has managed to do no better than that.

Harris Poll Voter gives vote to Idaho

The inagural Harris Interactive Poll for College Football has been released today. And while no one has any problem with the teams that came out with a final ranking, it's been fashionable to rip on one poll voters' choice of 0-4 Idaho. And since they don't know who said poll voter is, the press has been ripping on the whole poll.

Not that the media has any cause to be ripping on anyone for bad polling considering that they have made many a screw up doing their college football polls.

What Harris, who some readers may remember because they run one of the 2 high school polls in Texas, is learning is that there's a lot more scrutiny on a major college football poll than there is for a high school poll. High school fans are just happy to see their team ranked. College fans want their team to be ranked, and are willing to nitpick anything they see wrong with a poll if it makes their team look better.

Tomorrow: TBA

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Rita Stories

Some of our blogger friends had to deal with Rita.

These are their stories:

Ryan from Texas A&M And Baseball talks about evacuating his entire family

Lisa from The Dugout actually had to convince her husband to leave.

Journalism is for Rockstars was sent by his newspaper to cover the hurricane and blogged it all. (One has to ask though, was his newspaper trying to off him?)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Weekend Wrap-Up: "Writer's Block" edition


Big Story of the weekend: Another hurricane wrecks the schedule.

It's becoming abundantly clear that teams in the Gulf States need to start leaving open dates later in the schedule. If we're in a big hurricane cycle, and these things do go in cycles, it would be a prudent measure.

Rice and Houston both had games cancelled due to Hurricane Rita, and it forced Texas A&M to move up their game with Texas State (which should have been Florida State, but they chickened out).

UPDATE: AgRyan04 of Texas A&M and Baseball has informed me that the SMU game, not the Texas State game, was the replacement for the Florida State game. Still a chicken move by FSU.

This on top of Hurricane Katrina messing up the Week 1 schedule.

Big 12 games

Texas A&M 44, Texas State 31
We've already covered this game, but a couple things bear repeating. First, Texas State QB Barrick Nealy threw for 379 yards against this A&M secondary. Not good. Second, Texas A&M let Texas State hang around for too long.

More Commentary: Texas A&M and Baseball

Iowa State 28, Army 21
TexasTommy really thinks I should rate Iowa State higher, so I decided to check out their game with Army on Friday to see if they could actually lay the wood to a bad team, albeit one that is training for a more important job than playing football on Sundays. The Cyclones were awful for the majority of the game. Iowa State gained 229 yards and turned the ball over 3 times, all Bret Meyer picks. Yes, the Cyclones came back and won, which is commendable, but a Big XII team shouldn't let an independent not located in South Bend, Indiana hang around like that.

Miami 23, Colorado 3
Unfortunately for the Buffs, Kyle Wright picked this game to establish himself as a bonafide college quarterback. Also, Joel Klatt looked horrible. While I admire his courage for sticking around with the foot injury, his mechanics were clearly affected because he couldn't throw a deep ball or get the necessary zip he needed on short throws. There's playing hurt, and then there's hurting your team by playing hurt. Klatt's decision falls under the latter.

More Commentary: Canes Addiction

Texas Tech 63, Indiana State 7
Well, I hope Larry Bird's alma mater got their money's worth out of their trip to Lubbock. Congratulations go out to Red Raider RB Taurean Henderson, who broke the school records for career touchdowns and points.

Expanded Recap: Double T Ranch

Kansas State 54, North Texas 7
Darrell Dickey needs to consider playing either Patrick Cobbs or Jamario Thomas on defense, because it's pretty clear the Mean Green doesn't have any quality talent on that side of the football. Nice bounce-back for the Wildcats, who had a record-setting offensive day of their own with 658 yards of total offense.

Another Recap: Math Dojo
"The Math Ninja," as she calls herself, is a student at Kansas State University, I'm guessing studying something math-related, with a football jones. She lists 2 NFL teams and Tom Brady among her interests.

Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska all had the week off.

Our Adopted Team

For those who are catching this blog for the first time, Cheap Seats adopted the Tulane football team after Hurricane Katrina because I love their "we'll play anywhere" attitude.

Tulane 31, SMU 10
Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo said he play in a Popeye's Fried Chicken parking lot. SMU coach Phil Bennett should probably be looking for a job at a fast foot joint right now. With a 7-32 career record, it's becoming abundantly clear that he can't hack it as a coach.

Credit Tulane's Lester Ricard with this victory. His line: 22-34, 213 yards, and 2 TDs.

Recap: Frank McGrath (Tulane blogger)

Around the State

TCU 51, BYU 50 (2 OT)
Wow, is TCU lucky or what? Another team from Utah, another overtime game, another close call that goes in their favor. Eventually, they are going to have to start winning these games on skill, though.

UTEP 21, New Mexico 13
The defense and special teams come through for the Miners as Joe Flesoski returns a pick 68 yards for a touchdown and Nate Draughton blocks a punt for another.

Hurricane Rita wiped out Rice and Houston's home games.

Around the Nation
(Recaps from around the Blogosphere, A lot of blogs haven't posted recaps, so we'll keep this updated as more come in)

USC 45, Oregon 13
Boi from Troy
Lost in the Mind of myself

Virginia Tech 51, Georgia Tech 7
Sporting Fools

Florida 49, Kentucky 28
Every Day Should Be Saturday

Boston College 16, Clemson 13 (OT)
Eagle in Atlanta
Happy Valley Tiger Chunks

Wisconsin 23, Michigan 20
MGoBlog (not really a recap so much as it is a cry for help from a Michigan fan)

South Florida 45, Louisville 14
Before I Get Old
Bull Pen

Ohio St. 31, Iowa 6

Alabama 24, Arkansas 13
Journalism is for Rockstars

Georgia 23, Mississippi State 10
Georgia Sports Blog

Cheap Seats' Blogpoll Ballot

We're waiting for Tennessee-LSU tonight to fill it out completely, so here's a preliminary forecast of who on our ballot last week is moving up and who's moving out.



Southern CalHoldingSo far so good, Trojans pass toughest road test to date
2GeorgiaDown a littleNot looking as impressive in their last contest.
3TexasUpProbably should have been #2 a long time ago. This is a correction
4Virginia TechUpRanked teams generally don't blow out other ranked teams the way the Hokies blew up the Ramblin' Wreck
5LSU???vs. Tennessee tonight
6LouisvilleWay downTeams that have BCS aspirations don't get blown out by weaker conference foes.
7FloridaUpDespite their second half against Kentucky, Gators in great shape
8Florida StateHoldingBye week
9PurdueDropping fastSo much for the advantage of not having Ohio State or Michigan.
10Ohio StateUp Probably shouldn't have dropped so much after Texas game, but oh well.
11MichiganDownStill can right the ship vs. MSU, but it's not looking likely
12Tennessee???Need to beat LSU tonight to maintain their position.
13Arizona St.HoldingNice win over Oregon State
14Miami (FL)HoldingRight now, the only team that can knock off Va. Tech in the ACC Coastal Division.
15Texas TechHoldingFaces 1st real defense next week vs. Kansas
16Georgia TechDown a lot.Even with a somewhat recovered Reggie Ball, Virginia Tech slaughtered the Yellow Jackets.
17ClemsonDown Can't drop them too much for losing close, but everyone else with 2 losses right now is getting dropped also.
18Notre DameUpNow, the "angry Ty Willingham" storyline can finally be put to bed
19UCLA HoldingBye week
20AlabamaUp1st real test against Florida next week
21Boston CollegeUpHappy first ACC win, Eagles!
22Texas A&MHolding... but very precariously.
24IowaDropping outThe loss to Ohio State hurts Iowa (and Iowa State by extension)
25TCUHoldingEscaping Provo with a victory and their vote in my ballot

Under consideration
Fresno StateHoldingBye Week
ColoradoDownBeginning of the end for Gary Barnett?
UtahDownNarrowly avoided a loss at Air Force
Michigan StateUp to Top 25OK, they survived a trap game. They've probably earned their ranking now.
OklahomaHoldingbye week
Iowa StateUp?Positives: Best team in the Big XII North Negatives: That last game against Army was too close and their "marquee win" against Iowa ain't lookin' so good now.
VirginiaUpAll they do is win.
Boise StateUpClosing the gap with Fresno for WAC lead
OregonDownHad a chance to make noise and couldn't take advantage of it
CalHoldingBeating New Mexico State is not enough to move this team.


Sunday's Games

Dallas Cowboys 34, San Francisco 49ers 31
Last week, the Cowboys couldn't by a key play late in a close ball game. This week, they made the key play to win the game. But the defense had it's first poor performance, allowing 31 points, their highest amount so far, to a 49er team that looked anemic against Philly.

More commentary:
Dallas Cowboys Blog on AOL
The Cowboy Roundup

Minnesota Vikings 33, New Orleans Saints 16
Well, the vagabonds are now 1-2. Fantasy owners of Daunte Culpepper were happy, as he passed for 300 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. (Fantasy owners like me who faced a team with Culpepper, not so much).

The Saints play their first "home" game next week at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Monday Night Football vs. CSI:Miami

This Week's Monday Night Football (Broncos vs. Chiefs)
Let's see, Kansas City, believe it or not, is 2-0 and actually plays defense. The Broncos lost badly in Week 1 to the Dolphins, but bounced back last week against San Diego. Should be a good game.
I should disclose that a couple of my buddies, a Chiefs fan and a Broncos fan, have invited me to go down to a sports bar here in Austin, and that's going to affect my decision. (Guess they need an arbiter to settle bets).

This Week's CSI:Miami ("Blood in the Water")
Yahoo! TV Listings:

A rich couple's daughter dies when the family is trapped on a burning yacht in shark-infested waters.
It's another new episode, and I've already missed the season premiere. Don't want to miss two new episodes in a row. Decisions, decisions...

The Verdict
In another close call, the fact that I'm going to a sports bar with friends trumps CSI:Miami. Socializing is good for you.
Monday Night Football

Tuesday: After-Action Report

Friday, September 23, 2005

Weekend Preview - 9/23/2005

Apologies for not posting yesterday. Bunch of stuff to do to get ready to host stuff this weekend. (Thankfully Rita's just going to rain on us here in Austin. Plus, it's indoor stuff.)

For the second time this season, we've had a major storm wreck the weekend football schedule. Fortunately, some of the schools planned ahead this time, and were able to reschedule some of the games.

Several Big XII Programs are off this week as conference play starts next week, but there are a couple interesting storylines among the remaining games. Colorado takes a roadie to Miami, Texas Tech wants triple digits against Indiana State, and Iowa State gets to play Army


Games Postponed due to Hurricane Rita
Southern Miss at Houston
Navy at Rice

Starting their weekend off early

Texas A&M 44, Texas State 31
This was a bizarre game to watch. If you tuned into FSN last night, The play-by-play was basically the radio broadcast from A&M, meaning many fans were treated to A&M broadcaster Dave South for the first time, an experience not recommended for the faint of heart, weak of stomach, those who are nursing or pregnant, or fans of teams other than A&M. Dude is a serious homer.

The other oddity about the game is how empty the stands were. I know they had a sell out, technically, but the announced attendance had to be based on ticket sales. Part of that's because out-of-town fans were told to stay home. Part of that is because a lot of people drive in from Houston to see the game and they were stuck trying to get out of town. Whatever the case, it wasn't the same Kyle Field atmosphere we're used to seeing.

The only oddity about the actual game play was the fact that A&M let Texas State hang around so long.

Texas State QB Barrick Nealy threw 379 yards, which should scare A&M fans, or at least the level-headed ones not going to the "two days of preparation" card. It's one thing to allow Clemson to go pass-happy, they are at least a I-A team with a pretty good QB in Charlie Whitehurst. This is a I-AA team.

The Aggie offense, however, showed up as expected and saved A&M's bacon. Texas A&M had a 300 yard passer (Reggie McNeal), a 200-yard reciever (Jason Carter), and a 100 yard rusher (Courtney Lewis) in the same game for the first time in their history. (That's right, it took them 129 years to have this kind of offensive success in a single game.)

Big 12/Texas Game of the Week
Colorado vs. Miami
11:00 AM ABC (KVUE 24)
Regional Coverage: Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, Midland, El Paso, Tyler, Lufkin, Corpus Christi, Rio Grande Valley, Albuquerque, Topeka, Wichita, Western Kansas, plus all markets in Colorado and Oklahoma.*
Stations Recieving Iowa-Ohio State instead: Kansas City, Texarkana, Shreveport, Ft. Smith, Sioux Falls, plus all markets in Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa.

Key Matchup
Joel Klopfenstein vs. Miami linebackers
Can the Miami linebackers stop one of the nation's best tight ends on passing downs? We'll see.

Key Player for Colorado
Hugh Charles
With back to back 100 yard games, Charles is establishing himself as an offensive threat.

Key Player for Miami
Kyle Wright
Wright has been chastized for his play at Florida State, but seemed to redeem himself leading Miami to an overtime victory over Clemson. Which Kyle Wright will show up this week?

Tale of the Tape

Colorado offense vs. Miami defenseMiamiThis is about the weakest group of recievers Miami has faced all year. Miami can key on the run game.
Miami offense vs. Colorado defenseColoradoI don't trust Kyle Wright to run this offense, yet.
Special TeamsColoradoColorado: Mason Crosby; Miami: botched field goal.
CoachingMiamiEven though we suspect Gary Barnett may somehow be immortal because he manages to keep his job despite mediocre results, Larry Coker is the better game coach.
IntangiblesMiamiBoth teams have proven they can win close games, but Miami has done it against better competition

Big XII Games

Iowa State at Army
Friday 7:00 PM ESPN2
The Cyclones have had a week to cool down from their big victory over Iowa, so expect them to be focused for this game at Army

North Texas at Kansas State
Saturday 2:10 PM
Former Kansas State quarterback Darrell Dickey leads the team he now head coaches, North Texas, into battle with his alma mater. Both teams come off bad losses. K-State did not look impressive in their last outing at Marshall. North Texas was dismantled by Tulsa.

Indiana State at Texas Tech
Saturday 7:00 PM Free Webcast (on
A number of people are predicting Texas Tech will hit 100. It will be a huge blowout, and I'd love to see it happen as a Red Raider alumnus, but I have my doubts about Tech hitting the century mark.

Bye Week
Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri

Our Adopted Team

Tulane at SMU
Saturday 1:00 PM
After a heartbreaking loss to Mississippi State, Tulane takes on SMU, a team which has lost to Baylor, upset TCU, and gotten run out of Kyle Field. Which SMU team that shows up this week is anyone's guess. Hopefully for Tulane, it will be the squad that showed up in SMU jerseys last week.

Other Texas Teams

New Mexico at UTEP
Saturday 8:05 PM CSTV
This is probably the most dangerous game on UTEP schedule to date. New Mexico already has a win over Big 12 team Missouri, and UTEP is coming off a close overtime win over Houston.

Saturday 2:00 PM PPV
After their Thursday win over Utah, TCU takes its first high-altitude road trip to Provo, Utah.

National Games of Note
Cal at New Mexico State (Friday) - 9:00 PM ESPN. - The first game ever broadcast in Navajo language. (Currently looking for an internet link to the actual broadcast)
Iowa at Ohio State - 11:00 AM ABC (see above for regional coverage) - Loser can kiss their Big 10 title hopes goodbye
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech - 3:30 PM ABC/PPV - Those lucky Hokies don't have to face Reggie Ball, thanks to Ball's viral meningitis.
Notre Dame at Washington - 3:30 PM ABC/PPV - Ty Willingham doesn't want to get revenge on Notre Dame, but there's a lot of people pulling for him anyway.
USC at Oregon - 7:00 ABC - The first of 3 dangerous Pac-10 games for Oregon.
Tennessee at LSU - (Monday) 6:30 PM ESPN - Finally, LSU opens it's home schedule. Tennessee, coming off a bad loss to Florida, is walking into a hornets' nest.


We're running short on time, so I'm just going to go to the "Tale of the Tape"

Bye Week: Houston
That's not a cancelled game. Fortunately for the Texans, their bye week is this week. However, the Texans are reportedly making preparations for a three-week roadie.
Lost in all the hurricane news: Phillip Buchanon, the Texans' big offseason signing at CB, was demoted.

New Orleans at Minnesota
Sunday 12:00 PM FOX (KTBC 7)
Tale of the Tape

Saints offense vs. Vikings defenseMinnesotaMinnesota's defense has improved, and is probably the only working part of this game right now.
Vikings offense vs. Saints defenseNew OrleansPurple jerseys, Daunte! Throw to the Purple jerseys!
Special TeamsNew OrleansAgain: John Carney... Good night everyone!
CoachingNew OrleansI wouldn't trust Captain Tice with a dinghy, let alone this Viking ship, in a storm.
IntangiblesNew OrleansThe hurricane vagabonds are ticked off. I wouldn't want to line up against them after the NFL did them wrong.

By the way, my mother sent me the following joke via e-mail:

I read that the Vikings are going to tear up the artificial surface in the Metrodome and replace it with cardboard.

Apparently, the Vikings always look better on paper

Dallas at San Francisco
Sunday 12:00 PM FOX (KTBC 7)
Tale of the Tape

Cowboys offense vs. 49ers defenseDallasIt doesn't look like the 49ers have the tools to stop Julius Jones or get pressure on Drew Bledsoe.
49ers offense vs. Cowboys defenseDallasTim Rattay, meet DeMarcus Ware.
Special TeamsDallas Neither team has great special teams, but Mat McBriar gives Dallas the edge since he can create field position for Dallas with his leg
CoachingDallasGotta take Parcells over the rookie coach
IntangiblesSan Francisco Neither team is real sure of themselves going into this week, but I think Dallas has the most recovering to do after that heartbreaker against Washington.

* - This game will also be shown in the Houston, Beaumont, Tyler, and Lufkin markets, but if you're planning on watching TV on Saturday in one of those markets, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? GET OUT!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

BlogPoll Week 4

Week 4's Blogpoll

My Ballot:

Games I watched:

  • TCU-Utah,
  • UTEP-Houston,
  • Texas A&M-SMU (while doing laundry),
  • UCLA-Oklahoma,
  • parts of Tennessee-Florida and Texas-Rice (while socializing at a friend's birthday party).

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Cowboys beaten on two plays in fourth quarter

(L.M. Otero/AP) Santana Moss pulls in a touchdown in front of Aaron Glenn (L.M. Otero/AP)

Two plays. That's all it took.

Two long bombs to Santana Moss, the only two times the Cowboys failed to execute their coverages, and it's enough to beat the 'Boys. Why wasn't Terrence Newman covering Santana Moss on those touchdown plays?

I have also never seen so many third down passes end up so short of the marker as I did last night from the Cowboys. If you need 7 yards, you need to run a 7-yard route.

Jose Cortez should have hit that 41 yarder in the first quarter. That was an inexcusable miss, especially considering he hit one from the same distance later in the game.

Everything else they did right. No picks, no fumbles lost, no sacks of Drew Bledsoe, blitzed Mark Brunell into the ground.

It's just those two stinking pass plays.

Game Summary:
Dallas Morning News
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
Washington Post
More Commentary:
Michael Wilbon
The Cowboy Roundup
Hog Heaven
Sports Bloggers Live's Jamie Mottram
Dallas Cowboys Blog on AOL

Last anyone checked, Urban's players weren't getting car-bombed

Surely Urban Meyer remembers the media firestorm that erupted when Kellen Winslow II declared himself "a soldier" simply because he played football. Even if he was in Utah at the time, Utah has cable TV, all-sports radio, and the internet.

So he's gotta know from Mr. Winslow's experience that referring to football players as "soldiers" is disrespectful, right?

Apparently not.

From Meyer's press conference:
We take care of our soldiers around here . . . When one soldier drops a rifle, the next one's got to pick it up and go a little harder.
Naturally, the media has let him have it.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel puts it better than I ever could:
A blitzing linebacker doesn't compare to an inescapable suicide bomber. Staring at a 3rd-and-7 pales in comparison to staring at an AK-47. And if Florida quarterback Chris Leak makes a bad decision, the consequence is a loss of down or yardage; not a loss of life or limb.
Urban's blaming this on not being used to big time media pressure. Sorry not buying it. It doesn't matter whether you are coaching Lampasas High School or the University of Florida, the comment is still inappropriate.

Now, the mainstream media calling Urban Meyer out for being disrespectful of the troops is the pot calling the kettle black given all the articles they've spewed out post-liberation, but that's a separate issue.

(Story Courtesy We Are The Boys)

Wednesday: TBA

Monday, September 19, 2005

Weekend Wrap-Up: "16 de Septiembre" edition

With the Texas-Oklahoma game drawing near, a young fan at the UT-Rice game mocks how the Sooners' season is going so far. (Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman)With the Texas-Oklahoma game drawing near, a young fan at the UT-Rice game mocks how the Sooners' season is going so far. (Deborah Cannon/Austin American-Statesman)

Happy Mexican Independence Day Weekend to all.

In the spirit of the weekend, the revolt is on in college football. UCLA played Augustín Iturbide to Oklahoma's Imperial Spain. Florida, vanguard of college football's "offensive revolution", beat a Tennessee team that was a preseason #3 in most polls. Michigan State came in to Notre Dame Stadium and beat the previously undefeated Fighting Irish. Florida State and Miami both needed late rallies to hold off the Father Hidalgos of the ACC: BC and Clemson. TCU bounced back from a horrible defeat at the hands of SMU to snap Utah's 19-game win streak.

As for the NFL, it resembles Mexican history in between it's independence and the beginning of Porfirio Diaz's presidency: No one's sure who's in charge, and it could change at any moment.

The Eagles, who lost in Week 1, beat a 49ers team that beat it's Week 1 opponent. The Lions, who looked like world beaters against Green Bay, came crashing down to earth against the Bears, who looked horrible in a loss to Washington in week 1. The Patriots looked on track in Week 1 against the Raiders, then they lost to Carolina, who lost their Week 1 game to the inspired New Orleans Saints. The Jets looked bad in week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, then bounced back agains the Miami Dolphins, who slaughtered the Broncos in their opener.

Seems like the entire league is 1-1 right now. I give up.


Big Story of the Weekend: UCLA puts the nail in the coffin of OU's BCS aspirations

Ironically, OU's BCS Bowl aspirations died on the very field that the BCS championship will be decided on in January.

If Oklahoma can take any solace out of this, it's that Rhett Bomar showed some flashes of ability and solidified his hold on the QB job. Also, Travis Wilson established himself as an offensive playmaker.

Still, this defense still has issues in the secondary and Maurice Drew still got 4.6 yards per carry despite the fact that OU was keyed to stopping him.

More Commentary:
Gaylord Memorial Gathering
My Opinion on Sports
Bruins Nation: Article 1 /Article 2

The Rest of the Big XII

Texas 51, Rice 10 - No letdown here in Texas's final tuneup for the OU game. Jamaal Charles has established himself in the Texas backfield after his second 100-yard game this season.

More commentary: All Things Longhorn

Texas Tech 80, Sam Houston State 21 - Nope, not a misprint. Nor is this: Cody Hodges had 436 yards and 5 touchdowns. 14 of Sam Houston State's 21 points came against the reserve defenders, and the only Sam Houston State score against the first-stringers came after a special teams mistake.

Nebraska 7, Pittsburgh 6 - For those of you who were subjected to this game on your local ABC affiliate, I'm sorry you had to see this game. This was a horrible game. It was supposed to be a statement game for both teams, but the only statement that was made appears to be, "Nebraska and Pittsburgh both stink."

More commentary:
Pitt Sports Blather

Texas A&M 66, SMU 8 - SMU basically tried to run Clemson's game plan. Unfortunately, they don't have Clemson's personnel and it showed. Reggie McNeal set an A&M school record with 449 total yards and was A&M's leading passer and rusher. And apparently Dennis Franchione has stolen Urban Meyer's spread option play because that's what they seemed to run every other down.

More Commentary: Texas A&M and Baseball

Kansas 34, Louisiana Tech 14 - The Kansas defense everyone anticipated in preseason finally showed up as the Jayhawks registered 7 sacks and 4 picks.

Missouri 52, Troy 21 - Missouri avenged it's biggest loss of last year, but still gave up 260 yards passing

Oklahoma State 20, Arkansas State 10 - A repeat of all Oklahoma State games to date: defense performs well, offense has issues. Still, the Cowboys are unbeaten so far, something their Bedlam Series rivals can't claim.

More Commentary: Cowboy Brand (a new OSU blog)

Baylor 20, Army 10 - To everyone's surprise, Baylor is 3-0, which puts them 3 wins away from bowl eligibility.

Colorado has the week off to prep for their game against Miami.

Kansas State and Iowa State also had the week off.

Our adopted team

Mississippi State 21, Tulane 14 - In a battle of two programs that have been deeply affected by Hurricane Katrina, Cheap Seats' adopted team Tulane came up just short. The Green Wave came back to tie M-State in the fourth quarter, but they muffed a punt, which was recovered by the Bulldogs' Lance Long. The Bulldogs scored a TD on the following drive and Tulane could not muster another score.

More Commentary:
Frank McGrath (Tulane blogger)
Mississippi State Sports Blog

Around the State

TCU 23, Utah 20 (OT) - The way is open for TCU to take the Mountain West Conference, if they stick to the same offensive game plan. Utah couldn't handle TCU's running game, and not many defenses in the Mountain West will be able to either.

UTEP 44, Houston 41 (2 OT) - Jordan Palmer, Tyler Ebell, and Johnnie Lee Higgins all put up gaudy stats, but this game was rife with turnovers and penalties.

Tulsa 52, North Texas 2 - The era of North Texas's Sun Belt dominance may be over. The rest of the Sun Belt has to be licking it's chops. The Mean Green's defense was exposed.

Around the Country

The best blog recaps of the Weekend's action

Florida 16, Tennessee 7
Every Day Should Be Saturday
Florida State 28, BC 17
Sporting Fools
Eagle in Atlanta (Article 1/Article 2)
Miami 36, Clemson, 30 (3 OT)
Canes Addiction
Clemson Sporting News
Happy Valley Tiger Chunks
Michigan State 44, Notre Dame 41
Blue-Gray Sky (Article 1/Article 2)
Georgia 44, Louisiana-Monroe 7
Georgia Sports Blog

Blogpoll Ballot

1. USC
2. Georgia
3. Texas
4. Virginia Tech
5. Louisiana State
6. Louisville
7. Florida
8. Florida State
9. Purdue
10. Ohio State
11. Michigan
12. Tennessee
13. Arizona State
14. Miami (Florida)
15. Texas Tech
16. Georgia Tech
17. Clemson
18. Notre Dame
19. UCLA
20. Alabama
21. Boston College
22. Texas A&M
23. UTEP
24. Iowa
25. TCU

First 5 Out:

Fresno State
Michigan State


Pittsburgh 27, Houston 7
It was an offensive performance so pitiful that the Texans canned offensive coordinator Chris Palmer. Ironically, he is being replaced by offensive line coach Joe Pendry, who seems to be the least qualified candidate after his offensive line allowed 8 sacks.

Monday Night Football vs. CSI:Miami

This week's Monday Night Football(Cowboys-Redskins and Saints-Giants):
A rare Monday Night Football doubleheader, with the nightcap being one of the few true rivalries left in the NFL: Cowboys vs. Redskins. Plus, we get to see the team everyone is pulling for.

This week's CSI:Miami(Season Premiere "From the Grave"):
Yahoo TV Listings
Horatio finds himself with a price on his head when he makes plans to shut down the illegal smuggling operation of one of Miami's fiercest gangs
And according to the advertising, we get to find out more about Horatio Caine's past. Rhis makes it a tough call.

The Verdict
It's the first new CSI:Miami, but I gotta watch my Cowboys whoop up on the Redskins. Anyone out there got a DVR?
Monday Night Football

Tomorrow: Are You Ready For Some Football?

Friday, September 16, 2005

Weekend Preview: 9/16/2005

Something to think about: How good is the Big 12 really?

We know Texas can go to Ohio State and beat them. We know that Iowa State surprised Iowa. We know any Big 12 team can beat a Sun Belt team. But other than that, the results have been disappointing.

- OU lost to TCU, a team that has beaten 2 BCS teams from last year (more on their second victory below, keep reading), and let Tulsa hang around.

- Missouri lost to New Mexico at home

- Colorado needed a last second field goal to beat Colorado State after the Rams basically outplayed the Buffs the majority of the game.

- You could probably figure this out based on the above info, but it bears repeating: The Big 12 is 1-2 versus the Mountain West.

- Texas A&M lost to Clemson. Granted it was a road game, and A&M did rally, but A&M could not stop Clemson's passing game.

- Kansas State only beat Marshall because the opposing coach gambled on a pass play to get more yards when he should have kicked the game winning field goal. The Wildcats did not look good that game.

- Oklahoma State needed a 4th quarter touchdown pass to beat 1-AA Montana State, and the defense bailed the offense out in the win over FAU.

- Prior to their upset of Iowa, Iowa State allowed 3 touchdowns to 1-AA Illinois State.

- In Texas Tech's big victory over FIU, the first team defense allowed a bunch of long drives.

- Kansas has not really looked good in either of it's blowouts.

- Nebraska was not impressive against Maine (though they looked better against Wake Forest).

- Baylor barely beat SMU, who will be one of the worst teams in Conference USA when it's all said and done.

The Big 12 may be better than the Big 10, but given the Big 10's recent results against BCS teams outside of conference, that may not be saying much.


Getting their weekend off early

TCU 23, Utah 20 (OT)
The BCS conferences can breathe a sigh of relief. They won't have to worry about splitting the pie with an undefeated mid-major again. (Granted, UTEP could still go undefeated, but they aren't playing anyone of note, which pretty much excludes them from any BCS buster talk.)

It's probably safe to say that the Mountain West has been decided. TCU went to the ground to beat last year's BCS buster and the other top team in the MWC, a strategy which will prove effective against every other 3-3-5 Stack defense in that conference.

It's also probably safe to say that last week's Horned Frogs loss to SMU was a fluke.

By the way, the officials did miss a pick on the winning play, but Utah could have helped themselves by scoring a touchdown instead of a field goal on the opening drive. Had they gotten 7 instead of 3, the pick play would have tied it instead of won it and the Utes would've had another chance.

Utah also could have avoided overtime completely by containing TCU freshman running back Aaron Brown, who went off for 163 yards. 163 yards to a freshman not named Adrian Peterson? Pitiful.

Big XII/Texas Game of the Week
#23 Oklahoma at UCLA

Saturday 2:30 PM ABC (KVUE 24)
Regional Coverage: Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Lubbock, Amarillo, Midland, El Paso, Victoria, Corpus Christi, Rio Grande Valley, Tyler, Lufkin, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Lawton, Ada, Wichita, Western Kansas, Shreveport, Albuquerque, Jonesboro (AR).
OU needs this one in order to re-establish itself as a contender going into their Big 12 schedule. The question may be whether or not they can get it. UCLA is better than a lot of people expected, they have solid performers on both sides of the football, a dark horse Heisman candidate in Maurice Drew. Plus, they can be surprisingly tough at home for teams that have to adjust to the Pacific Time Zone.

Key Matchup
Maurice Drew vs. Oklahoma's defense
Maurice has put up some good numbers, but against bad competition. Oklahoma allowed only 1.7 yards/carry against TCU and 2.5 yards/carry against Tulsa.

Key Player for Oklahoma
Rhett Bomar
At some point, OU will be in a passing situation. Rhett Bomar needs to show he can be the man.

Key Player for UCLA
Drew Olson
Here's OU's passing defense stats through their first 2 games:
OpponentComp %Comp.-Att.YardsYards/Catch

And here's Drew Olson's stats through 2 games:
OpponentComp %Comp.-Att.YardsYards/Catch
SD State66.7%10-1515215.2
Yo! Think someone's going to have a good day throwing the football?

Tale of the Tape
Oklahoma offense vs. UCLA defenseUCLASimply put, OU has no passing game, which simplifies things for UCLA's defense
UCLA offense vs. Oklahoma defenseUCLARunning defense, good, Passing defense, not so much.
Special TeamsUCLAKickers seem to be even. I give UCLA the edge in the return game.
CoachingOklahomaBob Stoops is a better game coach than Karl Dorrell, but he may have his toughest coaching job yet.
IntangiblesUCLAOklahoma doesn't have the swagger and they are waiting for someone else to make the big play instead of trying to make it. UCLA, on the other hand, comes in with a bit of confidence.

Big XII Games

SMU at #25 Texas A&M
11:30 AM FSN Southwest/Midwest/Rocky Mtn.
A&M, after a bye gets a chance to reintroduce itself to the nation after the debacle at Clemson. SMU isn't as good as their win over TCU would suggest.

Baylor at Army
2:00 PM ESPN Classic
Baylor would like to have a win going into their Big XII schedule, but Army will play them tough. Don't think it will be a "classic", but it will be a tight ball game.

Pittsburgh at Nebraska
2:30 PM ABC
Regional Coverage: Omaha, Lincoln, Albion, Western Nebraska, Sioux Falls (SD), Sioux City(IA), Des Moines, Topeka, Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia, Joplin, Springfield. (Cedar Rapids and some portions of Missouri that border Illinois will get Ohio State-San Diego State)
Speaking of teams needing a non-conference win to prove themselves, Pittsburgh needs this one after bad losses at Ohio (not State) and against Notre Dame. Nebraska's played two soft opponents, and is looking to down a 3rd cupcake before their conference opener.

Rice at Texas
6:00 PM FSN Southwest/Midwest/Rocky Mtn.
Can the Longhorns put the big win in Columbus out of their minds. It helps that they are playing Rice this week, but the Longhorns need to play assignment football.

Troy at Missouri
1:00 PM
Missouri suffered a bad loss last year at the hands of the Trojans, now they get to avenge the defeat this year at home. The real difference: Brad Smith now has the green light to run at will. (He has 299 yards already)

Sam Houston State at #20 Texas Tech
6:00 PM
Jarrett Hicks returns for Texas Tech as they host last year's Division I-A runner-up and former Tech QB Phillip Daugherty.

Louisiana Tech at Kansas
6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech comes off a blowout against Florida and now must play Kansas. Kansas needs a big blowout here to put everyone in the Big XII North on notice.

Bye week
Kansas State
#24 Iowa State

Our Adopted Team

As we said last week, Cheap Seats is adopting the Tulane Green Wave because we love their attitude in the face of being displaced by the Hurricane

Mississippi State vs. Tulane
at Ruston, LA
Saturday 7:00 PM CSTV

I know Mississippi State's an SEC team, but they're a bad SEC team, and Tulane is a very dangerous team that will play anyone anywhere.

Other Texas Teams

Houston at UTEP
Tonight, 7:00 PM ESPN2
UTEP has a chance to get an early jump on the Conference USA West race by beating Houston.

Tulsa vs. North Texas
Saturday, 7:00 PM
After getting blistered by Adrian Peterson, Tulsa now faces the 1-2 rushing attack of Patrick Cobbs and Jamario Thomas.

National Games of Note

#4 Tennessee at #6 Florida 7:00 PM CBS (KEYE 42)
Michigan State at #9 Notre Dame 1:30 PM NBC (KXAN 36)
Oregon State at #11 Louisville 11:00 AM ESPN
#10 Florida State at #16 Boston College 6:45 ESPN
#14 Miami (FL) at #21 Clemson 2:30 PM PPV
Fresno State at Oregon 6:00 PM TBS


Pittsburgh at Houston
Sunday 12:00 PM CBS (KEYE 42)
Well, the expansion label is off this year, so we can officially say that the Texans stink. And it only gets worse for them as the Pittsburgh Steelers come to Reliant Stadium.

Key Matchup
Texans' D-line/ILBs vs. Willie Parker
One thing for the Texans to give up a ton of yards to Willis McGahee, but not being able to stop a one-week fantasy wonder would be a bad sign going forward.

Key Player for Pittsburgh
Tommy Maddox
With Ben Roethlisbeger possibly not starting, it's up to Maddox to manage the game and complete passes when necessary.

Key Players for Houston
Texans Offensive Line
This offensive line simply has to be better than Week One.

Tale of the Tape
Texans offense vs. Steelers defensePittsburghTexans could possibly be the worst offensive team in NFL history.
Steelers offense vs. Texans defensePittsburghNo matter who starts at quarterback for the Steelers, The Texans' defense can't stop a three-toed sloth.
Special TeamsPittsburghTexans have an unreliable kicking game and return game.

If anyone knows Dom Capers' tendencies, it's Bill Cowher. Capers was once Cowher's defensive coordinator.

IntangiblesPittsburghThe pressure is squarely on Houston to produce. The expansion label is gone and the natives are restless.

New Orleans at New York Giants (Let's not kid ourselves)
Monday 6:30 PM ABC (KVUE 24)
San Antonio's new temporary home team plays it's first home game, but they are not playing it close to home. Oops on the NFL's part. Still, it's not like the New York Giants are good or anything.

Key Matchup
Eli Manning vs. Saints Secondary
The Saints held Jake Delhomme to 209 yards passing and forced a couple picks. Eli Manning threw a couple picks against a bad Arizona defense, though in a win, and now faces a secondary a heck of a lot better.

Key Player for New Orleans/San Antonio
Deuce McAllister
Fantasy owners have known what it's taken the pundits a while to figure out (and some still don't get it) McAllister is one of the top 5 backs in the league. New Orleans's offense revolves around him.

Key Players for the New York Giants
Will Peterson and Will Allen
These guys will be in single coverage much of the time as the Giants' safeties will have to provide run support. In the NFL, single coverage favors the offense.

Tale of the Tape
Saints offense vs. Giants defenseNew OrleansCan't stop the Deuce. Won't be able to stop the play action.
Giants offense vs. Saints defenseNew OrleansLet's see 42 points against a real team before we decide Eli Manning is for real.
Special TeamsNew OrleansJohn Carney... Good night everyone!
CoachingNew YorkTom Coughlin can get the most out of a bad team. You never know what to expect from Jim Haslett
IntangiblesNew OrleansThey have nothing to lose, and they are going to play like it.

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys
Monday 7:00 PM ABC (KVUE 24)
One of the NFL's few true rivalries lines up for another edition this Monday Night, but don't expect it to be close. Washington is a mess despite their 9-7 opening day victory over the Bears

Key Matchup
Mark Brunell vs. Dallas's pass rush
Brunell doesn't have the mobility that he used to and the Cowboys can really put some heat on the quarterback.

Key Player for Washington
Clinton Portis
A solid rushing game will take some of the heat off Brunell and give the Redskins more makeable 3rd downs.

Key Player for Dallas
Rob Pettiti
Can the unheraled rookie right tackle hold up against a very good Washington defense?

Tale of the Tape
Dallas offense vs. Washington DefenseDallasWhile the defense is the only functioning part of this Redskins team, Dallas got some good yardage against a good San Diego defense.
Washington offense vs. Dallas defenseDallasIf LaDanian Tomlinson, the best back in the league, only got 72 yards, what makes Washington think Portis is going to get more? Did we mention the quarterback situation is a mess?
Special TeamsDallasJose Cortez was reliable on extra points at least and Mat McBriar is capable of completely flipping the field.
CoachingDallasWhile Bill Parcells seems to have adapted to the modern NFL, Joe Gibbs still seems stuck in the past
IntangiblesDallasDallas is coming off a big victory and Washington already has a quarterback controversy

Monday: Weekend Wrap-up

Thursday, September 15, 2005

A thin line between fandom and insanity

It's ok to support your team and cheer and boo and all that stuff. That's what fans do. You can care about your team.

What Ohio State fans are doing to TE Ryan Hamby, however, is over the line.

Hamby dropped a TD pass in the 3rd quarter (note that) that could have given the Buckeyes a 10 point lead. Instead, the Buckeyes settled for a field goal and Texas came back to win the game.

Now Buckeye fans are sending hate mail to Hamby. Over a 3rd quarter dropped pass. What a bunch of lunatics.

Even Jackie Smith wasn't treated this badly by Dallas Cowboys fans and he dropped a game winning touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

TMQ on "The Throwdown"

Gotta love Greg Easterbrook's parody of the Eagles-Falcons throwdown:

And in other football news, as I was getting limber to write this column -- jumping up and down, chanting to myself "a gerund is a noun derived from a verb, a gerund is a noun derived from a verb, yes!" -- Peter King of Sports Illustrated comes out of nowhere and jams in my face. "Your historical references lack footnotes!" this guy screams. I get right back in his face and shout, "Your metaphors exhibit reductionist solipsism!" Before you know it we're messin' with each other, and in comes Supreme Court nominee John Roberts to throw the flag. Now King and I are banned from writing for the New York Times op-ed page for a week. Is that fair? We were just jive-talking in warmups!
And if you miss any more class, Bob Stoops will shake his finger at you.

Adrian Peterson was suspended for 2 days of practice for missing class.

That's right, A.I., "Not a game, we talking about practice!" And we're talking the two easiest days of practice also: Monday and Tuesday.

Bob Stoops says he has not decided Peterson's status for the game, but let's not kid ourselves. Oklahoma desperately needs this UCLA game after the Sooners lost to TCU and looked bad against Tulsa. And they desperately need Peterson to be Peterson. So he's going to play.

Bohls: Vince Young has better chance at Heisman.

Longhorn mouthpiece Kirk Bohls continues to push Vince Young's Heisman candidacy, but admits there is one stumbling block:

Of course, it would help if Southern California's Matt Leinart up and quit football in favor of the pro ballroom dancing circuit. We understand it's a much less physical league.

If the Trojans' senior quarterback sticks it out, the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner may well have the first matched set since Archie Griffin's pair.
Parcells: Curb Your Enthusiasm

Despite the fact that the Cowboys went on the road and beat a possibly playoff-bound San Diego Chargers team, Bill Parcells thinks his team stinks.

And he needs to get over it.

I know they started out horrible, but they eventually got things together. They battled the whole game. They got turnovers. They slowed down San Diego's pass rush enough to give Drew Bledsoe the time to throw.

Bottom line: They corrected themselves. Parcells doesn't need to labor the point further.

Astros lose ground on Wild Card

On the surface, it appears that Bruce Dreckman's phantom call cost the Astros a chance to make up ground in the wild card race.

With the game tied 2-2 in the 7th, Dreckman called a 3-2 pitch to Florida's Juan Pierre a ball because Astros pitcher Wandy Rodriguez allegedly licked his fingers before throwing the pitch. Rodriguez was replaced, and Paul Lo Duca homered on the next at bat.

However, the Astros could have made this a non issue by doing 2 things:

1) Leaving Rodriguez in there and not bringing in Chad Qualls. The Astros middle relief is horrible and Rodriguez should have had an opportunity to work himself out of that situation.

2) Hitting with runners in scoring position. They left 10 runners on base.

Eddie Sutton Sings!

Oklahoma State Cowboys basketball coach Eddie Sutton sung "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" yesterday during the Chicago Cubs game versus Cincinnatti yesterday

Video of the alleged singing incident can be seen here (Daily Oklahoman), although compared to Ozzy Osbourne and Jeff Gordon, he can at least carry a tune.

Plus, he's still not the worst singing basketball coach in the Big 12. Check out Quin Snyder's rendition of "Eye of the Tiger". (Courtesy Phog Blog)

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Trotter has to "be a man"; Eagles pay the price

Falcons players celebrate a recovered fumble that Donovan McNabb dropped. (Rich Addicks/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New strategy for teams facing the Eagles: Pick a fight with Jeremiah Trotter.

Seriously though, how bad did the Eagles defense look after Trotter got ejected? 200 yards rushing? You'd think Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson was in Atlanta's backfield.

I know a lot of people are rushing to Trotter's defense and saying that he's just trying to "be a man." and defend his side of the field. I'm not buying the explanation. "Being the man" doesn't give you license to be stupid. And letting someone get in your kitchen that much that you have to push back immediately, rather than wait until kickoff where you could have kicked his tail legally, is stupid.

He could have walked away from that and channeled it into a better performance on the field. Instead, he got ejected and cost his team the game.*

Worse, other players are going to try and start stuff with Trotter because a) they know they can and b) they know it's to their advantage to get Trotter ejected.

BTW, Kevin Mathis is an idiot too for instigating the thing. His idiocy is more obvious, and I shouldn't have to repeat what others can say better.

Hopefully, the players have learned their lesson and they can be professionals about this.

Later today: Blogpoll Ballot and Roundtable.

* - Matt, if you ever have to do a sermon on "turning the other cheek", this would be a good object lesson.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Weekend Wrap-Up: "Who Dat Say Gonna Beat Them Saints?" Edition

Congrats to the New Orleans Saints on their emotional win over Carolina yesterday.

College Football

Big Story of the Weekend: Ohio State gets Hooked

In the biggest regular season college football game this decade (so far), the Texas Longhorns went into The Horseshoe and beat the Ohio State Buckeyes.

In fact, it's UT's first regular season win against a top 10 team this decade. The last one came in 1999 against Nebraska.

True, they won the Rose Bowl last year, but you still had to wonder if that was a fluke or Mack could really coach a big game.

Now we know he can. Maybe there's hope for the Red River Shootout this year.

The Rest of the Big XII

Iowa State 23, Iowa 3 - Maybe the Cyclones aren't another one year wonder. They played inspired football and forced 5 turnovers to beat their cross-state rivals.

By the way, the top 3 teams in the Big 10: Iowa, Ohio State, and Michigan, all lost. Maybe the Big 12 isn't so bad after all.

Oklahoma 31, Tulsa 15 - This should read: Adrian Peterson 21, Tulsa 15. Rhett Bomar threw 2 picks, which is 2 more balls thrown than OU as a team had in the entire second half. (That's right, they didn't throw a single pass in the second half).

Texas Tech 56, Florida International 3 - 5 years ago. Texas Tech would have struggled to beat a team like this. Now they are blowing them out.

Kansas State 21, Marshall 19 - Don't let the final score fool you. The only reason K-State won this game is because Marshall decided to go for an ill-advised pass (which KSU picked off) on their last drive when they were already in field goal range.

Let me repeat that for any Wildcat fans that happen to read this:

You didn't beat Marshall. Marshall handed that game to you.

New Mexico 45, Missouri 35 - Last year, Missouri dropped a non-conference game to unheralded Troy. This year, they drop one to unheralded New Mexico. Hope all the people who paid for that webcast got their money's worth.

By the way, the Mountain West is 2-1 against the Big XII, and if it werent for a field goal by Colorado's Mason Crosby in Week 1, it could have been 3-0. Speaking of which...

Colorado 39, New Mexico State 0 - Colorado bounces back from last weeks near-debacle against their cross-state rival. New Mexico State really misses Tony Samuel right about now.

Nebraska 31, Wake Forest 3 - Well, at least the defense works.

Oklahoma State 23, Florida Atlantic 3 (Thursday) - Despite the win, Donovan Woods has been replaced at QB.

Kansas 36, Appalachian State 8 - Wow. Appalachian State got that many points?

Baylor 48, Samford 14 - Again, that's Samford, not Stanford. The difference? A couple letters and 1000 SAT points (on average).

Texas A&M had the week off.

Around the State

SMU 21, TCU 10 - See what happens when you read too many of your own press clippings, Horned Frogs?

UCLA 63, Rice 21 - UCLA gets a little momentum heading into the Oklahoma game. Drew Olson's line: 18-25, 296 yards, and 3 touchdowns.

Houston 31, Sam Houston St. 10 - If you could ever call a 31-10 victory "pedestrian," this game would be it.

North Texas 14, Middle Tennessee State 7 - MTSU outgained North Texas and had more first downs, yet only put 7 points on the board. Pathetic. Doesn't speak well about the Mean Green either.

UTEP and our adopted team Tulane both had the week off.

Blogpoll Ballot

Still working on it. Will post later.


Cowboys 28, Chargers 21

After an early stutter, the Cowboys came back to win. Drew Bledsoe looked really good as he had 3 touchdowns. The new defense looked really good, holding LaDanian Tomlinson to 72 yards rushing and picked off Drew Brees twice. And where did this Patrick Crayton kid come from? Wow.

Game Ball: Patrick Crayton
Led the Cowboys with 6 catches for 89 yards and his first NFL touchdown. May have cemented his spot on the roster and doomed Terry Glenn's chances once Peerless Price learns the offense.

Bills 22, Texans 7

Used to be the Texans just had problems blocking on passing downs. Now they have problems blocking period.

The Texans have had this offensive line problem every year of their existence, and GM Charlie Casserly has failed to come up with a solution. If someone's head should roll for this so-called football performance, it's his.

Right now, I bet Houston is sorry it asked for another football team.

Game Ball:None
No one deserves it.

Monday Night Football vs. CSI: Miami

This week's MNF: (Philadelphia vs. Atlanta): A rematch of last year's NFC Championship, which was a slaughter despite the fact that Terrell Owens was out with injury. Now T.O. is playing and Atlanta doesn't have a chance.

This weeks CSI:Miami ("10-7"):
Yahoo TV Listings:

Horatio finally learns the truth about what happened to his brother, and the repercussions will change his life forever
This was last year's season finale. It revealed a lot about Horatio Caine and it's worth viewing again to prepare for the season opener, where more details will be revealed about Horatio Caine's past.

Let's face it, this game's going to be a blowout. Not really worth watching.

Update: Maybe the Monday Night Football game was more interesting after all...

Katrina Update: UNT-LSU game rescheduled.

North Texas has finally rescheduled it's games with LSU and Louisiana Monroe(DMN)

The updated schedule reads as follows:

North Texas at LSU - Oct. 29

North Texas vs. Louisiana-Monroe - Nov. 19

Friday, September 9, 2005

Weekend Preview - 9/9/2005

(BlogPoll rankings displayed. All Times Central)

Before I begin, I gotta relay what I saw on Cold Pizza this morning:

Jay Crawford, Woody Paige, and Skip Bayless were in Columbus for the Texas-OSU game (more on that below), and during one of their little "First and 10" segments one of the cheerleaders, Jaclyn Burke, through an absolutely perfect spiral up to Woody Paige, who's on an elevated stage about 20 yards away. Then when Coach Tressel was up on the stage with Jay, Jaclyn threw him another perfect pass, which he bobbled. Later, she won a contest to win $500 in groceries by throwing another pass that was on the money.
Ohio State Athletics
Jaclyn Burke, 3rd in from the left on the front row, was "The Girl with the Golden Arm" on Cold Pizza. (Ohio State Athletics)

One thing's for sure, there are a bunch of co-rec intramural football teams at Ohio State that are rushing to sign her as a QB. (And the way co-rec rules are with the "closed/open" downs, you are at a disadvantage if you don't have a female who can throw.)

Anyway, with the Big XII falling on it's face in the marquee matchups last week, it falls to Texas to prove the conference's strength as they go into Columbus for possibly the biggest non-conference game you will see this decade. Texas Tech finally opens this season after taking the opening week off.


Starting their Weekend Early

Oklahoma State 23, Florida Atlantic 3

Sure, the score looks really good. But the Cowboys only managed 98 yards passing and had no passing touchdowns. This from a team trying to install a passing offense. Their defense did force 4 turnovers, however.

Big XII/Texas schools Game of the Week

#2 Texas at #5 Ohio State
6:00 PM ABC (KVUE 24)
Unfortunately, because all the good independents from the 1980s like Miami and Florida State that always scheduled strong have been forced into conferences, and because strength of schedule has been taken out of the BCS formula, matchups like this are now a rarity.
It's nice to see that there are still title-contending programs like Texas that have the spine to risk everything on a road game like this.

(It would be nice if fans could organize to demand better matchups, but for every fan that boycotts, there's about 4 or 5 others waiting to take their season tickets.)

As for the game, I thought Texas would win this game at the outset of the season because of the talent they have on both sides of the football. However, the nagging thought of "Mack Brown can't win big games" is still creeping in my head.

Key Matchup
Ohio State's Linebackers vs. Vince Young and Texas's Linebackers vs. Troy Smith.
(Note: I know there's a possibility that Justin Zwick will start, but he's as mobile as a rock and the Texas defensive line will get to him. Troy Smith, if he doesn't start, will be in there sooner rather than later)
Both Vince Young and Troy Smith are fast, but so are the opposing linebackers they face. When the LBs rush, they have to stay in their lanes. When they spy the QB, they must be vigilant. Whoever is able to contain the other QB's running ability will win the game. (Hmm... sounds like a college game from the 1920s or 1930s)

Key Player for Ohio State
Bobby Carpenter
He now must back up his smack talk by not getting stuffed by Texas's massive offensive line on run plays and spying Vince Young on passing plays.

Key Player for Texas
David Thomas.
Like many close games, controlling the ball and controlling the clock will be important. That means converting a lot of 3rd-and-6s and 3rd-and-7s. Thomas must provide a consistent safety valve for Vince Young on those plays to make the linebackers respect him enough to cover him. Taking a linebacker out of the box will open things up for Young's scrambling ability in obvious passing situations.

Tale of the Tape
Texas offense vs. Ohio State defenseTexasOne of the best offensive lines in the country. Texas *must* run the ball well to keep Ohio State's offense and the Longhorns' defense off the field
Ohio State offense vs. Texas defensePushI would give Texas the edge, except no one knows how they will defend Troy Smith when he's in there, and their secondary vs. Ted Ginn and Santonio Holmes is a big unknown.
Special TeamsOhio State

Everyone says Ohio State has an edge in the kicking game, but last I checked, Mike Nugent graduated, so it's probably even with 2 kickers that have never had to perform under this kind of pressure.
Where Ohio State does have the edge is with Ted Ginn's speed in the return game.

CoachingOhio StateJim "Sweater Vest" Tressell has a BCS National Title game win under his belt. Yes, the methods he used to get quality players were underhanded, but a good football coach still has to put the good players in the right position to win. (You can cheat and still lose, just ask any bottom-feeding SEC program)
Mack Brown, on the other hand, has had great talent, and not a whole lot of big game results outside of last year's Rose Bowl.
IntangiblesOhio StateTexas is 10-14 in non-conference games under Mack Brown(!). Plus, he's only got 1 win against AP Top 5 competition.

Big XII Games

#20 Oklahoma at Tulsa
Saturday 11:30 AM FSN Southwest/FSN Midwest/FSN Rocky Mtn.
Oklahoma should beat Tulsa, but if they want to prove they are better than what they showed last week, they need to perform better than Minnesota, a mid-level Big 10 team, did last week. For the record, Minnesota beat Tulsa 41-10 and Laurence Maroney had 205 yards. If Oklahoma wants to show they've recovered, they need to beat Tulsa by better than 31 and Adrian Peterson needs to have more than 205 yards.

Kansas State at Marshall
Saturday 9:30 AM ESPN2
No, that time is *not* a misprint. That's the time they moved it to in order to accomodate TV.
Kansas State beat FIU last week, but did so without making a big play against a very bad defense. Also, K-State let FIU hang around until late in the game. Now the Wildcats step up to play a very dangerous team, Marshall, on the road.

#9 Iowa at Iowa State
Saturday 2:30 PM ABC (KVUE 24)
Regional Coverage: All markets in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Iowa will get this game
Iowa might as well have scheduled Ball State again this week, it would have provided the same level of competition. The Cyclones allowed 21 points to a I-AA team last week.

Wake Forest at Nebraska
Saturday 6:00 PM TBS
If this was a basketball game, Wake Forest might have a chance. However, this is a football game. And it's at Nebraska.

New Mexico State at Colorado
Saturday 9:00 PM FSN Southwest/FSN Rocky Mtn
(FSN Midwest affiliates check local listings)
After surviving Colorado State, Colorado now faces a much easier New Mexico State opponent that was manhandled by UTEP last game.

#21 Texas Tech at Florida International
Saturday 6:00 PM
(Note: Mike Leach said Vincent Meeks and Jarrett Hicks will not suit up for this week's game, but only told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal that it was an "in-house matter", which suggests that they have been suspended.)
Watch how Texas Tech's defense is performing in this game. They need to hold FIU to a touchdown or less on offense to prove that they are better than last year. Texas Tech also needs to roll up a bunch of points on FIU's bad defense to prove that they are ready to go.

New Mexico at Missouri
Saturday 6:00 PM (Webcast at 9:00 PM ($$$))
New Mexico is a team that can surprise an unwary opponent, as they did Texas Tech a few years ago. Missouri must stop the Lobos' DonTrell Moore to avoid a surprise here.

Appalachian St. at Kansas
Saturday 6:00 PM
No offense to Appalachian State, a very good I-AA team, but they are going against a talented Kansas defense. Their only hope is that the QB situation is still unsettled.

Samford at Baylor
Saturday 6:00 PM
That's Samford, not Stanford. Stanford probably would have beaten Baylor.

Bye Week
Texas A&M
Next Game: September 17th vs. SMU

Adopted Team

Bye Week
Next Game: September 17th at Mississippi

Other Texas Teams

TCU at SMU - "The Iron Skillet Game"
Saturday 8:30 PM CSTV
TCU, fresh off their upset win over Oklahoma, must take the Iron Skillet Game by a wide margin or else people will regard their hard-earned win as a fluke. It stinks, but that's how the system treats mid-majors.

North Texas at Middle Tennessee State
Saturday 6:00 PM PPV
Still waiting for word on a possible make-up date for the LSU game, the Mean Green face off against Middle Tennessee State, the biggest challenger to North Texas's Sun Belt dominance.

Sam Houston St. at Houston
Saturday 6:00 PM
After losing a heartbreaker to Oregon last week, Houston tries to rebound against the I-AA Bearkats from nearby Huntsville (home of Texas's "Death Row"). Should be no contest.

Rice at UCLA
Saturday 9:00 PM
I'd love to see the expression on the Karl Dorrell haters at Bruins Nation when UCLA beats this team by 45 and they have to put up with Dorrell for another week.

Bye Week
Next Game: September 16 vs. Houston


Houston at Buffalo
Sunday 12:00 PM CBS (KEYE 42)
Two teams with outside chances to make the playoffs this year face off in this game. Houston starts it season knowing it can no longer fall back on the "expansion team" excuse if it fails to make the playoffs again. Buffalo showed some flashes at the end of last year, but enters the year needing to show it's more than a one-dimensional offense. (But what a dimension!)

Key Matchup
Texans' D-line/ILBs vs. Willis McGahee
With an inexperienced quarterback, it's imperative that the Texans' challenge the Bills to beat them through the air. That means containing Willis McGahee.

Key Player for Buffalo
J.P. Losman
We know Willis McGahee can run, but it's up to Losman to provide balance to this offense or else Buffalo will face 8-man fronts for the rest of the season.

Key Player for Houston
Domanick Davis
Establishing a solid running game with Davis will help slow down the pass rush. Domanick Davis must also pick up blitzers on passing plays.

Tale of the Tape
Texans offense vs. Bills defenseBuffaloIt's probably too much to ask this Texans O-line to block this aggressive Buffalo defense.
Bills offense vs. Texans defensePushBuffalo must show the league it can pass the football now that Drew Bledsoe is in Dallas
Special TeamsBuffaloKris Brown is not a reliable kicker outdoors
CoachingHoustonDom Capers has a better track record than Mike Mularkey
IntangiblesBuffaloThe pressure is squarely on Houston to produce. The expansion label is gone and the natives are restless.

Dallas Cowboys at San Diego Chargers
Sunday 3:15 PM FOX (KTBC 7)
Dallas wants to prove it wasn't the 5-11 team that they were last year. San Diego wants to prove to the naysayers that last season was no fluke. San Diego has LaDanian Tomlinson. Dallas has Julius Jones. Both teams have solid 3-4 defenses.

Key Matchup
Dallas' front 7 vs. San Diego's O-line and LaDanian Tomlinson
We know the new defensive scheme can produce a good pass rush, but can they stop the run? Especially a running game powered by TCU alumnus Tomlinson.

Key Player for San Diego
Antonio Gates
As with most good NFL tight ends, he creates matchup problems for any defense, but especially the Cowboys as neither OLB is as good in coverage as they are in the blitz.

Key Player for Dallas
Drew Bledsoe
In his first game, Bledsoe faces a defense that blitzes frequently. He's got to show the poise of a veteran on pass plays.

Tale of the Tape
Cowboys offense vs. Chargers defenseDallasHello San Diego. Meet Julius Jones and Jason Witten.
Chargers offense vs. Cowboys defenseSan DiegoAntonio Gates is the perfect antidote for an agressive blitz.
Special TeamsPushNeither kicker or return unit is all that impressive
CoachingDallasCome on, it's Parcells against Schottenheimer. Would you want Marty in a close game given his big game history?
IntangiblesSan DiegoBoth teams feel like they have something to prove this year, but this is the first real NFL game for Dallas's new defense.

Monday: Weekend Wrap-up