And the Texas sun rose in the north
Saturday morning I headed out early to Cape Buffalo in the Dallas area to watch the Huskers play Missouri. I finally met the Fabulous BeeKeeper in person, and learned his perspective of some of the Husker situations. It was a great time to be among family, friends and new acquaintances while watching the Husker defense come alive and stuff the Tigers.
Then on to the Red River Shootout. Immediately after that debacle in the Cotton Bowl, the radio and TV started hammering the Longhorns unmercifully. Brown, Simms and the general inability of Texas to rise to the occasion in the big game has been the constant chatter since the final gun in the game. The outcry would make the Husker dissent following the Penn State and Iowa State game seem like a distant past. This was the first game I have predicted in my diary this year, and I should have left the predictions to some one else. I can say I am truly disappointed to see the outcome go the Sooners way, particularly in the fashion it did, for the overall balance in the Big XII.
This week has been quiet, only punctuated by a couple of Husker tidbits and two major, national events. A friend called me to tell me the apparent fate of former Husker Jake Young. The friend had known both Jake and his father in Midland, Texas. I remember Jake as the person who hit the half court shot during half time of a Husker basketball game on his recruiting trip, and that he had to return the prize as it was considered an illegal benefit by the NCAA. My heart felt sympathy goes out to his family and to all the families of victims in Bali. May their souls rest in peace.
I have also listened intently as the Washington, D.C., area has become paralyzed by a sniper. I thought about how helpless a victim would be and how senseless the shootings are as I headed back to my vehicle today in an empty Wal-Mart parking lot in East Texas. I hope this senseless terror ends soon, and the sniper gets his due.
All I can say about Jammal Lord is what disheartening news. Just when all Husker fans were ready to pick up the pieces and forget the early season, another incident is displayed in the news headlines in Lincoln. Whatever anyone's perception of the problems of the two athletes involved, the Lincoln Police, the Husker Athletic Administration and coaches, the sensationalism by the local news and each persons own judgmental opinions, this news was not good.
And to top it all off, Thunder Collins is missing in action. He has not been seen since the last game according to news reports. Let us all hope he reappears and puts things in order, for his own sake and to end the rumor mill. I will speculate that the over sensationalism of his arrival in Lincoln has made it hard for him to keep things in perspective in regards to his football career.
To make matters worse, his disappearance was the last item on the 10:00 pm local sports news in Tyler. They showed an aerial of Memorial Stadium, a clip of Thunder after a touchdown and on the sideline, and closed with the statement in regard to his name " I guess he wasn't so much noise after all" which brought groans from the other newscasters. Oh, what publicity. Blah!
Okay, on to the weekly rankings. They are based on last week's games, where I believe the teams deserve to be placed today, and not on their expected finish at the end of the year.
1. Oklahoma Sooners. They proved this week that my taking the advice of HuskerConnection and Hookem was a wise move when I previously rated the Sooners No. 1. Bob Stoops simply has taken over the series with Texas in Dallas, and continues to win the recruiting war with the commitments of Demmario Pleasant and Tony Cade from Lewisville, both the top rated players at their position in Texas. Stoops put the ball in his players hands and let them win on athleticism and attitude. The Sooners did what was necessary, and left the Longhorns in tatters. Oklahoma will be tough to beat, but they better watch out for the Cyclones in Norman this week. This may be their toughest contest remaining this year, at least until the Big XII championship game.
2. Iowa State Cyclones. In a squeaker for No. 2, I nominate the Cyclones. They could lose their game with the Sooners this week, and possibly retain this position if they play well. Again, the Cyclones have earned this position on the field. The high scoring Red Raiders had the 'Clones exactly where they wanted them at the start of the 4th quarter last week, as the Raiders had made furious comebacks against North Carolina State and the Aggies in the last quarter. However, Iowa State took the ball, held it for 8 minutes on a scoring drive and took the Raiders out of any chance to win the game. Iowa State is getting the play and the coaching to win the North, but face a murderer's row with the Sooners, Longhorns, Wildcats and Buffs in the next five weeks. Their season remains ahead of them.
3. Colorado Buffaloes. Colorado thumped Kansas handily, and still hold the impressive win over No. 4 Kansas State. The Buffs host Baylor and Texas Tech before they travel to Oklahoma, and should hold two more wins before their showdown with the Sooners. The Cyclones appear on the distant horizon in Boulder. The Buffs hold their own future in their hands, and could easily travel to Lincoln as no or one loss team in the conference. "Easily" is not the word of the year in the Big XII, though.
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