The Weakly Retort

A Soft-Hitting Look at College Football

20/20 Hindsight

Oklahoma 36 – Texas A&M 30
This game kind of reminded me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. OU jumps out to an early 21 point lead and suddenly the football gods are headed through the streets with their wheelbarrows, shouting, "Bring out ye dead! Bring out ye dead!" But A&M scores a touchdown and is like "I'm not dead yet! I'm feeling better!" And A&M fans are like "You're not fooling anyone, you'll be stone dead in a moment." And A&M scores again, and is like "I feel happy! I think I'll go for a walk!" And the football gods are all like "We can't take them, they say they're not dead." And A&M fans are like "When are you coming back?" And the football gods say "The Friday after Thanksgiving". And the A&M fans are like "Can't you just wait around a few minutes?" And then Oklahoma converts a 3rd and 12 and the football gods club the Aggies over the head and load them in the cart. It went a lot like that.

Missouri 31 – Baylor 16
It was senior day in whatever city Missouri plays in, and the Tigers were fighting to become bowl eligible against the once mighty, but now struggling, Baylor Bears. Brad Smith had an abysmal day in the air, completing 9 of 23 for just 72 yards with an interception. But what he lacked in passing, he more than made up for with his legs, running for 161 yards and 3 touchdowns. Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel was very excited with the effort turned in by his team, and with what must surely have been an attempt to out-creepy previous remarks by Guy Morriss, he said "It was so important for me to be hugging those guys in the locker room after the game." Dude. Gay.

Nebraska 27 – Kansas State 25
The Cornhuskers become bowl eligible by beating the hapless Wildcats who will miss a bowl for the second straight year, something that no doubt played at least a small role in Kansas State coach Bill Snyder deciding to retire at the end of the season. Even though you squint a lot, Bill, the KSU faithful owe you a debt of gratitude for turning a program around and bringing success to Manhattan.

Oklahoma State 24 – Texas Tech 17
Here is where I must tread lightly. On one hand, I must weigh the sensitivities of the vast majority of my readers and avoid an overly antagonistic comment. On the other hand, I must maintain my feigned sense of journalistic integrity and not let Tech off the hook after an upset loss On yet another hand, I cannot say "I told you so" or claim that I saw this coming, because last week I predicted that Tech would destroy the Cowboys. But then on a fourth and final hand, I did predict that Baylor would win the Big XII North, so I can simply pretend that I was also joking about the Tech – OSU game. At this point, I take off my Vishnu Halloween Costume, which in late November has begun to assume the faint aroma of gym socks, and just concede that sometimes these things just happen.

I said last week in "My 98 Cents" that big upsets are what make college football so great, however, I should have appended that it depends if you are the upsettor or the upsettee. You could say that it was a trap game for Tech and that they just played flat, but to be honest, for some reason Tech just plays poorly on the road. I don't think I used my commas quite right in that last sentence. The Red Raiders required a late boneheaded turnover to defeat the Huskers in Lincoln, were blown out by Texas in Austin, and struggled early against Baylor in the town from Footloose. I don't know if it is the Jones Stadium crowd, the turf, or the weather, but Tech is like two different teams on the road and at home. Fortunately, the Raiders only had 4 road games this year, and their last game against OU is back in offense-friendly Lubbock. If Tech is going to take that next step, they are going to have to figure out how to win on the road. Or schedule 11 home games against Division I-AA teams.

Iowa State 30 – Colorado 16
The Buffaloes dominated in total yards and in the utterly meaningless time of possession stat, but were ultimately done in by turnovers in a game where the Cyclone defense returned both a fumble and an interception for touchdowns to throw the Big XII North into further chaos. In a strange twist of irony, the game start was actually delayed by 30 minutes due to a tornado warning in weather that pummeled the stadium with 45 mile per hour cyclonic winds. This is ironic because Iowa State has a bird as its mascot. A cute little red bird that has no connection I can find to damaging weather pheomena.

Texas 66 – Kansas 14
The rolling Longhorns destroy another hapless Big XII foe, this time scoring 52 points in the first half and then coasting to an easy victory. Vince Young began the scoring by hitting wideout Limas Sweed for a 45 yard touchdown strike. Limas Sweed? Doesn't that sound like the bad guy in a western? "The stagecoach was robbed, and all of the medical marijuana was taken!" "Look here, sir! There's a giant ‘L' burned into the side of the coach and a couple of empty bags of Doritos." "Ahh yes, this is the work of Limas Sweed." And Mack Brown saw that it was good, and clapped til his fool hands fell off.

My 98 cents

Last week I received a good response on my article about why college football is the greatest game on Earth. I thought of another reason that college football was so great, and it is the fact that you are seeing the best of the best every weekend. In basketball and baseball, the true superstars go straight from High School to the pros, leaving you watching the "best of the rest". But in football, you get to see the future NFL stars.

Moving on, I also got my first hate mail from a reader this week (which is surprising in and of itself), an Oklahoma State fan we will call "Apollo". (His real name is "Rockey", but I don't want to keep it anonymous.) I suppose hate is a strong word, because he did wish my Aggies well and seems to be a nice enough guy, but he seems determined to call me out for predicting that Tech would donkeypunch Oklahoma State.

Here is what he sent:

I thought your comments were pretty funny. Not funny in HaHa but funny in how wrong they were. The group of extras from the 1980's movie "Willow" got their butts kicked. OSU beat them in every catagory. They played harder, they ran faster, they shut the TECH offense down that just recently blistered the Aggies, and they showed that they are improving. The game with Texas two weeks ago was not as much of a fluke as most people believed. They are getting better and they will continue to play hard, and not give up like some other teams, because they have heart and they have a chance to still play for a bowl game. Your FCC carnage statements turned out to be NOT as funny as I am sure you intended. The real losers were the TV networks because this was a great game and deserved to be televised. Oh, by the way, I listened to both radio networks and there were two statements made frequently from each side: OSU announcers kept saying "Pistol's Firing" and Tech announcers kept saying "Firing Blanks". I actually enjoyed both. Hope next weeks commentary turns out a little better or more accurate that this weeks, I'll read them just in case. Thanks, and even though you made the funny comments you did about OSU, I was still hoping your Aggies were going to beat OU. I thought they were going to come back. Anyway. Thanks

To be fair, I am guessing that this is the first time that Apollo has read my column, because he doesn't appear to get my "bit". For those of you that are not long time readers, allow me to say that I don't know any more about sports than you do. In fact, I don't know any more about sports than does an Italian leather sofa (with mismatched cushions).

I am not an expert, I am not even intelligent. I am simply an Electrical Engineer that needs an outlet for his right brain. I make a lot of insulting comments, but I do it in good fun with a wink and a nod, and I do it to all schools, including my own. Contrary to what some may think, I do not have the goal of being an overblown feminine hygiene product like Jim Rome or Max Kellerman.

So if you are going to write and tell me that I have a dangling participle or a plethora of comma splices, or that my humor is trite and immature, that is fine as long as you finally explain to me what a comma splice is. But if you are going to chastise me because my predictions weren't right about something then expect no more intelligent of a response than "Uh, yeah. Duh." And if you are going to send me the joke about the kid that wants to live with the Aggies because they never beat anybody or the bookstore with the plywood on the inside, then rest assured that I have already seen them. About 600 times. Per day.

Looking Ahead

Oklahoma at Texas Tech
A game with Cotton Bowl implications definitely favors the Red Raiders who have been dominant at home this season. Look for the Sooners to try and duplicate the success of their orange instate brethren who beat Tech by running the ball, and feed the Raiders a steady diet of Adrian Peterson. Rumor has it that a fork toting Kansas Coach Mark Mangino was seen circling Jones SBC this week. Haha! You thought I was going to let a week go without a Mangino joke. This is the only televised Big XII game this week, on FSN at 11:00, and much like that Art book in your high school library that had a nude model on page 73, this should be worth checking out.

Oklahoma State at Baylor
Two sad programs do battle to see who will be last in the Big XII South. To show you just how easy it is to make a bowl, Oklahoma State (with their 1-5 conference record) can be bowl eligible with a win over the Bears and an upset of the Sooners. We officially have too many bowl games. And to think, a playoff might ruin this!

Missouri at Kansas State
An important game for Missouri, as they can gain a share of the conference crown, and a trip to the Big XII championship if they beat Kansas State, and Colorado loses to Nebraska. There should be a lot of emotion on the K-State sideline as the players rally to send Coach Snyder away with a win. Look for Missouri Coach Gary Pinkel to hug him after the game.

That's it for this week. If you would like to email the author, you can send your comments and criticism to . I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving. Even you, Apollo.

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