Texans: Football and
It's the most wonderful time of the year and no, I am not talking about the WNBA finals (which I only know about because my TiVo menu keeps pimping it.) In Texas, we have 4 seasons: Blustery, Rainy, Hot, and Football. That is appropriate, because if you hear Texans talking, we treat rain and football similarly. We get all giddy when there is some in the forecast, and even once it has passed, we can't shut up about it. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
Yes, it's football time again, and that means The Weakly Retort is back to mash it flat and shape it into something unrecognizable. In that sense, it's a lot like your child's art projects, and probably provides you the same functional and aesthetic value, only without all of the heartwarmnitude. Yes, I made that word up. I can do that. This year I will provide some commentary on the big stories, and make smart-alec comments as I recap the past games and preview the upcoming ones. Huh, I guess it's not unlike last year. So much for growth and maturation.
To those of you new to The Retort, those of you like my boss that don't know a football from a fruitcake, and those of you that don't regularly read The Forums at Raiderpower.com, I don't want you to feel left out of any inside jokes. So in an effort to keep you from reliving my junior high days, I have enclosed a free Secret Decoder Ring. Take that, you no-prize-having All-Bran! I call it The Weakipedia. Anytime I make a reference that I am worried people might not get, I will link it to The Weakipedia. Once the pear-shaped halo above your head illuminates and begins to bathe you in the soft light of knowledge, you can simply click "Back" on your browser and return to the group. But don't take your sweet time, because we've got football to watch.
So, with all of the bookkeeping out of the way, let's take a look at the Big XII.
An interesting thing is developing in the Big XII South. Traditionally, they say you can't win with an inexperienced quarterback. Or a Baylor quarterback. Yet, if you look at the early projected finish for the division, it looks like the critics don't see this adage holding true. Well, at least the first part. The teams picked to battle it out for the top 3 spots: Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech, all have quarterbacks that have never started a game. The team picked to finish fourth, Texas A&M has a quarterback with only one start under his belt, and the teams battling it out for last place both have returning starters.
Don't think that this juicy nugget will be lost on the Baylor ballcoach, as he will no doubt look to catapult the Bears to their first meaningful conference showing since the legalization of dancing by waltzing out the most inexperienced signal-caller he can find, an aging lass with "MORISS" emblazoned across the back of her jersey, plucked from his very own family tree. The good news for the facilities manager, is that this recruit won't require a separate locker room. In fact, according to Guy himself, she apparently won't even need a separate shower stall. (Yes, I will be beating the "showering with your sister" joke series to death this season. That's how I roll.)
Texas A&M Schedule
Ahh, the life of a college football coach. Allow me to posit an analogy. "Analogy" comes from the two words "anal", which is Latin for "the orifice from whence this example was derived", and "ogy", which is a homonym for your enlightened response after reading this. Imagine you go into your high-paying, multi-million dollar CEO job on Monday morning (I said "imagine") and your boss (whoever a CEO's boss is) calls you into his office.
He says, "Look. We brought you in here to save this company. You lost the Rosa's Tortilla account. You lost the Texas Land and Cattle account. You lost the A-1 Mobile Home account. You lost the Cyclone Fence account, the Boneless Buffalo Wing account, the Exxon account, and you almost lost the Gideons' Bible account. The employees didn't get a year end bonus, the shareholders are getting restless, the Board of Directors is on edge, and what the hell is up with all of these Little Debbies wrappers?"
To which you respond, "Don't worry boss, I've got it all figured out."
"Great, let's hear it. Are you going to bring in new leadership? Invest in market research? Improve our business model?"
"Well, I did bring in a Vice-President from Enron to help us defend our product, but get this. I am going to go after smaller-market contracts! I can't do better at my job, so I am going to make my job easier! It's a win-win."
"Get out, Franchione."
For those of you who are still rubbing neurons together in the hope of starting a fire of understanding, let me just say that I am disillusioned with Coach Fran's approach of scheduling weaker teams to boost his win-loss record, instead of putting a better product on the field. All this does is make the non-conference games even less interesting and less likely to be on TV. I took shots at Tech for their cakewalk last year, and I am going to take shots at the Aggies for their pantywaist gauntlet this year.
Rhett Bomar Incident
This is why the NCAA is a joke. A player gets caught taking money for not doing work (all of you reading this on the job can put down your stones). This is a clear violation of the NCAA rules. But what happens? Rhett Bomar gets to transfer and play at another school. The booster that was providing the "job" doesn't face any repercussions. What happens to the school? Nothing. The NCAA takes one look at their "internal investigation", gives a wink and a nod, and business (or lack thereof) continues as usual. The message this sends is that you can go ahead and cheat, because the consequences aren't that bad. The NCAA is so weak in its discipline that it makes Bud Selig look like Mommie Dearest. Heck, at least when Kobe Bryant got caught cheating, he had to buy his wife a 4-carat diamond.
Coaches claim they never look ahead, but I do. Unfortunately, there isn't a whole lot in week 1 to look ahead to. Nevertheless, let's kick the tires. Given that this is a couch potato's guide to sports, I am going to focus my efforts on the televised games, to help you plan your weekend. It's a three-day weekend, and the opening of College Football, so your chores can wait until Monday. Park it on the sofa, buddy.
North Texas at Texas – 11:00 AM on FSN
The ill-tempered Green from the Mighty Mighty Sunbelt Conference roll in to take on the Vinceless defending national champions.
Why to watch?
· It will be interesting to see how the Longhorns fare in the post-Young era.
· If the freshman quarterback struggles, and North Texas does somehow win this game, how much fun will it be to watch that T-Shirt Longhorn fan in your office squirm for a week?
Why not to watch?
· You figure that you haven't watched college football since January, so what's another few hours.
· The WNBA playoffs are on. (If you used this excuse, please stop reading.)
Louisiana Tech at Nebraska – 2:30 PM on FSN
Why to watch?
· A somewhat interesting matchup that pits the Big XII North favorite against a team with a pulse (albeit one of those Lance Armstrong 6 beats per minute pulses).
· You're from Nebraska.
Why not to watch?
· You're from Louisiana
UAB at Oklahoma – 6:00 PM on TBS
Why to watch?
· The one-time top contender in the Big XII South tries to see if they can get their money's worth from their backup quarterback.
· Hey, it's FOOTBALL, baby!
Why not to watch?
· You are mad at TBS for daring to show College Football when they could be running another one of those cursed James Bond marathons again.
TCU at Baylor – 4:30 PM Sunday on FSN
Why to watch?
· The NFL hasn't started yet
· You don't want to miss it when God opens up the field and swallows both teams whole for playing on the Sabbath to make a few extra bucks for their athletic departments.
Why not to watch?
· You are setting up your draft card for your fantasy draft.
· You're Catholic.
Toledo at Iowa State – Thursday 7:00 PM. I'm so confused. Why play a Thursday game that isn't on TV? JV night in Iowa?
Montana State at Colorado – Saturday at 2:30 PM. Ooooooohhhhhh!!!
Murray State at Missouri – Saturday at 6:00 PM Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!
SMU at Texas Tech – Saturday at 6:00 PM. Tech doesn't score a hundred, but only because they are breaking in a new quarterback.
Northwestern State at Kansas – Saturday at 6:00 PM
Missouri State at Oklahoma State – Saturday at 6:00 PM One of the few games that Okie State might win this year.
The Citadel at Texas A&M – Saturday at 6:00 PM Non-Conference football, it's FRANtastic!
Well, that's it for this week. For those of you looking for predictions, I hate making predictions before I have seen a team play even once. Still, I say the Big XII South will be a three team race between OU, Texas, and Texas Tech. If Tech can win on the road, this could be their year. I'll give some more detailed thoughts in next week's column, including the debut of the new "Fan Laws" section. Random "shout out" to my buddy "Trickyleach".
If you would like to comment on something, or just call me an idiot, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to put RAIDERPOWER in the subject line so that I can see it if it gets caught in the overzealous vortex known as the Yahoo Spam Filter. Once I get an email from you, I will add you to my address book so that you can slide through the abyss with impunity.
You can also discuss with your fellow posters here.
Until next week,