Alright, look, it's been a tough week for all of us. Techsters had to deal with a tough loss at home to a Big XII North team, and I had to sit through three days of work training. That's right, three whole days. My athletoplebian boss felt that in order to establish our organization's capability maturity, we needed to sit through 24 non-consecutive hours of process improvement generic process process organizational development improvement process training. Or something like that. It was about as exciting as it sounds, so pardon me if I have a little bit of right-brain blue-ball. So let's break out the ice packs, and start scrolling.
Texas 28 – Oklahoma 10
The Longhorns didn't play particularly well, but did the right things at the right times. Piling up a scare 232 total yards of offense (Oklahoma had 333), the offense seemed to have trouble getting the offense rolling for much of the game, but the defense grabbed 5 turnovers, including a questionable fumble call on an incomplete pass, that gave them their second consecutive win in the Red River shootout. I read a story about how on Monday morning, Texas QB Colt McCoy showed up to take a test in his government class and received an impromptu round of applause from his fellow students. I hate to break it to him, but with 108 passing yards in his backpack, they were probably just applauding that he bothered to show up for the test.
Nebraska 28 – Iowa State 14
A week after getting torched by the Jayhawk offense to the tune of almost 600 yards, the Nebraska Blackshirts tightened things down against Iowa State, holding them to just over 300 total yards, and staying atop the Big XII North. You know that I didn't really pay much attention to the game when I start analyzing yards of offense. Of course, the fact that it was between two North teams, should have also been a dead giveaway.
Missouri 38 – Texas Tech 21
The Red Raiders learned that the only thing that can stop the high-powered Air Raid Offense is quarterback Graham Harrell. When he is on, he is on. Such was the case when he lofted a beautiful pass to Robert Johnson in the corner of the endzone to put the Aggies away the week before. However, this week, things didn't fare so well as Harrell committed five turnovers that put the Raiders in a hole they couldn't dig out of, including a pair of back to back interceptions returned for touchdowns, which led to his being pulled from the game. When he came back into the game after sitting a series, he was apparently a little miffed by the raining of boos from the crowd and proceeded to channel his frustration into 3 straight touchdowns for the Red Raiders. What he failed to realize was that the crowd was actually yelling "Drew", a reference to the signal caller for the Dallas Cowboys, which was probably just as insulting.
Texas A&M 21 – Kansas 18
Big XII Offensive Player of the Week Stephen McGee leads A&M to two 4th quarter touchdown drives to bring the Aggies back on the road for a win against the Jayhawks. Early in the game, McGee's passes seemed to drift mysteriously toward the Kansas sideline. I know why. Gravity. Once Coach Fran started motioning Jorvorskie Lane in the other direction, Stephen's throws went straight as an arrow. Now that is why he gets paid $2 million per year.
Baylor 34 – Colorado 31 (3OT)
Things aren't going well in the square state for new coach Dan Hawkins. It took 3 overtimes, but Baylor finally comes out on top and sends the hapless Buffalices to 0-6. I don't know which is crazier, seeing long time Big XII North powerhouse Colorado sitting at the bottom of the standings or seeing long time Big XII South doormat Baylor sitting at the top. That's right, for one more day, the Dancing Bears are leading the conference race. They face the Longhorns on Saturday, so we can quickly dispense with that nonsense. Meanwhile Colorado has now lost 10 in a row, their longest losing streak in 117 years. Dang.
Kansas State 31 – Oklahoma State 27
Have you ever seen nerds fight? They just kind of flail around and you know someone has to win, but neither one is really going to gain anything from it, so they may as well just share a Mountain Dew and tell Calculus jokes. That's kind of how this one was, as also-ran took on also-ran in an inter-division battle that drew all the attention of a Bea Arthur sex tape. Still, for those that like good finishes, this one delivered. Down by 10 in the last three minutes, the Wildcats, behind freshman quarterback Josh Freeman, rallied to score two late touchdowns to beat the Orange Aggies for the 10th time in 11 games.
Texas A&M – Tech Game Future Location
In order to help talk some of my Tech readers down from the ledge, I am going to shift to a topic that will no doubt lift their spirits: Playing Texas A&M. There has been a lot of talk lately about moving the annual Aggie-Raider showdown from their respective campuses to the Cotton Bowl. Proponents claim there is a lot of money to be made by having a neutral site game, but I think the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
First of all, I haven't been to a whole lot of college football stadiums, but Kyle Field and Jones Stadium are two of my favorites. Sure, Kyle looks like a tackle box and Jones looks like Lone Star Park, but the atmospheres are electric. I enjoy making my trip out to Lubbock every other year. I have family out there and it gives me a reason to pay them an extra visit. Plus, growing up, we spent a lot of Christmases and other holidays out in West Texas, so it is a bit nostalgic for me. I realize that this has absolutely no bearing on any of you, and that you couldn't care less about my warm memories, but this is my column so stick it.
Seriously though, I like the idea of being the home team majority one year, and getting a chance to welcome the visitors to your school and be the host, while getting to go into enemy territory the next year and join their tailgates and be the guest. Sure, living in Fort Worth, the Cotton Bowl would be more convenient for me, but I love the road trip, and it just wouldn't be the same not having the game played on a college campus, and instead having your teams do battle in a dump surrounded by the State Fair.
Yes, it seems to work for Texas and OU, but both coaches have complained about losing the home game every other year. Plus, they have been doing it for so long that it is a tradition. If A&M and Tech were to start up a Cotton Bowl rivalry, it would just be a forced location to try and create tradition and that just doesn't work. I also don't think that an A&M-Tech matchup would generate the amount of money that school officials think it would. This year's game in College Station had over 85,000 people paying $80 bucks each for a ticket. That is 6.8 million dollars, not counting concessions and other merchandise. Yes, it is only every other year, but at a $3.4 million average, that would exceed most non-BCS bowl payouts. I understand that the take would be less when the game is in Lubbock, but I still don't see how the math works out.
Also, both of these schools are in college towns. These towns support the schools, and the schools should support the surrounding towns. Think about how much economic damage it would do not having the money pour into hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, etc. every other year for the big game. Instead it would pour into business in Dallas, the most mismanaged city I have seen in a long time. For crying out loud, they lost the Cowboys to Arlington.
In summary, I think that moving the game is not unlike hosting a Hemophiliac Dodgeball Tournament. Sure it may seem good for making money, but it probably isn't in the best interest of the participants.
I'm pretty sure that the format and structure of these are different every week, but you get the gist of it.
Thou Shalt not Boo Thy Own Team (suggested by the Texas Tech fans)
I know that sometimes you get upset and need a way to share your displeasure, but these are 18-22 year old kids (*excludes quarterbacks that found out they suck at baseball) that are putting their bodies on the line for free (*excludes players in Norman) to entertain you (*excludes Colorado fans). Boo the officials, boo the television time outs, boo the score of your rival's game shown on the scoreboard, even boo the guy next to you that wore a tank top and didn't shower, but don't boo your own players. Cheer or be quiet. Trust me, they will still get the hint if you can suddenly hear a pin drop.
Thou Shalt Not Chant Overrated and Then Clap 5 Times (suggested by emailer David A.)
I have never understood the point of this. Some people think it is classless, I think it is retarded. If you are going to beat a team, wouldn't it behoove you to have them perceived to be as good as possible, thus making you look better? If you claim that a team is overrated, all you are doing is taking away from your own team's accomplishment. If anything, you should be yelling "Underrated, but we are beating them anyway! Bully for us!" On a related note, I also have to laugh at the blue-clad buffoon at the A&M-Kansas game jingling his car keys in the FIRST QUARTER. How did that one turn out for you?
Iowa State at Oklahoma 11:30 AM on FSN
Why to watch: You want to see how Oklahoma gets screwed by the officials this week.
Why not to watch: You're from Oklahoma and you lost your home to a cyclone (get it?) and you can't get your satellite dish to "aim right" while sitting on a plastic lawn chair in your front yard.
Missouri at Texas A&M 2:30 PM on ABC
Why to watch: This should actually be a pretty even matchup and should make for an exciting game.
Why not to watch: You don't like that sort of thing.
Baylor at Texas 6:00 PM on TBS
Why to watch: A showdown between the top two teams in the Big XII South. Okay, I can't type that with a straight face.
Why not to watch: You're a Baylor fan who wants to be able to plead plausible denial when someone tells you that you aren't in first anymore on Sunday morning.
Nebraska at Kansas State 6:10 PM on PPV
Why to watch: You don't have anything better to do with $25.
Why not to watch: Credit card debt. Saving for the kids' Christmas presents. School loans. Picking up some serious bling at the Dollar Store.
Other games of disinterest:
Texas Tech at Colorado A hacked-off Red Raider team looks to take out its frustration on a beaten down Colorado bunch with no will to live. Things could get really messy. Kind of like when you sneeze while you're peeing.
Oklahoma State at Kansas Well, one of these teams is going to get its first conference win. The question is "Who?" Actually, the question is "Who cares?"
Looking back at it, things seemed a little short this week. To make up for it, I will make next week a little longer even if I have to answer some emails or insert some extra carriage returns. So, if you have a topic you would like to see addressed, a comment, or even a question that has been bugging you, no matter how ridiculous, email it to me at email@example.com .
I admit it. One of my favorite parts of the week is reading your feedback and seeing what you liked and didn't like. If you want to share something with the community, maybe a line that struck you as funny, a stat I screwed up, or maybe an idea of your own, you can do so here. Anyone can read them, but it requires registration to post. It isn't painful, and you might just meet some new people.
Until next week,
The Weakly Retort