Oh what a great weekend for sports. Ags up, Horns down. Romo leads the Cowboys to another win. Mavs take two to continue their streak. I think the hockey team won some hockey games, too. Oh, and the Giants lost. Now we can get some championship games out of the way, and move on to Bowl Season. My wife is getting on my case to write the family "Christmas Letter" and I keep tell her I am waiting on my muse. She said that if I can write a free sports column every week, I can take some time to bore family and friends with a recap of our year. I tried to explain that those are entirely different muses. One vaguely resembles Bucky Richardson, but with the voice of Dave South. The other looks like a Wal-Mart greeter with a Salvation Army bell and a bullhorn, gently encouraging me with the voice of that Japanese dude from Heroes.
Oklahoma 36 – Baylor 10
The Sooners roll in an easy one as they mercifully end the Baylor Bears' season that began with such hopes and dreams of going bowling for the holidays, yet ended with the Bear football team ready to hibernate for another winter. Hey, but women's basketball is around the corner!
Iowa State 21 – Missouri 16
More proof that the Big XII North just doesn't make any sense. The Cyclones came into the season as some people's (mine) pick to win the North, yet finally win their first conference game in their last chance of the season, beating upper-tier division-mate Missouri after firing head coach Dan McCarney. Maybe if they would have canned him after the spring game, they would be headed to face Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. Not that it takes the sting out for Chase Daniel and the Tigers, but the league office admitted that a controversial holding call that negated a Missouri touchdown with 1:26 left should hot have been called. Common sense notified Coach Snyder that it should not have been the close. We're talking Iowa State, dude.
Texas Tech 30 – Oklahoma State 24
The Red Raiders started slow, but finally played the second half of a ball game as they defeated the team that tries really hard to be them in the battle of "let's not finish the season tied with Baylor." After the game, Leach said, "The unstoppable one, the fast one, the slow one, the dozy one. The fast, explosive one with all the intangibles is what we're showing for in the next game." As much as I enjoy listening to Captain Mike, I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. Maybe it is code. Maybe he is a spy. Psst, Hey Mike, "The circus elephant has lost his way."
Kansas 39 – Kansas State 20
The Wildcats suffer a major UT hangover, with quarterback Josh Freeman accounting for 6 turnovers, forcing fans to not just tap the brake about how good the freshman is, but stomp down on the emergency brake (pull-up on it on for the Japanese students). Kansas becomes bowl eligible in back to back seasons for the first time ever. EVAR! And to celebrate, they decided to destroy a portion of their stadium, as they tore down the goalposts marched them through the streets, and high-fived each other over coffee as they debated whether they would end up in the "PetroSun Independence Bowl" or the oddly unsponsored, yet extremely generic-sounding "Texas Bowl".
Nebraska 37 – Colorado 14
The Cornhuskers pull away late in a game that had no significance in the conference standings, but still had pride on the line, as they tune up to face the Sooners in the Big XII Championship. Poor Colorado. I bet they can't wait to hit the recruiting trails after a ten-loss season. What do you say to a prospective athlete after an athletic abortion of that magnitude? "Son, you are the final piece we need to contend for a championship"? Or how about "Do you want to play for a winner? Or would you rather be able to going skiing during the holidays?" My guess is "What color Lexus? Yes, the unmarked 20s will be in the trunk."
Missouri 42 – Kansas 17
Chase Daniels keeps his hands away from his nose long enough to throw for 356 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Tigers run away from the Jayhawks. Ha. That mental image made me giggle a little bit.
Oklahoma 27 – Oklahoma State 21
There were a lot of upset people wearing orange on Saturday. Some of it "burnt" and some of it "traffic cone". After the Aggies upset the Longhorns (which I haven't discussed yet, because I wanted to put it last even though all the rest of the games are pretty much in the order they happened), an Oklahoma State upset could still have landed Mack's crew in the title game. You can imagine there was a whole lot of clapping in the Brown household. This was a really good game that came down the last play as Robinson's pass went just long in what could have been the game-winning touchdown. It looks like Bob Stoops is going to walk away with Big XII Coach of the year honors for how he lead his team to the championship after dealing with the loss of a starting quarterback and a Heisman-candidate running back. What most fans don't know, however, is that Stoops is also the odds-on favorite to win an Oscar for his passionate portrayal of "Righteously Indignant Coach Screwed by Pac-10 Officials" as well as the chilling realism he lent to his role of "Coach That Promises He Didn't Know His Players Were Getting Bonus Checks From a Dealership Run By a Booster".
Texas A&M 12 – Texas 7
I will try to remain completely objective here and not show my sheer merriment that we have finally beaten the burnt orange menace for the first time since 1999. Yeah, right, if you want objectivity you can go to the sports ticker on CNN. You come here for the unbridled optimism, the sheer lunacy of irrational thought, and the unchecked (and often made up) statistics. At least 57% of you do. Yes, I was happy to see us win. I don't care that we did it by uglifying the game (referring to play-calling and strategy that made it look like an SEC game, not the over-discussed "late" hits). I don't care that our QB had 56 passing yards despite the fact that the Longhorn secondary has worse coverage than Britney Spears' hoo-hoo. We won, and that makes me happy. I take joy in seeing the Longhorns go, as one poster put it, "from the Fiesta Bowl to Fiesta Texas". Texas fans can gripe about the officiating, but the statistics (not made up) show a different story.
But you know what? I also envy the Longhorns. I want my school to get to the point where a 9-3 season is considered an abject failure, as opposed to a rousing success. I want winning to become the norm and championships to become a regular occurrence. I want other fans to hate us because we are the best and not because we are arrogant and think we are better than everyone else. Okay, I guess they have 2 out of 3.
Big XII North
Things got a little better toward the end of the season, but something has got to be done about this conference. The Big XII North is horrible and the South is dominant, yet someone from the North still gets the right to play in a title game. The problem is, much like taxes and celebrity marriages, this is something I complain about with no real solution. Realignment isn't the answer because you don't know teams will be in a few years and you can't realign after every season. I also don't like the Big Tenleven strategy of not making you play everyone and not having a championship game. The only consolation this year is that the game means something. The winner gets a BCS bowl, and the loser has to sit in that dump of a Cotton Bowl at 10:00 in the morning after New Year's Eve. Most years, one team is so far ahead that it can only hurt them. What should be done? Email me and I'll post the best ideas (serious or not) next week.
Nebraska vs. Oklahoma – Big XII Championship
This looks like it will be a pretty good game as both teams are playing good football right now and seem pretty evenly matched. There is a lot riding on the game and I think Nebraska just might win it because of their quarterback experience, which always seems to be a factor in games like this. Eventually, someone besides Texas or OU will represent the South. I vote for A&M.
Yes, I realize that it was a bit shorter this week, but I had more games to cover and it was cold so I type slower. Next week, I will recap the championship game and preview the upcoming bowl games. Then, it will be a couple weeks off until the bowl games are over for an end of the year recap (only without that damn Green Day song about having the time of your life).
Random shouts out to WreckEm and his Food-Channel featured website http://texasburgerguy.com , Stephen McGee, trickyleach again for inspiring a joke coming at the end of this paragraph, Greg the Yellow Wiggle, and my boss who told us to go home today because of the snow. Random spits out go to the NFL network, Outback Steakhouse, and the tile guys working on my new house. Lazier than Stuart Scott's freakish eye.
Yada, yada, feedback, yada, yada. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with RAIDERPOWER in the subject line or discuss with the community here.
Until next week,
The Weakly Retort