Spent a whole lot of time this week working on what you will see later, so I didn't start the Retort until 11:19 PM on Thursday night. I'm pretty sure that is a record. I may have waited until 1:00 am before to start studying for a test, but I was a lot younger then. Tomorrow is going to be rough. Especially since a bunch of guys from working are getting together around 2:00 for some flag football. I will see if it is physically possible to fall asleep while pass blocking. I know the Longhorn O-line does it. To help things out, I plagiarized myself a lot from my other column. I swore I would never do it again, but much like the first time I ate an entire bag of candy corn, I did it again anyway. Only I don't feel nearly as bad about this.
Not a lot of surprises this week in the Big XII, at least as far as the outcome. However, many top teams struggled to put away inferior competition, further highlighting the ever-closing gap between the haves and have nots. So sit back (unless you're on a barstool) and let's go around the Big XII.
Texas A&M 36 – Nebraska 14
First off, we head to Lincoln where the once dominant at home Nebraska Cornhuskers continue their downward spiral by getting run over by the Aggies of Texas A&M in the battle of lame duck coaches, 36 - 14. Coach Fran's boys looked like the Cornhuskers of old as the Aggies' triple option attack piled up 359 yards on the ground "Quarterback" Stephen McGee called his own number 35 times in a game that left him barely able to walk off the field, but it was the big fella, Jorvorskie Lane who racked up four touchdowns.. For those that are wondering, this game didn't do anything to save Franchione's job, but probably put the nail in Callahan's coffin. Short of a Big XII Championship, I don't see Fran coming back. In other words, start packing those boxes and don't forget the extra bubble wrap for all of those trophies. Uh, yeah.
Missouri 41 – Texas Tech 10
Corps of Cadets line dance
In the much-hyped (even by me, last week) battle of the quarterbacks, it was the Missouri Tigers' Chase Daniel who came out on top of Texas Tech's Graham Harrell 41-10. Daniel was extremely efficient completing 14/19 for 210 yards, balancing a running game that piled up 212 yards. The Missouri defense also got into the act as they continued to frustrate Harrell, with more hands on balls than a Corps of Cadets line dance, leading to 4 interceptions and a 31 point blowout. The Tech QB also wasn't helped by his usually sure-handed receivers who seemed to have trouble pulling in passes on the road.
Oklahoma 17 – Iowa State 7
In Ames, the hapless Iowa State Cyclones almost added to the list of crazy upsets this season as they jumped out to a 7-0 halftime lead on the Oklahoma Sooners, but couldn't hold on as an interception in the end zone swung the momentum for the Crimson and Cream in the fourth quarter and they rallied back to win 17-7. This goes to show how difficult it is to be a head coach in a job where you are paid to manage the emotions of 18-22 year olds. Even after getting upset by Colorado, and all of the motivational tactics that Bob Stoops employed, which allegedly included making the team practice in fursuits and sit through an episode of Cavemen, his team still came out flat against a horrible Cyclone team that was mercilessly pounded by the very average Texas Longhorns just a week ago. Fortunately, the visored one doesn't have to worry about his team looking ahead to Texas A&M instead of focusing on a very dangerous bye week.
Kansas 19 – Colorado 14
The Kansas Jayhawks continue to hold on to their undefeated record like it was a jelly donut, outlasting Colorado in Boulder 19 – 14. "They were confident, I was confident. When they jogged out there on the field, even though they were a little tired, I thought they had a little swagger to them," said Coach Mark Mangino who was a little tired after he jogged out there on the field. Despite taking criticism for the non-conference schedule, the Jayhawks have what no other Big XII team does, an undefeated conference record that puts them snugly in the driver's seat. In Mangino's case, VERY snugly.
Oklahoma State 41 – Kansas State 39
Oklahoma State continues to surprise people as they shake off their early season loss to Troy and continue to pile up points, this time edging out Kansas State 41-39. Although they have been held under the low 20s in their three losses, in their five victories, they have averaged over 43 points per game. This fits right in with their coach who, as he informed all of us, is a man that is 40. Meanwhile, K-State coach Ron Prince who was heralded early on the season for beating Texas, has now seen his squad lose their second conference game, even though his quarterback Josh Freeman passed for 404 yards and three touchdowns, and with the way Kansas is playing, may also see himself out of the Big XII North race.
Texas 31 – Baylor 10
And finally, the Texas Longhorns continue to sputter along, this time avoiding a scare from the Baylor Bears, finally pulling away late to win 31 – 10. The game was much closer than the final score seemed as Baylor only trailed 17 – 10 with under 8 minutes to play. The Longhorns played sloppy football, turning the ball over three times and failing to convert on key plays. But Baylor just couldn't stay out of their own way as they eclipsed Texas with four turnovers of their own. Texas' schedule sets up well the rest of the way, but they are going to have to step up their play if they are going to make a push in the South. Meanwhile, Guy Morriss continues his farewell tour, as his performance hasn't exactly left the Baylor faithful dancing in the streets. Not that they would anyway.
And now for the reason this is the lamest Retort yet.
FRAMPAGE – The Life and Times of a Bipolar College Football Fan
Colorado at Texas Tech 11:00 AM on ABC
Why to watch: To see if the Raiders can bounce back from their road loss to Missouri by coming home to Jones Stadium
Why not to watch: You're a Heisman voter. (Yes, I freaking went there.)
Nebraska at Texas 2:30 PM on ABC
Why to watch: Two storied programs with years and years of history and excellence behind them do battle.
Why not to watch: This ain't one of them years. Ugh. If Texas doesn't roll Nebraska then watch Mack Brown start squirming in his chair.
Kansas at Texas A&M 6:00 PM on ESPN2
Why to watch: To see if Kansas will keep their winning streak alive after a visit to Kyle Field.
Why not to watch: Because I can tell you right now that they will.
Iowa State at Missouri 1:00 PM This should be really ugly.
Baylor at Kansas State 2:35 PM Can Baylor keep pace with Iowa State?
Well, that's all I've got, folks. Yeah, I kind of mailed this one in. I promise things will be back to normal next week.
If you want to send me an email, you can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to put WEAKLY RETORT in the subject line so I can find it if it gets stuck in the SPAM filter. I really appreciate your feedback and if you ask a question (about anything at this point) I will answer it in next week's column.
Random Shout Out: All of those that helped me with ideas and music for FRAMPAGE.
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The Weakly Retort