Weakly Retort

PsychoAg joins us again for another edition of the Weakly Retort. A fan favorite since 2005, the Retort takes a light-hearted look at the college football landscape, with a specific emphasis on the Big 12.

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Well, we are moving right along and the games are getting better and the weather is getting footballier.  This is perfect, because yards are starting to go dormant, giving us more free time on the weekends, proving that God loves us.  The national championship picture is getting more muddled as top ranked teams are dropping like hip hop albums.  But while it is still a little bit warm outside, let's strap on our swim fins and snorkel through the Big XII.

20/20 Hindsight:

Missouri  31  -  Nevada  21
Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert knew he had some big shoes, and some big nostrils to fill after the graduation of Chase Daniel.  And so far, at least on one of those accounts, the sophomore has struck gold, leading the Tigers to a 4-0 start.  In this game, Missouri (who I refuse to call Mizzou because it is stupid) racked up almost 500 yards of offense, but seemed to have trouble finding paydirt as they settled for four field goals and actually trailed 13 – 12 early in the second half.

  35  -  Southern Miss  28
What an odd week for Kansas fans.  In a rumble that would have made Rita Moreno proud, Jayhawk faced off against Jayhawk as a series of major fights broke out between the football and basketball teams.  I have no idea what the fight was over, but apparently tensions where high due to some postings on Facebook.  Still, I can't imagine it being much of a fight when a 80 man roster of some 300 pounders square off against a 20 man squad of tall skinny guys.  I think a cage match between Self and Mangino would have been far more interesting.

  64  -  UTEP  7
Longhorn quarterback Colt McCoy was able to shake off the bovine flu to lead his team to a flagrant case of indecency with a group of Miners.  The Longhorns outgained the Miners 639 yards to 53, holding them to 1 of 12 3rd down conversions, leading UTEP coach Mike Price to proclaim the Longhorns "the best team in the county".  That is certainly one way to spin it.  Another is "we suck".

  49  -  Tennessee Tech  7
KSU kick returner Brandon Banks made history Saturday by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns in the same game against kickoff covering powerhouse Tennessee Tech.  I'm certainly not saying that his feat was easy, but when asked how he did it, Banks answered in Forrest Gumpian fashion "I just ran the ball.  The other 10 guys on the team blocked real well."  In the part of the game that didn't involve kick returning, the Tech offense never got anything going at all, piling up a mere 107 total yards, including -19 rushing.  Apparently their 10 guys didn't block worth a crap.

A&M  56  -  UAB  19
Aggie quarterback Jerrod Johnson puts up major numbers against the 118th ranked pass defense throwing for almost 300 yards and 3 TDs, and adding another three scores on the ground.  This with his top receiver and top running back on the sideline.  However, the Aggies newfound offensive explosion require some tempering, given that it has been done against New Mexico, Utah State, and UAB, teams that are a combined 3 – 9.  Getting excited about this offense is on par with bragging to your drinking buddies that you can draw a better unicorn than your four-year-old daughter (which I can't).  Still, in Aggieland, we are looking for a glimmer of hope.  And despite the fact that we have started off 3 – 0 three of the last four years, this year somehow seems different.  Just like all of the other ones.

  55 -  ULaLa  0
The Huskers of Corn celebrated their 300th straight sellout on Saturday, cementing the fact that there is absolutely nothing better to do in Nebraska than violate someone for 3 hours and then hand them a large check.  In the "odd stat of the week", the Ragin' Cajuns someone won the time of possession battle 30:03 to 29:57 despite getting beat 55 – 0. I think I've already given more thought to this update than the Cornhuskers had to give on game planning.

  56  -  Grambling State  6
Why was this game played?  What did either team gain from this?  In a perfect example of breaking from the "saying what you are supposed to say" tradition of player interviews, OSU quarterback Zac Robinson opined, " It's hard sometimes against these types of teams when everybody says you're supposed to win.  You can get caught kind of playing down to their level.  We focused on all week just going out and pretending like we were playing a big opponent."  Yeah, well I bet you didn't win halftime.  Oooh, burn.

State  31  -  Army  10
The Iowa State spread offense found its legs as the Cyclones balance 175 yards in the air with 201 more on the ground, leading to a 31 – 10 victory over Army.  The Black Knights were able to score their lone touchdown by throwing a 5 yard fade into the end zone to 6 foot 10 receiver Ali Villanueva, who was covered by a 5 foot 9 cornerback.  And before you think, "Man, that's just too easy", understand that they had tried the SAME PLAY on first and second down with no success.  After the game, the overmatched corner Kennard Banks said, "Everybody is coming together.  We're starting to understand what we need to do to win now."  That, of course, being "play North Dakota State, Kent State, and Army."

  29  -  Texas Tech  28
It was a tough week in Raiderland.  First, the Raiders are able to mix a little run in with their offensive cocktail and show success on the ground to the tune of 163 yards.  And I must admit, watching Tech run the football looks almost as odd as naked people with shoes on.  But they simply couldn't outlast the Cougars, due in part to a much criticized call by Mike Leach to go for the touchdown on 4th and goal from the one yard line instead of kicking the field goal to go up by 8.  This handed the Raiders their second loss in a row in a season where many hoped to build on the success from last year.  Secondly, word came out earlier in the week that offensive lineman Brandon Carter had been stripped of his captaincy and suspended indefinitely for undisclosed reasons that many feel may have had to do with postings on his Facebook account.  The RoadWarrior lookalike apparently said something that rocked the Pirate Ship and many are anxious to see how this affects the team.

Baylor  68  -  Northwestern State  13
The Baylor Bears continued their exorcism tour as they drove out the Northwestern State Demons 68 – 13, two weeks after shocking the Demon Deacons at Wake Forest.  The Bears scored 27 points in each the second and third quarters, however they went for two early in the third quarter (and failed) in lieu of kicking the extra point in order to avoid a potentially uncomfortable score, and one that would have no doubt been a violation of their student handbook. Unfortunately, it looks like the Bears will have to face a few demons of their own after word is coming out that standout quarterback Robert Griffin will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.  After having gone through a torn ACL and the associated rehab myself, I really feel for the kid and wish him the best.

My 98 Cents: "Ow, That Really Hurt!"

Football is a violent game.  Like a geriatric mosh pit, bodies collide in ways that were never intended.  And as the years go by, the players get bigger, faster, and stronger.  The collisions become more violent.  We create pads and helmets to minimize the impact, but it also allows people to hit harder and deliver more forceful blows.  Unless you are in the Cowboys' secondary.  Those of us that may have played the game know the toll that the gridiron can take on your body.  And we played it at a much different speed.

Yet today's athletes sacrifice their bodies to play a game.  Some do it for the glory.  Some do it as a way out of a bad situation. Others because they have a passion for it.  And we pay millions of dollars each year to watch them do it.

But sometimes, things go wrong.  Players leave the field with cramps, sprains, or even broken bones.  Most of the time they come back, but other times they don't.  This year we have seen OU and Baylor lose quarterbacks.  The Aggies lost a top running back and a top receiver.  Who knows what will happen this weekend?

But one of the most horrifying injuries this season didn't even happen during a game.  It came in the weight room, where a young man was pushing to make himself better at his craft.  USC player Stafon Johnson was performing bench presses when he lost the grip of the bar and the weights came crashing down on his neck, crushing his larynx.  After surgery, he is expected to make a full recovery, but has likely ended his football career.

Not to make light of a serious injury, but I almost had this happen to me once.  I was at the gym blasting out sets of 155 pounds on the bench with some Disturbed blaring from my iPod, when it happened.  You see, a few months ago, I downloaded "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley because I thought it would come in handy. However, little did I know that on that fateful day, the fickle finger of the shuffle function would decide to tell the red-headed two-hit wonder to come on down.

As the hard driving anger of Stupify faded out and I heard the electronic drum intro Crossfade in, I let out a belly laugh, my left elbow buckled a bit, and the weight bar began to fall toward my chest.  Fortunately, I was able to quickly gather myself, regain control of the bar, and return it to the rack.  I had RickRolled myself.  And it almost had dire consequences.

As I called it quits for the day, and headed to the locker room, I counted my blessings that I hadn't continued any further.  For you see, walking to my car, I discovered that the next song in the rotation was "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" by Gayla Peavy.  ( I have two daughters.)  If I had been loaded up full-bore at the squat rack, I just might be in a full-body cast right now, dictating to an unpaid intern.

Coach Potato's Guide:

Televised Games

Colorado at West Virginia  6:30 PM Thursday on ESPN
Why not to watch: You missed it.  It was on yesterday.
Who will win:  Uhhh, West Virginia, 35 Miss Cleos to 24

at Kansas State  2:00 PM on FCS
Why not to watch:  It isn't worth developing carpal tunnel changing all the way up to channel 6753 or whatever channel FCS is.
Who will win:  Iowa State, 21 stinky wrist braces to 13.

New Mexico
at Texas Tech  2:30 PM on FSN
Why to watch:  To see how the Tech team responds after a disappointing loss and some friction in the locker room.
Who will win:  Even if the entire Tech squad went on a week-long hunger strike and played without shoes, they would still beat New Mexico.  Red Raiders win, 42 angry pirates to 6.

A&M vs Arkansas  6:30 PM on ESPN2
Why to watch:  A&M faces its first real test against a pretty evenly matched opponent.  Also, it is the first time you actually CAN watch A&M as this is their first televised game of the season.
Who will win:  Jerry Jones gets disappointed again by his alma mater's first game in Gloryhole Stadium as the A&M offense proves to be too much for a Nutt-less Razorback squad.  Aggies win, 38 twelve-dollar-beers to 32.

at Miami  7:00 PM on ABC
Why to watch:  Definitely the game of the week.  It doesn't have quite the luster without Sam Bradford, but both teams are pretty tough and it should make for a great showdown under the lights.
Who will win:  Oklahoma, 24 writer's blocks to 19.

Other Games

Kent State at Baylor  6:00 PM
Why to care:  Baylor still needs 4 more wins in order to make a bowl, which is apparently their equivalent of climbing Mount Everest, and this is probably their last chance at a sure thing, especially with their QB out for the season.
Who will win:  Baylor, 35 moral victories to 14.


Well, most teams are taking a breather this week as we get ready for the real season to begin.  The Big XII looks to be an interesting division this year and I expect to see numerous upsets as we navigate the murky waters of college football.

I want to thank all of you that emailed me and those of you that became a "fan" of Psychoag on Facebook.  I now have 96 fans as of this writing.  I hope to start putting additional content (free of course) on the Facebook page during the week as a thank you for those that are on the page.  If you want to email me, as always you can send it to psychoag98@yahoo.com  I try to answer all emails, so please put RETORT or something in the subject line so I don't miss it.  If you want to discuss with other readers, there is a thread in the football forum here.

Special shouts out this week to JPete – Ubertailgater, Felix Jones, your mom, the show FlashForward, and Debra Medina.

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