Can We Get a Mulligan?

Greetings, ‘Horns fans! Forgive my silence of late. You might have believed I succumbed to a rage stroke after the Oklahoma debacle. I can’t even call that a game, y’all. What was that nasty mess? If one team doesn’t bother to play at all, I am not even sure what you have…a scrimmage? Football solitaire?

Whatever the case, feelings are so, so very raw right now in Longhornland. Should Coach Brown stay? Should he retire? Can someone kidnap Will Muschamp and brainwash him using ancient Templar methods and force him to stay at Texas? Can we take up a collection for Manny Diaz’s plane ticket to anywhere outside the state? One-way?

Unfortunately, those questions have no answers right now. Coach Brown signaled he will stay. Besides, breaking his contract would be very expensive for the University. He gave us a National Championship and another almost-championship. Again, we’re not going to talk about Colt and his busted up chicken wing flopping around on the field against an Alabama team WE ABSOLUTELY SHOULD HAVE BEATEN. Ahem. We’re not discussing it.

Let’s steer away from some bad feelings, shall we? Two losses in a row is a lot for Texas fans to take, especially after a promising beginning. The ‘Horns still haven’t beaten a ranked team in approximately ten million years. Cast your mind back to some of my earlier posts, when I warned against being too exuberant about this team. They are young. They need more experience. And above all, they need a coach who can guide them, so I would again like to solicit donations to send Manny Diaz on a long vacation.

I was actually unable to view the game and thus I was spared many of the gory details. I am traveling abroad, as they said in the olden times. So, in my overseas destination they do not even acknowledge that American football exists, much less college football. Now, if you wanted to watch some hurling, there you go! All sorted out. Traveling has limited my ability to blog, but I didn’t want to deny you another single day without my clarion voice guiding your every sports decision.

I’ll wait while you finish with the laughing.

So what fate awaits the ‘Horns? Astonishingly, they are ranked #25 in the BCS poll, and this is the one that matters. They are unranked in the AP Poll and the Coach’s Poll. Not a surprise. The BCS ranking is likely based on their strength of schedule and early season wins. If you’ve been reading the blog, you will already know that the BCS formulas are one of the Mysteries of the Universe, and have something to do with sentient computers and the Illuminati. For now, I will just accept the ranking and hope the ‘Horns can win out the remainder of their games.

I’ll wait while you finish with the laughing.

NO, let’s be positive. Starting with Baylor. The Bears are ranked just below Texas in the Big 12, so directly above the toilet-level. Baylor has not won a Big 12 game yet this year, and let’s hope they don’t start this week. As you probably remember, Baylor had this quarterback last year who won this obscure award for being the best offensive player in the galaxy. That means their lackluster performance is also a disappointment to them. We have two teams slumping into the stadium under the heavy weight of spoiled expectations. The ‘Horns have the benefit of a truly inspirational leader in David Ash. After that near-death experience he had last week, I have to say I was bowled over with his fortitude. He announced on Monday that DUH, he was playing the Baylor game, just try to stop him! And the coaches rolled their eyes and pasted his photo in their Burn Book and drew devil horns on it. This kid can get the job done and lead the team back into the light. That’s a lot of responsibility on his considerable shoulders, but he appears up to the task. And right now, Texas needs some inspiration. Don’t go putting a halo on him or carrying his bones around in a necklace to ward off evil spirits (I may have spent too much time in museums lately). But he’s a solid leader and he has the best shot at getting these young players back on track.

I can’t discuss Jackson Jeffcoat. My pillow is still damp from all the sobbing. It’s inconceivable to me that he won’t be back this season. His injury sounds terribly painful,  so I will just wish him a speedy recovery and leave it at that. His replacement is backup defensive end Reggie Wilson, who brings speed and eagerness to the position. Wilson correctly said he is a different player from Jeffcoat. Less physicality, more quickness. This will be his first start. Here’s hoping he brings it HARD against Baylor.

A bright spot: looks like Jordan Hicks is returning! There will be much rejoicing, and hopefully a truckload of tackling. My hooves are crossed.

This Baylor team could really give Texas some trouble, but this is probably a statement we could make each week no matter the team. With the inconsistent defense and now also offense, who knows what will happen? Their new QB is no slouch, and they have one of the best wide receivers in the country. Terrance Williams has already racked up 830 yards this season. Texas’s secondary and corners could again get taken to the woodshed and spanked for huge plays. Paging Coach Diaz!

True story time. In high school, I was a band nerd, and was able to sit in with the Longhorn Band during the Baylor game. Since I was on the track during the game, I was able to meet the Baylor mascot. I got to love on a big black bear and it was amazing. The little bear had a “no touching rule,” because biting.

Back to the game.

Baylor ranks #1 in passing yards. Texas does not. Baylor lost to WVU in that record-setting game, where the teams ended up with 1,500 combined yards of offense. So yeah, Baylor can score. They’re coming off two tough losses, just like Texas, after winning at the beginning of the season. Baylor’s schedule only gets tougher as the season goes on. This will be a proving-ground for both teams. While Texas will likely not get any significant BCS bowl game this year, they could still have a respectable season if they win out (or get close to it, we do have Kansas State at the end, ermahgerd). Texas could still get a bowl game and come away not looking like a flag football intramural team.

If the ‘Horns can run the ball on Saturday, they should get a win at home and a much-needed confidence boost.  If not, well…it will make for another long evening of football solitaire.

Hook ’em!

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