Monday, November 9, 2009

The State of Texas (Football)

I don't want to overstate the pain, but the sunburn I got on my face courtesy of the unseasonably warm  UT football game against UCF has left me with the inability express emotion without an avalanche of dead skin falling off.

In other words, this weekend was about as good as you can get for the football in Texas.

Saturday brought the 35-3 shpaping (see Tony Danza) of UCF courtesy of the Texas new most promiment BFF roommates and universal panty-creamers, Colt MaBoy and Jordan Shipley (sorry Romo/Witten, you'll always have Cabo); both set career marks on this day, which is nice and all, but I'd hate to see a scenario where some ranked defense actually figures out that Colt's kryptonite might be to triple-cover Shipley (*cough* OU*cough*). We have some good young receivers, but I couldn't tell whether or not the offensive game plan vs. UCF was labeled "Heisman/Biletnikoff" and solely crafted to pad these 2 roomy's numbers. Hopefully it was, because added with Texas' recent fondness for running laterally for losses rather than straight up the field, some might begin to wonder whether or not UT is at risk of becoming too predictable Luckily, they have 2 months for Applewhite to maybe not get demoted the RBs finally breaking out.

Mac Brown, who likes to scoff in the face of predictability though, found it in his heart to spot UCF 3 points and a whole quarter. Yeah it probably cost Texas #2 in the BCS (which doesn't matter), but it does point to a pattern of UT just not starting off strong in early games at Royal Memorial. Even if half the team was nursing a hangover, it's fortunate that the offense has only the best defense in the country to keep them from hitting the panic button too soon. When you enjoy watching your team play defense as much as McCoy air-mailing it to Shipley, you know your team is pretty stout. I'm still wary of the trap-game feel that UT/A&M has, but with the way UT has played on the road vs. ranked teams this year, history lends me some optimism that they'll be ready to play.

Far to the north, in the warren of malcontent known as Philadelphia, Dallas finally came up big somehow. Color me pleasantly surprised, but it's still a pretty good feeling when you tell yourself for a week that big D is going to blow it and then they finally turn the corner on you. I feared the worst when Roy "#1" Williams publicaly took umbradge with the common misconception (to him) that he was in fact a #2. Of course, Roy is still trying to shake the notion that it is not his magical goatee that is in fact what catches all the balls and not his hands (not a gay joke) - the recent history would prove otherwise (thanks for shaving jackass).

Though Williams claimed he was not trying to pull a T.O.,  Romo once again seemed ready to "feed the monster" on Sunday. Perhaps all those extra candlelight dinner throwing sessions paid off this week, because unlike T.O., Roy actually caught what was thrown his way this time. Even when it became painfully obvious that Romo (or Jason Garrett) was tunnel-visioning Roy the ball (I'm not looking at you, flailing Jason Witten in the back of the end-zone), I'm still was impressed by the the Cowboys production and offensive scheme additions. I give credit to Garrett for formulating a wildcat formation (Wild-Boy?) that got Tashard Choice involved and kept the Eagles off-balance, as well as the use of perhaps another budding weapon, Kevin Ogletree. Watch out Patrick Crayton - yes I still hate you.

To show you how much the Cowboys threw me through a loop, I had pretty much given up hope that Garrett or Romo would take advantage of an Asante Samuel-less Eagles backfield when he went out with an injury; that is, until Miles Austin exploded once more for another game-winning play. Suddenly an offense that had no identity and no clear stars the first 4 weeks now has TOO many options. Thankfully, the numbers show that as Romo spreads the wealth, defenses have been kept on the heels and unable to jump routes. What's great too is that we don't have to be subjected as often to Witten catching the ball and doing his best Tin Man impersonation while trying to get yards (and failing) after the catch. I don't blame him for falling down, considering he was hit back to mental capacity of a fourth grader a couple years ago. Need proof? This commercial is always there; like the cowbell, karma maintains that I always need more Witten.

6-2? Like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expected that. Now that 16 of the 18 wheels have fallen off of Eli's semi, the Redskins doing their best cover of "Black Hole Sun," and the Eagles about to get pounded by their schedule, the Cowboys now have 8 weeks to figure out how they are going to lose their playoff game.


p.s. Houston sucks.

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