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False Start!

I came across an unlikely statistic on a site called, which sounds like a place Huckleberry goes when he wants to get away from it all.

Over the past five seasons Texas has led the nation by a good margin in forcing visiting teams into the collective missteps that fall under the guise of Illegal Procedure penalties: false start, delay of game, encroachment, etc.

How Cleve Bryant and his minions have failed in citing yet another #1 ranking for Texas to help paint a portrait of rabid gameday atmosphereosity at DKR is astounding. These are the kind of irrelevant statistics that four-pound media guides are made of.

{---------------------Visiting Team---------------------}

Home Team Games False Start Ill. Proc. Ill. Form. Encr. Offense Delay Game Total Per Game
Texas 29 77 1 1 0 19 104 3.59
Missouri 29 66 3 7 1 15 92 3.17
Utah 28 71 1 5 0 8 85 3.04
Miami (Fla) 30 59 2 10 2 17 94 2.94
Virginia Tech 32 61 3 13 0 17 94 2.94
Florida 31 47 5 14 1 21 88 2.84
Boise St. 30 48 15 5 0 17 85 2.83
Cal 30 59 4 4 1 16 84 2.80
Miss St. 30 50 5 4 0 24 83 2.77
Oklahoma 29 59 0 5 0 15 79 2.72

The natural conclusion would be that the deafening crowd noise at DKR prevents opposing QBs from communicating with their offensive lines. If you believe that, you probably also set an Outlook reminder for when Bill Little's column is posted every week. The reality is that a healthy majority of our fans are cemetery quiet during stops in play, get easily distracted by heat, booze, and sweaty coeds; and flee for cocktails and AC during the third quarter. Texas Fan does a lot of things well such as selling out games, donating money, tailgating, and traveling for road games. But the ability to generate sustained, deafening noise like you hear in Eugene or Baton Rouge falls low on our list of positive attributes. So we can remove Intimidating Atmosphere from the list, unless you count Matthew McConaughey's gay shenanigans as such.

Another theory would be that the level of competition we face in non-conference home game lies somewhere between St. Stephen's Prep and a zoo of rescued Lemurs. (The Lemurs would win every time, except in Tennis). A lot of the athletes we're playing against on ULM/UCF/UTEP/ULALA/A&M rosters have been causing penalties since the fifth grade -- by now they're damn good at it.

Our average margin of victory at DKR since the beginning of the 2005 season is 30 ppg. Throw out our paltry 10 ppg margin of victory in 2007 and that insulting figure jumps to 35 ppg. Looking at our home schedule, we simply don't play many good teams. Incidentally, this is why some thoroughly average squads like NC State, Arkansas, A&M, and Kansas State have occasionally come in and beat us. A semi-competent, motivated team can waltz into Austin and steal a victory because the bulk of our non-conference competition comes here to cash a check and take an asswhipping. The typical September opponent shoots themselves in the foot early on then we hold the gun to their head while running away to a 54-10 victory. So the Epic Mismatch factor has some merit. Mistakes beget more mistakes.

Another possibility that helps to corale this outlying statistic is that we simply play a lot more pass-oriented offenses who are more prone to false starts and delay of game penalties. Given a big deficit, as already evidenced, most visiting teams have to abandon the run in the second half. 2-star OG Kevyn Bergerson from Cuero eventually tires of getting mauled by guys like Roy Miller, Lamarr Houston, etc so he looks to get an early jump to delay the beating a second or two, thereby causing one of the 3.56 illegal procedure penalties his team will log that day. So the Abandoned Run Game theory also holds water.

Looking over the other teams on this list, the questions don't stop here.

How does Miami come in fourth with it's perpetually empty-at-kickoff Orange Bowl and average record? Perhaps because the opposing offensive lineman are squaring off against grown men that have already or will someday attend prison.

f russell maryland

The same question could be asked of Cal. We can only assume that the image of hippies chained to stadium-side trees since 2003 etches itself in the temporal lobe of opponents walking off the bus. This inevitably leads to internal debates on ethics, general disillusionment towards 21st century America, and what the average Offensive Tackle's role in all this really is for at least the next 24 hours. Who are the real victims here? The hippies or the trees? False Start!

I needed a 1570 SAT score to be allowed in this tree.

Then you have the Mormons coming in strong at third place. As a religion, they're used to that. Even in prison, Warren Jeffs has three wives. The only explanation for this ranking is the opponent's innate desire to get out of creepy ass Salt Lake City as soon as possible.

HenryJames is from Utah. Just sayin' ...

The presence of Florida (The Swamp!), Mississippi State (fucking incessant cowbells), and Arkansas (screaming Cletus) makes sense on this list.

But not much else does. False start or false stat? Let ye carnies be the judge.