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Weekend Musings: Army-Navy, Texas QB, RGIII, Los Dallas Cowboys, Roster Sabanization

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I love the Army-Navy game. The quality of play isn't exactly LSU-Alabama, but I enjoy seeing guys play their hearts out in front of the Commander-in-Chief with Midshipmen and Cadets decked out cheering wildly, partly out of real camaraderie and brotherhood with their football playing peers who live, eat, and exist with them every day and aren't flown in from another campus like Jefferson in Fast Times At Ridgemont High, but also from the sheer exhilaration of being free from their academic and social prisons. Games without penalties are also novel.

The joy in the stadium is palpable and the flasks are flowing. West Point and Annapolis guys take the academic load equivalent of 18-22 hours per semester (and there aren't any Parks & Recreation majors - they're all real classes where you're called on, sent to the board daily, and force ranked constantly - surely this will damage these young people's delicate sensibilities?) in addition to constant drill, various sanctioned hazing, and all sort of other annoyances to their time and personal liberty. At West Point, I think the saying goes: "A million dollar education, rammed up your ass a nickel at a time."

It's also amusing to watch the number of admirals and generals roaming around imploring their side for bragging rights.

Historically, both teams have been more or less evenly matched, with each having years of dominance punctuated by stunning upsets, but Navy has had a recent run of total Cadet obliteration, much to the chagrin of my West Point father. Navy's 27-21 win was their 10th in a row (they've outscored Army 349-112 over that time period), but it looks like the gap is starting to close again. Grim days for Army are probably about to end with the hire of their new coach Rich Ellerson, who gets what it takes to win in the Hudson Valley.

Equally affecting is the realization that a number of these guys will be leading troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan's tribal areas, doing counterinsurgency in the Phillipines etc only months from now. Every Army-Navy game is sobered by the reflection on the players and spectators from years previous who have been lost on the battlefield.

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RGIII won the Heisman and all is right with the world. Whether you consider the Heisman a MVP trophy, a reward for the best human highlight film, or the result of a statistical season long pistol whipping on all opponents, or even has some citizenship component, RGIII checks every box. Elevating Baylor to 9-3, a passing efficiency rating in the 190s, a 6:1 TD/INT ratio, and game after game of clutch play compensating for a horrid defense, made him the proper recipient. Andrew Luck may have comparably elevated his Stanford team, but the Cardinal actually play some defense, and Luck's game, though fun to watch, doesn't quite elicit the RGIII "Holy shit!" factor. His speech was outstanding as well. Sincere, intelligent, selfless - the guy you want your kid to grow up to be. Even shots of Baylor coach Art Briles, who always brings to mind chloroform, zip ties, a trowel, and a Skilsaw sitting under a piece of plywood in his trunk, couldn't dim my enthusiasm.

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Apparently Princeton is the JUCO of the Ivy Leagues, because Cowboy coach Jason Garrett's end of game management is Blinn worthy. For the 2nd straight week, Garrett squandered a chance to win with game management most 13 year olds master on their Playstations. When it was clear the NY Giants were going to score the go-ahead touchdown, Garrett lost around 20 seconds until he realized a time out might be in order. That loss of time could have meant three more plays for a Dallas offense that was chewing up the Giants in the passing game. Dan Bailey had his 47 yard game-tying field goal blocked after Tom Coughlin called a judicious time out to take away his first successful attempt. 37-34, Giants. Now tied at 7-6 with the Cowboys for the division lead. Awesome.

Too late to jump on the TJ Yates Texans bandwagon? Probably.

**

The predicted roster Sabanization has begun and our recruiting class is the leading indicator of the transfers and medical 'shirts to come.

Expect the Longhorn recruiting class to go as high as 28 - the only limit we have to concern ourselves with is 85. The additions of Kenny Vaccaro's little brother Kevin and late surging sleeper Adrian Colbert brings us up to 25 now and there are still big names on our radar. I don't quite get the Vaccaro take, but I'll reserve judgement until I can see more film. Colbert is a take all the way - basically, a high level track guy with a good frame that likes to hit. That's a description that works for me on the "sleepers."

I'm not interested in running a burn and churn program and we've historically not done so, but if Mack has to have frank discussions with players who were marginal takes or tell guys who aren't putting out to hit the bricks, I'm OK with it. I just hope he remembers that he's the reason every single one of those players are here. For a long established coach like Brown, the current state of the program is an exact reflection of his attentiveness, competence, and effort. I'm guessing he doesn't like what he sees in the mirror. We're on the upswing, but we're going to be feeling the effects of the Great Coaching Staff AWOL for another couple of years.

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QB. The talk of the internets.

Yeah, we need help.

McCoy isn't the answer and I'm not even sure he's a part of the question unless that question is: Do you prefer Holiday or Alamo?, Ash depends on basic development and the rehab of his psyche - which is absolutely doable - so don't write him off, and trotting Connor Brewer out there is a recapitulation of this year and an admission of a staff with a retarded learning capacity. Whether we pursue a JUCO or transfer from Dayne Crist or some other Russell Wilson-type I'm unaware of, it's pretty clear to me that we should seek veteran help at QB. Aaron Rodgers and Josh Heupel's aren't out there in the JUCO ranks in abundance (and Bo Wallace doesn't strike me as either) and Dayne Crist may only be a mediocre player, but a mediocre QB at the helm next year likely results in a 9-11 win team.

Thoughts?