Let's start the post-Christmas festivities (Festivuses?) with a simple question.
Is there anything more Texas than Texas?
Of course not. So there's little wonder in that The University of TEXAS is going bowling in the only bowl Texas enough to handle us...That's the Texas Bowl in case you were wondering. Yessir, everything's bigger in Texas, and the kids can't help but be excited about the chance to see a whole different part of the state, going to those rodeo themed restaurants, and trying this new-fangled BBQ food the locals seem to like. Who needs trips to Disney World or Hawaii or the Bahamas? They can all choke on our perfectly balanced 6-6 vs 6-6 records. It's not a sign of the devil as long as you leave room for Jesus and hyphens.
But enough on how much we Advocare about playing before New Year's or in Houston. After all, the Texas Bowl has a conference tie-in with a certain Texas-ly inclined group of individuals up the road that can't stop talking about how much they run this state. Surely this season was all an elaborate trap set by Coach Strong to lure our good friends from College Station back for a second helping of the Justin Tucker Scoreboard Experience. How could they not jump on a chance for revenge against a .500 Texas team?
Hah. In their superior wisdom, the SEC has sent the Aggies to Tennessee. Guess they ran the numbers and were worried about filling the seats. It's hard to generate excitement in these bowls after all, and TV markets being what they are, it's unlikely two Texas teams would have much of a draw in Houston. Gotta bring in more markets that speak to that WalMart generation. And we have just the team.
Granted, Arkansas isn't the Aggies, but they just might be what the Aggies look like in 15 years. Stop me if you've heard this story; old foe leaves conference for greener pastures in a top heavy SEC. They spend a lot of time talking about how they used to play us regularly, and how much they hate us. It must be like looking into a mirror, if that mirror is really your second uncle you vaguely look like who left town decades ago to "find himself" and now lives in a camper van outside Reno with his common-law wife. It's sad to think that someday we may think of our little rivalry with A&M the way our parents and grandparents promise us that Arkansas used to be special.
Now we feel all sad inside. Let's get a quick pickup from Travis.
Another bit of good news, we've been informed the entire Longhorn team is academically eligible to play on Tuesday. Apparently we did come to play school. Hope one of those classes was run gap awareness, we just might need it.
Good luck. Happy Holidays. Let's get bowling.
Better Know a Bielema:
You may have noticed a large lumpy hole in the first half of our coverage. Never fear, we at the Pregamer aren't taking a pass on a golden opportunity, just merely giving adequate space for the girth of our analysis.
Charlie for Scale
This is Bret Bielema, coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks and lvl 19 Hand Troll (see above). He is awesome in all the ways we at the Pregamer could hope for.
For those who don't follow Big 10 football (everybody?), Brent came to Arkansas via the "Flee Madison" coaching tree that has grown exponentially in recent years. His departure of a fairly successful program was surprising, and not just because he looks like he stepped out of a catalog for Green Bay Monthly. Whatever the reasons, Boss Hogg had his eye on greener pastures. Also he raised pigs as a kid. Seriously.
In fact, ole Bret was in such a rush to get out of a job with regular trips to the Rose Bowl for middle of the pack SEC play, he allegedly sent a handwritten letter to Arkansas inquiring about the job 3 months before the season was over. And how could they turn the man down? He's basically better than Saban.
But forget about Brent the Coach. What do we know about Brent the Man? In addition to handwritten correspondence, The Big Biel likes to take things slow. He is most definitely an ass man, and when it fancies his mood, he is quite the cunning linguist.
Watch out you Workout Spurriers out there, the Bielema Machine runs on sex appeal and is coming for you.
Any one of these fun facts could have been their own column. And for that, we salute you coach. If the Big 12 is looking for a new member, maybe we can just take this guy. You know him and Holgo would make the pre-Media Day parties worth it.
Better Know a Roster:
Jokes several recruiting cycles in the making
A tip of the hat to the Arkansas coaching staff. It must be hard coming up with a group of football players from the state with this many different last names.
Juan Day (RB, FR) - [There are 1000s of jokes, please leave your best in the comments...e.g., "Juan Day, the Pregamer guys will write their own jokes."]
Tiquention Coleman (LB, SR) - The beauty of Tiquention is that it is equal parts Star Trek and Hood Rich.
Rafe Peavey (QB, FR) - There are not nearly enough Rafes in sport. For every Rafe Lafrentz there seem to be thousands of Petes, Jimmys, and even Garrets. Save the Rafe.
Marty Murad (WR, SO) - With no context, your first thought is absolutely that this guy is a NASCAR driver. With a mustache.
Henre' Toliver (CB, FR) - Is it supposed to be Henré? Like "On-Ray Tol-E-bear?" Either way, I like that his father's name is Henry and he decided to class it up a bit.
Jojo Robinson (WR, FR) - I checked the roster like 6 times. No KC, Casey, Kasey to be found.
Korliss Marshall (RB, SO) - Perfect name for a CoreValueTM-less program like Arkansas. (Tried to name after Corliss Williamson, Arkansas basketball GOAT, but missed...)
Keegan Heller (LB, FR) - Equal parts Helen and Keller
Kohl Slaughter (FB, FR) - What happened on Black Friday after they marked the Jennifer Lopez 600-thread-counts down 50%.
Denver Kirkland (OL, SO) - Is wholesale OL quality, but you have to buy like 12 of em to get the Costco discount.
Mitch Smothers (G, JR) - Is the perfect O-Line name. And future Line Cook at Waffle House name, come to think of it.
Brey Cook (G, SR) - The solution for slowing down the UT pass rush? Maybrey.
Luke Charpentier (C,SR) - I still call them Freedom Fries, but this is a damn fine French last name. Evokes super-classy woodwork.
Jeremy Sprinkle (TE, SO) - The guy's a real cupcake.
Hunter Henry (TE, SO) - Sounds like a children's PBS show.
Taiwan Johnson (DT, SO) - A phallic insult usually reserved for when giant testes are sovereign from a small but powerful Wang.
- Alan D'Appollonio (LS, SR) -
Tejas Chaos: I've picked us to win every game this year, and I'm right approximately half the time. Texas and my gambling habit finishes on the upswing, ending 2014 in the black.
Kyle Carpenter: We've already won the Malik Bowl, the Rodeo Bowl, and the JJ Watt endorsement for who will win in his stadium Bowl, now all that is left is play the Game of this young Century and have Obama award us the National Championship.
VY Pump Fake: I've only just now surfaced from a 36 hr binge of Kyle Field implosion gifs. Down 6 late, Texas wins it on a second coming of the Right 53 Veer Pass, history appreciating Longhorn heads explode across the nation.