In sports, we talk about moral victories often. Really often. To the point of it becoming such an overwrought trope that even the backup Longhorn Network play-by-play team knows not to "touch it with a 10-foot pole." But this is probably something of a malapropism. We are really, more accurately, talking about "morale victories." There is no actual virtue or ethics involved in coming up just short in that upset bid with your back-up quarterback, even though he’s a freshman and it’s the National Championship! There can be a great deal of morale boosting, but it has nothing to do with right or wrong.
If the Longhorns beat Art Briles on Saturday, feel free to dig deep in that bag-o-cliche and "chalk up a win" in both columns. Texas’ devastated morale and win-loss record (and truly, their bodies, with a dozen key players nursing injuries on an already Briles-Top-of-head-thin depth chart) could certainly use the boost of another win, with the added bonus of ruining the Big Bowl™ chances of that inconsequential cousin who married into money and shows up to your house in a Bugati. But more importantly, it will see Charlie’s Core Values™ topple Art’s
Common Core™ (2003 Box Office Smash) "The Core" Values.
Briles is a thin-lipped, thin-haired, dead-eyed slouch walking the sideline, whose main in-game face is somewhere between "just let a fart slip...a little one...hope no one notices" and "Good God, do I have to eat at that Quiznos off the freeway again after the game? I hate Waco." But while his doofus looks and affinity for the phallic-symmetry of 4 Go-Routes make him a worthwhile and mockable foe, it engenders no real enmity. It’s the whole "probably knew about a history of domestic violence and definitely tried to slow-play a campus rape to see if it would blow over in time to bolster an already strong defense, because football" thing that ruffles a few feathers. (And the fact that Ukwuachu’s 180-day sentence is already half way over just means he’ll be ready in time for Spring Training, coach!)
But not in Waco. Because equally culpable in all of this are the Baylor alums, administrators (Ken Starr though…), and fans. So happy to be relevant and with easily the worst sports situation of my lifetime time at least a decade in the rear-view, they were all too eager to circle the wagons and Defend, Defend, Defend like a mid-2000s SEC game. Go read that blood-boiling article by Jessica Luther in Texas Monthly. Then take a trip to the comments section.
Baylor fans have turned a mid-level college education, 80 years of futility, and women’s basketball into the world’s most insufferable Napoleon complex. Here’s to hoping Baylor ends up with their 7th string quarterback (I don’t wish injury, just like treatable but incredibly painful cases of jock rash) and a steaming helping of Thanksgiving leftover Humble Pie.
Texas Announces OC Move
In a press conference Thursday evening, Texas head coach Charlie Strong announced the hiring of the most recent Offensive Coordinator for the Longhorns. Sonny Cumbie, previously of TCU, will be joining the Texas staff effective immediately following the season. "We’re very excited by the experience Sonny brings to our team. Along with Co-OCs Jay Norvell and Shawn Watson we think we have the best Co-Co-OC tandem in college football. I’m in love with the Co-Co," Coach Strong opined from the podium.
The progressive approach was immediately lauded across the Big 12 as Bob Stoops called the move ‘ground-breaking’ and Kliff Kingsbury called it ‘totally rad’. The newswire was quickly abuzz with rumors that Kansas, looking to shake up its own offensive staff, is planning to take the new strategy one step further and hire four OCs, as explained coach Beaty, "three is better than two and four is better than three."
Other offensive considerations explored by Texas included Twitch Plays Texas Football and a fan-picks-the-play text messaging service. Ultimately both options were abandoned in favor of the three headed OC approach, colloquially being dubbed "Coach Chimera". Asked for his opinion on the move, running back D’Onta Foreman expressed his excitement, "One play we breathe fire, then we breathe ice, then we run the ball." Heads across the locker room bobbed in enthusiastic agreement.
Asked how the trifecta would handle play calling, Strong responded, "We’re experienced having multiple play callers. It will depend on the game flow. X’s and O’s. Football." The system is already receiving recognition in the early early O rankings where analysts are quick to point out that Texas has ‘more OCs than everyone’ so they will ‘score the most points’.
Borrowing from the formal wardrobe of David Koresh, Biker Gangs, and the leftover wares of the Dublin Dr. Pepper factory, Adidaz really captured the spirit of the New Money McLanes and the...joy...found in Waco, Texas.
Better Know a Roster
Being UT's Bowl Game, this was a big one. And Baylor brought all the Baptist fury they could muster.
- Baylor Black (LB, JR), Blake Blackmar (OL, RS FR), Beau Blackshear (DL, SR), Byron Bonds (DT, JR) - An alliterative amalgamation arranged appropriately at an astoundingly average academic address. Baptist Baylor Bears barely best the bottom-feeders who bequeathed the Bowl blemish UT is bound to become. Kliff Kingsbury.
- Zack Bennema (QB, FR) - Zack B. Enema is the Johnny B. Goode update America deserves, but not necessarily the one we need. (New slogan! Donald Trump: The Enema America deserves)
- Dwyer Bucey (RB, FR) - I am Imbruglia Torn on whether to go the Gary Busey or Bucc-ees route on this one. Wait a minute...He looks like the love spawn of both!
- KD Cannon (WR, SO) - Rush 2015 was memorable for, if nothing else, the Evil Knievel sorority girl cannon to launch KDs.
- Obim Okeke (WR, FR) - Thanks, ObimO.
- Devin Chafin (RB, JR) - Is from Burkburnett, TX, which sounds like Buck Burnette, who was a terrible racist. So yea, you evoke images of burning, irritated, skin and racism, Devin.
- Dom Desouza (OL, JR) - No joke, I worked with a Baylor alum who called 4chan-in-human-flesh Dinesh D’Souza "a great American truth teller." Again, this is a real human. #SicEm
- Spencer Drango (OT, SR) - It took a lot of Google searches to convince me that the 2011 Johnny Depp vehicle/animated Lizard Western wasn’t called Drango. It just makes sense.
- Connor Weaverling (DL, FR) - If he wasn’t a large white man with naturally luscious hair, he’d be set up to run a Weave Emporium called Weaverlings’. (But is there a neck beard equivalent of the weave?)
- Johnny Jefferson (RB, SO) - Could’ve literally been one of the gang from the culdesac Leave it to Beaver was shot in. "Well gosh, Johnny, I didn’t realize your parents banned you from dancing."
- Jordan Feuerbacher (TE, SO) - [salutes coach Briles with one arm extended to 45 degrees, arm flat, palm down]. Mein coach! I will catch ze Touchdowns. For the Rei...eh. Team!
- Mallory Franklin (S, SO) - Poor girly-man Mallory is inexplicably from a town called Everman.
- Lynx Hawthorne (WR, JR) - Ugh. His Twitter name is @LynxGunner. I hate him so much.
- Chris Lutzel (DS, SR) - He's a Deep Snapper, so I assume everyone treats him like Lutz from 30 Rock.
- LaQuan McGowan (TE, SR) - I can say literally nothing bad about the 6’7", 410 lber from Cal Farley's Boys Ranch. He brings the people exactly what they want: FAT. GUY. TDs. And he piles all of that mass into a Ford Taurus!!!
Presidential Watch: Week 12 (20 of 44) (+ a few)(- some more)
So we finished the year with about 45% POTUS completion, which, while significantly better than any QB at UT can muster, is still unacceptable. So like
a cop any authority figure from The Wire, we’ve set out to "juke the stats." (And in the process hit the SEO jackpot).
- (See last week’s Pregamer for the full list)
This is raw data, but when presenting to Non-Interim AD Perrin, we’re gonna make the Pregamer really shine. This will get us promoted from bagels to pizza, boys. The first thing is separating the data into 4 categories which I will arbitrarily call "Blue, Red, Green, and Gold."
+3: Arthur, Chester Alan (1881-1885) [0 surnames "Arthur" in FCS. BUUUTTT Rice/OU/Cal made up 3/11 of the first names "Arthur" ]
+1: Fillmore, Millard (1850-1853) [0 Fillmores, BUUUTTT, 1 Millard. And he played for WVU!]
+3: Harrison, Benjamin (1889-1893) [0/8 last names played, BUUUTTT came across 3/15 first names, including Harrison Fox (OL, SO) - Baylor]
+3 for the other one too. Even if he only had a month: Harrison, William Henry (1841)
+1: Kennedy, John F. (1961-1963) [0/6 last names, BUUUTTT 1/5 First]"
+1: Lincoln, Abraham (1861-1865) [0 surnames "Lincoln" in FCS, BUUUTTT 1/3 First]
+1: Reagan, Ronald (1981-1989) [BUUUTTT Notre Dame had a Robert "Regan"]
-5: Coolidge, Calvin (1923-1929), Garfield, James A. (1881), Hoover, Herbert (1929-1933), Truman, Harry S. (1945-1953), Van Buren, Martin (1837-1841) [0 in FBS]
-1: Eisenhower, Dwight D. (1953-1961) [0 in FBS, 5 named "Ike" though]
-1: Obama, Barack (2009-) [BUUUTTT that’s not counting Nebraska LB: Mohamed Barry. ZIIIIIIING!]
Buchanan, James (1857-1861) [UT played 0/4 Buchanans]
Cleveland, Grover (1885-1889, 1893-1897) [0/5 Clevelands]
Clinton, Bill (1993-2001) [0/2 Clintons...there are more McKinleys thans Clintons? Benghazi!]
McKinley, William (1897-1901) [0/3 McKinleys]
Monroe, James (1817-1825) [0/6 Monroes]
Polk, James K. (1845-1849) [0/6 Pols]
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1933-1945) and Roosevelt, Theodore (1901-1909) [0 last name Roosevelts in FBS, 0/4 first name. Screw it, I’m combining them]
Taft, William H. (1909-1913) [0/1 Taft]
Gold (All that Glitters):
Jamal Palmer (DE, SR, BAYLOR) - Sharing a name with one of our most important POTUSes in President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert, 24), we’re counting Palmer in the final tally.
Chase Marshall (OL, RS-FR, CAL) - Besides making the rare "Wide Receiver to Offensive Line" switch in the offseason, Marshall also meets the criteria for President James Marshall (Harrison Ford, Air Force One).
With 12 blues + 2 golds - 7 reds...I’m willing to put this number squarely at 92% completion. That's downright Colt-ian! Tune in next season when we tackle the 111 SCOTUSes!
Kyle Carpenter: Jakeem Grant is only a few rungs below Crabtree on my least favorite Tech WRs. This was Grant’s day:
- 2 yard rush on the 2nd play of the game.
- "65 yard catch" that was more of an alley-oop c/o Holton Hill
- A pair of 30 yard kick returns
- 40 yard catch to the 1-yard line to set up the final go-ahead TD (41-38) the next play
- After an utterly inspired 4th and 7 fade incompletion: A 40 yard "Verne Troyer shot to the nuts" that even the consolation TD couldn’t take the sting out of. "Little People, Big World."
I'm sure stopping Corey Coleman will be no problem then...Baylor over UT, 55-31.
VY Pump Fake: Like winter, 2016 is coming, but damnit if it didn’t take 5 really long books and all my favorite characters were injured off. As for this week? More Lannister debt paying. Come on, Briles is totally a Lannister.
TejasChaos: For my money, I'd just keep driving north past that fancy new stadium and visit the Czech Stop. Mmmmm kolaches. Baylor wins by more than I'm comfortable predicting.
Now we see why they outlawed Dancing.