Scattershooting on a warm September afternoon in Austin, Republic of Texas, while wondering whatever happened to Gene Dahlquist.
Going on five days since the Southern Cal shoulda woulda, I can't help thinking that the biggest takeaway from that game is the Connor Williams injury. All the other issues can be addressed, but Williams is irreplaceable. At least our depth chart for tackles can now be simplified; just list it as MAGINOT.
So it appears, as of this hour, that Shane Buechele was not Wally Pipped by Sam Ehlinger. According to Thos. J. Herman III, Boo took 60% of the snaps with the ones on Tuesday, and a similar ratio was expected for Wednesday (I’ll update this later). Methinks they’ll both play, and in the same game. The former Heardcat or Heardteen step van or whatever the fuck it was will now be keyed by Ehlinger, who is a threat to throw out of it. Boo, on the other hand, will bring some precision back to the passing game since it looks like (I think) we’re headed for more of a 10 personnel base deployment.
For better or worse, we've cast Tim Beck as Captain Queeg. There’s a parallel to be drawn here between Queeg’s frozen strawberries and Texas tight ends, but it's hard to make it crisply. The “wither the running game at USC” debate is over. The question now becomes whether Herman will assume full command of the offense here and make the adjustments necessary to define an identity that fits his personnel. Beck will still have the play card in his hands come Thursday week, but the lack of a clear offensive direction befitting the talent on hand is Herman’s to own, and I think he has to fix it himself. It cannot be delegated in any way, shape, or form. Besides, its always been his responsibility anyway. It’s not like he was a passive participant — he signed off on this shit. The next four weeks comprise the gauntlet of Texas’ schedule. If Herman isn’t careful, he’ll find himself stranded in that crossfire of no-man’s land between the trenches of King and Kaiser.
But the defense looked great against Southern Cal, you say? True — it was a Herculean effort worthy of a plateful of praise smothered in sausage gravy (how in the fuck all did I just have a John Chavis moment?). Anyway, expect the next several opponents to spend just as much time on the Maryland game film as on the USC film. The Fighting Condoms didn’t feature the kind of misdirection in the run game that gave Texas fits.
Speaking of, that old man behind the big desk with a resting heart rate of 25 and gently scratching a kitten behind its ears while you plead for mercy is, of course, Bill Snyder. I'm advised that Snyder was asked by his Board of Regents before this season how long he intended to coach, and his response was “Methuselah squared.”
Texas/OU weekend note: dinner ressies for Friday night are getting tight. Javier’s and Bob’s are swamped. Fresh tip: try Town Hearth in the Design District. That's where we're going. You're looking at early or late there (or anywhere else), but look it up. Swank joint.
And if you still need a place to crash, try the Joule downtown to see if they have any cancellations. Pricey, but motherfucking p-o-s-h. Keep wives and dates in check, though. It's next door to Neiman’s. Last I checked, the W still had a coupla spots as well.
Congrats to Astros fans for the AL West title. Winning is fun … it's like better than losing. Now that you’re in, that pesky nightmare you keep having that causes you to wake up in sweat-soaked sheets features the Warriors of the Cuyahoga. There's not a club in baseball that wants any part of the Cleveland Indians right now. I'll have more on hardball as we get closer to October. I kind of have a thing for it.
I'll hold my Cowboys thoughts until the next BC Unplugged Podcast. We're taping Thursday night and will have a very special Cowboys guest.
Until then, stay hard and healthy, sports fans.