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Texas Pregamer: Remember the Alamo (Bowl)

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Sam has on a coonskin cap and was overheard saying “you may all go to hell and I will go to Texas”

Perched at the very end of a decade that was first kicked off by a Texas appearance in the National Championship game, we find ourselves closing out a decade in the VALERO ALAMO BOWL ® against a formidable Utah squad that has a fair case for disappointment in having to play a 5-loss Texas team. Having spent the ten years since Marcell Dareus atoning and offsetting our glorious run of good fortune throughout the 00s/aughts/millennial pubescence, Horns fans can only hope we are on the cusp of a fresh swing of the pendulum - a swing that maybe isn’t even looking BACK ™ but rather at something even better in front of us.

In the meantime, we will unleash all the resources at our disposal to get every remotely competent coach in the Big 12 a job elsewhere. Lincoln Riley, transfer talent kingmaker, inheriting a Cowboys’ roster full of developed talent? Git ‘er done. Matt Rhule, Penn State letterman, to lead Nittany Lion standout Saquon Barkley to the promised land? Poetry. Matt Campbell, a hometown hero, returning to the Cleveland area to resurrect the Browns from irrelevance and those Baker Mayfield Progressive commercials? A legit pre-packaged 30 for 30. Get on it, NFL, RATINGS aren’t just for politics! Regardless of what happens, we are happy the big leagues are recognizing the value of Big 12 coaches at the next level. Kliff equaling his 5 win total from his last year at Tech, despite adding 4 more games, is apparently really helping improve the Big 12’s reputation (almost as much as OU in the playoff era).

So the Utah Utes are our opponent this week, a team backed by The Muss (not sexual) who engages in Holy War annually and who were the team that trounced Alabama in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. That loss set off Bama’s revenge tour the following year that ended in four Garrett Gilbert interceptions and the beginning of the UT shadow decade. So it is only fitting that we will fight UT vs Utah to end a decade of desert wandering. Time is a flat circle after all. Furthering the theme is the fact that our last Alamo bowl vs the Pac 12 ended Mack Brown’s career. The vengeance themes, while far reaching across time, are evident to any Longhorn fan with enough time on their hands. And as everyone queueing up their dedicated recruiting twitter handles knows, we are not short on that.

So as you all gather with friends on New Years Eve, shielding your eyes from the sea of sequin reflections threatening to burn holes in the back of your retinas, cheer for the Orange and the White. As you jostle across the over-packed bar to spend 30 minutes trying to order a drink, pull up your ESPN app and tune in. We get one last game of football before the abyss extends its clutches and claims us for its own, don’t waste it folks (eat at Arbys).

Hook ‘em and Happy New Year -- and it’s goodbye to...this wretched decade


Better Know a Roster

I don’t know about you, but when I close my eyes and picture Utah I see an aryan, Young Romneys, cripplingly white vanguard. And PLENTTTTY of those guys exist:

But my back of the napkin math is that this team is also about a third Polynesian/Pacific Islander. And that is significantly cooler. We will mock accordingly.

Stone Azarcon (So., DB) - Proposing a new eco/rock tourism slogan for the state: “Utah: Where we have stone as a corn.” Utah is our 12th largest state by size and 30th by population which sounds like a great recipe for farming, however, Utah is currently 37th in agricultural cash receipts in the country ahead of ag-juggernauts like Hawaii, Nevada, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Alaska and land titans like Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware.

Faysal Aden (Fr., RB) - Mormon for Basil Hayden -- but instead of a buttery, light, small batch bourbon, the 5’7 back will probably be one of those slippery TCU numbers.

Maxwell Cotton (Fr., DB) - and yet they have the audacity to field the croppily-named ‘Max Cotton’? Audacious.

Javelin K. Guidry (Jr., DB), Falcon Kaumatule (Fr., DL) - but like...are you kidding me?

Patton Germann (Fr., WR) - The German equivalent of ol’ ‘Blood and Guts’? Easy to say Rommel or von Manstein but real WW2heads know it’s Heinz Guderian.

Malone Mataele (R-Fr., DB) - His brothers, Stockton and Hornacek Mataele look to be decent prospects as well.

Iverson Taase (Fr., LB) - Sadly Iverson has no brothers who are prospects -- he had to do it all by himself.

Andrew Mata’afa (R-Fr., LB) - we absolutely pronounce this as though Andrew has relations with mothers, right?

Taimi Taimi (Fr., LB) - A linebacker so nice, they named him twice.

London Bartholomew (Jr., OL) is from Mesa, AZ, Britain Covey (Jr., WR) hails from Provo, but 6’7″, 337 lb Bamidele Olaseni (Jr., OL) is from (double checks notes) London, England?

John Penisini (Sr., DT) , LaCarea Pleasant-Johnson (Fr., DB) - This is the cutest, most Utah thing of all time. They can’t just say penis they have to say “Penisini” or “Pleasant Johnson.”


RIP to the Fallen Homies (and those who have fallen again, since)

In Memoriam

The 1930s are the only decade that could reasonably give the 2010s a run for their money for the worst decade in the history of the storied Texas Longhorns football program. I don’t know who the satirical dorks who were covering those Depression-era Horns, but I hope they found a way to make bitter, sour, tear-inducing lemonade out of that lemon of a decade as we have tried to do here at the Pregamer since 2012.

This decade has brought us:

  • No conference championships for first decade ever
  • Never actually in a national title picture (other than the cadaveric spasm 1/7/10)
  • Only one top ten finish
  • Four losing seasons
  • 3-8 against OU, 2-6 against TCU, and 5-5 against Baylor (woof)

It has also seen an incredible amount of coaching change with a not entirely cold seat on the third coach of the decade, let’s take a moment to remember all the soldiers who have been nixed from the ranks in this decade:

Mack Brown, Greg Davis, Manny Diaz, Mad Dog, Charlie Strong, Vance Bedford, Todd Orlando, Les Koenning, Bryan Harsin, Sterlin Gilbert, Pat Moorer, Major Applewhite, Benny Wylie, Shawn Watson, Drew Mehringer, etc. etc. etc.


Now That’s What I Call Moozik! Vol. Alamo:

First off, I’d just like to thank my bosses for a great semester here at The Pregamer! I’ve learned so much from Mr. Carpenter and Mr. Pump. BTW, I sent y’all LinkedIn requests a while back, but I’m sure y’all get so many, so no worries, but if you could find the time to endorse me for my coffee making skills and ability to expeditiously pick up dry cleaning, I’d greatly appreciate it! Finally, thank you, dear readers. It has been an honor. I don’t know if I’ll be brought on again next season, so if this is goodbye, I’ll see y’all in the comments section.

  1. “Ballad Of The Alamo”, Marty Robbins- If this is the beginning of Herman’s Last Stand, then let’s hope he doesn’t go out without a fight.
  2. “Hope She’ll Be Happier”, Bill Withers- I got my hopes up about Graham Herrell coming to Texas, if only for the potential of getting Cannes-worthy ads for LHN with him and Blake Gideon. But we can’t have nice things.
  3. “Goodbye to You”, Michelle Branch- My dad didn’t know Todd Orlando was let go until I told him during the LSU/Oklahoma game the other night (not a Twitter guy). He got up from his chair wordlessly, walked to the fridge, opened a cold Budweiser, took a sip, sighed, and choked out “Alexa, play my drinking music.” before a single tear rolled down his cheek. This was the first track that came on. Sorry, Dave.
  4. “That Ain’t My Truck”, Rhett Atkins- You gotta feel at least kinda bad for Tim Beck, staying on while Tommy’s been out there interviewing and finding someone new. It’s like Tim’s waiting until the lease is up after a break up to move out because he didn’t have enough saved to just leave, and his girl/guy is inviting dudes over for movie nights. The living room is a shared space, Tom!
  5. “I’m Like A Bird”, Nelly Furtado- Double birds on signing day like he’s Stone Cold about to hit a Stunner on the media? Tom’s gonna Tom.
  6. “Everything You Want”, Vertical Horizon- I watched his bowl game presser and read his quotes about Utah and his staff moves and it left me feeling like this dude has everything a fan could want out of a coach, and yet, the on field product is so puzzlingly disappointing.
  7. “You Look So Good In Love”, George Strait- How much fun is Mack Brown having right now? He looks so happy.
  8. “Oklahoma Breakdown”, Stoney LaRue- My favorite part about the LSU/OU aftermath is this dude who genuinely thinks OU was in it.
  9. “Ohio (Come Back To Texas)”, Bowling For Soup- Welcome, Coach Yurcich.
  10. “The New Year”, Death Cab For Cutie- If you play this at exactly 11:57 and 17 seconds you’ll start crying as soon as the ball drops. Happy New Year.

Predictions

Intern Eli: Cameron Rising comes in on a gadget play and is promptly picked off. Casey Thompson comes in on a gadget play later in the game, scores, and does the Drew Lock Mock dance for reasons never to be explained. Texas 35, Utah 27.

VY Pump Fake: We’re back! Back to a New Years bowl, just like last year. Equal prestige. More importantly, several injured starters will also be back. Some coaches will not be back. Back to football after several weeks off. Back to wins in primetime. Texas by two back to back touchdowns from Ehlinger.

Kyle Carpenter: Texas ends the decade on a high note, the same way society did 20 years ago when Will Smith tried to ease our Y2K anxieties as we entered the new millennium...excuse me: Will-enium. Texas trails 20-19 at halftime before ushering in the new decade and winning 40-20.


Parting Stat: A Hairy 3-1 lead

The past few months, it seemed that the majestic landscapes of Zion and Arches National Parks as well as the unbelievably wide city streets of Salt Lake City were putting the ‘AH’ that ‘UT’ simply couldn’t conjure in Austin. After the Texas heat seemed to be a bit much for Cam Rising’s moustache, we saw the double recruiting flips of mulleted-Van Fillinger and all-around hair wonder Ty Jordan and began WTF (What The Follicle) is going on? But alas, more clean-cut heads prevailed when Texas got one back by flipping long time Ute Jaylon Ford to the good guys.

Texas still trails 3-1, but it’s not like we’ve never seen a team from the Pac-12 region blow a 3-1 lead...


Parting Shot

He’ll have plenty of time to catch up...