First let me start off by addressing Tyrell Gatewood's arrest last night - this has officially gotten out of hand. The bad news is Gatewood is a senior and is a prominent part of the defensive secondary. The even worse news is this is the fifth one of these since June. I'll repeat, this has officially gotten out of hand. It's obvious Brown needs to do something different than he has been doing to address these issues. I'd also like to see the team leaders (whoever the hell they may be this year) step up and help address the situation - take care of your own. I do think that we shouldn't put all of this on Brown on the coaches - I think young people (younger than me - coming out of high school) have this sense of entitlement and no sense of accountability and consequences - you can see this not just in sports, but in the business/work wold as well. Screw "waiting for the legal process", kick this guy off the team and let everyone else know that even the most minor of incidents (a f'ng speeding ticket even) will result in immediate removal from the team and loss of scholarship. But who am I kidding, this is Mack Brown - I'm not sure this guy truly understands the concept of accountability either. But I digress, let's look at the game.
So tomorrow marks Texas' first road game of the year and as such should always be taken seriously. Let's be honest, Texas should win this game running away, but on the flip side, it's not like we've seen this team play the way we know they can yet - my only hope is that maybe we can show up to play for 3 quarters this time. In all honesty, anything can happen....but it probably won't. If you go and look at the stats here, these guys give up a lot of yards and a lot of points on average - this bodes well for our offense who is continuing to find some sense of rhythm.
Sounds like Jordan Shipley will travel with the team and may see limited action - has their been a bigger disappointment in the last couple of years than this guy? Not his fault, he's been constantly injured, but still a bummer. Hopefully we can get him healthy and ready for the second half of the year.
I think the defense will show up and continue to show improvements and growth - these guys had a great TCU game and hope to see that carry over. The only real concern (same with every Texas where they're not playing Rice), is coming out slow and sluggish. Let's be honest - that's the safest bet in the book. Central Florida is debuting a new stadium and like most of our opponents, this is their big super bowl game. I imagine these guys will come out pumped up and hot, but as usual the horns will come out sometime in the 2nd quarter, kick it up a notch and run away with this win.
Texas - 37
UCF - 16
Notre Dame vs. Michigan:
And all of a sudden, this is a meaningless game. I gotta think Michigan will kick these guys' ****. I know their defense is no good and I know Henne is out, but Notre Dame literally has nothing going for them. If went out and got 10 friends and lined up to play defense against them, I'm not sure they could move the ball. Frankly, I don't even think this game will be close. I can't conceive one area of the game where ND has the edge here.
Michigan - 27
Notre Dame - 13
Tennessee at Florida:
I'm very intrigued to see this game. I think Tennessee has a chance here. I know that Florida has a mental stranglehold on Fulmer, but given the Gator youth on defense (and offense), Tenn has a slight advantage I believe. The game is in the Swamp, however which won't make things any easier. I know most people would disagree with this, but I'm going with Tennessee to pull the upset here and hand Florida one of it's 2 losses this year.
Tennessee - 24
Florida - 22
USC at Nebraska:
I'd like to think that Nebraska can come out and avenge the **** whoopin' they took last year..I really would. But, I don't *think* it's going to happen. After watching Nebraska's defense against Wake's backup QB last week, I'm not so sure. I know, they did what they were supposed to do and win the game, but if they couldn't stop Wake, how in the world are they going to stop USC? The good news is you just know Nebraska will come out pumped up in front of their home crowd and ready to prove to the college football world that Husker football is back...I just don't think it's going to work out, but I REALLY hope it does.
USC - 37
Nebraska - 20
I don't know much about either of these teams this year, but the OSU vs. Washington game is quite intriguing. I'm taking the Huskies in this one to continue their winning streak. Mind you, that's based on nothing but a gut feeling at this point.
Random CFB Note:
- Anyone else think Chizick may be regretting that sudden jump to Iowa State? Wow, what a terrible way to start a season - back-to-back losses to D2 teams. They get Iowa this weekend and it should be ugly.
- I'm not sure this is real or just media-fabricated hype, but is Michigan really considering Les Miles? Really? He's like Charlie Weiss - he's playing with a core of players that were recruited and seasoned by past coaches. Not saying he's not a good coach, I'm just not so sure he's a great coach.
- So the bummer about tomorrow's games - all of the good ones are on at 2:30pm. This is one of those weekends when you wish you had the Elvis Presley TV set up with about 6 right in front.
- I must reiterate how troubled I am with the UT player conduct issues - at some point you have to make a statement that this will not be tolerated. That's hard to do when you've consistently been tolerating it.
- Check out the Texas Tech preview here: http://www.fannation.com/blogs/post/59035 - they're playing Rice so I can take a guess about how this will work out.
- Does anyone else love what Ty Willingham is doing at Washington....coupled with what Weiss is doing at Notre Dame?
- I'm still shocked that ESPN continues to pay Mark May and Lou Holtz for that puppet show they call television. Those two guys have got to be the worst duo in sports television history. Spike **** would be better than Holtz for crying out loud.
New England Patriots:
Alright, so I don't necessarily think that the cheating thing is as big of a deal as a lot of the writers/talk show folks I'm haring do. It is a ridiculous thing that they did that (and have done it before), but I think folks are making a big deal about it because they're automatically jumping to the conclusion that they've done it for every single game and might have done it to win their super bowls. Maybe so, but I really doubt it. Does it mean Tom Brady is not as good as he seemed? That's crazy, he's still putting the ball on the money with giant d-lineman trying to kill him. The receivers are still running against premier athletes in the secondary. It was most definitely a dumb move by the Patriots and most definitely a ghetto thing to do - especially when you're the favorites to win the super bowl. It will most certainly taint Belicheck's reputation, but let's not go too crazy. Bottom line is this - the rule book clearly states you can't use electronic AV equipment to see what your opponents are doing - they did it and were punished.
Here's what IS the big deal about this. Goodell, whom I like a lot and like the tone he's trying to set, really dropped the ball on this one. He penalized the coach roughly one tenth of his salary and forget about the fine to the organization - it's nothing. He also took a first-round draft pick away from them. This means that the Patriots, who will most likely make the playoffs and can possibly go to the big game, will lose a late-round (possibly last pick) of the first round. Let's not mention that they have another draft pick that they acquired from the 49ers a while back that will most certainly be an early round pick - they still get to use that.
All I'm saying is you absolutely have to suspend him for X amount of games. You took a third of Wade Wilson's salary and 3 or 4 games for doing something that had nothing to do with the game - it had to do with bettering his life AFTER a career in pro football. The Patriots were messing with the "fabric" of the game. Goodell, I imagine, will take A LOT of heat for this - especially from Colts, Ravens, Jets and Chargers fans/markets - and he should. He messed up big time and may even be perceived as special treatment for the premier franchise of the last 5 years or so.
Don't forget about the championship tournament for the FedEx cup. Should be some good golf...assuming Tiger and Phil care as much about it as we hope they do.
Couple of things about this wonderful NBA league. First off, it's nothing short of astonishing how the referee/gambling story has been so quiet. I'm not sure what's going on or if it's because football stories (Michigan, Patriots, etc.) are dominating the headlines, but this is something else. I still strongly believe a storm is brewing with this and will explode in about 2 or 3 months.
I must comment on the Greg Oden news here. If you haven't heard (or care to pay attention), Greg Oden will not play this coming NBA season after having his knee scoped. Evidently he had or will have microfracture knee surgery...whatever the hell that is.
Those of you who know me and read this know that I have been very in the minority in thinking that I'm not sure Greg Oden is as good as everyone would like him to be. Furthermore, I'm not sure he'll be anything more than a mediocre player throughout his career. Had the Blazers picked up Durant I think they would be competing for the Western Conference finals within 2 or 3 years..and on a consistent basis. They will still be very good I think, but I honestly think that Durant was the piece that could have solidified their lineup and could have taken them to greatness. Durant is a leader - we Texas fans got a glimpse of that. As a freshman, he was the undisputed leader of that team (granted all of them freshman, but still).
Oden, on the other hand, was NOT the leader of that OSU team - that title was clearly with Mike Connelly, Jr. Look, there's no question that when you look at Oden's size, you immediately think basketball all-start - his frame and size and sheer athletic ability are astounding. BUT, he only played half of a college season - that's his entire experience in division 1 basketball...one half of a season. And in that half season we had constant questions on his health, HUGE questions about his defense (he is incapable of defending anyone beyond 8 feet), and questions about his desire. Now this. I could be and hope I am wrong, but I think this will be the beginning of a career filled with nagging injuries and missed games.
You have to feel sorry for Trailblazers fans (if you'll recall, it was the Portland Trailblazers who took Sam Bowie over Jordan with the first pick way back when). And I'll tell you this, if Randolph or Aldridge step and have strong years as post players, the fans will REALLY begin to ask, "if we had these guys who are more than capable of effectively playing the position - why didn't we go get Durant?" And forget about if Durant has a Rookie of the year-type year - they may explode.
Check out Bill Simmons' take on it - always a great read: