The Longhorns D: A Dramatic Reading of Nothingness
The UT defense is a one-act play an emotional theater major would write in which the stage is empty and there’s some analogy that the audience has to interpret on their own. Despite the win by Strong’s boys against Baylor Saturday, the defense is still rehearsing horrible performances this season.
Let’s run the numbers:
The Strong coordinated unit allowed 624 yards of total offense, bringing the year’s average to 462.6 yards per game. Since demoting former DC Vance Bedford to secondary coach after starting the year 2-2, Texas has duplicated the record in the last four games under Strong calling the defensive shots. With Bedford, the defense allowed an average of 428.5 total yards in the first four games; with Strong, they’ve allowed 495.3 in the last four.
After the Baylor W, Mike Perrin joined the chorus of the UT student section chanting the third-year coach’s name, but they should be demanding a defensive coordinator with some schematic common sense.
Pony Express keeps chugging along the winning track
Despite our assumption that the gold watches and the gold chains would weigh down the Mustangs from any effective output, SMU is proving to be the most surprising FBS team in Texas this season.
PONY UP FOREVER pic.twitter.com/8x2dIjh8rM
— Demetrio Teniente IV (@Demo36) October 29, 2016
Credit is due to standout redshirt freshman and DeSoto product James Proche, who had 164 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s win against Tulane. With Courtland Sutton (Brenham) as his receiving counterpart, SMU has a bright future with their offense if they can rectify inconsistent quarterback play. That may change with the arrival of Lake Travis stud Charlie Brewer next season. Keep an eye on a potential resurrection of the Pony Express — a program that has only three bowl wins since Ponygate in ’86.
— Blonda (@AgusMorteo) October 28, 2016
TCU can’t wait to leapfrog over this season
A highly-touted matchup between two of the most exciting quarterbacks in the FBS was stalled by the Horned Frogs jumping off their lily pad and opting to drown themselves rather than live out the season as such an ugly amphibian.
— Linda Conley (@SportsChicLinda) June 23, 2015
TCU’s play was hideous: quarterback Kenny Hill was yanked after his tenth interception of the year; star running back Kyle Hicks continued a disturbing trend of offensive injuries when he went out early in the first quarter; field goal kicker Brandon Hatfield missed three attempts beneath the 40-yard mark.
TCU’s FG attempt was really not good pic.twitter.com/bVJFR2MOcp
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) October 29, 2016
Surprisingly, the only bright spot was the usually lackluster defensive effort — a recent for the program that usually prides themselves on stoppages.
The offense — averaging 34.4 points per game — has croaked, scoring four touchdowns in the last ten quarters of play (19.3 average) after 43.4 points the first five games this season.
Although the season is lost, the Frogs have an impressive 2017 recruiting class including two four-star Texas recruits in receivers Jalen Reagor (Waxahachie) and Omar Manning (Lancaster). Potential future quarterbacks include Shawn Robinson (DeSoto) — who told us in an exclusive interview he’s 110% committed – and redshirt Freshman Brennen Wooten (San Angelo Central) — last year’s No. 4 ranked quarterback in Texas.
— Texas HS Football (@texashsfootball) October 27, 2016
Big 12 likely done in CFP
There were numerous pundits that dismissed the Big 12 as lacking the talent to make a CFP push. I was not one of those experts, and even went so far as to select TCU as my fourth playoff pick — behind Alabama, Ohio State, and Clemson. Harbaugh made me look foolish, as ridiculous as his 10-man centipede formation.
Michigan keeps lining up in a 10-man centipede formation
Never change, Harbaugh.
Jim Harbaugh is unique. An… pic.twitter.com/TUyvt7p0MF
— pierre richard posy (@posypr) October 29, 2016
With dual losses to Baylor and West Virginia Saturday, it seems like the conference will not make the championship game this year. Additionally, the Big 12 announced they would not be expanding — an asinine decision at the time, but more justifiable now that Houston looks like the shell of a winning program.
In order to clean up some bad PR surrounding the conference, higher-ups announced a Big 12 championship game — the equivalent of little leaguers getting trophies despite getting stomped by every team in their neighborhood.
The title match gives teams a potential 13th game — a disadvantage the Big 12 has against other Power Five conferences that wooed CFP with the difficulties of a championship bout. A consolation prize isn’t what the conference needs: it’s stability. Baylor lost numerous recruits because of their moral corruption. UT is also struggling for commits with the shaky nature of coach Strong’s job security. Tech has absolutely no defensive resolve or recruiting. TCU may have a bright future, but their lack of a sizable fanbase outside the DFW makes them a risky championship pick at best. The two probables for Big 12 CFP inclusion are outside of Texas in Oklahoma and West Virginia, but their remaining schedule of cupcake opponents makes them questionable choices. The championship game will take place next year, and have considered San Antonio as a possible destination.