Pre-Gaming w/Schmidtty: OU (still sucks) Edition

The 106th Red River Rivalry is tomorrow and personally I can’t wait. The State Fair and the Cotton Bowl await the flood of Burnt Orange and Crimson. No need to hype it up any further so let’s get down to previewing the matchup.

Head Coach (Record): Bob Stoops (133-31, all at OU)

2010 Record: 12-2 (6-2/1st Big 12 South; Big 12 Conference Champions; beat UCONN 48-20 in the Fiesta Bowl)

Returning Starters: Offense 9 / Defense 8

Player(s) to Watch for OU: The easy choices are Landry Jones, Ryan Broyles or Travis Lewis (which will all play major roles for OU in this game), but this game tends to make stars out of the lesser known players. This year’s standout performer could be No. 2 wideout Kenny Stills who has 14 catches for 205 yards this year. For a team that likes to throw a lot, he’s the next guy Jones will target if Broyles is covered. If you will recall the 2010 Red River Rivalry, Broyles had a subpar day while Stills posted stats of 78 yards and a TD as a freshman to lead the Sooners.

Key Matchup: The McAsh Experiment vs. the OU D. If Texas is to win this game, they will have to have stellar performances by their young QBs. Both defenses are solid and OU has a very experienced offense (currently ranked 11th in the country in scoring) so the only real unknown in this game is the Texas offense. A lot of Longhorn freshman will be experiencing this rivalry for the first time on the field, so how they react is key. It’s a big stage, but so far they have stepped up to the challenge and guys like Jaxon Shipley and Malcolm Brown have played like seasoned vets. Case McCoy and David Ash are wild cards because though they have played well using their package of plays, nothing they have experienced so far compares to what they will see on Saturday.

Prediction: Call me a homer, but I believe in the Longhorns. The attitude has changed and though I know rationally that they won’t go undefeated this year, I don’t think they get a loss in this game. OU is not unbeatable. They have holes just like every other team. And anyone can win in a rivalry matchup. Which is why I’ll take Texas 28-24 in a close one in Dallas.

Where to Watch: If you can’t make it up to the Cotton Bowl for the game then at least go for all the deep fried treat!!! No? Alright, then you got the game broadcast live @11 AM CST (a.k.a. the crack of dawn for college football fans) on ABC.

Hook ‘Em

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TCU officially invited to the (Big 12) party

Texas won’t be the only Horns in the Big 12 if TCU accept the official invite from the conference. The Horned Frogs are currently a part of the Mountain West Conference, but last year they accepted an invite by the Big East to join their BCS conference. Now that the Big 12 has come calling, it’s hard to imagine that TCU will continue with it’s plan to go East. The Big 12 Conference allows TCU to play closer to home and develop more natural rivalries. A loss last week to SMU may not back up my next statement, but TCU has been one of the better non-BCS automatic qualifying football schools in the country for the past 10 years. Maybe only second to the Boise State Broncos. TCU stands to gain a lot of cash by joining the Big 12 and their new revenue sharing system. So if anyone deserves a pay raise in Fort Worth, it’s head football coach Gary Patterson who may be reason No. 1 that TCU will be the next Big 12 school.

In a statement from the 40 Acres, Longhorn AD DeLoss Dodds had this to say:

We’re proud that TCU has been invited to join the Big 12. Their commitment to academics and success on the field make them an excellent fit. With a solid budget and strong financial support, they have been proactive at improving facilities. Their close proximity to all conference institutions makes for a comfortable travel situation.

So find the nearest TCU alumnus in your office and welcome them to the Big 12. At least now you’ll have more friends to laugh at A&M when they are getting stomped in the SEC next year. Did anyone see the A&M/Arkansas game? Every … week … A&M. Enjoy yourselves.

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Gilbert to transfer

It’s official, injured QB Garrett Gilbert will transfer leaving the Longhorns with Case McCoy, David Ash and 2012 commit Connor Brewer next year. So now two questions arise, A) Where will Gilbert go? and B) Will UT recruit another quarterback in it’s 2012 class?

A) There is already a report that Gilbert was visiting the SMU campus today, but unless you are a fan of Mustangs you can’t really read about it on PonyPride.com. Almost as soon as there is a report about Gilbert visiting SMU, there is a story about how SMU shouldn’t go after him. You know things are pretty bad when the talk is should SMU go after Gilbert instead of should Gilbert go after SMU. Reports are he has four or five other schools on his radar (two others that were brought up were TCU and Clemson, but both teams have young QBs).

B) Guessing who the Longhorns will go after – and that’s IF they go after another QB for the 2012 class – is a little tougher. Looking at the Rivals rankings of players with Texas on their short list of schools, the top two are three-star recruits Jared Johnson of South Grand Prairie HS (who has his eyes set on Baylor) and Jeremiah Briscoe from Stratford HS (no offers yet … yay?). Of course, another name that pops up is local product and dual-threat QB Ben Johnson of Westwood HS. He has offers from Texas State and Rice, but one has to think if the burnt orange and white came calling, he’d answer. But I’m no expert, and I haven’t read any of these names anywhere else yet so don’t take them to heart.

One thing I will say about Gilbert is that I’m really sad to see him go … officially. I had a lot of high hopes for him and now I just hope he can find some success elsewhere. I really wish him the best.

Try to remember the good times Garrett … and good luck!

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May the Force be with Texas

Andy Staples of SI.com has an interesting way of framing his power rankings columns. This week the theme is Star Wars and he compares the No. 11 Longhorns to … Princess Leia??? He actually makes some valid points but still, Princess Leia? Below is his comparison. See if you agree.

Princess Leia: In Empire, Yoda reminds Obi-Wan that “There is another.” Though Episode Three — which shows Obi-Wan McGregor assisting in Luke’s and Leia’s birth — muddies this scene a bit, it seems Yoda is referring to Leia, who also should have the Midi-chlorian count to make a fine Jedi. At Texas, quarterback Case McCoy (brother of Colt) and receiver Jaxon Shipley (brother of Jordan) are helping the Longhorns forget all about a miserable 2010. McCoy is splitting time with freshman David Ash, but Shipley, who caught six passes for 141 yards and a touchdown against Iowa State, looks like a breakout star. If the Longhorns’ defense can force turnovers the way it did against the Cyclones and the offense can take advantage, Texas will have a chance to win every game remaining on its schedule. That includes Saturday’s matchup with Oklahoma in Dallas. Remember, Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin — formerly of Boise State — once called a pretty good game against the Sooners with far less raw athletic talent on his side.

Read more:  http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/andy_staples/10/04/star-wars-power-rankings/index.html#ixzz1ZrX3B27u

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