A great Texas defensive effort wasn't enough

A great Texas defensive effort wasn't enough

The Texas Longhorns lost their second game of the year Saturday afternoon 63 – 67 to [tag]Michigan State[/tag] in Houston. The Horns led most of the game, but without a point guard capable of creating for himself and his teammates the team struggled to score down the final stretch. Once leading 60 – 58, the team scored only three points over the last five and a half minutes. [tag]Justin Mason[/tag] had a couple of chances to win or tie the game in the final minute of the game but missed two three-point attempts.

Starting guards [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag] and Mason combined to score only 12 points in the loss, and backups [tag]Dogus Balbay[/tag] and [tag]Varez Ward[/tag] went scoreless despite getting more minutes than normal when Mason went down for an extended period with an injury in the first half. Abrams in particular struggled to find his shot throughout the game, held to a season low eight points and without a three-point field goal for the first time this year.

One bright spot in the loss was the play of [tag]Gary Johnson[/tag] in a return to his hometown of Houston. Johnson had a game-high 20 points on 8-12 shooting from the floor and 4-4 from the free throw line.

The last game for Texas of 2008 will be this Tuesday night on ESPN2 versus [tag]Wisconsin[/tag].

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Posted November 22nd, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football

Texas Tech obviously crossed the goal line

Texas Tech obviously crossed the end zone

Even though there is no Texas game this weekend, it almost feels like it with all of the Big 12 South implications that come with Texas Tech playing at Oklahoma. I feel like our best shot to go to the National Championship game is if Oklahoma beats Tech, but does that really mean I have to root for OU? That kind of makes me nauseous.

Well besides that game there really isn’t much to watch this Saturday. I guess that just gives more time to warm-up before the big game at night. And just FYI, I did go 3-0 last weekend against the spread, and plan to this weekend also.

Michigan at #10 Ohio State (-21) – 12:00 PM EST on ABC. I guess if you wake up early enough and have nothing else to do, this is the game to watch. With Michigan losing 8 games this year (first time ever by the way) and Ohio State in the #10 spot, you would think this would be an easy win for OSU. But in this kind of game anything can and usually happens. Ohio State doesn’t have the offense to cover a 21 point spread against Michigan, and this could be the game to save Coach Rodriguez’s job. Now I don’t really expect Michigan win, but it wouldn’t surprise me, and I think they easily stay inside the points. Take Michigan.

#15 Michigan State at #8 Penn State (-15.5) – 3:30 PM EST on ABC. A win for Penn State here and they are in the Rose Bowl. This could also be Coach Pat’s last year in Happy Valley, so you know the players are fired up. Michigan State has lost 10 straight games against ranked opponents. The weather looks rough up north, which means the running game takes on more importance. With Michigan State’s already weak passing game, I expect Penn State to load up on the run and prevent Javon Ringer from having a big game. This one will be over in the first half. Take Penn State.

#2 Texas Tech at #5 Oklahoma (-7) – 8:00 PM EST on ABC. The game every Texas fan will be watching. If Texas Tech wins they are automatically in the Big 12 Championship. If Oklahoma wins, they will have to also beat Oklahoma State and stay ahead of Texas in the BCS to play in the championship. Lots of pressure in this one. Texas Tech always pulls a “Tech” and implodes on themselves for at least one game. And this year will be no different. Oklahoma has been averaging 47 points in the first half in their last 4 games. When playing an offense like Tech, it can never be over in the first quarter, but this one could start getting ugly early. Take OU in this one.

An interesting note on the spread. It is holding steady at 7 even though you will see the juice rising all the way up to +110 at some places. That means there is obviously a lot of public money coming in on Tech, but there is some reason the bookies are holding that number. To me that seems odd and just another reason to take OU.

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The football team is fighting hard for a national title but forget about the men’s basketball team because they’ll be back on the court and vying for a championship of their own soon. The first official poll of the season has been released and the Longhorns are ranked number eight in the ESPN/USA Today college basketball coaches’ poll. The Horns are behind some of the nation’s perennial elite teams and with the way [tag]Rick Barnes[/tag] is recruiting it looks like the team will remain in that company for years to come.

Check out the top ten teams below or view the full top 25:

  ESPN/USA Today Poll
1 North Carolina (31) 0-0 775
2 Connecticut 0-0 707
3 Louisville 0-0 694
4 UCLA 0-0 650
5 Duke 0-0 578
6 Pittsburgh 0-0 576
7 Michigan State 0-0 572
8 Texas 0-0 538
9 Notre Dame 0-0 525
10 Purdue 0-0 465
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Posted October 17th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football, TV

Not sure any weekend will be able to top the match-ups we saw on Saturday, but there are plenty of good games to watch tomorrow. You get to start your day off with an early SEC battle with #22 Vanderbilt playing at #10 Georgia. Then you get a nice afternoon game with #16 Kansas playing at #4 Oklahoma. After that I suggest you take a quick nap and then it will be time for #1 Texas to take on #11 Mizzou in the marquee match-up of the day. Gameday will be in Austin, as will I.

Let’s take a look at the rest of the big games. FYI, I went 3-1 last weekend against the spread (for around the 5th straight weekend). Hopefully some of you are making some money with me.

#22 Vanderbilt at #10 Georgia (-15) – 12:30 PM EST on ESPN Gameplan. How will Vanderbilt respond to their first loss of the season? I’ll tell you how, they will get destroyed by Georgia in Athens. Let’s just take a quick look at the numbers here. Georgia is averaging 440 yards in total offense and Vanderbilt is only averaging 262.5 yards. Georgia is averaging 280.8 yards passing and Vanderbilt is only averaging 102.7 yards. This has blow-out written all over it.

#16 Kansas at #4 Oklahoma (-20) – 3:30 PM EST on ABC. Talk about a line jump, this game was set to open at 14 and was immediately bumped up to 20. Seems like a big number to me. Oklahoma’s best defensive player Ryan Reynolds is out for the season and their defense is fresh off allowing 438 yards to Texas. Kansas’ 7th ranked passing offense should keep them in the game. I don’t expect Kansas to win, but I think they can hang in there and not lose by 3 touchdowns.

#12 Ohio State at #20 Michigan State (+3.5) – 3:30 PM EST on ABC. I guess you won’t really be able to watch this game since the OU game will be on, but this one could get interesting. Ohio State should be on high upset alert as Michigan State has been on a roll winning their last 6 games. You may know by now I am a big advocate of the run game, and that is where Michigan State excels with Javon Ringer already racking up over 1100 yards. And just so you know since Pryor took over the quarterback duties from Boeckman, the Buckeyes have had the 10th worst passing offense averaging 128 yards per game. I am liking Michigan State here, money-line.

#11 Missouri at #1 Texas (-5) – 8:00 PM EST on ABC. I remember reading Hornfans last week and noticing most people seemed pretty level headed in that it would take a great game to beat OU. Now if you read Hornfans you will see a lot of people talking about how we will dominate Mizzou and how we will be all over Chase Daniel, etc, etc. This scares me a little. Missouri is a tough team and they don’t average 555 yards (383 yards passing) for nothing. And then you have the fact that Texas just gave up 5 passing touchdowns and you can see where my concern is. With all of that said I think Texas will be up for this game and ready to defend their #1 ranking. Home field advantage is the key here.

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Posted October 14th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Football

For the second time this year 3 of the Top 4 teams in the nation lose. No one is safe at the top, and most of the Top 10 will be playing each other in the next few weeks so expect to see even more changes. So far this year is looking even crazier than last year.

  1. [tag]Alabama[/tag]
    Alabama
    LW: 3

    Even though they didn’t play, I don’t think they deserved to be bumped down below Texas.

  2. [tag]Texas[/tag]
    Texas
    LW: 5

    Texas won with Colt’s leadership and the defense stepping up at the right times. Will Muschamp has the defense improving every week. It was kind of nice cruising through the season unnoticed, but that time is definitely over.

  3. [tag]Penn State[/tag]
    Penn State
    LW: 7

    I guess I to move up Penn State after their blowout win. It looks like they are definitely the class of the Big 10, though that is not saying very much.

  4. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    Sam Bradford threw for 5 touchdowns and still lost. Oklahoma has a great team and their schedule is setup to keep them in a BCS bowl game.

  5. [tag]Florida[/tag]
    Florida
    LW: 11

    I had watched Florida play a few times this year, but I have never seen the speed and precision they displayed against LSU. They have some of the fastest running backs in the nation, and if they can keep Tim Tebow from making mistakes they should be good.

  6. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 8

    Texas Tech played like crap but was surprisingly still able to come out with a win against Nebraska. They have a pretty easy road before playing Texas at home.

  7. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 15

    Not sure if was too much of an upset, but Oklahoma State managed to put a hurting on Mizzou. Oklahoma State has proven they definitely have the offense, but do they have the defense to hang with the big boys.

  8. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 2

    I am actually pretty disappointed that Mizzou lost, because that would have meant Texas would play two #1 teams in a row. Now that Mizzou has lost, Texas will definitely be expected to beat them this Saturday.

  9. [tag]USC[/tag]
    USC
    LW: 10

    Looks like USC is getting back into form after totally dominating Arizona State 28-0. They probably have the easiest schedule left of any Top 10 and will probably somehow backdoor their way into the national championship.

  10. [tag]Georgia[/tag]
    Georgia
    LW: 9

    Georgia had a solid win against Tennessee but I am still not very impressed with this team. I expect them to lose 2 more games this season.

  11. [tag]BYU[/tag]
    BYU
    LW: 6

    I have decided to not leave BYU so high up in the polls. They play nobody, and until they beat Utah I will not move them any higher.

  12. [tag]LSU[/tag]
    LSU
    LW: 4

    You either smoke, or you get smoked, and LSU got smoked. That was a pretty weak performance against Florida, and if they don’t get someone to play quarterback they will struggle all season long.

  13. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 12

    Kansas continues to plod along and will probably go relatively unnoticed the rest of the way unless they can beat one of the big teams in the Big 12. Don’t expect that to happen.

  14. [tag]Utah[/tag]
    Utah
    LW: 13

    Utah and BYU really don’t seem much different to me. They will have to prove their ranking by beating both TCU and BYU.

  15. [tag]Boise State[/tag]
    Boise State
    LW: 16

    Thank goodness we didn’t have to see them play on their ugly blue field this weekend.

  16. [tag]Ohio State[/tag]
    Ohio State
    LW: 17

    Luckily Ohio State beat Purdue because they are about to lose two in a row. I can’t wait to drop them out of the Top 25.

  17. [tag]Michigan State[/tag]
    Michigan State
    LW: 19

    Again, the only thing they have going for them is their running back, but man is he awesome. Can we trade for him?

  18. [tag]Virginia Tech[/tag]
    Virginia Tech
    LW: 18

    Does anyone really care about anyone in the ACC. They will probably all beat each other and end up with a conference champion that has 3 losses.

  19. [tag]South Florida[/tag]
    South Florida
    LW: 20

    Bye week

  20. [tag]North Carolina[/tag]
    North Carolina
    LW: 21

    It took a last minute play, but North Carolina thankfully kept Notre Dame out of the Top 25. North Carolina is making the most out of their spot, but see Virginia Tech.

  21. [tag]Wake Forest[/tag]
    Wake Forest
    LW: 22

    Another so-so ACC team barely holding on to their spot in the Top 25.

  22. [tag]California[/tag]
    California
    LW: 24

    Bye week

  23. [tag]TCU[/tag]
    TCU
    LW: –

    TCU has another huge game coming against BYU. Can they prove BYU is overrated, or will they fall back out of the Top 25?

  24. [tag]Vanderbilt[/tag]
    Vanderbilt
    LW: 14

    It was only a matter of time before Vanderbilt came back down to reality. They couldn’t handle the pressure of the being a top team and now they will probably struggle the rest of the way.

  25. [tag]Tulsa[/tag]
    Tulsa
    LW: 25

    They struggled a little only scoring 37, but I am sure they will get back on track and put up 60+ on UTEP.

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Posted October 7th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Football

Finally a week were pretty much all of the top teams went out and took care of business. There is a lot of shuffling around towards the bottom of the Top 25 as many teams have dropped out.

  1. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]
    Oklahoma
    LW: 1

    Went out and took care of business and didn’t look ahead to playing Texas. I was actually somewhat surprised they only scored 49 points against Baylor.

  2. [tag]Missouri[/tag]
    Missouri
    LW: 3

    Missouri hadn’t won in Nebraska in 30 years. Apparently they were a little tired of losing there and put a whooping on the Cornhuskers. Pretty sure Bo Pelini is a little embarrassed after that one.

  3. [tag]Alabama[/tag]
    Alabama
    LW: 2

    Alabama actually showed some of their first signs of struggling, but they were still able to pull out the victory. Things will get a lot tougher for them as teams will be gunning to knock them off.

  4. [tag]LSU[/tag]
    LSU
    LW: 4

    Bye week

  5. [tag]Texas[/tag]
    Texas
    LW: 5

    I was actually a little nervous playing at Colorado, but thankfully Texas jumped out to the early lead and never looked back. Texas’ defense looked better than ever and might possibly be prepared for OU.

  6. [tag]BYU[/tag]
    BYU
    LW: 8

    Still feels weird to have BYU up here so high, but they have been absolutely killing teams lately. Because of their week schedule though, they probably won’t move much past this spot.

  7. [tag]Penn State[/tag]
    Penn State
    LW: 9

    Penn State continues to dominate in the weak Big 12, and will face their first tough test playing at Camp Randall against Wisconsin.

  8. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag]
    Texas Tech
    LW: 10

    I actually thought Kansas State would give Tech a game, but Tech just scored at will. Graham Harrell threw for 450 yards and 6 touchdowns. Not a bad day.

  9. [tag]Georgia[/tag]
    Georgia
    LW: 12

  10. [tag]USC[/tag]
    USC
    LW: 11

    Starting off, USC looked like they might be losing another one to a team from the state of Oregon. But in the end they reeled off 40+ straight points and cruised to victory.

  11. [tag]Florida[/tag]
    Florida
    LW: 13

    Florida was lucky to have a bye week, oh wait, they did play Arkansas, which is just like having a bye week. Now they have to play LSU in a showdown in the SEC.

  12. [tag]Kansas[/tag]
    Kansas
    LW: 14

    Kansas struggled a little bit at Iowa State but were able to squeak out of there with a win. Todd Reesing is a seriously talented QB.

  13. [tag]Utah[/tag]
    Utah
    LW: 15

    Utah is quietly hanging around in the Top 15 and beating all the teams they should. I guess we will just have to wait until they play BYU.

  14. [tag]Vanderbilt[/tag]
    Vanderbilt
    LW: 16

    Vanderbilt continues to be the surprise of the SEC. They are actually leading the SEC East! I doubt this will last much longer.

  15. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag]
    Oklahoma State
    LW: 17

    Hard to tell if Oklahoma State is really that good or if A&M is just that bad. It’s probably a little bit of both and I am really scared of playing this team later this month.

  16. [tag]Boise State[/tag]
    Boise State
    LW: 18

    I can’t stand to watch this team playing on that bright blue field, but they continue to win impressively and dominate their opponent. They have a legitimate shot at going undefeated this season.

  17. [tag]Ohio State[/tag]
    Ohio State
    LW: 19

    Ohio State pulled off an impressive win at Wisconsin proving the whole Big 10 is just a joke. Everyone pretty much just sucks equally.

  18. [tag]Virginia Tech[/tag]
    Virginia Tech
    LW: 21

    They don’t win big and they don’t win pretty. They somehow just manage to play just good enough to get the win. They will have to play better if they want to make it through the ACC schedule.

  19. [tag]Michigan State[/tag]
    Michigan State
    LW: –

    The only thing they have going for them is their running back, but man is he awesome. Can we trade for him?

  20. [tag]South Florida[/tag]
    South Florida
    LW: 6

    South Florida of course had to ruin their dream season and go lose to a crappy Pittsburgh team. Does anyone want to step up in the Big East?

  21. [tag]North Carolina[/tag]
    North Carolina
    LW: –

    Not sure the last time North Carolina was ranked in football, but it has to be a while. They have a solid team and have a pretty favorable schedule the rest of the way.

  22. [tag]Wake Forest[/tag]
    Wake Forest
    LW: –

    Hmm…not really sure what to make of this team. Sometimes they look really good, and sometimes they look really awful. Week to week it is tough to tell which team will show up.

  23. [tag]Auburn[/tag]
    Auburn
    LW: 7

    Auburn losing to Vanderbilt? Who would have guessed that in the beginning of the season? Luckily for them they have a bye week next week, oh wait, they play Arkansas.

  24. [tag]California[/tag]
    California
    LW: –

    Doesn’t seem right to have a Pac-10 team in the Top 25 that’s not USC, but California is quietly putting together a nice season.

  25. [tag]Tulsa[/tag]
    Tulsa
    LW: –

    Tulsa seems to score 60 points every time they play, and that will usually get it done. They play SMU this week, which means they will probably score 80.

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