Posted November 30th, 2009 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Thanksgiving night, the Heisman race looked like it might be over with after Texas quarterback [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] put up an incredible show passing and running to a primetime win over Texas A&M. But there were still games to play on a long, wonderful rivalry weekend of college football. Friday and Saturday’s games saw one candidate fall out of the race (Alabama’s Mark Ingram) and two others (Stanford’s Toby Gerhart and Florida’s Tim Tebow) put up buzzworthy performances.

So what does it all mean? Well there’s still one weekend of football remaining, but the Heisman Pundit has almost called the race for the good guy:

The weekend’s games are done and here’s how I think the Heisman race looks right now:

1. With one week to go, Colt McCoy is the current front runner and likely winner. Pending a status report on the health of Mark Ingram, I am close to calling the race in his favor.

2. With his monster game against Notre Dame, Stanford’s Toby Gerhart has assured himself of a trip to New York and he has a shot to finish a strong second in the race.

3. Ingram is fading fast, but he could rebound with a heroic performance against the Gators. As it stands, he had his least-productive game of the season at the worst possible time: When Heisman ballots had gone out and many voters were seeing him up close for the first time.

4. With his emotionally-driven performance against Florida State, Tim Tebow might’ve solidified his place at the Heisman ceremony. He won’t win, but he’ll get one last go-around in the Big Apple.
He won’t win, but he’ll get one last go-around in the Big Apple.

If Colt goes out and puts up his typical performance and the Horns win the Big 12 title, the trophy is likely his. Tim Tebow would have to put up incredible numbers (300+ yards, 3 TDs) in an exciting SEC Championship game to win his second Heisman. Colt is likely to get a lot of first places votes across the country, but more importantly he’ll probably snag no worst than second place on most ballots and those votes should carry him over the other competitors.

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Posted December 2nd, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Basketball, Feature

What have we learned so far about this UT team?

What have we learned so far about this UT team?

Texas is entering the teeth of their pre-season schedule with [tag]UCLA[/tag], [tag]Villanova[/tag], and [tag]Wisconsin[/tag] coming up on the schedule. Texas has already been tested in the young season at the Maui Invitational. The Longhorns finished third after losing a close one to Notre Dame. Every season presents different questions about a team, but after a handful of games we’re starting to learn some key things about the Longhorn basketball team.

1. [tag]Justin Mason[/tag] is going to be the point guard. I know [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag], and his father, want him to be a point guard but the fact is the senior sharp shooter isn’t one. The former McNeil star wasn’t one in high school and he won’t be in college. Barnes allows Abrams to play point on some occasions but clearly this team is served best with Abrams running the base line working off screens. Mason showed the ability to run the point and beat defenders off the dribble when he had a monster dunk that ended up being the play of the night on SportsCenter after the Notre Dame game. Even if Abrams could run the point consistently it would put the Longhorns at a disadvantage on the offensive end if Mason played the off guard because Mason possesses fewer skills at the “2” than Abrams does at the “1”. Look for Mason to be the point guard going forward.

2. [tag]Damion James[/tag] is the key to the season. The Longhorns looked the best offensively Wednesday against [tag]Oregon[/tag] even with Abrams not being a huge part of the offense. The success was due to the focus on pounding the ball into the paint and the willingness of James to play from the inside out. James struggled the first two games of the tournament in shot selection as he seemed to try too hard in prove he can play on the wing. James is one of only six returning players in the nation to average a double-double last season. Even though this team will rely more on his perimeter skills James can not forget what has made him a star. He must attack the basket and be a factor on the glass for the Longhorns to make a run at a Final Four. James’ work ethic is unquestioned so there should be no doubt he will do whatever it takes to improve in these areas.

3. This team misses [tag]DJ Augustin[/tag]. This is a no brainer. Augustin was the best pure point guard in the nation last year and is already making an impact in the NBA. The Longhorns led the nation in turnovers (9.4) last year with Augustin at the point. Without him Texas is already averaging 15 a game this season with the combination of Mason and Abrams running the ball. As Mason, and [tag]Dogus Balbay[/tag], continue to get more comfortable as the man at point the Longhorns are sure to improve in the area. With the pressure and intensity Texas is able to produce on the defensive end it is imperative that this team value the ball on the offensive end. Nothing is going to come easy this year on the offensive end and Texas can not afford to give away possessions to good teams.

4. Defense, Defense, Defense. [tag]Rick Barnes[/tag] loves defensive teams. He must love this one. The Longhorns are already being called the best defensive team in the nation after only five games. The Longhorns pressure the ball at will and with James playing on the perimeter are able to add length and athleticism that Barnes has not been able to muster at Texas. The Longhorns are going to give opponents fits all year with their effort on the defensive end and they are going to have to keep it up, especially early in the year, as the offense finds an identity. A good defense can keep you in games that the offense is struggling in and with only one proven outside shooter on the team it is likely there will be a few games where Texas is going to have to win ugly.

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Posted November 27th, 2008 by Mike
Filed under: Basketball

The Texas Longhorn basketball team had a good early season tournament showing going 2-1 in three days taking third place in the Maui Invitational. Add in the fact that it was a free trip to Hawaii and I’m sure Rick Barnes and company would admit it was a great trip.

On Monday the Longhorns physically dominated St. Joseph’s in a way the football fans at Texas would be proud of. From the opening tip Texas showed that this year their emphasis is going to be on the defensive end. With [tag]Damion James[/tag] playing at the “3” position this year Texas finally has the length to compete with the most athletic teams in the nation. St. Joseph’s is not one of the most athletic teams in the nation, so the length and athletic ability of the Longhorn defenders overwhelmed them for much of the game. The Longhorn defense held them to under 30% shooting from the floor including 19% from the three point line on their way to a 68-50 win.

Tuesday Texas took on [tag]Notre Dame[/tag] in an instant classic. The score went back and forth with the game coming down to the last shot. Even though [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag] missed the 50 footer at the buzzer, the Longhorns continued to show the skills that will carry them on the season. They out rebounded the Irish and dominated in the paint. For the first time in the season however, the Longhorns showed a few cracks in their armor. Texas struggled to get easy buckets and Damion James showed that he is not quite there as a perimeter player. The Longhorns got down but showed resiliency to get the game back to a one point margin. Notre Dame played about as well as they could on the game as they made contested jumper after contested jumper. Abrams and James played poorly as they both forced too many jumpers after only one or sometimes no passes on the possession. Even with that the Longhorns came close to beating a top 10 team that was clicking on all cylinders which has to be a good sign moving forward.

Wednesday the Longhorns took on the Oregon Ducks in the third place game. Both teams were playing their third game in three days and each team showed tired legs. The Longhorns abandoned the three point shot for most of the game concentrating on getting the ball into the paint. The formula worked as the defensive effort allowed the Longhorns to cruise to a 70-57 game that stayed closer on the scoreboard than it appeared to be on the court. Oregon is a young team and it was clear they were overwhelmed by the defensive pressure and intensity the Longhorns brought to the game.

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Posted November 26th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Basketball, Feature

The Texas basketball team faced their toughest test of the season last night in a top 10 match-up in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. [tag]AJ Abrams[/tag] had a half court attempt that would have won the game but it came up short and the team lost 80 – 81 to [tag]Notre Dame[/tag]. Watch highlights from ESPN below:

[tag]Justin Mason[/tag] ran the point most of the game and played well, shooting 7 of 12 from the field while adding 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Abrams scored 23 points to lead the Horns but needed 27 shots to do it and [tag]Damion James[/tag] continued to struggle to find his shot. For the Horns to make a serious tourney run James needs to find his groove, whether it’s as dominating force inside or as a wing scorer he needs to be this team’s leader.

With the loss the Horns are now 3 – 1 on the season. Up next is the third place game in Maui against [tag]Oregon[/tag] today at 3:30pm.

Game stats available after the jump.

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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 September 12th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football

Collision at the Coliseum

Collision at the Coliseum

Like most people, I have been waiting for this weekend for some time because we get to see two of the top teams in the nation square off during the regular season, #1 USC vs. #5 Ohio State. There is almost as much hype for this game as the National Championship. Unfortunately some of that excitement has diminished for me since it has been reported that Chris “Beanie” Wells will not play this Saturday against USC.

And now that we know Texas vs. Arkansas is postponed, we have to find something else to watch. Let’s see what is going on this weekend. (P.S. I went 2-0-1 last weekend with my picks)

Michigan at Notre Dame (+1) – 3:43 PM EST on NBC. Some of the luster of this game has worn off since both programs seem to be struggling. Even so, NBC’s broadcast of this game in HD looks great, and it will be good fun seeing Notre Dame get embarrassed at home. Notre Dame should have lost last weekend, and I just can’t see anyway they can pull off that same miracle against Michigan. I’m not a huge fan of Rich Rodriguez, but I seem them winning easily this weekend.

#3 Oklahoma at Washington (+20) – 7:45 PM EST on ESPN. I’m pretty curious to see how Washington responds to getting screwed last weekend against BYU. It will probably either be extremely good, or extremely bad. I am going to go with the latter. Oklahoma’s offense continues to improve and their young wide receivers are absolutely torching the opponents’ secondary. Oklahoma is averaging 55 points per game, Washington 19. You can do the math here. Expect Oklahoma to win by 30.

#5 Ohio State at #1 USC (-11) – 8:00 PM EST on ABC. Like I said, this game isn’t as exciting since Ohio State isn’t bringing all of their weapons, but this will still probably be the biggest game in college football this year. So far this year USC has been more impressive than we thought, and Ohio State has been not nearly been as good as we expected. Without Chris Wells I don’t see them able to get the running game going against USC’s strong defense, which in turn puts more pressure on QB Todd Boeckman and freshman QB Terrelle Pryor. Boeckman is coming off one of the worst games of his career. Things are probably only going to get worse. And Pryor will most likely be a big-time quarterback soon in college football, but now is not that time.

USC on the other hand has a “stable” of 6 running backs on their team, probably all of whom would start on most teams in the country. Does 6 sound like a little too many? Yeah, sure does, but 5 of the 6 scored touchdowns against Virginia in their season opener. Talk about depth. Bottomline, Ohio State has no shot in this game and will probably lose by 20. Take USC here.

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Posted September 4th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Football

Notre Dame Stadium and Touchdown Jesus

Notre Dame Stadium and Touchdown Jesus

1. Notre Dame Stadium

Of all of the college football stadiums in the country, none have the aura or mystique of Notre Dame Stadium. Maybe it’s because I have watched the movie Rudy so many times (greatest sports movie ever), but there is just something about this stadium that makes we want to watch a game there. And even though I usually feel Notre Dame is the most over-hyped team in the nation, they still have the best stadium in college football.

The following quote probably sums up everything best:

“This is not merely a football field,” says Notre Dame’s Official Campus Guide. “It is an experience, a uniquely Notre Dame synthesis of sport, tradition, pride, loyalty, and belief.

It is haunted by a thousand ghosts of glorious seasons past: the Four Horsemen riding into immortality on the words of Grantland Rice; the multi-talented George Gipp and “Jumpin’ Joe” Savoldi; Joe Montana, a field general in a green jersey; Raghib “The Rocket” Ismail flying toward the end zone; and, of course, Knute Rockne, pioneer of the forward pass, master of the locker room speech, brilliant motivator, relentless innovator, and though gone from the gridiron since 1930, still the most victorious coach (winning an amazing .881 of his games) in college football history.”

I know this might not be everyone’s favorite, but it is definitely mine. Check back soon for more of our Top 5’s.

College football’s best stadiums
  1. Notre Dame Stadium
  2. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field
  3. Tiger Stadium
  4. Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium
  5. Michigan Stadium
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Posted July 2nd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Top Uniforms: #5 Notre Dame

5. Notre Dame

As much as I hate the Irish, the blue jersey with the gold helmets are beautiful even without the history behind them. I even love the “lucky” green jerseys they wear whenever they lose a big game.

The clean, classic helmets make the whole uniform. Maybe it’s from watching Rudy too many times during my formative years. The scene where you learn about the managers repainting the helmets with paint containing actual gold before every game gives them a little extra mojo.

Like all the top uniforms the Notre Dame uniforms will look as good 30 years from now as they did 30 years ago. They still suck.

Check back tomorrow for our number four favorite college football uniform.

College football’s best uniforms
  1. Texas
  2. Michigan
  3. Florida State
  4. Southern Cal
  5. Notre Dame
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