Posted March 2nd, 2009 by Mike
Filed under: Baseball, Feature

Brandon Workman celebrates with his battery mate after throwing the 27th no-hitter in Texas history. (TexasSports.com)

Brandon Workman celebrates after throwing the 27th no-hitter in Texas history. (TexasSports.com)

Brandon Workman’s no-hitter on Sunday put an exclamation mark on Texas baseball’s second weekend sweep in a row to start the season. The Longhorn starting pitching was dominant again, all four starters went at least six innings and none of them gave up more than two runs.

Closer [tag]Austin Wood[/tag] backed up the starters with excellent work of his own.

Texas won Friday 9-2, took the double header 6-2 (in seven innings) and 1-0, before the 9-0 victory on Sunday afternoon. The sweep makes the Longhorns 9-0 on the young season.

While the pitching was phenomenal, the play in the field wasn’t far behind. Texas struggled with errors last season and many thought the new field turf would take getting used to, but so far so good on the adjustment. Texas committed only one error coming into the series with [tag]Penn State[/tag]. It is easy to point at the pitching as the difference in the series with Penn State, but the errors had a lot to do with the dominance. Texas only committed two errors in the windy four game series while the Nittany Lions committed four in Friday’s game alone.

Offensively Texas didn’t have to do much but were opportunistic at the plate. Penn State errors due to the wind allowed the Longhorn hitters to turn small innings into big ones. Texas used two big 7th innings in the series to blow out Penn State.

Texas will not rely on power, but this team is better than the last few years at moving people over and being smart on the base paths. More than a few times Longhorn hitters gained an extra base on a throw or passed ball that lesser teams would have passed on.
Texas coach [tag]Augie Garrido[/tag] stresses pitching, defense, and execution at the plate and on the base paths and so far this squad has done nothing but impress in all of those areas. Texas plays on the road for the first time this season on Tuesday against Texas State before heading to California for a weekend series with [tag]Stanford[/tag].

The Stanford series will give the Longhorn pitchers their first chance to make an impression against big time hitters, but it will also give the Texas lineup a chance to show the lack of power has been more to do with the size of their ballpark than with their lack of power.

If Texas can take the series with Stanford and the pitching continues to excel the Longhorns will emerge as one of the early favorites to reach Omaha.

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Posted November 23rd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

The latest BCS rankings are out and despite the gains by [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] in the two human polls, Texas has taken advantage of the the [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] loss and moved up two spots to number two in the rankings. The computer polls are the reason the Horns are hanging on now but since the Sooners play a ranked team this week it may take an impressive Thanksgiving Day win to remind voters that the Horns actually beat the Sooners when they matched up in October.

Check out the top 10 below:

Rank Team BCS Average
1 Alabama 0.987
2 Texas 0.920
3 Oklahoma 0.912
4 Florida 0.875
5 USC 0.797
6 Utah 0.785
7 Texas Tech 0.778
8 Penn St. 0.752
9 Boise St. 0.658
10 Ohio St. 0.620
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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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Posted November 10th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Thanks to a (joyous) [tag]Penn State[/tag] loss the Longhorns have moved up another spot in the latest BCS rankings released Sunday. Thanks to that loss and human voters seeing the error of their ways, Texas is third ahead of [tag]Florida[/tag] and more importantly [tag]Oklahoma[/tag]. The Horns dropped big from number one after their loss to [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] but moved back passed those teams this week in both the USA Today Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll.

Texas’ ranking against the Sooners is huge on the chance their is a three-way tie between those two teams and the Red Raiders for the Big 12 South. In that scenario the division winner will be determined by which team has the highest BCS ranking. If the Horns end up winning out and in the Big 12 Championship, a win over the North’s representative would likely mean a shot at the whole enchilada.

The BCS top 10 rankings are listed below:

BCS Harris Poll USA Today Comp. Rankings
  Team BCS Avg Prvs RK Pts % RK Pts % Avg %
1 Alabama .9814 1 1 2808 .9853 1 1508 .9889 2 .970
2 Texas Tech .9715 2 2 2768 .9712 2 1469 .9633 1 .980
3 Texas .8798 4 4 2471 .8670 5 1300 .8525 3 .920
4 Florida .8640 5 3 2531 .8881 3 1348 .8839 T-5 .820
5 Oklahoma .8444 6 5 2427 .8516 4 1314 .8616 T-5 .820
6 USC .7896 7 6 2329 .8172 6 1268 .8315 8 .720
7 Utah .7692 8 8 2034 .7137 7 1104 .7239 4 .870
8 Penn State .6839 3 7 2073 .7274 8 1074 .7043 10 .620
9 Boise State .6783 10 9 1940 .6807 9 1028 .6741 9 .680
10 Georgia .6156 13 12 1581 .5547 12 842 .5521 7 .740

Related: View the full BCS rankings

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Posted November 6th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Texas’ loss to last week to [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] didn’t knock them completely out of the national title race but it certainly shook things up. Texas fans spent the next 72 hours crunching numbers and running scenarios that could result in the Longhorns still making it to the title game. That may make math and stats nerds happy but its just another sign of just how ridiculous the NCAA Division I FBS not having a playoff really is.

ESPN’s Pat Forde makes a(nother) strong case for a playoff in college football:

No less a voice than Barack Obama’s called on Monday night for a playoff in college football. To which The Dash says hallelujah, it’s time for some pressure on the ossified system from the top down. Once upon a time, the Tide wooed Butch Davis to be their coach. The first round of The Dash’s eight-team playoff would shape up as follows today: Top seed and SEC champion Alabama versus eighth-seeded ACC titlist [tag]North Carolina[/tag] in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The backstory would make this interesting, since the Crimson Tide were interested in current Tar Heels.

The first round of The Dash’s eight-team playoff would shape up as follows today:

Top seed and SEC champion [tag]Alabama[/tag] versus eighth-seeded ACC titlist [tag]North Carolina[/tag] in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. The backstory would make this interesting, since the Crimson Tide were interested in current Tar Heels coach Butch Davis as far back as 2000, when he was the coach at Miami. That was before Mike Price, before Dennis Franchione and before Mike Shula. Then Bama got it right — royal-flush right — with Nick Saban.

Second seed and Big Ten champion [tag]Penn State[/tag] versus seventh-seeded Big East winner [tag]West Virginia[/tag] in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando. Just for fun they could award the old Lambert Trophy for the best school in the East to the winner.

Third seed and Big 12 champion [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] versus sixth-seeded Pacific-10 champ USC in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. Would anyone enjoy seeing the Red Raiders’ O (first nationally in passing offense, second in total offense, third in scoring) against the Trojans’ D (first nationally in pass defense, first in total defense, first in scoring defense)?

Fourth seed at-large selection Texas versus fifth seed at-large selection [tag]Florida[/tag] in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. [tag]Colt McCoy[/tag] and Tim Tebow on the same field might be a little fun.

(Dash apologies to [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] and Utah for being the best teams left out. Y’all can console each other in, say, the Alamo Bowl.)

After that: semifinals at the Orange and Fiesta Bowls. National title in the Rose Bowl. Championship trophy presented by Dashette Irina Shayk.

Decide for yourself whether that playoff would generate any interest. After you’ve thought it over for five seconds, call the president of your favorite university and scream into the phone that you want a playoff. Do not stop screaming until you are out of breath or they have hung up on you — and then redial and scream again.

Maybe it will come to pass by the time Tebow’s kids are in college.

Or maybe it happens a little faster depending on Tuesday’s election results.

Just imagine adding the Texas Rose Bowl win over USC, plus the brutal four game stretch the team just finished, plus even more on the line than ever before. How fun would that be?

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Posted November 2nd, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

The Longhorns lost the battle to [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] on Saturday but they still haven’t lost the war. The new BCS rankings were revealed tonight and Texas fell only to number four, behind [tag]Alabama[/tag], [tag]Penn State[/tag], and Texas Tech who moved all the way up to number two. The Horns still have a every good chance to end up back in the top two and headed to the national title game.

All the Horns need is for two teams ahead of them to go down, and with the remaining schedules ahead for both Tech and Alabama that is a distinct possibility. Texas fans need to be rooting hard for [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] and [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag] the next few weeks and for [tag]LSU[/tag] this week against Alabama. The team needs to take care of business during the final weeks of the season for any of this to matter, but fans will be doing a lot of scoreboard watching.

The BCS top 10 rankings are listed below:

BCS Harris Poll USA Today Comp. Rankings
  Team BCS Avg Prvs RK Pts % RK Pts % Avg %
1 Alabama .9747 2 1 2798 .9818 1 1498 .9823 T-1 .960
2 Texas Tech .9372 7 3 2644 .9277 3 1409 .9239 T-1 .960
3 Penn State .9286 3 2 2689 .9435 2 1437 .9423 4 .900
4 Texas .8531 1 6 2322 .8147 7 1227 .8046 3 .940
5 Florida .8268 8 4 2391 .8389 5 1268 .8315 5 .810
6 Oklahoma .8220 4 5 2366 .8302 4 1290 .8459 9 .790
7 USC .7551 5 7 2273 .7975 6 1232 .8079 10 .660
8 Utah .6972 10 9 1864 .6540 9 1018 .6675 7 .770
9 Oklahoma State .6660 9 8 2021 .7091 8 1066 .6990 11 .590
10 Boise State .6529 11 10 1797 .6305 10 958 .6282 8 .700

Related: View the full BCS rankings

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Posted October 27th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Pontiac Game Changing PerformanceThe Texas defense bent (a lot) against [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag] but held strong just when they needed to secure the win. In what may have been the most important play of the season so far they stuffed the OSU offense on fourth down on a critical fourth quarter drive. The defense sniffed out the wide receiver slip screen and defensive tackle [tag]Lamarr Houston[/tag] tackled Dez Bryant as soon as he caught the ball, well short of the needed yardage.

That play is up against plays from [tag]Florida State[/tag], [tag]Georgia[/tag]. and probably the deserving winner from the [tag]Ohio State[/tag]/[tag]Penn State[/tag] game. That big hit and then fumble by Terrelle Pryor probably put Joe Pa in the title game.

Go to www.pontiac.com/ncaa and vote for the Horns. Be sure to click on “Rush” to see the ESPN guys talk at length after a good replay of [tag]Vince Young[/tag] running for 80 yards against Okie State back in the incredible 2005 game.

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Posted October 26th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

The new BCS standings are out and the Longhorns remain easily atop the list. A close game against [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag] had no effect on either the human or computer polls that make up the rankings. Texas is number one in every computer poll and holds nearly every first place vote in both the Harris and USA Today Coaches poll.

All the team has to do is take care of business and it appears there’s no way any other team could jump them in the rankings. One indicator of how much both the humans and robots love the Longhorns are the rankings of both OSU and [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] even after losses to Texas. After the loss this weekend the Cowboys only fell one spot in the Harris Poll and two in the USA Today poll. This might mean the Horns could lose a game and still be around number three in the BCS. Let’s hope we don’t find out.

Check out the top ten in the latest BCS rankings below:

  Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings BCS
  Team RK Pts % RK Pts % % Comp avg BCS Avg Prvs
1 Texas 1 2839 .9961 1 1522 .9980 1.000 1 .9981 1
2 Alabama 2 2696 .9460 2 1439 .9436 .960 2 .9499 2
3 Penn State 3 2650 .9298 3 1414 .9272 .920 3 .9257 3
4 Oklahoma 4 2370 .8316 4 1265 .8295 .820 T-4 .8270 4
5 USC 7 2255 .7912 6 1228 .8052 .750 6 .7822 5
6 Georgia 8 2124 .7453 8 1137 .7456 .820 T-4 .7703 7
7 Texas Tech 5 2286 .8021 5 1246 .8170 .610 T-10 .7431 8
8 Florida 6 2258 .7923 7 1199 .7862 .610 T-10 .7295 10
9 Oklahoma State 9 1871 .6565 10 972 .6374 .730 T-7 .6746 6
10 Utah 10 1802 .6323 9 987 .6472 .730 T-7 .6362 11

Related: View the full BCS rankings

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Posted October 25th, 2008 by Matt
Filed under: Feature, Football, TV

Some really good match-ups this weekend, especially in the Big 12. You get to start off the day with Texas Tech playing on the road in Kansas, and then get to watch the #1 Texas Longhorns play Oklahoma State in the afternoon. Then you get to finish on the day with Penn State playing at Ohio State in the late game on ABC. Overall not a bad Saturday, not bad at all.

Now I did only go 2-2 last week, but I am still around 70% for the season. This weekend should be good.

#8 Texas Tech vs. #23 Kansas (PK) – 12:00 PM EST on ESPN. Texas Tech is 7-0 for the first time since 1976, but their undefeated is in serious jeopardy this weekend playing at Kansas. Kansas has proven they can score and Texas Tech’s defense has been looking pretty week in the last 2 weeks. The over/under in this one is around 68, which is not nearly enough for these two teams. Look for this one to be in the 80s as Kansas pulls out the victory in the end.

#6 Oklahoma State vs. #1 Texas (-12.5) – 3:30 PM EST on ABC. Texas doesn’t get a break as they face another top ranked team for the 3rd straight week. I think Texas has proven they can handle the pressure of being #1 in the nation by demolishing Mizzou last weekend. Even though Texas has won 10 straight in this match-up, Oklahoma State has been a trouble spot for Texas in recent years, needing many a miracle 2nd half comeback to pull out the victory. I think this year Texas will jump out early at home and continue to apply pressure throughout the game. Give the points in this one.

#7 Georgia vs. #13 LSU (-1.5) – 3:30 PM EST on CBS. To me this one seems pretty simple. LSU has nothing at the quarterback position, and that will kill you with the SEC defenses. LSU’s defense struggled mightily against Florida’s speed, and it will probably be more of the same against Georgia. I really hate to go against LSU, but my gut tells me they don’t have a shot in this one.

#3 Penn State vs. #9 Ohio State (+2) – 8:00 PM EST on ABC. This one might be the toughest on the board. You can make pretty good arguments both ways. Ohio State has been playing much better since getting blown out by USC, but Penn State has just been dominating every opponent. To me this one just comes down to offense. Ohio State struggles to score points, and Penn State averages 45 points per game. Even though this one is at OSU, take Penn State minus the points.

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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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