Texas 17, Kansas State 14

Gameday Diary

6:32am - I'm having that dream where the alarm clock is going off at the same time it's going off for real (forgot to disarm it the night before) and, in my subconscious, I was doing everything short of smashing the damn thing with a hammer to get it to turn off. So frustrating. Must be how Greg Davis feels when he's awake. Anyway, I finally wake up with the help of a knee to the back from my wife and a bladder that had evidentially been on Defcon Pee for quite some time. With the alarm clock subdued for at least another 9 minutes, I turned to my wife for comfort and to tell her about the dream. Instead, she put the pillow over her ear and said, "don't forget to put the lid up." If that's not love, I don't know what is....

6:36am - After standing over the toilet for what seemed like an eternity and nearly fainting from the sensation of trying to expel happy hour in less than 30 seconds, I managed to make it all the way down the hallway to the front door in complete darkness. Awaiting me out on the front lawn in the cold, wet night air was the one thing every man desires at 6:36am on gameday. That's right, it was time to make the paper run and, as any real man knows, it only counts if you're barefoot and wearing nothing more than a pair of boxers and a smile. Interesting phenomenon: I'm not exactly what you'd call a speed merchant, but I can get from the front door, pick the paper up at the curb and get back inside before you can say "indecent exposure."

7:32am - With the sports section, Marmaduke and the horoscopes of Chris Simms, Greg Davis and Mack Brown thoroughly read, I settled in for what would be a really long day of watching nothing but college football. Does it get any better than that?

9:59am - Finally Robin Roberts has quit yapping about steroid abuse in the LPGA and it's time for Gameday with Fowler, Corso and Herbstreet. They're in Colorado Springs for the Notre Dame/Air Force game and taking turns kissing Ty Willingham's ass. Good for the God Squad, but give me a break already. I'm Catholic and I can't even stand Notre Dame.

10:56am - Herbstreet and Corso both pick K-State to beat Texas (1st good omen of the day) and then the show cuts to a soundbite of Simms yelling at a reporter - "I don't give a damn about my legacy, all I care about is this team and winning." That one got me off the bench--I mean couch--and running to my closet to put on nearly every stitch of burnt orange clothing I owned.

11:31am - Back on the couch now, watching Nebraska at OSU. Normally a nothing game, but this year the "Corn" has proven to be vulnerable and I think the Stillwater boys have a chance to win at home. This year's Nebraska team reminds me of the '97 Longhorns that led the nation in torn down goal posts. Even Baylor got to baptize their uprights in the Brazos that year. Anyway, OSU hasn't beaten Nebraska since 1961, so I figured I'd better stay tuned and put Guiness and Mr. Ripley on the speed dial.

12:56pm - Halftime, Corn 7, Pokes 3. I guess history will have to wait. Time for the pregame meal--I mean lunch. (So hard to let go.) If I was in Austin, I'd be at Schultz scarfing down two sausage wraps and a 24oz Bud, but I'm at home and my wife is out shopping, so it's a double decker PB&J, stale tortilla chips, a 3-day old cold pizza slice and a Coors Light. Ah, just like mom used to make, except without the crusts cut off and a straw for the Coors Light.

2:11pm - Called Shane for the 5th time to make sure he was still coming over for the TX game. Hey, we just lost to OU, this was no time to be alone. He was flipping back and forth between the OSU game and the TBS Shawshank Redemption marathon, same as me. The Pokes were winning and the warden was throwing rocks at "Ms. Fuzzy Britches," so we were feeling pretty good.

2:35pm - Forty years of frustration has ended as OSU has just beaten Nebraska and the fans are spilling onto the field to tear down the goalposts, or so I thought. I figured OSU had had enough practice after the '97 Longhorns came to Stillwater, but they couldn't seem to get the damn thing down. For a while there I wasn't sure if they were going to rip the goalpost down or attach streamers to it and have a Maypole dance. Goalposts are not exactly monuments that were meant to stand the test of time. One man alone can bring one down. But for some reason all these OSU fans together couldn't seem to do it. It's like they instinctively knew to run to the goalpost after the game was over, but when they got there, mother nature went "tabula rasa" on their asses and said, "sink or swim ya bunch of morons."

2:41pm - In what can only be described as a "Homer Simpson," a group of OSU students all looked down to the other end of Lewis Stadium at the same time and collectively thought, "there's another goalpost?" High comedy to be sure. This one took so long to get down that the play-by-play guy in the booth actually said, "come on guys, get it down already, we've got to cut to commercial." So ridiculous. If you can't tear a goalpost down in the same time it takes to pick a chicken wing clean, you shouldn't tear one down at all. I guess OSU needs to have midnight goalpost practice like they do at Texas Tech.

2:42pm - Flipped over to ABC just in time to watch an Iowa State punt get blocked and a Cyclone player whif as he tried to kick it out of the back of the endzone. At that point it could have been the Twilight Zone for all I knew.

4:33pm - Sooners are now up 35-0 and Heisman trophy candidate Seneca Wallace has netted just 4 total yards of offense. The Cyclones couldn't even score after recovering the football at the Oklahoma 1-yard line. At the same time Chris Simms is in Manhattan distributing a press release that reads "I told you so you media bastards."

5:02pm - The OU/ISU tilt has gotten so bad that ABC has switched broadcasts and the entire nation is now watching the Wisconsin/Ohio State game. Wisconsin is actually winning, but in a clutch momentum turning moment, an Ohio State player ties his shoes correctly and receives a Buckeye sticker for his helmet. And we all know what that means, bad news for the Badgers.

6:02pm - Shane has arrived just in time toting beer and bourbon balls (don't ask) from a previous party. Meanwhile, Greg Davis has just finished scripting the first 20 offensive plays for Texas and is passing out copies to K-State, their fans and selected members of the press. There's not much left to do now but watch....


Longhorn fans never seem to get what they want, but somehow, they always seem to get what they need--to keep coming back, that is. Less than a week from a devastating upset at the hands of a bitter rival, the Horns traveled to Manhattan with everyone from the media to, perhaps, even some of their very own players having written them off. But with only a handful of Longhorn fans there for support and in front of a raucous crowd in one of the toughest venues in college football, something happened to them Saturday night in the near-freezing Kansas night air. And it wasn't a resurgence of the Texas offense. It wasn't a bunch of trick plays or some new formation that no one had ever seen before. It wasn't something that could be recorded in a box score or measured by a statistician. It was a simple thing called heart. For the first time this year, the Longhorns played with heart. Every time they needed a big play, they sucked it up and got it done. Senior leadership finally emerged as Cory Redding played the game of his life leading the defense time and time again against a pretty potent K-State offense. On the other side of the ball, the 3rd and 11 pass that Senior Chris Simms completed to BJ Johnson as he was getting knocked down was probably the biggest play of his career and by far the most important play of this season. "The block" of the K-State field goal at the end of regulation was huge, but if Simms doesn't complete that pass, Texas' season may have ended right there with him on his back laying under four Wildcats on the 50. The media likes to say that Simms can't win the big game, but make no mistake about it, that was a big game. And even though the papers reported that Texas won despite an offense that still exhibits the same problems that have plagued them all year, I didn't care. In my mind, the only objective of that road trip was to win the game, and win they did. Texas put their season back on track and may have found the most important thing along the way, heart.


Seneca Wallace and the Iowa State "Cy-clowns" bring their red and yellow circus to Austin this weekend. And despite their horrendous performance in Norman, I've got to admit that this game--and the Clowns for that matter--still scares me. Earlier this season the Colorado Buffaloes lost at home to USC 27-0 and then came back the very next week to knock off a pretty good UCLA team on the road. Don't be fooled into judging the Cyclones on one game. I expect them to bounce back and I have no doubts that Mack Brown and his staff have uttered those very same words repeatedly to the team.

In fact, I'd be surprised if they use much game film from the OU/ISU game in preparation this week other than to see how best to defend against Wallace. Fortunately, Texas has experience against mobile quarterbacks and forcing Seneca to stay in the pocket and try and pass the ball--as OU did--will be key. But I think the Horns have just the personnel to do it. Offensively for Texas, I see another conservative game. The Horns probably won't need as many big plays to score like they did against K-State, but I don't expect another low scoring affair. Except at quarterback, Texas has injury problems at every offensive position. So far the Longhorn offense seems to be trying to play its way back to health and this is most likely why they're struggling. Regardless, with a strong defense and a new found sense of pride, I like their chances at home. For just who will win, it's on to the...


"Longhorns break wind, beat Cyclones" (UT 24, ISU 17)


ABC (Whoa-Nelly) picked up the ISU game (Inane Cyclone Posse) for its regional telecast (parts is parts) starting around 2:30. So you ("you talkin' to me?") can expect Nad and the gang (Jac Street Boys) to be down at the corner of 18th and San Jacinto (Stompe le Longhorns) by about 10am Saturday morning (come early, join the crowd, stay awake). Per the usual (fear change), there will be beer on tap (cup sold separately) and beef grilling in the smoker (this little piggy went to the tailgate, oops). And of course, donations are always welcome (tip your waiter).


"The pride and winning tradition of The University of Texas will not be entrusted to the weak or the timid." -Chanted by the Football team prior to the K-State game


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