We begin this post election week with; “The Eyes of Texas,” and a tribute to a college football legend.
Mr. Texas Football, UT’s iconic Coach, Darrell K. Royal, passed away Wednesday at the age of 88.
He suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
Here are some of the highlights of the coach’s career:
In 1956, at the age of 32, Royal became the head Coach of Longhorns, a position he would hold for the next 23 years, while capturing 3 national championships.
He also created the Texas Longhorn symbol which is recognizable all over the country.
But his biggest creation came in 1968.
That was the year the Hall of Fame coach created the wishbone offense.
It was an attack that led to a 30 game winning streak, and six straight Southwest Conference Championships.
It also changed the way the game of football was played.
Royal never had a losing season, compiled a pair of undefeated seasons, won 10 Cotton Bowl Championships, and the Austin stadium bears his name
He truly was; Mr. Texas. God-speed; coach.
This weekend, let’s see which teams are hoping to “eyeball” a victory, and which simply “wish,” done to its “bones,” that it was half the opponent at the Horns.
No. 15 Texas A&M at No.1 Alabama (Ch.4, 3:30 p.m.) In College Station, the legend of “Johnny Football” continues to nurture.
His given name in Johnny Manziel, and the freshman QB, is the best thing to appear on the Texas A&M campus since; John David Crow, or Lyle Lovett.
The dual-threat dynamo has passed for 16 touchdowns, rushed for 15, and has compiled better numbers, than the retirement package, of a Citigroup CEO.
The fuel injected commander of the nation’s fourth highest scoring (44 pts) eleven, is assisted by tailback, Ben Malena, and wideouts; Mike Evans, and Ryan Swope.
This group, which strikes faster than a Navy Seal, has outscored opponents by an aggregate second quarter total; 151-47.
The D, featuring sack master end Damontre Moore (11.5 sacks), and backer Jonathan Stewart, doesn’t conjure images of the “Wrecking Crew,” but has been a pleasant surprise.
In Tuscaloosa, the mask of invincibility shrouding the Alabama defense was peeled back last week, and the underpinnings exposed some shocking vulnerabilities.
But it remains to be seen, if A&M has the ability to fully infiltrate those fissures.
Coach Saint Nick’s D, behind backers; C.J. Mosley, Nico Johnson, and Trey Depriest, ranks second overall, and hits harder than a Joe Frazier left hook.
These punishers have surrendered a seasonal total of; 10 TDs.
The offense is directed by its flawless QB, A.J. McCarron, who operates as the country’s third most efficient passer.
The Heisman contending dart thrower (19 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions), is assisted by one of the best tailback pairings in America; T.J. Yeldon and Eddie Lacy.
These plow horses have combined for 1404 yards, and 15 TDs.
To put it another way, that’s about one- half’s worth of running by the Oregon Ducks.
When Mr. Perfect takes to the air, wideouts; Amari Cooper, and Kevin Norwood, are comforting targets.
In a game of contrasting styles, we think, even with the spirit of A&M’s 12th Man, there is still too much to overcome against the Titans of Tuscaloosa, for the SEC newbie’s.
No. 13 Oregon State at No. 16 Stanford (Fox, 3 p.m.) The Beavers are the Rodney Dangerfield of the college football world.
Everyone keeps waiting for Mike Riley’s team to implode, like Rick Perry’s Presidential campaign, but the gritty guys from Palouse, just keep piling up the wins.
The pedestrian, one dimensional offense (76th in scoring – 26 pts), is now officially under the direction of junior QB Cody (7 touchdown passes – 1 interception) Vaz.
When OSU does try to run (105th) tailback Terron Ward gets the call, but wideouts Brandon Cooks, and Markus Wheaton, are quality chain moving weapons.
The nation’s 19th stingiest D (18 pts.) stones runners behind backer Michael Doctor, and end Scott Crichton, but struggles defending the pass.
In Palo-Alto, the Sons of John Elway have also installed a new commander.
Coach David Shaw needed an offensive spark, and has given the keys to r-shirt, dual-threat freshman QB; Kevin (3 touchdown passes – 0 interceptions) Hogan.
The kid gets great assists from his hard charging tailback Stepfan Taylor, and a pair of big-play receivers; tight end Zach Ertz, and wideout Drew Terrell.
The nation’s 12th stingiest eleven (16 pts.) is tops stopping the run, and attacks behind a trio of bone rattling backers, Trent Murphy, Chase Thomas, and Shane Skov.
We think, at home on The Farm, the Cardinal dams the Beavers.
No. 22 Mississippi State at No. 9 LSU (ESPN, 7 p.m.) The Bulldogs have lost its early season bite.
Coach Dan Mullen’s Bullies are in need of a GPS, but a trip to Death Valley is hardly the best direction to try and rectify the ills of the Starkville visitors.
MSU is directed by its talented junior QB, 6-4, 220 pound Tyler (16 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions) Russell, with an assist from tailback LaDarius Perkins.
And when the big armed signal caller takes to the air, receivers Chad Bumphis and Chris Smith are comforting touchdown makers.
The D, led by backers Benardrick McKinney, and Cameron Lawrence, is a plus 13 in turnover margin, but struggles slowing the run, which is the wrong formula against LSU.
The Bayou Bengals still have an outside shot to play in the Sugar Bowl.
And, for at least one week, the criticism sprayed towards QB Zach (8 touchdown passes – 4 interceptions) Mettenberger, has been bottled.
In fact, last week’s performance conjured up visions of LSU immortal; Bert Jones.
But to a skeptical Baton Rouge fan base, it remains to been seen, if his virtuoso show was real; or Memorex.
The Tigers real comfort zone comes from a yardage churning ground assault, featuring true freshman Jeremy Hill, while receivers; Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham are explosive, and acrobatic.
The country’s 10th stingiest D (15 pts.) featuring All-America end Sam Montgomery and backer Kevin Minter, plays with the seething anger of a New Yorker towards Con-Edison.
But for the Sons of Billy Cannon, it’s the defensive eleven, who remain its foundation, and ultimately will determine the success of LSU’s season.
In Death Valley, there may be an early hangover effect, but ultimately, the Bulldogs GPS remains in disrepair.
Penn State at No.18 Nebraska (Ch.5, 3:30 p.m.) JoPa who?
This is now Billy O’Brien’s team.
The Coach of the Year candidate, has deftly moved from the shadow of Penn State’s disgraced legendary coach, and stamped his identity onto the 2012 Nittany Lions.
It begins with his reclamation project, of senior QB Matt McGloin (18 touchdown passes – 3 interceptions), who before O’Brien’s arrival, was permanently chained in Paterno’s doghouse.
The BIG Ten’s leading QB, is assisted by tailback Zach Zwinak, and a pair of dynamic receivers; wideout Allen Robinson (8 TDs), and tight end Kyle Carter.
The country’s 14th tightest D (17 pts.) flies around, behind a pair of disrupting backers; All-America caliber Michael Manti, and his partner, Gerard Hodges.
In Lincoln, the Huskers have been better escape artists than; Houdini.
The maestro behind those late game heroics is junior QB Taylor Martinez (18 touchdown passes – 8 interceptions), whose rocket propelled legs do more damage than his arm.
But as the Nebraska faithful are well aware, its magic-man induces more frustration, and heartache, than cornfield in the middle of a summer drought.
The nation’s 6th best running attack leans on tailback Ameer Abdulah, and when Martinez goes aerial, wideouts Kenny Bell and Quincy Enunwa are primary targets.
The D behind backer Will Compton, and end Eric Martin, has at times been as defenseless as a microphone, in the hand of, Bill Clinton.
If this game was in Happy Valley, we’d take the Nits, but in the sea of red in Lincoln, we think that the Sons of Bob Devaney will prevail.
No. 5 Georgia at Auburn (ESPN, 7 p.m.) In the “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry,” a Bulldog victory gains entrance into the SEC Championship Game, for the second consecutive season.
But the Dawgs, who have more talent than a Victoria Secret Runway Show, have yet to play a game with every piston properly firing.
Georgia is directed by its senior QB, Aaron Murray (21 touchdowns – 7 interceptions), with assists from a pair of scintillating freshman tailbacks; Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
This duo has combined for over 1200 yards and 15 TDs.
When the Athens field general is firing; wideouts Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell are comforting, sure handed targets.
The performance of its talent laden D, featuring All-America backer Jarvis Jones (15 tfls – 8.5 sacks), and his partner Amarlo Herrera, has been as puzzling as a Donald Trump tweet #lunatic!
The last time Auburn started this poorly, (2-7, 0-6 SEC) Dwight D. Eisenhower was occupying the Oval Office.
In fact, Coach Gene Chizik, who finds himself just two years removed from the Cam Newton championship team, is in serious jeopardy of losing his gig.
War Eagle, who has been outscored by an average; 27-19, and sits a bottom feeding 109th in scoring (19), has decided on freshman QB Jonathan Wallace to try and save the sinking ship.
The kid will heavily rely on the assistance of tailbacks; Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb, while big play wideout Emory Blake will snatch passes.
The Tigers D, behind backers Corey Lemonier and Daren Bates is woeful slowing the run, which is the wrong recipe against the Boys from Athens.
The Dawgs have no intention of letting its arch-rival derail its Atlanta travel plans as the Bulldogs strut into the SEC Championship Game.
Last week: 5-0 Season record: 36-14
Be sure to read our recap which will be up and running by Noon on Sunday, until then, Peace, and listen to the music. PK