From the Annals of the Gridiron – In 1896, Texas Christian University played its first football game. It was an 8-6 victory over Toby’s Business College of Waco. At the time, the school was called the AddRan Male & Female College and was located near Waco. The school changed its name to TCU in 1902 and relocated to Waco in 1910. The storied program has had its ups and downs, but the Horned Frogs are ranked as the 5th best private college football program of all-time behind such notables as Notre Dame, USC and Miami. TCU has won two National Championships (both in the 1930s), numerous conference championships and has played in all of the major bowl games.
“College football is grateful to Iowa State for knocking off TCU.”
Accidentally overheard by Red from Dan Patrick – sports radio and TV giant ego and empty suit. The absolute worst of the worst in the sports broadcasting world. Why anyone listens to this moron is beyond Red. TCU was one of the best stories of the year and just fell short against this season’s giant killers – Iowa State.
This week we visit the not-s0-friendly confines of Rice Stadium on University Blvd in Houston as the pesky Owls take on the UTSA Roadrunners in an all avian matchup. The Owls are in trouble at 0-5 and Coach David Baliff’s squad may be looking at a winless season if they can’t knock off the 2-3 Roadrunners this week.
UTSA is coming off a big 55-32 win over Southern Mississippi last week. UTSA finally got its faltering ground game going as running back Jalen Rhodes tallied 165 yards and three touchdowns including an 80 yard scamper. Rhodes barely outplayed Jarveon Williams who ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns while racking up the longest play in UTSA history with a 92 yard run.
Rice is missing on all cylinders having been competitive only against weak sister North Texas. Other than that – it’s been pretty much blowouts for the Owls. There is a good case to be made that the Owls are the worst team in college football so far. Rice ranks near the bottom of the nation on both sides of the ball. They are 117th in total yards per game on offense (335 yards); 111th in passing yards per game on offencse (162 yards); 128th in allowing a 568.4 yards per game overall and 213 rushing yards per game.
Red would like to see the Owls win a game, but this doesn’t look like it. UTSA 45 Rice 20.
Not all Texans love their football, but a sizable majority do. And although the state has produced exactly zero championships on any level above high school in more than a decade now, there remains the perception that Texas football is somehow superior and more manly than the rest. The quest to achieve football prominence (or prominence in any sport) can overwhelm more pedestrian desires such as education, quality of life and safety. What has happened at Baylor and in Waco is a prime example of misplaced priorities and an institution run amok in its goal of building a nationally recognized college football program. Baylor had had brief moments of football success winning the Southwest Conference several times in the early days of the SWC and twice (1974 and 1980) under Grant Teaff in a more competitive era. But until winning the Big 12 in 2013, it had been over 30 years without a trophy on the shelf. Then sharing a Big 12 title in 2014 opened the possibility that the Bears might actually be on the road to long term success and regular national recognition.
But a what price? Red does not know and probably does not care to know all the details of the investigation that has resulted in the firing of Head Coach Art Briles, the demotion of Ken Starr and the quick exit of the Baylor Athletic Director (whose name only the faithful knew before this week and even they will want to forget it). Suffice it to say, that to fire a highly successful coach that had brought Baylor to national prominence, the facts are probably worse than we will ever know or want to know. The athletic program, the administration and the Waco police and district attorney are all complicit in a horrendous cover up of gross criminality. Anyone who has spent hard-earned money to send their child to what has been revealed to be a corrupt institution cloaking itself in Christian teaching can only be truly shocked and disappointed at how low this place has fallen.
Everyone Red knows that went to Baylor really loves the place. It has a great reputation for being a place where students feel at home and build a sense of community and friendship. Will that still be the case?
Red gives no credit to Baylor whatsoever for firing Briles and demoting Starr. It is incredible that all of this occurred under the noses of the Board of Regents and they too must be considered complicit in the lack of oversight of a program that completely lost any ethical or moral mooring.
So when you are watching college football next fall, think about the consequences of the bloated importance placed on these games, these coaches and these players. Something is seriously out of order when what happened at Baylor can go on for years without some consequences.
Fear Not! SB Nation has already begun it’s 128 team preview of – wait for it – all 128 FBS college football teams. And it starts with the worst team from last season – your University of North Texas Mean Green. For the UNT-MG diehards, Bill Connelly at SB Nation has a mind-numbing array of statistics and other metrics which explain in great detail exactly why your team sucked last season. He does provide the MG faithful with a small dash of hope in the hiring of head coach Seth Littrell – a Mike Leach protégée who has brought on former record-setting Texas Tech QB Graham Harrell to run the offense.
The College football Bowl schedule for Texas is now set. In addition to the national semi-final playoff game between Alabama and Michigan State at JerryWorld in Arlington (aka the Goodyear Cotton Bowl) on December 31, the overcrowded Bowl schedule includes the following soon to be classics:
December 26 –
Hyundai Sun Bowl at the Sun Bowl Stadium in El Paso: Miami vs. Washington State – featuring the return of former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach to Texas with the resurgent Cougars. 1 pm on CBS.
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl Stadim in Dallas: Washington vs. Southern Miss – just to make sure that all major college teams from Washington get to play in Texas this year. 1:20 pm on ESPN. They didn’t want anyone to miss the kickoff at the Sun Bowl.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth: California vs. Air Force – a game sure to draw in thousands of fans, as in about 2000. 1 pm on ESPN
AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium in Houston: LSU vs. Texas Tech – just to disappoint those looking for a Texas Tech/Texas A&M matchup. 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Valero Alamo Bowl at the AlamoDome in San Antonio: Oregon vs. TCU – which actually looks to be one of the more entertaining games on the undercard. 5:45 p.m. on ESPN.
In addition, several Texas teams will travel outside of the great state to end their seasons:
Baylor will face North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl at the Orlando Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida on Dec. 29 (4:30 p.m. on ESPN)
Texas A&M will match up against Louisville in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee on December 30 (6:00 pm on ESPN).
Houston will try to finish 13-1 against Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia on December 31 (11:00 a.m. on ESPN).
All time CST of course. Red will have his predictions later.
On Thursday we have the rare weekday/night Texas sports Quadruple-Header:
3:30 pm Texas Rangers at Toronto BlueJays
7:00 pm SMU Mustangs at Houston Cougars
7:25 pm Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
7:30 pm Houston Astros at Kansas City Royal
Texas and Texas A&M – not so much. Ohio State pulls off a first ever sweep of the 61 first place votes up for grabs in the AP Preseason Top 25. TCU ranks second and Baylor (despite current travails) is in fourth place in the meaningless annual preseason exercise. Ohio State has been top-ranked 7 other times at the beginning of the season and has never won the national championship in any of those years.
Texas comes in unranked but in 38th place in the voting with a mighty 3 points. A&M lands just outside the rankings with 61 points in 26th place.
The Longhorns at least have a chance to move up quickly when they face Notre Dame in South Bend on Labor Day weekend. The Aggies also would get a huge boost from beating a highly regarded Arizona State team in the Texas Kickoff Classic at NRG Stadium in Houston on September 5 and probably would move into at least 15th place. As usual, most of the top 25 play the typical first game assortment of lower division patsies, perennial doormats and conference weak sisters. A handful of the top 25 may face actual tests in the first week. Notable matchups other than Texas v. Notre Dame and A&M v. Arizona State include:
No. 1 Ohio State at Virginia Tech
NO. 2 TCU at Minnesota
And the likely game of the week in No. 3 Alabama v. No. 20 Wisconsin