It's the midpoint of the college football season – as Sports Illustrated was only too kind to point out, with their "Mid-Season All-America Team" and updating various writers' BCS bowl predictions – but all that's become clear to me is that while I may be addicted to heavy doses of football watching, writing about it is another matter entirely.
Discipline has never been my thing, and while I know it would probably shock a great many people to see me admit as much, it is an inescapable reality that I am forced to deal with, like the looming grim probability that John Boehner, along with his eerie orange lizard skin, will soon be speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Disaster, it seems, is not reserved for Texas A&M alone.
Yes, writing about sports is difficult. Let no one fool you. There is only so much verbiage at a writer's disposal, and regurgitating the typical nonsense about games can become tedious. Of course, writing about politics would probably be worse. After all, an election is little more than a game itself, but the outcome and the consequences that follow have much more of a real-life bearing on We the People. It is blood-and-guts stuff and the losers, except in a precious few cases, never come back.
When I last checked in with a few notes, Texas had just lost to OU and A&M had fallen to OSU. Since then, the Longhorns have responded nicely with a big win at Nebraska, while the Aggies have taken their by-now familiar and to-be-expected death spiral.
What in the name of Bear Bryant, Gene Stallings, and R.C. Slocum has happened in College Station? I'll admit to taking some cheap shots at A&M in the past but it's not like they weren't well-deserved. The Ags seem to have every possible advantage in place to be a perennial power, if not exactly on the same level as the loathed Longhorns then pretty darn close. Yet they are not.
They may even be worse than Baylor.
A&M Athletic Director Bill Byrne, who hasn't seen his football team finish in the AP Top 25 since 1999, commented in late August about the Aggies balking at the chance to jump to the SEC, "I was concerned with changing conferences that we may not be ready for the level of competition if we decided to leave."
Way to inspire the fan base, Billy.
Meanwhile, Tommy Tuberville has sparked some intense scorn out in the hinterland. Folks in Lubbock are now realizing just how good they had it with Mike Leach. Following Tech's home loss to Oklahoma State, the first since 1944, Red Raider fans flooded chat rooms and message boards with the kind of colorful vitriol that is these days mostly reserved for damn dirty socialists like Barack Obama.
Making the matter worse, the Air Raid offense that Leach used to strike fear and panic in the hearts of opponents has now been implemented in Stillwater by longtime Leach disciple Dana Holgerson. O-State is putting up some big numbers so far this season but the Cowboys' biggest test comes this weekend when Nebraska visits, looking to regain its swagger following the debacle against Texas.
How's that for churning out sports cliches? Hot damn, I'm on a roll now. Make no mistake, this game will be a battle between warriors. It will test their warrior hearts. And warrior minds, too. The winning team will have to play all four quarters. They cannot quit. Whoever turns the ball over least will almost certainly prevail.
Etc. & etc. and so forth.
Also, Oklahoma visits Missouri in a clash of conference unbeatens. I suppose that's fairly big, too, eh? Indeed. ESPN's "College Gameday" makes its first-ever visit to Columbia, meaning that fans of the Tigers just might get to see Erin Andrews in person.
Somewhere, Shawn Badgley must be smiling.
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