Football Watch

Another tough week for football in Texas

Horns lose to Bears!? Cowboys lose to Jags!? Texans lose to Colts ... well, that one at least we should be used to by now. Here in the Lone Star State we've entered some sort of football Bizarro World where Baylor comes into Darrell K. Royal ranked and favored over the unranked Horns and indeed win 30-22; the Cowboys lose embarrassingly, 35-17, to the middling Jacksonville Jaguars and enter the NFL's week 9 with a 1-6 record and without star quarterback Tony Romo; and Houston fails to pick up a big win in Indy over the favored Colts.

I've heard several UT fans declare that these losses hurt less since they've already given up on the season. That may be true, but it can't hurt any less for the players and/or coaches. The players are unpaid college kids, but the coaches are cashing ridiculously large checks while being unable to right their ship loss after loss. Good thing UT basketball is right around the corner. The Horns face Kansas State in Manhattan, Kan., Sat., Nov. 6, at 7pm (ESPN2; 98.1FM and 1300AM).

Everybody, even the Cowboys themselves, knows their season is over. Maybe now the national media will quit obsessing over them (doubtful). They have to be one of the most overrated teams in all of sports. How many pundits picked them to play in the Super Bowl in their own stadium this year? Too many, I know that. Can we now start focusing on some teams on the national level who actually have a winning record? How about the Chiefs or the Buccaneers, who are both overachieving at 5-2? The Texans appear to be in playoff contention with a 4-3 record, but they play in the most competitive division in the NFL. All-Pro middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans is out for the season, and they've lost three of their last five games, including one to the Cowboys. Simply put, their defense is bad. And there isn't much help on the way. Let's hope their offense can put up enough points to lead them to their first-ever playoff appearance.

Picks of the week: I'm gonna do it – not only will I take the winless Buffalo Bills at home plus 3 over the Bears, I'm gonna say right now that they are gonna outright win it. I'll take Tampa Bay plus 8.5 in Atlanta because I think 8.5 points is too hard to resist for the 5-2 Bucs, and the Chiefs plus 3 on the road in Oakland. That's right, I just picked the Bills, Bucs, and Chiefs. Bizarro World indeed.

Area Bars and the Football Teams/Fans They Cater To:

Aussie's catered to Browns fans last year but is focusing more on the Texans and Cowboys this season. 306 Barton Springs Rd., 480-0952.

Bagpipes Pub & Eatery supplies the setting for Alabama Crimson Tide football fans. 9070 Research Blvd., 467-8700.

B.D. Riley's Irish Pub is the place to go if you're a fan of Tom Brady's tresses or his football team, the New England Patriots. Fittingly, the pub is also home for Notre Dame games. 204 E. Sixth, 494-1335.

Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill (both locations) is a straight-up Steelers bar. 6901 N. I-35, 454-2247; 214 E. Sixth, 469-0001.

Billy's on Burnet is the "unofficial Packers bar of Austin." 2105 Hancock, 407-9305.

Black Sheep Lodge has a good contingent of Saints, Redskins, Vikings, Texans, and Titans fans. USC and Ohio State lovers cheer on their teams on Saturdays. 2108 S. Lamar, 707-2744.

Cedar Door hosts USC and TCU supporters. Second and Brazos, 473-3712.

Cool River Cafe is the place for Nebraska Cornhuskers fans. 4001 W. Parmer, 835-0010.

Hog Island Italian Deli hosts Philadelphia Eagles watch parties. 1612 Lavaca, 482-9090.

Joe's Bar and Grill Attention Colt McCoy lovers, Joe's hosts fans of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. 506 West Ave., 473-0885.

Mangia Pizza Mesa is the official home for Auburn football. 8012 Mesa, 349-2126.

Pluckers North Austin is the official home of the Arkansas Razorbacks. 9070 Research, 533-9464.

Pluckers South Lamar is the official place to be for Michigan Wolverines games. 3909 S. Lamar, 443-9464.

Shoal Creek Saloon is the home of the Saints. 909 N. Lamar, 474-0805.

The Tavern sees a lot of Steelers and Ravens fans show up for NFL Sundays. 922 W. 12th, 320-8377.

Third Base Round Rock caters to Giants, Chargers, and Steelers fans. Arkansas Razorbacks lovers meet there on Saturdays. 3107 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/388-2273.

Third Base Southpark Meadows is the place to be for Saints, Vikings, and Steelers supporters. In the NCAA, it's Oregon State, Minnesota, and Texas Tech territory. 9600 S. I-35, 381-2273.

Third Base Downtown has a good following for the Texans, Saints, and Vikings and generally a "pretty mixed" crowd. As far as college goes, it's the official home for Illinois Fighting Illini and Florida Gators fans, as well as followers of Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Kansas. 1717 W. Sixth, 476-2273.

The Warehouse Saloon & Billiards sees a lot of Vikings fans, among others. I've also heard Dolphins and Bears fans have been known to congregate there. 509 E. Ben White, 443-8799.

Weirdos is a Chargers bar. 12408 MoPac N., 291-6703.

Hit me up at gameplans@austinchronicle with additional info.

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