Before I get to the rest of college football, I’ve just got to ask: What in the hell happened to my Cougars? Sure, they had lost three games going into Saturday’s game. But those losses were to Oregon, the number 2 ranked team in the country, Alabama, a team which has been in and out of the rankings all season, and East Carolina, one of the better team in Conference USA. And the Cougars hadn’t been blown out in any of those games. They played Oregon close for three quarters before Oregon’s talent took over. The Cougars were close to beating Alabama. And if not for a special teams breakdown, including two missed field goals within the last two minutes, the Cougars would’ve beaten East Carolina.
So what happened on Saturday? There was nothing, NOTHING, to indicate the Cougars were capable of playing such crappy football for a complete game. There have been games this year where the Cougars took the first half off. Or the fourth quarter off. Or would need a QB change to infuse a little energy.
But what explains a 56-7 loss to Tulsa, a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates?
John Nova Lomax wrote early last week that maybe the Aggies should consider Art Briles as the replacement for Dennis Franchione. With the way the Cougars look unprepared for Tulsa, it appears that Briles might be just the right guy to replace Coach Fran, especially as Coach Fran’s Aggie teams often play in a state of disarray and unpreparedness.
I know the Coogs are never going to be in a position to play for the national title, or to even make a BCS Bowl, not while playing in Conference-USA. And I doubt the Coogs will ever be able to make a major bowl game or to get a ranking. But I’ve always liked that, under Briles, the Coogs would play major schools, and they would not be embarrassed by playing major schools. But what’s the use of not being embarrassed by a loss to Oregon if the Cougar mascot is going to get its ass kicked, or if the Coogs are going to lose 56-7 to Tulsa?
Now, speaking of the Oregon Ducks, I’ve got to say the Ducks are the team I’m adopting for next college football season. I don’t care if their team colors are ugly. Or that they wear a different uniform combination every week. I like the way the team is an offensive explosion every week, even with injuries. I like that Oregon is one of the few non-Big 12 teams currently in position to win the national title. And I really like that the mascot could probably kick the ass of most players on the other teams.
And did I call the upset, or what? On Friday, I said there was a chance for two big upsets: Ohio State losing to Illinois, and Kansas losing to Oklahoma State. I was wrong about Kansas, but I hope that you have all noticed that Ohio State is no longer the country’s number one team, and that Ohio State is no longer the country’s number one team because Illinois won the game.
The nation’s new number one team is LSU, which is revisiting the spot it once held before losing to Kentucky back in October. Oregon’s at number two, and the rest of the BCS top five consists of teams from the Big 12: Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Note that none of those Big 12 teams include any from the state of Texas.
Yep, UT might have beat up on Tech this weekend, but those two losses are really screwing around with Mack Brown and the boys. And speaking of screwing around, Tech coach Mike Leach is pretty convinced that the Big 12 is screwing around with Tech by having officials who live in Austin officiate games involving the University of Texas in Austin. Apparently, the reason Tech lost to the Horns is not because Tech’s defense couldn’t stop the Horns, but because the officials were involved in a conspiracy with UT to rob Tech on the replay review.
While I’m at it, let’s hear it for Rice. The Owls beat SMU 43-42 on Saturday for their third win of the season. Some Rice Owl fun will come on Saturday as the Owls host Tulsa. The fun part of this game is that Tulsa is coached by Todd Graham, the man who coached Rice to a bowl game last season, then abandoned the team for the Tulsa. Rice might get beat, but you’ve got to know the guys on the team really want some revenge.
And if the Coogs are going to advance to the C-USA title game, they’re going to need for Rice to beat Tulsa. Of course, the Coogs are also going to have win their game against Marshall on Saturday.
But enough about my damn Cougars. Go Ducks! – John Royal
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