No. 1 - Scattershooting on the Longhorns…
… Watching the Baylor fans storm the field on Saturday night after upsetting Kansas State, it truly occurred for me how badly the Longhorns need a sexy signature win before this season is over. Honestly, the Bears robbed them of what a win over Kansas State would mean for the program, but a win over a top-10 team would be just the kind of exclamation mark that Texas A&M picked up last weekend and Baylor picked up this weekend. It's been a long time (2009) since the Longhorns had one of those wins and it's time to get one
… First things first, the Longhorns have to beat TCU in order to keep the Big 12 title, BCS Bowl and positive progress post-OU dreams like. From this vantage point, the Longhorns should win the game if the defense from the last 10 quarters shows up for four quarters on Thursday. Anything less than that means that it will likely be a dog fight until the end.
… D. J. Monroe averages 7.1 yards per carry in his career, the best YPC in the history of the school by any player with more than 100 carries. I leave no opinions, just a rather significant fact.
… Oh, here is one more fact: Monroe has five carries in the last six games.
… Ok, an opinion: that last fact is a firing offense. Just kidding. Kind of.
… I don't know that I would have believed before the season that the freshman trio of Marcus Johnson/Cayleb Jones/Kendall Sanders would have combined for only three catches for 38 yards in 10 games, especially when you consider that David Ash has been better than most believed he would be coming into the season.
… With two games to go, David Ash ranks eighth in the nation in passing efficiency and No. 1 in the Big 12.
… Ash has 117 net yards rushing this year. I thought his rushing numbers would be twice that.
… Mike Davis ranks 32nd in the country in receiving yards per game, but of those top receivers, none average more yards per catch and only Terrance Williams (18.52 YPC) comes close to Davis' 18.6 YPC.
… With two games to go, Alex Okafor has a Big 12 best eight sacks and 15 in the last two seasons combined. To put that number in perspective, Brian Orakpo had 17 sacks in his final two seasons, while Cory Redding and Tim Crowder both had 13.5 combined sacks in their final two seasons.
… Kansas State looked damn beatable to say the least on Saturday.
No. 2 - Quick impressions from this weekend's action in the Big 12 …
Baylor: Where in the world did that come from? The Bears have been nothing short of dreadful all season and they crushed a Kansas State team that slayed far better teams on the road all season, and yet the Bears now stand one win away from a bowl season. In the process, they saved the season with a signature win that recruits will remember in the off-season. Oh, and that Lache Seastrunk fella is starting to emerge as one of the top game-breakers in the Big 12. He has 481 yards of all-purpose offense and five scores in the last three games.
Kansas: Two steps forward, 100 steps back.
Kansas State: Awful. Just awful. I suppose I could have imagined a scenario where the Bears might have won the game in a shootout, but for a No. 1 ranking and national title hopes to go down in 28-point flames … man … I just don't know what to say. What a waste.
Iowa State: The 51-23 drubbing of the Jayhawks has the Cyclones bowl eligible at 6-5. The Cyclones could find themselves ahead of West Virginia in the bowl pecking order with a win at home over the Mountaineers this weekend. I can't believe I just typed those words.
Oklahoma: Give Landry Jones credit because he was the reason the Sooners emerged victorious in Morgantown. It took every single one of his 554 yards and six touchdowns to escape with a win and it proved to be yet another one hell of a signature win for Jones, as the Sooners continue to pursue the Big 12 title. While the offense is humming, the defense is going the wrong way down the stretch. That group better watch out against Oklahoma State.
Oklahoma State: You can make a case that the Cowboys are as dangerous as any team in the conference right now after their beat-down of Texas Tech this weekend. It just doesn't matter who plays quarterback right now.
Texas Tech: It feels like this season is getting away from Tommy Tuberville.
West Virginia: Ouch, 778 total yards of offense and no win to show for it? Welcome to the Big 12. Geno Smith is really good and he'll never even really register in the conversation of elite quarterbacks the Big 12 has seen in its relatively short history.
Post-Week 11 Big 12 Power Poll
Note: Last week's rankings are listed in parentheses
1. Kansas State (1)
2. Oklahoma (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. Oklahoma State (6)
5. TCU (4)
6. Baylor (9)
7. Texas Tech (5)
8. West Virginia (7)
9. Iowa State (8)
10. Kansas (10)
No. 3 - College football thoughts: From A-to-Z …
A: Armageddon in the SEC, my foot: Wow. It's like last weekend never even happened. With the collapses of Kansas State and Oregon this weekend, the winner of the SEC is suddenly back in the driver's seat to play in the national championship game, specifically Alabama. Every player on the Wildcats and Ducks will have nightmares about this weekend for the rest of their lives.
B: Buyer's remorse: I'm guessing every USC fan in the country is feeling some of this right now after getting dropkicked in the head by UCLA this weekend. Lane Kiffin is a poser, plain and simple.
C: Class is in session: With a national championship riding on the game and possibly the job of his head coach, redshirt freshman Max Wittek will start for USC against Notre Dame this weekend.
D: Dead Ducks: Yes, Stanford is a good defensive team with tough players, but that doesn't begin to explain to me what happened with the Oregon offense on Saturday. If Chip Kelly really is the real deal and ready for the NFL, he has to get his team to close the deal. That was Mickey Mouse stuff.
E: Eating Crow: I missed on my West Virginia upset pick … barely. Also, I thought Oregon and Kansas State would roll this weekend, so what the hell do I know?
F: Fired! After losing 41-18 to Vanderbilt, it had to happen. Buh-bye, Coach Dooley. Make sure you take those orange pants with you.
G: Good game, good effort: Former Longhorn Connor Wood got the start for Colorado and things didn't go well as he completed three of six passes for 11 yards and two interceptions.
H: Heisman Tracker After Week 3 1. Marqise Lee (WR/USC) 2. Braxton Miller (QB/Ohio State)
3. Tavon Austin (WR/West Virginia)
I: If I had a vote that mattered… (last week in parenthesis)
1. Notre Dame (3)
2. Alabama (4)
3. Oregon (2)
4. Georgia (5)
5. LSU (6)
6. Kansas State (1)
7. Texas A&M (7)
8. Stanford (9)
9. Oklahoma (10)
10. Florida State (NR)
J: Johnny Football… Boy, this weekend sure lined things up pretty well for him and the Heisman. He's not the best player in the country, but all of the undefeated teams have lost their candidates.
K: Keep an eye on these games next week: Notre Dame and USC, Florida at Florida State, Oregon at Oregon State, Stanford at UCLA, Oklahoma State at Oklahoma and Michigan at Ohio State
L: Looking good, Billy Ray. Feeling good, Lewis! Mark Richt should be smiling like the cat that ate the canary. He might never have a better look at a national title game spot.
M: Magical season continues: All the Irish did on Saturday was handle their business in dominant, boring fashion. One more win, Brian Kelly and Co. will be playing for the national title. It's absolutely amazing.
N: Not our standard Rutgers appears to be gliding to a BCS bid after a … ahem … 10-3 win over Cincinnati. I can only imagine all of the major bowls praying on its knees not to have the Scarlet Knights fall into their laps.
O: Optimus Klein: The leader of the Autobots was taken down by the Decepticons this weekend and you have to believe it cost him everything. It's a dad-gum shame.
P: Player of the Week: I don't even know what to say about Tavon Austin other than every team in the country wishes it had someone that reminded of him just a little. The amazing Austin broke a Big 12 record with 572 all-purpose yards, 344 of which game on the ground as a rusher, and scored a pair of touchdowns. Wow.
Q: Quote of the weekend: More like Monologue of the Week, courtesy of Les Miles .
R: Ready I spoke with Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas on YSR this week and asked him to use the word that would be describe himself and his Cardinal teammates on Saturday against Oregon. His response? "Ready," he said confidently. You're damn right they were ready.
S: Snap judgment The games have been incredible theater this year, but the quality of college football is way down and I'm going to be pretty unfulfilled when a national champion is crowned. This year's national champion feel like it's going to be the worst champion we've seen in a while.
T: Tough to swallow: Can you imagine being an Ohio State fan and knowing how difficult it is to run the table in a 12?game season, only to have the 2012 season mean absolutely nothing? In any other year, they'd be in line for the national title game.
U: U.G.L.Y. You ain't got no alibi, you ugly, hey! I thought it was a little low-rent for Kevin Sumlin to have Johnny Manziel attempt a PAT with a 40-0 lead over the pride of the Southland Conference. Karma ensured that the PAT was missed. Don't mess with karma too much, Coach. That stuff has a way of evening things out if you aren't careful.
V: Voldemort Update: I think all of the Horcrux's might have been destroyed on Saturday in Ann Arbor, as the offensive coordinator whose name shall remain unspoken had a day that definitely left a mark. Before a late touchdown, the Hawkeyes were down 42-10 and went nearly three quarters without a point.
W: What? Maryland and Rutgers might make cable TV people excited (I guess), but those two schools certainly don't make the Big 10 a more attractive athletics conference. Just more blah.
X: X-Factor: Once upon a time, Major Applewhite had a real interest in Stepfan Taylor and scholarship limits kept him from being able to offer. Texas' loss has been Stanford's gain the last few years and he was the difference against Oregon on Sunday, rushing for 161 yards on 33 carries.
Y: You heard it here first… Florida State beats Florida and Oklahoma State gives Oklahoma a run to the wire.
Z: Zoolander look of the day: Every time I saw a score update on Saturday night.
No. 4 - They are exactly who we thought they were …
You could see this one coming a mile away. All week long, all we've heard is that the Dallas Cowboys are poised to make a run for the playoffs because of the supposed "soft" portion of their schedule. If you've watched this team for more than five minutes, you know that the Cowboys don't deal with prosperity very well.
So, I knew. Oh yeah, I most certainly knew what was coming on Sunday. Told anyone that would listen all week that the Cowboys would probably win on Sunday, but only after reminding us time and time again why the dreams of this team being more than 8-8 at the end of the year are unlikely.
To their credit, the Cowboys were even more Cowboysy (yes, I made up that word) than ever. Against an absolutely wretched team, they were pushed to the absolute brink, but they found a way to pull out a win. In overtime. Against the Browns. SMH.
Still, a win is a win is a win and the Cowboys are only a game back in the standings behind the Giants with six to go. I have no delusions of grandeur with this team and they still smell like an 8-8 group, but I'll take it.
I've got to learn to enjoy any day that doesn't end with a trident through the heart.
No. 5 - Speaking of a win is a win …
Three things stand out in my mind about the Texan's win over the Jaguars …
1. Momma always said there would be days like this. I don't know that there's any way to explain what happened on Sunday in Houston other than to say division games in the NFL can get squirrelly.
2. The Andre Johnson that has played much of the last decade like a hall of fame player was back and if he can bottle half of what he did on Sunday, the Texans will be a much scarier game than they've been thus far, which is scary for all the other NFL teams.
3. Jonathan Joseph's injured hamstring, which will receive an MRI on Monday, scares me. You'd have to guess that he'll be out in a short week, which means that they are going to have to figure something out as it relates to Megatron on Thursday might not be a fun holiday.
As far as I'm concerned, I'm not too worried about the rest of it. The Jaguars came to play and Justin Blackmon had a breakout game that suggested his status as the only mid-season Top 10 NFL Draft bust is over because he was awesome.
The bottom line for the Texans is getting healthy and setting things up for the long haul. With Indy's loss on Sunday, a three-game lead with six to play means that the Texans are in really good shape for a playoff bye and home-field advantage.
Style points don't matter in week 11 of the NFL.
No. 6 - It's the sport of kings, better than diamond rings, That's why we're here to sing, football Sunday in the snow, referee's whistle blows, We've been warriors toe-to-toe…
… Why don't the Patriots play remotely like that every week? That was a scary dismantling of the rookie Andrew Luck and Co. That was a good old pistol-whipping.
… As a frustrated fantasy football owner, I pretty much despise Rob Gronkowski right now, but his injury is just a killer for the Pats. There's not a better tight end in football within a 10-foot pole.
… The Eagles took the first of what will probably be many butt-kickings from RGIII. It would have scared me yesterday as a Philly fan to think about attacking that team with my rookie quarterback when they have THAT rookie quarterback.
… What in the world was Shady McCoy doing on the field in a 25-point game with less than two minutes to go in the game?
… Hey Matt Ryan, I'm going to pretend like Sunday didn't happen, but good grief.
… Sam Acho was a straight up baller yesterday against the Falcons with an interception and forced fumble.
… Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb is absolutely deadly.
… A.J. Green eats other people's lunch as a hobby.
… Sam Bradford and the Rams took a step back.
No. 7 - The great UFC fight that I missed…
As my fandom as an MMA fan grows, it's weekends like this one that put things to the test.
The combination of an off-weekend for the Longhorns and my mother in-law's birthday meant that I had to make a choice between not watching the fight at all or forking over $50+ for a fight that I would probably not be able to watch until late Sunday night at the earliest.
With Georges St-Pierre back in the octagon and facing a fellow top-10 pound-for-pound fighter, it truly was a difficult decision.
In the end, I passed and it looks like I should have purchased the card because all reports I've seen have suggested that it was a doozy.
It's more than a little disappointing to see St-Pierre treat all Anderson Silva talk like it was the last thing on earth he wants a piece of.
What's with the best UFC guys seemingly ducking each other?
No. 8 - Pop goes the culture because the culture goes pop.…
… Confession time: Twilight made $340.9 million this weekend world-wide. Apparently, a lot of you went to the movies…
… Young love crashes: Disastrous Dinner Date, Selena Storms Out .
… Declaration: I will see Lincoln this week.
… Watch out Wild Things: Vanessa Hudgens Threesome: Actress Talks Sex Scene With James Franco & Ashley Benson In 'Spring Breakers'.
… Sign that the apocalypse is upon us : Mick Jagger Says One Direction Is Like The Rolling Stones.
… Hottie of the Week: Damn, K-Stew .
… Cougar of the Week: Jenny McCarthy at the 40th American Music Awards .
No. 9 - The List: Aerosmith
The boys from Boston delivered the goods on Friday night at the Erwin Center.
As one of the greatest American rock bands of all-time, catching Aerosmith live in concert felt like one of those things that I needed to do and I can say with zero reservations that Steven Tyler, Joe Perry and the rest of the gang still put on one hell of a show.
Even with what appeared to be a cold that caused him to wipe his nose repeatedly, Tyler was on fire and I can tell you that from row five on the floor, Mrs. Ketchum was ready to become Mrs. Tyler if he had made eye contact with her just one more time. I can't even blame her because he does ooze sex appeal on stage.
The highlight of the night was when the group came out for the encore and Tyler emerged from the floor with a white piano that was probably 15 feet from where we stood on the floor and sang "Dream On" while Perry stood on top of the piano. It was awesome and was the cherry on top of a great show.
Let's get on with the list ( subscribe via Spotify )…
The last five out: Crazy, Jaded, Rag Doll, Back in the Saddle and Kings and Queens
Ok, here we go…
It's fun, sexy and it jams.
It's been argued that they do this song better than the original. I won't go that far, but they do slay the dragon on this bad boy.
When I was in high school, my buddy Matt and I used to hit up the Sonic near Parmer Lane in North Austin because he had the hots for this girl. Well, she turned out to be crazy as a loon and this was the song that reminded us both of her, so every time I can find a juke box when we're together, I make sure to play it.
I played the hell out of this song when in I was in high school and there were at least five good minutes when Alicia Silverstone was my No. 1.
A lot of the 1990s is remembered for their ballads, but this song flat out jams. Every aspect of the band fires on all pistons in this one.
As far as serious subject matter is concerned, they've never done a better song. This was probably the song that hooked me into the group back when I was in middle school.
The original is a standout jam in its own right, but the mix with Run-DMC was my Aerosmith introduction. In a lot of ways this is the song that transformed the group into what it became in the 1980s and 1990s because the idea of music videos was truly introduced with this song.
This is my own personal favorite. I usually won't listen to Aerosmith without eventually playing this song a few times.
I don't know if it's the Dazed and Confused soundtrack or what, but this song just feels like it should be played whenever it's 70 degrees outside and I want to drive with the windows down. The opening bass riff is one of the more iconic of its time.
1. Dream On
I just don't think you can have any other song listed at No. 1. First of all, it's one of the greatest rock power ballads ever recorded. Second of all, the song pretty much saved the group way back in the very beginning. Nearly 40 years later, it still closes the show.
Previous Lists: 2-Pac, Beastie Boys, Beethoven, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Chuck Brown, Jeff Buckley, Cartoon themes, Eva Cassidy,Phil Collins, Sam Cooke, The Eagles, Joe Ely, Al Green, Guns N' Roses, Hall and Oats, HBO Shows, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Jodeci, Kool and the Gang, Led Zeppelin, Amos Lee, Bob Marley, Metallica, George Michael, Mo-Town, Bill Murray, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, One-hit Wonders from the 1990's, Pink Floyd, Prince, Outkast, Queen, Reba, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Scarface, Sexiest Women of All-Time, Snoop Dogg , Bruce Springsteen, Gary Stewart , George Strait, The Strokes, TV Themes, UGK, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Williams Sr.
Previous Lists on Spotify: 2-Pac, Beastie Boys, Beethoven, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Jeff Buckley, Phil Collins, Sam Cooke, Joe Ely, Al Green, Guns N' Roses, Hall and Oats, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Jodeci, Amos Lee, Bob Marley, George Michael, Mo-Town, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, One-hit Wonders from the 1990's, Prince, Prince (After Hours), Outkast, Queen, Reba, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Scarface, Snoop Dogg . Bruce Springsteen, Gary Stewart , George Strait, The Strokes, UGK, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Williams Sr.
No. 10 - And finally… Adventures at Buc-ee's
For years, I've heard quite a bit of fuss made over the gas station chain that has one of the most marketable mascots I've ever seen, but I had my first experience at one of their stores this weekend when I stopped at the new location in Bastrop while making my way to Houston on Saturday.
Here are a few thoughts…
1. I've never been in a gas station that was big enough for me to lose the person I was with while inside of it, but it took about 15 seconds for me to get distracted by the sheer size of the store and lose my wife. I believe she spent $50 in the time it took me to find her.
2. I'm pretty sure you can get everything you can possibly need at this store, including a refinance of your home. Actually, I just made that last part up, but it wouldn't surprise me at all.
3. The venison jerky is really good.
4. So is their custom club sandwich from the deli.
5. Not counting gas, we spent $130. You've been warned.