Archive for February, 2016

Shooting From the Corner: Texas Longhorns vs. Kansas Jayhawks

Posted by    |    February 29th, 2016 at 10:19 pm

For the record, I started writing this with 13:08 left in the 2nd half as Kansas went up 98 – 12 on a 7-point Perry Ellis shot from the parking lot. That’s a lie, Perry never took a shot from outside the court because he didn’t have to. Perry setup a swap meet next to the basket, trading theoretical defense for actual points in a 86-56 Jahawk victory. For that matter, the entire KU team walked onto the court in full-on F.U. mode and beat Texas like it owed them money. It doesn’t matter what area of this game you break down, it’s all bad for Texas, which is a shame because these seniors deserved a better send-off. They’ve been part of the most tumultuous 4-year stretch Texas basketball has had in close to 20 years, and it would’ve been nice to see them play in a competitive final home game.

The Good

Javan Felix was 6-12 for 13 points, so there’s that. Danny Newsome got some PT in his last game. Also, the game ended, which was nice.

The Mixed Bag

Demarcus Holland being one of your leading scorers is a good sign things have probably gone terribly awry. I’m glad the senior got to score some buckets, but if he’s producing that usually means a lot of other people aren’t. He also made his customary half-dozen brain-dead plays, like fouling rebounders and driving to the lane with the self-control of a teenager popping MDMA at his senior prom.

The Bad

Pretty much everything. I’d love to break down individual elements to give you some sort of unique insight into this debacle, but it doesn’t really matter. Having 2 assists as a team 36+ minutes into the game is awful, there were 3 Kansas players with as many assists as Texas had as a team. Isaiah Taylor, Connor Lammert, Eric Davis Jr., Kendal Yancy, and Tevin Mack were a combined 5-32. They each made one shot. One. Texas shot 15-24 from the FT line. Pick a category, it probably looked awful. Any one of these stats probably dooms Texas to a loss against a team like Kansas, combine them all and you get a 30-point blowout.

In the bigger picture, this loss isn’t devastating. Texas is still 3-2 in their last 5 with a win over a top-5 team, and they can end the regular season with 11 conference wins by beating Oklahoma State in Stillwater which should snag them a top-4 spot in the Big 12 conference tournament and the chance at a 5-6 seed in March Madness. Tip time on Friday is 8pm CT on ESPN2.

BWG’s writing tunes provided by a noisy ceiling fan and the sighs of a defeated author.

Shooting From the Corner: Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Posted by    |    February 27th, 2016 at 4:59 pm

The Texas Longhorns secured a solid resume-building home win against the Oklahoma Sooners, 76-63. Buddy Hield went nuts for an extended period, Texas did a good job limiting everyone else, and the game was tight for most of the second half. This description could apply to either game this season, but one game ended in a 3-point OU win and one ended in a 13-point Texas win. The difference? There are a number of things you could point to, but the easiest one is Shaka’s defensive adjustment to Buddy. Rather, the series of different looks Shaka threw at Buddy to make him take extremely difficult shots. Let’s delve into that.

The Good

Shaka Smart’s “Anybody But Buddy” Defense

With 7:29 left, Buddy Hield hits a mid-range 2 to put OU up 58-51. Buddy is now closing in on 30 points and is on pace for nearly 40 despite cooling off noticeably in the 2nd half. While Texas had been focusing on Buddy throughout the game, from this point on they locked in on Buddy at the expense of all other Oklahoma players. Things were ratcheted up a degree, from “We’d like somebody other than Buddy to beat us” to “There are no other OU players on the floor”. Javan Felix & Kerwin Roach Jr were the two guys tasked with face-guarding Buddy and attempting to deny him the ball any time OU looked to pass to him; this wasn’t really new, but they stopped sagging off him at all regardless of where the ball was. They were attached to Buddy like a sex swing is to Scipio Tex’s four-post California King canopy bed, that is to say permanently and any escape attempt would be met with severe punishment from the guy carrying the clipboard. If BuddyBall was going to succeed, Hield would have to break out the serrated knife and start hacking at the leather straps. (Serrated knives are in the second drawer of the night stand, next to the lube. Don’t ask how I know these things; what four grown men, two suspiciously eager women, and a free-range emu consent to do in a San Francisco high-rise is their business.)

This wasn’t the only wrinkle Shaka threw into the mix; for a large portion of the first half Oklahoma took advantage of Texas switching to get Buddy’s defender (usually Felix) switched onto Ryan Spangler, leaving Buddy with the choice of driving on a big(Ibeh or Cleare) or passing to Spangler who would back down Felix or Roach for a relatively easy shot. Starting at the 4:45 mark, whenever Buddy would get the ball and try to force the switch with the PnR, both Texas players would follow Buddy. It’s a calculated gamble – I think Shaka has a little experience in this realm – that basically hopes to fluster Buddy into giving up the ball with Texas flying around the court trying to make up the 4-on-3 deficit they have everywhere else. (This has thematic similarities to the Miami Heat’s defense during the LeBron James years.) For the most part, it worked, even if it did look a bit like Texas players were being shot haphazardly out of a t-shirt cannon at various OU defenders.

But wait, there’s more! Starting at 2:09, every time Buddy touches the ball on the perimeter, Connor Lammert immediately runs in to trap Buddy. This confuses Buddy Hield more than a 4am dental dam application in a Walker Center tower suite, and he reacts about as well as you’d expect from someone that’s spent the last 4 years studying at Oklahoma’s premier educational institution. This trap is exclusive to Buddy, no other guard faces it over the next ~90 seconds of game play. With 37.6 seconds left, Buddy drains a 3 and Oklahoma ends a 22-0 Texas run. The good guys are up 12, all that’s left is free throws, and I just lit a post-coital cigarette from inside the iron maiden in Scipio’s closet.

Driving The Lane

I’ve been harboring a hunch that the drop in Texas’ 3-point % over the last 2-3 weeks is due to them not driving the lane as consistently in games; while the ultimate ceiling of this Texas season rests on their ability to make 3s, that doesn’t mean they should shoot 40 of them a game. Open looks come from shifting the defense around and getting them into suboptimal alignments; the most reliable way to do this is to drive the lane, force the defenders to contract into the paint, and give shooters an extra 1-2 feet they need to get off a clean shot. Isaiah Taylor has consistently drove the lane because that’s his game, but the other guards haven’t been doing this as reliably and I think this is a primary reason the 3s haven’t been falling; the defense doesn’t have to contract if Zay is on the bench or off the ball & nobody is driving. Today Texas was bound & determined to get into the paint, and the 3s were more available. 6-15 from 3 will win a lot of games, especially when it’s paired with guards who are driving to finish like Zay, Javan, Roach, and to a lesser extent Eric Davis Jr were doing from the jump. With Cameron Ridley still out and Prince Ibeh/Shaquille Cleare not able to generate much post offense, this is a reasonable inside-out facsimile. More to the point, it’s a replicable formula that caters to the strengths of the current Texas roster.

A Team Victory

I’m not picking out any individuals for the categories today, because this was the epitome of a team win. 5 players scored in double figures, 5 players had 3+ rebounds, 6 players notched 10+ minutes, and nobody had more than 3 fouls. This was a stark contrast to the one-man show on the crimson side of the ledger, and a victory everybody on the team should feel involved in. Case in point, watch this 8-second Vine where 4 players touch the ball.

It’s the little things. #Passing #hookem https://t.co/OFfbmj7eyM

— Nitro Zeus (@Bitterwhiteguy) February 27, 2016

I love me some teamwork.

Shaka Smart Gets It

Before beating OU, Shaka Smart let a group of Texas fans know that he thinks “OU sucks”: https://t.co/hrqhfwprEy pic.twitter.com/UpyWZS6cCk

— SB Nation CBB (@SBNationCBB) February 27, 2016

I love me some Shaka.

The Mixed Bag

I got nothin’. Texas was +8 on the boards, hit 74% of their free throws & nearly 45% of their shots from the floor. For all the reasons listed above, this was a good win any way you want to look at it.

The Bad

My Predictive Powers

This sorta feels like a good summary of Texas’ ceiling: good enough to hang with the elites, not quite good enough to get over the hump.

— Nitro Zeus (@Bitterwhiteguy) February 27, 2016

I posted that right around 58-51. As usual, I know nothing.

Texas doesn’t get much time to enjoy this win as the soon-to-be 12-time Big 12 Champion Kansas Jayhawks come to Austin on Monday. As raucous as the crowd was today, they need to equal or surpass it if they want to help propel Texas to a victory. There’s a decent chance Kansas enters the game ranked #1, and a win for the Longhorns would go a long way to pushing them into talk of a protected seed. Tip time on Monday is 8pm CT on ESPN.

BWG’s writing tunes provided by Metalheadz.

Shooting From the Corner: Texas Longhorns @ Kansas State Wildcats

Posted by    |    February 22nd, 2016 at 9:15 pm

The Texas Longhorns are dancing, folks. Texas won a nail-biter in Manhattan, 71-70 against the Kansas State Wildcats and with that win Texas is guaranteed a .500 or better finish in conference. While 8 conference wins still probably would have punched a ticket to the NCAA Tournament, 9 wins removes all doubt. The only real question that’s left is where Texas will be seeded, and their remaining 4-6 games will determine if the Longhorns are a 4-seed, 8-seed, or somewhere in the middle. Shaka Smart won’t win Big 12 Coach of the Year – that’s probably going to Tubby Smith or Bob Huggins – but that doesn’t take away from the impressive work he’s done getting this team into March Madness.

The Good

Isaiah Taylor

While this wasn’t Zay’s best game as a distributor – he doesn’t make teams pay enough in the PnR by passing to the invariably open big man, which was more evident tonight than most nights – he was undoubtedly locked in and took over the second half. 19 points on 5-8 shooting including a pristine 8-8 from the line illustrates how much time he spent in the Wildcats’ paint, repeatedly punishing Kansas State on isolation plays & when the wrong guy (honestly, they were all the wrong guy tonight) would get switched onto Zay. If you want to show guards how to take over a game, show them tape of tonight. Taylor knew what the refs were calling and took full advantage.

Javan Felix

The AFH had a great first half, shouldering the bulk of the offensive load while the team struggled through foul after foul. He ended the evening 6-11 from the field (1-2 from 3) for 13 points & had 3 assists to zero turnovers. Javan was active on defense and a plus on offense, making markedly better decisions with the basketball than he did against Baylor.

Eric Davis, Jr.

This is 2 of the last 3 games where Eric has looked like his old self from beyond the arc. His stroke looks good, he seems more confident taking shots than he has in awhile, and while his defense has the ups & downs you’d tend to expect from a freshman he’s still contributing. Texas needs perimeter scoring in the worst way, and while we’re talking about that…

Kerwin Roach Jr.

That was a nice stroke from Snoop tonight. Actually, his stroke has continued to improve throughout the season. Would you believe that Kerwin has a higher 3-point % than Eric in conference play? Albeit he’s not taking as many as Eric, but the fact that they’re neck & neck speaks well of the work Snoop is putting in during practice. 3-4 from the line is a nice bonus, and another sign that he’s working on his game as he started the season closer to 50% from the line and is nearly 70% during conference play.

Team 3-Point Shooting

It’s funny how hitting 50% of your 3s makes everything else a little easier, isn’t it? Texas hasn’t been shooting the 3-ball well in conference play (31.5% coming into tonight) so any time they can scrape together a good night from the perimeter the rest of the game will open up.

Team Free Throw Shooting

Texas was 16-19 from the line tonight, good for 84.2%.

Kansas State was 15-21 from the line tonight, good for 71.4%.

Remind me again what the margin of victory was tonight?

The Mixed Bag

Connor Lammert

Connor was only 2-7 from the floor and his defense was…I’ll be polite and say he put forth a lot of effort if the execution was a smidgen lacking. (There was one possession where I’m pretty sure he was the only guy playing zone. Oh, right, polite. Hey, he really owned that area of the floor while everybody else played man!) However, he did pull down 7 rebounds and was the only Longhorn over 6’7″ that was able to stay on the floor for more than 20 minutes, which is important when the refs are treating Shaquille Cleare and Prince Ibeh like a mall cop watching teenagers browse the selection at Zales. Even if he was just a body for stretches, it was a body that Shaq & Prince weren’t able to be.

The Bad

Prince Ibeh

Jeff Haley at Burnt Orange Nation has a theory called “Prince Games” he’s been talking about for close to 3 years now, which essentially says that Prince has a handful of games each season where he looks like the Prince Ibeh we all hoped he’d turn into permanently, and it happens just enough to make us wonder why it doesn’t happen more. These games are usually sprinkled throughout the season, but I think this year we got them all in one fell swoop. I don’t think Prince really turned a corner – to be fair, his free throws still look better – so much as he had enough Prince Games at once that we thought Shaka Smart was The Big Whisperer, when in reality Prince is still Prince. This is the 3rd time in 4 games Prince has fouled out, and he didn’t crack 20 minutes in any of them. We can stop calling him King Ibeh now.

Tevin Mack

This was a night where Tevin could have made an immense impact, instead he went 0-6 from the field and a number of those shots were, well, let’s call them “acrobatic” instead of, say “wildly out of control”. He’s not yet strong enough to get in the paint and bang with the big boys like D.J. Johnson, and there wasn’t really a perimeter threat to put him on instead, so his main contribution should have been on the offensive end. He had zero points. Not his best night.

K-State games are ugly because Bruce Weber hates us all and wants everybody to understand what it’s like to be unattractive, so any rock fight you can win in Manhattan is a good win. The win serves a dual purpose of helping the team get over the Baylor debacle and wipe the slate clean(-ish) before the next two games. Texas gets to host the Oklahoma Sooners in Austin on Saturday, and a win against the dirt burglars from a land so awful we willingly gave it to the Native Americans would be a great resume builder for the Longhorns. Tip time is 1pm CT on CBS.

BWG’s writing tunes provided by DSNT Records.

Movie Review: Creed

Posted by    |    February 22nd, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Creed begins a new chapter in the Rocky universe.

I wouldn’t call it a full reboot, but imagine your IT department removed all of the burdensome Rocky franchise cookies, malware and viruses.  Of course, I’m speaking of Talia Shire porn.

In the new Creed universe, Rocky still beat Ivan Drago’s ass and singlehandedly ended the Cold War, but Rocky V is probably no longer canon and the scene in Rocky III where Rocky smokes Apollo in a beach sprint after a 6 week training camp in Watts would likely be explained by Apollo having a bunion.  I welcome this new realism as I attended a predominantly black junior high and it did absolutely nothing for my 40 time.

Thankfully, Rocky Balboa is also 47% less punch drunk in this universe, effectively transforming him into a cross between the Buddha, Yogi Berra and Fonzi.  His evolution into a prudent mentor guided by simple values and the clarity one can only acquire from staring into the abyss and yelling, “Hey, Yo!  Is there an echo in here?” gives the film plenty of heart and an occasional pearl of wisdom.  You also don’t have to hear Sly doing a really bad imitation of Sly anymore.

The plot is this: Creed’s troubled, illegitimate son fulfills his fighter’s destiny despite his affluence and against the wishes of his adopted mother, Phylicia Rashad Huxtable, by engaging in seedy border smokers, where he treats Mexican club fighters like Donald Trump’s security detail.  He’s very talented but self-taught, as no one will dare train the son of a dead champion, imbuing the boxing world with an illusory ethical fiber that’s amusing.  His fighting bothers Phylicia Rashad Huxtable because she selflessly loved the lad, sent him to college and wants him to work for Merrill Lynch writing TPS reports for golf pricks.

In fairness, she also witnessed a flat topped Russian butch enough to handle Bridgitte Nielsen in her prime execute her husband in front of her, so her objections to boxing aren’t entirely baseless.

But that boy a Creed.  Creed gonna fight.  Even if he grew up in Calabasas playing with kids named Skylar.

Little Creed (don’t call him that, he will drop you) sets off to find his own identity and to enlist his Dad’s best frenemy, Rocky, as his trainer.  He moves into a tenement in Philly and sets about courting Balboa and the pretty girl who keeps playing loud music downstairs.  That girl is Lisa Bonet.  It’s not Lisa Bonet, but it’s Lisa Bonet.  She’s a musician, her music is def and….she’s going deaf.  Yes, I know.  It works fine in the film, somehow.  Creed wins over Rocky and the new girlfriend with persistence, single-minded drive and a good heart.  Of course, the real courtship is between Michael B. Jordan and the audience.

The action in the film is entertaining and realistic-ish.  Will you get fired up?  Yes.  Will you shadow box near the concession stand after the film?  Possibly.  Will you pretend to be Creed while you’re running in the park?  Likely.  Will you be impressed by the coolest slo-mo knockdown in film history?  I think so.  Will you be inspired to re-watch Angel Heart and see Lisa Bonet again in her prime?  No comment.

Daniel Day Lewis’s 1997 flick The Boxer (an underrated, great film) still features the most realistic boxing action ever captured on film, but Creed’s in-the-action camera angles, the production’s wise inclusion of several journeyman fighters and current and former champions (Andre Ward!) willing to take real punches and Jordan’s willingness to take a few shots himself lends the film a realism that the increasingly cartoonish Rocky franchise had lost.

I won’t spoil the end, but it’s satisfying.  Just what you’d expect from a Rocky movie.

Excuse me, a Creed movie.

Taking Stock of the Longhorn Assistant Coaching Carousel

Posted by    |    February 22nd, 2016 at 1:30 pm

New faces in new places.

The cotton candy has been eaten.  The calliope music has faded.  And the Longhorn assistant coaching carousel – which was starting to resemble a madcap, reverse-peristalsis-on-a-Fletcher’s Corny Dog-inducing spin on the Tilt-A-Whirl for a minute there – has finally wound down.*  As kerfluffles in casa de Nobis have similarly subsided, here’s an only-five-days-late breakdown of what’s gone down on the Longhorn staff.

Running Backs – Tommie Robinson (USC) for Anthony Johnson (Toledo)

What We Lost:

Robinson gained Charlie’s favor for running good, hard practices and presumably did a good job of coaching the ancillary aspects of the running back position.  Over the past two seasons our backs tended to show good ball security, and the older guys functioned well as outlets and protectors in the passing game.  When you’re coaching a position where the primary skill set – running – is largely innate, though, it behooves you to make rain on the recruiting trail.  As we wrote up last season’s edition of Thinking Texas Football, we tried to delicately pose this question to Coach Robinson vis a vis recruiting:

Bobs What You Do

And while Texas closed like champs for the second February in a row, it probably wasn’t because Robinson had upper management written all over him.

What We Gained:

Former Longhorn letterman Anthony Johnson figures to inject youth, energy, and some powerful first-hand testimony about what it means to play for Texas (with a little more currency than Les Koenning brought to the table).

It’s actually Johnson’s third stint on the 40 Acres, as he served as a QC coach under Second-Era Mack from 2007-09.  He’s coached in the state (Jefferson High in 2006, Sam Houston State from 2010-13) prior to his stint as running backs coach and Co-OC at Toledo.  By all accounts, Johnson’s passion for his craft shines through and he’ll work overtime to understand Gilbert’s offense and how his charges fit into the mix.  While he doesn’t have a ton of four- and five-star recruiting skins on the wall just yet, he’s been coaching at Sam Houston State and Toledo.  A kind word and a gun get you farther than just a kind word, and a mix of energy and passion tend to play up even more in living rooms when they’re coming from a dude in a Burnt Orange polo.

Not that Coach Johnson will be bringing guns into living rooms, because core values.

Wide Receivers – Jay Norvell (Arizona State) for Charlie Williams (Indianapolis Colts)

What We Lost:

Norvell was a handy tourniquet after Notre Dame severed the offense’s femoral artery during the mid-first quarter in South Bend, and he deserves our thanks and a shiny Greg Robinson Trophy for providing some respectability to that side of the ball following Shawn Watson’s immolation.  He wasn’t exactly teed up to show off his full skill set as a receivers coach, but at least his guys blocked their asses off on edge runs and both of last season’s well-thrown receiver screens.  A plus recruiter, Norvell offered some warm Cali connections from plying the Tom Joad Road at OU that might have been nice to exploit in future seasons.

In a vacuum Norvell is the kind of guy you’d like to keep around, and a few of the more vocal members of La Hermandad tried to push a comical OMG NORVELL’S BAILING FOR A LATERAL MOVE CHARLIE IS DOOOOOOMED narrative while they thought that the Chris Vaughn/Brick Haley irons were hot.  It’s likely that this was a mutually agreeable parting of the ways, though, as Norvell wasn’t totally jazzed to take a step back from the de facto OC role and Sterling Gilbert wanted to be simpatico with all the guys who’ll be assisting in his warp-speed offensive install this Spring.  Gilbert was reportedly hesitant to fully open up his playbook while we were in a will-he-stay-will-he-go mode with Norvell, but now it’s full speed ahead.  Which is a good thing, since the strains of Jerry Reed singing,

“We got a long way to go and a short time to get there,”

will serve as the offense’s unofficial anthem from now until the kick against Notre Dame.

What We Gained:

Charlie Williams is a thirty-year vet who’s logged just about all of his reps as a wide receivers coach.  He first hit the big-time with the Miami Hurricanes (1993-1995) before moving on to stints with the Tampa Bay Bucs under Tony Dungy (1996-2001), the South Carolina Gamecocks under Lou Holtz in 2003, the Arizona Wildcats (2004-06), the North Carolina Tarheels (2007-2011) and most recently the Indianapolis Colts (2012-2015).  When it comes to teaching the technical aspects of the position, you probably weren’t going to find a more qualified dude.

When it comes to the pending mas rapido install of the Sterling Gilbert 5333, well…ideally, you’d have poached Jeff Lebby from Baylor.  But once you realized that Lebby likely wasn’t drooling at the chance to take a title demotion for a less stable overall staff situation, you start looking around and realize that the Briles-style coaching tree still doesn’t have all that many branches.  If you weren’t nabbing Kim McCloud from Syracuse (where he just arrived alongside new head man Dino Babers and sports an Assistant Head Coach title to boot) then the thought process probably turned to finding the best guy to teach the position’s technical aspect while quickly ramping up on the offense’s particulars.  Coming fresh out of a diverse and downfield-oriented air attack in Indy, it’s unlikely that there are too many elements in this offense that will leave Williams befuddled.  Digesting the terminology and particular option route concepts should be, at worst, a minor bottleneck for a guy with his experience.

On the recruiting front, we probably took at least a modest step back from Norvell.  While Dick Tomey proved that energy isn’t the exclusive province of the young, this hire wasn’t about major-league rainmaking on the recruiting trail.  Williams should at least be familiar with the game from multiple collegiate stops, so we’ll just be looking for him to make his rounds on the trail and sell Texas’ pending receiver targets on his work with dudes like T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, Reggie Wayne and Hakeem Nicks.  

Defensive Backs – Chris Vaughn (Probably Not College Any Time Soon) for Clay Jennings (Arkansas)

What We Lost:

Probably coming in behind only linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary as a technical teaching, hard-crootin’ dual threat, Vaughn was one of Charlie Strong’s best original hires and constitutes a tough loss any way you cut it.  Ignore the unsightly counting 2015 defensive counting stats that were mainly a consequence of running a Children’s Crusade in the back seven – Vaughn knew his business and formed a terrific DB-coaching triumvirate in concert with Vance Bedford and Charlie himself.

What We Gained:

Clay Jennings arrives from Bert Bielema’s staff at Arkansas (boo!) where he was part of a Top Ten passing defense in 2014 (yay!) that gouged out our eyes and skull-romanced us in the Texas Bowl (boo!)  Sweeping 2014 Tyrone Swoopes into the dustbin isn’t necessarily a noteworthy accomplishment, but Jennings also logged six seasons under Gary Patterson at TCU.  While Patterson is a coin flip with Bielema in terms of who’s going to be first to deliver a pair of twins on the sideline, he also delivers top-notch pass defense just about every season that he’s not coping with 2015 Texas-caliber youth and health travails in the back seven.

If Patterson, Strong and Bedford all think that you know your shit coaching DBs, you probably know your shit coaching DBs.

Jennings brings a solid rep as a recruiter, and he’s plied the highways and byways of the Lone Star State for quite some time.  He was instrumental in helping the Pigs land super-scatback Devwah Whaley, and his arrival has apparently piqued the interest of 2017 megastud safety Jeffrey “Bear” Okudah enough that he’ll be attending Texas’ upcoming Junior Day.  Brandon Jones was upset to see Vaughn depart, but was apparently gruntled by Jennings’ arrival.  The early guess is that Jennings should have no trouble pulling his weight on the trail as he operates from the bulliest pulpit he’s enjoyed in his career to date.

Defensive Line – Brick Haley (Texas) for Brick Haley (Still Texas!)

What We Lost:

A small piece of our collective sanity, as any time that you’re tempted into reading Taylor Hamm and Billy Liucci’s ongoing takes on a situation you’re basically taking on the role of an H.P. Lovecraft protagonist who’s elected to open the human skin-bound cover of the Necronomicon.

What We Gained:

The ability to mock the Aggies for yet another head-to-head loss against the Longhorns, which is pretty much always fun.  Whether Haley was simply leveraging A&M for a raise or was genuinely tempted by the notion of a reunion with The Chief himself, John Chavis:

The Chief

Haley’s weeklong College Station flirtation gave plenty of Aggies all the time and motivation they needed to get out over their skis and claim ascendance over Texas, a revitalization of the sagging #WRTS hashtag, a piece of Charlie’s 2006 and 2008 Florida MNC’s for the Kyle Field Dubious Title Wall and prima nocte rights with D’Andre Christmas-Giles.  When Haley ultimately gave them the Heisman (or maybe the Outland considering that he coaches DL) they swiftly collapsed into the melange of self-loathing, sour grapes and recriminations that they’ve perfected over the years.

The State of Aggie Schadenfreude remains strong.  And the state of the Longhorn coaching staff, despite a few white-knuckle moments, looks good as we head into Spring ball.

Thoughts?

* And BC has knocked out its required yearly allotment of carnival metaphors before March – high five!