Archive for August, 2017

The Week That Will Be – Dawn of Alignment

Posted by    |    August 31st, 2017 at 9:06 pm

The Tom Herman Era begins….finally.


It was a crisp fall evening in Morgantown. One of those nights that felt like Winter could come at any moment, so you’d better layer up and put on your whiskey jacket.

The 58,570 in attendance were treated to a match-up between two Big 12 conference also-rans, the home team limping home on their way to a 4-8 record that started with a nary win over known powerhouse William & Mary and ended with back to back losses to Kansas and Iowa State.

In town were the once mighty Texas Longhorns, who just four years earlier were playing in the national championship game, but now were about as far from Pasadena, California that they could get, whether we are judging by culture, stature or distance.

The game itself was back and forth, Texas trailing by 10 in the second half before forcing overtime with an Anthony Fera 24-yard field goal on a drive that saw Case McCoy convert a 4th and 7 pass to Jaxon Shipley. In the extra period the Horns got a touchdown from Alex De La Torre to get the lead, and then Steve Edmond sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone.

Texas had their seventh victory of the year, ensuring a winning record.

November 9, 2013.

Antwaun Davis. Mitchell Becker. Naashon Hughes. None played that night, taking a redshirt their first year in the program. All likely watched it from their dorm room or traveled home for some of mom’s cooking.

Two days from now, the Texas Longhorns will take the field against the Maryland Terrapins, and those three players above are the only ones that can say they were on the roster of a winning team at the University of Texas.

Not Big 12 champion, not Alamo Bowl champion, or Meineke Car Care Bowl champion, but a team that won 7 games. At Texas.

Much has been written about Tom Herman taking over for Charlie Strong, because when you hire a coach in the middle of the night in a Waffle House or Whataburger or some other similar all-night eatery under the vapor lights of I-10 in Columbus, Texas in the dark of the night after Thanksgiving, there is a lot of time to reflect.

But finally, 281 days after he was (unofficially) hired, Herman will lead the team onto the field…and the fun, criticism and everything in between really begins.

What should we expect from the first year of the Herman era at Texas?

If you haven’t heard, we’re Texas, so of course in some circles there is talk of “9, maybe 10 wins if we get lucky” or 11-1 if you’re a writer who blocked me on Twitter long ago.

But of course I didn’t spend the first several paragraphs of this column just wasting space, it was to serve as a reminder…settle.

Before Texas can get even get back in the conversation of Big 12 titles, they must first do something they haven’t done a whole lot of recently…win.

All indications are that Tom Herman and staff have this crew headed in the right direction. The attention to detail and the reconstruction of not only the physical throne of Texas athletics but also the org chart were long overdue elixirs to what ailed the program.

And while Strong was rightfully given a one way Southwest Airlines flight to Tampa after losing to Kansas last season, he didn’t leave the cupboard bare – there is plenty of reason for optimism.

But this pervasive feeling around here that Texas is about to ascend to their rightful place on the throne is exactly what got them there in the first place – expecting things to fall into place, because well, if you still haven’t heard we’re Texas?

Nick Saban, Alabama head football coach and frequent Austin real estate investor, had a quote this summer that resounded in my head, speaking of their loss to Clemson in last January’s national championship game.

“We weren’t able to finish the game like we needed to. Hopefully we won’t waste the failure,” Saban said.

Don’t waste the failure. The Longhorns have an entire roster full of players responsible for those 21 losses in the last three years. The slate is clean, but the memory should not be.

For his part, Herman is saying all the right things. Borrowing a phrase from legendary coach Bill Parcells, he recently stated that we are what our record says we are, and last season that was 5-7.

Saturday morning is finally the first opportunity to build on that failure.

On to the games…

BYU vs. LSU – 15 (New Orleans, LA):

It is already the second game of the year for the Cougars, who started their season last week with a lackluster 20-6 victory over Portland State. Junior quarterback Tanner Mangum’s roller coaster career is on the upswing again, as he was named the starter entering the year. He hardly set the field on fire last week, however, completing 16 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown.

Another year, another awesome defense, awesome running back (Junior Derrius Guice rushed for 1,387 yards and 15 touchdowns and wasn’t the Top 10 NFL draft pick from the LSU backfield), but questionable at quarterback, where Danny Etling is the latest to see if he just can’t screw anything up.

The Tigers’ defense gets all the billing in this one, but BYU is sneaky good on defense and should be able to keep this one close – if they don’t let the ball get rolling early.

LSU 28 BYU 17



Texas A&M @ UCLA -4:

Kevin Sumlin begins his sixth year in College Station with high expectations…he didn’t win less than eight games in any of those previous five seasons, but the A&M athletic director made it clear this Spring – win more, or else.

Sumlin could put his job on the line in the capable adequate five-fingered hands of Jake Hubenak, who starred in the JUCO ranks, but didn’t evoke memories of Bucky Richardson or Corey Pulling in spot duty last season, or Nick Starkel, a redshirt freshman who was a three star recruit from Argyle a year ago.

Last year in College Station the Aggies had a comfortable lead against the Bruins well into the fourth quarter, but two quick UCLA touchdowns sent the game to overtime – where the Aggies prevailed.

UCLA returns all-world quarterback Josh Rosen, but like last year, if they don’t show the ability to run the football (the Bruins finished 127th in the country in yards per carry) he isn’t going to be able to do it all himself.

The Aggies have a veteran secondary (which sometimes isn’t a good thing), but are very green up front…going to be hard to beat Rosen on his turf like that.

UCLA 38 Texas A&M 24



West Virginia vs. Virginia Tech -4 (Landover, MD):

Most polls seem to have West Virginia in the pre-season Top 25, but with only 8 returning starters at a program that rebuilds, not reloads, that seems to be optimistic.

Former Florida quarterback Will Grier is the starter for Dana Holgersen, but with most of his top targets, and maybe more important, most of his offensive line being new bodies, he will have to shoulder a big load – something he couldn’t do in Gainesville.

I’m a big fan of Justin Fuente – the Hokies weren’t expected to do much last season in his first season in Blacksburg, but all he did was take them to the ACC Championship game, where he almost knocked off eventual national champion Clemson.

Hokies roll.

Virginia Tech 41 West Virginia 24

ATS – Virginia Tech

SU – Virginia Tech

Michigan -4 vs. Florida (Arlington, TX):

I think all you need to know about this one is that 10% of Florida’s roster is currently suspended for being idiots, and Jim Harbaugh is completely in the head of Jim McElwain.

Michigan 28 Florida 13

ATS – Michigan

SU – Michigan

Alabama -7 vs. Florida State (Atlanta, GA):

What a juicy matchup the new playoff format brings us in week one.

How juicy? This is the first time in the history of the Associated Press pre-season poll that the #1 team has faced off against a Top 3 team.

Both quarterbacks are led by young, dynamic quarterbacks. Florida State’s Deondre Francois and Alabama’s Jalen Hurst combined for more than 6,000 yards passing and compiled a combined 24-4 record…as freshmen.

I could sit here and tell you that both teams lost three big targets on offense, and tell you how many defensive starters they lost – but let’s be real, they’re still Alabama and Florida State, they’ll manage.

This one will come down to which quarterback plays the best. Will Hurts play like he did against Clemson (131 yards passing) or LSU (107 yards passing) or will he play like he did against Mississippi State (347 yards) or Auburn (286 yards). Francois was much the same – great results mixed with awful, but not getting in the way outings.

Seriously. Just flip a coin.

Alabama 24 Florida State 23

ATS – Florida State

SU – Alabama

Maryland @ Texas -18:

Every time someone stopped me this Summer – and I think this is the third year in a row I’ve had this stance – they ask me, “How good is Texas going to be this year?”

My answer: tell me how good the quarterback is, then I can tell you.

Texas is as loaded as they have been in quite some time. Perhaps the best group of wide receivers since Roy, BJ and Sloan, a real, live offensive line, running backs could be better but if the line is improved they’ll be okay there as well.

Defense is a relative term in the Big 12, but the arrival of Todd Orlando and another year of experience for a talented bunch should be able to disguise the holes that they have up front – if anyone plays to their talent level.

But if Shane Buechele struggles (and let’s be clear here, when healthy last season he was more than adequate, and often times outstanding), then it muddies the picture.

But, first things first, the Terrapins.

You’ve heard all offseason about Maryland’s pass rush (third in the Big 10 in 2016), but let’s be real here, they’re not the Buddy Ryan Philadelphia Eagles here. That pass rush gave up 191 points in a four game stretch to Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska last fall – all losses – and gave up more than 420 yards a game on the season.

Tyrrell Pigrome gets the start under center for Maryland. The sophomore completed only 52% of his passes last season in limited duty, only averaging 4.5 yards per attempt. He can run, sure, but if one can’t pass then it is much easier to plan for that.

The ground game works for the Terrapins, as Ty Johnson and Lorenzo Harrison combined for more than 1,600 yards last season – if the Longhorns defensive woes aren’t behind them, this is a team that can stick around and grind you all day.

But while those offensive linemen can run block, they must spend all practice working on that. Four starters return on a unit that gave up 49 sacks in 2016, which marked the second-worst effort in all of college football, behind San Jose State, who the Longhorns will see next Saturday.

We won’t get all the answers on Saturday, but we’ll get some, and I think we’ll like what we see.

Texas 38 Maryland 17

ATS – Texas

SU – Texas

For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for much more serious matters than football.

Texas Pregamer: Maryland

Posted by    |    August 31st, 2017 at 8:14 pm

The Pregamer is back, and like the Longhorns, still undefeated!

Greetings, Freshman class of 2021! Welcome to the 40 acres and the dawn of the Era of Alignment. It’s been an eventful offseason, what with the revelation that Tom Herman is in fact 6 separate clones. The Tom Hermans wasted no time, dividing and conquering stadium renovations, a locker room face-lift, and the compilation of the 2nd ranked (as of this writing) recruiting class in the nation. Emphasizing attention to detail, an entire clone was even dedicated exclusively to monitoring hydration levels. His name is Dennis. By employing a replicant strategy that draws the envious eye of Marvel itself, Texas has in one short offseason thrust itself back into the national consciousness. A consensus preseason Top 25 team, much to the chagrin of, well… literally everyone, the Longhorns now have the unenviable task of living up to hype built by lots of internets but very few wins. Par for the course for the boys in Burnt Orange? Only time will tell. Now, speaking of par for the course, have you heard about our beautifully furnished casitas?

A lot has happened since we last met.

Like Osiris, Charlie Strong had to die to ultimately make the program stronger. A good coach and even better man, we should take a second to reflect on his contributions to our errrrrrrrrrbody.

Icing, in excess of several metric tons, was quietly procured by Bellmont over the summer. Speculation continues to abound as to what large baked good could require such accoutrement.

Game of Thrones had that episode where the people did the thing that those people shouldn’t do but you kind of secretly wanted them to do and and that awesome thing that became a bad thing did a cool thing that is not good but was still awesome. #nospoilers

No one expects the Spanish Inquisition, not even this acrostic.

Mark Emmert emerged from his offseason chrysalis, where he solidified his exoskeleton for yet another year deflecting hurled copies of NCAA Football 14.

Eclipse watching took the nation by storm, as the piles of Mayweather/McGregor cash briefly blocked the sun from view..

Nobody showed up for Maryland’s spring game.

Tiger-cats of the CFL called the Night King with a tan up to Canada then promptly reversed course within 24 hours.

Better Know A Roster

Kasim Hill (QB, FR) – There is no way that this is a disguised and inexplicably-still-eligible, Longhorn-abuser Taysom Hill or any of his family members who may’ve been sired while on Mission in Washington, DC…right?

Qwuantrezz Knight (DB, SO) – There is almost an art to the superfluousness on display here. The extraneous “w,” the tacking on of the after-thought, second z to really sell the buzz of it …and don’t even get me started on the silencing of voiceless velar plosives in the anglicization of proto-Germanic cognates going on in that last name!

Jayden Comma (WR, FR) – Jayden can trace his lineage all the way back to Lord Nigel Augustus Comma, a student at Christ Church, Oxford. While exchanging letters with a chum studying at St. John’s, Cambridge, Lord Nigel grew to be very alarmed. He received a note that read “the dinner shall include devilled kidneys, beef and Wellington.” Now this could either mean that they were serving “beef wellington” or killing and cannibalizing Prime Minister Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Racing down the River Thames to get clarification, he came into contact with a boat from Cambridge, which he raced and created a tradition of some sort. Ultimately, he arrived at dinner and the very rich, bourgeoisie laughed at the misunderstanding. To this day, Jayden insists that we all use the pen-ultimate…Oxford Comma. That’s the way I heard it.

Fofie Bazzie (DB, FR) – Sounds like an awful English Grime rapper.

Shane Cockerille (LB, SR) – this kid started as a QB, moved after two years to FB, then became Maryland’s leading tackler and Middle Linebacker last year. If that’s not some terrifying Bill Snyder shit, you and I don’t watch the same program. Also his name sounds like a very southern, civil war general…but Maryland isn’t is isn’t in the South, right?

Max Bortenschlager (QB, SO) – Is illegal in every bar but The Aquarium.

Tyrrell Pigrome (QB, SO) – Recently named the starting QB. Also named after the most delicious variation of bacon, Roman Guanciale. That should keep Poona Ford hungry.

Kevin Woodeshick (TE, JR) – “Woodeshick: for all your manscaping needs.” (Not pictured – Juan Pedrogillete, Steve Wangdollarshaveclub)


  • TOM HERMAN READS THE PREGAMER! Taking cues from our Presidential tally of 2016, Tom Herman gave the Terps the “Presidential Backfield” nickname, the best thing the University of Maryland marketing team has done in decades.
  • Bear Bryant’s first head coaching job was at Maryland, on the recommendation of the (even more racist) Washington Redskins owner, who he met at a cocktail party hosted by the Chicago Tribune. He left after one year because the school president reinstated a player he kicked off the team while Bear was on vacation…whoops. It wouldn’t be the only school he used as a launching pad to an actual desirable location.
  • Jim Tatum, who led Maryland to their only National Championship, died of “Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever” which cut his Hall of Fame coaching career short at age 46. I cannot even fathom Twitter responding to that in 2017.
  • Queen Elizabeth saw her first game of American football at UMD’s Byrd Stadium during her first trip to the U.S. in 1957. That’s like President Obama catching his first Premier League match between Bournemouth and Huddersfield.
  • Current UMD Head Coach DJ Durkin apprenticed under 3 of the best coaches in the country:
  1. Urban Meyer
  2. Jim Harbaugh
  3. Will Muschamp (stop laughing…we all believed this in 2010)
  • Maryland is kind of The South. They didn’t secede and mainly fought for the Union, but that may or may not have been because Lincoln arrested the dude’s who were going to vote to do so…and led to John Wilkes Boothe, a Marylander, to write that he assassinated Lincoln for the South. S-E-C!
  • Nick Saban, Texas’ 2nd choice to fill the Charlie Strong vacancy, has a difficult, but uplifting relationship with his coca-cola bottle.


Tejas Chaos: Turtles are amphibious. Tortoises are land reptiles. Terrapins are gonna lose.

Kyle Carpenter: The state of Texas is behind Tom Herman, so much so that Hurricane Harvey took the optimal hydration chart way too far. In all seriousness, writing this from Houston, a win would do a great deal to lift the spirits of a region and all of those affected. Horns come out #TexasStrong and never look back. 35 point win over the fighting Scott Van Pelts.

VY Pump Fake: Maryland’s defense will be surprisingly thin – much like Tom Herman’s Wayne Rooney cut. Texas by 19.

Parting Shot:

Never forget the time in 2014 when the Terrapins laughed in the face of lax NCAA anti-doping rules and created a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Terrapin, loosely based on Vernon Davis’ biceps. I’m calling him the Maryland Scareapin.

This is why Kevin Durant chose Texas over his hometown school

BC Chalk Talk: Longhorn Offense Versus Maryland

Posted by    |    August 31st, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Welcome to Barking Carnival Chalk Talk, a new-ish feature where we’ll try our hand each week at laying out a bare-bones game plan to attack our opponent on each side of the ball.

Since he hit the 40, Tom Herman has spent the bulk of each 90-hour work week* prepping his players’ hearts, minds and bodies to fulfill a very special brand promise:

Texas will kick the shit out of you.

It’s time to raise the curtain on that notion.

It’s also under-the-lights audition time for Garrett Gray and Cade Brewer – and, by extension, the Longhorns’ 2017 identity as an 11-personnel outfit on offense. Herman has been an 11 personnel guy when given his druthers at both Ohio State and Houston, and in his Monday presser he was adamant that Texas would hew to the same identity despite the loss of Andrew Beck.

He may be pulling a bit of a fast one there…but if so, he’s pulling it on USC, not Maryland.

Therefore, the inaugural 2017 edition of BC Chalk Talk presumes that the staff is placing a premium on a Game One evaluation of Gray and Brewer’s ability to add a physical(ish) dimension to the Longhorn ground attack. With that in mind, here are several plays that could make up the core of a no-nonsense, smashmouth 11-personnel attack while testing a variety of H-back blocking assignments.

First up is executing a kickout block in good old-fashioned Slice Zone:

The noteworthy Terps defenders get numbers rather than position designators – #1 is Mike linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. who led the 2016 Terps with 110 tackles while mixing in six sacks as a frequent blitzer, and #6 is defensive end Jessie Aniebonam who bagged nine sacks as a junior while also starring in the much racier sequel to Annie, Get Your Gun. Carter will usually be aligned to the field/passing strength side, and the Maryland coaches will probably use Aniebonam to bring heat against the shaky right tackle spot all game long rather than locking him in a cage and serving him up as a burnt offering to Kali Connor Williams.

Not pictured – Jessie Aniebonam. Probably.

The key block here is Garrett Gray’s slice/kickout on Aniebonam. On the Scale of Tough Tight End Run Blocks, Bryan Harsin’s old “handle the defensive end in-line by yourself for two full seconds while both the tackle and center pull outside you” was a 10. This is only a 4 or 5, really requiring just a solid SMACK to halt the defender’s momentum for a moment and get the runner – who’s benefitting from a pair of initial double teams at the point – through the hole. Still, it requires the feet to get across the formation fast enough and at the proper angle to keep the DE from crashing into the back’s line by either beating the TE to the spot or running “over” the block between the TE and the OL. It also requires enough pop to keep the DE from running “over” the block by knocking the TE di-reckally on his ass and into the play.

If Gray gets his block, the rest of the play is pretty straightforward. Jake McMillon and Nickafor double the DT before climbing to the weakside linebacker while Shack and Vahe do the same to the nose before getting up to Carter. He’s an active, downhill dude so timing the get-off will be key to ensure getting a hat on him.

This illustration has Maryland in a conservative two-deep look, but they’re likely to bring an extra DB to the party more often than not rather than let Texas get the ground game rolling. Reggie Hemphill-Mapps is flaring out to prevent the nickel from getting too nosy, and both the outside receivers head deep to ensure that the safeties – and Maryland’s DC – have something to think about before throwing an extra body into run support.

This play can also work as a straight RPO with Buechele throwing to the flat if the nickel creeps in or outright blitzes.

Next up in the Keep It Simple Attitudinal Game Plan comes Inside Zone Lead:

This time, Gray gets to show off his lead blocking skills, motioning and coming through the line of scrimmage to take on one linebacker while Vahe and Shackelford work up to the other after doubling the nose. Both tackles drop step and invite their ends up the field, which nicely sets up a play action option for the three-level flood that’s essentially this offense’s signature passing concept:

Here the protection would slide left with Shackelford watching for a blitz from the weakside while Gray has an inside-out pickup on either a blitz from Carter or the nickel. The back continues his play action motion to flare into the flat underneath a go route from the Z receiver and a corner/sail route from the slot. On the back side, Collin Johnson runs a fade with the option to break off into a comeback if the corner is bailing back into Cover Three and the free safety has rolled to center field.

Another chance for the Longhorns’ H-backs du jour to sport their wrap-and-lead skills could come on a nifty Jet Sweep Counter play that Herman broke out against Oregon in the National Championship Game:

Let’s take a look at this one in BC Super Slo-Mo vision because it’s so damn fun:

The threat of the jet with potential leads from the H-back and tailback (who takes a counter step to the field before taking the handoff) keep the edge defender (and hopefully the backside linebacker) frozen at the snap, while the guard and H-back get on the move. The guard kicks out the linebacker/nickel on the boundary side while the H-back looks to lead up into the hole before the Mac linebacker can ruin the party. The center and playside guard double the nose and then look to climb to that conflicted backside ‘backer while the LT just mauls the shit out of his guy (o hai, Connor Williams!) The Buckeye H-back does a big-boy job in the hole that our guys may not be able to replicate, but there’s no time like the present to find out.

Another test for our newbies can be a look at how well they can block in-line. While the answer is likely “not very,” Herman and Beck could give them an Easy Button on a Pin and Pull concept by having them help a more-than-capable left tackle seal the edge before climbing to the second level. Maryland may use Aniebonam as a floating B-backer type during stretches of this contest, so this concept could work nicely if we catch him on the boundary:

The TE works to the Mac, Vahe pulls to kick out the edge defender, Collin Johnson gets to show off his newfound physicality cracking on the weakside ‘backer while McMillon follows into the hole (either through the B gap or outside the DE depending on what Williams is doing with/to him) and kills the first unblocked thing he sees.

Here’s a look at the Buckeyes’ version, again from the National Championship game:

A final blocking variant to try out – and a terrific litmus test for “am I in any way more useful than Lil’Jordan Humphrey?” – would be flexing our guys out and having them crack down:

They probably won’t do it as well as Charles Bronson, but then again, who would?

For a less awesome but more illustrative image, here’s an option for setting up a couple of nice blocking angles by flexing the H-back out to the boundary side and cracking the weakside backer:

With Williams controlling the boundary DE, Vahe loops around to kick out the first thing he sees in the boundary flat. Shack and Nickafor reach and ride the nose and backside DT, McMillon climbs straight to cut off the Mac and a read by Buechele holds the field DE.

Finally, all block and no catch makes Jack a dull boy…and it would be nonsensical not to make use of Gray and Brewer’s slicker-than-average receiving skills as a key component whenever they’re on the field.

You could use some H-back motion to set up a play-action Smash concept to the boundary that takes advantage of the “All Eyes On Collin” dynamic:

…or get them loose up the seam out of a bunch formation:

A five-man protection on a deep flood concept might be living a taaaad bit dangerously given our right tackle situation, but that’s what hot routes and Collin Johnson are for.

There you go – a highly speculative and likely wildly wrong stab at what Texas might look to get done on offense come Saturday. What do YOU want to see us run?

*And I’m probably low here.

Texas vs. Maryland GameDay Logistics: Times, Television Channel, Weather, Announcers, Game Prep

Posted by    |    August 31st, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Gameday timeline for Saturday’s game against Maryland. #ThisIsTexas #HookEm

— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) August 31, 2017

Setting Kris Boyd on fire on the Terp’s opening possession is a bold move, but it should unnerve the Maryland offense.

Here are the Game Notes You’ll find depth charts, radio info and key background.

Here’s all of the logistical info Parking, maps, policies, lost and found etc.



Texas vs. Maryland 11:00 AM on FS1, Kickoff 11:05 AM

Announcers: Justin Kutcher, Mark Helfrich, Petros Papadakis, Jennifer Hale

LHN Saturday Game Prep

7:00 AM Longhorn Weekly with Tom Herman rebroadcast

8:00 AM Longhorn All-Access

9:00 AM GameDay Broadcast

11:00 AM Statcast

2:00 PM Postgame Final

DKR Information

If you haven’t read the Clear Bag Policy, do so immediately.


Partly Cloudy

High: 93°

Low: 70°

10% chance of rain

Winds: SSW 3 mph

There are free hydration stations located near Sections 5, 13, 19, 27, 37, 104, 115, and 128. Free water cups are provided.


Don’t be late arriving turds. Get there early, create some energy in the stadium and let’s start the Herman era off right.

Finally, if you haven’t bought/gifted/illegally downloaded the best Longhorn season companion on the market, there’s still plenty of time.

BC Unplugged Podcast with The Godfather, srr50

Posted by    |    August 31st, 2017 at 12:48 pm

On the 2017 Season Kickoff Edition of the Barking Carnival Unplugged Podcast:

We were thrilled to welcome The Godfather of Austin media and Longhorn lore, Steve Ross (aka srr50) back to the podcast. Steve shares some one of a kind insights on the parallels between the start of the Tom Herman era and the kickoff of the Darrell Royal and Fred Akers regimes in ‘57 and ‘77. He also joins KipsBigBoy, WWMcClyde and I in breaking down the latest depth chart developments, answering a gallimaufry of reader questions on the upcoming season and lending a sorely needed air of class to the proceedings.

Give it a listen, and Hook ‘Em!