BC Unplugged Podcast: Farewell and Hello

Posted by    |    December 14th, 2017 at 6:14 pm

On this week’s edition of the Barking Carnival Unplugged Podcast:

We return from a brief hiatus to bid farewell to a Longhorn legend as we celebrate the life and career of Tommy Nobis. We also give a rundown of Chris Del Conte’s arrival on the 40 acres and what it will mean for the immediate future of the football program as well as the big picture elements of fundraising, conference realignment and how we’ll all be watching Longhorn sports a decade from now.

Give it a listen!

The Longhorns Lose A Legend

Posted by    |    December 13th, 2017 at 12:46 pm

Legendary Longhorn and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Tommy Nobis passed away this morning at the age of 74.

Coming to Texas from Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Nobis’ 6’3”, 240-pound frame and shocking athleticism seemed ported in from 30 years in the future while his attitude and approach to the elegant violence of football were throwbacks to the sport’s leather-helmeted roots. In his day freshmen didn’t play with the varsity, so he had to wait until his sophomore season to start writing his name in Longhorn lore as a two-way starter at offensive line and linebacker on Darrell Royal’s first National Championship squad in 1963. Named by Coach Royal as “the finest two-way player I have ever seen,” Nobis made life easier for running backs wearing Burnt Orange and sheer hell on those in any other shade. He averaged nearly 20 tackles per game over his three-year career while playing both ways. Despite a knee injury in his senior season, he made one of the great defensive plays in Longhorn history when he dumped Alabama’s Joe Namath on 4th and goal in Texas’ 21-17 Orange Bowl victory. Following that game would take home the Knute Rockne Award, the Outland Trophy for best interior lineman and the Maxwell Award as college football’s best player.

The Atlanta Falcons selected Nobis first overall in the 1966 NFL Draft, and it was only that franchise’s continued moribundity that kept him from landing in the NFL Hall of Fame following a pro career that saw him selected to five Pro Bowls, two All-Pro berths and the 1960s’ All-Decade Team. Fortunately Longhorn Nation wouldn’t stint in its recognition of his greatness, as wearing the number 60 jersey became a badge of honor for a procession of outstanding Texas linebackers before the program retired the number in his honor in 2008.

As longtime BC readers can probably guess…this one hits pretty close to home. My own in-pads football career stalled out in Junior High and I shifted to the sandlot, but when I arrived at Texas I knew that before my first home game I wanted to go attired as the baddest defender who ever strapped them on for the Longhorns. Even in the days before Google (or hell, before Alta Vista) it didn’t take much checking around to figure out who that was. I marched right into Rooster Andrews’ on Guadalupe and purchased myself a #60 jersey, and wore it to every Longhorn game I attended in school as well as in countless Sunday sandlot scraps from LBJ to Austin High to McCallum to a couple of memorable Mud Bowls on the old Clark Field outside of Jester. I was never that big and never that fast, but never shied from a big hit and always wanted to do what I could to do the legacy of #60 proud whether it was on a field or on the Longhorn interwebs. My own success may be in doubt, but Tommy Nobis’ never was.

Rest easy, Mr. Nobis – we will not see your like again.

Texas Loses a Legend: Tommy Nobis passes

Posted by    |    December 13th, 2017 at 12:39 pm

The iconic Texas Longhorn and Atlanta Falcon middle linebacker passed at age 74. The San Antonio native played for Darrell Royal and between 1963-1965, he was a two time All-American, the only sophomore starting on a Texas Longhorn national champion team and a three time All-SWC selection. He won the Rockne, Outland and Maxwell Awards and even finished 7th in the Heisman voting. His #60 became the treasured inheritance of great Longhorn linebacking and it’s penetration into Longhorn fandom psyche was such that I remember arguing with grade school teammates over who got to wear it. Nobis played both ways at Texas (starting at MLB and guard) and Darrell Royal called him the finest two way player he’d ever seen.

Nobis was the first pick in the 1966 NFL draft for the expansion Atlanta Falcons. There he won NFL Rookie of the Year, went to five Pro Bowls, was selected to the NFL All Decade Team and made Sports Illustrated’s All-Century Team in 1969.

Tommy Nobis shined playing for a luckless team in a small market and the lack of exposure and media regionalism of that day is the reason that Nobis isn’t enshrined in Canton in the NFL Hall of Fame. Fortunately, he staked an even more significant legacy off of the field, founding the Tommy Nobis Center, which provides job training and youth services for both youth and adults with disabilities. For his work and advocacy for the Georgia Special Olympics, he won the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. award and has been named the NFL Man of the Year.

Tommy Nobis, Longhorn Legend. RIP.

Behold, The Earl Thomas Pancake

Posted by    |    December 13th, 2017 at 12:09 pm

This is my new breakfast regimen.

With 5 Pro Bowl honors on the resume, 12s can help @Earl_Thomas earn a 6th.

RT to #ProBowlVote Thomas! pic.twitter.com/q0pygdkcFy

— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) December 13, 2017

Missing Water Falling Out of a Boat: Michigan 59, Texas 52

Posted by    |    December 12th, 2017 at 11:16 pm

The Texas Longhorns lost to the Michigan Wolverines 59-52, and they’re frankly lucky it was that close because they couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn for the vast majority of the game. Texas kept the game close in the first half with good defense, but the lid came off the basket for Michigan and the same never really happened for Texas. This game wasn’t lost at the three-point line so much as at the rim, where Texas has been one of the best teams in the nation so far this season. The number of point-blank misses outweighed the bad perimeter shot selection from Kerwin Roach II, Jericho Sims (what the everloving F**********CK was that three), and a couple of others. Put another way: Texas shooting 25% from three isn’t that far outside the norm for the season (hooray?) but their repeated misses from inside ten feet were well outside the norm. It wasn’t so much that Michigan was affecting their shots as Texas just didn’t convert the normally-easy looks.

The Good

The Game Is Over

Somehow a two-hour game felt like it took five hours. Maybe it was the cavalcade of missed shots, maybe it was the cavalcade of missed shots, or maybe it was the cavalcade of missed shots, I can’t quite put my finger on why this game took longer than John Calipari’s recruiting pitches. We might never know.

We’re One Game Closer to Andrew Jones Returning

This seems self-explanatory.

That One Jericho Sims Dunk

Jericho Sims with the poster on that poor Michigan defender. Nice feed by @YEAHLILJ #hookem pic.twitter.com/gkjVBPka26

— (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ 1461 (@Bitterwhiteguy) December 13, 2017

Related: I need a better way to capture in-game footage than my cell phone.

Jacob Young

In a game where not nearly enough Longhorns showed decisiveness and aggression, Young was going after Michigan every time he was on the court. Roach, Coleman, Davis, and Jase Febres (we’ll get to him) didn’t seem to know how to consistently drive the lane for large portions of the game, but Young was pushing the ball harder than most tonight. He seems to have usurped Febres as the next guard off the bench for the time being, at least until Jones returns and reshuffles things. For a guy not many of us expected much out of, Young has surprised.

The Mixed Bag

Mohamed Bamba

Bamba is such a defensive force that it’s hard to put him in the ‘bad’ category. Look at this sequence:

You want to see @mobamba11‘s impact on a game? It’s not just the block at the end, a driving guard passes out to the perimeter rather than take him on. He affects so much in a single play. #hookem pic.twitter.com/DB61GbB9bh

— (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ 1461 (@Bitterwhiteguy) December 13, 2017

He’s a one-man defensive unit; a huge chunk of Texas’ defensive success is due to guards regularly seeing him in the lane and passing back out to the perimeter. There are probably 3-4 drives per game that happen if James Banks, Jericho Sims, or any other big is in the game instead of Bamba.

Having said that, he’s still getting pushed too far away from the basket by stronger players on a regular basis. Bamba seems interested in hanging out at the three-point line a bit too much for my taste, and he doesn’t roll hard enough on the PnR to justify his screens for the guards. I only had a problem with one of his three perimeter attempts, but that still means I’m not liking his shot selection 13 of the time behind the arc.

Matt Coleman

Only one turnover on the night is good, but if Texas is going to reach its apex he needs to shoot the ball more……at the rim. 1-5 from three is bad (with the caveat that a couple of those were in the last couple of minutes when Texas was desperate) but more concerning is that Coleman attempted more shots from three than two. Coleman can finish at the rim, but he’s deferring. As much as we all hailed the arrival of a pass-first point guard, this is part of the adjustment period of a freshman who defaults to creating for others rather than himself. Coleman needs to get at least a few buckets of his own to keep defenses honest, and if he’s going to be pass-first, then he needs to have more than two assists.

The Bad

The Cavalcade of Missed Shots

Texas shot 43% from two, which is a dozen points lower than normal. Texas hitting 55% from two is six more points on the scoreboard, and the last four minutes potentially plays out much differently. Well, at least until Dylan Osetkowski throws another People’s Elbow at a defender in the paint. He’s lucky as hell not to get hit with a flagrant on that thing; he really is Texas’ version of Eduardo Najera.

Jase Febres

That guy is more lost than Scipio Tex wandering through a non-vegan Starbucks. I hope he (Febres, not Paul, who can drink juice from the supple breasts of a cow like the rest of us) figures it out because Texas needs shooters on the court in the worst way, but right now he doesn’t look ready at all.

Ball-Handling

Texas had six assists, which was an assist on 31% of their made shots. That number is damning with faint praise, as it shows not only that Texas didn’t open up scoring by passing that often and also they made so few shots that it wasn’t worse. I could’ve put offensive rebounding here as well, which is partly due to the aforementioned Bamba being away from the basket. But for now, we’ll stop because there are only so many words I want to burn on a dreadful performance.

Texas next plays Louisiana Tech on Saturday in Austin, and while the name may make you think ‘automatic W’, I can assure you they are not. Texas better bring its A game to the Drum if they want to beat a Louisiana Tech squad that looks ready to contend for a Conference USA tourney bid. Tip is at 1 PM CT on LHN.

BWG’s writing tunes provided by Grooverider.