By NEAL FARMER
With all the excitement in college football over the weekend, my thoughts were fairly simple – dammit Mississippi State.
Georgia went down, TCU went down, Notre Dame lost, the University of Washington lost and Mississippi State was ahead of Alabama late in their game. But somehow Alabama found a way to be Alabama with 25 seconds to spare. That game almost single-handedly got heart insurance through Obamacare back into the collective conscience of the state. Almost.
They would have sung songs for decades about this year’s MSU team if they had held on and cold-cocked the Crimson Tide. They were ahead and looked awesome. But they get nothing for a moral victory.
The Georgia Bulldogs were in the top spot in the playoff rankings, but could not hold their water against Auburn. There could be a rematch in the SEC title game, if Auburn defeats Alabama in the regular season. Whether you follow the SEC or not, that conference just got more interesting. I could not tell you who I would favor in a Georgia-Auburn rematch.
And, dammit, the University of Oklahoma is like the living dead – you saw them get their hearts ripped out against Iowa State, but they just keep coming back again and again. I’m not sure a stake through their collective heart will stop them.
The Sooners were outplayed by Texas and still won, lost to Iowa State and almost lost to then-winless Baylor. Then they used the no-defense approach to defeat Oklahoma State, and on Saturday just hammered TCU on all three sides of the ball. Of course, the Sooners made short work of Ohio State, but that seems so long ago.
Is OU quarterback Baker Mayfield really a zombie? Or a vampire? What will it take to kill his Heisman chances? Apparently nothing. It looks after several bad games overall for OU didn’t matter after they slapped down highly ranked TCU. And that win over the Horned Frogs apparently has put Mayfield in the forefront of the Heisman chase. Again.
TEXAS-TEXAS A&M FOOTBALL MATCHUP? – Texas beat Kansas and is at five wins. Texas A&M beat New Mexico and is at six wins.
If the Longhorns can get one more win in their last two games, chances are the two teams could go 6-6 this year. That means they would meet the conference qualifications and respective league pecking order to play in Houston on Dec. 27 in the Texas Bowl at NRG Stadium.
Some projections have the Aggies in Houston in the post-season, but predict that A&M would play West Virginia. And some suggest UT could go to the Liberty Bowl against Missouri.
The Longhorns athletic officials may not want the play against the Aggies. The Aggies athletic officials also may not want it. But the Texas Bowl people – who are employed by the Houston Texans – would love it, as would Houstonians. Those two teams would be a cash cow <rimshot> for the local bowl game, which annually features a team from the Big 12 and a squad from the SEC.
Which team would sell the most tickets? Would Kevin Sumlin still be the Aggies coach? Would that affect the way the Aggies play? Would UH fans come and root against UT’s Tom Herman? And Sumlin? What if both alumni groups didn’t want to come to the game for fear they would lose, and would have to wait at least five years to play again and listen to the other crow about it?
The best, feel-good story of the year would be to have Iowa State in the Houston Bowl to represent the Big 12. The Cyclones are perennial losers, and they defeated Oklahoma this year and had a run in the Top 25. But more people probably would attend a Longhorn-Aggie bloodfest than a Cyclone Lovefest.
ROCKETS LOOKING STRONG – I thought the key to the Rockets’ season would be how long it would take Chris Paul to get back from a knee injury. It appears the Rockets are going great guns without him.
Houston is doubling down with James Harden at shooting guard as well as the heart of the team, and the defense looks passable at times.
The worst thing for Paul is not necessarily playing against opposing teams, but playing back-to-back games. I think the J.J. Watt experiment last year proved that you can come back too early, despite the desire of the athlete.
IT’S OVER FOR THE TEXANS – With their sixth loss on Sunday, the season is over for Houston. It would be nice to go 9-7 and make the playoffs, but I stand by last week’s prediction and say Houston won’t win another game this year. I hope I’m wrong. Because if I am right, I will catch hell from freakin’ Cowboys fans.
The Texans just can’t get good play out of Tom Savage and the quarterback position, because the offensive line can’t protect him. It isn’t all Savage’s fault. But it would be better if Savage could move around a bit. Tom Brady doesn’t move around that much, nor did/do the Manning boys. But those teams had better lines to protect the QB, and the QB position was better with those teams, too. I mean, if Jerry Jones wants to overthrow Roger Godell, he should hire Savage because he can over-throw anyone. (Stolen from a friend with permission.)
The Texans are lucky that the city is still on its hangover with the Astros’ World Series win and the Texans are not the focus of their collective sports psyche. When will people stop talking about the World Series? Probably this side of never.
TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF BRACKETS – You want them. You need them. Look here.
MOVIE ODDITIES – I found out that Apocalypse Now actually killed a sacred cow when they filmed, which would be illegal today. There also are a lot of scenes in movies that could not be made today due to political correctness – specifically most of Blazing Saddles.
BIGGEST NFL FIRST-ROUND DRAFT BUSTS – You know who the Texans biggest first-round draft bust was without even looking, don’t you?
CLASSICAL NOTES – Ennio Morricone is the Italian composer who gave us The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, For a Few Dollars More and other iconic songs for Spaghetti Westerns. He is still alive, and he wrote other movie songs that are more eloquent. To me, his best classic composition is from the movie The Mission. The piece is called “Gabriel’s Oboe.” The song is slow, rich, moody and beautiful. The 1986 movie stars Robert DeNiro, Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons and is a true story about Jesuit priests who try to protect a remote South American tribe in the 18th century. The film won top prize at Cannes in 1986. In 1995, the papal committee compiling the Vatican film list numbered The Mission among fifteen films noteworthy for special religious significance.
QUOTE OF THE DAY – Some days, the supply of available curse words is insufficient to meet the demands.
– Anyone who watched all four quarters of Sunday’s Texans game.
HOTTIE OF THE DAY:
Well, at least Texans fans can take comfort in this: