Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. If you are a football fan, it would be tough to beat last weekend for watching football…unless you are a Longhorn or Cowboys fan. I admit that I was less than confident that the Horns would be up to the task of beating Baylor in Waco. I told friends that Waco is a tough place to play. Winning conference games on the road is always tough. I was hopeful, but anything but confident. To make matters worse, Saturday was the last game being played at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco and with the loss by Oklahoma State earlier in the day…the game was for the Big 12 title. As everyone knows, Texas battled to a 3-3 tie at halftime before Baylor figured out the cold weather and pulled away in the second half. With the loss, the eyes of Texas have begun to look for new leadership. The heat on Longhorn boss Mack Brown has grown increasingly hot in the past few years. 2013 was supposed to be the year that Texas became relevant nationally; once again…they were not. There are many in Longhorn nation that believe Mack Brown should be replaced. I am not one of them anymore. Earlier in the season I believed that Texas needed a new head coach, but what happened after the loss to Ole Miss changed my mind. Had Texas won one more conference game, there would have been a good argument for Brown to be the Big 12 coach of the year. Given the injuries that the Longhorns have faced this year, it is amazing that Texas was able to win as many games as they did. But, for many fans that is simply not good enough. I suppose that I am in a minority, but if Brown has one more year on his contract…why not allow Mack Brown to finish out his time? Given the good times that Mack has brought to the 40 acres, it seems the right way to end this era.
Now, changes do need to be made. The first thing that I would address is a new offensive coordinator. Major Applewhite was a great player while at Texas, but I just don’t see him as the answer at Texas. During the Baylor game, Texas ran the ball extremely well. Despite the success on the ground, each time the Horns crossed midfield, Applewhite went with a pass play. I understand the concept of a balanced offense, but in that weather…with Case McCoy at QB…keep running the ball. Each time Texas went with the pass, the incompletion meant that another pass was necessary. It is why Texas was unable to finish several promising drives and only able to muster 3 points in the half. Once Baylor put two scores up in the second half, Texas was done.
Next I would take a long hard look at the talent evaluators at Texas. I like what Case McCoy represents, but 12 for 34 for 54 yards is just unacceptable. In today’s college football if you don’t have a QB…you don’t win. When Mack has had a good QB, Texas has won. It really is that simple. Teams are going to make mistakes sometimes, but how is it possible that there was not more talent in the QB cupboard? You can make the argument that better QBs were at Texas and left and that is a fair take. But when you realize that Texas tried to talk RG3 into being a wide receiver, you have to wonder at the wisdom of those making the talent decisions.
Mack joked before the Baylor game that he had to be the only coach in America with a team playing for a conference championship and also answering questions about his job. If history is correct, where there is smoke, there is almost always fire. I suppose that we will hear in a few days that Brown is stepping down and a new coach is taking over. That is too bad. For all of those Texas fans clamoring for Nick Saban, be careful what you wish for. Saban is the same age as Brown and if he is the one chosen to replace Mack, his tenure at UT surely won’t be long. Of course, five years at one place is a long time for Saban. For those keeping tabs…the extension that Bama offered Saban on Friday remains unsigned…hmmm. I wonder if that means anything.
All of those great NFL games on Sunday left me excited to see the Cowboys face the Bears. I envisioned the Bears in Chicago to be much tamer than those in Waco. The Bear defense has been horrid this year and I fully expected the Boys to rack up points. The game began just as I expected, with Dallas running the ball at will. For once, the Cowboys took the opening kickoff and scored a TD. This was going to be fun, I thought. Then Chicago scored and scored again and again and again. I think that the Bears punter had one punt. The Bears used their big receivers Marshall and Jeffery to haul in one first down after another. Then Forte ran a bit, and then he caught a few passes. The poor passes that Josh McCown threw, Dallas dropped. The Bears dropped nothing. I watched a replay the other day of the 1994 Cowboys against Green Bay on Thanksgiving. I realized how much defensive talent they had on that team…Jeffcoat, Haley, Maryland, Hennings, Leon Lett, Robert Jones, Darrin Smith, Bill Bates, Darren Woodson, Larry Brown. There were players at every position and even the back-up players were good. As I watched the Cowboy defense Monday night, what I noticed is that they just did not have the talent to make the plays necessary to stop the Bears. Maybe Monte Kiffin is the right guy…maybe he is not. In the end, the team with the best talent wins and Dallas just does not have enough talent of defense to make any coordinator’s system work. Seriously…this stat says it all. For the season, the Cowboys defense has allowed an average of 25 first downs each game. This is just pitiful. The funny thing is, I still think that Dallas will probably win the NFC East. But I know what is ahead. Sadness and disappointment lay ahead for Cowboy fans.
I laugh when I hear the press spouting stats about Tony Romo’s December struggles. There is a reason that Tony Romo has struggled in December. This is the time of year that defense wins games. Really, what chance does Dallas have of winning if it is not Romo’s offense outscoring the opposition? For those that criticize Romo…what would Dallas have without him? I had to laugh when I read this quote about Monte Kiffin from Jerry Jones on Tuesday:
"He takes it personally; it's hard on him," Jones said of Kiffin during his twice weekly radio show on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. "Very hard on him. He's been doing this a long time.
"At his age , he's had a lot of different experiences. With all of that in mind, he's just got a resolve and he doesn't in any way reject the responsibility. As a matter of fact, he invites it all on himself."
After the loss, Jones said he wished the Cowboys (7-6) would trick up some of their defensive schemes and get more pressure on the quarterback to create turnovers.
"To be doing what we're doing and to fix what we're doing, there's nobody I would rather have than him and [defensive line coach] Rod Marinelli," Jones said. "Where we are today, to get this fixed over the next, if you would, week or four or five days, the next three weeks, there's nobody I would rather have to get it fixed.
"First of all, he knows what's happening to us better than anyone. And if there are adjustments to be made, he's the right man for the job right now."
It is clear to all what adjustment is needed in Dallas. A general manager not named Jerry Jones. Seriously…read that quote. What the hell does this mean? “a week or four or five days, the next three weeks” It is time for Dallas to find someone that actually knows how to build a team. The tough part is convincing the owner…
I have said and continue to say that unless a team plays defense this time of year that they cannot win in the playoffs. It looks to me like there are two teams in the NFC that have a chance of making the Super Bowl. Seattle and San Francisco have the defenses to compete the rest do not. I thought that Carolina might have a chance, but after Sunday, I am not so sure.
The AFC seems like a four team race. Denver, New England, Cincinnati and KC appear to be the four teams with a realistic chance this year. Of course, those pesky Ravens always seem to be a problem if they manage to make the playoffs. Is it just me or are the Ravens very similar to what the Giants were a few years ago. With that defense, this time of year seems to just agree with them. Flacco plays like shit the entire year, then suddenly transforms into an NFL QB for a month. Think how good they would be if they still had Boldin. I am still trying to figure out why they did no resign that guy.
If you believe in defense winning, Denver and New England do not seem to be the choice to be in the Super Bowl. Of course, when you have Peyton Manning or Tom Brady…sometimes you can make up for a leaky defense. Watching Gronk go out on Sunday, I could not help but think that the Pats chances got much tougher. It is too bad he cannot stay healthy as he is a great player. For my money, it looks like Denver and Seattle in the Super Bowl this year. Offense against defense...in the cold. If Peyton actually wins outside in NY, he really does have a right to tell everyone to stick those questions in their ear.
I am sure that Qwazier will cover this, but I had to at least give it a mention. Apparently, Danica Patrick is now a Las Vegas show girl? During the America county music awards in Las Vegas, Danica Patrick showed up in her dancing gear…
I caught a bit of conversation on sports radio about Football being added to the summer Olympics. What do you think about this? Why would other countries agree to this? Is there any doubt that we would kick everyone’s ass for decades? The rest of the world could put a team together and I doubt they could still even compete. It will be interesting to see how this develops. Strange that they take wrestling out of the Olympics and add football? I wonder what crazy rules Olympic football would have?
That’s all I have today, but will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…
"I think people tend to forget that trees are living creatures. They're sort of like dogs. Huge, quiet, motionless dogs, with bark instead of fur."
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…