News came last night that Texas Longhorns All-America safety Earl Thomas declared that he will leave school after his sophomore season to enter the NFL draft, according to ESPN.com. The news is the latest (though unsurprising) blow to a team that will be rebuilding next year while having to replace (among others) its entire offensive line, two-time Heisman nominee Colt McCoy, his favorite target Jordan Shipley, and defensive leaders Roddrick Muckelroy, Sergio Kindle and Lamarr Houston.
Thomas set team records this year with eight interceptions and two returned for touchdowns.
This was a great article a friend of mine posted on Facebook. It’s great for anyone who has doubts about McCoy’s effort last night in the national championship against Alabama, for for anyone who wants a glimpse into the human side of the game, and a great article for anyone who wants to know more about the similarities and differences of the experiences of the two Texas QBs last night. It’s just a great read:
Texas players and fans had their hearts broken last night as Alabama won the national championship against a short-handed Longhorns squad. Colt McCoy was injured on the first possession of the game and Texas went on to defeat despite a roaring start that included an interception on a fake punt and recovering a short kickoff. But Alabama wore down Texas as Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson did what they do, rumbling for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns a piece. It was a thriller, but I just want to generate some discussion. Do you think that Alabama’s championship is tainted by the injury to Colt McCoy?
As a last post previewing the national championship, I just wanted to pass along these articles from ESPN.com. Phoning it in? Yeah, maybe. But I don’t care. They’re good reads and I really have nothing to add beyond this. Here’s hoping the championship’s a good one!
Ivan Maisel discusses Texas’s offensive line woes in UT’s O-line aims to improve.
And Pat Forde talks about Alabama’s chance to make history for its conference in SEC on verge of total domination. The SEC stands to become the first conference to win four straight national championships. I’ll be honest – I’m not entirely sure what his point is. He talks about the SEC needing to be defeated because of how they’re eating college football alive, but then sarcastically refers to Texas as an underdog. Not his best work, but still an interesting read just for the facts and historical perspective.
Iowa’s dominating win over Georgia Tech in the FedEx Orange Bowl last night paves way for an interesting historic note that I’m stunned nobody is talking about. But, before I get into that, big kudos to the Big 10 for breaking their stigma as BCS chokers in a big way. Ohio State and Iowa both put up dominant defensive performances en route to breaking the Big 10’s six-game BCS losing streak and locked up the conference’s first bowl-season winning record since 2002. That was a great game last night. Much better than I expected and, for my money, the best BCS game so far this season.
But one thing that nobody is talking about is that this season is well positioned to be the first time ever that every underdog in BCS games have won. No. 8 Ohio State started it by knocking off No. 7 Oregon. That same night, No. 5 Florida crushed No. 3 Cincinnati. Then, No. 6 Boise State topped No. 4 TCU. Last night, No. 10 Iowa took down No. 9 Georgia Tech. No. 2 Texas has a chance to complete the sweep and make history tomorrow night in the BCS National Championship against No. 1 Alabama.
Previously, the best performances by underdogs were the ’07-’08 and ’08-’09 seasons when the underdogs won three of the five BCS bowls. Underdogs have never before come this close to sweeping the BCS. In two previous seasons (’00-’01 and ’04-’05) the favorites swept the BCS.
I wonder why this little historical note seems to have escaped everyone’s attention. Is it perhaps because people are caring less and less about these matchups as they buck for a tournament?
Could it be that people forgot that some of these teams were underdogs? It’s pretty easy to forget that Florida fell from No. 1 to No. 5 after losing to Alabama and that, despite expectations, they weren’t technically the favorite in the game. And with the huge layoff the Big 10 has before BCS season, it can be easy to forget where Iowa and Ohio State were ranked, let alone that they were even playing in BCS bowls.
It might be that the teams are more evenly matched than perhaps any previous season. This is only the second time that every team in a BCS bowl has been in the top 10. In fact, in five previous seasons, there has been one team outside the top 15 in the BCS, three of which have been teams outside the top 20. This is also the first time that every matchup has been between two teams that are separated by no more than 2 spots in the polls. One could say that this is the best demonstration of how the BCS should work that we have ever seen.
So, maybe it is the fact that nobody was facing a “real” upset. After all, how much of an upset can you call it when No. 8 tops No. 7? Nevertheless, Texas does have a chance to make history tomorrow night, and nobody seems to be noticing.
I just wanted to point out this great article that ESPN.com had today about Mack Brown. It details how he overcame a low point in his life following a loss to Washington State in the Holiday Bowl in 2003. How he managed to overcome the Sooners and finally win the big one. It’s a great article:
I really wish I could write more about this, but I only have a short time to write out a post. But I do have to take a minute to say that the Fiesta Bowl, while exciting as advertised and lower scoring than expected, still leaves so many what-ifs out there for me.
Boise State played much better than most expected, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Even though they needed multiple TCU turnovers and a trick play on a fake punt just to win by seven, the Broncos pretty well dominated this game. TCU was held well below their season averages in all offensive categories and Boise State is now one of two teams that will finish the season undefeated (along with whomever wins the national championship).
That’s a great finish for Boise State, but as badly as both teams played last night, I really can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Boise State had played Cincinnati and TCU had played Florida. If we’d gotten the matchups that I dreamed about, would both teams have lost? I’m not taking anything away from Boise State’s defensive performance, but TCU was flat-out miserable on offense last night. Would BSU have stood up like that against Cincy?
It was the most exciting BCS Bowl we’ve had so far this year, but it still left me quite unsatisfied. I wanted two undefeated teams from non-BCS conferences to have the chance to prove themselves against BCS opponents. Now, after watching both of them play so poorly last night, I just wonder if the non-BCS conferences would have taken a massive step backwards had they played the teams they deserved to play.
Even with all the press the Mountain West Conference has generated this year by dominating the bowl season, you have to wonder if we wouldn’t be having a “wow, they really were overrated all along” discussion had Boise State and TCU been paired against the likes of Cincy, Florida, Iowa or Georgia Tech. The only “what-if” that got answered last night was whether the undefeated team coming out of the Fiesta Bowl deserved a shot at a share of the national championship. The answer is a certain and resounding “NO!”