College football season is over. BOOOOOOOOO! BOOOOOOOOOOO! BOOOOOOOO…
Okay, I know, that’s enough. I spend so long waiting and wishing for it and then its here and then, in the blink of an eye, it’s over. I don’t like that one bit. There will be plenty of basketball to watch and write about and Texas baseball, and Texas Rangers baseball as well, starts in a bit, but it isn’t the same. I’ll watch the NFL this weekend and the Super Bowl of course, but my heart isn’t there. It’s here. It’s having my weekends made (or ruined) by the Texas Longhorns and having those same weekends enhanced (good or bad) by the successes and failures of my mortal enemies north o’ the Red. I don’t like them, but I like this, and I will miss it.
We are going to take the next few weeks to review the Texas Longhorns and the Big 12 to make sure we don’t miss anything before we move on to 2013. We will start with a review of the Big 12 bowls after some Texas info first.
Let’s do this!
On the 40
With my house under the plague of flu after the Alamo Bowl, I didn’t really touch on the hiring of Larry Porter as Texas’ new running backs coach. With Bryan Harsin off to Arkansas State and Major Applewhite moving over to coach the qb’s and call the plays, Texas needed to not only find a quality running backs coach, but a quality recruiter to combat the nasty outbreak of Aggie plaguing our fair state. It was under the radar and he isn’t a name that many Texas fans already knew, but nabbing Porter accomplished both of the goals (quality coach, antibiotic for Aggie) and was an absolute home run hire. Take a look for yourself at the 40-year old who was a 4-year letterman (and the seventh all-time rusher) for the Memphis Tigers:
- After beginning as a high school coach (track and football) he moved to Tennessee Martin before landing his first D-1 job at Arkansas State in 1999. In three years at A-State, he coached Jonathan Adams, the Red Wolves’ second all-time leading rusher with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2000 and 2001.
- In 2002 Les Miles hired him away to coach the Oklahoma State backs. He kept the 1,000-yard-tailback streak alive with 1,096 yards and 11 td’s in 2002 and 1,286 and 16 in 2003 from Tatum Bell. An All Big 12 selection in ’02 and ’03 under Porter, Bell rushed for a total 1,028 yards and seven scores in the two years combined before Porter arrived. He left a 2nd round pick, 41st overall, and a 5-year NFL career. In 2004 Vernand Morency replaced Bell and rushed for 1,474 yards and 12 scores, earning him All-Big 12 honors and a third round selection in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans.
- In 2005 Porter went to LSU with Miles and continued to kill it. He was Miles’ best recruiter and assistant head coach and was twice named Rivals.com National Recruiter of the Year (2007 and 2009). In the brutal SEC, he coached Joseph Addai (911 yards in 2005), Keiland Williams (436 yards in 2006, 389 yards in 2009), Jacob Hester (1,103 yards in 2007) and Charles Scott (1,174 yards in 2008, 550 yards in 2009). The significance of that is every single one played or is playing in the NFL. Oh, he also won two National Titles in that time.
- Porter took the head coaching job at his alma mater, Memphis in 2010, where he planned to turn it all around. It didn’t happen for him and his relationship with the media and AD soured and he was let go after the 2011 season.
- Last year as the running backs coach at Arizona State, where he coached future NFLer Marion Grice, who rushed for 159 yards and two td’s over Navy in the Hunger Bowl.
- On last thing- Rivals.com also named him The Recruiter of the Decade.
See? HOME. RUN. The guy finds, closes, cultivates and coaches up 1,000-yard, All Conference tailbacks and sends them off to collect NFL paychecks. There is nothing else to say, is there? HOME. RUN.
Applewhite did a great job with the tailbacks and now an absolute expert gets to refine their craft. Only good things can come from this. We will talk more about him as we get closer to spring, but WELCOME TO TOWN, COACH PORTER.
Big 12 Bowl Games
My son told me earlier this week that the state of Texas is 6-1 this year in bowl games. I didn’t know that, did you? Four of these teams were from the Big 12 and, yes, the lone loss was from the Big 12. I was really hoping for a 9-0 Big 12 bowl record, but that was far too much to ask, wasn’t it? Let’s take a look.
BAYLOR 49 No.17 UCLA Bruins 26
I thought the Bears would light up the Bruins offensively, but I wasn’t prepared for their defense to be as stingy as it was. For the third straight week, Baylor’s defense was excellent, holding UCLA to one touchdown through three quarters. When they finally did score again, it was already over. Lache Seastrunk started his self-proclaimed 2013 Heisman campaign with a 138-yard, 1-touchdown effort and the Baylor offense overwhelmed UCLA. Running the ball has been the Bruin’s go-to weapon, but Phil Bennett’s defense held them to just 33 yards rushing. I’ve always thought if Briles could get him a solid defense, look out. He might be getting there. He loses Nick Florence, but Seastrunk is back and I expect the Baylor O to do what they do. If they can stop anyone they might be a legit contender next year. The Bears finished the season winning their last four games, upsetting No.1, No.23 and whipping No.17 in the process. They finish ranked No.26 in the final BCS poll.
WEST VIRGINIA 14 Syracuse Orangemen 38
I was half-right on this pick. I said that Couch Fires’ lack of defense would make the ‘Cuse look good. Check: 507 yards of total offense, 369 on the ground; however, I was not expecting the Orangemen to shut down the WVA offense like that. Geno Smith had a pedestrian day with 201 yards passing and two scores and he was sacked for a safety. Maybe it was the fact that it was, like, no degrees out there. Look at this.
Geno Smith is from Florida and maybe he likes the snow and cold as much as I do, which is not at all. Seriously, I’m afraid to live anywhere where if I run out of gas I could die. I know it’s hot here, but if I leave my family in the car and go for help they aren’t going to find me frozen in the spring 50 yards from a cabin I couldn’t see.
No.23 TEXAS 31 Oregon State Beavers 27
Meineke Car Care Bowl
TEXAS TECH 34 Minnesota Golden Gophers 31
Okay, Tech. That was a nice win. Any bowl win is a nice win, especially when you do it without a head coach- HOWEVER, Minnesota is a really, really bad football team. I mean, bad. They had 31-24 lead with 3:24 to play, but they let Tech go 82 yards in seven plays, in 2:14, to tie it up. Then on 3rd & 7 from their own 33 with 50 seconds to play in regulation, they throw a terrible pass that gets picked off at the Tech 33-yard line. If that isn’t bad enough, they let the interceptor return the ball 41 yards to the Minnesota 22. And, of course as it often happens to bad teams, they lost three plays later when Tech kicked a field goal as time expired.
I’ll take the Big 12 win, though. AND YOUR STADIUM LOOKED AWESOME, BRIAN!
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
TCU 16 Michigan State Spartans 17
This game went like I thought: a hard-hitting defensive struggle that came down to one team making an extra play on offense. I just thought it would have been the Southwest Purple offense that did it. I still don’t know how that happened. The Frogs jumped out to a 13-0 lead at the half and held that almost through the third quarter, but Sparty mounted a 14-play, 90-yard drive that consumed 6:34 and scored, converting a 3rd & & from their own 13 and scoring the touchdown on a 15-yard pass on 3rd & 9 from the TCU 15-yard line at the end of the third. TCU held tough, but a fumbled punt return at their own 4-yard line gifted the Spartans a 14-13 lead. A field goal give TCU the lead back, but a defensive holding call on 3rd & 9 gave MSU the ball at the TCU 37 and tailback Le’Veon Bell ran it down to the Frogs 30, where Dan Conroy kicked the go-ahead field goal. TCU could do nothing with a minute left and Sparty won, 17-16.
Again, the Oregon Duck girl at the bar on The Riverwalk was weird. What were you looking at? You were annoying.
IOWA STATE 17 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 31
I was right on this one. Iowa State was not able to slow down the Tulsa running game, allowing 317 yards on the ground. What else? You are Crushing Me like Cheese Sandwich!
Heart of Dallas Bowl
OKLAHOMA STATE 58 Purdue Boilermakers 14
This went exactly like I thought. Purdue was overwhelmed, overmatched and in over their heads with an interim coach. And, as I expected, Gundy was still throwing deep with the game well in hand late. You can’t ask a shark not to be cool with chum in the water, can you? No. And you can’t ask a coach who let his team score 84 points on a team that should never have been on their schedule to be cool in a bowl game. We get it, Coach- you can score points with anyone calling the plays.
No.5 KANSAS STATE 17 No.4 Oregon Ducks 35
Hey, you guys, did you know Collin Klein was married? Ladies- the fastest way to celebrity is to marry your bowl-bound boyfriend (preferably a BCS Bowl-bound boyfriend) before said bowl game. AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, made famous by Brent Musburger Monday night, went from about 500 followers on Twitter to over 100,000 during the game. I expect Mrs. Klein also trended. What were we talking about?
I was afraid of that. For a while in the first half, they sucked Oregon into a very K-State game, but a missed field goal and a 16-second Ducks touchdown drive corrected that. I sure would like to see that Oregon offense against the Bama defense.
No shame in what you did, K-State. A great season.
No.11 oklahoma 13 No.9 Texas A&M Aggies 41
It makes so mad. I mean, how does that happen? Tell me how? It’s unacceptable. The guy shares the earnings report he took notes on, the same earning repots that they were BOTH supposed to work on, with the girl who is more concerned with texting and watching videos and THEN she has the nerve to tell the boss SHE put the earnings report presentation together when he asked. Good for you, Mr. Boss Man, for seeing through her web of lies and nonsense and it serves you right, you silly cheater. You don’t DESERVE the pupu platter or that Samsung Galaxy phone they gave you.