Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sports. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

6 Years Ago the UT Longhorns won the Rose Bowl

it seems impossible, but I don't own a copy of this cover, and I don't think I've ever seen it before

Six years ago I was living in the wilds of Chandler, Arizona.  It is safe to say now that 2005 was the roughest year I've experienced, and its got to be up there for Jamie, too.

We had moved to Arizona in 2002.  I had lived in Texas since age 4, and had been in Austin most of my life.   And while we loved Austin, I also knew that I needed to try something different.  So, when Jamie's job evaporated in 2001, we began looking outside of Texas, eventually winding up in Arizona.

For a multitude of reasons, we never felt comfortable in Chandler (where we lived) or Tempe (where we worked), and found it exceedingly difficult to find anyone with whom we could socialize.  I will always entertain the notion that I'm a deeply unpleasant person to have to deal with unless your paycheck requires you talk to me, but I think out there, we were just fish out of water in many ways.  And, of course, Jamie's health was always an issue.

By the summer of 2005, Jamie's health deteriorated considerably.  From late spring until November, we were on an hour-by-hour watch for changes.  And, unfortunately, I had fallen into horrendous eating and sleeping patterns.  

But in the Fall of 2005, the UT Longhorn football team was on fire.  Our quarterback was Vince Young, and you could just tell...  we were going to win a hell of a lot of games.  The odd part of watching such a season is that I think you kind of know early on that this could be the year, that this could really happen.  But then you watch every game wondering "is this where we blow it?"

I hadn't watched much UT football when I was actually at UT.  The team hadn't been great for a while, and while I liked some sports (particularly NBA basketball), I was also doing other things in my life than watching football on a Saturday, even when I was watching the NFL on Sundays as a way to defer the inevitable homework.

But I graduated, UT got a new coach, and I wasn't just reading about the games in the paper.  I actually tuned in.  I knew more than the name of the quarterback.  So by 2005, after the frustration of the Chris Simms era, we had this guy Vince Young step into the QB position (eventually.  We won't discuss poor 'ol Chance Mock too much).

FYI:  slighting either of these men in my presence will insure you receive an immediate and justified thrashing
In many ways, I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that 2005 was both My Very Personal Bad Year and The Year UT won the BCS Championship.  It seems like two completely different timelines.  Somehow we managed to catch almost every game that season, even though that was the fall when Jamie had to go back on dialysis and I recall watching at least one game on Pay-Per-View so I'm sure we missed a game or two.  If it were not for a memory of watching the UT/ A&M game on a TV at the hospital the Thanksgiving when Jamie spent her Turkey Day in a hospital bed (and I ate luke-warm turkey out of a plastic container), I'd never be able to reconcile the two timelines.  

By December, Jamie had begun to stabilize.  Jason came in for Christmas, and I know we talked a lot about UT football.

Living in Arizona, we were in Pac-10 territory, and it seemed that my work colleagues were, at best, humoring me once UT was in the championship.  UT was facing down USC, and the pundits and sportscasters were insisting this game was already decided (I particularly remember Chris Berman seemingly frustrated that they were bothering to even have the game, so certain was he of USC's victory).   But what you could tell was that 1.  the pundits seemed to be working from a certain narrative rather than demonstrating first hand knowledge one would have had they actually watched UT or the Big 12 that year, and 2. sports journalists have no idea what they're talking about (and people believe them.  Its hilarious).

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Texas Showdown Closes Down (UT wins!)

I did not expect UT to win the annual Thanksgiving game against Texas A&M.  Yes, the UT Longhorns were ranked, and A&M had slipped from ranking, but this year, UT's ranking fortunes have just felt like a fluke of other's misfortunes and some oddly-had luck more than the hard-earned rankings of the COlt McCoy and VY years.  While I do believe our defense has been fairly effective this season, its clear the Longhorn offense is still a mess.

In the end, it came down to a last second field goal kicked by UT's Justin Tucker, who has been near-flawless all season.  But it also came down to UT's defense uncharacteristically more or less rolling over to A&M's fairly punishing drive in the final minutes, looking for all the world like a team that was going to have the last word.  And, of course, Case McCoy demonstrating some clear thinking in the last minute that he really hadn't shown too much this season.

I hope Texas Aggies feel like it was a good game.  We were certainly consoling ourselves with this thought at the 1:25 mark in the 4th quarter when we watched the UT lead melt away.

But then Tucker made the field goal.  So, it was a good night to be a Longhorns fan.

Tucker gets tackled by jubilant Longhorns
Of COURSE the game means something.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Signal Watch Sports: Longhorns - we aren't totally horrible this year!

This Saturday I attended the UT/ Texas Tech match-up at Darrell K Royal - Memorial Stadium.

Firstly, it was Veteran's Day (observed, I guess) which meant the 82nd Airborne dropped 4 paratroopers into the sky who, to a trooper, landed pretty much dead-center of the field (I literally had no idea that you could be that accurate with a parachute).  They brought the flags AND the game ball.

I feel like such a sucker for just walking into the stadium
And then a pair of F-18's buzzed the stadium at the end of the Star Spangled Banner.  It was AMAZING (I am about 11 years old at the sight of a fighter jet in the sky).  

The point is, UT hit the field, and on the first drive by Texas Tech, I got a bit nervous.  Tech manhandled Oklahoma this year, and we've had issues with Tech in recent years.  Yes, Texas Tech lost last week's game pretty badly, but every week is a fresh start, so I really didn't know what to expect.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

gggnnngghhhhhh.... The "I'm Not Feeling Like A Real Post" Itemized Round-Up

This is sort of how I'm feeling at the moment.  I'm doing all right, but, man...  hordes of pinheads, why are you so many, and why do you keep coming?  Even when I keep swinging my axe into your squishy selves?

Its just been a sort of irritating two days, and I'm hoping tomorrow goes better.  Even when I know Friday is going to be a mess of scheduling conflicts.

Item - I finally finished DC's Brightest Day with Volume 3.

What a mess that thing was...  It had some good elements but...  by and large, I see no reason why I'd tell anyone else to read that thing.  I find it sad that the only DC event book that felt driven more by character than "putting a hat on a hat" plot contrivances was the controversial Identity Crisis.  And the only plot-driven one I felt worked as a story was Final Crisis, but only if you read the Superman tie-in.  Go figure.

Item - if you're in Austin on Friday night, go see Jason's band "The Mono Ensemble" at the Carousel Lounge.  Its from 9:00 - 10:30.  There might be a cover, but the rockin' comes free with the seat.

If you're wondering what sort of music Jason plays - its sort of like this.  Only with a lot more dinking around between songs.

Item - I'm in Dallas for the evening and very tired.  I slept pretty badly last night.  Probably why I'm cranky with humanity today, and why its okay if I'm holed up in a rather nice hotel room by myself for the evening.

Item - After enjoying both first seasons, I haven't made time for either Boardwalk Empire or The Walking Dead this year.  I just can't seem to be motivated by TV at the moment.

Well, I am still making time for almost ten shows I can think of, and that seems like plenty, really. And considering I can't find time to read or catch up on my Noir viewing - where the heck is my time going?

Item - Be kind to your fellow humans.  And animals.  Your daily reminder.

Item - Jamie and I will be attending the UT/  Texas Tech game on Saturday.  If you see it televised, I'll be the one in the orange shirt.

Item - Grapes of Wrath is a really, really long book.

Item - Be cool and buy my friends' album.  I can't guarantee you'll like it, but you'll make some very nice boys in Seattle just happy as clams.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

a Signal Watch Rant: Sports Journalists are the worst (almost as bad as comics "journalism")

Why was UT #11 going into this week's game?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I'm a UT fan, and I am terribly embarrassed about the crippling loss to Oklahoma yesterday, but in the lead-up to the game, my jaw dropped when I saw that sports journalists had apparently voted my team (ie: us) to #11 somehow in the past week.

As much as fans can hold their team and coaches responsible, how do journalists and those voting on polls (which actually DO have an effect on the fates of teams) get a pass when they're so clearly wrong?

Look, I am a fan of the Longhorns, and so there are absolutely some raw feelings there as the Horns return to Austin shamed and with quite a hole to climb out from, but I like to think I can also be pretty honest about how we're doing as my interest in the team is mostly just typical alumni school spirit, not that of someone who prides themselves on their sports acumen.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

round-up Monday post

You're on your own for a day or three.

In the meantime:

I recommend going to see the movie Drive at better cinemas everywhere.  It features Christina Hendricks.

Hendricks ponders the likelihood that bed bugs have invaded the Motel 6.
I didn't watch the Emmy's.

in a lot of ways, personally and professionally, I strive for Swanson-ness
I hear Mad Men won for best show without a laughtrack or whatever.  That's good, I guess.  Peter Dinklage was great in Game of Thrones, so good on him for winning.  Kyle Chandler won for Best Actor for Friday Night Lights, which is correct, but how he can win and Connie Britton did not demonstrates that this was a pity vote for a show everyone heard was great, but that nobody had actually seen (Chandler and Britton were Voltron, people.  Alone, you could take them, but together, they were awesomely powerful).

And Jim "Hey, I went to high school with that guy" Parsons won an Emmy, too.  So, there you go.

I guess that's all I care about there.

Saturday my Longhorns surprised the living heck out of me by not just beating UCLA, but beating them at home by 29 points, or about four touchdowns.  I had said in the week leading up to the game "if we come within 7, I guess I'll be happy."  But, man, The Horns actually looked shockingly solid out there.  Maybe not as solid as Baylor (or even TAMU), but they looked like a team for the first time since the National Championship about a year and a half back.

We have this crazy-good tail back, Brown, who is my favorite new Longhorn.  And, of course, we've got Marquis Goodwin, Fozzy and DJ Grant.  And, man, its a nice storybook angle that its Case McCoy and Jaxon Shipley out there (and I'll mention Ash, too, because he certainly contributed).

Just a total surprise.  What a fun game.

The Longhorns have a lot of luck in this stadium, it seems

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our Odd 20th Century/ 21st Century Football Evening

As I've complained about, Time-Warner failed to pick up the Longhorn Network, and seems like it will continue to not carry the Longhorn Network, which means that, like likely thousands of other people in my area, I got up this morning and looked to see if I could change cable carriers.

The only carrier in town with the Longhorn Network is Grande Communications, who are also much cheaper than my carrier, but, of course, they haven't made it yet to my neighborhood.  Whatever that means.

So, last night we had PaulT (aka: @PlacesLost) over at the house, ate some Tostitos, and listened to the game on the radio while watching the LSU/ Orgeon game on mute.  We tried to keep up with both games via iPhones and laptops.  It was kind of a goofy night.

And while Paul's company was great, Paul and I also like to talk as much as grannies at the Gossipin' Fence, so you tend to lose a lot of the nuance of the game unless you decide you're going to just sit there silently.  And, if you're a casual football fan like me, you have a lot of questions you don't often think about when you're able to watch the game.

"A reverse pass?  What the hell is a reverse pass?  What does that even mean?"  Paul was kind enough to mime it out for me.

So that was our weird night.

Also, I was a bit bummed that Oregon lost to LSU.  But quite chuffed that UT won their game 34-9.

Yes, yes.  I know its Rice and not OU, but we didn't just win a game, we won it by more than a touchdown, which means UT might not be the Keystone Cops this year, even if UT, reportedly, didn't play a perfect game.  

The next game to be carried exclusively on the Longhorn Network is the Kansas game, a game I will most definitely want to see.  Hopefully we'll either have the LHN by then, or we can think about all sitting quietly around the radio, I suppose.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Signal Watch Sports: College Football Ready to Go (and being a Longhorn fan at the moment)

Its almost Game Day! 

I imagine our friends Jake Shore and Fantomenos are quite excited about Oregon's prospects this year.  I know I am, and I'll be watching. 

I'll also be watching Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and a lot of others as well. 

But, oh my, my Longhorns.  And the Big XII.  And the @#$%ing Longhorn Network.

No doubt many are currently thrilled to hear that Texas A&M has left the Big 12 Conference, delighted that somehow this diminishes UT.  To this, I say:  quit listening to sports radio.  Its making you crazy and ignores the bigger picture.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My Chat Transcript with Pearl at Time Warner re: The Longhorn Network

Today I learned that Time Warner Cable has not yet reached a deal in which I will receive the Longhorn Network, ESPN's first regional-specific network dedicated to satisfying the sports needs of Longhorn fans.  I am not kidding.

Kickoff for the first game of the 2011 season for UT is the traditional UT/ Rice game is 6:00 PM on September 3rd. As of today, TWC, which has a stranglehold on cable subscribers in Austin, has not yet negotiated a contract with ESPN, the mother-ship network for the LN.  And, as you guess, only the Longhorn Network is carrying the game.  This, people, is utter bull-hockey.

Because the market solves all, I turned to my benefactors at Time Warner, knowing my pleas would not fall on deaf ears.

I suspect "Pearl" may not be the actual identity of my liaison.

Pearl Smith:    Thank you for contacting Time Warner Cable. At the end of our chat you will be given the option of taking a brief survey. My name is Pearl. Please give me a moment while I access your account.

Ryan_:    hello.
Pearl Smith:    I understand you need information on Longhorn Network, am I correct?
Ryan_:    yes!
Ryan_:    I am hoping that TW will find an agreement with the Longhorn Network prior to August 26th.

Pearl Smith:    Although we do not currently have an agreement to carry Longhorn Network, we do want to make the Longhorn Network available as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the Longhorn Network refused our offer to bring the Longhorn Network to TWC customers.
Ryan_:    why?
Pearl Smith:    There is some issue with the broadcasting rates.
Pearl Smith:    The deal does not get finalized.
Ryan_:    I am sure TWC cares more about me seeing UT football than something as silly as money.
Pearl Smith:    I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.

Ryan_:    Pearl, nobody is blaming you.
Pearl Smith:    Time Warner Cable regularly examines its programming line up with an eye towards providing the highest quality and widest choices available at reasonable and competitive prices. Although we do not currently provide the programming that you requested, we do keep track of the number of requests received and utilize this information to influence programming changes. Time Warner Cable is always concerned with the programming interests of our subscribers. This programming request will be shared with our Programming Department. It is this type of feedback that is vital as we strive to deliver the best variety of programming available to our customers.
Ryan_:    But this is a nuisance.  Please tell Mr. Warner and Mr. Time that I will take a network showing Longhorn football over 1000 channels showing me shows about baking cakes and/ or cupcakes.
Ryan_:    I expect for the outrageous sums outlayed to the Time Warner Corporation, they can scrape together a few shekels and see to it that I get my football programming.

Ryan_:    Even if it does mean that's one less private island for the super fortress they're obviously building for their secret private army.
Pearl Smith:    I can transfer you to our sales team for more information on this.
Pearl Smith:    They would be able to inform you the time of its launch.
Ryan_:    That won't be necessary.  I appreciate your patience and I look forward to having the Longhorn Network on my cable dial by August 25th.
Pearl Smith:    Thank you.

Pearl Smith:    Is there anything else I can assist you with today?
Ryan_:    You can explain to me what vertical integration means.
Pearl Smith:    I am sorry, I am unaware of this word.
Ryan_:    that's okay, Pearl.  I appreciate your time.  Have a great night!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Round-Up: Soccer, Potter, More Potter and Not Much Else

In our household, Jamie is the Harry Potter nut.  I don't dislike Harry, but, as we recently discussed, I have questions.  Lots and lots of questions.

Knowing that Saturday night I would be homebound and watching watching Harry Potter and that Sunday I'd be down at the Alamo watching yet more Potter, on Friday I rounded up some pals and we hit The Crow Bar down on South Congress.  Its not bad, but my expectations of bars are very, very low.  Frankly, the nicer the bar, the more I do not want to be there.  It may shock you, but The League is not much of "see and be seen" sort of fellow, and prefers functionality in his nightlife.  I would rather drink with hobos down by the river than go to, say, Qua, the club that just makes me want to punch somebody.*

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Friday Night Lights Wraps It Up

The saddest thing about Friday Night Lights will always be the millions of people who didn't tune in to FNL. and missed one of the last great hour-long dramas on network television.  And, of course, there were the many folks who quizzically pondered why they should care about a show about high school football.

Was Friday Night Lights about football?  Oh, most absolutely.  But for some reason that seems to be an issue where watching shows about cops and lawyers and doctors (folks none of us really want to deal with), are prime-time gold.  Maybe its telling that Glee cannot be stopped no matter how been at a dead sprint to reach far past mediocre since its initial brilliant pilot.

Heather Havrilesky writes about it better than I ever will over at the NYT

At Dillon High, no student ever had a single zit (well, maybe Landry)

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Friday Night Lights had the single best pilot of a TV show I can think of.  It was also one of the best acted shows on TV for 4 of its 5 seasons (that second season they actually veered towards becoming a standard-issue prime-time soap, and it made the show mostly unwatchable).  I was in high school drama, not football*, but FNL always felt more like high school than anything I saw elsewhere.  And the characters- high schoolers, teachers, coaches and parents - always felt grounded and real enough, and not the absent parents of teen-shows, the cartoonish teachers of most high-school shows, etc...  When you guys were recommending me a thousand different shows, this was the one I was psychically recommending to you, but I figured if you weren't watching now, you weren't going to start.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Catching up on Sunday and Monday

Sorry for the lack of posting on Sunday or Monday.

Sunday we watched the Super Bowl and ate until we threw up. No, I was not enamored with any particular Super Bowl ads, and, no... I don't like the Black Eyed Peas in general, or Christina Aguilera, so I see no reason to bag on them in particular now when enough people like them that they got hired to do the Super Bowl (even if both performances were sort of disastrous).

As per the actual game, I used to be a big Green Bay fan, but slacked off my viewing the past... 8 years or so. So, yes, I cheered for them and was pleased they won.

On Monday night, Jamie and I went to a screening of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a seminal movie for sci-fi nerds, film score dorks, Dreyfus goons and Devil's Tower and mashed potato enthusiasts.

srsly, geology?
The screening was part of a "Film Score Focus" series, hosted by the guy who runs a radio show here on our local classical station, KMFA.  The program is dedicated to understanding film music. As my film score knowledge extends only to about six composers (one of whom may or may not be Prince), and I'm usually pre-occupied on Sundays, I rarely hear the show, but its a good time when I do tune in.

If you've never seen Close Encounters of the Third Kind, its Spielberg's wish-fulfillment movie about an unlikely way to get out of a dead-end marriage without involving Kate Capshaw. Wait, that is not what its about at all.*

Its about "Ohmigodlook. UFOs!"

The movie has a killer score and is just a lovely, optimistic film that makes you wonder: What happened between this and Hook, Steven?  I do think the movie might be a smidge dated at this point in structure, audio design, etc...  but that's okay.  The story itself is compelling enough and detailed enough that its still a good watch.

So, anyway. No real review. No real post.  Thanks to SimonUK for coming out for the show!

*Because the most fantastical idea is that Teri Garr circa 1977 would be someone I'd want to escape.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Go Ducks!

I am rooting for the Oregon Ducks in the 2010-2011 BCS  Championship Game.  That's just how I roll.

That two-point conversion was just kind of awesome, btw.

Just wanted to make that clear here before the end of the game.

For historical purposes, when I'm looking back at posts, they were playing Auburn, about which I have no particular feelings, positive or negative.

post game edit:   You can't say Oregon didn't give Auburn a good game or that they didn't have a great season.  Way to go, Ducks! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

I am pretty sure you won't finish reading this meandering blog post

It would be bad form to not have a post ready for a Monday, but I'm kind of running dry at the moment.  Bear with me.

The weekend 

The holidays are here, and that meant Saturday we were able to attend a lovely get together at Matt and Nicole's place.  Sweaters were worn, cocktails embibed, and a cold front hit just before the party, so it didn't feel odd or unseasonal. 

I learned a lesson in trying to be a safe driver:  if you're planning to cab it around town - do not decide its time to call a cab at 2:00 AM on Saturday night/ Sunday morning during the middle of holiday revelry.  They will never, ever show up.  And you will spend an ugly hour regretting that last cocktail with SyFy Channel on mute showing some horrendous movie with Alan Cumming painted blue, and Jamie just staring at the window and repeating "where are they?", only to give up and force a sober Nicole to drive you all the way back to your house at 3:10 AM.

Today was fairly lazy.  Played with the dogs.  Read.  Cleaned up a bit.  Walked the dogs.  Fixed the fence.  Slept for a while in the afternoon, facedown on the sofa.  Denied the fact that I need to go to Lowe's and do a few last bits of Christmas shopping (I am way, way out ahead on Christmas shopping).  Met up with Matt and Nicole at a sort of Italian bistro near Nau's, ran into Keora and Laura (wife of SimonUK). 

And now I'm sitting in front of the fake fire with sleepy dogs. 

Big 12 and Longhorn Football

OU won the Big 12 Championship, which is secretly good news to me (as OU is my second favorite college team, but we do not say such things in Austin). 

And it looks like UT's long-bemoaned Offensive Coordinator, Greg Davis, will be leaving UT's coaching staff by hook or by crook early this week. 

I don't know much about Davis.  He doesn't get in front of the mics or cameras very often, but I know that in a city that screeches to a halt on game days, I have never heard one person who didn't second-guess or immediately leap to chip in to question Davis's coaching and play calling.  That's not an exaggeration for dramatic effect, that's a fact.  And it seems that UT's great recruiting of the past 10 years finally wasn't able to overcome the deficit in offensive coordination.  At some point, you can't have 100K people in the stadium all slapping their foreheads, and everybody but the Offensive Coordinator knowing that the play called was not going to work.

That's not to say people aren't warily eyeing Will Muschamp (UT's Defensive Coordinator), his millions per year and the fact that UT oddly already anointed him Mack Brown's successor despite the fact that Brown isn't scheduled to retire or leave Texas.  I don't think Muschamp is on the chopping block quite yet, but if UT is giving up as many touchdowns next year as they did this season?  That sweetheart deal is going to dry up pretty fast.

Anyway, strange days for Texas football.

On the positive side:  Looks like Oregon will challenge Auburn for the National title spot!  Very happy for our man in Oregon, Fantomenos.  The Ducks have been building to this point for a while, and I'm personally planning to dress in green and watch that one.

Jackie Chiles returns

Back in the 1990's Seinfeld was (and still remains) one of my favorite shows.  Many will remember the OJ-case inspired character, Jackie Chiles, loosely based on now-deceased showboating attorney Johnny Cochrane.

A colleague of The Signal Watch is a contributor to award-winning legal blog Abnormal Use, which recently swung an interview with the actor who portrayed Jackie Chiles, Phil Morris.  We encourage you to read the interview

I confess that, yes, I do still watch Smallville on the CW (I'm quite a fan of Ms. Durance who plays Lois.  Rowr.).  For the past few years, Morris has guest-spotted on the program as J'onn J'onzz/ John Jones (aka:  The Martian Manhunter), and he's been a real highlight in a show that I usually enjoy semi-ironically (because, man, Smallville...).  I figured it was too much to ask that they spin the character off into his own, better show, so I take what I can get.

You can also see Morris in new clips as Jackie Chiles on Funny or Die!

Congrats to Abnormal Use for a great 2010!

Spider-Man play suffers another injury

An actress playing a major role as a villain suffered a concussion when a rope smacked her in the head.  This same actress has to sit in her harness 6 hours per day. 

I really do think people will turn up to watch the show, but its for the same reason you go to NASCAR races: horrendous accidents.

Never Assume

You people can enjoy the malarkey that is The League in small, bite sized chunks and opt in or out of dealing with me as you please.  Even Jamie has the option to tell me to shut it, and/ or leave the room.  But there is a person who does not have any options.  8 hours per day, 5 days per week, my officemate (who also reports to me in the org chart) has to sit and listen to whatever I say.  And I kind of just talk.  And talk.  And talk and talk and talk and talk and talk all day every day.

And its kind of unfair.  Literally nobody else on the planet has to put up with my monologuing or fear for their livelihood.  And so it came to pass that I was completely under the impression that my officemate and I were on the same page that KANYE WEST IS THE GREATEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED, EVER.

Apparently, not so.  So, if anyone else has some ideas for what to get an officemate for Christmas that isn't the new Kanye West album, please let me know.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big 12 Shake-Up/ Shake-Down

I knew eventually I would need to start talking about Longhorn football, but I am a bit amazed/ down that my first post on football will discuss the much discussed (in Texas, anyway) goings on with the Big 12 conference. Honestly, I planned on my first post on sports to be about World Cup soccer (or as our friends from across the sea call it "football", but they are wrong).

Sports talk radio, non-stop-ESPN, etc... aren't so much my thing, so if the rumblings of the fall of the Big 12 were building, I had no idea. I'd been checking college baseball scores to see how Big 12 teams were doing, but otherwise tuning out.

For those of you catching up, my alma mater is home to The University of Texas Longhorns, who were the #2 football team and volleyball team in 2009, and won some unbelievable number of baseball games this year (I'm hoping they place first in the College World Series). Both our men's and women's basketball team made it to the tournament, etc...

The Longhorns belong to the Big 12, which is a fairly respectable and competitive conference. While I enjoy the rivalries, I actually wind up watching a lot of Big 12 football, from all the schools.

The Big 12 had a not-great contract with media outlets, but the schools had large and loyal fanbases, and college sports, particularly football, are big money. So, conferences The Big 10 and the Pac-10 have been trying to meet with Big 12 schools to try to move them over with their superior contracts.

Read more about this thing here.

Anyway, I'm a little bummed that (a) the Big 12 may be no more by the end of next week, and (b) the extra revenue could disrupt traditional and regional play.

I understand the schools supposedly make money from shaking things up and say, a few schools joining the PAC 10, but... this is the Pac 10 we're talking about. I'm a romantic and an optimist in some ways, and so I like to think that regional relations make a difference in these cases. Joining the Pac 10 just seems so... calculated. It's like the rich, dopey kids asking if you want to hang out because they know you've got a new Sega Dreamcast, not because you've been hanging out for the past 100 years (sorry, Oregon and Oregon State. You guys are cool. Why do you hang out with those jerks, anyway? You're better than that.). So what happens when the DreamCast gets outed by the XBox?

Sure, there are some logistical issues and budgetary issues for sports that draw in smaller audiences, but I tend to think that the Texas/ Oklahoma powerhouse is big enough to work with the region and get a better contract.

Further, the biggest d-bag of them all, USC, just pulled an SMU and is totally dealing with his comeuppance. Dad just took away the entitled little twerp's Porsche keys. But, hey, if we notice that we had friends in our own backyard all along....

For the Texas and Oklahoma schools, its not such a big deal that Colorado has split off, and Nebraska seems ready to go, too (whatsamatta, Nebraska? Texas and Oklahoma too much for you?). But its hard to imagine football in the fall without the UT, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and other rivalries playing out as part of conference play. The thing is, by coming into other conferences, any of those schools could be peeled off. Already, Baylor is basically being told not to count on being a part of whatever happens. And that's a little sad.

So, if the Big 12 is croaking, here's my proposal for the Nu Southwest Conference (going classic, baby):

01. University of Texas
02. Texas A&M
03. Texas Tech
04. Oklahoma
05. Oklahoma State
06. Baylor (yes. Baylor. On principle.)
07. Texas Christian University (because those guys got good)
08. Kansas
09. Kansas State
10. Nebraska (fungible with any other corn-fed bunch of punching bags)
11. Missouri
12. University of Houston

That's right. U of H. Woot!

What do you guys think, because I think I just came up with a scheme that would make us all rich.