With Christmas and a couple of hoops-related punches to the midsection in the rearview, it's time to start getting serious about football. As in, this Longhorn team the Buckeyes will be squaring off against a week from tonight will bring a serious amount of ass-kickage if the Buckeyes aren't ready.
A lot can change in the countdown to kickoff (Exhibit A, Exhibit B), but I think the Buckeyes will be ready. This group has taken two different approaches to the big one at the end the past two years and we all know how each approach fared.
First they tried to come out
chill lackadaisical. You know, the one where you smile after throwing a pick or getting sacked. Shake it off. No big deal. It's only 41-14.
Then it was the chip-on-the-shoulder approach. The team took a custom-made dis-tape home with them for the holidays and came into the game wanting to prove the world wrong. Execute, no mistakes... MUST BE PERFECT. Only that approach didn't work out so well either as the team fought internally and mistakes did happen, with each one seemingly topping the previous.
So, I'm figuring the team triangulates emotionally and settles for a more even keel. Properly focused and intense for the task at hand, but looking to enjoy themselves in what will be the last Buckeye game for many of them (though I maintain that it wouldn't hurt if Tress got his Woody-on and dumped the Princess in favor of a place Anton Chigurh would look to settle into for a night).
Now whether that matters or not is up to Texas. There's a chance that the Buckeyes could come out and play one of their best games of the season and still not have enough for Texas if it is on as well. It would probably be one hell of a game, echoing the battle in Columbus just three years ago, but with both teams at their peaks, you have to give a slight edge to Colt over Pryor. For now, at least.
There is plenty of evidence to suggest that the snub effect is alive and well in college football and getting that would be great, but by no means is that guaranteed. That's why the news that Pryor and Boeckman may appear on the field at the same time was so welcome. Jeff likes some of the things you can do with the two of them out there at the same time and so do I.
Of course, this could all be disinformation (see: the Henton rumors ahead of the LSU game), but when every citizen in Los Angeles County testifies that he or she knew what the Buckeyes were going to do on each play of the USC game, you know you might have to mix it up a bit.
Free Alcohol, Drugs and Young Women Taking Off their Clothes
The New York Times has a feature up on the recruiting battle between Texas and Oklahoma for the services of defensive lineman Jamarkus McFarland. The Sooners eventually won out, but a Times reporter had access to both McFarland and his mother and we get several choice quotes. Like this one discussing a party thrown by Longhorn fans in Dallas after the win over the Sooners:
“I will never forget the excitement amongst all participants,” McFarland wrote. “Alcohol was all you can drink, money was not an option. Girls were acting wild by taking off their tops, and pulling down their pants. Girls were also romancing each other. Some guys loved every minute of the freakiness some girls demonstrated. I have never attended a party of this magnitude.”
He continued: “The attitude of the people at the party was that everyone should drink or not come to the party. Drugs were prevalent with no price attached.”
And this one:
McFarland’s mother, Kashemeyia Adams, said she received numerous offers, including one for an interest-free loan for a former classmate, if her son were to choose Texas. She said she did not believe the offers were affiliated with the Texas football staff.
As you can imagine, Longhorn fans are none too pleased and to be fair, McFarland and his mother both stated that neither of these incidents appear to have been affiliated with the Texas football staff, but that doesn't excuse this Mack Brown moment of cock-measurement:
“Whose house do you like better, Bob Stoops’s, Les Miles’s or mine?” Adams recalled Brown saying.
Don't mess, kids. Don't mess.
The Coldplay of College Linebacking
Be sure to check out Barking Carnival's breakdown of the Buckeye defense. Not only is the writing insightful and well-reasoned, but you get nuggets like this beauty:
James Laurinaitis has now received so much criticism for being overrated that he is now potentially underrated - cementing him as the Coldplay of college linebacking. Say what you will about his deficiencies - an inability to stop an OL in his tracks and shed, an absence of big hits, a last name that conjures an exotic form of halitosis - but the dude is as opportunistic as a small town hairdresser with a tit job who has spotted a divorced Corvette owner at Applebee’s happy hour.