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College Football: Week 9 Viewing Guide

This week on “PTI,” Tony and Mike were asked which coach needs a win more, Urban Meyer or Mack Brown. They both have three-loss teams, both have been beaten at home by lesser ranked opponents, and both were preseason top five teams. Their argument came down to which fan base has the crazier fan base with the most unrealistic expectations. Both Tony and Mike chose Urban Meyer as the coach with the most heat at the moment. They’re probably right, though for the wrong reason.

It seems that every year Mack Brown gets another 9-year extension, and is currently on contract until seemingly 2035. The UT boosters, administrators, players, janitors, parking attendants, and field mice love him. The problem is, and always has been – in the eyes of students and alumni at least – offensive coordinator Greg Davis. In the early years of the last decade the phrase “Fire Greg Davis” was as ubiquitous as “Texas Fight” around the Forty Acres. For a time, those cheers quieted as Vince Young and Colt McCoy were able to compensate for poor coaching with superior talent. Today, the cries for Greg Davis’ job are as loud as ever, but are we any closer to his ouster now than we were after five consecutive losses to ou? His supporters can point to this season’s signature win at Nebraska as a point in his favor, and they can fault the inexperience of Garret Gilbert as a reason for the offensive struggles.

After last weekend’s loss, however, even Mack Brown had harsh words for his assistants, saying, “I told them if one of your guys is playing bad, I can change them. If three of your guys are playing bad, I change you.” For a coach known to always take the blame, shielding his players and coaches from criticism, those words carry extra weight and make you wonder if maybe his long partnership with Davis is nearing an end. What would it take? A third straight home loss? To Baylor, no less? Losing out and missing a bowl game? Or, has the damage already been done?

This week Baylor comes into Austin ranked for the first time since 1993, and hoping for their first win over Texas in 12 years. The Bears are also currently in first place in the Big 12’s South division. It’s hard to imagine that a win over Baylor could actually be a signature win on the season, but that is the situation we find ourselves in.

All rankings below are from the current BCS poll. Also, make sure to check your local listings for channel availability, and also these coverage maps for the mid-Saturday and prime-time regional games.

The games this weekend stink, so commentary is light, but if you can bear to watch, here’s your Week 9 viewing guide.

Saturday, October 30
12:00 p.m. ET
#17 Oklahoma State at Kansas State (FSN, Comcast Sports)

The next two Longhorn opponents.

#22 Miami (FL) at Virginia (ESPN)
The early games are light on intrigue.

3:30 p.m. ET
#5 Michigan State at #18 Iowa (ABC/ESPN)

One of the day’s better games, and what should be MSU’s last big test.

#6 Missouri at #14 Nebraska (ABC/ESPN)
This game should decide the Big 12’s North division champion.

Florida vs. Georgia @ Jacksonville, FL (CBS)
Has there ever been less hype for this rivalry?

6:00 p.m. ET
#1 Auburn at Mississippi, ESPN2

The top team has fallen each of the last three weeks. Don’t expect that trend to continue, tune in to watch Auburn QB Cam Newton be awesome.

7:00 p.m. ET
#25 Baylor at Texas (FSN)

See how Texas responds to their latest embarrassment.

8:00 p.m. ET
#2 Oregon at Southern California (ABC)

One of Oregon’s final tests en route to the BCS title game.

#11 Ohio State at Minnesota (ABC)
If Michigan State goes down, the top of the Big Ten will be real interesting presuming OSU and Wisconsin continue to roll.

9:15 p.m. ET
Colorado at #9 oklahoma (ESPN2)

The night cap game has ou giving Colorado a send off from the Big 12. Over/under is at 65 points for ou.

Thanks to “Lil Pete” for his ongoing contributions to EyesOfTX.

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College Football: Week 12 Viewing Guide

A little late this week, but be assured that Colorado at #12 Oklahoma State was on the watch list. The ‘Pokes deserve more recognition for their season and are threatening to steal an at-large BCS bid, and more good stuff is in store on Saturday so settle in for one of the final weeks in college football. Remember to check the TV coverage maps, and note all rankings are the current BCS standings. For this week, the viewing guide is your huckleberry.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
#10 Ohio State at Michigan, ABC
Ohio State is already a lock as the Big 10‘s representative for the Rose Bowl, but there’s no chance they don’t get up for this game. A few years ago, this rivalry game was billed as the de facto national championship, but oh how far we’ve come. Still, anything can happen in a rivalry game, and it would be worth watching Big 10 football just to see Rich Rod and Michigan pull off the upset against The Sweater.

Minnesota at #13 Iowa, ESPN
A Big 10 alternative, Iowa is playing for pride now as there’s no chance they make it into a BCS game. Minnesota could make their season with a win.

12:30 PM ET
oklahoma at Texas Tech, FSN
A little Big 12 South division action if you’re interested. These teams are playing for 3rd place in the division, and with a little help, ou could weasel their way into 2nd. It’s always nice to watch ou lose and Tech’s offense (no matter which QB plays) is a lot of fun to watch, as long as Texas isn’t on the field with them.

3:30 PM ET
#8 LSU at Mississippi, CBS
Can’t think of any reason to watch this other than CBS has the best college football coverage, and the other options aren’t any more enticing. LSU will likely be shut out of the BCS race, unless Alabama or Florida suffer a major catastrophe, despite their high ranking. Ole Miss could certainly make things interesting with a win that would put them in 2nd place in their division.

#14 Penn State at Michigan State, ABC/ESPN
If you don’t care for the SEC matchup, ABC has a couple of options with more teams who don’t matter.

(Also in this slot on ABC or ESPN is Virginia at #23 Clemson)

7:30 PM ET
#25 California at #17 Stanford, Versus
Who would have thought these two teams in the Pac-10 would actually be a compelling game? California had high hopes coming into this season, but somewhere along the way, the wheels came off. Now, they’re missing star RB Jahvid Best for their trip to Stanford, where they’ll match up against the hottest team in the country.

7:45 PM ET
Kansas State at Nebraska, ESPN
This game should decide the Big 12 Conference’s North division champion, so it’s worth paying attention to – if anything, to scout Texas’ Big 12 conference championship opponent.

8:00 PM ET
Kansas at #3 Texas, ABC (regional)
If you were prepared for an “off week” for Texas football, you will be surprised to find this gem on the calendar. It’s like finding a twenty dollar bill in an old jacket. When was the last time Texas played a game the week before Thanksgiving? Kansas coach Mark Mangino is suddenly under criticism by current and former players for the way he’s run his program in Lawrence, and the Jayhawks might have reason to come out with some fight, so the Longhorns can’t let up. This is the final tune-up before the ‘Horns head to College Station to wrap up the regular season. Note: This game is regional coverage, and most of the country will be watch #11 Oregon at Arizona.

Thanks to LilPete for his ongoing viewing guide contributions to Eyes Of TX.

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NCAA Football: Week 8 Viewing Guide

NCAA FootballA bit late, readers, but early enough on Saturday to still be useful for the day.

Wow, what a week 7. Although no one reading this blog probably remembers anything that happened after about 3:30 PM Eastern time last weekend, there were some exciting games following up the Texas Longhorns’ victory over oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Any weekend of college football would be a letdown by comparison, but this week seems especially so. Still we’ll find enough to keep us glued to the action – and plus, what seems like a 364-day baseball season is almost over, so Eyes Of TX can’t complain. Truth be told, all of our heart’s are collectively still recovering from last week’s victory. With that said, here’s your week 8 viewing guide, with all rankings based on the current BCS standings, as well as ESPN’s regional coverage maps for reference.

Thursday
7:30 PM ET
Florida State 30 v. North Carolina 27
Close game, for two teams that were struggling for their first conference victory after an up-and-down beginning to the season. Isn’t that Bobby Bowden’s 2,000th win? Starting to think he’s a terminator on the inside — he just won’t go away.

Friday
8:00 PM ET
Rutgers 27 v. Army 10
With the most effective armed servicemen still serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, is it any question why Army struggles? Just once, Eyes Of TX would like to see a real service academy (Air Force doesn’t count…they are actually capable of competing) – like Army or Navy – compete on the national scene. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Saturday
12:00 PM ET
Minnesota at #19 Ohio State, ESPN
Ohio State has a chance to bounce back after their road loss to Purdue. Don’t expect much from Minnesota here, although back-to-back Big 10 losses for OSU would be something for Buckeye Nation to get their sweater vests in a twist over.

12:30 PM ET
#15 Oklahoma State at Baylor, Versus
Oklahoma State has been efficient offensively even without suspended wide receiver Dez Bryant and injured running back Kendall Hunter, and things aren’t expected to be any different going in to Waco. This will be Texas’ last look at OSU before going to Stillwater, oklahoma on Halloween.

3:30 PM ET
oklahoma at #25 Kansas, ABC
ABC is going with regional coverage in the 3:30 PM slot so check your local listings. It would be nice for Kansas to take this one at home to protect their current ranking, but the loss to Colorado last weekend wasn’t a good sign. Texas faces only two more teams who are currently ranked, including the Jayhawks, and even though the ‘Horns are on course to play for the BCS championship as long as they win out, it’s still nice to have that strength of schedule to boost.

(Other games in this time slot are #13 Penn State at Michigan, #11 Oregon at Washington, and Clemson at #10 Miami)

7:30 PM ET
#1 Florida at Mississippi State, ESPN
Florida was the beneficiary of a controversial call last weekend, setting them up for the game-winning field goal to put away Arkansas at home. With that in mind, the Gators shouldn’t expect an easy game this weekend on the road, as Urban Meyer’s teams have lost four in a row in Starkville, Mississippi, and could get caught looking ahead to their rivalry game against Georgia next week.

8:00 PM ET
#3 Texas at Missouri, ABC
The Texas offense needs to reappear this week. While Texas continues their toughest three-game stretch this season, the Tigers face their third straight ranked opponent and are a dangerous challenger (especially on homecoming weekend in Columbia), although they’ve dropped the last two games. To upset Texas in front of their home crowd would make Mizzou’s season, so we’ll see if the ‘Horns are up to this task.

(Oregon State at #7 USC will also air regionally on the west coast at this time. Of note, the Beavers have defeated USC two of the last three years at home in Corvallis, but they’ve lost 21 straight to the Trojans in Los Angeles.)

Thanks to LilPete for these weekly viewing guides.

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Longhorns Add Strength To Future Football Series

After debate over the Texas Longhorns’ non-conference schedule – from both the “system” and the university’s own alumni – in recent years, going in to the weekend the Texas athletic department announced the addition of two non-conference series for their upcoming football schedules, as they added both California and Minnesota to the slate.

While it might seem a long way off (planning does happen this far out), the new non-conference series will begin in the 2015 season, and continue in to 2016:

In the 2015 season, the Longhorns will welcome the California Golden Bears to Austin on September 12, and then travel to Minneapolis for a game with the Golden Gophers on September 19.

The following season, in 2016, the Longhorns will play Cal in Berkeley on September 10, and then return home to play Minnesota on September 17.

The addition of legitimate non-conference games is good for the Longhorns, in Eyes Of TX’s opinion. While the potential for defeat is much higher playing a contender from both the Pac-10 and Big 10 conferences, Texas also stands to gain more credibility with the college football voters when it comes to strength of schedule and its BCS rank. In other words, games like Florida Atlantic, Wyoming, Louisiana-Monroe, Louisiana-Lafeyette, and North Texas will no longer have the sting on the end-of-season computer rankings that have affected the ‘Horns in years past.

Although 2015 is a few years away and coaching changes can happen, the Longhorn faithful might recognize the Golden Gophers current head coach as Tim Brewster. He was on the Longhorns staff and one of the best recruiters for Mack Brown until he took the Minnesota job, and his son is current Longhorn back-up safety Nolan Brewster, whom good ‘ol dad couldn’t even convince to come to Minneapolis. No surprise, then, that the ‘Horns will hook up with some old friends down the road.

Check out Mack Brown-Texas Football for a more in-depth look at the Longhorns future football schedules.

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