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5 December 2005

This is more of a “projection” than a reflection.

My thoughts on the world of sports (or quite frankly, just the Rose Bowl):

People and the media alike both like to say that the 2005-06 defending national champs are the best collegiate football team. People also like to say that this year’s Trojans have the best offense EVER, with their Heisman-winning quarterback and tailback.

I can see the reasoning. I want to believe that maybe we are witnessing greatness. But somehow, I can’t let myself fall wayside to popular opinion so easily.

Sure I’ve seen the plays, I’ve watched the highlights and, yes, I witnessed the greatness live. But when it comes to sports, I am much more of a traditionalist than most. That is to say, I don’t much believe in the breaking of records. I like to think that the best from years ago will continue to be the best for years to come, and I like to think that historical trends in sports can create a predictable outcome.

So why then wouldn’t I believe that this year’s defending national champions wouldn’t do the same to further lock up their prestige?

Maybe because I like to think of the greatness that we are witnessing on the opposite side of the ball.

What would happen if that team was beaten in a game that merits a trophy to the winner? Would that team then take the title of “Collegiate’s Best Ever” or would they simply take the trophy and have something to prove the next year? I like to think of the former, because quite frankly, statistics, trends and this year all prove that this year, we, the Longhorns of Texas, will win our National Championship of 2005, putting back the glory days of Darrell Royal and cementing our program back in the minds of all those who thought Texas football couldn’t make it back.

To confirm this, I look first at the stats of 2005.

The opposing offense will certainly be able to score points, led by the powers of their trophy winners. Certainly, the Longhorns will, too. They are the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation, averaging 50.8 points per game, just .8 points ahead of the opposition scoring 50.0 points per game.

Both teams average more than 500 yards per game, but it’s the Trojan offense that gains more than 400 yards per game by itself. Our Longhorn offense gains about 300 yards per game coming in at 41st in the nation, what would seem the difference maker in the game that pits the No. 1 offense against the No. 41 offense. However, these two stats are not, in fact, in favor of the defending champs.

The Longhorn defense has been in the top seven defenses all year long, allowing just 13.7 points per game. That’s not even two touchdowns per opponent. This is also reflective of the fact that our defense is within the top five of every defensive category along with points per game; we are in the top five nationally of yards allowed per game, averaging starting point, yards per play from scrimmage and all other categories.

The point is that the defense from the Pacific Coast isn’t in the top 10 of any defensive category. What this means is their offense is forced to go the entire distance of the field in order to score the necessary points to win the game. The Longhorn defense will, however, not allow any gain and force a punt that requires our offense to only go half the distance of the field to score the one touchdown that is required to win the game, when in fact we are capable of still outscoring any opponent by at least 30 points.

In conclusion, our offense isn’t required to go far at all to be the number one scoring offense in the nation, thereby confirming the greatness on both sides of the ball (as if placing four players on the Associated Press All America first team and three other players on third team wasn’t proof enough).

So the stats are in place. We should become “Collegiate’s Best Ever.”

But what does history say about the 2006 Rose Bowl National Championship Game presented by Citi Financial?

UT has met this opponent only four times in the past and all previous to 1967; we didn’t win a single game. However, no team has ever completed a “three-peat” of national championships in the modern era of sports.

Which fact will prove to be false come Jan. 4?

I say Longhorns by 12.

7 November 2005

Reviews and All Things New

Here’s a list of the pop culture world in its current state.

Listen to:

  • “The Futureheads” by The Futureheads. Modern Brit-rock in its finest.
  • “Strange and Beautiful” by Aqualung. Light and lovely, sure to please all fans of great music.
  • “Plans” by Death Cab for Cutie. A very happy reprise for the band that is leading the emo-underground.

Learn to love:

“Jacksonville City Nights” by Ryan Adams & The Cardinals. Ryan Adams finally has the backup squad he’s been searching for, and in its wake is the music that will save rock ’n’ roll. The second of his three albums to be released this year, Adams’ “Jacksonville City Nights” is very much based on the country roots of the star. One song even has a duet with Norah Jones. But the folk star looks not to outshine the current state of music but quietly guide it back to its folk-alternative roots, writing songs of such depth and emotion that only a 4 a.m. train ride home could conjure. Saving rock ’n’ roll one tune at a time, “Jacksonville City Nights” is for all fans of acoustic and classic rock.

Go see:

“Jarhead” directed by Sam Mendes. Following the entry of young lance corporal Anthony Swofford into the United States Marine Corps, Mendes takes us through a journey of the mind and soul of a soldier in Desert Shield. Looking only to make that first kill as a scout sniper, we learn of the trials and terrors that are brought to young people in the service.

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