Favored? Are you kidding?
Outclassed: Collin Klein and Kansas State figure to expose Texas' quarterbackwoes again
Could someone please hook me up with a reputable bookie? Somehow, the University of Texas is listed as an eight-point favorite Saturday over an 8-2 Kansas State team that beat Texas A&M last week and came within a touchdown of No. 2 Oklahoma State in Stillwater the week before.
For the Hobblin' Horns to be favored over the Wildcats, you have to wonder if bookmakers follow injuries like meteorologists follow meteors. Maybe there's a Jeremy Hills clause: If No. 5 starts in the backfield for Texas, all bets are off.
Texas has not beaten the Wildcats since 2003, when platooning quarterbacks Chance Mock and Vince Young won 24-20 in Austin. Vince Young and a Styrofoam cooler are a better quarterback tandem than David Ash and Case McCoy. Meanwhile K-State quarterback Collin Klein, whose collection of 24 rushing touchdowns leads the nation, sees his NFL draft stock go up whenever Tim Tebow wins a game.
Kansas State just seems to have the Longhorns' sleep number, lulling Texas to defeat 39-14 last year and 41-21 in 2007, when Colt McCoy had a bad air day, tossing four interceptions.
And who can forget that great headline in 1999 after the Wildcats stomped the Horns in Austin 35-17? “MAJOR MALFUNCTION” it read, after Major Applewhite threw three interceptions and lost three fumbles. Would you like that six-pack in a bag?
Is there a scarier sight for Longhorn fans than Coach Bill "The Rebuilder" Snyder on the other side of the field? Yes there is: The sight of a Longhorns offensive formation that doesn't include the team's four best players.
Against Missouri last week, Texas lost running back and BTE (best teammate ever) Fozzy Whittaker for the season. Meanwhile, the three super freshmen — Malcolm Brown, Joe Bergeron and Jaxon Shipley— didn’t play a down.
Will any of the frosh princes take the field against Kansas State? Who knows?
Mack Brown keeps injury info so down low that most of the stories advancing the Missouri game debated whether Bergeron should start over Brown after busting Texas Tech for 195 yards. The depth chart shows either Bergeron or Brown starting Saturday, just as it did last week. Turning on the game to see Brown and Bergeron not playing was like tuning in to Modern Family and finding that the gay couple not in any scenes (explained by a trip to St. Louis to visit Cam's sick sister).
It all comes down to the ole IQ: Injuries and quarterback play. They're the two greatest factors in determining which football team will win and the Horns have too much of one and not much of the other.
This year has been even more frustrating than 2010 for Texas fans because the team has been fighting hard in every game, but Ash and McCoy have been mostly ineffective against teams not coached by Rick Neuheisel. Add injuries to that insult and you’ve got a pacifist offense (no weapons) that was painful to watch against Missouri, a team stocked with former Texas high school players who didn't get scholarship offers from almighty UT.
The Great Mystery
How can a college always in the national top five of recruiting not have a decent quarterback? A better question: Just how hard is Connor Wood kicking himself for transferring to Colorado?
Texas put all its eggs in the Garrett Gilbert basket and is still scraping omelets off the football field.
What's scary is that freshman Ash — who has shown a lot of toughness, but little passing finesse — is most likely the starting QB next year. The Horns top recruit at quarterback, Connor Brewer of Scottsdale, Ariz., has been slipping on the Rivals 250 list (he's currently No. 174) like Rick Perry in the polls.
How can a college always in the national top five of recruiting not have a decent quarterback?
Even Perry can name three things the Horns have to do to win and cover the spread against the team from the only town in Kansas where Woody Allen would even consider shooting a movie.
1). They've gotta get Bergeron or Brown on the field, even if it means hiring the former tour doctor for Stone Temple Pilots.
2). The O-line has to play like it did against Texas Tech, not Missouri.
3). Ash has got to play well enough to keep the KSU offense, not to mention Case McCoy, off the field.
Also, a few turnovers would nice. The defense has been playing great, especially Alex Okafor, Jackson Jeffcoat and Emmanuel Acho, but dropped interceptions are momentum robbers.
Longhorn fans, especially those who reside in awesome Austin, are a spoiled and entitled lot. After two great years from Vince Young, followed immediately by Colt McCoy's heroic term, the burnt orange brigade has come to expect 10-win seasons.
Going 5-7 at UT is like a bad breakfast taco: Wow, really? Last year fans were punished for their arrogance with embarrassing home losses to Iowa State, Baylor and UCLA.
We get it, God. But haven't we suffered enough?
This year, Texas could very well lose its last three games, ending up at 6-6. As a diehard fair-weather fan, I hope I'm wrong.
But as a father who has to start paying for college next year, I'm hoping the bookies keep picking the Horns.