Only a blowout will calm irate fans
Mack Brown faces uphill battle of making Longhorn Nation feel good about next season.
Before we get to this week’s nuggets, I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, especially my fellow sports fans who will be traveling to see their favorite football teams in bowl games. Now, on to business.
The Alamo Bowl is a few days away and the biggest question facing Mack Brown and his coaching staff has to be what will it take to make fans feel good about the prospects for 2013?
It will take a colossal blowout of Oregon State to calm the worries of this fan base. Problem is, this team isn’t built to blow out anybody. Of Texas’ eight wins, only four came by double digits. Of those four, were non-conference games. That means that Texas has beaten just one team (Iowa State) by double digits in its last nine games.
Speaking of fast pace ... Texas has enough speed offense to scare defenses, but rare was the game that the Longhorns could put together those patented 21-0 runs that we see regularly from speedladen teams like the Oregon Ducks.
Some of that has to do with a defense that didn’t dominate games like we thought it would. And some of it has to do with former co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin trying to get everybody touches.
I asked Harsin at midseason
if there was such a thing as having too many playmakers, and he answered, without hesitation: “You can never have enough playmakers.”
New playcaller Major Applewhite may have to hurt some feelings next season to get this offense back to where it should be. If that means streamlining the rotation to get more cohesiveness, then he should do it.
Johnny Manziel has been popping up a lot on our television sets lately. First we saw him courtside at the Houston Rockets-Miami Heat game, which included tweeted pics of him with LeBron James.
We saw him with actress Megan Fox after a Jay Leno appearance. And he’s also been spotted at Cowboys Stadium lately.
NBA color analyst Steve Kerr came under fire last week when he questioned how Manziel could score courtside seats at an NBA game. Kerr is one of the most entertaining analysts for NBA games (right there with Jeff Van Gundy and Charles Barkley), but he created a little firestorm with his comments.
Kerr was unaware that Manziel’s family has the financial means to purchase him tickets to sporting events, but he should have asked someone before he made what came across as an accusatory remark.
History tells us if Tony Romo puts up another 400 yards in the regular-season finale against the Washington Redskins, then the Cowboys will be home for the holidays.
Dallas is 0-4 when Romo passes for 400plus, and that tells us that DeMarco Murray must emerge from his recent struggles to balance out this offense. Murray fumbled in the red zone against Pittsburgh last week, then fumbled at his own 7-yard line against the Saints on Sunday.
“It’s devastating to play the way I played,” said Murray, who rushed 11 times for 40 yards.
The Skins have the fifth worst defense in football and things should open up for Murray. Romo will continue to do the heavy lifting, but the Cowboys must give this offense more if it is to move forward.
If you’ve been following my Golden’s Nug- gets blog, then you know that I’ve compiled weekly NFL power rankings since the beginning of the season. You also know that I have never been completely comfortable with the Houston Texans, who have occupied the top spot on different occasions.
After Minnesota punked Houston 23-6 on Sunday, those feelings were confirmed. The Texans’ defense is too easily beaten over the middle and the offense is lacking in a playmaking receiver opposite Andre Johnson.
Houston is 12-3, but those losses have all come by double digits. Right now, I would pick Denver or New England to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl before I would pick the Texans.