Charlie Strong seems to be facing a two-week stretch that will determine his fate as head coach at Texas. Following a second straight last second loss courtesy a special teams miscue this past Saturday, the Longhorns are now 1-3 with TCU and Oklahoma on deck. Interim AD Mike Perrin – a Houston native – has said he fully supports Strong, but a 1-5 start to year two in Austin may outweigh Perrin’s support. If Strong is not capable of turning things around, the seminole moment most supporters realized Charlie was not up to running the UT football program will have occurred with the Horns holding onto a three-point lead about two minutes remaining. It was then that UT was called for defensive holding to which Strong added a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty to set-up Oklahoma State at the Longhorn 19. Three plays later the score was tied. Four plays later Michael Dickson punted for negative six yards, and two plays after that OSU had a 30-27 win. Yep. That’s a memorable yak-job Charlie.
So the Longhorn football team can be easily described as a mess right now, but what are we to make of A&M? The Aggies were heavy favorites against Arkansas at AT&T stadium. A&M had looked impressive in its first three games while the Hogs had dropped two straight and were being mocked about their out-of-date offense in the process. But instead of rolling over and dying, the Hogs pushed the Aggies to overtime and could argue for a second straight season they were the better team in this game. So what. For the second straight season they are also the losing team.
Kyle Allen and freshman Christian Kirk may already be the best pass-catch duo in the SEC. The two combined for another two TD’s – including the game-winner from 20-yards out in overtime. Win a pair of upcoming home games with Mississippi State and Alabama, and A&M will be in every Playoff conversation. Tough challenge.
I smelled an upset alert in Lubbock, and last week’s desperate escape by TCU proves my nose is working just fine. Aaron Green’s four yard – tipped – reception in the back of the end zone with just :23-seconds left was the perfect cap to an unbelievably exciting game without a single shred of defensive play. Oh well, we knew that’s the only way Kliff Kingsbury’s Tech team would need to win, but with the losses the Horned Frogs have suffered on defense that’s how TCU is going to have to win games as well. Good luck to both because I don’t see either winning out with so little defense.
In the SEC is was welcome back to the Top 25 for Florida and hello to the coaching “hot seat” for Tennessee’s Butch Davis. Davis has done an outstanding job at Tennessee, including excellent recruiting, but close losses inspiring greatness have turned to heartbreaking unacceptable losses – especially when the first one in 2015 occurred when the Vols blew the largest lead in school history at Neyland stadium, and the second required blowing a 13-point fourth quarter lead for an eleventh-straight loss to bitter rival Florida.
The Gators are making the most of the “limited” talent new head coach Jim McElwain said he was left by current Auburn DC Will Muschamp. So far so good. On deck is third-rated Ole Miss. Beat the Rebels and the Gators will be a favorite to win the East. Along with…
Georgia. The Dawgs host Alabama this Saturday in the first game since the 2009 SEC championship in which the Crimson Tide were Vegas underdogs. If Mark Richt coaches UGA past the Tide, Georgia will be more than just a favorite for the SEC East, a win would make the Dawgs a Playoff favorite. If you’re wondering this is just the type of situation Georgia usually fails with great flair.
One more note: How ‘bout them Wolverines! Michigan is now 3-1 after an impressive 31-0 win over BYU. It’s too soon to expect Jim Harbaugh to have Michigan at Ohio State’s level just yet, but don’t they look like the kind of team that could put OSU out of the hunt? Wonder how the 49ers are managing without him.
Oh’BRIEN’s Top 10.
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- Ole Miss
Brien Straw co-hosts the Bstraw & PaulyG Show weeknights on SportsRadio 610. (FALL HOURS: Tue. 9:00pm – 11:00pm, Wed. & Fri. 8:00pm – 11:00pm.)
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