Thursday, October 7, 2010

College Football Week 6

In the year 1900, William McKinley was President of the United States. That year, the first electric bus became operational in New York City, Hawaii became an official US territory and Carrie Nation began her ever so uncalled for crusade against drinking establishments. The Wright Brothers were busy fooling around with "gliders" and the first zeppelin flight was launched in Germany. In sports, the American Baseball League was created to compete with the already existing National League and in Texas, a month after a hurricane killed 8,000 people in Galveston, the University of Texas football team hosted and defeated the University of Oklahoma by the score of 28-2, in the first meeting between the two programs. They've played some games since.

Actually, I assume that you already know something of the mirth involved with this rivalry, so I see little reason to expand on it too much, other than to state the obvious that it is one of our nation's any sport. My personal experience with it is of relatively little depth, as I grew up somewhat apathetic to UT and was far more familiar with the Oklahoma/Nebraska rivalry, which has become virtually irrelevant over the last ten years and now tilts on the brink of extinction as Nebraska takes off for the tastier TV contract. Nonetheless, I have both friends that received their educations from Texas, as well as those that experienced the Oklahoma version, thus accelerating my familiarity with the event that is the Red River...uhhhh...Rivalry(Shootout? When did that happen?)

Last year, on kind of a whim, I joined my Texas friend, Emily, for one of the Texas watch parties in our area. Catching wind of the idea, my parents opted to join us and together we had a blast, as Texas celebrated in the end and my ordinarily non-Texas fan family (brothers excluded) jumped right in like it was the biggest win of our lives.

Have you ever done this? Gone to a watch party for an out of town school or team at one of your local bars and celebrated that team as if it were your own? Not a bad time, let me tell you. The only problem with the BIG Texas fun we had that day, was that I had previously, on numerous occasions, been invited (by the way, do you now attempt to spell invite e-nvite, because of e-vite? I do.) to Oklahoma watch parties by my Sooner friends, Paul and Earleen. It's not that I felt guilty for not having attended, but my choice to celebrate their greatest rival's victory over them, after never having accepted one of these invitations...well, I didn't really feel like the friend that they deserved me to be. So this year, I gathered up the parents again, and after watching Kansas get crushed by...ahem...Baylor, we headed over to join our friends at the Oklahoma watch party in town. And the party was on.

We call it watch party crashing. And now it's a tradition that we look to continue. It seems that a lot of schools have them in a lot of cities, and I'm already tossing around some ideas for next year. Let me know if you have a recommendation or would just like to start joining us in the newly founded tradition....the more the merrier...that kind of thing. Oh, and if the concept does appeal to you, allow me to suggest trying either Oklahoma or Texas for the Red River Rivalry. Actually, try both!

As for the game itself, well it's fairly clear that Texas just isn't very good this year. But here's the thing that is getting to me, I'm not hearing about much momentum in the Oklahoma corner as of yet. Look, they are undefeated, and it's not like they've cleaned up on a Husker-ish schedule either. They beat Cincinnati, who is down this year, but they also beat Florida State and Air Force, two teams that do not appear to be down at all. And now Texas on a neutral site, and regardless of the Longhorns' difficulties as of yet, Texas is still Texas, not to mention Oklahoma's greatest rival. Pretty impressive stuff to me, at least so far. Others might disagree because of the margins of victory, but did anyone watch the Alabama/Arkansas game...and then Alabama every other week? Alabama is the best team in the country, regardless of the Arkansas score. And Oklahoma is right up there too, regardless of the Cincinnati score. Points don't play here...and my new rankings reflect that:

1 Alabama (5-0)
2 LSU (5-0)
3 Oklahoma (5-0)
4 Auburn (5-0)
5 Florida (4-1)
6 Michigan (5-0)
7 TCU (5-0)
8 Arizona (4-0)
9 Ohio State (5-0)
10 Oregon (5-0)
11 Michigan State (5-0)
12 Oklahoma State (4-0)
13 West Virginia (3-1)
14 Missouri (4-0)
15 Kansas State (4-0)
16 Boise State (4-0)
17 Iowa (4-1)
18 Miami (FL) (3-1)
19 Stanford (4-1)
20 Florida State (4-1)
21 Nebraska (4-0)
22 South Carolina (3-1)
23 Nevada (5-0)
24 Utah (4-0)
25 Northwestern (5-0)

I am only interested in who a team beats, who a team loses to and how many times those losses have occurred. Because of this, I have been admittedly harsh on Nebraska up until now. This all changes Thursday night as Nebraska plays host to undefeated Kansas State. I think they should probably win. We know that their fans think that they should definitely win. It will be fun, and the winner will inevitably start to look quite attractive in my rankings, and I imagine, everyone else's as well.

Have a great week, and again, thank you much for reading!

(Correction: The Kansas State/Nebraska game will be played in Manhattan tonight. Now I'm even less sure Nebraska wins...where is all this confidence coming from? We'll see I guess. Now that I think of it, I did read something from a K State fan about a "no red" policy...this makes much more sense now. I think that I might enjoy this.)


Anonymous said...

Kyle--anytime you want to don some Gorilla gear and watch some awesome DII football--feel free! And there's a game at arrowhead Nov 13 if you're feeling up to it :-)


D Kyle Burkett said...

Christi- I have some friends in town that weekend and we're heading to Lincoln for the KU/NU game. Maybe next year?