I'm going to jump straight into our weekly crawl through the thorn bushes into a kiddie pool of rubbing alcohol. I feel so alive!
This week found our football teams outscored 147-42 – and it wasn’t even that close. If you remove the fourth quarter of each game, the score differential is 127-0. That puts the collective football record at 2-11 on the season. That’s um, not good. In fact, that’s worst we’ve ever seen. I tried going back through a decade of games and there’s actually no worse week on record.
Thank God for baseball. When was the last time you heard someone say that in Houston in October? Save your internet minutes: 2005.
A lot can change in a decade. Don’t believe me? Fine. I’ll start with the Texas Longhorns.
Texas Longhorns (1-4)
A win wasn’t expected. TCU is a good football team. TCU has been a good football team. And while a blowout was never out of the realm of possibility, the way it all unfolded this past Saturday was unsettling all the same.
I could go bright side with this and say something like “Hey, good teams suffer bad losses!” And then cough as I point out a few box scores from 2014.
But the truth is, this isn’t a good football team. It’s probably not this bad, either. This is another year of rebuilding. There’s no way around it. And it may be 2017 before this team is a serious contender for anything of note. I have a lot of thoughts and theories on everything related to the current state of the Texas Longhorns, but I'm not going to exhaust your time away from work with the ramblings of a guy who never played a down of football after age 12.
Insult to injury, there was more drama and distraction in the locker room during halftime – which I can’t imagine is a big hit with a no-nonsense coach like Strong. It did, however, provide the opportunity for Charlie to drop a gem of a quote in his presser, referring to social media as “the downfall of society.” Dramatic, yes – but he’s not wrong.
Including the upcoming game against the Sooners, Texas will have faced an undefeated opponent every week through the first half of the season. I don't know what that matters, but it's a stat and it was interesting to me.
So off we go to the Red River Shootout (because, while I love alliteration, I sound like I've got a mouth full of a marbles when I try to string together Red River Rivalry), which tends to be unpredictable more often than not, as is the case with most rivalry games. I’d probably run the ball between the tackles more, if it were up to me. Shorten the game, open up the passing game. But what do I know? Nothing. You know nothing, Jon Snow.
North Texas Mean Green (0-4)
We had a great time in Mississippi, this past weekend. I doubt the U of North Texas football team would say the same – unless it’s opposite day. In which case, things are really looking up for our football program!
In 2013, UNT rolled into Hattiesburg and beat first-year head coach Todd Monken’s Southern Miss squad 55-17. This past weekend, UNT traveled back into southern Mississippi with a fifth-year head coach and left on the wrong end of a 49-14 beat-down. One of these programs is moving the right direction. (Hint: it’s not mine.)
But no worries, we’ve got Portland State coming into Denton this weekend. What’s that? Oh yeah, we’ve opened as a 1-point ‘dog to an FCS team. At home. During homecoming.
Houston Texans (1-3)
Sean Pendergast said it well in this post-game rant and I’m not inclined to attempt to say it better. Chris Myers, how are you?
Houston Astros (86-76)
Now that we’ve got all the misery out of the way, let’s take a peek in to Club Astros, which is currently at capacity, with a line wrapped around the outside of the building. In other words, everyone’s having a great time why aren't you here text me when you're outside I know the bouncer what do you want to drink. In summary:
The Astros had a winning week.
Jose Altuve put up 200 hits for the second consecutive season.
Carlos Correa is probably a lock for the Rookie of the Year; he’s at least the best in Astros’ history.
Dallas Keuchel’s going to get a serious look for the AL Cy Young Award.
The Houston Astros – who lost 416 games from 2011-2014 – are headed to the playoffs. Yes, Jim, playoffs.
Lastly, Hank Conger won the post-season celebration/is my spirit animal.
We’re moving through the stages of sports grief. The first week was denial. "Our teams can’t be this bad, can they?" After that, we simply felt anger – at refs, at kickers, at punters, at coaches, at life. This week, we enter the bargaining stage of grief. “If we can just beat Oklahoma/lose enough games to get a good QB/make a bowl game, we’ll have something to look forward to in 2016.”
But you know what else? Who even cares. The Astros are in the playoffs again. Since baseball is probably the best sport of all time, this can only be viewed as a positive. Also, the Rangers won the AL West. This means the two teams that were picked to finish last in the division are now the only teams representing said division in the post season. That’s what happens when you count out the state of Texas, Rest of Earth. REMEMBER THIS FEELING, EARTH.
This week’s Croucher Sports Misery Index: 62
Football is going to be a sore spot for the Croucher household in 2015. We’ve accepted it and we’re taking our lumps from here on out. Baseball, however, is back. And this is just a glimpse of what fun is in store for our Astros team, which has a solid, home-grown core of young, promising players. Bonus: they're winning with the 25th-ranked payroll, so there's theoretically money to spend in the off-season, too.
In non-sports news, the weather is taking a turn for the glorious and we’re surrounded by great people. So we’re not that miserable this week, all things considered. Life is just fine, my dear friends.
Have a great week.