Southwest Conference Blog

A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sammy Baugh

Sammy Baugh passed away this week. Read this obituary from the Dallas Morning News.

He was the Redskins' No. 1 draft choice out of TCU, where he led the Horned Frogs to 29 victories and Sugar Bowl and Cotton Bowl titles in three seasons as a starter. He was a consensus All-American in 1936, his senior year. His coach, Dutch Meyer, called him "the greatest athlete I ever saw."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SMU Bolevard

SMU, with the construction of Ford Stadium on campus, bringing football back to the Hilltop, has started to try to create a good game day atmosphere. The main street on campus is transformed into a haven for tailgaters and party goers. Read about it here, as well as other SMU traditions and spirit.

Each fall students, faculty, staff, and alumni get together on The Boulevard for pregame picnics and festivities. Drop by the Office of Alumni Relations tent – we would love to see you!

SWC Game of the Week: SMU at Navy

The year was 1963. The game was in the Cotton Bowl, the legendary stadium of the southwest United States. The quarterback was All-American and future Heisman Trophy winner Roger Staubach. The team was Navy, and they were in Dallas to play SMU. Navy was heavily favored and SMU was on its way to a 4-7 season. But, John Roderick rushed for 146 yards on just 11 carries, scoring two touchdowns and the SMU defense sent Staubach to the bench twice with dislocated left shoulder, leading SMU to a big upset. Trailing 28-26 with 2:52 left in the game, SMU Danny Thomas hit Billy Gannon who was brought down at the Navy 46. Roderick took the next snap 23 yards down to the Navy 23. A pass interference penalty put the ball at the 1 yard line and Gannon plowed over the right tackle for the winning score. The SMU defense held off Stabauch’s last attempt at a comeback and SMU won 32-28. Navy would lose two games that season, both in the Cotton Bowl. (Texas beat them in the Cotton Bowl Game on Jan. 1st.)

SMU will visit Navy this week. SMU leads the all time series 7-5, winning 6 of the first 7 matchups. Navy won the last meeting in 1998 in Annapolis. SMU has played two of the top passing offenses the past two weeks but will face the Navy’s triple option attack this week. SMU brings the run and shoot offense into Annapolis, led by true freshman quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. Bo Levi has an outstanding football name. He has 4 300 yard passing games and 21 touchdown throws on the season. His favorite target is Emmanuel Sanders. He has 823 yards receiving, second in the nation and 8 TD’s this season, becoming the all time TD reception leader in SMU history. Sophomore Aldrick Robinson leads the nation with 909 receiving yards and 10 TD’s in just 8 games. Kickoff return man Jesse Henderson is SMU’s career kickoff return yardage leader with 2,671 yards and is only 251 yards short of the NCAA record. Linebacker Justin Smart leads the Ponies with 63 tackles in 2008. SMU played 12 true freshman in the season opener, more than any other NCAA school.

Nay will play its 1200 football game against SMU this week. Navy has won 3 of their last 4 games under new head coach Ken Niumatalolo. Navy features the triple option offense average 367 yards a game. Shun Wright leads Navy with 768 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns. He rushed for 348 yards against Towson. Jabaree Tunai, playing on the defensive line, leads the team with 5.5 tackles for a loss.

Eric Dickerson came out of Sealy High School a top recruit, setting his sights on OU. His mama talked him into attending SMU (with the help of some boosters I’m sure). His freshman season he rushed 115 times for 477 yards. He then became part of the Pony Express, rushing with backfield teammate Craig James. Neither of the two friends liked the system at first. Dickerson’s sophomore season saw him rush for 928 yards and 5 touchdowns. The story is he called OU coach Barry Switzer wanting to transfer to OU, but the Sooner coach was not in his office to take the call and thus he stayed at SMU. The 1981 season, Dickerson’s junior year, would be one for the record books as the Pony Express system became the most potent rushing attacks in NCAA history. He would carry the ball 255 times and rush for 1,428 yards which ranked 6th nationally and first in the SWC. He would score 19 rushing touchdowns. He rushed for 100 yards in 10 of 11 games. Against Baylor he totaled 158 yards and 3 touchdowns and against the Aggies he had 121 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Pony Express combo of Dickerson and James rushed for 2,575 yards and 27 touchdowns and led SMU to a 10-1 record, a SWC Championship (first since 1966) and a #5 ranking, the first Top Ten finish since 1966. Dickerson’s 4,450 rushing yards on 790 carries for his SMU career broke Earl Campbell’s SWC record for yards and attempts and his 48 touchdowns tied Doak Walker for the SMU all time record. Dickerson would play professionally for both the Los Angeles Rams and Indianapolis Colts.

Ole Miss at Arkansas (Arkansas struggles continue as they look to take on Ole Miss)
Baylor at Nebraska (Baylor looks to pull off major upset in Lincoln)
Rice at Tulane (Rice needs to win on road to stay in bowl hunt)
OK State at Texas (Big showdown week two in Austin)
Texas A&M at Iowa State (A&M actually has a chance to win one, but it is on the road)
Wyoming at TCU (TCU should cake walk through this one)
Texas Tech at Kansas (Difficult stretch starts for Red Raiders as they visit KU)

SWC Game of the Week:
Texas Tech 43 Texas A&M 25 (Aggies can’t hold onto half time lead as Red Raiders get things ironed out and roll over A&M for 7th time in 8 games)

Other Games:
Kentucky 21 Arkansas 20 (Kentucky rallies to beat Petrino for first time)
OK State 34 Baylor 6 (OK State rolls over the Bears, look to showdown in Austin)
Houston 44 SMU 38 (SMU loses in final seconds as Houston moves to 3-0 in the conference)
Rice 45 Southern Mississippi 40 (Rice wins as Clements and Dillard connect on three more touchdowns)
Texas 56 Missouri 31 (First game as #1 since 1977, Texas scores early and rolls over the Tigers)
TCU 32 BYU 7 (TCU stays in BCS hunt with big win over top ten BYU on a Thursday night)

Conference: Overall:
Texas 2 0 7 0
TCU 1 0 7 1
Texas Tech 1 0 7 0
Rice 1 1 4 3
Houston 1 0 4 3
Arkansas: 0 1 3 4
Baylor 0 0 3 4
Texas A&M 0 1 2 5
SMU 0 2 1 7

Read about The Boulevard, the main street on campus (Bishop) where students, student groups, alumni groups, tailgate before each game.

This is not the most glamorous matchup for the teams today, but it sparks the past memories of SWC glory for us here at SWC Game of the Week. I hope everyone has a good week, and comes back wanting more.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fish Spurs

This tradition has changed somewhat due to the breakup of the SWC, moving to the Texas Tech game from the SMU game. Read this exert from the Battalion about a Corp tradition still going strong.

For one week during football season, "fish," or freshmen, in the Corps of Cadets walk around campus with bottle cap spurs attached to their shoes. These are known as "fish spurs," said Chris Johnson, a junior political science and history major.

The spurs are made of bottle caps usually collected at Northgate on the short alley known as "bottle cap alley," Johnson said. These spurs are removed before going in and out of buildings, but otherwise must be worn by the (freshmen) cadets at all times that they are in their uniform, Johnson said.

More here...

The late 1960's was the heyday of the Southwest Athletic Conference. There were intense rivalries between the schools and football teams of this association of mostly Texan schools. The fiercest rivalry, of course, was between A&M and tu, but there were lesser rivalries, such as between A&M and SMU. Since Aggies were fundamentally farmers, and since the mascot of SMU was a horse, it was only natural that for the week preceding that game, CT fish would have to wear spurs as a part of their uniform.

SWC Game of the Week: Texas Tech at Texas A&M

Texas Tech is playing this season as a member of the elite. A top ten ranking will draw the attention of your opponents. So far the results have been mixed, good games mixed in with not so good games, such as last week against Nebraska. On the other side of the ball this week are the Texas Aggies. Under first year coach Mike Sherman they have been terrible. Apparently Fran did not leave much talent on campus when he departed after the Texas game last week. Maybe he knew it would be wise to miss out on this season. The Red Raiders will visit the Aggies this week and the new rivalry between the two will heat up again. (Aggies, having a rivalry with Tech may not be such a bad thing.)

Texas A&M enters this game having lost its first two conference games this season. The Aggie offensive however has out gained it’s opponents the last three games averaging 473 yards a game in Big 12 play. Last week Aggie signal caller Jerrod Johnson set a school record with 487 total yards and 419 yards passing. He completed 29 passes, 21 to freshman receivers. Johnson is playing for the injured Stephen McGee. Johnson is 31-44 in third down throws, that’s 70% for you math wizards. Redshirt freshman Ryan Tannehill, the third string quarterback now playing receiver, had 12 catches for 210 yards, becoming just the 4th Aggie to collect over 200 yards receiving in a game. True freshman Jeff Fuller has set the Aggie freshman receiver record for touchdowns. Tannehill and Fuller will battle the rest of the season for the freshman receiving records. It’s a bit harder to find something good to say about the defense. Freshman Trent Hunter has been a bright spot for the Aggies. In his first start ever against Army, he recorded 17 tackles from his defensive back position and was awarded the Big 12 Defensive Player of the game. Punter Justin Brantly is the nations #3 punter with a 44.0 yard average. Maybe A&M can be known as “Punter U”

Texas Tech is of course known for its high flying offensive. Tech has 3 of the top 20 offensive games this season, with 693 yards against SMU, 639 yards against Eastern Washington, and 626 yards at Kansas State. They are averaging 46.3 points per game, which if it holds up would be a school record. They are led by quarterback Graham Harrell who has 12,993 career passing yards, ranking 5th all time in the NCAA. His favorite target is out of this world receiver Michael Crabtree who has 32 touchdown receptions in just 19 games played. The running game has been the best under coach Mike Leach as well, averaging 143 yards a game. On defensive the unit won the game against Nebraska with an OT interception to seal the victory. Tech ranks 3rd nationally with 11 interceptions this season. Defensive end Brandon Williams helps provide pressure on the quarterback and has moved into the top ten in Tech history with 14.5 sacks, his last coming against Nebraska on Saturday.

Texas A&M leads the all time series 37-31-1, however Tech has won 10 of the last 13 meetings. A&M will try to reverse the trend on Saturday at 11 AM on FSN (National Broadcast). It was Tech knocking off a highly ranked Aggie team in 1995 that started their 10 of 13 streak, maybe the Aggies can turn the tables.

The 1985 Texas Aggies won the SWC and earned a berth in the 1986 Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1968. They were led that year by quarterback Kevin Murray. He was an All-State QB at North Dallas High School and the Dallas Area Offensive player of the year his senior year of high school before starting at A&M 4th on the depth chart at QB. But he would soon be the #1 guy and in just his fifth start he three 3 touchdown passes in the 3rd quarter against Arkansas at Kyle Field (in the span of 6 minutes) and added a 4th in the fourth quarter, setting an A&M freshman record for TD throws in a game. He was the SWC Newcomer of the year after that season, after passing for over 1500 yards and 14 touchdowns at a 53% completion rate. In just the third game of his sophomore season he shattered his angle, requiring surgery and putting him out for the season. He received a medical redshirt for that year and in 1985 he passed for 2,463 yards, an A&M record. They beat SMU, Arkansas, and Texas in three late season home games, all on ESPN. The 42-10 victory over rival Texas sent them to the Cotton Bowl for the first time in 18 years. He was a 2nd team All-American and the Cotton Bowl’s most valuable offensive player, passing for 292 yards and besting Joe Montana’s Cotton Bowl record. The 1986 season saw Murray set most of the A&M records, and become the SWC’s all time touchdown leader. He lead a comeback from a 17-0 hole against Baylor to win 31-30 in what Texas Football called the game of the decade. The Aggies returned to the Cotton Bowl, but lost to Ohio State in what would be Murray’s last game as the Aggie’s signal caller. Murray would declare for the NFL draft early that year, but would go undrafted due to worries over his ankle. He had a brief pro career with the San Francisco 49er’s and the Calgary Stampeders. He soon retired due to the nagging ankle injury and now coaches high school football in the Dallas area. He was the Aggie’s all time winning quarterback before being passed by Corey Pullig, and will always be remember for bringing the Aggies back to the Cotton Bowl.

Arkansas at Kentucky (Bobby Petrino records first big win for the Hogs, now they look to start a streak)
Baylor at OK State (Baylor gets a streaking OK State who won a big game last weekend)
Houston at SMU (Another matchup of former SWC foes, SMU still looking to break through, UH looking to take command of CUSA race)
Southern Mississippi at Rice (Rice back in action at home after bye week)
Missouri at Texas (This game lost a bit of luster after Missouri lost to OK State, but will still be another test for the Horns)
BYU at TCU (Thursday) (Big game for TCU, another chance to beat a ranked opponent, this time at home on national TV)

SWC Game of the Week:
Texas 45 OU 35 (Texas pulls off upset, beats #1, gets a golden cowboy hat, and while they don’t have the tunnel end, they have a view of the scoreboard, which was a nice view this past Saturday.)

Other Games:
Arkansas 25 Auburn 22 (Big Upset in SEC, Michael Smith rushes for 176 yards, including go ahead 63 yard TD run)
Baylor 38 Iowa State 10 (Baylor gets first Big 12 win since 2006 in big fashion, as someone I know might say, “Go BEARS!”)
Houston 45 UAB 20 (Houston has big second half to beat UAB on Thursday night)
Tulsa 37 SMU 31 (SMU gives up two fourth quarter TD’s to loss upset bid, getting closer)
Kansas State 44 Texas A&M 30 (QB Johnson has 487 total yards, a school record, but Ags still find a way to lose, too many things are going wrong with the Farmers)
TCU 13 Colorado State 7 (TCU survives sloppy game, no points scored in the second half)
Texas Tech 37 Nebraska 31 OT (Big 4th down play for Tech, followed by a nice drive by the Corn folks to tie it, then Tech intercepts Nebraska in OT to win)

Conference: Overall:
Texas 2 0 6 0
TCU 1 0 6 1
Texas Tech 0 0 6 0
Rice 1 1 3 3
Arkansas: 0 1 3 3
Baylor 0 0 3 3
Houston 0 0 3 3
Texas A&M 0 0 2 4
SMU 0 2 1 6

Read about “Fish Spurs”, a tradition that has moved from the SMU game to the Tech game.

Well, the SWC has a team ranked #1 this week, the Texas Longhorns. Of course the Texas Longhorns have been ranked #1 in the past history of the SWC lots of time. But they aren’t the only team worth watching, which might be a bit different than past SWC seasons. The Red Raiders are #5 in one poll, their highest ranking ever. TCU is looking to beat a Top Ten team in BYU this Thursday at home and propel their conference championship aspirations. UH and SMU also meet this week in a former SWC matchup. A good week of football as this season continues.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Texas Torchlight Parade

This year's torchlight parade was Wed. night at 8 PM. How does this rank up there with other pregame traditions?
Originally lead by the Texas Cowboys, a male spirit organization, the Parade is walked on foot with various leaders of spirit organizations holding torches leading the way. The Longhorn Band and the student body follow the torchbearers in the parade. The parade starts at Kinsolving Dormitory located at the northwestern end of campus on Dean Keeton and Whitis Ave. The procession moves south down Guadalupe (the Drag) and turns on 21st Street where it then proceeds up the South Mall to the Main Mall where a "Texas" sized Pep Rally is held to show support for the Longhorn football team.

SWC Game of the Week: Texas at OU

It’s the second weekend in October, meaning the State Fair of Texas is under way and it’s time for the annual football match between the University of Texas and Oklahoma University. The Cotton Bowl is the host stadium, half way between the two campuses and this year the old stadium has undergone some upgrades. There are now second deck seats around both end zones, increasing capacity to over 90,000. But don’t worry, Fletcher’s is still selling corn dogs, the big Ferris Wheel is still spinning, and traffic will still be unbearable. SWC Game of the Week has an on the ground correspondent in Dallas, TX for the big weekend, the Red River Shootout, err. Red River Showdown, Texas / OU, #1 vs. #5.

Texas enters the annual match-up with #1 OU ranked #5 in the nation and undefeated. This is the 103rd time the two rivals will meet with Texas leading the all time series 57-40-5 and leads 16-13-1 in the last 30 years. This is the 30th time the two will meet with both teams undefeated, and the 4th time since 2001. The two teams have met in Dallas since 1912 and at the Cotton Bowl since 1929. Texas is ranked in the top 6 in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Horns are led on offense by Colt McCoy, who ran his all time record to 25-6 with the victory over Colorado last weekend. McCoy is 103-130 (79%), 1,280 yards and 16 touchdowns. That’s 17 incomplete passes and 16 touchdowns. He also leads the team in rushing with 317 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Longhorns will need to get some other backs involved these next two weeks against OU and Missouri and Chris Ogbonnaya had a nice day against Colorado rushing 9 times for 71 yards, and catching 6 balls for 116 yards. On defense the Longhorns have shown more aggression this season under coordinator Will Muschamp. Sergio Kindle, playing defensive end this year after making the switch from linebacker, has 21 tackles and 2.5 sacks. The game plan for the Longhorns will certainly be to get some pressure on the quarterback.

The Sooners have been just as impressive, if not more so, on offense. The Sooners are #1 in the nation in red zone offense, scoring 23 touchdowns and 1 field goal in 24 trips inside their opponents 20 yard line. OU ranks #4 in the nation with 49.6 points per game. The 19 touchdown passes this season have been caught by 6 different receivers. QB Sam Bradford has set career highs in passing yards in three straight games before settling for 372 yards against Baylor. On defense LB Keenan Clayton is #3 on the team with 40 tackles and leads the Sooners in tackles for a loss with 6 and fumbles forced with 2. At weakside linebacker Travis Lewis is second on the team with 41 tackles and in the game against Cincinnati he had 4.5 tackles for a loss including 3 sacks and 12 tackles. OU is 70-7 in games played with a #1 ranking, but you can bet the Longhorns will be out to win the Golden Cowboy Hat.

Bobby Lane, coming out of Highland Park High School, classmates with the great Doak Walker, played quarterback for the Texas Longhorns from 1944 to 1947. Texas has retired his number 22 jersey this year to honor this great football player. Lane was on the varsity squad as a freshman as Texas flirted with the SWC title. The next year was interrupted by service in the Merchant Marines, but he came back to lead Texas to the SWC crown. In the Cotton Bowl he completed 11 of 12 passes and factored in all six of the Longhorn touchdowns in route to a 40-27 victory over Missouri. His junior year Lane led the league in passing and Texas finished 8-2. UT Dana X Bible switched offenses for his senior year, from the single wing to the T formation and Lane simply led the ‘Horns to a 10-1 record and a 27-0 victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl. Bobby was a four time All SWC player and he was a college All American. He also played baseball at Texas and threw two no-hitters during his career. He continued his football career in the NFL with Detroit and Pittsburgh. Upon being traded by Detroit, which he had led to 3 NFL Championships, Bobby said that Detroit would not win another championship again in 50 years. Thus the “Curse of Bobby Lane, “ as the Lions have not won a championship since. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame as well as the National Football Hall of Fame. He passed away on December 1, 1986 in Lubbock, TX.

Arkansas at Auburn (Auburn should lay the wood on the hogs, BTW Arkansas is no Vanderbilt)
Iowa State at Baylor (Baylor should get this one at home, push to be bowl eligible)
UAB at Houston – Thursday (Houston playing on a Thursday night, looks to continue push in CUSA)
Tulsa at SMU (SMU has to play another high powered offense, but everyone in Dallas will be focused on Texas vs. OU, so they will be flying under the radar)
Kansas State at Texas A&M (Aggies have a good chance in this one, but they are still a really bad team. McGee may be back under center.)
TCU at Colorado State (TCU, what to say, why did they join the MWC where no one in Texas cares about any of these teams?)
Nebraska at Texas Tech (Tech looks to hang another 50+ on the “Black Shirts.”)

SWC Game of the Week:
Tulsa 63 Rice 28 (Rice blown out by CUSA front runner, must wait another year to beat that … “bag”)

Other Games:
Florida 38 Arkansas 7 (Arkansas suffering through a long first season for Petrino, hope he sticks around…)
OU 49 Baylor 17 (Well, take away those 4 touchdowns at the beginning of the game, and Baylor played right there with them)
UCF 31 SMU 17 (SMU starts good, finishes bad, still waiting for a break through game.)
Texas 38 Colorado 14 (Texas takes care of business, nothing more to say.)
OK State 56 Texas A&M 28 (A&M turns ball over too much, lacks talent, but how about that Goodson kid?)
TCU 41 San Diego State 17 (TCU continues winning after OU hick-up)
Texas Tech 58 Kansas State 28 (Tech rolls, any questions?)

Conference: Overall:
Texas 2 0 5 0
TCU 1 0 5 1
Texas Tech 0 0 5 0
Rice 1 1 3 3
Arkansas: 0 1 2 3
Baylor 0 0 2 3
Houston 0 0 2 3
Texas A&M 0 0 2 3
SMU 0 2 1 5

Before the OU game, Texas has a Torchlight Parade. Read about it on the Blog.

If you eat all fried food for one whole day, you will not feel well that evening. This is important if you are planning a trip to the State Fair of Texas. While Texas vs. OU will dominate the news this week, as well they should, some of our other teams play some good games as well. Tech is positioning themselves for a big showdown with Texas later in the season but must take care of Nebraska, TCU will continue it’s push to the conference crown, and Baylor will try to get a conference win and hopefully become bowl eligible. Enjoy the games, and the showdown in Big D.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Rice has a different sort of band, read about the MOB from the Rice traditions website or go to the source, the official MOB website. Post your favorite MOB memory.

The Marching Owl Band (The MOB) differs from traditional marching bands. The concept of the MOB's halftime shows during football season has been to integrate field action and formations with a script to present an entertaining and often thought-provoking experience. Current events, social change, and general fantasies provide the basis for show ideas. The MOB's director combines special musical arrangements with unusual concepts in performance to produce unique halftime entertainment.

Membership in the MOB is open to all students, whether they are musically gifted or not. Those who do not play an instrument help in the production of halftime shows as MOB Show Assistants. Benefits of being in the MOB include tickets to road games, attendance scholarships, and travel.

SWC Game of the Week: Rice at Tulsa

Rice, the new football power in the Southwest, is again featured on SWC Game of the Week. This week they will take on Tulsa in Oklahoma. If you remember your Rice football history, Tulsa’s coach, Todd Graham coached at Rice for one season, and took them to a bowl game. He then left for Tulsa, and has since been referred to as a certain type of bag you might not want to be associated with by the MOB (Marching Owl Band.) This of course upset the Tulsa folks to no end, they just don’t talk like that in Tulsa, or smoke pot, wait that’s Muskogee. Well, back to the games, Tulsa beat Rice last year, so the Owls didn’t quite get their revenge. They have since replaced the turf in Rice Stadium, completely separating themselves from the Todd Graham era and the new coach, David Bailiff has his Owls playing good football and on the prowl for another bowl. So, that brings us to this week and the re-match for revenge.

Rice, 3-2, played perhaps the perfect game last week against North Texas and look to extend their near flawless execution this week in Tulsa. QB Chase Clement connected with WR Jared Dillard for 3 touchdowns, raising their career mark for scoring hook-ups to 41 and setting the national record for scoring duos. Dillard finished the night with 4 touchdown receptions, a school and CUSA record, and tied Troy Edwards with 50 career touchdown receptions, a NCAA record. Dillard is one to watch and should play on the next level. He’s even writing a diary on the NY Times The Quad Blog. Rice’s 77 points were the most since they scored 57 against Galveston Air Force Base in 1944 in a 57-0 victory but fell short of the school record, set in 1916 in a 146-3 victory over SMU. (Galveston Air Force Base?) Rice scored touchdowns on its first six possessions. "That's the best I've seen us since I've been here. It was good to get it going, and it's something we need to keep building on going into Tulsa. That's something we need to carry over knowing that we've got something special going, “ said QB Chase Clements. On defense Rice’s senior LB Brian Raines practiced with the team and will see action against Tulsa. The defense was a bit sloppy in the opening quarter of play, missing tackles and that is a concern going into the Tulsa game. Rice leads the all time series with Tulsa 7-5-1, although Tulsa won the game last year at Rice Stadium 48-43.

Stopping Tulsa’s (4-0) offense will be a challenge. Tulsa has scored 50+ points in their last three games, the first time they have accomplished this since the 1920 season. Senior QB David Johnson leads the nation in two categories, passing efficiency and points responsible for per game (30.0). With 376.2 yards passing a game, Johnson ranks third in the country and has completed a Colt McCoy like 74% of his passes. Who is he throwing the ball to, well last week both Slick Shelly (all name team) and Damaris Johnson both had over 100 yards receiving. Tarrion Adams rushed for 120 yards on 13 carries last week to cover the ground game. Tulsa’s defense is a young unit, but they will be helped by the return of junior safety Charles Davis from injury. He recorded 5 tackles, two interceptions and a blocked punt last week against New Mexico. This week is Tulsa’s homecoming, “Homecoming 2008 … Take me Back to Tulsa” and Rice would like nothing more than to spoil it. With Rice, Tulsa, and Houston’s surprise win last week, this game could go a long way to deciding the CUSA Western Division.

Bill Wallace, a Rice Owl from 1932, 1934-35 was another of the era’s great two way players. The Eagle Lake High School Grad was an exceptional ball carrier, passer, punter and safety on the defensive side of the ball. He also was a sprinter and hurdler on the track team. Since this first sentence can not be replicated in any form, and I’m not even sure I understand the rest of it either, this week we will just quote from the College Football Hall of Fame website:

“In the 1934 Texas game without once demonstrating his famous high-knee broken-field tornado technique, he showed how well he deserved the highest honors. Three times he placed punts dead at the goal line, one from 70 yards out. Twice he punted out of bounds inside the ten-yard line. Time after time he circled to the left drawing the Texas secondary out of position. Then, with only three minutes to go and Texas in the lead he circled left again, but instead of advancing, he faded and threw a long left-handed pass far across the field. End Ray Smith, with no opposition in sight, grabbed the pass and crossed the goal line, putting Rice ahead. After an interception, Rice scored again as the game ended, but Wallace wasn't through yet. A fan tried to make off with the ball from the point-after kick. Wallace flew after him, blocked by 20 or 30 fans. Bill sent them sprawling and returned to the field with the victory pigskin. Wallace was also Rice's initial first team All-America selection.”

Florida at Arkansas (Florida should roll in a rebound game for them)
OU at Baylor (SWC Game of the Week Upset Special!)
SMU at UCF (SMU tries to play a complete game for the first time this year)
Texas at Colorado (Does the Hippie Highway still run through Boulder on the way to Austin?)
Texas A&M at OK State (Aggies don’t’ know who will play QB, and that’s just the beginning of the problems)
San Diego State at TCU (TCU tries to get back on track in CUSA play after OU debacle)
Texas Tech at Kansas State (Tech hopes to have all things ironed out after off week, plus they play a team we’ve heard of this week)

SWC Game of the Week:
OU 35 TCU 10 (TCU not ready for prime time)

Other Games:
Houston 41 East Carolina 24 (Huge win for the Coogs on the road to start CUSA action)
Rice 77 North Texas 20 (Rice rolls, highest point total in CUSA history)
Tulane 34 SMU 27 (SMU can’t overcome 1st half mistakes)
Texas A&M 21 Army 17 (If Army doesn’t fumble at the end of the 1st half, they win this one.)
Texas 52 Arkansas 10 (Texas rolls over historic rival)

Conference: Overall:
Texas 2 0 4 0
TCU 1 0 4 1
Texas Tech 0 0 4 0
Rice 1 1 3 2
Arkansas: 0 1 2 2
Baylor 0 0 2 2
Houston 0 0 2 3
Texas A&M 0 0 2 2
SMU 0 2 1 4

Read about the MOB, Rice’s version of halftime entertainment.

This week is an upset special week. You’ve seen the Baylor vs. OU SWC Game of the Week Upset Special Alert above, but other teams could be vulnerable as well. Rice is very capable of beating Tulsa on the road and grabbing control of the CUSA Western Division. Texas has a tough game on the road vs. Colorado and they have to contend with that OU match-up looming large next week. Texas Tech has not been tested this season so far, and will have to travel for it’s first Big 12 game at Kansas State. And finally, the Aggies, if they win another, it will be an upset. Enjoy the games this week and watch for the national upset trend to strike the SWC.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

TCU Alum Dan Jenkin's gives his take on the All-TCU team.

Anyhow, from the TCU Drug, where the soda fountain and tables and booths were known to hold hostages for six and seven hours at a time, it's only a short walk to the stadium on Saturdays.

That's where I can marvel at Sam Baugh '37 and Davey O'Brien '38 throwing touchdown passes -- and winning national championships for the Purple -- and where I can gaze at Jim Swink '55 continually exploding into daylight, and then watch Bob Lilly '61 turn rival ball-carriers into meat sauce.

SWC Game of the Week: TCU at OU

TCU visits Oklahoma for this week’s SWC Game of the Week. They last met in 2005, which TCU won 17-10, the only home loss for the Sooners in their last 34 home games. That’s 6 seasons. Both teams are ranked this week, with the Sooners hanging onto the #2 ranking and TCU breaking into the top 25 at #24. Neither team has been pushed so far this year, so this could be a classic. The game will be broadcasted on FSN at 6 PM.

TCU is 4-0 to start this season, the first time they’ve started 4-0 since 2003. TCU also has a two game win streak in Norman, winning in 1996 and 2005. This will be the highest ranked opponent TCU has faced since falling to #1 Miami in 1992. Gary Patterson is 4-4 vs. ranked teams in his tenure at TCU. Oklahoma leads the all time series 6-4. Senior running back Aaron Brown returned to action against SMU and had 157 all purpose yards (60 receiving, 51 yards rushing, and 46 on kickoff returns.) He will help balance the backfield with QB Andy Dalton who is averaging 5 yards a carry in 6 of the last 8 games. TCU is rushing for 248.8 yards a game, which is 12th nationally, despite not having a single rusher in the top 100 rushing in the nation. Nine out of ten TCU rushers this year are averaging 4 yards a carry. TCU is taking care of the ball as well, with only 1 turnover this season in the first four games. TCU leads the nation in rushing defense (32.5 yards a game) and total defense (183.0 yards a game.) Seven Frogs have combined for 14 sacks this season and TCU is only giving up 9.8 first downs a game. Linebacker Jason Phillips, an All-American candidate, is back in action after having his consecutive game streak end at 39 games. Linebacker Robert Hensen leads the team with 23 tackles. TCU had its 5 game winning streak against the Big 12 snapped last year losing to Texas but they are primed to start a new streak this week.

OU has started the season 3-0 and has scored more than 50 points in each game. QB Sam Bradford is completing nearly 80% of his passes to start 2008, after a redshirt freshman year in 2007 that saw him lead the nation in pass efficiency. In his 16 game career he has thrown 48 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions. Wide out Juaquin Iglesias has recorded a reception in 35 consecutive games, the nation’s fifth longest streak. Running back Chris Brown became the 66th Sooner to rush for 1,000 yards in his career during the OU opener this year. The offensive line is a big part of OU’s success on offensive, and big they are, averaging 6’-1” tall and 302 lbs. On defensive the Sooners force turnovers, 108 games with one in Coach Bob Stoops 122 games. This may be a key in the game, as mentioned above, TCU has only 1 turnover this season. DE Auston English is 10th in the nation with 1.25 sacks a game, leading a defense that averages 2.4 sacks a game. OU is tough after bye weeks, with a 10-1 record after bye weeks.

Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, the TCU do everything quarterback led the Frogs to a national championship in 1935 with a Sugar Bowl victory over LSU. Baugh was perhaps the first quarterback to be a prolific passer, throwing the ball 587 times in his three varsity seasons for 39 touchdowns and over 2 miles in yardage. He threw as many as 40 passes a game in an era where 10 passes was considered extravagant. The Temple, TX native (raised in Sweetwater) was named to the All-American team in 1935 and 1936 season, his junior and senior seasons. His senior year he led the Frogs to the inaugural Cotton Bowl victory over Marquette 16-6 and a number 5 national ranking. He was also an outstanding punter. In the Sugar Bowl victory over LSU 3-2, Baugh punted 14 times for a 48 yard average, pinning the Tigers inside their 5 yard line several times. As a pro he led the league in punting 4 times. He played professionally with the Washington Redskins and led the league in passing 6 times and still holds several passing records. Washington won 5 division championships and two league championships while Baugh was a player. Baugh is one of three quarterbacks who have led their college and professional teams to national championships. In 1943 he led the NFL in interceptions, showing his talents on the defensive side of the ball as well. Slingin’ Sammy Baugh was truly one of the pioneers of football and help usher in the glory days of the Southwest Conference.

Houston at East Carolina (ECU coming off disappointing loss taking them out of BCS contention, but are still shooting for C-USA dominance)
North Texas at Rice (Rice needs this one to stay on track for a bowl game)
SMU at Tulane – Thursday (SMU run and shoot has not produced points the last two weeks, look to get back on track on Thursday in the Big Easy)
Army at Texas A&M (“Army,” “What!” This may be the last win for the Aggies this year. Of course we could say something about the real Army …)
Arkansas at Texas (Make-up will be final tune up for the Horns before conference play starts)

SWC Game of the Week:
TCU 48 SMU 7 (TCU hits the Ponies over the head with the Iron Skillet, then take it back to Fort Worth with them.)

Other Games:
Alabama 49 Arkansas 14 (Hogs struggling under new coach Petrino, have make up with the Horns up next)
Connecticut 38 Baylor 21 (Freshman Griffen looks good for the Bears, UConn no slouch at home either)
Colorado State 28 Houston 25 (Another second half comeback falls short, the Coogs have lost 3 in a row now)
Texas 52 Rice 10 (Texas beats Rice, Man lands on moon)
Miami 41 Texas A&M 23 (The Hurricanes route the Aggies at home, Ags look to be in serious trouble this year)
Texas Tech 56 Mass. 14 (Tech wraps up easy non-conference schedule)

Conference: Overall:
TCU 1 0 4 0
Texas Tech 0 0 4 0
Texas 1 0 3 0
Arkansas: 0 0 2 1
Rice 1 1 2 2
Baylor 0 0 2 2
Texas A&M 0 0 1 2
Houston 0 0 1 3
SMU 0 2 1 3

Read TCU Alum’s Dan Jenkin’s All-TCU Football team.

Non-conference play is winding down and we will soon be in conference play, meaning we should hopefully have some more evenly matched games. SWC Game of the Week wishes everyone a good football weekend, and hope you can catch the TCU vs. OU game on the tube.

Monday, September 15, 2008


From the SMU Band's website, the story of Peruna:

On November 4, 1932, Peruna I made his first appearance at an SMU football game against Texas A&M University. The feisty black Shetland pony, named after a potent "medicine" of the prohibition era, was an immediate success as the ultimate embodiment of the Mustang spirit on the campus. When he was struck and killed by a car on Mockingbird Lane during a 1934 Halloween celebration, the entire University community went into mourning.

Since that time, SMU has been represented by eight Perunas, all of them, except the first being donated and cared for by the generous Culwell family. In 1992, Cully Culwell sold Peruna VII to an anonymous SMU alumnus for continued care in perpetuity.

During the early days of the Mustang Band, Peruna accompanied the organization everywhere, appearing on theater playbills as "the midget wonder horse!"

SWC Game of the Week: TCU at SMU

For the first time in our short history, we had a SWC Game of the Week “Hurricaned” out. Texas will face Arkansas next week in Austin, but this week we will turn our focus to the battle of the Metroplex, TCU at SMU. They will battle of the Iron Skillet Saturday at 7PM and if you have CBS Sports Channel you can watch it on TV.

This week we visit an old rivalry, SMU vs. TCU. In the 88 meetings between the two, TCU has won 41 compared to SMU’s victory total of 39. They have tied 7 times. SMU won the last meeting in Dallas 21-10 in 2005. SMU won 15 in a row from 1972 to 1986. TCU beat the Ponies last year 21-7. SMU is one of the youngest teams in the nation, playing 12 true freshmen in their opening loss to Rice. One of those freshmen is quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell. He has looked good in stretches and bad in others, seems to be a typical freshman quarterback, but has led SMU to 15th in the nation in passing offense at 308 yards a game. He will look to get the ball in the hands of Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders is on a streak of 4 consecutive games with at least 100 yards receiving and at 128.0 yards per game he is 8th in the nation in receiving yards per game. He has caught a ball in 26 of his 27 college games. Thomas Morstead, the SMU punter, leads CUSA and is third in the nation with 48 yards per game. On defense, linebacker Pete Fleps leads SMU with 24 tackles this week as well as 3 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles. On the academic front, 97% of the scholarship athletes that entered SMU between 1991 and 2001 have earned their degrees.

Gary Patterson has been quite successful at TCU after taking over for … Fran (remember him?) The Horned Frogs look to be BCS busters again this year and are off to a 3-0 start, the third 3-0 start in the last six years. The previous two yielded 11 win seasons. TCU has outscored it’s opponents 124-24 and has not trailed yet this year. QB Andy Dalton has led the Frogs in rushing in 4 of the last 7 contests and has 4 rushing touchdowns this year to tie Joseph Turner for the team lead. TCU has a balanced attack, rushing for 241.3 yards and passing for 156.7 yards. TCU has won 18 straight games when rushing for more yards than passing. TCU’s 241 yards rushing per game ranks 13th nationally. On defense the Frogs are second in the nation, only yielding 174 yards a game. Defensive ends Matt Panfil and Jerry Hughes have both received MWC defensive player of the week honors. Panfil has 7 tackles for a loss this year including 3.5 sacks while Hughes has 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks. The pair also have all 4 of TCU’s tackles for a loss.

During the post-World War II college football boom, the SMU and TCU student bodies created a traveling trophy called the Iron Skillet that was presented to the winner of the annual football game between the archrivals. The tradition eventually died, and the skillet was lost. In 1993, however, the tradition was revived as the president of the SMU student body painted the face of the TCU student body president red and blue following the Mustangs’ 21-15 victory in Fort Worth. The engraved skillet is presented to the winning team after each game.

This week we will focus on one of the greatest football players to ever play the game, Doak Walker. Doak was an All American 1947, 1948, and 1949 at SMU. He carried the ball on offense, punted, returned kicks, and kicked extra points. He did it all. He played his freshman year in 1945, missed the 1946 season due to military service, and then won the Heisman Trophy in 1948, the first junior to do so. He was the first college football player to be on the cover of Life Magazine. He graduated from Highland Park High School in 1944 and chose SMU over following his buddy and classmate Bobby Layne to Texas. "Having Doak on our team was like having loaded dice or marked cards. We just felt like we had to do our part and Doak would do the rest. The most amazing thing is that he did it all so effortlessly. He made it look so simple." - Francis Pulattie. Doak and the success of the SMU teams of the post war years drew enormous crowds, so big that SMU moved their home games from campus to the Cotton Bowl. Then the Cotton Bowl couldn’t contain the crowds so they built a second deck, making capacity of 75,000. The Cotton Bowl honored Doak with a plaque that says, “The House that Doak Built.” In 1950 Doak began his NFL career with the Detroit Lions by leading the league in scoring with 128 points. He was a four time All-Pro with the Lions, where he was reunited with Bobby Layne, his high school classmate, and led them to NFL Championships in 1952 and 1953. He retired after only 6 years in the league, still in his prime. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1959 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. The award for the best running back in college football each year is named for him, The Doak Walker Award.

Alabama at Arkansas (‘Bama tough opponent for Arkansas, Hogs with extra week off)
Baylor at Connecticut (Baylor 1-0 on Friday’s this year, takes on UConn on this Friday)
Houston at Colorado State (Houston takes on Mountain West)
Rice at Texas (Rice makes annual contribution to the Texas football program)
Miami at Texas A&M (Aggies out for revenge from Miami disaster in 2007)
Mass. at Texas Tech (Texas Tech continues tough non conference slate)

SWC Game of the Week:
Texas vs. Arkansas Postponed Due to Hurricane Ike

Other Games:
Baylor 45 Washington State 17 (Baylor blows out Washington State, wins second in a row, game played Friday to avoid Ike)
Air Force 31 Houston 28 (Houston’s comeback comes up short in a game played at SMU’s Ford Field, now the City of Houston begins their comeback)
Vanderbilt 38 Rice 21 (Rice shut out in the 2nd half)
Texas Tech 43 SMU 7 (Tech gets the water off the field, then runs over the Ponies)
TCU 31 Stanford 14 (TCU takes down Stanford with 17 second half points)

Conference: Overall:
TCU 0 0 3 0
Texas Tech 0 0 3 0
Arkansas: 0 0 2 0
Texas 0 0 2 0
Rice 1 0 2 1
Baylor 0 0 2 1
Texas A&M 0 0 1 1
Houston 0 0 1 2
SMU 0 1 1 2

Read about SMU’s mascot, Peruna.

We here at SWC Game of the Week wish all those in the path of Ike well, and we wish Houston and Galveston a speedy recovery. The Gulf Coast has produced many great SWC players, too many to list, and we look forward to the next group to be discovered.