Ketch's 10 Thoughts From the Weekend (With doubt in the air, UT created some belief on Saturday...)

Discussion in 'Ketch's 10 Thoughts From the Weekend Archive' started by Ketchum, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    [​IMG]

    In the wake of the biggest win for the Texas program since the 2015 season and (with all due respect to USC) the most important win in the early tenure of Tom Herman, I have to come correct with a bit of a confession ...

    I've had some real doubts in the last nine months about whether Herman can ultimately get it done at Texas. In fact, if you were to ask me privately, I'd probably tell you that the smart money would be on it not happening with Herman.

    Weirdly, I've always rated Herman really highly in many of the puppet master skills that a CEO of a college football program has to be able to possess, but the honest-to-goodness football chops have been lacking in a lot of areas, ranging from staff hires to his game management to his lack of eagerness to take control of the side of the ball he was hired to be in control of.

    Hell, we're only 15 days removed from Texas playing like a lightweight against Tulsa at home. Yes, that was a mere 15 days ago.

    Considering I'm convinced after the last eight seasons that growth for this website in future is connected to the Texas football program's ability to get back among the nation's elite, don't think for a second that having these thoughts about Herman was anything but sobering. Go ahead and put me on the record right now in saying that an 11-win season would be much preferred with regards to the health of Orangebloods than another damn coaching search.

    I'm using this moment in time to make this confessional because I thought there were some really important developments in the win over TCU that have me rethinking some of my doubts. On a day when Herman was far from perfect in the way of game management, quite a few previous red flags seemed to evaporate into thin air.

    Perhaps the biggest was simply the mental strength the Texas players displayed for the second straight weekend in the second half of a close game.

    With 4:05 remaining in the third quarter, TCU held a six-point lead and appeared to be dancing with the possibility of putting the Longhorns in a two-score hole. In predicting a slow-starting, low-scoring game during the week, what was happening was pretty much exactly what I thought might transpire. TCU was a single big play on offense away from putting Texas in a position of having to make up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a situation that appeared to be ripe for trouble.

    Yet, it wasn't TCU that made the big play in this critical moment. Instead, it was Texas. And then Texas made another. And another. And another.

    In what seemed like a blink of an eye, Texas did to TCU what I was convinced TCU would do to Texas, and did so in such emphatic fashion that Gary Patterson tapped the field turf with more than two minutes remaining like one of Ronda Rousey's opponents before Holly Holm put an end to all of that.

    That stuff doesn't happen by accident and it sure as hell doesn't happen without a healthy dose of the head coach's ethos becoming part of a team's DNA. Herman likes to talk about the winning culture that he's trying to create and sometimes it just sounds like a bunch of noise when it's something that has to be talked about day after day after day. It becomes tangible when it reveals itself to the naked eye, which is what has happened in the third quarter in each of the last two games against ranked teams.

    That's worth a tip of the cap to Herman.

    Another area of improvement that warrants inspection is the slow emergence of the offense now that he is fully steering the ship on game days and not deferring to inferior coaches in the process. You might not say that this team has had a breakout performance yet on Herman's side of the ball, but improvements are taking place across the board, including at the quarterback position.

    When the moment called for it in the fourth quarter, Herman's offense attacked the TCU defense with controlled abandon. It was exactly the kind of emphatic explosion that Texas fans expect for the five million per year that Herman is paid and it was transpiring against a team Texas needs to be emphatic against ... annually.

    Again, that's worth a tip of the cap to Herman.

    I'm not going to pretend that all of the doubt in my mind has been erased in a matter of 19 minutes of actual game time, but I have a little doubt about my doubt, which is no doubt a wonderful development for the football program.

    The more doubt about the original doubt that can be made in the coming weeks, the better. Here's to a lot more tips of the cap before this season is over.

    No. 2 - The three minutes and 37 seconds that changed everything ...

    [​IMG]

    It all happened so fast that it was almost too much to process in real time.

    One moment, it felt like TCU was in total control of the game and on the verge of taking a two-score lead. Horny Toads quarterback Shawn Robinson was running loose in the Texas secondary. Then Marquez Bimage popped the ball loose from Robinson and a Longhorn player fell on it.

    Then the Calvin ... I mean Collin Johnson leap happened. Then Caden Sterns happened. Then Texas was up eight and running away.

    Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.

    Explosions of points is the kind of thing that really good teams create, which is why it seemed so foreign to most of us. It's been a while since we could describe the Texas team and the talent as a whole as explosive, but for nearly a four minute window it looked like the most dynamic team in the Big 12.

    A lot more of that will go a long, long way.

    No. 3 - Sam delivered the goods ...

    A week ago, I stated that the 134 rating number that Sam Ehlinger posted against USC wasn't good enough. The sub 50-percent completion percentage wasn't good enough. I mean ... it was good enough against USC, but it wouldn't be good enough to beat TCU.

    At some point a team has to have a playmaker at quarterback and not just a guy trying to avoid mistakes. Raise that rating up by another 20 points and we'd be talking about something.

    So, what did the sophomore do?

    He raised his quarterback rating by 22 points, became a bit of a playmaker in the process ... AND ... played turnover-free football. It was either the second- or third-best game of his young career.

    The 156.31 version of Ehlinger can lead this team to a Big 12 title. It's just a matter of how often the rest of the season we see that version of him. The bar for his play the rest of the way has been established.

    No. 4 - Ranking the Texas schedule the rest of the way ...
    [​IMG]

    Man, the Big 12 got weird over the weekend. Oklahoma was pushed to the brink by Army. Texas Tech routed Oklahoma State in Stillwater. Bill Snyder sounds like a man ready to pull a Vontae Davis.

    Given that the league looks entirely more winnable today than it did 36 hours ago, it might be a good time to look at the remaining eight games, from most difficult to least difficult.

    1. vs. Oklahoma (October 6) - Unless the Sooners face the triple option again this season, I'm not sure what Saturday actually means as it relates to them winning the Big 12. Until Kyler Murray stops being awesome, the Sooners are the favorites in the Big 12.

    2. vs. West Virginia (November 3) - This might be the best West Virginia team since they joined the Big 12. Will Grier has been nothing short of exceptional.

    3. at Texas Tech (November 10) - This game might be a monster by the time it rolls around if both teams can bottle up what they did over the weekend.

    4. at Oklahoma State (October 27) - Unless the Cowboys make some dramatic improvement, this suddenly looks like a game that Texas should win.

    5. at Kansas State (September 29) - The Wildcats are wretched on offense, but Texas hasn't won in Manhattan since I had hair.

    6. vs. Iowa State (November 17) - The Cyclones are a feisty bunch, which means this might wind up being tougher than the two ahead of them.

    7. at Kansas (November 23) - The Jayhawks are no longer wretched, but I wouldn't call them good yet.

    8. vs. Baylor (October 13) - Should be an automatic W.

    No. 5 - My current Top 5 Longhorns ...

    1. Caden Sterns
    2. Collin Johnson
    3. Lil'Jordan Humphrey
    4. Gary Johnson
    5. Kris Boyd (narrowly over Brandon Jones)

    No. 6 - Compare and contrast ...

    [​IMG]

    Given that Caden Sterns has played four games for the Longhorns and has already emerged as the best player on the team in my mind, I thought it would be interesting to see how the 23 five-stars in the 2018 class that were ranked ahead of him in the Rivals100 are faring thus far.

    1. Trevor Lawrence (QB - Signed with Clemson) - Ranks in the top 10 nationally in passing efficiency through the first four games of his career.

    2. Justin Fields (QB - Signed with Georgia) - Has completed 14 of 17 passes for 141 yards and two touchdowns in limited playing time.

    3. Amon-Ra St. Brown (WR - Signed with USC) - Has 20 receptions for 342 yards and a pair of touchdowns in four games.

    4. J.T. Daniels (QB - Signed with USC) - Has struggled through four starts this season, posting a 126 passer rating in his four starts.

    5. Xavier Thomas (DE - Signed with Clemson) - Is playing more and more each week for the Tigers and has currently posted nine tackles and a sack in four games.

    6. Micah Parsons (LB - Signed with Penn State) - Is third on the team in tackles (22) through four games, but hasn't yet created any big plays.

    7. Eyabi Anoma (DE - Signed with Alabama) - Has four tackles in four appearances as a reserve thus far.

    8. Patrick Surtain (CB - Signed with Alabama) - Has eight tackles and an interception thus far in four games and is emerging as a real presence for the Crimson Tide.

    9. Jamaree Salyer (OL - Signed with Georgia) - Has played sparingly in the first four games of the season for the Dawgs.

    10. Zamir White (RB - Signed with Georgia) - Tore an ACL in August and will miss the entire 2018 season.

    11. Nick Petit-Frere (OL - Signed with Ohio State) - Has played sparingly as a reserve for the Buckeyes.

    12. Adam Anderson (DE - Signed with Georgia) - Has played sparingly in the first four games of the season, recording three tackles and a single tackle for loss.

    13. Lorenzo Lingard (RB - Signed with Miami) - Has 136 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries.

    14. Tyreke Johnson - (S - Signed with Ohio State) - Hasn't played yet for the Buckeye this season.

    15. Justyn Ross (WR - Signed with Clemson) - Has emerged as perhaps the top big-play playmaker in the offense with three touchdowns in four games, including a 53-yard score against Georgia Tech on Saturday.

    16. Jackson Carman (OL - Signed with Clemson) - Has played sparingly for the Tigers through four games as a reserve lineman.

    17. Brendan Radley-Hiles (CB - Signed with Oklahoma) - Has been one of OU's best players in the secondary, recording 19 tackles and two pass break-ups so far this season.

    18. Justin Shorter (WR - Signed with Penn State) - Hasn't yet played for the Nittany Lions this season and isn't on the two-deep.

    19. Cade Mays (OL - Signed with Georgia) - Has played in all four games for the Dawgs as a reserve.

    20. Teradja Mitchell (LB - Signed with Ohio State) - Hasn’t yet played for the Buckeyes this season.

    21. Palaie Gaoteote (LB - Signed with USC) - Has only played in two games this season, recording four tackles in the process.

    22. James Cook (RB - Signed with Georgia) - Has rushed for 110 yards on 22 carries in his first four games.

    23. Olaijah Griffin (CB - Signed with USC) - Has recorded seven tackles and a pass break-up through his first four games.

    No. 7 – Buy or Sell …
    [​IMG]

    BUY or SELL: Texas wins 9 games this year in regular season?

    (Sell) I'm sticking with my 8-4 pre-season prediction, but it's possible.

    BUY or SELL: Texas is a “bad team” because they beat two teams (USC and TCU) who have bad QB play?

    (Sell) Yes, Texas has played two teams with bad quarterback play, but Texas gets some credit for creating the bad quarterback play. Tougher games against better quarterbacks loom, but it's silly to suggest Texas is a bad team.

    BUY or SELL: Todd Orlando is coaching here next year? Think about it. This is a tough one.

    (Buy) He's not been a guy that's even receiving interviews at this point outside of whatever the SMU thing was a year ago. I think he might be another year away.

    BUY or SELL: Caden Sterns first team all Big 12?

    (Buy) I think there's a better chance that he's Defensive Player of the Year than him not making first-team.

    BUY or SELL: Caden Sterns is the best true freshman at Texas since Ricky Williams in 1995?

    (Sell) With all due respect to Sterns, I'd probably go with Derrick Johnson in 2001 or Jamaal Charles in 2005, but this is pretty rare air we're discussing.

    BUY or SELL: If Herman was trailing by two TDs and elected to punt on fourth-and-4 near midfield with just under 3 minutes to go, OB goes full Chernobyl?

    (Buy) It would have been fugly.

    BUY or SELL: After you and your staff whiffed on your predictions for Texas vs. TCU, you will be more cautious going forward?

    (Sell) Every week I pick the team to win that I think is going to win the game, nothing more or less.

    BUY or SELL: If Sam was replaced with 2008 Colt, this is a team that challenges for a playoff spot this year?

    (Buy) Oh yeah.

    BUY or SELL: You’d take Collin Johnson over Roy Williams from a purely physical/talent perspective?

    (Sell) I find that to be crazy talk.

    BUY or SELL: We have your permission to dream big!

    (Buy) Always dream big, my man.

    BUY or SELL: Is Fletch Chevy Chase’s best performance of his career?

    (Sell) Chase's best performance is in Spies Like Us. Being next to Dan Akroyd brought the best out of him.

    No. 8 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind …

    ... The box score of the Oklahoma/Army is one of the weirdest things I've ever seen. Honestly, I don't know what to make of an Army team that ran the ball 78 times at a 4.3 yards per clip, while never having a single attempt go for more than 23 yards on any play. I don't think anyone else on their schedule can pull that off.

    ... Kyler Murray averaged 11 yards per attempt, 10 yards per rush, accounted for four touchdowns and played-turnover free football ... and Oklahoma was still pushed into overtime?

    ... Will Grier has completed 71 of 95 passes for 1,117 yards, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. That's a quarterback rating nearly 17 points higher than the one posted by Baker Mayfield last year.

    ... Oklahoma State was exposed a bit over the weekend, but Tylan Wallace, a kid that I seemed to love alone when he was a recruit, has three straight 100-yard games at receiver for the Cowboys.

    ... Is Alan Bowman going to save Lubbock's version of Ryan Gosling?

    ... Alabama is so good that Texas A&M actually gave a game effort and they were still bettered by four touchdowns.

    ... Oregon stealing defeat from the jaws of victory will confuse me for the rest of the year. Victory formation, anyone?

    ... Old Dominion took Virginia Tech's cornbread (!!!!!!!!). Why in the hell was Virginia Tech playing on the road in that contest? The Hokies are scheduled to play in Norfolk six times over the course of the next 14 seasons. What. The. Hell.

    ... The Texans were outclassed by the 0-2 Giants at home? Yikes.

    ... Watching Calvin Ridley out-produce the entire Dallas wide receiving unit's season production in a single game was a bit sobering on Sunday.

    ... Pat Mahomes was freaky good against San Francisco.

    ... If only Jimmy G. ran out of bounds

    ... Ahem ...Jon Gruden is 0-3 in Oakland.

    ... What the hell happened to the Vikings on Sunday?

    No. 9 - The List: Best TV Villains ...

    This best thing I read this weekend was this behind-the-scenes look at the iconic Texas classic. In the process, it inspired me to rank my 10 favorite TV villains of all-time.


    10. Cersei Lannister (Game of Thrones)
    9. Gyp Rosetti (Boardwalk Empire)
    8. Newman (Seinfeld)
    7. Alexis Carrington (Dynasty)
    6. Gus Fring (Breaking Bad)
    5. Marlo Stanfield (The Wire)
    4. Tony Soprano (The Sopranos)
    3. Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones)
    2. Walter White (Breaking Bad)
    1. J.R. Ewing (Dallas)

    No. 10 – And Finally...

    Tiger gets his own section to end the column.



     
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  2. trophies2

    trophies2 BJ Foster kills quarterbacks
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  4. RLong68

    RLong68 Well-Known Member
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    You asked me to talk to you about the running game after TCU. I'm here.
     
  5. RMag

    RMag I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
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    Ketch, get off the bandwagon....nothing good happens once you get onboard. KOD.
     
  6. MikeCorleone

    MikeCorleone “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”
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    I do think Herman needs to upgrade the staff after the season. Both for coaching and recruiting.
     
  7. 86Horn

    86Horn Well-Known Member
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    Ramsay Bolton does not make the top 10?
     
  8. bkennedy404

    bkennedy404 Well-Known Member
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    I’ve read and heard you several times refer/allude to your business model as needing a successful UT football team to grow OB. Everyone at OB has a different kind of rooting interest and I hope the winning starts now for y’all and for us.
     
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  9. MikeCorleone

    MikeCorleone “It’s not personal. It’s strictly business.”
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    Agree about good teams coming up
    with points in bunches like we have done the past two games. Many times you see teams like Bama or Ohio State locked in a fairly tight game. You check the score a few minutes later and they have put up 17 points.
     
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  10. BlackStallionMexicanFood

    BlackStallionMexicanFood Well-Known Member
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    "Bill Snyder sounds like a man ready to pull a Vontae Davis."

    WTF????!!!! What exactly does that mean?
     
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  11. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    The one that averaged 2.5 yards per carry, had its starting back rush for under 4.0 ypc and another back rush for 1.8 ypc, while not having a long rush of more than 14 yards?

    Whatcha wanna talk about?
     
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  12. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    It means he sounds like a man that is ready to quit on his team at the mid-season point.
     
  13. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    You have me confused with someone else.
     
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  14. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    Last one out.
     
  15. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    hells yes!
     
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  16. ZoomAir34

    ZoomAir34 It's good to be fast.
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    @Ketchum do you think that KSU was never the kryptonite to Texas but more of the lines of Bill Snyder was the kryptonite to Mack
     
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  17. daflonghorn

    daflonghorn Bleedin' burnt orange since before I was born
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    Tiger won?
    Who cares

    THE HORNS WON!!
     
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  18. dlbhorns

    dlbhorns Well-Known Member
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    Texas needs to not read the press clippings.
     
  19. GEORocks

    GEORocks Well-Known Member
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    Just on the VATech at Norfolk thing - Norfolk, Hampton Roads has been a recruiting hotbed for that program for the better part of two decades responsible for delivering some of that program’s best players across that period. My guess is that Tech sees the road games as a generational sales campaign into that area.
     
  20. BlackStallionMexicanFood

    BlackStallionMexicanFood Well-Known Member
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    Care to give us a score prediction on Texas vs Kansas State this upcoming weekend?
     
  21. KingPinChris

    KingPinChris Chumming for aggy’s on the Gulf
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    We take the old man in Manhattan this weekend then **** up the midget and the land thieves the following weekend. We’re just getting started...
     
  22. RLong68

    RLong68 Well-Known Member
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    The one where the 2 main RBs averaged over 4 yds per carry. I said the running game had a real chance to help us win the game You acted like they would be a non-factor and a likely negative. Pretty sure I was more accurate. Obviously you had a bad read entirely on the game going into it.
     
  23. jib243

    jib243 The Brooklyn Dodgers had a saying...
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    This is just stupid. WVU faces Tech and Kansas then next...
     
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  24. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    Ask me at 7pm on Saturday.
     
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  25. RLong68

    RLong68 Well-Known Member
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    Ron Prince was 2-0 against Mack.
     
  26. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    who cares that Tiger won? Is that a real question?
     
  27. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    It's working perfectly!
     
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  28. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    Texas 31 KSU 7
     
  29. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    I had a bad read on the game? I literally predicted everything that happened spot on until four minutes remained in the third quarter.

    I didn't realize 4.0 yards per carry at this level was the bar for success for you.
     
  30. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    He might end up in New York.
     
  31. marinehorn

    marinehorn Well-Known Member
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    From your keyboard to God's ears.
     
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  32. Ketchum

    Ketchum Resident Blockhead
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    @RLong68 I would contend it was an explosive passing attack that mattered more than an average at best running game.
     
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  33. TEXPIMP

    TEXPIMP Well-Known Member
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    And a friendly reminder of who is Daddy around this bitch.....

    [​IMG]
     
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  34. Baconbeard

    Baconbeard Well-Known Member
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    I was a bit surprised to see how well a lot of te 5 stars ahead of Sterns have produced already.
     
  35. Colonel Banana Dark

    Colonel Banana Dark Unofficial Bagman
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    Ramsay > Jeoffrey. Jeff had no game, his mom had it for him. Boo @Ketchum
     
  36. RLong68

    RLong68 Well-Known Member
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    That's not really an accurate recall of our exchange. The words "passing game " never came but I'll cut you some slack. Sounds like you had enough grief from others about your pregame analysis of the game
     
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  37. McLovin327

    McLovin327 Newsletter Editor
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    Newman isn't so much a villain as he's a nemesis.

    My list would include:
    - Al Swearengen (Deadwood)
    - Ramsay Bolton (Game of Thrones)
    - Negan (The Walking Dead)


    Newman, Gyp Rosetti and Diane Carrington would get the boot.
     
  38. srl

    srl you sounded a little taller on radio...
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    Was going to post the same thing

    Video game numbers
     
  39. GGFisher

    GGFisher Well-Known Member
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    @Ketchum, I have the same concerns about Herman’s football knowledge as you and felt like his unwillingness to lead the offense was a huge red flag.

    I think Herman patterns himself after Mack’s CEO of the program style but tries to incorporate some of Urban Meyer’s toughness along with the Mack approach. If Herman can win 8-9 games this year he may be able to recruit his way to success because I do think Herman is a pretty good talent evaluator. The key will be Herman’s ability to surround himself with a top flight staff which he upgraded this year with the Hand hire.
     
  40. jstalcup1

    jstalcup1 Well-Known Member
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    Does your business need for a winner cause you to tend to prematurely dismiss a coach that doesn’t produce immediate results?
     

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