My good buddy from Austin, Bill Frink, runs the “Willie Earl” over/under college football blog covering the Texas Longhorns. We’re TexasExes from the ’70’s, and “burnt orangebloods” but W.E. has me beat on genuine passion for the Horns. Here’s a selection of our postings (both from the High Plane Drifter and from Willie, so you can get the context) for the kind of dismal 2011 season (by our high Longhorn standards).
Texas-Oklahoma Red River Rivalry: A Memoir
Fall term, 1976, at The University of Texas at Austin. I was a sophomore cub sports reporter with The Daily Texan. Early on, the Texan had sent me out to cover some small stuff that the upper classmen editors did not want to do. I had to earn my stripes. So off I went to cover the rodeo at Manor Downs, and came back with a story that had lines like, “the bull rider mounts 1,000 pounds of muscled fury and then tries to hang on for dear life for up to 15 seconds while his brains jangle in his cranium” (the editors loved it; you learn early on that sports writing is all about the hyperbole). Then they sent me to interview Frank Medina, the legendary Longhorn football trainer, indicted in “Meat on the Hoof” as a guy who ruined athletes and sent injured players onto the field. No investigative reporting for the sophomore in DKR’s last year as head coach, I practically peed in my pants when I saw him close-up on the practice field, and I recall feeling like real small when mingling amongst the 6’5” 300 lb. meat on the hoof linemen. Anyhow, I had to leave the scandal
reporting to the commies on the editorial staff who the Greek world loved to hate. The only guy they liked on the Texan staff was Berke Breathed because they liked his spot-on caricature of the frat guy in Ray Bans and his ditzy sorority girlfriend – all true to life. Finally, the editors sent me to interview a couple of white South Africans on Texas’s smashing tennis team. They had been recruited to Texas by Cliff Drysdale, and one of them, Kevin Curran, who told me his favorite pastime was watching American TV sitcoms, went on to the Top 10 on the pro tour and a Wimbledon final, where he got crushed by the fuhrer Boris Becker. After the early work, the sports editor team posted football game assignments for the cubs. They must have liked the crap I submitted, because I got the plum of ‘em all – Texas-Oklahoma, press box seat in the Cotton Bowl. Wow. My career was set to launch. I turned them down. I told them I wanted to take a date to the game, smuggle in a bottle of scotch whiskey in my boot, eat a corn dog, and make an ass of myself like everyone else. I had pledged a fraternity, Sigma Chi, during fall rush, a year late, because no one had rushed my middle class integrated high school in San Antonio. I quite possibly was the poorest man in the entire rich boy Greek pantheon at Texas but Sigma Chi took me in, and I was taking a Tri-Delt to the game. She was a spoiled River Oaks Houstonian who had transferred into Texas from LSU, only because she somehow knew she couldn’t get into UT Tri Delt her first year. Go figure if that’s your young aspiration in life, but what the hell, I
gotta admit I was infatuated with the brand, too, because Farah Fawcett herself allegedly was a Tri Delt but booted out for taking a bath naked with a boy, in the house, so the legend went. The game as many of our WE bloggers may recall was a 6-6 unsatisfying draw, but we were the underdogs. I was the underdog too in my tussles later that evening with my TD date on the living room carpet of a Dallas palatial home belonging to one of my fraternity brothers’ parents. That ended in a draw, too, even more unsatisfying than earlier in the day, because the drive seemed headed downfield. The season drew on, I stopped dating the Tri Delt who ultimately ended up with one of her own kind (some rich asshole Nazi Phi Delt or AT Zero type who deserved her), Royal retired, and I ended my sports writing career, switched to advertising, because reviewing proofs at 10:00 pm on the light boards in the Texan basement interfered with beer call. It was all for the best, I would have ended up at the San Antonio Light with gravy stains on my tie covering the Spurs, instead of being here in the desert of Jordan! It’s all magic.
Revenge of the Okies (Oklahoma State Game)
It is hard to imagine much less stomach the prospect of back-to-back losses to the unwashed plebeians from Okie Land. At least at home you will not have to contend with a zillion yahoos wearing team colors chanting their obnoxious fight song. I suppose I would do the same if I lived in a land that had little to recommend it ‘cept if you had an oil well in your windblown front yard, and maybe a whorehouse down the road. Given a choice, the
Cherokee would have kept going on the trail of tears, and the dust bowl came as a blessing to many who hitched it up and hauled ass to Californee. Yet, we still have to put up with these devils that recruit our lads from Texas and then try to bring it back to us effete types in Austin. I hope the buggers have some fun when they visit, and remember to zip up their fly when they leave the washroom.
Texas A&M Repast
“What A Fool Believes”, that is a harsh song of terminal rejection if there ever was by Michael and the Doobies, but the tune was real catchy back in the day and it still is…
Bear in mind, A&M was the Nixon of our times and old times, and it will be a pity not to
have them to kick around anymore. The Aggie jokes will begin to fade, and who is around more ridiculous to be ridiculed? It’s too much to bear. I think we ought to put them on the schedule now and then for old times’ sake. It would be refreshing to see those Good Humor men (just need to put those “change thingies” on their belts – remember those?) on the field leading those memorable chants. The immortal, immutable Patton theme song with the same halftime jackboot band drill every time over the years, as they say in Asia, “same same” mistah! (Bob Francis will know that one.) The jarheads in their jodhpurs with
riding crops (perhaps used for off field hijinks but I need to tread carefully there ‘cause there is never a barking A&M grad far away from any desert installation where troops will swing by – and those fine men I salute). Bevo might even miss the collie. So let’s cut ‘em a break. We might miss them, just a little. But we can enjoy the pastings they will likely get in the SEC West.
Willie Earl: A&M Has Been a Second Rate Rivalry (Texas A&M Pre-Game)
It was a much bigger deal when Arkansas left for the S.E.C. Arkansas was Texas’ biggest football rival in the sixties and it was the 1969 Texas-Arkansas “Game of the Century” that put Texas Football in America’s conscientiousness at the dawn of College Football’s television age. In the sixties A&M was a joke.
Houston and SMU were bigger football rivalries for Texas then A&M was in the seventies and early eighties. The Aggies were still a joke.
Texas-Oklahoma. Need I say more on this subject? Not only is Oklahoma Texas’ most intense and important football rivalry it also is a candidate for the best College Football Rivalry in America. The Aggies will always be a joke.
This game is no more than a late season conference game that will be nice to have on television after our Thanksgiving dinner. To expend a lot of energy making it some kind of epic historic event would be—well—Aggie-like. It’s the Aggies who have always focused so much energy and attention on their Aggieness that they have been unable to accomplish anything big in football.
As far as putting A&M on the schedule at some future date I’m reminded of a song.
He came from somewhere back in her long ago
The sentimental fool don’t see
Tryin’ hard to recreate
What had yet to be created once in her life
She musters a smile for his nostalgic tale
Never coming near what he wanted to say
Only to realize
It never really was
She had a place in his life
He never made her think twice
I will not miss the Aggies one wit. To me, with their militaristic traditions and faggie male cheerleaders in ice cream suits, they’re like a bad neighbor with a Lawn Jockey in their front yard and a skin-head son. Let them go squeeze their nuts some where else.
Marine Ball (Kansas State Post)
I lost my Blackberry on the dance floor during the Marine Ball at the Dead Sea Marriott last night, and was unable to get the W.E. posts in real time last night, though I did manage to read your “woes list” before the event, bringing some chuckles that I explained to some Embassy Austinite Texans sitting next to me, who nodded knowingly (even though they went to St. Edwards). Then the Blackberry went flying out of my suit coat pocket, most likely during the AC/DC You Shook Me All Night Long remix number played at tremendous volume while I was doing “air guitar” and pogoing along with a packed and utterly intoxicated dance floor crowd.
It began with a measure of solemnity. The point of the bacchanal fest was to honor the Marines on their 236thbirthday. There was a gun-twirling, shoe snapping flag ceremony, followed by an inspiring account about what it means to be Marine delivered by a ramrod spine colonel straight out of “Full Metal Jacket” casting, flown in from the Afghanistan front.
Finally, the Ambassador cut the cake with the ceremonial sword and the doors swung open to the bars. The Marines reportedly bought $13,000 worth of booze. By 11:00 pm, the scotch (Johnnie Walker Blue Label and single malts) was gone, but the Embassy label wine and other spirits continued to flow freely. Just after midnight, we flopped to our hotel room, and woke up groggily to the sun shining over the Dead Sea. I felt damn proud to be an American.
Willie Earl’s List of Woes (Kansas St. Pre-Game)
1. A turf toe can takes months to heal.
2. I made a 9 on # 11 Wednesday.
3. A pulled hamstring can take months to heal.
4. I’ve never been able to grow sideburns.
5. Our Head Coach thinks punting is part of the two minute drill (see Brown’s Monday press conference).
6. An attractive woman was smiling at me at Starbuck’s the other day and I assumed it was because of my rugged good looks but then I noticed I had dribbled coffee down the front of my white shirt.
7. Texas is 11-10 in their last 21 games.
8. A client recently asked me if I knew anyone with an expertise in advertising.
9. Blake Gideon is starting his 49th straight game against K. St.
10. A lack of information about Longhorn injuries is screwing up the Over/Under questions
11. Texas could play at least another 10-12 games without a good quarterback.
12. I have to trim my ear hair every day.
13. D.J. Monroe will not get the ball enough against Kansas St. Or against Texas A&M and Baylor for that matter.
14. If I hear one more time about what a great human being Mike Krzyewski my head is going to explode.
15. Rick Barnes’ 2011 team has more offensive fire power than any team he’s had before at Texas. Okay that’s not a woe.
16. My Son says I have a distinct old man smell.
Missouri Breaks (Mizzou Post)
“Say it ain’t so, Joe,” cries the plaintive Penn State fan as he’s flipping a media van, and you have it right when you say, “Gag ‘em, Aggies,” when it comes to the Guv’nor of our fine state when he’s on television. Well, at least he keeps the laughs coming at the Embassy bar on Thursday nights, where we have all political stripes from crew-cut CIA types wearing aviators, just in from benching 400 lbs in the embassy gym (they’re all ex-Marines) to swamp rats wearing hunting and trucker caps on contract with Blackrock doin’ security (the commissary keeps the Copenhagen in stock just for them) to leftist development aid types like me and political officers who “Tail Gunner Joe” McCarthy would
have run out on a rail a long time ago, God rest his soul. Regardless of political persuasion, everyone leaves the bar smashed, and Tex Mex nights with lighter fluid margaritas mixed by Filipino bartenders on demand are the most popular, even though the food wouldn’t rate the garbage bin at Matt’s. So God bless Texas, they truly do love us. You don’t find Mizzou-Mex nights or Mizzou anything. No one even drinks Budweiser anymore – it sells for about $2.00 a can in the commissary when you can get Warsteiner for a buck a bottle, and even the original Czech Bud is cheaper. So much for St. Louis and Anheuser Busch, sold out to the Dutch anyhow.
I was in the Jerusalem Old City earlier this week and I consulted a Hasidic Rabbi regarding this week’s game. He told me to face the Western Wall, look upwards to the Temple Mount, and look for a sign. A lone pigeon flew overhead, slowly circling the Dome of the Rock, and then it dropped a deposit at my feet. The rabbi shrugged, grinned wistfully, and shuffled away murmuring something like the shmuck should check the Vegas websites like everyone else.
Willie Earl: Various and Sundry (Missouri Pre-Game)
A long time ago I heard Ben Barnes being interviewed on the radio and the former boy wonder and former future Texas Governor was asked what he was up to do these days and he replied that he was involved in “various and sundry” activities. I kind of like the various and sundry phrase. I thought it had a nice ring to it. I know it’s redundant but I like it and have been waiting for years to use it.
Seems like when Texas, is good but not great, plays a team that is, average but not terrible, on the road, that the game goes like this. Texas starts out early with the offense moving the ball and scoring and the defense shutting down the opposing teams offense. This results in something on the order of a 7-0 or 10-0 lead. Then Texas is on the verge of going up 14 or 17-0 when they either: a) turn the ball over in the Red Zone or b) give up a big play to the opponent on a third and 20 and the opponent subsequently scores and changes the momentum of the game just when Texas seemed to be on the verge of taking control. The game then turns into a dogfight and a nail biter for Texas fans. I hate it when that happens.
Texas starts out playing a bit sub par. Maybe gets behind 6-0 or something like that. Then Texas does something like blocking a punt or field goal or gets a big turnover and turns it into points. The inferior opponent then becomes demoralized and Texas goes on to win fairly easily.
I can’t tell you exactly when these scenarios have happened before but I know that they have. They’re engraved in my Burnt-Orange DNA and that’s what I expect tomorrow. If the Longhorns look dominating in the beginning I’ll be waiting for the proverbial anvil to drop on our collective heads.
This team hasn’t blocked any punts lately which used to be a staple of Mack Brown’s Texas teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if they blocked one against Missouri. Brown has a very good road record and it seems like one of the reasons is that his team’s consistently produce a big special teams play on the road to quiet a hostile crowd and subdue the home standing opponent.
Although Texas’ kick-off coverage has been very good the last two games I still worry about it. Come to think about it this could become one of my above mentioned scenarios. Texas takes a lead than surrenders a big kick-off return that changes the momentum.
About 20 years ago the priest at my church gave a sermon in which he said and I paraphrase here. We’re all from dysfunctional families. The degree of and how we handle the dysfunction varies but we’re all part of one. Is there a more dysfunctional family anywhere than the Penn State family? Who believes, of anybody who has read about the case and it’s timeline, that Joe Paterno and lots of others didn’t know about Jerry Sandusky years before the infamous 2002 incident? Many sports analysts have said that Paterno’s mistake is just one moment out of a stellar 60 year career. I disagree. In my opinion Paterno participated in a cover up that went on for more than a decade.
As I noted near the beginning of the season this year’s calendar is the same as 1977’s which is the year of my favorite Texas Football season of all time. Sorry 2005. On November 12, 1977 the Sig Eps were recovering from another festive Red Garter the night before when the Horns, with their fourth starting quarterback of the season, took on TCU . When was the last time you thought about Sam Ansley? Ansley, subbing for Randy McEachern, was a mere 4-12 passing but one of his first throws was 56 yard touchdown to Johnny Lam Jones. Earl Campbell turned in another Heisman like performance with 158 yards and two touchdowns. Perhaps more notable was that Johnny Ham Jones ran for 121 yards including a 66 yard touchdown run which came on a hand-off from….wait for it….defensive back Ricky Churchman, (“when I get a dog down I just like to keep on kicking em”). Ahh I remember it well.
Poor, Poor Pitiful Me (Kansas Game)
It’s come to this, The Lovin’ Spoonful, a passable ’60’s iconic band not quite in the same league as The Beatles, Bob Dylan and The Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Who, The Stones, The Beach Boys, and possibly even The Turtles. I seem to be hearing valid suggestions that Texas, particularly at the QB position, may not be in the same league as our conference rivals. We have John Sebastian versus Bob, Jimi, John and Paul, Roger and Pete, Mick and Keith, Brian (as in Beach not Harsin), and maybe Micky Dolenz. And when I read, “thought number 2”, I am reminded of one of my favorite Warren Zevon songs, to wit:
I’d lay my head on the railroad tracks
And wait for the Double “E”
But the railroad don’t run no more
Poor, poor pitiful me
In the unlikely event that we lose to Kansas, I’ll look for a camel to run me over here in the desert. Otherwise, see you on the tracks, amigo.
Willie Earl: Five Thoughts and a Song (Kansas Pre-Game)
Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Pick up on one and leave the other one behind
It’s not often easy, and not often kind
Did you ever have to make up your mind?
Did you ever have to finally decide?
Say yes to one and let the other one ride
There’s so many changes, and tears you must hide
Did you ever have to finally decide?
-John Sebastian, The Lovin’ Spoonful
1. Come on Mack. End this foolishness and just commit to David Ash as your starter…period. Do you really think Case McCoy has a future in “Big Boy” football? You and Brian Harsin playing Hamlet looks foolish and it can’t be helping your team which often looks collectively indecisive and you certainly don’t need to infuse gamesmanship into the Kansas pre-game.
2. I’m already too emotionally invested in too many frivolous things such as Longhorn Football and Basketball, my golf game, the sub-par tee boxes at Great Hills Country Club, the people in SUVs and pick-up trucks who tailgate me EVERY DAY, the varicose veins on my legs, people talking on cell phones on the Hike & Bike Trail, politics, you get the drift. So why oh why did I allow myself to get sucked in to caring if the Texas Rangers win the World Series? Crap!
3. Is it just me or do you see at least a subtle connection between the state of Longhorn Football and this whole silly affair known as The Longhorn Network? Something is rotten in Bellmont Hall.
4. What do Brandon Weeden, Landry Jones, Seth Doege, Ryan Tannehill, and Robert Griffin III have in common? Answer: they play in the Big 12, they’re really good quarterbacks having really good years and none of them play for Texas who—if you haven’t noticed—has dearth of quarterback talent. What in the wide wide world of Neuhaus-Royal is going on?
5. What would Vince Lombardi do? Texas has three very good and very productive running backs in Malcolm Brown, Fozzy Whittaker and D.J. Monroe. The Texas offensive line run blocks much better than they pass block. Texas has inexperienced quarterbacks who struggle mightily in the passing game. Against Oklahoma St. Texas attempted 49 passes and 40 runs. They averaged 4.7 yards per run (that includes yards lost on 5 sacks of David Ash) and they averaged 6.3 yards per pass attempt. I’m no offensive genius like Brian Harsin is supposed to be but I play Willie Earl on Fridays and Mondays and it seems me that Texas should be running the ball a whole lot more than they pass it. I think the ratio of run plays to pass plays should be about 2:1. Vince Lombardi’s philosophy on play calling was, we’re going to continue running our most successful plays over and over again until you can stop them. Come on Harsin, channel a little Vince Lombardi why don’t you?
I Love LA (UCLA Game)
True confessions, I love it, more than Randy Newman, even. We love to hate our rivals in the Big 12, OU sux, A&M…merde, and see you out the door, OSU, Kansas, Mizzou, Baylor, Tech ech, all from the same godforsaken, tumbleweed towns, flat, homely, not a gawddamn thing to recommend ‘em. There’s no competition, there’s Austin, and there is no rival within a 1,000 miles, particularly after the Buffs decided they’d prefer to get their ass whupped in the salad conference PAC 12 instead of the Big 12 (but they’ll always have Boulder). But LA, the sun, the Club Med weather, golden beaches, pounding blue surf, the tawny blonde chicas, and at UCLA, they’re even smart too, it’s just unfair. I love Tejas, but my kid wants to enroll at UCLA and hell, I might join him like Rodney Dangerfield in “Back to School” (remember the hot tub scene?). Then there’s the vaunted Rose Bowl, with the purple San Gabriel mountains in the backdrop, while we have I-35 (okay, we’ve got town lake, too). We’ve had some good fortune in the Rose Bowl, and here’s hoping for more of the same formula. Texas teaching those Cali boys they’ve got it too good, that they ought to go back to their boards in Malibu, surf’s up at 6:30 am, eat a fish taco or something.
Yeah, we’ll teach ‘em…those lucky bastards.
Bring ’em Young! (Brigham Young Game)
We had an old alumnus of BYU that ran with us in the Seoul Hash House Harriers, a “drinking club with a running problem”. We called him “Bring ‘Em Young!”, and he seemed
to enjoy the après sauna and massage in disreputable spots near Camp Casey in Dungduchon, after a cold wintry run chased by brewskies in the frozen hills near the barbed wired 48th parallel DMZ, as much as the rest of the us… so much for the Book of Mormon…but heck, I wish we could bring ‘em Young the messiah, and bring ‘em Earl, maybe Bobby Layne, too, all the great ghosts, give ‘em a good haunting at Royal field. But “You gotta dance with the girl you brung”, so said Sam Snead about your golf swing, and our football team, so let’s do a little Texas Two-Step tonight, lads.
San Diego is not ho-hum! (Holiday Bowl)
Willie Earl, it seems you received a lot of great advice from your legendary dad, Hub. I already relayed the ice cream social advice to my sometime reticent #1 son. Now, agreed following the Horns to the Holiday Bowl may not have proven to be the best use of scare resources (Samuelson, Economics 101). However, there is nothing ho hum about visiting San Diego, where based on previous visits, I can think of several compelling reasons to go:
- Totally awesome and gnarly beaches
- Totally awesome and gnarly tawny blonde chicas (where the body fat ratio near the beaches may be the lowest in the country)
- Totally awesome and gnarly fish tacos
I did note the Horns seemed to be having a great time, visiting Sea World, Fozzy getting bussed by a Beluga whale, and all. Let’s hope they remember to strap it on for the Cali Bears. Nice to hear we had a great recruiting season, and yes, I hear the Arizona boy can wing it, so maybe we have a QB solution, but a contract extension for MB, yikes, that could be laying down good money after bad, but such as it is in the strange and cozy world of college athletics.
Wille Earl’s Post: Ho Hum Holiday Bowl
I was hanging out at the kitchen table with my parents who were having their after dinner coffee early on a Thursday evening in late May of 1968. My mother asked me if I was going to the ice cream social at my school, Vestal Hills Elementary. I told her I that I was thinking of not going. I was surprised when my father voiced a strong opinion on what seemed like a minor matter. He advised me that I should go and explained that skipping little activities here and there could become a habit that could lead to a slow withdrawal from an active and engaged life style. My Dad’s sales pitch for the ice cream social was convincing and while I was enjoying the company of my friends at the “Social,” especially that of Sue Lasky and Cindy Cable with whom I took turns chasing or being chased around the school yard, threatening or being threatened with the weapon of choice for the evening—an ice cream treat—I realized what sound advice my father had given me. It turns out that it was sound advice not only for a 12 year old but for everybody at every age. I’ve taken that solid advice into account countless times since it was delivered, more than 40 years ago, when I’ve been ambivalent about attending or taking part in some event or activity.
I don’t think my father would have had a strong opinion on whether or not I should make the trip to San Diego for The Holiday Bowl this year unless it was, “Don’t waste your time and money on that.” Evidently that is the prevailing attitude among Texas fans regarding Texas’ final game of the 2011 season. The Austin-American-Statesman reports that Texas didn’t come close to selling out its ticket allotment and in conversations at holiday gatherings I have been asked several times what day and time the game was. I was having trouble myself remembering whether the game was on the 29th or 30th. Turns out it’s actually the on the 28th. Which is tomorrow! So lets see if we can gin up some focus and enthusiasm for this Holiday Bowl game with Cal-Berkeley.
The vibe I’ve been getting from the 40 acres the past couple of weeks is that this game is more about the extra practice for next year than it is about winning the game. Through one of my wife Helen’s teaching associates I met Wes this past September. Wes is a clear eyed, earnest, bright, twenty something Longhorn Football Geek and blog writer who has impressed me with his knowledge and insight about Texas Football. I talked with Wes at a McNeil High School teachers Christmas party and here are some of the things of note he told me.
1. He and others in and around the program still think David Ash can be a good quarterback. He told me that Ash was one of the premier pro-style Texas high school quarterbacks in 2010 and the reason he wasn’t more highly recruited was due to his early commitment to Texas. The Missouri game killed Ash’s confidence and Wes blames that on Bryan Harsin for calling all those deep fade routes that you may recall.
2. Case McCoy’s throwing mechanics and footwork are so bad that it’s hard to believe that his father was a football coach. Wes follows McCoy on Twitter and a couple of weeks ago McCoy tweeted that he was bored. Wes told me it took every fiber of his self restraint not to reply, “Why don’t you go work on your mechanics!” Wes and the people he talks to don’t take McCoy seriously as a possible long term U.T. quarterback.
3. Joe Bergeron wasn’t participating in contact drills in practice and Malcolm Brown was “limited” in his participation. This conversation did take place 12 days ago so we’ll see.
4. The Juco offensive lineman transfer that just signed with Texas—whatever his name is—will allow Trey Hopkins to move from right-tackle to his natural right-guard position thus vastly improving the offensive line next year. Again…we’ll see.
Wes is very optimistic about Texas Football for 2012. Wes is no sunshine pumper and I respect his opinions. I hope he’s right.
I am less optimistic than Wes for a couple of reasons.
1. The Texas program seems pretty self congratulatory over their 2012 recruiting class which, according to several recruiting services, ranks number one or two in the country. Big deal. We’ve heard it all before. It’s like they’re relived that the season is over and they don’t have to worry about wins and loses. Now they can bask in the glowing reviews of their recruiting class.
2. I keep hearing how much the new coaches like each other and how comfortable they’re getting here in Austin. Great, that’s all we need. A bunch of highly paid coaches who feel comfortable. I even read in the paper this morning that DeLoss Dodds wants Mack Brown to be comfortable so he’s working on a contract extension. Dodds and his group have the tinniest of tin ears and I really do wonder if they have their eyes on the same ball as we do. That is winning more than seven or eight games and eventually competing for a conference and dare I say a national championship again soon.