Obviously, I would be a communist if I did not begin to get that feeling this week that the Cowboys better prepare for a back burner around here for a few days.
Despite being firmly entrenched as Switzerland, I cannot tell you how excited I am for the game on Saturday between Mr. Oklahoma and Mr. Texas.
The Red River Shootout is back on. Yes, I am so old school that the new title, “Red River Rivalry” will never be acknowledged on this blog! See, I am a revolutionary.
Anyway, it is all good in these parts with the game of the year coming to our town.
The latest rankings show the Big 12 is doing pretty well …
AP Top 25
1. Oklahoma (51) 5-0 1,608
2. Alabama (13) 6-0 1,537
3. Missouri (1) 5-0 1,487
4. LSU 4-0 1,444
5. Texas 5-0 1,374
6. Penn State 6-0 1,287
7. Texas Tech 5-0 1,163
8. USC 3-1 1,137
9. Brigham Young 5-0 1,103
10. Georgia 4-1 1,014
Here are the last 10 RRS games, in the Brown, Stoops, and of course, Sturm era ..
1998 Oklahoma 3 Texas 34 Dallas
1999 Oklahoma 28 Texas (#23) 38 Dallas
2000 Oklahoma (#10) 63 Texas (#11) 14 Dallas
2001 Oklahoma (#3) 14 Texas (#5) 3 Dallas
2002 Oklahoma (#2) 35 Texas (#3) 24 Dallas
2003 Oklahoma (#1) 65 Texas (#11) 13 Dallas
2004 Oklahoma (#2) 12 Texas (#5) 0 Dallas
2005 Oklahoma 12 Texas (#2) 45 Dallas
2006 Oklahoma (#14) 10 Texas (#7) 28 Dallas
2007 Oklahoma (#10) 28 Texas (#19) 21 Dallas
Another classic matchup in this brilliant rivalry …
The Texas-Oklahoma football game -- or the Oklahoma-Texas game depending on your slant in the rivalry -- is the bedrock of Big 12 football.
And this season's game Saturday will be as big as any of them. Two top five teams will be battling at the renovated Cotton Bowl, with all of the frills of the nearby State Fair of Texas swirling nearby.
It will be the fourth time this decade that the Longhorns and Sooners both are ranked in the top five for the game, although the first time any team was ranked No. 1. Oklahoma has won all three previous games.
The ESPN Game Day crew will be there with more of an immediate rush, considering that kickoff will take place immediately after they leave the air.
"It is always exciting, the tradition and history," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said of the Red River Rivalry.
And Texas coach Mack Brown is excited about what appears to be an even matchup. The Sooners are favored by a touchdown, but it wouldn't surprise anybody if the Longhorns escaped with an upset after an impressive 5-0 start.
"It's fun," Brown told reporters shortly after his team's victory at Colorado Saturday night. "It's what Texas and OU have wanted forever. We've had it most of the time, and we have it back -- 90,000-some fans, plus [ESPN's] GameDay, plus everybody in America watching the game at 11 o'clock.
"They're real good. They are very deserving of No. 1. And we're getting better."
Some of the absurd numbers …
There are some fascinating numbers heading into the Cotton Bowl next weekend.
Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy have combined to hurl 34 touchdown passes (versus 6 interceptions) and complete 75 percent of their throws. Ridiculous.
The two kickers, Jimmy Stevens and Hunter Lawrence have tried a total of five field goals. Not this year, but over their career. And neither has missed.
Here's my favorite, though: The Sooners has been inside their opponents' 20-yard line 24 times in five games. They have scored 23 touchdowns and settled for one field.
Basically, this has the potential to be the best red-zone offense in the history of football. College, pro, flag, powder-puff, whatever.
I say "potential' because of what lies ahead Saturday: The Longhorns happen to have the second-best red-zone defense in college football.
Opponents have driven inside the Texas 20 15 times. They have settled for 4 touchdowns and 4 field goals. That's it.
Defensive coordinator Will Muschamp measures his group by how many points, not yards, it gives up. And it will eat at him if Bradford converts drives into scores Saturday.
It will be fascinating to see if he, or more importantly his players, can do something about a trend that seems irreversible.
A pretty solid preview writeup …
The Dallas Morning News History Pages …
Robison nails Bomar
07 Oklahoma – Texas
And then some not OU-Texas stuff:
Matt Mosely suggests the Cowboys need a reality check …
The Dallas Cowboys have quite a dilemma on their hands. They not only aspire to be a championship team, they expect to be treated like one before it happens.
It's an attitude that's reflected by head coach Wade Phillips, a man who believes that his team is held to an impossible standard. After all, he just beat the Cincinnati Bengals by -- count 'em -- nine points.
No, Phillips doesn't get it, and his message of football tolerance permeates throughout the locker room. He can't figure out that you don't get the benefit of the doubt until you've actually accomplished something.
A week after being pushed around by the Redskins in a 26-24 home loss, the Cowboys needed to throttle the hapless Bengals. Instead, they allowed them to climb back into the game after falling behind 17-0.
This is the type of performance that would've sent Jimmy Johnson over the edge. There would've been no "a win is a win" nonsense in the postgame news conference. Jimmy would've been figuring out who to cut. Same goes for Troy Aikman, who would've been horrified with Sunday's effort.
On Sunday, Phillips stood in front of reporters and said he was "very pleased" with the win and couldn't understand all the concern. He only showed anger because local columnist Randy Galloway had the audacity to suggest that the team basically "stunk" after the first quarter. Not caring for Galloway's wording, Phillips reportedly told him, "I think you stink" as he passed him on the way to the locker room.
Perhaps Phillips should save some of that anger for his players. I appreciate someone who sticks up for their employees, but at some point you have to administer tough love. His steadfast refusal to call out players has helped create one of the most thin-skinned locker rooms in all of sports.
That's why quarterback Tony Romo stands up after an erratic performance and says, "I'm sorry that I'm not sorry we won the game."
Playing the role of the enabler, owner Jerry Jones came along and said something about how he confused Romo with Aikman when he ran off the field after a 57-yard touchdown pass to T.O. in the fourth quarter. Jones at least noted that the Cowboys blew an opportunity to win a game going away, but he followed that up with more baffling statements.
OJ had a party planned for his acquittal …
Tonight on E:60 (ESPN, 6:00 pm) they will run a feature on our new resident bad boy, Sean Avery:
Some call him ‘the most hated man in hockey’ and as the NHL season opens, the Dallas Stars Sean Avery persists in making his name well known by being the league’s biggest agitator rather than by scoring goals. Whether fighting, trash talking, or inventing whole new ways to annoy his opponents, Avery is the NHL's public enemy number one. E:60’s Rachel Nichols reports that the bad boy persona just scrapes the surface of Avery, who off the ice is one of sports’ biggest fashionistas. From his internship at Vogue Magazine to the front rows at the biggest shows of New York's fashion week, E:60 explores all sides of one of sports’ biggest contradictions and how easily he goes from cutting edge to just plain cutting.
Avery vs. Don Cherry …
Avery vs. Gary Bettman …
Great Sean Avery interview from last week:
Halen 88 tried to warn us…