I’ve written the first paragraph to this post five times now and I’m still not sure exactly what I want to say. Which is the same thing as saying I’m not sure exactly what I think or exactly how I feel about UCLA football as the season enters Week Three and we welcome the Texas Longhorns to Pasadena.
I know how I want to feel. I want to feel really excited. It’s the TEXAS LONGHORNS coming to town, one of the truly storied programs in the history of college football. Beyond that, Texas, like Michigan, is one of the schools I see as our peers – a top public school with a highly competitive athletics program. When this game was scheduled, it was meant to be Game Two of a classic home and home, the rematch of the 2010 contest played in Austin. It was meant to be an ESPN Game Day type match-up, with the pundits all wondering which school would emerge as a BCS contender.
Of course, this game was scheduled like seven years ago.
And no matter what happens tomorrow, the hype is far, far below what surely were the expectations.
Neither team has really done it’s part in that regard. Texas is coming off a 5-7 season with UCLA one of the seven. The Longhorns are 2-0 in 2011 after boiling Rice (oh man, that’s bad) 34-9 and getting bye BYU 17-16. But at least Texas can remember when they were good, it was only a few seasons ago that Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley were leading them to 12-1 and 13-1 seasons. They haven’t looked particularly sharp in 2011, but they could easily have a fine year and covert 2010 from bad memory to anomaly with Case McCoy and Jaxon Shipley taking over where their brothers left off.
We, on the other hand, have never won 13 games in season. We’re in danger of turning 2010’s 4-8 record into a bad habit we can’t break.
So, while I am excited about tomorrow (still not sure if I’ll show up at the Rose Bowl or just watch it in a dive bar), I’m not as excited as I’m supposed to be or as excited as I thought I’d be when Texas @ UCLA showed up on our future schedules.
Just messing around on the web yesterday trying to do some research on Texas football, I came across a story on the McCombs School of Business website that I thought was interesting. McCombs, is the business school at the University of Texas. It seems they hold a seminar to indoctrinate new MBA students into the world of Texas football.
This is how the article begins:
"It reduces grown men to tears and ushers young boys into adulthood. It dictates when fall brides plan their weddings and transforms respectable members of society into crazed fanatics who paint their chests, scream themselves hoarse and cook meat in a parking lot in the middle of a 100-degree day in September.
"In short, football matters in Texas."
Well, it matters in Westwood, too.
And tomorrow is a great time to start showing it.
With that, here are your Texas-style Pregame Guesses:
- The Bruins ran wild against the Longhorns last year in Austin, will UCLA rush for more than 165 yards tomorrow in Pasadena?
- Texas turned the ball over a bunch last year. How many takeaways will the Bruins have tomorrow against the Longhorns?
- True or False: UCLA will "go for it" on fourth down at least once in the first half tomorrow.