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Posts Tagged ‘Conference USA’

Doc Hancock’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Houston Cougars

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on September 12, 2008

Editor’s Note: My apologies to Doc and company, it is my fault this is late to the presses. Thanks, Management.

Houston Cougars

Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin (1st year)

Stadium: Robertson Stadium (32,000)

2007 Record: 8-5 (6-2 C-USA West)

Postseason: Lost to TCU 20-13 in Texas Bowl

Key Returnees on Offense: QB Case Keenum

Key Returnees on Defense: NT Eli Ash, DT Tate Stewart, DE Phillip Hunt, LB Cody Lubojasky, CB Brandon Brinkley, SS Ernest Miller, FS Kenneth Fontennette

The Skinny: After an 8-5 record in 2007 under coach Art Briles, the Cougars said goodbye to the longtime coach, who went to Waco to try his hand at turning around Baylor’s fortunes on the gridiron and hello to Kevin Sumlin, who spent five seasons at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops. With that he also brings in Dana Holgorsen, who served as offensive coordinator at Texas Tech to implement a new offensive scheme coupled with the offensive attack Briles had during his time at Houston. Case Keenum will be back for his sophomore season after throwing for over 2,000 yards and 14 touchdowns in his freshman season. The downside of it was the fact that Keenum also had 10 interceptions. But while he put up impressive numbers with his arm, he also put up impressive numbers with his feet, rushing for 412 yards and 9 touchdowns.

On defense, the Cougars will welcome back end Phillip Hunt, who led the team in sacks with 10.5 and safety Kenneth Fontennette, who was second in tackles for the Cougars in 2007 with 69.

Doc’s Prediction: After another banner season in 2007, the first without Kevin Kolb at quarterback, who is now studying under Donovan McNabb in Philly, the Cougars again will challenge the Golden Hurricane for the C-USA West title. With the Golden Hurricane coming for a visit November 15th, every game before that is nothing more than a warmup for the showdown with Tulsa.

Projected Record: 9-4 (6-2)

2008 Houston Cougars Schedule

August 30th-Southern

September 6th-@ Oklahoma State

September 13th-Air Force

September 20th-@ Colorado State

September 27th-@ East Carolina

October 11th-UAB

October 18th-@ Southern Methodist

October 28th-@ Marshall

November 8th-Tulane

November 15th-Tulsa

November 22nd-Texas El-Paso

November 29th-@ Rice

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The Right Man At The Right Time

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on September 8, 2008

Being an African-American that just so happens to write a sports column every week, I know all too well about the various stories of courage in sports.

In school, we learned about Branch Rickey’s signing of Jackie Robinson and Jesse Owens literally spitting in the face of Hitler during the 1936 Olympics, as well as the work of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.

But what many of us didn’t learn, including yours truly, was the story of Don Haskins and the 1966 NCAA Championship, when he put five black guys on the floor against the big bad Kentucky Wildcats led by a certain guy named Pat Riley (yes, the Pat Riley that had the Armani suits in the 80’s) and their coach, Adolph Rupp.

And much like the stuff that’s seen in movies, the five black guys from the tiny school in El Paso beat the bluebloods from Lexington, giving the state of Texas its first national basketball championship and a footnote in history.

But it was beyond that game that made Haskins a legend.

For 38 years, the guy from Oklahoma was the face of UTEP basketball and the city of El Paso.

He helped many kids from the ghettos and rural sections of Texas, molded them into men of character, and did the next important thing on the agenda:

Win.

And win he did, accumulating 719 wins, 14 NCAA Tournaments, a National Championship, and most importantly, a big enough shadow to cast over the mountains in El Paso.

Away from the court, Haskins was a man who believed in the benefits of hard work and dedication, something that made him good enough to be voted the greatest coach in college basketball history by Dan Wetzel — whose book “Glory Road” would be later turned into an incredible movie documenting the story of the 1966 team.

It was good enough for him to have the Special Events Center, home to some of UTEP’s great teams, renamed in his honor for all the achievements that he brought to the city of El Paso.

To quote Richard Rodgers, who said, “Love is not love unless you give it and a bell is not a bell unless you ring it.” Haskins gave his heart and soul to the city of El Paso.

And it in turn loved him back.

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Doc Hancock’s Grand Tour of C-USA: SMU Mustangs

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on August 18, 2008

Southern Methodist Mustangs

Head Coach: June Jones (1st season at SMU, 76-41overall)

Stadium: Gerald J. Ford Stadium (32,000)

2007 Record: 1-11 (0-8 C-USA West)

Postseason: None

Key Returnees on Offense: QB Justin Willis, RB DeMyron Martin, WR Emmanuel Sanders

Key Returnees on Defense: LBs Will Bonita, Justin Smart, CS Bryan McCann, SS Bryce Hudman, FS David Haynes

The Skinny: In the two decades since SMU was hit with NCAA sanctions, the Mustangs program has been searching through the wilderness for a savior. Enter June Jones, who led Hawaii to its best season ever in 2007 and a berth in the Sugar Bowl where they lost to Georgia and is no stranger to turnarounds. In his first season at Hawaii, the Rainbow Warriors finished 0-11 and the second season followed it up with 9 wins, an NCAA record.

Now after success at Hawaii, Jones is now trying to do the same thing that has been hard to do over the last two decades, win at SMU.

Going into the 2008 season, the Mustangs’ last bowl appearance was 1984, their last winning season was 1997, and since the “Death Penatly”, they’ve been 58-135-1, unimpressive numbers for a program that for a time was one of the country’s best progams.

And after close calls against Tulsa, Houston, and Memphis last season, the Mustangs look to use those close calls as confidence-builders for 2008.

Doc’s Prediction: Looking at the schedule, the Mustangs’ slate is filled with September games against Texas Tech and TCU, plus a road trip to Central Florida along with Tulsa and Houston at home in October. The Mustangs will close the season with UTEP on the road and Southern Mississippi at home.

Projected Record: 4-8 (2-6 C-USA West)

2008 Southern Methodist Mustangs

August 29th-@ Rice

September 6th-Texas State

September 13th-@ Texas Tech

September 20th-TCU

September 27th-@ Tulane

October 4th-@ Central Florida

October 11th-Tulsa

October 18th-Houston

October 25th-@ Navy

November 8th-Memphis

November 15th-@ UTEP

November 29th-Southern Miss

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Doc Hancock’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Central Florida Knights

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on August 13, 2008

Central Florida Knights

Head Coach: George O’Leary (22-28, 4 years at Central Florida, 74-61 overall)

Stadium: Bright House Networks Stadium (45,323)

2007 Record: 10-4 (7-1 C-USA East)

Postseason: Lost to Mississippi State 10-3 in Liberty Bowl

Key Returnees On Offense: TE Corey Rabazinski, WRs Rocky Ross and Kamar Aiken

Key Returnees On Defense: DE Bruce Miller, NT Torrell Troup, FS Jason Venson, SS Sha’Reff Rashad, CBs Johnell Neal and Joe Burnett, LBs Derrick Hallman and Chance Henderson

The Skinny: After rising from the ashes of a winless season in 2004 and winning two East Division titles in three years as well as a conference championship, the good times for the most part will continue in Orlando despite the losses of Kevin Smith at running back and Kyle Israel at quarterback. In their place will be QB Michael Greco, who in 2007 completed 24 of 45 passes for 303 yards and RB Phillip Smith, who ran for 246 yards in 2007 with 4 touchdowns. But don’t call the offense a bunch of greenhorns, because the Knights are returning receivers Rocky Ross and and Kamar Aiken, who are the team’s top two receivers and will be keys to showing Greco the ropes as he starts his first season as the starting quarterback.

On defense, the cupboard is stocked with standouts such as safeties Jason Venson and Sha’Reff Rashad, who are back after leading the team in tackles in 2007. Along with the two, the Knights are returning cornerbacks Johnell Neal and Joe Burnett. Burnett received all-conference honors in 2007 while Neal is known best for his quickness.

Doc’s Prediction: The Knights’ dream season last year is a culmination of four years of building from an 0-11 season in 2004 to the present-day program. Expect in 2008 the same thing from the Knights, strong contenders with Southern Mississippi and East Carolina for the C-USA East crown.

Projected Record: 9-4 (6-2 C-USA East)

2008 Central Florida Knights

August 30th-South Carolina State

September 6th- South Florida

September 20th-@ Boston College

September 27th-@ UTEP

October 4th-Southern Methodist

October 11th-@ Miami

October 26th-@ Tulsa

November 2nd-East Carolina

November 8th-Southern Miss

November 15th-@ Marshall

November 22nd-@ Memphis

November 29th-UAB

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Doc Hancock’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Rice Owls

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on August 5, 2008

Rice Owls

Head Coach: David Baliff (3-9 in 1 year at Rice, 24-24 overall)

Stadium: Rice Stadium (70,000)

2007 Record: 3-9, (3-5 C-USA West)

Postseason: None

Key Returnees On Offense: QB Chase Clement, WRs Jarrett Dillard, Tommy Henderson, Toren Dixon, TE Taylor Wardlow

Key Returnees On Defense: CB Brandon King, DEs Cheta Ozougwu and Scott Solomon, FS Andrew Sendejo

The Skinny: After returning to a bowl for the first time in 46 years, Rice fell on hard times in 2007, going 3-5 in conference play and 3-9 overall. Of course, Rice was marred by countless injuries in David Baliff’s first season but showed glimmers of hope on October 3rd when they defeated Southern Miss in Hattiesburg and gave Tulsa a scare in the final game of the 2007 season at home. With senior QB Chase Clement returning to Houston for his senior year after throwing for 3,377 yards and 29 touchdowns and a talented trio of receivers in Dillard, Henderson, and Dixon, the offense should be again a talented unit should they not be beset by injuries.

On defense, the Owls will have Scott Solomon returning after leading the team in sacks with 4.5 and Sendejo who had 5 interceptions to lead the team. Expect leadership to come from the upperclassmen as the Owls look to regroup from a disappointing season in Houston.

Doc’s Prediction: There should be no excuse for the Owls to have the kind of season they had in 2007 although the team had a large number of injuries that doomed their campaign and they really did not have any solid backups to plug into the gaping holes on both sides of the ball. With road games against Memphis, Vanderbilt, Texas, and Tulsa, plus the season-ending showdown with crosstown rival Houston, there’s no such thing as winnable games for the Owls.

Projected Record: 5-7 (4-4 C-USA West)

2008 Rice Owls:

August 29th-SMU

September 6th-@ Memphis

September 13th-@ Vanderbilt

September 20th-@ Texas

September 27th-North Texas

October 4th-@ Tulsa

October 18th-Southern Mississippi

October 25th-@ Tulane

November 1st-@ UTEP

November 8th-Army

November 22nd-Marshall

November 29th-Houston

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Doc Holliday’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on August 4, 2008

Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Head Coach: Todd Graham (2nd season at UT, 17-10 overall record, 10-4 in 1 year at Tulsa)

Stadium: H.A. Chapman Stadium (35,542)

2007 Record: (10-4, 6-2 C-USA West)

Postseason: Beat Bowling Green 63-7 in the GMAC Bowl

Key Returnees on Offense: FB Charles Clay, RB Jamad Williams

Key Returnees on Defense: DE Moton Hopkins, LB George Clinkscale, CB Kenny D. Simms, S Charles Davis

The Skinny: Several years ago, Tulsa football was hardly a blip on the scene until current Louisville coach Steve Kragthorpe came into town and resurrected a once-program that would claim their first Conference USA title in 2006 and follow that with a share of the C-USA West Division title under new coach Todd Graham. The only constant in those two years was the fact that the Golden Hurricane had record-setting quarterback Paul Smith anchoring the Hurricane’s potent offense attack.

As with other things in our lives, good things like having a quarterback who puts up Madden-like numbers on a regular basis shall come to an end and in Tulsa’s case, the Paul Smith era has made way for senior David Johnson, who only attempted 8 passes in 2007 for 56 yards. With Johnson’s experience and offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn’s system, expect Johnson to have a productive year leading the Tulsa offense.

On defense, the Golden Hurricane welcome back DE’s Moton Hopkins and Kenny Sims, guys who will bring leadership to a relatively young defense. That being said, Tulsa football again should be on the rise again as it continues its return to glory.

Doc’s Prediction: With a favorable schedule working in Tulsa’s favor, including trips to Arkansas and Houston in what will be a showdown for the C-USA West crown, there’s no doubt that Tulsa will again rule the roost in Conference USA and play here in Memphis for the second time in three years.

Projected Record: 12-2 (7-1 C-USA West)

2008 Tulsa Golden Hurricane

August 30th-@ UAB

September 6th-@ North Texas

September 20th-New Mexico

September 27th-Central Arkansas

October 4th-Rice

October 11th-@ Southern Methodist

October 18th-UTEP

October 26th-Central Florida

November 1st-@ Arkansas

November 15th-@ Houston

November 22nd-Tulane

November 29th-@ Marshall

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Doc Holliday’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Memphis Tigers

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on July 25, 2008

Memphis Tigers

Head Coach: Tommy West (41-44 in 7 years at Memphis, 76-79 overall)

Stadium: Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium: (62,380)

2007 Record: 7-6 (6-2 C-USA East)

Postseason: Lost to Florida Atlantic 44-27 in the New Orleans Bowl

Key Returnees on Offense: WRs Duke Calhoun, Carlos Singleton, Steven Black, Maurice Jones, RB T.J. Pitts, TE Brett Russell

Key Returnees on Defense: FS Brandon Patterson, DE Greg Terrell, LBs Josh Weaver and Winston Bowens

The Skinny: In what was one of the most bizarre and inspiring seasons for football in Memphis, starting with the slow start to begin the ’07 season and the tragic death of Taylor Bradford in September and ending with the fourth bowl appearance for the Tigers in five years, this year is looking to be a rebuilding time for Memphis. The Tigers say goodbye to incumbent QB Martin Hankins, who’s moved on to bigger and better things and hello to anyone (including me) filling the void left by Hankins in at QB. While it’s up in the air who’s going to be the quarterback come August 30th when the Tigers open up at Ole Miss, it’s safe to say that the receiving corps will be one of the keys for the offense to click as Duke Calhoun and Steven Black return along with Carlos Singleton and Maurice Jones, who were among the team’s leaders in receiving yards, touchdowns, and receptions. Along with an experienced group of wide receivers, they also welcome back TE Brett Russell for his senior season.

On defense, the Tigers seem to be loaded at safety with former Germantown High standout Brandon Patterson and Tony Bell. Linebackers Josh Weaver and Winston Bowens will also pick up the slack in the defensive unit as well as end Greg Terrell and tackles Clinton McDonald and Freddie Barnett who look to return to their status as one of the best defensive units in Conference USA.

Doc’s Prediction: After ripping this team a new one on this site in late September and early October last year and waking up to jump on the football bandwagon of the Tigers in early November, what momentum that the Tigers carried into their fourth bowl appearance in five years should carry over into this season. Given the fact that their schedule looks favorable, Memphis has winnable games against Rice, UAB, Nicholls State, Arkansas State at home. A showdown with Louisville looms on October 10th and the Tigers open the season in Oxford with Ole Miss to begin the Houston Nutt era, there’s no excuse for the Tigers to not be in contention for the C-USA East crown.

Projected Record: 7-6 (5-3 C-USA East)

2008 Memphis Tigers Schedule:

August 30th-@ Ole Miss

September 6th-Rice

September 13th-@ Marshall

September 20th-Nicholls State

September 27th-Arkansas State

October 2nd-@ UAB

October 10th-Louisville

October 18th-@ East Carolina

October 25th-Southern Mississippi

November 8th-@ Southern Methodist

November 22nd-Central Florida

November 29th-Tulane

Posted in NCAA Football | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Doc Holliday’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on July 10, 2008

Southern Miss Golden Eagles

Head Coach: Larry Fedora (1st year)

Stadium: M.M. Roberts Stadium (33,000)

2007 Record: (7-6, 5-3 C-USA East)

Postseason: Lost to Cincinnati 31-21 in the PapaJohn’s.com Bowl

Key Returnees On Offense: TB Damion Fletcher, WRs Gerald Baptiste, Torris Magee, TE Shawn Nelson

Key Returnees On Defense: FS Eddie Hicks, CB C.J. Bailey, LBs Tokumbo Abanikanda, Gerald McRath

The Skinny: The Jeff Bower era ended at the close of the 2007 season after 14 straight winning seasons and 10 bowl appearances in 11 seasons. Replacing Bower is former Oklahoma State assistant Larry Fedora, who was on Mike Gundy’s staff for two seasons and previously at Florida as offensive coordinator under Ron Zook. On offense at quarterback Marteveious Young will be replacing Jeremy Young, who threw for 1,464 yards and 11 touchdowns. While they have inexperience at QB, they will welcome back Damion Fletcher, who ran for 1,586 yards last season and 15 touchdowns along with receivers Gerald Baptiste and Torris Magee. Magee led the team in receptions with 44 and receiving yards with 632. Along with Magee, tight end Shawn Nelson will be another important cog in the offense after a year in which he made 33 catches for 451 yards and led the team in touchdown receptions with 5. With the defense, they are going to have to rely on the leadership of linebackers Gerald McRath and Tokumbo Abanikanda. McRath led the team in tackles with 139 last season and earned Defensive Player of the Year in Conference USA.

Doc’s Prediction: After another bowl appearance by the Golden Eagles, it’s safe to say that once again the Golden Eagles will be back in another bowl for the 11th time in 12 seasons and a contender for the C-USA East crown. But while the schedule presents trips to Auburn in September, Memphis on my birthday, and Central Florida in November, plus home games against Boise State and East Carolina, anything short of a bowl trip will be unexpected in Hattiesburg.

Projected Record: 8-5 (5-3 C-USA East)

2008 Schedule

August 30th-UL Lafeyette

September 6th-@ Auburn

September 13th-@ Arkansas State

September 20th-Marshall

October 4th-UTEP

October 11th-Boise State

October 18th-@ Rice

October 25th-@ Memphis

November 1st-UAB

November 8th-@ Central Florida

November 15th-East Carolina

November 29th-@ Southern Methodist

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Doc Holliday’s Grand Tour Of C-USA: East Carolina Pirates

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on June 30, 2008

East Carolina Pirates

Head Coach: Skip Holtz (20-17 at ECU, 54-40 overall)

Stadium: Dowdy-Ficken Stadium (43,000)

2007 Record: (8-5, 6-2 C-USA East)

Postseason: Beat Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl 41-38

Key Returnees On Offense: QBs Patrick Pinkney and Rob Kass, WR Jamar Bryant

Key Returnees On Defense: DE Zack Slate, DE C.J. Wilson, DT Khaif Mitchell, DT Jay Ross, OLB Quentin Cotton, OLB Pierre Bell, CB Leon Best, CB Jerek Hewett, SS Van Eskridge

The Skinny: After a few years in the wilderness, East Carolina made a nice run last year for the C-USA East crown under Skip Holtz, who has done a great job in turning around the fortunes in Greenville in his short time there. With mobile quarterback Patrick Pinkney, who led the team in passing yardage with 1,358 yards and 11 TD passes and 306 yards on the ground in 2007 as well as receiver Jamar Bryant, who led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns among receivers, the offense looks to be just as explosive as it was last season. On defense, the Pirates return all four starters up front, including Zack Slate and C.J. Wilson, who both garnered All-CUSA honors in 2007. Wilson returns as the team’s leader in sacks with 7 while Slate looks to be an anchor in one of the best defenses in Conference USA.

Doc’s Prediction: Only a few years ago, a game against East Carolina was a sure bet to be an easy win on the calendar but with the return to glory that Skip Holtz has led this team on in the last two years, look for the Pirates to be in contention again this year for the Conference USA crown.

Projected Record: 10-3 (7-1)

2008 Schedule

August 30th-Virginia Tech (Charlotte, North Carolina)

Sept. 6th-West Virginia

Sept. 13th-@ Tulane

Sept. 20th-@ North Carolina State

Sept. 27th-Houston

Oct. 11th-@ Virginia

Oct. 18th-Memphis

Nov. 2nd-@ Central Florida

Nov. 8th-Marshall

Nov. 15th-@Southern Mississippi

Nov. 22nd-@ UAB

Nov. 28th-UTEP

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Three Days In The M-Town

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on March 19, 2008

According to Indian custom, in order for a young boy to successfully become a man, he would have to go through a series of events known simply as a vision quest.

If the young boy successfully did this, he would in so many words, become a man in his tribe’s eyes.

In our society, a vision quest towards manhood means being legally able to drink.

Not anything sports-related.

For three days, yours truly embarked on a journey to search for the meaning of life, using $250 (thank you, Mom for teaching me about saving money), blessings from my main man Matt, and the grace of God (not Grace Walker, who as I write this is in England).

During this sports-related journey for the meaning of life, I ran across many interesting characters, including TNB’s possible answer to Erin Andrews.

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Posted in NCAA Basketball | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

The 16th Greatest Basketball Program In The South: Alabama-Birmingham Blazers

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on November 28, 2007

uabblazers.jpg

Alabama-Birmingham Blazers

Location: Birmingham, Alabama

Nickname: Blazers

Reason For Nickname: There is no clear reason for the nickname “Blazers” according to the school’s athletic website. My clear thinking would be because of Birmingham’s tradition as a leader in steel production.

Colors: Green and Gold

Conference: Conference USA

Arena: Bartow Arena (built 1988, capacity 8,508)

Blaze Of Glory: While Florida State (#20 on the list) had a 50-year head start on basketball, the University of Alabama at Birmingham had a seven-decade head start on the competition. The Blazers began playing basketball in 1977 under the direction of legendary coach Gene Bartow, who is best known for taking Memphis State and UCLA to Final Four berths in the 1970’s.

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Coach “O” Yea, Bower Nay

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on November 27, 2007

On the day that Ole Miss gift-wrapped a victory to Mississippi State, I wrote that in order for Ole Miss to get back to its long-gone glory days it would have to make wholesale changes in the football program.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

There was no doubt in my mind that Coach Orgeron had to go. Outside of wins and losses — but mostly losses — the Orgeron era was, in so many words, a complete wash and waste of time to the University of Mississippi and its fans.

Changes had to be made in Oxford one way or the other.

But in the case of what has transpired down in Hattiesburg with Jeff Bower, who on Monday afternoon was forced to resign for undisclosed reasons after 17 years with Southern Miss, is a travesty and to say for the fact that letting him go was a good idea is completely stupid.

Before Boise State, Hawaii, and Utah captured the hearts and minds of the college football scene, Southern Miss was setting the standard for mid-major football programs by playing top notch teams from what would later become BCS Conferences in the late 80’s and early 90’s under Curley Hallaman and a quarterback by the name of Brett Favre.

And then when Bower took over, the Golden Eagles rose to the national spotlight by being touted as having one of the best defenses in the country and one of the best running backs in Derrick Nix.

Want more facts?

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Time To Jump On The Tigers’ Bandwagon

Posted by Ryne E. Hancock on November 13, 2007

A couple of times during the season in this very blog, I ripped apart the Memphis Tigers football squad for not doing their part on the field and I pretty much wanted Tommy West with a rope around his neck for the piss-poor recruiting he’s done since DeAngelo left for the NFL in 2005.

I also said on this very blog that the university, for the most part, didn’t care about the football program and the best thing to do is ditch the program and just focus on the cash cow that is the basketball program.

But, for whatever strange reason, the Tigers are sitting one dragon slay away from earning the school’s fourth Bowl bid in five seasons should they win against UAB at home on Saturday afternoon after beating Southern Mississippi last Saturday in Hattiesburg.

And in the process making people like myself, who spent countless days at home counting down to the start of the basketball season, eat large servings of humble pie.

Before we got to this point of figuring out what Bowl game the Tigers would be playing in and what they needed to do in order to win their first Conference Championship of any kind in football since 1971, the Tigers, at the end of Septembe,r was on the fast track to being one of the worst in school history after being blown out on the road at Central Florida and choking against Arkansas State (in what would be the last time Taylor Bradford would suit up for Memphis).

Then, a week after an emotional win over Marshall on National television, the Tigers found themselves on the short end of a 21-7 loss to Middle Tennessee in a mistake-filled game for both teams and, in the process, allowed 490 yards of total offense with another stellar performance by an opposing team’s option quarterback in Dwight Dasher (who subbed for starter Joe Craddock).

But as the saying goes, there’s more to this story.

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