Archive for the ‘Baylor Bears’ Category

Brinkhater Diaries: Tickle Me Elmo

July 19, 2008

Brinkhater Diaries Vol 1 (6)

“Come on, tickle me Elmo.”

“I said, COME ON!…..TICKLE ME, Elmo!”

So, many of you have been wondering about why we have been picked to finish last in the CRAP-10 conference this year. And, this week we got a good sniff as to why.

Chief among these prognosticators is the venerable Ted Miller as well as the Times’ Bob “Benedict Arnold” Condotta. Each provided a list of rankings of Pac-10 Quarterbacks this week.

And, low and behold, our very own Gary Rogers and his posse of back-ups were rated not first, not second, not fifth, not seventh, but DEAD STINKIN last.

How could it be, Noble Sires of the Scribe?

After all, most Cougar fans, diehards, and other masters of denial such as me still spend HOURS thinking of the glory we could have experienced in the Deep South if Rogers had JUST been able to stay in the game. Remember??

And, when you watch that tape you know why it is that my two boys may need to lay off the sauce when picking stiffs like Sean Canfiled ahead of my man GR (who of course wears the same number as Brinkhater’s hero, David Krieg).

Of course, it isn’t as if Rogers’ illustrious history in Crimson and Grey ended with the Auburn game.

Many of you Cougar die-hards may also remember his SPECTACULAR 20 yard throw to Jason Hill two years ago that enabled us to escape with a thrilling 1 point victory over the happy (memo to NW fans: NO ONE in Texas is EVER hapless!) 2-9 Baylor Bears.

Yet, because of an injury weeks later against CAL, we have not really seen what Gary Rogers CAN do on the football field.

What we have seen, however, is what he has NOT been able to do.

Granted, part of Rogers’ problems last year was that the Doba-Rosey conglomerate wouldn’t put G.R on the field until there was a buck and change left in the game.

And more often then not, they wouldn’t even let him throw.

However, when they did allow G.R to pull the trigger, it wasn’t pretty.

In fact, Rogers’ performance last year was outright hideous.

So, the REAL Gary Rogers will have his chance to stand up this year. Although he is both green and unproven, he enters this season loaded at the skill positions and is fronted by Ted Miller’s No. 5 offensive line in the conference.

Therefore, when you factor in that spread offenses like Oregon, Mizzou, Kansas, and so forth have yet to have a ROCKET armed quarterback at the helm, you have to be enticed to see what a spread offense looks like with someone who can really zing the ball to the flat and throw it 125 yards down field.

So, if Rogers can make reads and not try to throw through people this year, he will finish in the top 3 in the conference in quarterback rating and touchdowns….Bank on it.

Are you still a Weaver Believer?

I am.

When I first heard that Kyle was drafted by Charlotte, I was more deflated than elated. But then, I remembered that the Bobbycats are now coached by Mr Hipshaker, Larry Brown.

Because Brown is such a great coach and purist, you all need not worry that Kyle hasn’t signed a contract yet. Since Weaver will make the team and will play right away, Kyle is right to hold out to get some solid dough.

Its going to be fun watching him develop into a pro’s pro.

Meanwhile, as reported by the Sacramento Bee this week, Love-em-and-leave-em Larry actually accepted the Stanford job this past spring only to turn it down two days later for the NBA.

In my view, its really too bad that Larry didn’t join the Trees. I for one would have LOVED to see him and Mike Montgomery square off twice a year in the Bay Area for who has the best fake-bake tan job in the month of February.

Don’t know about you, but I’d take Montgomery and the points anytime, anywhere.

Finally, in recognition of my increasing National and International stature over the past few weeks, I thought it might be prudent for me to share with you some more about myself and my various likings.

With that in mind, I encourage you to partake in my latest project: Brinkhater’s “Book of the Month Club.”

For this month, I suggest a really great book by a NW writer. The title of the book: “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” The narrator of the book is, of all things, a dog.

But what a dog it is!

For all of you men out there looking for another excuse to cry on the toilet, this one is for you.

And yes, even the Mrs. will enjoy this one as well.

All disclaimers aside, you’ll enjoy it.

Have a great weekend.

Spring Fishwrap – Baylor Edition

May 24, 2008

Ah, yes, Baylor. When I hear the name, I think of only one thing….

You were a great DH, Don Baylor, but you were no Edgar Martinez. By the way, why, exactly, did Baylor never wear ear flaps on his batting helmet? Didn’t the guy lead the universe in hit-by-pitches? Yet no ear flaps? I think I have a stack of those batting helmets from 1982 that I “borrowed” from the local Dairy Queen. Of course they are all Seattle Mariners or Spokane Indians, but you get the idea.

Seriously, Baylor. The wacky Baylor Bears take on our Cougs in the 3rd game of the season, and this time it’s down in Waco. What do these guys look like coming out of spring? Let’s see.

First of all, I think Baylor hates us. Really. Think about it – we beat them in the ’94 Alamo Bowl. We beat them 17-15 in Qwest in 2006, on Peanut’s chip-shot at the gun that almost wasn’t if the refs hadn’t totally missed DeMaundray’s fumble at the goal-line a few plays before. And then last year, we go down there with the hoops team and hand them their first loss in dramatic style. All in all, I’m thinking they want a piece of WSU ass right about now.

Last Year: 3-9, including a terrible o-fer in the Big-12. And you thought we were the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked last year? 3-9 and defeated in conference play isn’t just bad. It’s major poop-island stuff. Head coach Guy Morriss took the fall and was relieved of his duties, and Art Briles now takes over the only Big 12 team that hasn’t ever been to a bowl game in conference history! (Baylor was not in the Big 12 when we beat them in 1994.) Briles comes from Houston, and he had a decent 34-28 record there, including three bowl games since 2003.

Offensive Scheme: Briles brings a pass-first, shotgun offense to Baylor. Spread ’em out and attack through the air. This is sure a common theme these days, isn’t it?

Top Offensive Player: This could also be another QB controversy issue. Blake Szymanski is back as the starter from last year, and he threw for over 2800 yards and 22 scores in ’07. He did toss 18 picks, however, in his first attempt as a starter in his sophomore season. Szymanski is tall at 6-4, but slightly over 200 lbs isn’t exactly an imposing figure. He completed 57% of his passes last year, not too bad but still not great. In all the video I’ve watched of him, he doesn’t have a gun, but he does throw a decent deep ball. A lot of touch on the lobs to the end-zone. Here’s a shot of him tossing one up into coverage, but the WR goes up and gets it:

NCAA Football Highlights on

He could be an ideal fit for the shotgun spread offense, which doesn’t rely on Brett Favre-types back there. A look around at some of the Big 12 offenses and you see a lot of QB’s that are less about pure arm strength and more about executing the read-option offense, making your reads and getting rid of the football. He’s got some decent weapons in WR’s Thomas White and super-talented David Gettis. Gettis is a huge target at 6-4, 205 lbs, and could have a major breakout season in the spread offense. Our secondary will have it’s hands full with Gettis.

But, I said QB controversy above, as it’s not a lead-pipe cinch that Szymanski will be the guy next year. There was some spring buzz about QB Kirby Freeman, a hyped transfer from the U of Miami. Freeman was a big-time recruit from Texas who chose the ‘Canes over Purdue, Okie State, Arizona, ASU, Nebraska, Texas and UCLA. But Freeman is already a 5th-yr senior, and with a new coach and offense in tow, it might not make a whole lot of sense to give him the job with a returning starter like Szymanski who has some time left to grow. But we’ll see. You can read about Freeman from an ESPN profile last month here.

Top Defensive Player: This one is a tie between LB Joe Pawelek and safety Jordan Lake. Both are well-regarded in the conference, and per the Sporting News, are in the top 5 in the Big 12 at their respective positions. Pawelek (pictured) exploded onto the scene in 2006, leading the team in tackles as a frosh. He had 86 tackles his first year, and 99 last year. He is now an All-Conference and All-American candidate heading into 2008. At 6-3, 233, he fits the prototype linebacker mold to a T and likely has a real NFL future in front of him. Oh, and guess what? He almost was a Coug! That’s right, Pawelek was one of those Texas kids we went after a few years ago, and in 2005 he chose Baylor over WSU and Houston. Pretty interesting. Here’s a Cougfan article about him in back in the day, and who knows, maybe he would have been starting alongside Greg Trent this whole time? Meanwhile, Lake had a strong 2007, totaling 120 tackles and a couple of picks. Lake is a solid 6-2, 205 lb safety who is always around the ball, and like Pawelek, an All-Conference candidate as the leader of the secondary.

Bottom Line: Our first road game of the Paul Wulff era comes at a weird spot. Traveling back to Texas might be difficult enough. But then you factor in an opponent with a whole new system and this one is tough to read. Baylor opens with 3 straight home games, with Wake Forest on 8/30 and Northwestern State on 9/6 before WSU comes calling. Even though they have a new system, they are returning 9 offensive starters, including the likely starting QB in Szymanski. The offensive line looks really strong as well, with four starters back from ’07. They only allowed 21 sacks all of last year, so, they will be regarded as the top unit on the team. I think USC sacked Brink 21 times last year? Anyway, defensively, however, they do lose some key guys, including safety Brandon Stiggers, who tied for the team lead in picks last year. Add in that they had the worst scoring defense in the Big 12, allowing over 32 points per game? In their case, a changeover in coaches and some new faces might be the best possible scenario.

To me, they look a little like Oklahoma State, only not quite as talented. But it will be our first road game, which can always be an adventure, especially for the new coaches and players. I would think Baylor will be a 3-4 point favorite, but it could come down to whoever has the ball last wins. That, or, “I’ll tell ya what – if WSU can score more points than Baylor, they just might pull this thing off!” Signed, Ron Fairly.

Enjoy your holiday weekend with $4/gallon of gas. Not to get too political, but, did you know that the day the Iraq war started, gas was $1.58 a gallon?? I thought the war was about oil. Or was it terror? I forget. Whatever. Anyway, enjoy your weekend.