What He Said: A Rebuttal To Mr. Mike Blackwell's Article

Tim BondCorrespondent IJuly 24, 2010

28 Oct 2000:  (L-R) Former Head Coach Barry Switzer of the Oklahoma Sooners stands with the Former Head Coach Tom Osborne of the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the game at the Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Cornhuskers 31-14.Mandatory Credit: Brian Bahr  /Allsport
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

I usually do not take offense to what people in the media write when it comes to their own commentary.  But I must make an exception when it comes to Mr. Mike Blackwell’s article he wrote for Inside Texas Magazine on July 21, 2010.

First, let it be known I am neither a Husker nor a Longhorn fan. I do not cheer for either team at all.

Although, I do have more respect for Nebraska than Texas. Let me also say that I understand what commentary is, and that is to state your very own opinion about something.

Now let’s get to what Mr. Blackwell wrote, shall we?

Husker fans, we appreciate the passion you show toward your football team. As Texas fans, we have always admired you and appreciated your tradition and class.

But you began a dance with the dark side a few years ago by hiring a coach from the Bob Stoops tree.

In the old days, your very own Tom Osborne was always college football’s gentleman, and he lived the role and won championships.

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When have Texas fans admired anyone or anything but themselves? That right there should have set off a red flag for all readers because Texas fans are the most conceited in the entire country. They actually think they are entitled to everything and anything. 

Bo Pelini is not from the Bob Stoops coaching tree. Sure, their families are close, and they are close friends themselves, but to say Pelini is from the Stoops tree is not true at all.

The only thing Bo Pelini did with Bob Stoops is coach as co-defensive coordinator for one season before heading to LSU.

Though Tom Osborne may have been a complete gentleman, Bo Pelini and Dr. Osborne are not the same coaches or the same people.

Pelini brings a lot of fire and passion in this new era of college football. He has a lot of emotion and determination to succeed.

But somewhere (say, with about one second left on the clock in last year’s Big 12 championship game), you changed.

I don’t recall Osborne ever going into a rage with officials after losing a tough game, and he’s lost a ton of games much bigger than the one you lost to Texas last December.

Who cares what Osborne did after a tough loss? He is no longer the coach of the proud Husker program.

Bo Pelini is that coach. In the heat of the game without any replay advantage, without any commentator’s illustrations, no one knew exactly what was going on.

Was it the correct call to make? By rule yes, but how many games ended on an incomplete pass when time could have been added back onto the clock? There have been plenty.

The reason this one was so infuriating for the Husker Nation is that it was for some very hard earned hardware. Both Texas and Nebraska played a very good game, and both teams deserved to win that game.

It is just sad that it ended the way it did because so many other games have ended in the past on incomplete passes, even though a second or two could have been added back on the clock.

Had Nebraska been No. 2 in the BCS, I can almost guarantee that no time would have been put back on the clock and Nebraska wins.

The Big 12 has stated in the past that their purpose is to get teams into the BCS Championship game, so had Nebraska won, no Big 12 team would have been in that game last year.

For the next three or four paragraphs in Mr. Blackwell’s article, he goes on to talk about Tom Osborne and how he would have handled the situation.

All the while trying to give Mack Brown some good publicity by saying, “had you won last December’s game (you didn’t), Mack Brown would’ve been the first one to cross the field and shake your coach’s hand. He would’ve been gracious in defeat, as always.”

So would you like to comment on the asterisk incident in 2008, where Mack Brown was so infuriated that he and the university placed an asterisk labeling themselves Big 12 Champions?

You want to talk about playing by the rules and being gracious in defeat, maybe the Texas coaching staff and university should understand the rules of a three-way tie before crying foul about it and proclaiming themselves as Big 12 Champions?

Like you, the Longhorns have suffered painful, gut-wrenching defeats. Oklahoma mocked the Longhorns in the early 2000s.

The BCS mocked us in 2008, thanks in part to the voting bloc led by Stoops’ coaching brethren, two of whom lost their jobs last year following player treatment controversies.

In Georgia, Bulldogs’ fans still ask: What time is it in Texas? Answer: 10 to 9. We’ve lost to Rice, for God’s sake.

So Stoops had coaches around the nation voting for him to get him in the Big 12 Championship game? Have you ever heard of this thing called first to lose is in better position later in the season?

Usually, when a team loses early in the season, not their last regular season game, they tend to fare better in the polls if both teams have the same record and regardless of head-to-head outcomes.

Had Texas taken care of Texas Tech, Texas would have faced Missouri in the 2008 Big 12 Championship game and then went on to face Florida in the BCS Championship game.

Want to talk about sour grapes, you are still trying to blame this on Bob Stoops and everyone else but your inability to beat Texas Tech.

Let me mention, OU blasted Texas Tech the following week by the tune of 65-21.

Oh, and Oklahoma still mocks Texas to this day. We will never stop doing so.

And like you, the Longhorns will be ready on Oct. 16. A game that would’ve been a great game between a pair of programs with mutual respect has now become a “game to circle” for both teams.

The problem for you, though, is simple: you don’t have the players to make your dream come true.

Your marketing team certainly has plenty of swagger, but your real swagger (spelled S-U-H) is not walking through that door.

If you do not think the Nebraska players would not have circled the Oct. 16 game against Texas before the outcome of the 2009 Big 12 Championship game, then you are sadly mistaken.

Also, when has losing one player meant the swagger left with him? When has losing one great player meant the fall of a program?

Last time I checked, Texas loses some very good players year in and year out, and they are able to maintain a consistent level of competition.

What makes you think Nebraska, or any other team for that matter, is incapable of doing the same thing?

When next year begins, you’ll beat Western Kentucky and Idaho, and then you’ll lose in Seattle to Washington, to a team with one of the best quarterbacks in the country.

You’ll beat South Dakota State, and then you might very well lose also to Kansas State in Manhattan one game before hosting Texas.

It’s a very real possibility that you’ll have two losses before your red-out game with Texas. Your video will look silly then; you’ll have burnt orange crop circles in your corn.

Mr. Blackwell, I am not a rich man by any means, so do you think you can give me tonight’s lottery numbers? I could really use the money! Thanks in advance.

Also, Mr. Blackwell, you can make predictions about being in Dallas playing for the Big 12 Championship all you want.

But, until Texas can shore up an unproven offensive line, until Gilbert can prove that he can stop throwing interceptions (yes you can even blame Gilbert for Texas losing to Texas State in a 7-on-7 game thanks to his ability to complete passes to the other team), until Texas can find a sure handed receiver and a defensive leader, then I do not see Texas playing in Dallas for the Big 12 Championship Game.

With all that said, Mr. Blackwell, thanks for the read, it was enjoyable, but I would like to leave you with a quote from Dr. Tom Osborne: “The odds are always against you no matter what your previous history is. You have to overcome the tendency to relax.”

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