POSTED ON DECEMBER 3, 2008:
Vengeful TU squad welcomes East Carolina in the C-USA Championship Game
Merry Christmas. TU handled Marshall by a score of 38-35 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Simultaneously, the Rice Owls battered the Houston Cougars-- gift wrapping an early Christmas present for TU.
Spring cleaning, washing the car and prostate exams are just a few items we put off as long as humanly possible. You know these things are past due, but anything and everything sounds more stimulating at the moment.
I've promised an OU and OSU basketball preview for weeks. Other items of note keep popping up. Last week, the column called for a turkey-infused theme. This week?
The University of Tulsa hosts the East Carolina Pirates this Saturday at H.A. Chapman Stadium in the Conference USA Championship. Kickoff is scheduled for 11am. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
"This should be an outstanding matchup," said Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky. "Both teams have had strong seasons and have been very exciting to watch all season long. We are looking forward to a terrific atmosphere and a great game."
TU handled Marshall by a score of 38-35 at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Simultaneously, the Rice Owls battered the Houston Cougars-- gift wrapping an early Christmas present for TU.
Prior to Tulsa's game against the Thundering Herd, TU head coach Todd Graham spewed the right statements: "The great thing is their game (Rice versus Houston) starts at the same time that our game does. We don't have to worry about that. We can worry about one thing, beating Marshall and getting our 10th win of the season. That's what our focus is."
After the game, Coach Graham admitted that he received real time updates on the sideline. He used the knowledge (Rice winning by two touchdowns) to motivate his cadre at halftime.
This marks the third time in four years the Golden Hurricane represent the West Division in the C-USA Championship. In 2005, the Hurricane won the inaugural C-USA Championship Game. In 2007, they did not.
ECU is led by senior signal caller Patrick Pinkney. The one-two punch in the backfield features Brandon Simmons and Norman Whitley. The Pirates rank first in C-USA scoring defense. They allow a mere 20.5 points per contest.
Something has to give. TU leads the all-time series 5-2. The last meeting took place in 2006 and saw the Hurricane prevail 31-10.
Much love is given to TU's prolific passing attack and rightfully so. David Johnson is a homeless man's Steve Young (replacing a legend and possibly outperforming him in the process).
The wide receivers at TU range from reliable to ridiculously talented. However, we always overlook the running game. More notably, Tarrion Adams and the contributions he makes on a weekly basis.
Adams is the soft-spoken leader. Before the season started, he described the feelings heading into the final year of his stellar career at TU: "When it all sets in... that this is your last season... your last time stepping on the field... you want to do it right. You want to leave a legacy for the guys coming behind you but at the same time you want to be remembered the right way."
Adams averages 5.98 yards per carry. He's a capable receiver out of the backfield with 20 receptions on the year. His blocking proficiency has improved tenfold since arriving on campus. He's even dabbled in the TU secondary on occasion.
Ticket for Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.tulsahurricane.com or by phoning 631-GoTU(4688). To be honest, if the forecast calls for cold weather, I'll be weighing down my couch watching HD splendor bring Skelly Field into my living room. But you? You should go so I can see you on TV.
Battle for the Big 12
Oklahoma versus Oklahoma State. Yawn. The Pokes kept it interesting, but in the end the best team pulled ahead. What's the big question pulsating across the nation's college football spectrum after Saturday? OU or Texas?
The answer is simple. If you live in Oklahoma, the Sooners should get the nod. If you hail from Texas, the Longhorns beat OU straight up.
If you live inside an Intel Pentium processor that powers the BCS computers, OU is greater than Texas (this week).
This begs the question: How on earth can the Big 12 utilize BCS standings in the tiebreaker equation? Granted, it's the fifth option, but perhaps the Big 12 should look at the Pac 10 or SEC for guidance in the future.
Sure, I'm the one guy who enjoys the BCS, but that is because we are stuck with it. Why complain about a system in place for the next six years? On the flip side, is the Big 12 contractually bound to use the BCS rankings as a tiebreaker?
Poor Missouri. You lose to Kansas and now you want to take the field against the Sooners? Pfft.
President-Elect Obama wants to use his power to force college football into a playoff. While he's wielding his big stick, can he remove Missouri from the Big 12 Championship and have OU and Texas play once again?
I think this is a platform everyone could agree on.
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