Good morning. Breakfast is served.
It’s November 1st — 305 down, 60 to go.
And 26 till Thanksgiving.
YESTERDAY: Did you have a good Halloween? LeBron James did — his Cavs beat the Bulls in overtime, 114-108. Michigan’s athletic director resigned. The Cubs hired Joe Maddon as their manager. Formula One invaded Austin, with practice rounds at Circuit of the Americas and Fan Fest downtown.
TODAY: Texas is at Texas Tech (6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1, 1300, 98.1). Today’s top games — No. 3 Auburn at No. 4 Ole Miss (6, ESPN); Stanford at No. 5 Oregon (6:30, Fox); No. 7 TCU at No. 20 West Virginia (2:30, ABC); No. 12 Arizona at No. 22 UCLA (9:30 a.m., ESPN) and No. 17 Utah at No. 14 Arizona State (10 a.m., FS1). Oh, and for historical purposes, Will Muschamp may be coaching his final game at Florida (Florida at No. 11 Georgia, 2:30, CBS). And over at COTA, it’s qualifying day for F1.
TOMORROW: Will Tony Romo play when the Cowboys host the Cardinals (noon, Fox)? He’ll probably be a game-time decision. The Texans host the Eagles (noon). Other top games — Robert Griffin III starts for the first time since Week 2, Redskins at Vikings (noon), Broncos at Patriots (3:25, CBS), Ravens at Steelers (7:30, NBC). Austin puts on its third annual U.S. Grand Prix, at COTA.
Nov. 1 has a sports history. On this date, we lost Walter Payton (1999); New Orleans was awarded the NFL’s 16th franchise — on All Saints Day, hence the New Orleans Saints (1966); the goalie’s mask was used for the first time in hockey, by Montreal Canadiens goalie Jacques Plante (1959); Man o’ War, winner of the 1920 Preakness and Belmont races of the Triple Crown and considered one of the greatest thoroughbreds of all time, died at the age of 30 (1947); Seabiscuit upset 1937 Triple Crown winner War Admiral by three lengths in a match race (1938); and the first U.S. franchise of the NHL was founded — the Boston Bruins (1924).
Last year on Nov. 1, All-Star closer Joe Nathan said no thanks to the Rangers’ $9 million contract option. Also, the NFL suspended Justin Blackmon indefinitely for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
Texas has a history on this date, too. A bad one. On Nov. 1, 2008, Texas Tech upset the No. 1-ranked Longhorns on Michael Crabtree‘s last-minute touchdown catch. That loss ultimately cost Texas a chance to play in the Big 12 title game and subsequent berth in the national championship game.
Today’s sports birthdays: Coco Crisp (35), Erik Spoelstra (44), Fernando Valenzuela (54), Ted Hendricks (67) and Gary Player (79). Other notables: Lyle Lovett (57) and Larry Flynt (72).
TODAY’S TRIVIA: Two Longhorns have won the Hendricks Award, named for birthday boy Ted Hendricks and given each year to college football’s top defensive end. Name them. (Answer’s at the end of Breakfast.)
TODAY’S LEAD: TEXAS VS. TEXAS TECH. Two 3-5 teams with sub-par .500 records in the Big 12, clashing on the South Plains in a … primetime matchup?
For whatever reason, Fox Sports 1, which had the 11 a.m. and 6:30 slots to fill, chose Longhorns-Red Raiders as its night-time broadcast. Besides the records, at least you’ve got some storylines to bank on with this one — there’s the rivalry, the history in Lubbock, the two head coaches’ individual situations, as Charlie Strong continues to remake his Longhorns program and Kliff Kingsbury struggles to refocus his.
Ten thoughts, in advance of tonight’s game:
- Who’ll start for Texas Tech?: Will it be Davis Webb (211-345-2,539, 24/13) or Patrick Mahomes (12-23-119, 2/2)? Webb’s the thrower, Mahomes the runner. Webb’s the starter, but he suffered a leg injury in last week’s blowout loss to TCU and left that game on crutches. He’s a game-time decision.
Texas has its issues, too. Receiver Daje Johnson (hamstring) and right guard Kent Perkins (knee) have made the trip, but are game-time decisions. Johnson’s had only one touch all season, and he was hurt vs. Baylor. Perkins left last week’s loss at Kansas State, tried to come back and then left again. Both have practiced this week.
Suspended left tackle Desmond Harrison? Still suspended.
- Will Texas get that fourth win?: Getting to a bowl game is simple arithmetic now. The Longhorns (3-5) need three more wins in their final four games. That starts with Texas Tech today, and it’s a game that the Longhorns should win.
Texas’ final four — at Texas Tech (3-5), vs. No. 20 West Virginia (6-2), at Oklahoma State (5-3), vs. No. 7 TCU (6-1).
- Does Texas have a 100-yard rusher today?: Or maybe two, even? The Longhorns are still searching for their first 100-yard rushing performance of the season. Tech, though, ranks 121st nationally in rushing defense, allowing 246 yards a game and 23 rushing TDs this season. The Longhorns average only 137.6 rushing yards a game. That’s 94th nationally, 9th in the Big 12.
For the year, Malcolm Brown has 417 yards and 4 TDs and Johnathan Gray has 369 yards and 2 TDs. Looks like another season without a 1,000-yard rusher.
- Which Swoopes shows up?: Will we get the Tyrone Swoopes who took steps forward against Oklahoma and Iowa State, or the one who took a step back vs. Kansas State? He’s made a habit of starting games efficiently, passing percentage-wise, but needs to make a play or two in the running game.
- Offense vs. defense: Let us assume that Texas’ defense shows up again, as it has pretty much all season. That leaves a Longhorns offense vs. Red Raiders defense matchup, which will be interesting to watch how it plays out. Tech lost its defensive coordinator in mid-September when Matt Wallerstedt resigned after Arkansas ran for 438 yards. Tech’s defense ranks 122nd nationally and gives up more than 500 yards a game.
This game’s a sellout. It’s been sold out since this summer.
How we advanced the game: Brian Davis’ game advance centered on the bad history the Longhorns have had in Lubbock ($). Brian also wrote about the season that defensive tackle Malcom Brown has been having ($). We identified the three Red Raiders that UT will be watching tonight ($) and asked five questions that the Horns are facing ($). Earlier in the week, Cedric Golden looked at Kingsbury’s predicament in Lubbock ($). And Ryan Autullo wrote about punter William Russ, who’s finally making an impact on the Texas program ($).
How others are advancing it: The Dallas Morning News framed tonight’s game by looking at how both teams are coming off such downers last week. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal wrote about Pete Robertson, Tech’s pass-rushing outside linebacker who once was compared to a young Von Miller.
BIG 12 STANDINGS:
1. Kansas State (4-0, 6-1): vs. Oklahoma State, 7, ABC
2. West Virginia (4-1, 6-2): vs. TCU, 2:30, ABC
T3. Baylor (3-1, 6-1): vs. Kansas, 3, FS1
T3. TCU (3-1, 6-1): at West Virginia, 2:30, ABC
5. Oklahoma State (3-2, 5-3): at Kansas State, 7, ABC
6. Oklahoma (2-2, 5-2): at Iowa State, 11 a.m., FS1
7. Texas (2-3, 3-5): at Texas Tech, 6:30, FS1
8. Texas Tech (1-4, 3-5): vs. Texas, 6:30, FS1
T9. Iowa State (0-4, 2-5): vs. Oklahoma, 11, FS1
T9. Kansas (0-4, 2-5): at Baylor, 3, FS1
AROUND THE FORTY ACRES: A quick sweep of UT teams.
Men’s basketball: Texas is ranked 10th in the AP’s preseason poll, released yesterday. It’s the Longhorns’ first preseason ranking since 2009, when they started the year No. 3. Other ranked Big 12 teams are No. 5 Kansas, No.14 Iowa State and No. 19 Oklahoma. The season starts Nov. 14.
Women’s basketball: Texas is ranked 9th in the AP’s preseason poll, released Thursday. It’s the Longhorns’ first Top 10 ranking since Nov. 17, 2009. Other ranked Big 12 teams are No. 8 Baylor, No. 17 West Virginia and No. 21 Oklahoma State. Two top five teams — No. 4 Tennessee and No. 5 Texas A&M — are on Texas’ non-conference schedule, as is No. 6 Stanford.
Volleyball: No. 5 Texas plays at Iowa State on Sunday (2 p.m., ESPNU). The Longhorns lead the all-time series, 35-4, and have won 12 straight Big 12 road matches.
Men’s swimming: Four Longhorns and two former Longhorns were named to the U.S. rosters for three international meets for next year. Senior Clay Youngquist will compete at the 2015 FINA World Championships; Youngquist, sophomore Jack Conger and juniors Matt Ellis and John Murray will compete at the 2015 World University Games; former UT swimmers Jimmy Feigen and Michael McBroom will swim at the World Championships along with Youngquist; and Feigen will compete at the 2015 Pan American Games.
Women’s swimming: Texas came from behind, winning 10 of the final 16 events, to beat Cal in Berkeley on Friday, 161-139. … Meanwhile, sophomore Madisyn Cox was named to the U.S. roster for the World University Games (July 4-11, South Korea), in the 200-meter IM.
Cross country: The Big 12 championships are today, in Lawrence, Kan. The Texas men, ranked 29th, begin their 8,000-meter race at 11 a.m. The women’s 6,000-meter race is at 10.
Soccer: Texas lost to Oklahoma State 2-1 Friday night, on a late goal at the 88:27 mark. The Longhorns (10-8-1, 5-2-1) will be the No. 5 seed in next week’s Big 12 championship in Kansas City. They’ll play fourth-seeded Texas Tech in the quarterfinals (Wednesday, 2 p.m.).
TRIVIA ANSWER: Brian Orakpo (2008) and Jackson Jeffcoat (2013) are the two Longhorns who have won the Hendricks Award, given to the country’s top defensive end each year. The award started in 2002.
ON NOV. 1 …
1982: Honda became the first Asian automobile company to open a factory in the U.S. The first car produced in the Maryville, Ohio plant? A Honda Accord, naturally.
1968: Letter ratings for movies were first announced by the Motion Picture Association of America, with the original ratings of G, M, R and X.
1960: John F. Kennedy, on a campaign stop, announced his plan for creating the Peace Corps.
TODAY’S LITTLE NUMBER: 3-0. Texas Tech’s record vs. Texas on games played on Nov. 1 (24-20 in 1980, 23-21 in 1986, 39-33 in 2008).
TODAY’S BIGGER NUMBER: 12. Offensive rebounds for Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson. That tied a franchise record.
TODAY’S BIG NUMBER: 95. Most rushing yards by a single player so far this season for Texas — Swoopes.
OK, Breakfast is over. Thanks for stopping by.
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