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Archive : October 2011

October 28, 2011

AHS - Cooper prediction

I wanted to get my prediction for tonight's game in writing to prove how smart I am (if I'm wrong, I"ll just delete it and no one will ever know I predicted such a ridiculous outcome).

All that being said...

Abilene High has been battle-tested against some of the best teams in the state. They've hung with each team they've played and could very well be undefeated headed into tonight's game.

Cooper is on a roll...a big, buttery, warm, melt in your mouth, roll that has seen them put up huge offensive numbers each week (not to mention their QB setting the new all-time passing yardage mark...a BIG DEAL at Cooper HS).

Both offenses are great. We know that. The defenses are better than anyone knows because they're so overshadowed by the "glamorous" backs and receivers.

Here's my prediction...

The offenses will cancel each other out. Everyone expects a high-scoring game. I even said on FFN the other night that this game might be 103-101 or something like that.

I've changed my mind.

Defense will rule the field tonight. Points will be hard to come by.

Final score...

Abilene High - 21
Cooper - 17
  • mark rogers
  • October 28, 2011 4:36 PM

October 19, 2011

COMMENT FROM READER ABOUT ROMO

This comment was too good to let sit in obscurity...props to chayes:

Mark,

Enjoyed reading this article.  All Cowboys fans accross the country have been infuriated with Romo's inconsistencies throughout his career, and the media has undoubtedly enjoyed ripping him apart.  They point to the catastrophic turnovers in crunch time, his December record, his A+ laundry list of girlfriends, the way he wears his hat ,... you get the point (FYI - Stafford was wearing his hat backwards on the sideline last Sunday and not one person mentioned it). 

All of this is well documented.  Some relevent, others not so much.   Romo will be Romo, and Jerry Jones has accepted to live with that. 

But does Romo really HAVE to be Romo?  Surely, if everyone in the country knows Romo's short-comings, don't you think his own head coach/offensive coordinator would as well? 

Bill Parcells used to talk about how he had to reel Romo in at times.  How he wouldn't put him in situations where he had a reasonable chance to fail.  How he didn't want Romo to be, well, Romo.

There is not a doubt in my mind that Jason Garrett is a highly educated, well-mannered, likeable personality.  There is also absolutely zero doubt in my mind that he IS what the Cowboys need right now as a head coach. 

But this guy is a TERRIBLE play-caller.  He is predicatable, takes unreasonable risks, has never developed any sort of respectable running game, and lets Tony be Tony.  Which is exactly why we are 2-2 instead of 4-0. 

Whatever happened to calling a good ol' halfback dive and letting the play clock wind down to 1 before snapping the ball?  Why can't our o-line be mean and nasty when it matters most?  A couple first downs, a punt, some decent defense, repeat...  The formula for any coach from pee-wee to professional in preserving a 24 point lead.

IF you must insist on calling a pass play, a simple play action - roll out, high percentage pass out of a 2 or 3 tight end formation will do. 

But not with Garrett. 

Jerry, please make this guy go out and hire an offensive coordinator who doesn't make football too hard.  A guy who can develop a decent running game, a guy who will pull back on Tony's reigns a little, but most of all, a guy that won't let Romo be Romo. 

  • mark rogers
  • October 19, 2011 1:49 PM

SCHEDULE ANALYSIS SHEDS HOPE ON COWBOYS

The Dallas Cowboys, in all their frustrating and aggravating glory, are 2-3 with 11 games to go before the regular season ends.

They're frustrating because Dallas has lost by four points twice and three points once. Dallas could very easily be 5-0. They could very easily be 0-5 (because we've won two close games). I don't like playing the coulda, woulda, shoulda game. I like the Bill Parcells' saying, "you are what your record says you are." Right now? Dallas is a 2-3 team.

Let's take an analytic and statistical look at what that 2-3 means compared with the rest of the league. From an outside perspective, it means that we're third in the NFC East and tied for 10th out of 16 teams in the NFC.

But let's take a closer look...

The five teams we've played are a combined 21-8, that's a 72.41 opponents' winning percentage (OWP). That's the equivalent of a 12-4 team.

Only one team in the league has played teams with a better overall winning percentage - the Denver Broncos (21-7 or 75% OWP), and they're 1-4.

11 teams in the league have an OWP greater than 55%. Of those 11 teams, two have winning records: San Francisco (55.88% OWP) at 5-1 (a team the Cowboys beat on the road), and the Buffalo Bills (60% OWP) at 4-2.

The top four OWPs so far belong to Denver, Dallas, St. Louis, and Miami...the Rams and Dolphins have yet to win.

When breaking all this down, it's easy to see the early "really good teams" and early "really bad teams" based on who's winning and losing against good and bad competition.

In other words, teams with a low OWP and a losing record are bad, while teams with a high OWP and a winning record are good.

This is about to get really complicated...

Three teams (New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Detroit) have OWPs right at 50%...we'll toss them out.

That leaves 13 teams with OWPs below .500. A losing record vs. a below .500 OWP is a bad sign.

Three teams fall into this category: Kansas City, Cleveland, and Arizona (the Cardinals are 1-4 with a 39% OWP...that's terrible).

16 teams have OWPs greater than .500. Teams with winning records in this echelon are pretty good.

Four teams fall into this category: New England (52% OWP), Oakland (53% OWP), San Francisco (56% OWP), and Buffalo (60% OWP). This leads me to believe that the Bills are much better than I thought they were.

All that being said, here's the NFC East breakdown of future OWP (the current winning percentage of each team's remaining schedule):

1.      Giants - 59%

2.      Philly - 47%

3.      Washington - 46%

4.      Dallas - 41%

Yet another good sign. It makes a lot of sense that the top two teams in the division (NYG and WAS) have played the easiest and fourth-easiest schedules so far (based on OWP). The Cowboys have the second toughest OWP, while Philly has the 9th toughest.

Other interesting things to note from my exhaustive schedule breakdown:

Green Bay's OWP is 35% which is the 30th out of 32 (really easy)...they're 6-0 as they should be.

Pittsburgh, San Diego, Cincinnati, and Baltimore have all played relatively easy records and they're all either leading their divisions or a game back of the lead.

I know I'm breaking this down a little too much but all these numbers tell me 2-3 might not be so bad considering who we've played and who those teams have defeated.

It also tells me that we have a decent chance of winning the division since we have the weakest remaining strength of schedule.

Down...but not out.....yet.

If we lose to a winless St. Louis team on Sunday, then I'm going to take all this data and flush it down the toilet.

  • mark rogers
  • October 19, 2011 1:43 PM

October 18, 2011

COUGS AND EAGLES ARE HEAD OF THE CLASS

At least through the first two games of district...and I don't expect that to change any time soon either.

Both Abilene schools sit 2-0, tied for first in league play and setting up another marquis match-up between the two powers in 10 days.

Midland Lee is the first 3-5A squad to run the Abilene gauntlet...and they didn't fare so well.
A team that was averaging just 8 points allowed per game, the Rebels surrendered the most they had all year (24) to Cooper, only to see that new mark doubled a week later against Abilene High (49).

The Eagles racked up an impressive 471 total yards against Lee including 308 through the air. Evan Abbe averaged a gaudy 14.6 yards per attempt. Anything more than 10 yards per attempt is pretty stinkin' good.

So the Rebels, after staring 5-0 and feeling pretty good, are now at the bottom of the district standings with a tough Odessa Permian team coming to town on Friday. A loss there would have Lee at 0-3, still not mathematically eliminated, but certainly shocked and awed nonetheless.

Three teams in the district have actually won more total games than the Warbirds at this point, but it just goes to show that the caliber of teams you play in non-district may have a bigger role to play than whether or not you actually beat those teams.

On paper, I would have to say that the Eagles are the close favorite to win the district outright (played a tougher non-district, beat Lee worse, and Lee is the only mutual opponent so far this year). But that's just on paper.

And we all know that being good on paper means jack squat (see Philadelphia Eagles).

Expect Abilene High and Cooper to both take care of business this week to set up an outright district championship on the 28th.

Leave it to the media to already be talking about 10/28. I guarantee you that neither Warren nor Moebes have even mentioned that date.

Moebes is worried about Odessa High. Warren is focused on Midland High. Period.

See you Friday night!!
  • mark rogers
  • October 18, 2011 3:47 PM

October 4, 2011

DIFFERENT DAY, SAME OLE TONY

It's taken a few days for me to settle down after the Cowboys latest huge embarrassing failure. Blowing a 14-point 4th quarter lead is frustrating. Blowing a 24 point 3rd quarter lead is downright horrendous and might lead a Cowboys fanatic to go do something crazy like hold a bunch of people hostage at a bank or drive their car into oncoming traffic.

 

Tony Romo was 34 for 47 for 331 yards and 3 touchdowns. That's really good, it's better than good. We rushed for 113 yards and held the Lions to just 63 rushing yards. Again...better than good. We gained 43% more total yards than Detriot...a HUGE advantage.

 

We only had 33 yards in penalties (a drastic change from a Wade Phillips' coached team). We held the ball for 13 more minutes than the Lions. A quick look at Sunday's box score would lead an educated box-score reader to believe that Dallas won the game quite soundly.

 

But there's one small number that causes the whole fa├žade of victory to come crashing down in a huge heap of embarrassment, frustration and anger: 3.

 

3 interceptions - two of which were returned for scores. THAT. CAN'T. HAPPEN.

 

But it did. And was anyone surprise? No. Frustrated, mad, stupefied, outraged, betrayed? Yes. Surprised? No.

 

So here's a rough outlook for the rest of the season: the Cowboys have a bye week, then play a beatable Patriots team. Actually, the combined record for Dallas' remaining opponents is 21-26, which is good.

 

The Cowboys still have a great shot at winning the division or getting into the playoffs via a wild card berth. But here's where it gets tricky.

 

In any other year, I would say that a trip to the playoffs would be meaningless because the Dallas Cowboys are not a championship team. A championship team doesn't blow 2nd half leads...ESPECIALLY A 24 POINT LEAD AT HOME AGAINST AN UNDEFEATED TEAM!!!!!!

 

 But this year? I'm not ready to say that. Why?

 

Because I'm not convinced there are enough super dominant teams that are the outright favorites to win the title. Sure, the Packers are good, and Detroit is turning some heads (those are the last two undefeated teams by the way). But unless you have five or six teams in that championship caliber group, a "non-championship caliber team", like our insanely maddening Cowboys, can get through one or two games en route to the top.

 

And that's where we stand.

 

Look at the Eagles...the Dream Team is 1-3. The Patriots don't have a defense. The Steelers are 2-2. And on and on.

 

So while I'm ready to give up on the Cowboys because of how frustrating they are. I'm not ready to say that we have no shot at the championship. Is it likely? No. But I'm not giving up yet.

 

If we can somehow squeeze into the playoffs and get the Saints or 49ers in the wild-card, I like our chances. Then we get a rematch with the Lions, a team we KNOW we can beat. And the next thing you know, we're playing Green Bay in the NFC Championship.

 

And, yeah, Green Bay is good. But it's not out of the question to think the Cowboys have a shot at winning a single game at Lambeau. Likely? No. But I'm not ruling it out completely.

 

Then we get into the Super Bowl and beat some lowly team like the Texans or Bills and we've got ourselves a title with a sub-championship caliber team.

 

Likely? No. Completely out of the question? No.

 

So before you put all your lofty expectation-eggs in the Rangers basket, don't give up on Dallas yet. While it's true that our QB is, at the same time, the best and worst QB in NFL history, he is still surrounded by players and coaches that can get the job done. They just couldn't overcome 2 pick-sixes on Sunday.

 

It's almost as if Romo dares his team to win despite his huge mistakes. Like, I don't have to do this, but I'm going to just to see if you can still win. He's like Andy Kauffman or something. I can't figure it out, so I'm going to stop trying, enjoy not having to have a near heart attack this weekend, and prepare my brain for a 3-2 start through five after we beat the Patriots.