Few observers of the Texas Tech football team have been more optimistic than I. My preseason prediction for the Red Raiders was a BCS bowl berth and a final ranking of No. 9. As the current season has unfolded, I have steadfastly predicted victory after victory, and "BCS or bust!" has been my credo.
And until a couple of hours ago, I fully believed Texas Tech would strap one on the Oklahoma State Cowboys this weekend. The numbers 44 and 24 danced through my head like so many sugar plums (or turkey legs) as I contemplated the outcome of the game.
Those numbers still do bedizen my consciousness, but now they also haunt it. For, you see, the longstanding confidence I've felt in the Red Raiders has been undermined and I now foresee a 44-24 loss to the thunderbolt-wielding Cowboys of Stillwater.
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What, you ask, has occasioned this volte face? Well, frankly, it is the crushing weight and the impeccable logic of college football's media savants.
Slowly and steadily my confidence has been sapped by predictions of doom emanating from the intellectual meccas of Tulsa, Austin and the blogosphere. I have been chilled to the very marrow by descriptions of the hideous strength possessed by the team from Stillwater. I have been persuaded against my will by razor-sharp arguments that would cause Aristotle to cringe in fear.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen of Raiderland, Texas Tech stands not a chance against the mighty colossi of Stillwater. The truth is as cruel as it is inescapable.
The evidence for the futility of Tech's cause is so staggering as to forbid an exhaustive recounting. A brief recapitulation of a few of the more damning bits will have to suffice.
To begin with, it has become increasingly obvious that Tech's victory over then #1 Texas was nothing more than an adrenaline-fueled fluke.
The Red Raiders clearly inhaled the volatile fumes arising from Raiderville and used them to play far beyond their normal capabilities.
Emotional kryptonite transformed sickly Rylan Reed, Brandon Carter, Baron Batch, Michael Crabtree, Brandon Sesay and Brandon Williams into one-game wonders.
Now that Lee Corso is no longer around to feed them souped up spinach, these wee waifs of manhood will revert to their puny aspect and be duly trampled into the turf by the likes of Tonga Tea, Orie Lemon and Matt Fodge.
Don't you see? Johnnie Cochran never came up with anything this ironclad, and he got O.J. off the hook!
Added to the fact of Tech's obvious weakness is the awe-inspiring might of Oklahoma State. To be aware of the Cowboys is to tremble and be dismayed.
If one spots an Oklahoma State Cowboy sauntering down a dark alleyway the only thing to do is avert one's gaze and consult the Good Book. And even that may not be enough to save you.
Where Dez Bryant treads, the grass does not grow again.
Russell Okung is actually the illegitimate spawn of King Kong and Russell Maryland. How they managed to procreate is rumored to be the work of the dark arts of T. Boone Pickens and Garth Brooks in a dank cellar on the outskirts of Okmulgee.
The Texas Longhorns, even though they beat the Cowboys and lost to Texas Tech, are said to be contemplating legislative action in Austin so that the raging horde from Eastern Oklahoma never be allowed to defile the soil of Texas again.
The trauma inflicted by the Cowboys was so great that Matthew McConaughey is now holed up in a double-wide trailer just south of Bandera and refuses to emerge unless escorted by Lance Armstrong, who has not been seen since the fearful visitation by Mike Gundy's marauders.
What, o deary me, are the little Red Raider ever to do? Their No. 2 national ranking obviously means absolutely nothing and they are now confronted by the most dreadful troop of monsters since Tamerlaine littered the Anatolian plains with mountains made of the skulls of his victims.
Why, we are told, that the Cowboys are *gasp* "physical"! Surely Louis Vasquez is contemplating a return to the quiet life of a pecan orchard in Corsicana after hearing that!
And Mike Leach, first-class humanitarian that he is, will certainly not dare put his delicate flowers in the path of such a fearful machine as that constructed by Mike Gundy. He will surely heed the call of the new spirit of peace and harmony that prevails upon the land, and call off the impending bloodbath before it begins.
Forfeiture of the game - that's the ticket! It's the only way the Red Raiders can possibly maintain a shred of dignity. And a sidestepped shot at a national championship is nothing compared to sparing the Red Raiders the loss of self esteem. On that, I'm sure we all agree.