RER Sports


Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

After a year of talk and projections, the new playoff system will crown a national champion on Monday night. Now, I know this new system is imperfect, but it has satisfied our need to have games settled on the field. I do not, necessarily, agree with having current athletic directors, professors, and presidents of universities on the committee, but it is a start.

This first year of the playoff system is a trial, a beta version. There seemingly had not been a back-up plan if someone (of the thirteen members) were to withdraw from the committee, like Archie Manning did.  Instead of calling someone in last minute, the committee decided to roll with the punches and make every ranking unanimous. All twelve remaining members had to all agree on the rankings every week. Getting these twelve alphas to agree who would in the four-team playoff would seem impossible, but they did it.

The committee came up with these rankings (in order): Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State. Bama and OSU played in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, while Oregon and FSU played in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I get it, those two semi-final games didn’t tickle our fancy, as Oregon deconstructed all the work FSU did over the last three years, and OSU shocked the world by rolling Alabama the way they did.

This year’s national championship in Arlington is shaping up to be the best title game in recent memory. Can it be any better than last year’s game between FSU and Auburn? Can it be better than Texas and USC in 2006? We’ll find out Monday Night.

Either way, this should be the most satisfying national title game, because a computer didn’t choose the participants, the two best teams sealed their own fates on the field.

By Brett O’Connor


Cowboys fans relish return of ‘America’s Team’ magic

Photo: Jason Janik/Special Contributor

ARLINGTON — How long has Cleburne’s Rick Springer been a Cowboys fan? Since, oh, about 10 or 11 U.S. presidents ago.

And with five Super Bowl titles and the legends of quarterbacks Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman bejeweling his memories, you could say Springer’s expectations — and those of other longtime Dallas fans — are a little high.

“I want to see them in the Super Bowl,” said Springer, a retired supermarket manager who was at Sunday’s game with son Brian and grandson Cameron of Fort Worth. “They’ve been gone too long.”

Those dreams will live on for at least another week after the Cowboys beat the Detroit Lions in a hard-fought wild-card playoff game at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium.

With 2:32 left in the game, the Cowboys completed a slow but steady comeback with an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tony Romo to receiver Terrance Williams, and the stands erupted in a roiling sea of white towels.

“It’s about time!” said Amy Lopez, who along with husband Rolando made the 10-hour drive from Edinburg to see the game. “We’re gonna be in Arizona!”

The fervor had been building for days and came to a simmer outside the stadium where kids tossed footballs and tailgating fans traded high-fives, undeterred by the frigid 34-degree temperatures.

“Y’all goin’ down!” a man in a Jason Witten jersey yelled at a Lions fan, who simply shrugged.

Others weren’t so sure. “God, I hope the Cowboys pull this off,” one fan said to his companion.

When the doors finally opened, the whooping and hollering crowds rushed in as if it were a Black Friday sale, hungry for the post-season experience that had eluded the team since 2009.

“It’s awesome, bro,” said Roy Lopez of Houston, who runs a bus service to Cowboys games and transported 52 fans to Sunday’s matchup. “It’s actually very emotional for a die-hard fan.”

Among those fans was Galveston DJ Roland Martinez, whose cellphone home screen features a glossy image of a Cowboys cheerleader. He’d worn a team poncho to the game.

“I’ve been a fan since before they were 1-15,” he said, referring to the Cowboys’ dreadful 1989 season.

Many fans see in this year’s team a return of the magic that defined America’s Team in the 1990s, and in Romo, running back DeMarco Murray and receiver Dez Bryant a mirror image of the legendary Cowboys trio of Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.

“This is getting to be at the same level,” said Homero Ramirez Sr., who along with son Homero Jr. had made the journey to the game from Zapata, nearly 500 miles south. “It’s back again.”

Troy Butler, who runs barber shops in Lewisville and Denton, was also ready to draw comparisons.

“I never thought I’d see the triplets reincarnated this soon,” he said.

The slow rebuilding process instilled by…….read more here.




Friday night, Sam Houston State will have a chance to play for the national title for the third time in four years. The only problem is that the Bearkats have to face the three time defending champions, South Dakota State Bison.

To get to this point, the Kats had to beat a very game Villanova Wildcats in Philadelphia last weekend. SHSU quarterback Jared Johnson needed all the help he could get, especially being locked-up in his hotel room until game time. Johnson had the flu all week, and didn’t practice much.

His teammates stepped up for him against the Wildcats. TCU transfer LaDarius Brown had six receptions for 174 yards and two touchdowns, including a 67-yard touchdown on the first play of the third quarter. Jared Johnson would finish the day with 303 yards on 22/27 passing with three touchdowns.

Villanova would take control with about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter on a Chris Polony one-yard touchdown run. SHSU would answer, just three minutes later, with a one-yard touchdown of their own. Former Longhorn Jalen Overstreet would put the Bearkats up 34-31 with four minutes left. Villanova, on their next possession, would drive down to the Kats 29 yard-line. On fourth and 13, Nova lined up for a field goal to tie the game with 36 seconds left, only to have delay of game penalty called on the offense. Backed up five yards, the Wildcats tried a 51-yard field goal. Kicker Chris Gough pushed it wide left, leaving SHSU to take over on downs. The Kats ran the clock out to defeat Villanova 34-31.

This Friday, Sam Houston State travels to Fargo, ND to take on the Bison at 7PM CT on ESPN.

By Brett O’Conner 


    • Utah State (9-4) vs. UTEP (7-5)
    • Albuquerque, NM – 12/20/2014 – 1:20PM CT



    • Fresno State (6-7) vs. Rice (7-5)
    • Honolulu, HI – 12/24/2014 – 7PM CT



    • Illinois (6-6) vs. Louisiana Tech (8-5)
    • Dallas, TX – 12/26/2014 – 12PM CT



    • 15 Arizona State (9-3) vs. Duke (9-3)
    • El Paso, TX – 12/27/2014 – 1PM CT



    • Texas A&M (7-5) vs. West Virginia (7-5)
    • Memphis, TN – 12/29/2014 – 1PM CT
      • Arkansas (6-6) vs. Texas (6-6)
      • Houston, TX – 12/29/2014 – 8PM CT



      • 9 Ole Miss (9-3) vs. 6 TCU (11-1)
      • Atlanta, GA – 12/31/2014 – 11:30AM CT



      • 8 Michigan State (10-2) vs. 5 Baylor (11-1)
      • Arlington, TX – 1/1/2015 – 11:30AM CT



      • Houston (7-5) vs. Pittsburgh (6-6)
      • Fort Worth, TX – 1/2/2015 – 11AM CT



      • 11 Kansas State (9-3) vs. 14 UCLA (9-3)
      • San Antonio, TX – 1/2/2015 – 5:45PM CT


Brett O’Conner









College football is in a new era. The BCS age is over and done with. The computers and numbers are gone.

The new College Football Playoff era has brought in a committee of 12 members, who all have to agree on the top 25 teams in the nation, unanimously each week.

On Tuesday, the committee released its first rankings of the year.

Here’s the Top 25:


  1. Mississippi State (7-0)
  2. Florida State (7-0)
  3. Auburn (6-1)
  4. Ole Miss (7-1)
  5. Oregon (7-1)
  6. Alabama (7-1)
  7. TCU (6-1)
  8. Michigan State (7-1)
  9. Kansas State (6-1)
  10. Notre Dame (6-1)
  11. Georgia (6-1)
  12. Arizona (6-1)
  13. Baylor (6-1)
  14. Arizona State (6-1)
  15. Nebraska (7-1)
  16. Ohio State (6-1)
  17. Utah (6-1)
  18. Oklahoma (5-2)
  19. LSU (7-2)
  20. West Virginia (6-2)
  21. Clemson (6-2)
  22. UCLA (6-2)
  23. East Carolina (6-1)
  24. Duke (6-1)
  25. Louisville (6-2)

By: Brett O’Connor






Texas Longhorns 48-Iowa State Cyclones 45

Texas’ depth on defense was exposed on Saturday night. Safety Jason Hall missed the ISU game with a patellar tendon strain. Linebacker Steve Edmond was dinged up, and looked uncomfortable. The injuries are piling up on both sides of the ball. Although, Iowa State came to play and hung 45 points on one of the best defenses in the nation, it was the offense that finally showed up for four quarters. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes was able to get over the hump and lead the Longhorns to a gritty victory. Swoopes was 24-36 passing for 322 yards with one touchdown and one INT. He, also, ran for 95 yards and one touchdown. He threw a gem to wide receiver John Harris on a go-route to set up the game winning field goal with seven seconds left. Texas travels to Manhattan, Kansas to play Kansas State on Saturday.


West Virginia Mountaineers 41-Baylor Bears 27

Being the visiting team in Morgantown is never a vacation. The weather is unpredictable, and West Virginia has some of the most unruly fans in college football. The Mountaineers showed Baylor their usual (in)hospitality on Saturday. WVU held the Bears to 318 total yards. This is the second time in three weeks that the Baylor offense hasn’t looked sharp, or explosive at all. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty was repeatedly knocked around by a swarming WVU defense. Petty threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns, on 16-37 passing. Several Bears’ offensive drives were stalled by penalties, 18 penalties for 185 yards. Baylor is the most penalized team in the Big 12. That has caused major problems on offense. We’ll see if this trend is corrected in the next two weeks. The Bears have a bye this Saturday.


Alabama Crimson Tide 59-Texas A&M Aggies 0

THIS IS NOT A TYPO. The Aggies have been out played and out classed for the last two weeks by the Mississippi schools, but what happened on Saturday was different. This was demoralizing. Bama treated A&M like they were Furman. When was the last time you saw this lopsided of a victory between two SEC teams? Let’s get in to some numbers. A&M had nine punts, zero forced turnovers, 174 total yards, and were 2-13 on third down. A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin had not been shutout in 86 games as a head coach. Bama had 602 total yards (305 were rushing yards), six sacks, and one forced turnover. Alabama receiver Amari Cooper had eight receptions for 140 yards and two touchdowns. After this loss, the Aggies join the likes of Florida and Vanderbilt as the worst teams in the SEC. Can Sumlin right the ship? Let’s hope so. Texas A&M has a bye this weekend to figure it out.


Updated Top 5 (AP)

1. Mississippi State

2. Florida State

3. Ole Miss

4. Alabama

5. Auburn

By Brett O’Connor