Not that there's anything wrong with that...
Before I begin, I realize I've opened up a potential pandora's box with the above pic, but let's be grown ups here and not turn the comments section into the Westboro Baptist Church anti-gay fanclub. We'd sure hate to have to take down another post this week because it alienated our 7 readers. Besides, you've all seen it already anyways.
That being said, what IS there to get us fired up about Portland State, a school that most of us did not know existed until Tech bailed on us and we had to schedule them last minute? Clearly you don't expect me to give these guys an honest to god preview, right? I've done a lot of thinking - well, maybe only about 3 minutes worth, but it paid dividends - and fortunately for everyone, Wikipedia bears some fruit, as it always does.
But first, a history lesson:
Back in the late 1970s, Portland State had a Coach by the name of Mouse Davis. Now, Mouse wasn't his real name, it was Darrel and while Darrel may not be the prettiest name, you chose Mouse instead? Really? I thought it might be ironic, sort of like calling a fat dude with the nickname "Tiny" but no, turns out Davis really was a small guy. But anyway, before Mouse had a somewhat haphazard career as an Offensive Coordinator in the NFL, he got things started at Portland State. And the Vikings were pretty good during his tenure, going 42-24, mostly due to the fast paced, shifty offense that Mouse helped popularize known as the Run and Shoot. While using the Run and Shoot, Portland State averaged 38 points and 500 yards per game, leading the nation in three of Davis' six years as head man. Clearly Mouse had a knack for coaching, but any prolific offense is only as good as the guy running it, and fortunately he had two such signal caller. One was Neil Lomax, an eventual two time NFL Pro Bowler for the St. Louis Cardinals following a record setting career at PSU. I don't feel like filling you in on his numbers here, but just know he piled up yards. Lots and lots of yards.
You're forgiven if you do not know Lomax by name, unless you're a St. Louis Cardinals Football historian, and in that case, you should get a life. However, you might be familiar with the first QB to learn the Run and Shoot system under Davis:
Yep, THAT June Jones. I'll be honest - I immediately got on ebay once I saw this card to gauge its availability because, hate or no hate, that's a look that needs to be remembered. But, believe it or not, despite sharing a name with your grandmother, June was actually quite good under center his one year in the Pacific Northwest, passing for 3,518 yards. June only played one year at PSU after transferring in from Oregon, and afterwards he went on to bomb in the FLs, C and N, but hey, you can't win em all, can you June? Such as the time you opted to move from Hawaii to Dallas. Smooth!
So once June Jones' Professional career fizzled out, you're obviously pretty aware that he went into coaching. You're also likely aware the June's coaching strategy heavily involves the Run and Shoot, although this year it's more like the "Give the ball to Zach Line and hope he doesn't remember he's a white running back." and shoot. If you follow SMU Football in the slightest, which I have a feeling we all do at least peripherally, you'll understand this technique has worked quite swimmingly.
But still, at heart June Jones is a Run and Shoot guy because it worked for him at PSU and it's what he knows from first hand experience. By feasting on those Mouse droppings, Jones has turned around a football program that was DOA not 5 years and should give TCU plenty of reason to get all fidgety next weekend. By feasting on those Mouse droppings, June Jones has become considered one of the better Coaches in the country and perhaps THE best "program resuscitator" not named Gary Patterson in the game today. By feasting on those Mouse droppings, June Jones has done the unthinkable and turned SMU into a bowl team, something that was unthinkable for 25 solid years. Without a grown ass man named Mouse from Portland making a cameo in his life, the June Jones we know today may not exist and SMU likely would not even field a Division 1 Football program.
And for that, Portland State, we hate you.
We hate you because, a week from tomorrow, we might only be 9-2 for the series in the 2000s.
We hate you because now we have two Yao Ming's in our lives. Fortunately, both have flamed out magnificently before their primes.
We hate you because I had to witness the failed June Cometh marketing campaign in person my first year in Dallas, and the Pony Up campaign that followed. I guess that's more personal, but you all feel me, right?
We hate you because you're the reason SMU students have a reason to do drugs and go outside on Saturdays and thus we run the risk of directly encountering them. Actually, they don't really need a reason for the first part of that scenario, do they?
We hate you because we'll never be able to remove the football fail image from our memories of SMU attempting an onside kick. Actually, maybe we want to keep that mental image.
We hate you because we now live in a world where SMU sees themselves as a more valuable asset to the Big 12 than TCU. It's true guys, just google search, "SMU AD Steve Orsini is a whiny bitch."
We hate you because you are the reason SMU thinks their gameday experience rivals that of any SEC institution. It doesn't.
We feel kinda sorry for you for cancelling your one bright spot in the athletics department, the wrasslin' team, because of the failing economy a couple of years back. Grubes sez, "Quit bein' poor, poories!" And that was just an excuse to insert my favorite Grubes' line ever into this preview.
Most of all, though? We hate you because if SMU was still irrelevant Craig James might be calling 2A Girls Softball in Idaho right now. Think about that for a minute, Frog fans - Portland State could be a direct contributing factor in Craig James' broadcasting career. It's not likely, but you can't rule it out either. Hate doesn't have to be rational, and quite frankly it works better when it's not.
I've never been one to get too worked up about a Division 1-AA opponent, but since they're clearly major proponents of Craig James' career, now I hope we absolutely crush them.
The Pick: TCU 48, PSU 3.
Brock and Wesley sit this one out, but GP piles on the points because we need to make a statement. Yes, our season has officially reached the, "making a statement in a game against an FCS opponent" stage, but don't say you don't agree with me. Pachall will look more like his second half doppelganger at Baylor, and Boyce will have another career evening. Antoine Hicks will bounce back and I expect Aundre Dean to be THAT guy as Ed will sit out once again. Kenny Cain will lead the team in tackles and one of our safeties will have a pick. That's all I got.
Discussion Question: You've probably all seen it, and he's a total asshat, but he's usually a correct asshat so I'll just toss it out:
ChipBrownOB Chip Brown
And now, the one good thing that does reside in Portland, Stephen Malkmus. Although, he's actually about to move to Germany, so apparently he's not down with Portlandia, either.