Texas wins one for Bevo (and Charlie Strong)

Texas wins one for Bevo (and Charlie Strong)
Texas head coach Charlie Strong is lifted by his players after their 24-17 win over Oklahoma on Saturday. (Smiley N. Pool / AP)

Babe Ruth hit a home run for a little boy in the hospital.

Notre Dame once pulled it together for George Gipp.


"When the team is up against it," the story goes, "and the breaks are beating the boys…just go out and win one for the Gipper."

Well, Texas (1-4) was up against it after last week's horrendous loss at Texas Christian. The Horned Frogs led 30-0… in the first quarter.

Charlie Strong had become the most besieged second-year coach east of Steve Sarkisian.

The team's training table menu was changed to "Tex-mess." During halftime of last week's TCU debacle, a Texas player re-tweeted a suggestion he transfer to Texas A&M.

Things got worse when Bevo XIV, the team's live steer mascot, was unable to travel to Saturday's Oklahoma game due to a "life-threatening condition."

Most steers in Texas face a life-threatening condition every day: It's called being a steer in Texas.

Bevo, though, is much beloved, so Texas did what proud programs do: It rallied behind its mascot and stunned No. 10 Oklahoma, 24-17.

After the win at the Cotton Bowl, players lifted Strong and crowd-surfed him like a rock star.

For one day, at least, all was good at America's Lone Star program. The cries for Strong's head were replaced by "Hook 'Em" hollers.

How quickly things change.

The irony was former coach Mack Brown taking it all in from ESPN headquarters, where he now serves as an analyst. Brown led Texas to two national title games, winning it all in 2005, but was pushed out after a few ho-hum seasons.

ESPN programming is not always in sync, but it had the perfect man in place to comment on what Strong was feeling. Brown knows that beating Oklahoma buys you time.

"This is the most important game for Texas fans," Brown said on the postgame wrap. "Period."

Brown then took a little dig at Longhorns fans.


"They'll love this win, at least until Tuesday," he said.

There was no postgame update on Bevo. It was unclear whether he was able to listen to the game on the radio from the Intensive Steer Unit.

The Texas community is very sensitive to Bevo's long-term needs, but it wasn't always this way.

After the 1920 season, Bevo was slaughtered and served at the team banquet.

Rout 66

Here's an update on Baylor's season: It starts next week at home against West Virginia. Everything up to now has been one point-a-minute prelude.

The Bears appear to be very, very talented, but it's hard to fully gauge after wins against Southern Methodist, Lamar, Rice and Texas Tech.

Baylor continued its fall rampage with a 66-7 win against Kansas in Waco. Remember that saying about "time of possession" being the most meaningless in football? Well, it's true. Kansas won that battle, 35:45 to 24:15, but that was about it.

Kansas (0-5) did manage to match an early Baylor score to tie it at 7-7.

"That was good to see early on," Kansas Coach David Beaty said.

Baylor won the rest of the game, 59-0, and finished with 644 yards and 34 first downs against another hapless opponent.

Baylor shouldn't really get tested until Nov. 5, when it plays at Kansas State. That's followed by closing games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas.

Is it the Curse of Corvallis?

Mike Riley's first-year nightmare at Nebraska continued Saturday when Wisconsin kicked a late field goal to win, 23-21, at Lincoln.

Nebraska has now lost four games, by 11 points, on the opponent's final play. Total time left on the clock: 14 seconds. In a shocking move, Riley left his comfortable job at Oregon State to become Nebraska's coach this season.

He has been living in a hotel near campus while his family gets settled. We hope there's a back, service elevator.

Wake us when it's overtime…

The town known for its chowder might have been mistreated to the worst game since Oregon and Oregon State infamously stumbled to a scoreless tie in 1983. That slugfest is forever known as "The Toilet Bowl."

In Boston, Wake Forest defeated Boston College, 3-0, in a game that should be buried in a slime capsule.

Boston College had a chance to win but couldn't score from first and goal from the one with 29 seconds left. Its kicker missed two field goal chances in the game.

The Eagles also had first and goal with less than two minutes left, but quarterback Troy Flutie fumbled on a sneak.

Wake Forest won despite amassing only five first downs. Boston College, at one juncture, was called for illegal procedure on three straight plays.

The teams racked up 18 penalties for 153 yards.

"Both teams did everything they could to give the other team the game," Wake Forest Coach Dave Clawson said.

Wake Forest knows how to hold the score down. Last year it played Virginia Tech to a 0-0 tie in regulation before eking a 6-3 win in double overtime.