Jobs on the line

Are there preseason playoffs? Because we could really have a contender in the 3-1 Texans who have made a nice habit of winning. But now we get into another mode. Every team with savvy veterans (see Philadelphia) takes it up a few notches once the games count. It will be interesting to see the Texans play at that gear.

Thursday night's 16-13 win over the Bucs saw certain players who some had forgotten about or written off rise to the occasion. Antowain Smith's 46-yard run was spectacular. Sam Cowart made big plays. Mark Bruener made a key catch. Chris Taylor ran wild and will be tough to hide on the practice squad. Bennie Joppru catching a TD pass was a long time coming.

I made the point in the last entry that jobs would be on the line and the game could be entertaining. As a preseason game with few starters around it was about as good as you could hope for.

It's strange doing an NFL game while college games are going on. Our stat guy Keith "Digits" Joseph and I were monitoring Boston College-Central Michigan during the commercials. I was the voice of the Chippewas from '92-'95 and still pull for them. Once you work for a team/school you always have a special feeling about them. The Chips lost, by the way, 31-24. We actually referenced that game during the broadcast as BC alum Quinton Porter was directing the Texans' offense.

For those who complain about preseason football being "meaningless," ponder Texas-SHSU or Texas A&M-The Citadel and you might rethink your position. I'm not suggesting a preseason game outdoes a game that counts. And I realize the college teams need to tune up, but these games are, for the most part, horrible.

Texas plays North Texas this weekend which is a D-I game, but I rarely see the need to play a I-AA opponent unless it's a MAC or Sun Belt school doing the hosting. There are only two Big 12 teams not playing a Division I-AA opponent, prompting Commissioner Kevin Weiberg to call out his schools for soft scheduling. The money is great for the 'Davids' in these Goliath match-ups, but the pounding they take is far from entertaining.

I'll post again after the cuts.



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