What Had Happened Was...

By Jeff Lippman - January 10, 2008

First Stanford, then Georgia and now this?

Coaches aren't going to want to speak with me. Media relations people aren't going to take my calls and E-mails. Are my columns really having an eerie effect on the program's I write about?

My December Review lauded Stanford's efforts - the Cardinal lost two in a row after that. I wrote that undefeated Georgia was a team to reckon with in the SEC - they aren't undefeated any longer.

And now, my words may have coaxed an entire state into a funk.

As usual, I handed in my weekly Thursday column on Wednesday around 5 p.m. ET. The topic was the reemergence of women's basketball in the state of Texas. With Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas all ranked inside the Top 15, the column made sense, believe me.

But as if my palabras of positivity are like daggers to the heart of the teams I write about, three of the four Texas schools I mentioned suffered defeats just last night.

No. 15 Texas couldn't beat unranked Nebraska, although at least the Huskers are 11-3 and were playing in Lincoln. No. 13 Texas A&M can't say that much, as they lost to 9-5 Kansas State in College Station.

My only salvation was that No. 8 Baylor did win their game last night, but like any good whodunnit movie, there is a twist. The Bears defeated the other team I wrote about, Texas Tech, and so somebody had to win that game. But still, with the curse I seem to be bringing upon those I cover, any ray of sunshine is a welcome one.

Do I think the words I wrote just days ago are hogwash as I write to you now? Definitely not. Although I flinch before pronouncing Texas A&M a title-contending team, the fact is, the Big 12 is an extremely competitive and solid league from top to bottom.

In fact, the Big 12 is so good that the worst team in the entire division - record wise - is Missouri, who has a .500 record at 7-7. After Kansas State's win last night they are now 9-5, and the only other Big 12 school with less than double-digit wins. The Big 12 has a combined win-loss record of 134-36 as I write this, and that is pretty damn good.

And three Big 12 teams just lost...not really...but it'll happen shortly.

Arizona Pride

To look at the box score of Wednesday night's Oregon State-Arizona game, you might think, "Okay, a great game by two mediocre teams. Big deal."

That's what I thought. Until someone pointed out the fact that Arizona finished the game with only TWO players on the court!

The Wildcats started with a depleted roster of six players and gradually, one-by-one, four of them followed out until only two remained in the 'Zona's 94-88 double overtime loss to the Beavers.

The Wildcats are now 6-9 and 0-4 in the Pac-10 and have been in a bad way with injuries other issues keeping players out of the lineup. The reason only six dressed for the Oregon State game is a combination of two players being injured, one lost to academics and another missing for personal reasons.

Still, Arizona was able to give Oregon State, a team with a winning record at 8-5, a tough game. Check back at CSTV.com in the short future as our own West of the Mississippi writer Lara Boyko features the Wildcats and their troubles.

Does Arnold Want To Coach, Too?

I know, you are all thirsting for more news about Arizona.

The Wildcats are planning on having their governor, Janet Napolitano, guest coach during their Saturday, Jan. 19 game against No. 9 Cal.

Napolitano will be sitting on the Wildcat bench throughout the game and will even join the team during timeout huddles. She will also attend the halftime meeting and the postgame meeting in the locker room.

Personally, I'd like Cal to get Arnold Schwarzenegger to guest coach against Napolitano. Actually, I'd like to see Schwarzenegger and Rutgers' coach C. Vivian Stringer get into an argument. It would be animated, but would we be able to understand any of it? Unlikely, very unlikely.

Posted by Jeff Lippman at 05:03 PM on January 10, 2008

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