Just got word that McNellie’s Pub Ale — your 2009 Beer Championship Series winner – is now available in six packs at numerous locations. Want proof? Here it is:
Bravo, Oklahoma State Cowboys. I could have predicted a heart-wrenching, fourth-quarter meltdown loss, but you wouldn’t have that, would you? No, you had to keep me on my toes. Indeed, I did not see the complete offensive no-show coming. But you know what? Isn’t that type of performance the perfect closing number for this Big 12 season? It has been a wacky season, with loads of unpredictable results. A&M trouncing Texas Tech in Lubbock. Baylor taking it to Missouri. Oklahoma failing to score a touchdown against Nebraska. Kansas pulling the tank job to top all tank jobs. And finally, OSU’s punt-fest in Norman. Without further delay, I bring you the season finale of the Big 12 (Lack of) Power Poll. (ESPN bowl projections included.)
1. Kansas (5-7, 1-7, lost to Missouri 41-39; season complete) Nothing gets the fanbase excited like being favored to win the Big 12 North, opening with five straight wins, then proceeding to drop seven in a row while also throwing a massive coaching controversy into the mix. There is no question Kansas is lacking in power this year more than any other team. And next year they lose their starting quarterback, their top two wide receivers and possibly their coach. Only plus: they also lose OU and Texas from the schedule for two years. Either way, we could be seeing a lot more of the Jayhawks in this spot.
2. Baylor (4-8, 1-7, lost to Texas Tech 20-13; season complete) All in all, a pretty average year for the Baylor Bears. They decided to maintain a sense of familiarity, not straying too far from the type of performance they’ve given for most of the past 15 years. By that measure, this was a successful season in Waco. When all else is said in done, nobody will be able to say they weren’t consistent.
3. Colorado (3-9, 2-6, lost to Nebraska 28-20; season complete) Amazingly, Dan Hawkins kept his job. Who says the holiday season doesn’t yield miracles? Unfortunately for Hawkins, he already did a press conference where he talked about how bringing his son to Colorado was a mistake and if he could do it over again he’d have his son go somewhere else. Oops. What’s that? I’m not getting fired? Oh. Well. It’ll be great to be here with my son next year. No, really.
4. Kansas State (6-6, 4-4, season complete) Nothing takes the shine off a 6-6 season like two of those wins coming against FCS teams. The loss to a Sunbelt Conference team didn’t help either.
5. Iowa State (6-6, 3-5; next, Texas Bowl vs. Navy) You’ve heard about teams making the jump from “good” to “great.” Well how about a team making the jump from “horrifyingly terrible” to “not bad”? Maybe it doesn’t sound all that outstanding, but that’s what Iowa State did this year, and considering just how far down this program was, it really is quite an accomplishment.
6. Texas A&M (6-6, 3-5; lost to Texas 49-39; next, Independence Bowl vs. Auburn) This might be the team with the most promise heading into the 2010 season. Well, at least on offense they have promise. I can’t say much for the Aggies’ D. But as far as the offense goes, does Jerrod Johnson not have to be the favorite for first team quarterback next year? Even on that team, the guy can make plays.
7. Missouri (8-4, 4-4, beat Kansas 41-39; next, Insight Bowl vs. Minnesota) Missouri: 0-3 vs. the Big 12 South (including a home loss to Baylor), 4-1 vs. the Big 12 North. Did any team benefit more from being in a weak division? The Big 12 North: Propping up mediocre teams like never before!
8. Oklahoma (7-5, 5-3, beat Oklahoma State 27-0; next, Sun Bowl vs. California) People talked about Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Kansas State being enigmatic, but maybe the most bewildering team was OU. Puppy dogs on the road, pit bulls at home.
9. Texas Tech (8-4, 5-3, beat Baylor 20-13; next, Alamo Bowl vs. Michigan State) It’s easy to play the “what if” game, but maybe it’s most agonizing with Texas Tech. They lost to Houston by one point, then lost a home game to Texas A&M they really had no business losing on paper. Scratch those, and all the sudden Tech is 10-2 and maybe looking at a BCS berth.
10. Nebraska (9-3, 6-2, beat Colorado 28-20; next, Holiday Bowl vs. USC) Nebraska may be 9-3, but this is a really uninspiring 9-3. Only one other team in the Big 12 North finished with a winning record, and no other team in the division finished better than .500 in conference play. So congrats, Huskers, you emerged from the pile of refuse known as the Big 12 North smelling not quite as bad as everyone else.
11. Oklahoma State (9-3, 6-2, lost to Oklahoma 27-0; next, Cotton Bowl vs. Tennessee or Mississippi) Normally coaches will assign some blame to themselves after a particularly bad loss. Mike Gundy did that Saturday, and he couldn’t have been more correct. There was no indication Zac Robinson was going to get the team going. He was visibly limping and slumped after several plays. Gundy needed to pull the trigger faster on that one to get Brandon Weeden in there. It’s not like things could get any worse for the offense. That being said, 9-3 is respectable. As moral victories go, finishing second in the Big 12 South ain’t too shabby. Only problem is that if the Cowboys lose their bowl game, the 2009 team will be looked at as one that got extremely lucky with the schedule and maybe wasn’t really that good to begin with.
12. Texas (12-0, 8-0, beat Texas A&M 49-39; next, national championship game vs. Florida or Alabama) No squabbling with this ranking. Texas is surely the least lacking in power of all Big 12 teams. One benefit to Texas finishing the season undefeated: We don’t have to hear Mack Brown working the media to build up his team’s bowl standing.
A few quick sports notes to take you into the weekend:
-Am I the only person who’s mildly terrified of playing against Texas A&M’s Jerrod Johnson next season?
-Were there always like five college football games on the Friday after Thanksgiving? I don’t remember there ever being more than like one or two. Either way, I’m loving the kind-of-like-bowl-season feeling of the day.
-The Thunder is encouraging fans to wear blue to tonight’s game against Milwaukee. Maybe it’s just me, but a “Blue Out” doesn’t seem all that intimidating. In fact, after further thought, it seems like a terrible idea.
-Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of tomorrow’s Bedlam game. OU hasn’t beaten anybody at home this year, but OSU hasn’t really beaten anyone on the road. The Cowboys won at A&M and Iowa State, which are both bowl teams, albeit both are only 6-6. Teams have been running at will against OU, and OSU’s strength is the run. At the same time, teams have been passing at will against OSU, and OU has had success in the passing game this year. Overall, this game is pretty much a toss-up. If it was in Stillwater, I’d call it an OSU win. I’m still tempted to call it an OSU win either way, but I’m not letting my guard down in case OSU blows a five-touchdown, fourth quarter lead en route to a devastating and demoralizing loss.
-Toronto Raptors record entering play tonight: 7-9. My guilt level for canceling NBA League Pass after three years: 2 out of 10 (down from 3 out of 10 last week due to Toronto’s humiliating loss to Charlotte on Wednesday).
-Tough time to be an OU sports fan: First the football team descended into mediocrity, now the basketball team, too?
-Speaking of mediocrity, Big 12 football fans — except those who are fans of Colorado — rejoice! Dan Hawkins returns for another year!
Have a great weekend!
Another in a series of Thanksgiving tips from Marshall Brewing Company:
Non-traditional meal? Our Atlas IPA pairs well with Indian, Latin and Mexican fare. We generally pair strong robust flavors that feature spice with powerfully hopped India Pale Ales. The hops provide herbal and citric character that compliment and soften with the heat and spices of these worldly meals. Cheers!
Here’s another Thanksgiving tip from the folks at Marshall Brewing:
Having ham? Typically ham is enjoyed because of the delicate sweetness of the meat. The volume is usually turned up with the addition of a sweet and spicy glaze often containing brown sugar, clove, and cinnamon. Finally fruit for the garnish can be pineapple and orange. Sundown Wheat, which is brewed and hopped with American grains and hops, but spiced with sweet Belgian orange peel and coriander, is the perfect match for your ham. The slight sweetness of the wheat and orange peel compliment those similiar traits in the ham while the coriander will accentuate the spices in the glaze!
Marshall Brewing Co. is offering tips for your Thanksgiving enjoyment this week.
Here is tip No. 1:
Of the Marshall Brewing Co. beers available, the McNellie’s Pub Ale with its balance and roasty-malted flavors pairs excellently with your turkey, be it roasted, fried or smoked.
There will be a release party for Mustang Amber Lager on Friday at the Wormy Dog Saloon in Bricktown. Here’s the poster for the event:
This week in the Big 12 (Lack of) Power Poll: Making your dreams come true at Baylor, keeping things in shambles both on and off the field at Kansas, and grabbing a seat on the OU bandwagon — plenty of good spots available!
1. Colorado (3-8, 2-5, lost 31-28 to Oklahoma State; next, vs. Nebraska) The Lower Buffs couldn’t win on Thursday night even though I started at quarterback for OSU. What’s that? I didn’t start at quarterback? Oh, that’s right, it just looked like I played the first half. Either way, all that’s left now is for the Buffs to play for pride. What’s that? They’ve been playing for pride for like four weeks now? Never mind.
2. Baylor (4-7, 1-6, lost to Texas A&M 38-3; next, vs. Texas Tech) In the preseason, Art Briles said Baylor was a place where you could achieve your dreams. If you dream of never playing in a bowl game, then Baylor’s the place for you.
3. Kansas (5-6, 1-6, lost to Texas 51-20; next, vs. Missouri) Not only does Kansas rate highly in on-field lack of power, the team is No. 1 for off-field lack of power. Up to this point, Colorado fans fretting over the school’s ability to buy out Dan Hawkins was the most dramatic thing we’d seen. But this whole Mark Mangino fiasco makes Colorado’s situation look like a tea party.
4. Kansas State (6-6, 4-4, lost to Nebraska 17-3; season complete) I mentioned this point last week, but it’s worth repeating: Kansas State is 6-6 but not bowl eligible because they can only count one of their two wins against FCS opponents this year. They also lost to a Sunbelt Conference team, which is just about as bad as losing to a FCS opponent. I believe all the talk of Bill Snyder winning conference coach of the year should be put to rest now. He took a team that finished 5-7 the past two years and improved them to 6-6 — and even that took two games against FCS teams! I think Snyder is a good coach, but he did not part the Red Sea at Kansas State this year. End of story.
5. Iowa State (6-6, 3-5, lost to Missouri 34-24; season complete) You want to talk about a reclamation project? Let’s talk about Iowa State. Paul Rhoads took a team that was 4-8 in 2006, 3-9 in 2007 and 2-10 last year and led them to a 6-6 year. The Cyclones also won three conference games — the same amount of conference games they won from 2006-08 combined! If you want to crown a 6-6 coach as coach of the year, this is your coach.
6. Texas A&M (6-5, 3-4, beat Baylor 38-3; next, vs. Texas) Nothing tops the pomp and circumstance of the Texas A&M-Baylor rivalry. Actually, that’s not true. Pretty much anything tops that. Hope you feel really good about qualifying for a bowl game, Texas A&M; beating up on poor, defenseless Baylor like that.
7. Oklahoma (6-5, 4-3, lost to Texas Tech 41-13; next, vs. Oklahoma State) I was zipping in to work this morning down the Broadway Extension, when all of the sudden this prairie schooner-type thing flies past me on the inside lane. I didn’t even think prairie schooners could go that fast. That’s when I realized I was passed up by the OU bandwagon, running a lot lighter these days.
8. Missouri (7-4, 3-4, beat Iowa State 34-24; next, vs. Kansas) Don’t get too high about this ranking, Missouri. Your loss to Baylor still leaves a resounding empty feeling. You will be a proud recipient of a better-than-deserved bowl placement due to your and everyone else’s overwhelming mediocrity.
9. Texas Tech (7-4, 4-3, beat Oklahoma 41-13; next, vs. Baylor) The Thirsty Beagle did not see the beatdown in Lubbock coming. Congrats to Tech on the win, but I suspect it had a little bit to do with OU throwing in the towel on their season somewhere near the end of the first half.
10. Nebraska (8-3, 5-2, beat Kansas State 17-3; next, at Colorado) The Huskers have a date with destiny, I mean, with destruction on Dec. 5. Nebraska’s offense is soooooo bad, they’ll be lucky to put up any points against Texas in the title game. I can’t emphasize this enough. This may be the worst offense of any team to win the Big 12 North. Ever.
11. Oklahoma State (9-2, 6-1, beat Colorado 31-28; next, at Oklahoma) If only Oklahoma State hadn’t thrown and fumbled the game away against Houston. The Cowboys could have been sixth or seventh in the BCS right now, just waiting for their plum bowl invite, regardless of the Bedlam outcome. Now, OSU needs to beat OU, hope Texas doesn’t slip up and keep its fingers crossed that one of the BCS bowls will pass over four other teams with similar or better records. Damn you Houston Cougars!
12. Texas (11-0, 7-0, beat Kansas 51-20; next, at Texas A&M) Texas maintains the lack of power ranking it has held pretty much all season. Nothing really lacking in power about that. And as if they needed any more help, the Longhorns now have the OSU nation solidly behind them for the stretch drive.
There are several staples of the Thanksgiving meal: turkey or ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie and cranberry jelly pretty much cover all the bases. But there’s one important element you may be forgetting. The beer! Why simply fall back on your standard beverage selection when there are several beers that accent the Thanksgiving meal? Here’s a list of them, courtesy of Imbibe Magazine.
The key, says Brooklyn Brewery brewmaster Garrett Oliver, is to focus on caramelization. Says Oliver: “It’s the caramelized flavors of the turkey skin, the gravy and many other elements of the meal that tie the whole thing together.”
So what to buy? Oliver suggests citrusy white ales to go with holiday spices; creamy and chocolaty stouts for brown-sugar ham and pecan pie; or a nice brown ale to accent your turkey.
After 12 days of competition, 64 beers and nearly 10,000 votes from more than a dozen countries, we have a winner in the second annual Beer Championship Series. Congratulations go out to Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale, which claimed the title in a landslide over New Belgium’s Fat Tire. McNellie’s Pub Ale won Tuesday’s final match-up by garnering 89 percent of the vote.
As the chairman, president, CEO, COO, vice president and janitor of the BCS, I offer congratulations to Marshall for its win. And I congratulate beer fans here in Oklahoma and around the country and world who took part in the contest. This little Beer Championship Series certainly has come a long way since last year, when the entire competition resulted in a whopping total of about 300 or 400 votes. Hopefully this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship between The Thirsty Beagle blog and beer fans everywhere. But enough about me, let’s talk more about our winning beer. I gave the news of the win to Marshall brewmaster Eric Marshall, and this is what he had to say:
“We are very excited and incredibly honored to have our McNellie’s Pub Ale voted Oklahoma’s favorite beer! This is tremendous validation in our vision at Marshall Brewing Company. Bringing local craft beer to Oklahoma is our passion and the support we have been shown is truly overwhelming. We would like to thank everyone who voted for us, especially loyal local beer drinkers. We would also like to thank our fellow Oklahoma brewing brethren for all their efforts in helping the Oklahoma brewing scene grow and prosper. Cheers and thanks for supporting your local breweries!”
Well said, Eric. I’m certain Marshall McNellie’s Pub Ale will be back next year to try and defend its title. And speaking of next year, I do plan to bring the BCS back for the third annual version. But like Mike Gundy once said, we may have an interesting twist at the quarterback position. If I mentioned the phrases “beer conferences” and “beer regular season,” would that pique your interest?
Stay tuned. Cheers!