Saturday, October 26, 2013

UTA Football Game Eight

When we last checked in on the 1968 UTA Rebels, they had just beat the East Texas State Lions for their second win of the year and a 2-2 record.

The College Division Rebels, the equivalent of Division II now, went on to beat fellow College Division foe McNeese State 46-21 at home and dropped a 41-0 game on the road at University Division opponent West Texas State.

With a 3-3 record, UTA would host the Trinity Tigers at home in their SLC opener. Trinity was 0-1 in Southland Conference play going into the game, having lost to Arkansas State, 31-14.

UTA had a couple of streaks on the line in this game. Dating back to 1967, they had won four SLC games in a row. The last loss was on November 19, 1966 to Lamar, a 27-7 setback in Beaumont.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Volleyball Half Way Done

First all, my apologies for missing last weeks volleyball commentary. The whole family minus the youngest came down with a stomach bug (though not from last week's matches [/rimshot]).

The high of the Texas State match quickly came to a crash after both Arkansas teams came away with victories.

The loss to Little Rock, a 3-1 setback, wasn't terribly unexpected. I predicted they would finish 2nd in the conference. UTA winning the third set showed they could hang with them at least. However, the team once again proved they can compete if they limit the hitting errors, or more specifically, can lose if they don't. Otherwise, they struggle. In the sets they lost, they had five, six and eight hitting errors. The set they won they only hit two. The fourth set was close in part because the Trojans hit eight errors of their own.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

UTA Football Game Seven

When we last left the 1985 team, they had picked up their first win of the year, on the road against the Southwest Texas State Bobcats. They followed that with a home win over Wichita State and a road loss to Drake.

Next came Lamar, a long-time SLC rival. Riding a ten game winning streak against the Cardinals, UTA was looking to even their record to 3-3 on the season, as well as win a homecoming contest, the fifth time in the 27 years UTA played as a four-year school that LU was the homecoming opponent.

After some uncertainty at who should be the starter, David Bates had begun to solidify himself as the starting quarterback. It helped that Kieth Arbon, who had transferred from the same university as Bates, was his receiver. Junior Jarvis McKyer and freshman Tony Brown had started to have a good showing at the running back position. The offensive line also found a rhythm after a rough start. In short, this was one of the better all-around UTA offenses since the '60's. There were great rushing teams in the '70's, but passing wasn't part of that equation.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

UTA Football Game Six

On This Day in UTA Football, we look back for the second and final time in 1963. We saw how the season started, earlier. Three games into 1963, the Rebels were 0-3, coming off a home loss to Sam Houston State, where they held a 28-26 lead in the fourth quarter before falling 34-28. Arlington State College lost to East Texas State 17-8 the week before. The 0-3 mark didn't quite tell the tale as the three losses were by an average of 6.7 points.

This week, they traveled to Hammond, Louisiana to play Southeastern Louisiana University. The Lions, playing in the Gulf States Conference, were 1-1-1 on the year, with a 14-0 win over the University of Southwestern Louisiana (Louisiana-Lafayette), a 7-0 loss to Samford and a 13-13 tie to East Texas State (Texas A&M-Commerce), who had beaten ASC 17-8 in game two.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Volleyball Riding High

Sorry for the delay in getting my analysis of the latest volleyball performance out. I decided to delay it because over the weekend, UTA swept a team they should have and were swept by a team that should have beaten UTA and then they played Texas State in a mid-week match.

In a 3-0 (25-11, 25-16, 25-18) win over Georgia State, UTA played well, had only ten total errors and never hit below .350. Shelby Dickinson had a double-double in kills and digs, while Charmaine Whitmore had four blocks. Consequently, they forced the Panthers into 21 errors.

The Mavs were hitting on all cylinders and if this team played in a couple of matches they lost earlier this year, they wouldn't have.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sun Belt RPI

I will break down this weekend's volleyball matches a bit later, but for now I offer a look at the Sun Belt's RPI ratings, which were just published on it's actually pretty close to what I had in my conference predictions. I still think Little Rock is better than Texas State, and may have ranked Louisiana-Lafayette a little too high. Otherwise, five of the ten slots I picked are dead on and three more are one pick off.

52 Western Ky.

90 Texas St.

127 UALR

157 Texas-Arlington

171 Arkansas St.

208 Troy

213 La.-Lafayette

235 Georgia St.

256 South Ala.

279 La.-Monroe 

As an added bones, I give some of the teams UTA has played:

34 Tulsa
88 Baylor
100 North Texas
161 A&M-Corpus Christi
173 Appalachian St.
249 East Carolina
265 Louisiana Tech

Saturday, October 5, 2013

UTA Football Game Five

The latest installment of This Day in UTA Football takes us back to the 1968 season. The expectations were still high, but after three games, they were only 1-2. However, the first loss, as you read here, was to the two-time reigning national champion. They would beat Northeast Louisiana at home 24-14. They then traveled to a University Division opponent in New Mexico State. Despite playing on the road to a higher level opponent, they only lost 21-20.

The fourth game of the year was a local rival. East Texas State, now known as Texas A&M-Commerce, was one of the, if not the, most attended game of the year for both squads. The mix of fans from both sides added a dimension not usually seen at either schools home games. The games were usually close and fun to watch. Many of the program records UTA has to this day were set against the Lions, despite 150 or so games played after they were originally set. At least three UTA-ETSU games are still in the UTA record books.

Since they first met in 1962, they played every year minus one. The Lions won the first two meetings, but the Mavericks had won the previous three coming into this one.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Another Conference Realignment Downside

I started this blog after the dust settled on the latest round of conference realignment. While there are still moves to be completed, for example Western Kentucky to Conference USA, those were announced a while ago and nothing major looks to be on the Horizon, at least until Division IV and player stipends works itself out.

UTA is entering the second year in a row of being in a new conference. I could find many of the common complaints about the loss of rivalry, tradition, search for greener pastures and, in the case of the Mavericks, loss of geographic compactness that many others have made.

It is that second point that I write about now. After playing in the WAC, which occupied (and still does) three time zones, we now play in the Sun Belt, where four teams play in an opposite time zone. There was a point this year when UTA played in the Black and Gold Challenge in Boone, North Carolina that had the wrong time.

Today, the ladies play at Georgia State. I was double checking UTA's site with the Sun Belt. said six. The SBC's site said 5 Eastern, which would be four here. The UTA media guide said six and the Panthers site said six Eastern, which is five o'clock local.

This happened last year with six teams in two different time zones. However, this never happened in the Southland, where all teams were (and still are) in the Central Time Zone.

I am not saying we should go back. I like where we are and most of the teams were have joined. But it doesn't make it any less frustrating.