Hurricane Ike Disrupts Texas Sports and Concert Schedules

Update:
Hurricane Ike has reached land, sending huge gusts of wind and torrential rain all along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.  Here is a radar picture provided by Weather Underground:

Hurricane Ike strikes the Texas Coast

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Hurricane Ike is already taking its toll on the Texas coast.  As Ike advanced closer to Texas Wednesday, many Texas teams are taking necessary precautions to avoid the possible torrential weather Ike is set to unleash on the Gulf.

-The University of Texas Longhorns have postponed their game vs the Arkansas Razorbacks.  A stroke of luck granted both teams the option to reschedule the game to the Sept. 27 bye week.  Austin, Texas is expected to recieve a significant storm on Saturday and through Sunday, if Hurricane Ike maintains is current course toward Corpus Christi, Texas.

“We have been monitoring this situation since Sunday and, at this time, feel confident this is the right thing to do,” Texas Athletic Director DeLoss Dodds said.  “A football game becomes less important when you are dealing with the safety of people.”

-The University of Houston Cougars elected to move their game against the Air Force Falcons from Robertson Stadium to SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium.  Kickoff is still scheduled for 2:30 p.m., and the game will be aired on CBS College Sports Network.  Tickets purchased for the game will remain valid, and students with a valid ID will be admitted free of charge.

**Updates**
-The SMU – Texas Tech game is set to play as scheduled, despite threats of up to 10 inches of rain.

-The Houston Texans home opener vs the Ravens has been rescheduled to Monday night at 7:30 p.m.

-The Houston Astros Friday night’s series opener with the Chicago Cubs game has been postponed due to Hurricane Ike.  Saturday’s game is postponed as well.

-Oklahoma State’s game against Missouri State is moved to a 12:05 p.m. Central Time kickoff.

-Louisiana Monroe and Alabama A&M will play their football match tonight, Sept. 11, 2008 in wake of Hurricane Ike.  The game is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

-Due to imminent Hurricane Ike, The Eagles concert scheduled for Thursday, September 11 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas will be postponed until October 2, 2008.

-Texas Christian University (TCU) will change the kickoff time for their Saturday home game against Stanford from 6 p.m. to noon.  Stadium gates to Amon G. Carter stadium and Frog Alley will open at 10 a.m.

-Baylor University has moved its home game with Washington State University to tonight at 6:30 p.m.

-The Sam Houston vs Prairie View A&M football game is cancelled

**This blog post will be updated to give you the scoop on Hurricane Ike’s effect on Texas sports**

Top College Football Teams to Watch in 2008

Well, I’ve held out long enough.  It is time to look at my picks for the best college football teams to watch in 2008.  Each of the teams mentioned here is going to be one of the top competitors in the nation this season – you can take my word for it.  This is going to be a spectacular season, and I cannot stress enough the amount of talent that goes into these football programs.

1. Georgia Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are looking strong heading into the 2008 season, and are hoping to repeal a botched attempt at a national title in 2007.  The Bulldogs have a beefy, complete roster, a Heisman hopeful in Knowshon Moreno, and a knack for making big plays when it counts.  The Bulldogs are ranked #1 in the Coaches Poll heading into the season, and in my opinion, as long as the Bulldogs play some football and forget about the hype around the team, they are going to win it all this season.  Defensive tackle Jeff Owens said it in his own words: “I’d prefer to be ranked No. 25 and work our way up, than being No. 1 and everybody is gunning for you. Everybody wants Georgia. Who doesn’t want Georgia?”  That’s right, Jeff.  Watch out for these Georgia Bulldogs, because they are on their way to a national title – 21 years is a long time to be on the porch with the pups.

2. USC Trojans
This team is just swarmed with powerhouse starters.  Big playmakers including linebacker Rey Maualuga, running back Joe McKnight, and receiver Patrick Turner are going to be tearing up the field this season. Despite missing a returning starting quarterback from the lineup, Pete Carroll tends to mold the noobs with utmost care, producing big QB starters in just a year.  USC is going to take another stab at the Pac-10 title, and win it.  Period.

3. Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State has consistently produced a huge football program in the last five years, clearly dominating the Big Ten in the last two seasons.  This year is no exception, as the Ohio State Buckeyes are poised to win their third straight Big Ten Conference title – a feat that has never been accomplished by any Big Ten team in the 112-year history of the conference.  The Buckeyes are returning a whopping 20 starters – the same starters that led the team all the way to the BCS National Championship game in 2007-2008.  If they make it to the big game this year, they are going to have to deal with the Bulldogs (my pick), but it looks as if the assault is already prepared.  Yep, my crystal ball tells me the Buckeyes are going to dominate – possible repeat appearance at the BCS title game notwithstanding.

4. Florida Gators
With an outstanding offense and eight returning starters on defense, the Florida Gators are going to bring some quality football to the table in 2008-2009.  Urban Meyer promises to bring back the dual-quarterback system, drawing talent from both Cam Newton and Tim Tebow for a well-rounded offensive.  The defense also looks stronger than last season, and is poised to take on just about anything you can throw at it.  Georgia watch out: if Florida wants it, you could find yourself second in the SEC in 2008-2009.

5. Oklahoma Sooners
Last but not least, you have the boys from Oklahoma.  The Sooners are prepared to raise a ruckus this season as quarterback Sam Bradford leads an all-star offense on the ground and in the air.  Bradford destroyed the record for most touchdown passes thrown by a freshman in 2007.  Coupled with the fact that the team is returning 10 starters on offense – an offense that averaged 6.4 yards per play last season – this team is going to be hard to beat.  Although the team is replacing several defensive players, the starting defensive line is there, and is going to open up holes for anyone who wants a piece of the opposition.  Look for Oklahoma to win the Big 12 Championship yet again this year.

You can purchase tickets to every college football game – including bowl games and the BCS National Championship – here.

This Summer at Stubbs

Big Head Todd and The Monsters,

Friday May 30 TBA (probably 9 pm)

Big Head Todd and The Monsters are touring to promote their new release “All the Love You Need”. The Colorado band has been recording together since 1989 after attending Columbine High School. Their sound has been distinctly bittersweet but the new release is grittier, more punkish. Some of their big sellers in the past include “Sister Sweetly” (“Bittersweet”), “Live at the Fillmore” and Hillary Clinton’s campaign song for the 2008 presidential race (“Blue Sky”).

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings

Wednesday June 4 TBA (probably 9 pm)

Sharon Jones and the ever popular Dap-Kings have come up with an incredible album “100 Days and 100 Nights”. The Dap-Kings, as many know, are the house band for Daptone Recordings. Jones is perfect in style and sound for the retro 60’s rhythm and blues sound. Is it possible to sound any better live? Also check out “Dap-Dippin’ With…” and “Naturally” from 2006.

Ladytron

Friday June 6 TBA (probably 9 pm)

Hey playgirls (and guys) – Ladytron is coming to town with their funky electronic sound. Robo-pop and Austin? We’ll see how it goes. Reminds me a little bit of Devo with cute girls. Search out “Destroy Everything You Touch”, “International Dateline” (from “Witching Hour”) and “Playgirl” (“Commodore Rock”).

Loretta Lynn

Friday June 13 TBA (probably 9 pm)

Whether you know her from the Dukes of Hazard, 70’s country, or as the “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, Loretta Lynn was one of the original honky tonk girls of the 50s. Now into her 70s, Lynn is touring to promote her new album “Van Lear Rose”. The album is produced by Jack White (of White Stripes fame) and is a retelling of Johnny Cash’s music. Check out “Miss Being Mrs” and “Portland, Oregon”. Memorable and gorgeous. A rich new sound for the legend of Loretta Lynn.

Rilo Kiley

Monday June 16 TBA (probably 9 pm)

For those not in the know, Rilo Kiley is a band, not a girl. But there is a girl in the band and a very pretty one at that. A little bit of country and a little bit of rock and roll. Worth mentioning: “The Good That Won’t Come Out” (from “The Execution of All Things”) and “The Moneymaker” (“Under the Blacklight”).

Robert Earl Keen

Friday June 20 TBA (probably 9 pm)

Storyteller, songsmith, and proud Texan Robert Earl Keen will grace the stage at Stubbs between platefuls of barbeque and fried pickles. The reformed Aggie has been singing professionally since 1984 (or thereabouts) always adds a  healthy dose of humor into his songs. Keen is the founder of the annual “Texas Uprising” concert series. Many fans say that the 2004 “Bigger Piece of the Sky” is his best recording to date. Of note: “Corpus Christie Bay” and “Blow You Away”.

Thievery Corporation

Tuesday June 24 TBA (probably 9 pm)

Theivery Corporation will be bringing their stylish sound for the new millennium to Austin. Sitars? This has to be a first for Stubbs. Good music and good barbeque are always an easy match however and Theivery Corporation is sure to please. Typical Theivery Corporation: “Lebanese Blonde” (“The Mirror Conspiracy”), “A Gentle Dissolve” and “Doors of Perception” (“The Cosmic Game”).

Stubbs isn’t the kind of venue that you have to dress up to go to. It is very Austin Casual. The amphitheater has a slope to it and unless you have to be close to the stage at every show you attend, this is the place to hang out at the back of the crowd. The concessions, bathrooms and entrance/exit are in the back. The staff at Stubbs is pretty serious about their camera policy: camera phones and small cameras like “Elfs” are fine but nothing with a removable flash or lens is allowed inside. Parking can be tricky in this area – be sure not to leave any valuables peeking out to tempt anyone to break into your car.

Buy tickets directly from Stubb’s box office.  Also check availability at TicketCity as they sometimes sell tickets below face value.