COLLEGE REWIND

Saturday NCAA football recap: Tom Herman and the Longhorns stun West Virginia

UT and Tom Herman got an important win. Tim Warner/Getty Images

Rather positive week for college football in the Lone Star State. We take a look back at Texas colleges and schools of interest:

Texas 28, West Virginia 14

First-year coach Tom Herman and the Longhorns have a lot to be proud of after their 28-14 victory over No. 24 West Virginia on Saturday. The now bowl-eligible Longhorns beat a ranked opponent for the first time in five tries this season and qualify for a bowl game for the first time since 2014. ”This was a big hurdle – to get another road conference win, to beat a top 25 team, and make sure our seniors are bowl eligible,” said Herman. “These guys are ecstatic.” Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger did not mess around, completing 12 of 19 for 136 yards and running for 68 yards.

TCU 27, Texas Tech 3

Rookie quarterback Shawn Robinson became the first true freshman to start for the Horned Frogs in all of coach Gary Patterson’s 17 seasons as head coach. After being held to a scoreless first quarter, the Horned Frogs shook off the jitters and began to really shine. In his first career start, Robinson ran for 84 yards and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Reagor to take a 17-3 lead late in the third quarter. Red Raider quarterback Nic Shimonek had a season-low 137 yards passing and was only 17 of 37.

LSU 30, Tennessee 10

On a stormy Saturday in Knoxville, LSU managed to beat Tennessee 30-10 while avoiding any turnovers. “I thought the storm fired them up,” said LSU coach Ed Orgeron. “They were like little kids playing in the back yard. I was proud of them. "Derrius Guice and Darrel Williams ran for a combined 165 yards and three touchdowns for LSU. According to Orgeron, eliminating turnovers made the difference in the game for the Tigers. This loss for Tennessee came in the Volunteers’ first game under interm coach Brady Hoke after the firing of Butch Jones.

Old Dominion 24, Rice 21

Old Dominion quarterback Steven Williams led his team to victory, throwing for 188 yards and running for two scores, including the game-winning touchdown with 37 seconds left. An interception by ODU’s Sean Carter with 21 seconds left in the game sealed the win. This is the ninth straight loss for the Owls.

Iowa State 23, Baylor 13

The Cyclones broke their two-game losing streak with Saturday’s 23-13 victory over Baylor in Waco. On a pass from freshman Zeb Noland, senior Hakeem Butler made a highlight over-the-shoulder 67-yard catch-and-run score for the Cyclones in which he broke away from two defenders. Baylor has lost 10 games for the first time since going 1-10 back in 1999.

Arkansas State 30, Texas State 12

Arkansas State moves into a four-way tie atop the Sunbelt Conference with a 30-12 victory over Texas State on Saturday. Quarterback Justice Hansen threw for 229 and one touchdown for the Red Wolves.

Texas A&M 31, Ole Miss 24

Returning freshman quarterback Nick Starkel threw for 272 yards, leading the Aggies to a rallying 31-24 victory over Mississippi on Saturday. “We weren’t perfect,” said A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. “But our guys played really hard. I’m happy for them.” The Aggies took a 28-24 lead just after halftime thanks to a pick-six by Derrick Tucker. Starkel completed 19 of 32 passes and ran for a 1-yard touchdown for the Aggies. A&M’s Damion Ratley caught five passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Tulane 20, Houston 17

Tulane quarterback Jonathan Banks led his team to victory and threw for a career-high 251 yards to defeat the Houston Cougars 20-17. D'Eriq King rushed for 141 yards and passed for 225 in a losing effort.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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