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I send back out of office auto-replies

Still in Phoenix, taking advantage of a couple more days of the Mrs. WBE’s vacation. So not much today or tomorrow, sorry. Just a couple quick thoughts about the weekend news cycle:

— So, Texas is committed to a new Southwest Conference, huh? Or, as they’ll more likely call it, the Longhorn Conference featuring Texas and Nine Other Schools. Which is why that since the SEC appears to be serious about bringing Texas A&M on board (sigh), I’m betting the Aggies decide they don’t need the ‘Horns shadow and bolt. But we’ll see.

— I’ve already made it clear where I stand on Slive’s decision to preemptively strike at the Pac-10/11/12/16 and Big Telweven’s by snagging A&M, but once more, with feeling: I don’t know why dividing a relatively static amount of revenue by 13 and eventually 14 teams is better than dividing it by 12, especially when it also means diluting the conference’s brand, the conference’s traditions, the conference’s identity. But no one at Slive’s office is asking me, obviously.

— I had a conversation with my friend Brian last week in which I said that no coach caused me a greater level of simultaneous frustration and joy than U.S. Soccer’s Bob Bradley, and the England draw was yet another perfect example. I hated Bradley’s decision to start Robbie Findley, disagreed with the decision to start Ricardo Clark, and was tearing my hair out at the hour-mark of the match when he still hadn’t used one of his three substitutions. All of these decisions proved to be mistakes: Findley provided nothing going forward; Clark was burned for the English goal and was a major culprit in the U.S.’s inability to keep even a modicum of possession; the lateness of the substitutions meant that none of them was able to make any sort of impact on the game.

And at the end of the day, thanks to Tim Howard’s heroics, a remarkable marking job by the back line on Wayne Rooney, and Clint Dempsey’s continued ability to go one-on-many and yield something positive, the U.S. came away with a massive point. (I guess Robert Green had something to do with it, too. Thanks, Robert.) And if Jozy Altidore’s shot had bounced off the inside of the post instead, it’s three points instead of one. Again: weird decisions, phenomenal results. I love Bob Bradley. I hate him so much.

— All for now. Will chime in if there’s any breaking conference developments. Otherwise, see you Wednesday.

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