The morning line: Iron Cowboy III, Part 2

Highlights

  • A mix of buckoff experts and tough but rideable bulls means that simply outlasting one’s bracket opponent may not be enough.
  • World leader J.B. Mauney faces White Velvet in Round 2, and should have an advantage moving into Round 3.
  • Bushwacker returns to action tonight.

In This Article

ARLINGTON, Texas - In a two-part report, PBR statistician Slade Long is breaking down the matchups for tonight's Dickies® Iron Cowboy III at Cowboys Stadium. Today, he's looking at the right side of the bracket - the path that leads to Bushwacker in the final round. The Iron Cowboy will be televised live tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Download your own bracket here, or play the PBR Dickies® Iron Cowboy III game here.

UPDATE: Superstar Dierks Bentley will rock the house at 8 ET, and you can watch it live at pbr.com/live.

Round 1:

Kody Lostroh on 1415 Palm Springs
Vs.
Cord McCoy on 841 Cyber Cat
Cyber Cat is a debut bull here, but he's been to quite a few rodeos. He's only been ridden once in 18 outs, and has a lot of quick buckoffs, so McCoy has a tough task.

Palm Springs was the PRCA's top bucking bull in 2011. At first glance he appears to be a bull the top riders should handle, but they don't, and he isn't. Bulls who spin tend to have a bucking action that is locked in to the rhythm of their spin. Palm Springs bucks hard, but he's got the spin turned up to 11.  His spinning and bucking motions are just enough out of sync that they cause most riders problems. He can spin either way, and the key factor is that if he goes to the left, Lostroh could easily win this match even if he doesn't make the 8 seconds.

At first glance [Palm Springs] appears to be a bull the top riders should handle, but they don't, and he isn't.

Luke Snyder on 57 Shamoun
Vs.
Justin Koon on 404C RMEF Gunpowder & Lead
Koon has the edge here, even though his bull is likely to go away from his hand. Luke Snyder had Shamoun at the World Finals and came down in 1.73 seconds. Gunpowder & Lead does not score a lot of quick buckoffs.

Bushwacker bracket
The Bushwacker bracket.

Cody Nance on 868 Jack Daniel's After Party
Vs.
Ryan Dirteater on 618 Carrillo Cartel
These are two very good and rideable bulls, but there's more to the story. Nance has tried Jack Daniel's After Party three times and has only taken him over 4 seconds once.  Similarly, Dirteater has been on Carrillo Cartel three times and has not ridden him. Colby Yates recorded the highest score of this event on Carrillo Cartel last year, but there is a very good chance the bull will go to the right tonight, which will be away from Dirteater's hand.

Aaron Roy on -22 Party All The Time
Vs.
Jory Markiss on -8 Bring It
Bring it is known for being wound up pretty tightly, and so is Jory Markiss. They met at a Touring Pro Division event last summer, and Markiss only lasted 2.5 seconds. Party All The Time is not ridden very often, but he doesn't throw many riders off quickly, either. Roy should have a slight edge here.

Round 2:

Valdiron de Oliveira on 6724 Crackerjack
Vs.
? on A712 Pit Boss
No matter who moves up to face Pit Boss, he will have a slight advantage, in that most of the riders who have had success on Pit Boss are small and left-handed, as are both McCoy and Lostroh. Crackerjack has not been ridden in a year, and has never been ridden by a right-handed rider, but as is the case with many bulls, he has never faced a rider like Oliveira.

L.J. Jenkins on 64S Flirting With Disaster
Vs.
? on V-5
Jenkins has had this bull before, and came down pretty quickly, but it may work to his advantage that the other bull in this bracket is a real beast. V-5 is unridden, and hasn't looked like he's ready to be ridden at all.

Guilherme Marchi on 774 Cooper Tires American Owned
Vs.
? on 01T Loose Cannon
Marchi is facing a bull who has been ridden more often by right-handed riders, and when that happens, Marchi rarely fails to make the 8 seconds. On the other side of the bracket, Loose Cannon has been a little better for lefties. If Dirteater advances to this position, this could come down to who scores the highest, rather than who stays on the longest.

Mauney will be hard to beat here, no matter who faces him. He should make the whistle easily, and these two bulls are pretty evenly matched as far as the kind of scores they can deliver.

J.B. Mauney on 702 White Velvet
Vs.
? on 31 Far West
Mauney will be hard to beat here, no matter who faces him. He should make the whistle easily, and these two bulls are pretty evenly matched as far as the kind of scores they can deliver. Look for both guys to go all out to get the most points they can.


Round 3:

107 Rock & Roll
Vs.
691 Meat Hook
Both of these bulls are unridden. Meathook has only allowed two riders to get past 4 seconds - both righties. Rock & Roll is exactly the opposite. He's allowed lefties to stay on longer.

Snyder Perfect Poison

Perfect Posion is tough, but not impossible. Still, he bucked off Luke Snyder in 1.4 seconds in Oklahoma City earlier this year.

537 Jawbreaker
Vs.
5403 Perfect Poison
In an interview this past week, Mauney mentioned Perfect Poison as being a tough bull to get by, and he is, but he is the bull to have in this match. Jawbreaker is unridden in 25 career outs, and is as close to a guaranteed buckoff as it gets at this level.

Round 4:

K55 Smackdown
Vs.
20U Shepherd Hills Tested
These are two evenly matched bulls. Tested is unridden and was the high-marked bull in Houston, beating out Asteroid along with the rest of the field. Smackdown is as difficult as it gets, especially for right-handed riders.

[Bushwacker] should be the same bull he was when we saw him last, which means that it will be extremely tough to stay on him for 6 seconds or more.

Round 5:

13/6 Bushwacker
Whoever makes it to this point should be well-prepared for the champ. Bushwacker has been exercised, but hasn't been bucked coming off his injury earlier this year. He should be the same bull he was when we saw him last, which means that it will be extremely tough to stay on him for 6 seconds or more. Asteroid has been ridden past 6 seconds in each of his past two outs.

Bonus Bull:

W1 Buckey
No one except Oliveira has had an answer for Buckey in the past year. There's really nothing tricky about him. He bucks hard, with a lot of up-and-down, and likes to spin to the right, which would favor a right-handed rider.

(Slade Long, PBR Web developer and statistician, has been crunching the numbers on bucking bulls for 13 years. In addition to his regular "Morning Line" series, published just prior to every Built Ford Tough Series performance, Long co-hosts "In the Bull Pen with Cody Lambert," a podcast recorded every Thursday prior to each BFTS event.)

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