Countdown to College Football: Day 60 - Texas

Monday is here, and we return with the University of Texas.  A school that once had its entire financial appropriation vetoed by a corrupt Governor.

School: University of Texas

Mascot: Longhorns

Fight Song: The Eyes of Texas

Head Coach: Tom Herman (22-4, 0-0 at Texas)

Stadium: Darrel K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium (Capacity: 100,119)

Best Place to Eat on Campus:

Austin has a great collection of fine and diverse restaurants. However, it's Texas, and Ruby's BBQ an institution since 1988 with its authentic brick smoke pits gets the nod. 

Greatest Moment in Program History:

I am always wary of using recency bias in choosing these moments, and then it occurred to me that the 2006 Rose Bowl was over a decade ago. Texas entered the Rose Bowl undefeated, loaded with talent, and had broken a long and miserable losing streak to Oklahoma that season. They also had gone into The Horseshoe and defeated Ohio State in a forgotten classic. Texas faced off against USC, who hadn't lost a game since October of 2013. USC had Heisman winner Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, huge receivers, and a monster offensive line. Texas had speed, a ton of speed, and Vince Young.  This was the finest football game I'd ever watched, and it was announced by the legendary Keith Jackson, in his last game, and in top form: Poetic and still succinct(Jackson's intro: "These are the two top teams in the country, with nary a whisper of dissent" remains one of my favorite lines. Texas won their first title since 1969 when Young scampered into the corner of the end zone on 4th and 5. An incredible football game. 

 

Current State of the Program:

The Charlie Strong era was a not terribly surprising failure.  He was brought into clean up the laziness and entitlement that had  hand in undermining the end of the Mack Brown era.  It was an ugly job and the coach is often fired before he reaps the benefits. Strong ran off select veterans, tried to squeeze spread talent into a pro style offense and paid the consequences. Even after a switch to a spread offense and bringing in talented recruiting classes, Texas struggled. In 2016, the team improved, finding themselves at 5-4 after nine games and were just a few points from 8-1.  They lost a close game to a good West Virginia team, then a embarrassing loss to Kansas was followed by a blowout to TCU. At 5-7 Strong was fired. Texas hired Tom Herman, a brilliant strategist and a coach who should be able to restore Texas to its rightful spot competing for conference and the occasional national title. That will take a few years, but I would expect a more finely tuned and better conditioned squad under Herman this year. 

Prediction:  8-4

vs Maryland - W

vs San Jose State - W

at USC - L

at Iowa State - W

vs Kansas State - W

vs Oklahoma - L

vs Oklahoma State - L

at Baylor - W

at TCU - W

vs Kansas - W

at West Virginia - L

vs Texas Tech - W