Texas Longhorns Football: Top 20 Reasons to Be a Longhorns Fan
After stringing together quite a few great seasons in a row, the Texas Longhorns are having a down season. At 4-6 overall, this Texas team looks far removed from the team that made it to the BCS Championship Game last year.
Garrett Gilbert hasn't been as effective as many would have hoped and the Longhorns have been bounced in four straight contests.
That said, being a Longhorns fan isn't all bad. Let's take a look at 20 reasons to be a fan.
Mack Brown is the current Texas football coach and the winningest coach in program history. He has eclipsed the 200-win mark and has been handsomely rewarded for it.
Brown is the highest-paid coach at a public institution, making $5.1 million annually. I believe he is easily the highest-paid state employee.
He is also a Pat Robertson doppelganger.
The 1998 Heisman Trophy winner, Ricky Williams enjoyed great success at the University of Texas.
In his career, Williams set the NCAA I-A record for rushing yards (the record was broken a year later by Ron Dayne). He broke the record on a 60-yard touchdown run against in-state rival Texas A&M.
Though his pro career has been less than spectacular, in his tenure at Texas, Williams was an exciting player.
The Party Scene
Win or lose, the University of Texas does it big. Texas is routinely ranked in the Top Five best party schools in the country.
I have friends who go there who can personally attest to this, and given the size of the campus and the proximity to 6th Street, the ranking seems warranted.
While I still think that the Colorado Buffaloes have the best live mascot in sports, Bevo is a close second.
The giant longhorn outweighs every other mascot in the country and is quite a bit more intimidating than most.
The heir apparent to Mack Brown, Will Muschamp is the fiery defensive coordinator for a usually stingy team.
Muschamp is fiery and enthusiastic, quite a change of pace from the generally subdued Mack Brown.
We'll see if he succeeds Brown, however, because Muschamp has been mentioned as a candidate for head coaching positions. Brown is under contract until 2016.
The City of Austin
Austin is one of the best cities in America. Buried in Texas, Austin is relatively small but lively.
Austin has one of the better live music scenes in the country and vies with places like San Francisco and Boulder as one of the more hip, interesting cities in America.
"Keep Austin Weird."
Earl Campbell, five-time Pro Bowler, started his career at Texas. Campbell was the first Heisman Trophy winner in Texas football history and set the school rushing record in his senior season.
Campbell would go on to have an electrifying professional career and he would lead the NFL in rushing four times.
You guys all know what I'm talking about.
The 2005 BCS National Championship Game which Vince Young took over.
With 19 seconds left, on fourth-and-5, Vince Young took off and scrambled into the corner of the end zone to secure a national championship for the Texas Longhorns. Oh by the way, he also scrambled for the two-point conversion.
In my lifetime, this is easily the most iconic play in college football.
2004 Rose Bowl
The year before Vince Young carried the Texas Longhorns to a Rose Bowl victory and national championship, Young dominated the Michigan Wolverines in Pasadena.
Vince Young won his first Rose Bowl MVP. He would win his second the following season.
This is one of the better Rose Bowls in recent memory. Neither defense was able to do much and Dusty Mangum hit a field goal as time expired to take a 38-37 win.
Good-Looking Student Body
Having visited UT in high school, I can personally attest to this. The Longhorns campus is home to some of the most attractive women in America.
Though I love Georgetown, it just doesn't hold a candle to UT.
13th-Ranked Public School
This isn't a sexy reason to be a fan, but you do have to respect UT's academic excellence. They are one of the better public universities in the country.
Combine that with their prowess at partying, and attending UT is bound to be a rewarding collegiate experience.
Red River Shootout
Played between Texas and Oklahoma, the Red River Shootout is one of best rivalry games in college football. The series began in 1900 and is now played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
While I've never been, the atmosphere is supposed to be electric and it is home to one of the biggest tailgate parties on earth.
Over the last few years, the game has generally decided the winner of the Big 12 South and a subsequent berth in the Big 12 championship game. Texas leads the all-time series 59-41-5.
Let's be honest, the best professional to come from Texas in the last decade is Kevin Durant.
Obviously, Durant is not a football player, but he is a former Longhorn. In Durant's incredible freshman season, he averaged over 25 points and 11 rebounds, earning him Player of the Year honors.
He was the first freshman ever to win that award.
The Backyard Brawl
In the state of Texas, almost everyone is split between Texas and Texas A&M. The rivalry is bitter and hotly contested (mostly by A&M).
It is the third-longest running rivalry in the nation and is traditionally played on Thanksgiving Day. From time to time, driving around Texas, you'll see a bumper sticker that says "A House Divided," which references opposing allegiances to the two schools.
Owning Your Rival
Complain all you want Texas A&M, but UT (not TU) owns you. The University of Texas not only is better academically (like anybody cares) but traditionally dominates the Aggies athletically.
In football, the Longhorns own the "rivalry" 75-35-6. Try as they might, the Aggies are clearly the little brother in this rivalry.
Colt McCoy had perhaps the biggest shoes to fill of any collegiate player in recent memory (John Brantley might be worse). McCoy had to replace one of the greatest Longhorns of all time in Vince Young.
In his four seasons at UT, McCoy quickly stepped out of Young's shadow and began to rewrite the Texas record books.
He has the highest single-season completion percentage of any quarterback in NCAA history and the most wins of any starting quarterback. He also owns nearly every single significant record at UT.
Unfortunately for Colt and Longhorn fans, they will both have to wonder what might have been had he not hurt himself in last year's title game.
McConaughey got his start in the film business with Dazed and Confused while attending UT.
Now the oft-shirtless king of the rom-com is a mainstay on the sideline of big UT football games.
You can also see him at the Austin City Limits music festival, or playing the bongos in Austin.
Vince Young, at least in my lifetime, is easily the greatest Texas Longhorn. Though his professional career has been a bit bumpy, his dominance at the collegiate level, especially in big games, was truly amazing.
He always seemed to engineer a late drive and will his teams to a win. The 2004 and 2005 Rose Bowls stand as testaments to Young's greatness.
It really isn't that ugly and it is one of the more recognizable colors in all of college football.
No other team has a color as distinctive as the Longhorns (even though I don't necessarily want a closet full of the stuff).
It's also pretty sweet that the campus tower lights up in burnt orange.
If you like winning, you've got to appreciate what the Texas Longhorns have done. The Longhorns are the second-winningest program in college football history and have won four national titles.
Their body of work is indisputable and, if you are a fan of college football, you have to respect what the Longhorns have been able to do.