College Football 2011: Sooner Solutions for Longhorn Woes
The Texas Longhorns are one of the elite football programs in all of college football. You won’t find many lists where they aren’t rated at least a top-10 all time program. This fact has made it pretty difficult for many Longhorn faithful to stomach what happened in 2010, and probably has their fan base still a little nervous going into the 2011 season.
Every great program has their “down years.” There’s not a program out there that has not experienced their share of humble pie for a longer period of time than they’d like. As a big brother, mentor and friendly rival, this Sooner has a few suggestions to bring the mighty Longhorn program back to greatness.
“Texas Style” Scheduling
It was just a couple years ago when the rest of the nation would kind of chuckle to themselves when considering the longhorn schedule. Powerhouse Rice is a constant fixture on their schedule for obvious “in-State” financial reasons. No problem throwing the smaller state schools a bone; however, the Arkansas States, Louisiana Lafayette’s, Florida Atlantic’s and Wyomings are another story.
Texas, growing weary of the constant criticism and ridicule aimed at them for these practices have decided to adopt a more challenging OOC. They paid for it last season when UCLA came to Austin, and many expect BYU and UCLA both to give Texas all they want this fall. A good way for Texas to return to prominence would be to put the FCS schools back on the schedule. Who cares if folks chuckle, they’re Texas!
In this day of distance not being a factor, TCU has gone off and joined the Big East. Maybe the folks at UT should consider that for themselves as well. In financial terms they would dominate any conference they were a part of; however, on the field it has become clear that they are not the dominant one in the Big 12. That wouldn’t be the case if they were in the Big East.
Will Texas win 10 games in 2011?
It’s hard to imagine Texas taking a back seat to West Virginia, Pittsburgh or UCONN every year. Since Oklahoma is a program that is scared of no one, they’d have no problem throwing little brother a bone by continuing the Red River Rivalry as an OOC game just like they did for decades before the Big 12. What remained of the Big 12 could at that point petition to have Texas’ commissioner Dan Beebe go with. With that, there’d be no question Texas would be back.
Texas’ spot in the top three of recruiting on an annual basis is common knowledge. They continue to pluck the elite of the elite out of their incredibly football rich state, leaving leftovers for scavengers like Oklahoma, Texas A&M and Oklahoma State; however, it doesn’t appear as if the “elite” thing is working out that well them these days. T
here’s something to be said for the kid that has to sit back and watch the other kid get all the accolades. What greater motivation to be great is there? How’s a kid in Texas who grew up an avid Longhorn fan not going to be overly excited about being a Longhorn commit? Maybe that sense of “entitlement” that Mack Brown talks about begins right there. Why wouldn’t a 16-year-old kid get the big head if he’s already a Texas commit?
Maybe going after those “lesser talented” kids would be a better strategy in Austin, leaving the elite players to go ahead and attend the Oklahoma’s, A&M’s and Oklahoma States. Just a thought.
There aren’t many Saturdays in the fall when the Longhorns aren’t a permanent fixture on television screens across America. They’re a huge draw for obvious reasons. Folks either love the Longhorns or love to hate ‘em. Either way, most are very familiar with the burnt orange and longhorn emblem. Definitely one of the coolest helmet decals in all of college football.
That being said, maybe Texas should consider dialing down their exposure just a tad. With the decrease in exposure comes the decrease in expectations and the target on their back would get smaller and smaller. Entitlement and arrogance are often one in the same. Another factor for Texas opponents to consider, and even more motivation to beat them.
A decrease in exposure would help to stem that, giving Texas a more level playing field. It’s easier to beat teams that don’t care about who you are. Use the new Longhorn network to show more women’s softball and men's gymnastics. There’s something to be said for expanding your fan base beyond just football.
There are many options at the disposal of the Longhorn program to return it to greatness. They certainly won’t need any ideas or advice from some hack, insignificant, amateur wannabe writer such as the author of this satire; however, maybe there are other Sooner fans out there with even more ideas for little brother. The Oklahoma vs. Texas rivalry is hands down the greatest in all of sports; it’s always better when both schools are on top. Hurry back Horns!
Boomer Sooner Baby!
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