Is Texas Back? | Victor Takacs
Welcome us back. Me and you. College Football Bowl Season has returned, therefore, so have our souls. This holiday season, football shall usurp the emptiness created by much non-relevant regular season football. With the start of bowl season comes many question marks. Is Dabo his real name? How old is Nick Saban? How many teams are in the Big 10? Which team is it with the blue field? What in the hell did Coach O just say? When will Georgia shit the bed? Why is Notre Dame still considered relevant? Is Mike Leach for real a pirate? Did he ever get paid for his efforts at Texas Tech? Why does the PAC 12 play at midnight? What’s the difference between the AAC and the ACC? Which coach most looks like the mascot of the team he coaches?
Will my team implode and rip my heart out? These are all great questions which we hope to have answered over the next fifteen weeks or so. But the biggest question mark of all; the question that consumes the college football world from coast to coast…IS TEXAS BACK? If so, Texas Longhorns Football recruiting should continue to be successful.
The program has had much success throughout its long, storied history. Many would say that some of the best years in Austin were from 1998 to 2013. These years are known as the Mack Brown era, during which the Texas Longhorns boasted a robust 158-48 record. The Texas Longhorns reached the pinnacle of college football in 2005 by winning the national championship over the USC Trojans. The Horns were led by phenom quarterback Vince Young who also won the Heisman Trophy in 2005. (He didn’t really win the Heisman but he finished second to Reggie Bush who was later stripped of the trophy because of NCAA violations involving dirty houses.) So, according to those donning burnt orange, you damn right he won the Heisman Trophy. Either way, you get the picture, Texas was really really good during the Mack Brown era. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, what goes up must come down. From 2010 to 2013 the Longhorns were a pedestrian 30-21, and following the 2013 season, after going 8-5, Mack Brown was fired. The powers that be in Austin wanted more discipline and toughness in their football program. They did not believe that Brown exuded much discipline or toughness; he was more like George W Bush, but as a coach. He displayed a lot of clapping, smiling, and laughing. The king of Texas Longhorns Football recruiting, what Brown did on the road couldn’t be duplicated on the field.
There was a national coaching search conducted and the University of Texas Alumni made it clear that they wanted someone with strong core values, someone tough. Someone tough enough to wear a turtleneck in 100 degree weather, and it was an added bonus if he actually looked like a turtle. The University of Texas got their man. They were able to lure Charlie Strong away from Louisville after he completed a 12-1 season in 2013. There were high hopes in Austin and Coach Strong vowed to change the culture of Texas Longhorn football. He arrived on campus, met with the seniors on the team, and presented his five core values: Honesty; Treat women with respect; No drugs; No stealing; and No weapons. Now that is some next level stuff. No weapons. Yeah no shit.
The Strong era stumbled out of the gates with a week two 41-7 blowout loss at the hands of the BYU Cougars. The rest of the season did not go as planned with the Longhorns sputtering to a 6-7 record in Strong’s first campaign. Year two opened with a 38-3 blowout loss to Notre Dame and the 2015 season went much like the 2014 season, except in 2015, there was no bowl game appearance. Texas finished 5-7 in 2015, but all of the despair brought on by the rebuilding process would soon be worth it. On September 4, 2016 Notre Dame rolled into Austin, Texas ranked #10 in the nation. The game went back and forth and 4 quarters was not enough to decide a winner. The Texas Longhorns led by the two-headed monster of Tyrone Swoopes and Shane Buechele (current starting QB at SMU) edged out the Fightin Irish in a two overtime thriller. As Swoopes crossed the goal line, play-by-play announcer, Joe Tessitore belted out one of the greatest phrases of all time: “TEXAS IS BACK, FOLKS.” Have a listen below:
Was Texas in fact back? Or was this a mirage; was it merely a puddle of water in the Charlie Strong desert? You tell me. Have a look below:
Texas was not back; Joe Tessitore was very wrong. The University of Texas Longhorns finished the 2016 season 5-7, folded up shop, and cancelled their football program for good.
Just Kidding. That’s not how this story ends. Texas fired Charlie Strong after the 2016 season and hired Tom Herman. The Longhorns struggled in Herman’s first season going 7-6 but followed with a strong 2018 season going 10-4 capped off by a 28-21 win over Georgia. Things look to be on the up and up in Austin with Texas entering 2019 ranked #10 in the nation. This is the year. We finally will find out the answer to the heavily debated question. Let me ask you, Is Texas back? This guy better sure as hell hope so.