Brett Deering - Getty Images
A new conference home for TCU means that there are a whole host of new teams to be aware of. Some of them we are well acquainted with, others we've managed to face only once, but for all of them it's a good time to get reacquainted and maybe learn a new thing or two about our new and old conference mates. For that, Frogs O' War is proud to present the facts, stats and trivia of our big 12 brethren. Make the jump if you will, as we reacquaint ourselves with the new boss- and are shocked to discover that he bears a striking resemblance to the old boss. You may have heard of them: The Texas Longhorns.
Tale of the Tape: The University of Texas Longhorns
Location: Austin, Texas
Stadium: Darrel K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium: Named for legendary coach Darrel Royal.
Overall Record: 858-330-33, the second most wins of any program. And they'd be number one if it weren't for those meddling Wolverines.
Championships: Four National Championships (1963, 1969, 1970, 2005), thirty two(!!!) conference championships (2 Texas Intercollegiate Championships, 27 SWC Championships, 3 Big 12 Championships).
Conference History: Independent from 1893-1895, co-founder of Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association 1896-1904, left to be independent again from 1905-1912, joined the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association 1913-1914, left to co-found the Southwest Conference from 1915-1995, left to co-found the Big 12 in 1996.
Traditions: They have the world's largest Texas flag (why A&M hasn't made a bigger one out of spite I don't know), they have Bevo: one of the most famous mascots in sports, they have the second best handsign in the state (the most recognizable by a mile though), a famous cannon, a famous tower that they light up after wins in a variety of ways depending on the significance of the win... they have a lot of traditions. Programs that win a lot (and also Texas A&M!) tend to end up with a whole lot of traditions.
Rivals: The Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Shootour (screw political correctness), the
Texas A&M Aggies in the Lone Star Showdown, the Arkansas Razorbacks and their fiercest rival of all- the Rice Owls. What, Rice isn't a Texas rival? Then why do they play them every year? Oh, right- 833 wins- 71 against Rice. In all seriousness, Texas is the rival of every program in the state, it's just that Texas doesn't necessarily consider them rivals in return. Their real rivals are the Oklahoma Sooners, because only a top ten all-time program can really rival another. Playing in a neutral site gives the game one of the coolest atmospheres in all sports, and the programs both being in golden eras right now just makes the rivalry fire burn brighter. Then there's Texas A&M. Michigan coined the "little brother" taunt for Michigan State (Michigan spoiling Texas fun again, arrgh), but the ultimate little brothers in college football are the Aggies without a doubt. Their fight song (at least the only part they sing) is all about UT. Their numerous colorful traditions? About half of them are about UT. The A&M fanbase is so obsessed with UT they moved to a new conference away from UT... just to spite UT. Despite all of that hate, they didn't really beat the longhorns very often (especially not when Texas was good) and the rivalry may well cool off a bit on the Texas side. This is a dangerous proposition though, because we all figure at some point Texas and Texas A&M are going to play again, and one thing Texas can be shocked by is how much a program that hasn't played them in ages can hate them. Why yes, I do have an example in mind. One of my favorite rivalries (and perhaps the one I'm saddest about not seeing anymore) the Arkansas-Texas rivalry is one that goes back generations, as the two teams were regularly the champions in the SWC and the fire is still hot in the blood of older Texas alums. Know who else holds this rivalry in high regard? The entire state of Arkansas. Which is why in 2000 and 2003 when the rivalry was renewed the Texas players had no idea that they were playing against a team that has such a psychotic degree of hate towards them that the punishment for loafing in practice was to wear a burnt orange jersey during the next practice- this is despite over a decade of not playing Texas, mind you. Sane fans don't make shirts like these. Of course when the teams played again in 2004, Texas won- they knew what they were in for, and in 2008 they simply had so much more talent than the razorbacks that the hate spiral didn't get a chance to set in. This is the story of the rivalry- Arkansas worked itself into a frenzy and blitzed UT from time to time, but when Texas had its head on straight (or an overwhelming talent advantage) it tended to win. The next scheduled game isn't until 2021, but I'll bet my house on Arkansas at least covering the spread in that one- that's more than enough time for Texas to forget once again.
You may remember them from such TCU games as: TCU doesn't list the University of Texas as one of its rivals, but it's certainly not for a lack of history. The Horned Frogs and longhorns have locked horns seventy eight times, with Texas dominating much of the series (57-20-1), but unlike many schools TCU hasn't been an easy out for the longhorns even when we've been awful. TCU won two games in 1946, three games in 1961, four games in 1967 and two games in 1992- yet one of those few teams those frog teams beat was Texas. Either team being bad or good simply hasn't mattered much in the series- no matter the record, Texas generally wins, but not even the best Texas teams can afford to overlook TCU. The 1961 Texas team TCU knocked off was #1 in the nation, and the Horns would have ended up with the national championship with a win, leading Texas' legendary coach Darrell Royal to compare us to cockroaches "It's not what they eat and tote off, it's what they fall into and mess up that hurts." That's getting under someone's skin in a big way- take notes, A&M- the way to tick Texas off is to beat them when they're good.
Have they been looking at other conferences?: Why yes, yes they have. Texas has been winking across the room at seemingly every major conference apart from the SEC (who don't care about academics even a little bit). Texas would have joined the Big Ten after the demise of the SWC if they hadn't put a moratorium on expansion after admitting Penn State (hindsight, ouch), then they would have joined the Pac 10 if the snobs from Stanford hadn't cast a dissenting vote. Fast forward ten years and the players are the same. Texas flirted with the Big Ten, but had a "Tech problem" that prevented them from joining. Texas took their flirting to the next level with the Pac Ten and seemed signed sealed and delivered to the conference on numerous occasions, only to back out at the last minute time and again. Even the ACC was rumored to be a home to Texas in the last round of expansion, but in the end Texas stayed in the Big 12 and signed away their tier 1 rights to the conference so that we can all breathe easily... at least for a little while.
What else is "need to know" about the University of Texas: They have the richest athletic department in the NCAA, they have their own television network (which you've definitely heard about, but probably haven't seen), for a while they were pretty much College Quarterback U, they probably should've been in the title game in 2008 (45-35), they probably shouldn'tve been in the title game in 2009 (No, I'm not questioning the legitimacy of the second in the Big 12 title game, I'm saying that TCU or Boise would've beaten them and Alabama. Yes, you can boo me.), and they have a tendency to rub programs the wrong way by being better than them. This can cause conference strife if the program in question overestimates their value (Nebraska) or has delusions of grandeur (Texas A&M)- but really the problem isn't that Texas is better than pretty much any other program... it's that they know it.