First welcome back to the 40 Acres from all of us at Barking Carnival. We know that you have a plan to bring Texas back among the elite programs in college football and we are confident that it will be successful.
Now I am sure that you are being inundated with advice from any number of Longhorn fans, and we at BC wouldn’t presume to tell you how to do your job.
We are more than happy to supply you with additional information for your evaluation of the program and how it can be improved. We have an excellent staff of writers, led by Scipio Tex and Nobis60 who dive into the Xs and Os and come out with brilliant analysis.
Me? I’m more of a “Big Picture” guy. I think deep thoughts, and take the 10,000-foot view.
And I am here to tell you that from this height that I offer one simple change to create an instant winner. Something that doesn’t involve players, coaches, or anything as complicated offensive or defensive systems. And it won’t cost a dime.
All you need to do is pick up the phone, call Phil Knight at Nike and tell him you want the numbers taken off the jersey shoulder pads and put pack on the sleeves.
Less is More
Alabama. USC. Penn State. Michigan. Oklahoma. Texas
Elite programs who are among the winningest in college football. Programs who also established their look, or “brand” if you will, in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
Clean, uncluttered and distinctive looks. There was a method to the evolution of the Texas Uniform during the 1960’s under Darrell Royal. He knew that the Longhorn logo and the color burnt orange were unique enough that he didn’t want to distract from the look. He also understood that color TV loved the uniform. By 1963 he had a National Championship, and he had the distinctive “Texas” brand.
During the 1960’s, the two winningest programs in college football were Texas and Alabama. They also were two of the most easily recognizable teams for the casual fan. Here is the 1965 Orange Bowl, and here is the true Texas “Storm Trooper” uniform.
Obviously there have been some slight modifications over the years. Fred Akers added “TEXAS” to the front of the jersey in 1981.
And yes, we have heard all about how today’s youth must have glitter and glamour or they won’t choose your program.
Oregon has over 100 different uniform color combinations. How is that working out for them as a recruiting tool?
Elite teams, even Alabama, Michigan and USC, have gone “commando” for a game once in a while. But they don’t mess with their basic look.
Texas now looks like Tennessee, which looks like Oklahoma State, which looks like, well a lot of other teams.
We’re Texas, let’s dress like it.
Now about those ten wins I guarantee for next year.
You Are What Your Record Says You Are
And when Texas plays in these jerseys they suck. Awful, coach-changing suck.
In the 124 year history of Longhorn Football, Texas has played 8 seasons with the numbers on top of the shoulder pads.
Read ‘em and weep.
1976 5-5-1 Texas was a pre-season #7 selection. Stunned by Boston College 14-13 in the opener. Texas followed up with the infamous 6-6 tie with OU. The Horns then welcomed Houston as a full-fledged member to the SWC by losing 30-0. The loss broke a 42-game home winning streak. The Horns were held to 26 yards rushing on 36 carries. At the end of the year, Darrell Royal retires with his only non-winning record in 20 years at Texas.
1987 7-5 David McWilliams first season. It included losses to BYU (31-3) Oklahoma (44-9) and Houston 60-40.
1988 -- 4-7 Eric Metcalf, a pre-season Heisman candidate, is suspended for the first game at BYU thanks to a clerical error on his summer school check. A pre-season #19 ranking is quickly forgotten in a 46-7 beating at the hands of the Cougars. Also lost to Houston 66-15
1989 -- 5-6 with a loss to Houston (47-9) and a humiliating loss in Memorial Stadium (50-7) to Baylor.
2013 -- 8-5 Mack Brown’s last year. All five losses came by 3 touchdowns or more. Look up the definition of Messy Divorce and there is a picture of Mack Brown and Texas.
2014 -- 6-7 Got to a Bowl Game !! Lost to Arkansas 31-7 with 59 yards of total offense.
2015 -- 5-7 Lost to Iowa State 24-0.
2016 -- 5-7 Lost to Kansas, and then….well you know.
Texas’ 124-year record stands at 891 wins 363 losses and 34 ties, good enough for a winning percentage of 70.4%.
The eight years with numbers on the shoulder pads? 45-49-1 A winning percentage of 47.8%.
Coach, did you happen to notice that during those years that your former coaching stop defeated your current home four times by an average score of 50-16?
As for 10 wins next year, here are the two seasons when we have reverted back to the traditional look.
1977 11-1 Earl Campbell wins the Heisman Trophy
1990 10-2 The Shock the Nation tour kicked off with a dramatic 17-13 win over Penn State.
And as a side note, in 20015 (you know the National Championship season?) Texas opened up against Louisiana Lafayette in 1963 throw back uniforms.
There you have it. An argument for tradition backed up by statistics.
No need for thanks Coach. I’m just a “Big Picture” guy doing what he can to help you bring Texas Football back to forefront of college football.
I will simply give Coach Royal the last word on the matter.