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Report: Texas Longhorns in talks for home-and-home with Florida Gators
The Horns could add another high-profile non-conference series.
The Texas Longhorns could end up facing a familiar head coach in a future non-conference series, as there's a report that the Horns are discussing a home-and-home series with the Florida Gators:
Interesting ... sources inside Florida athletic dept. are telling us they are in talks with Texas for a home-and-home football series.
— SST Radio Show (@SSTRadio) July 24, 2014
The familiar face, of course, is Florida coach Will Muschamp, who was once the Texas defensive coordinator and head-coach-in-waiting.
But he may not be much longer for the Gainesville campus after a disastrous 2013 season and would have to survive several seasons if such a deal does end up taking place -- the Horns have their non-conference schedule set for each of the next three seasons.
So a match up against the Gators wouldn't be able to take place until 2018 unless another school pulls out of the scheduling agreements that are already in place.
Along with games again BYU and UCLA this season, Texas will also face Notre Dame and Cal in 2015 and 2016, then play Maryland and USC the next two seasons. In 2019 and 2020, the Horns will once again go head-to-head with the Fighting Irish and then have games scheduled against Ohio State in 2022 and 2023. Arkansas will come to Austin in 2021 to reprise the old SWC rivalry.
The Horns have been aggressive in scheduling premier non-conference opponents in part because of the weakened Big 12 -- with the grudge match against Oklahoma taking place in the Cotton Bowl every year, Texas has extra pressure to add home game that make the cost of season tickets worth the price of admission.
The tough non-conference schedule also helps ensure that Texas won't be missing out on any playoff berths with an undefeated or even one-loss season.
Adding Florida could ensure that Texas had two premier non-conference opponents on the schedule in at least two of the years from 2019 to 2023, as the 2018 schedule will probably add a non-Power 5 opponent to provide a winnable game with Maryland and USC the currently scheduled non-conference opponents.
Four-star WR John Burt to announce commitment on July 27
Will the tall receiver choose the Horns?
The Texas Longhorns could finally have the first addition to the 2015 wide receiver class in six days with the news that Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln wide receiver John Burt will announce on July 27:
UPDATE: 4-star WR John Burt (@burticus21) will announce on Sunday at 3 p.m. Finalists are #Canes, #Longhorns, #Noles and #WDE. More soon.
— Adam Krohn (@AKRivals) July 24, 2014
When SB Nation Recruiting spoke with the 6'3, 180-pound receiver at The Opening, he said that his top three was Texas, Auburn, and Florida State, in that order, with the Horns as his leader. At the time, he didn't rule out committing on a July visit to Austin.
As a result of that recent statement and the lack of a visit to Miami in the weeks since The Opening, it's highly unlikely that the Hurricanes will end up as his pick. And Burt said that Florida State hasn't been recruiting him particularly hard of late and that he was more of a Longhorns fan growing up than a Seminoles fan.
There have been three picks for Auburn in the 247Sports Crystal Ball for Burt in the last two weeks after a stretch from early April to early July that featured a surge for Texas to even with Florida State, a school it seems clear he's not going to choose.
Burt visited Auburn in June and was scheduled to spend a week or so in Austin visiting family. It's not clear whether that trip will still take place or whether it has been cancelled. Since Burt did make it sound like more of a family trip than a specific visit to the campus, it may not be as bad of a sign if it was cancelled as it could be if it was merely to visit the school.
With the probability that junior Kendall Sanders and redshirt freshman Montrel Meander have put on a Texas uniform for the last time, the Horns may have to consider taking three or four wide receivers in the 2015 class instead of the expected number of two.
Having already missed on targets like A&M commits Damarkus Lodge and Kemah Siverand and with a paucity of in-state offers out, losing out on a prospect like Burt who has had the Horns in front and and has deep connections to the city and university because of his family would be a significant blow.