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Longhorn Baby Clothes
The phrase "Hook'em Horns" is a common theme amongst Texas Longhorn fans. The University of Texas, in Austin, is a high energy school that demands a lot of excitement from its alumni and fans. The school has 18 sports teams that feature 8 men's teams and 10 women's teams. The range of sports teams make purchasing Texas Longhorns baby clothes a great gift for any small child in the family. Each team at the University of Texas is notorious for playing tough, aggressive, and at a high level. The proof of the high level of play is noted by every opponent that the team plays.
Texas School Rivalries
The University of Texas has many rivalries. The biggest rival of the Longhorns is in state team Texas A and M. Texas leads the all-time football series with Texas A and M 76-37-5. The teams generally play on Thanksgiving weekend. The basketball teams play each other twice a year, but now that Texas A and M has moved to the SEC conference it is unknown how many time the teams will play each other. Texas's other rival is the University of Oklahoma. When the two teams play in football they call the game the Red River Shootout. The game is help at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Longhorn Sports Success
The school has won a total of 49 National Titles. The school has also won several hundred conference championships. Most notably the schools swimming and diving team have won 52 conference championships and 10 National Championships. This winning tradition shows that dressing your children in Texas Longhorns baby clothes will give them a sense of enthusiasm and accomplishment.
The Texas Longhorns have about 500 men and women athletes who are playing in NCAA Division I intercollegiate program. The Longhorn Baseball team was the first team sport beginning in 1896.
Several weeks ago, the Twitter diatribe from Texas Longhorns cornerback Quandre Diggs put into stark relief the issues facing the gameday experience at Darell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Or perhaps more precisely -- the issues that result in the students not making it to games early, being loud, or staying late, though Diggs also criticized other fans who tend to leave early or not make noise when things go poorly.
Diggs wants a general admission policy for students that allows seats on a first-come, first-serve basis to students, citing Kansas State as a school that benefits from such a policy. He also wants free student tickets, but there's no way that's happening, so the real impetus of what he's saying rests with making seating a free-for-all on game day.
So besides the fact that fans don't make enough noise in general, what's wrong with the current seating policy?
Students are assigned a specific seat at each game, not just their section. Those who feel entitled to good seats just because they purchased them in June have no incentive to get to the game early. Instead, they can waltz into DKR at kickoff and go straight to their seat. The same goes for every other student who has purchased a student ticket. It's the reason that the "Turn Up DKR" game from last season was doomed to fail from its inception. There is zero incentive for showing up early. There is zero incentive for being a good fan.
Incentivizing the process is the key to force students to get to the stadium early and stay, something that the probable advent of beer and wine sales in the stadium may help as long as there aren't issues at spring events, since students of drinking age wouldn't have to leave the stadium to tend to their deteriorating buzz or hang around at their tailgate trying to drink that final pre-game beer.
Shoff has a plan that includes in-season incentives offering better seats, while the Texas student government now has a group, Students for Texas Athletics, that is advocating for student interests in regards to ticket policies, presumably in a similar direction.
So what's going on in Ann Arbor?
The plan now at Michigan is that the students who show up early and attend the most games get blocks of seats the next season closer to the action than students who showed up late or missed games.
The changes were in response to complaints from students about the general admission policy that the Wolverines used for only one season. And the new policy was one developed in close association with the student government.
Despite the advocacy of Diggs, the general admission seating plan was one that failed at Michigan because students plain didn't like it, even though it did accomplish the goal of getting them into their seats earlier.
Here's how the new policy is going to work:
Attendance points will be accumulated the following ways: each game attended is three points and arriving 30 minutes prior to kickoff earns an additional three points per game, for a total of six points per game.
In other words, if students want changes in ticket policy, they need to make their voices heard both to athletic director Steve Patterson and to the student government through the Students for Texas Athletics, which should have an active role in crafting such policies to benefit the gameday experience, language that Patterson surely understands, given that he's used it to talk about the expansion of the south end zone.
Until that happens, ensuring that the student section is both full, close to the field, and in range of the Texas band are the biggest priorities.
As long as the student groups can advocate in a comprehensive manner, the student ticket policies for the 2014 season could be instructive in how willing Patterson is to change the status quo in an effort to actually improve home-field advantage for the Longhorns in the short term.
The take -- Let's be clear on this particular battle -- if Ash is healthy enough to go, this is his job to lose, by a wide margin and that's not because Ash deserves it. No, it's because it would take a major leap for Swoopes to acquire the type of polish as a passer in terms of overall mechanics and accuracy to pass Ash, as his advantage in athleticism with a need to scale back the quarterback run game with Ash is not going to be enough to offset Ash's significant separation through the air.
Onyegbule is working at quarterback some in an effort to build better depth at the position with Jerrod Heard the only 2014 signee set to join the group this fall, although USC graduate transfer Max Wittek is reportedly leaning towards Texas.
The take -- Speculating about which players not listed on the final depth chart of the 2013 season will end up at which particular wide receiver position is difficult, as Johnson seems like more of a Z receiver because of his ability down the sidelines and lack of ideal size for what many coaches want from the X position, but played there last season.
Compounding that equation is the fact that it's not yet clear what the new offensive brain trust is looking for from each of the wide receiver positions.
In any case, Johnson is the returning player here and the most polished and productive of the group so far as the only one to catch a pass.
The battle between Oliver and Meander, if it does happen, is a battle between ball skills and blocking ability with Oliver and pure vertical speed for Meander, who is also working with the Texas track team this spring. Replacing Davis means attempting to replace his ability to get open down the field, so if Meander can emerge as the deep threat he expected to become coming out of high school, it would provide a critical element to the 2014 Texas offense.
The take -- Notice that there aren't a lot of names here at a critical position that Donald Hawkins held down capably in the passing game and often excelled at in the running game, production that isn't ever particularly easy to replace in college at one of the most difficult positions at which to evaluate and develop talent.
Estelle was hanging on by a thread after his academic ineligibility for the bowl game, but the increased emphasis and active monitoring by the coaching staff on the academic side may help him get through the spring. If not, the Longhorns may be in trouble, because Harrison barely played last year after the setback during fall camp with his own eligibility questions and an injury that slowed him down -- there are no guarantees that he can fulfill his significant potential at the college level.
The take -- Traditionally, the guard positions are easier to fill on the line, as players recruited at that position and the failed tackles move inside to work there. Replacing Hopkins may be a little more difficult because he was the most mobile and consistent lineman on the team and all the guards fighting to replace him don't work as well in space.
Flowers was the starter at this position when Hopkins had to move to right tackle to end the season following Estelle's academic issues and is first in line. It's a critical year for Flowers, as he was expected to be an early contributor, but so far hasn't reached his potential.
The same for Riser, who was thought to be another player who could play quickly, but he also hasn't started to scratch the surface of his ability. If Hammad can make the same type of leap that he did lat win high school, he could compete for a starting spot at one of the two guard positions.
More on the other two players below.
The contenders -- junior Taylor Doyle, redshirt sophomore Curtis Riser, redshirt freshman Rami Hammad, redshirt freshman Darius James
The departed -- Mason Walters
The take -- Unlike the left guard position, there's no clear favorite here, although Riser has long been expected to step in when a spot was available. The wildcards are Hammad and James, with Doyle an interesting player because he was written off after a leg injury his junior year in high school dealt a hit to his athleticism, but he has managed to crack the depth chart at Texas. Can he actually contribute? How much have the redshirt freshmen improved during their time on campus?
The take -- There are no departing players at this position, other than Estelle likely having to move to his better fit on the left side, giving Perkins the opportunity to step in full time as the starter, a task his strong move on the depth chart last season suggests is possible, if not probable.
In looking at the two tackle positions, it's probably best to see the two positions as being a battle between three players -- Estelle, Harrison, and Perkins.
There's a lot of pressure on Perkins, though, because Texas only has three tackles who have played before, compounded by the fact that Hughes was still moving poorly last fall a little more than a year removed from his ACL Injury. He's a guy who really needs to take advantage of the new strength and conditioning program to maximize his ability.
Rodriguez needs to redshirt.
As long as David Ash can play, the skill positions should be in reasonable shape for Texas, although finding explosive plays in the running game is going to be a point of emphasis. Along the offensive line, however, there are many more question marks along the offensive line, where there are few proven tackles and not much more experience at either of the guard positions. At the latter, there is a least some highly-rated talent, but the Horns are once again in a position where any injury or attrition to the top three tackles would be a significant blow -- as has been the case for several years now, there is little margin for error.
So, who do you think wins each of these battles, Texas fans?
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