Texas A&M’s Historical 1976 Trifecta

by Travis Normand
June 13, 2017

A friend of mine (David Walker – who played QB at Texas A&M in the 1970s) is always pointing out interesting stats and facts from the years he played football at Texas A&M. The most recent stat that he brought to my attention is that the 1976 Texas Aggie football team is the only one to: (1) defeat the University of Texas in Austin, (2) win a bowl game, and (3) finish the season ranked in the top-10 (AP No. 7 and UPI No. 8).

Three other Aggie teams have come close to accomplishing this particular trifecta, but fell short due to no fault of their own. Those three teams were the 1939 (National Champions), the 1985 SWC Champions, and the 1987 SWC Champions. Each of these three teams (1) defeated the University of Texas at Kyle Field, (2) won their bowl game, and (3) finished the season ranked in the top-10. The only difference being that these three teams played the Longhorns at Kyle Field as opposed to playing them in Austin.

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Kirk Herbstreit calls Austin a ‘cesspool’

by Travis Normand

During ESPN’s College Gameday broadcast on October 8, 2016, Kirk Herbstreit was extremely critical of the University of Texas’ treatment of head coach Charlie Strong. Herbstreit went so far as to call Austin a cesspool and said that Coach Strong should be relieved to be released from the situation.

Direct link to the video at ESPN.com: http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=17744439

 

Longhorns, pay attention to this.

by Travis Normand

I don’t normally care for anything Colin Cowherd does or says, but in this segment, he is spot on.  Agree?

A clip from Cowherd’s new show on Fox (10 September 2015)

Ex-UT cheerleader Harley Clark dies

by Travis Normand

The following article was posted at ESPN.com [emphasis added].  I found it interesting that Harley Clark got the idea for a hand signal from his rival school, Texas A&M.

Ex-UT cheerleader Harley Clark dies

Associated Press

Updated: October 9, 2014, 7:15 PM ET

AUSTIN, Texas — Harley Clark, the former Texas cheerleader credited with introducing the “Hook’em Horns” hand signal used by tens of thousands of Longhorns faithful over the past six decades, died Thursday at his farm outside of Austin, school officials said. He was 78.

The school didn’t release details or a cause of death for Clark, who watched his hand sign become one of the most recognizable and familiar signs of support in college athletics.

Clark introduced the hand sign — the index and pinky fingers extended and the two middle fingers tucked under the thumb — at a 1955 pep rally. It quickly caught on and became a universal symbol for the school and its athletic teams.

Clark later became a lawyer and was appointed a state district judge in 1977. He issued a landmark decision in 1987 that declared the state’s public school finance system unconstitutional because of disparities between wealthy and poor school districts, a ruling that was upheld by the Texas Supreme Court.

Clark “embodied the spirit of our beloved university,” said former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former Texas cheerleader and current president of the Texas Exes alumni group. She called the hand sign a “symbol of Longhorn pride that is recognized and shared around the globe. His love and dedication to UT-Austin will never be forgotten.”

In a 2006 interview, Clark said he had wanted some kind of hand signal similar to that used by the Longhorns’ rivals at Texas A&M, where the “Gig `Em” sign dating to the 1930s is a closed fist with the thumb pointing straight up. Friend Henry Pitts showed him the Longhorn sign, which Pitts made up while shadow casting.

Clark shopped it around before a pep rally as Texas prepared to play TCU, and got mixed reactions. Undaunted, he was convinced it would catch on and it did.

“It’s perfect,” Clark said in 2006. “It just says Texas.”

It also got him in some trouble. The dean of student life lectured Clark that the signal was considered a vulgarity in Sicily and might be misinterpreted in Texas. But it was too late to stop it.

Texas fans show it during the signing of the “Eyes of Texas” before and after games, and there’s seldom a touchdown where a player doesn’t flash it for the cameras. Longhorns opponents liked to use it just as often, turning the signal upside down in a mocking gesture.

The sign even reached the White House. It caused a Scandinavian scandal in 2005 when President George W. Bush and his daughter Jenna, a Texas graduate, flashed the sign during Bush’s inauguration parade. A Norwegian newspaper interpreted it as a sign saluting Satan.

Clark is survived by his wife Patti, and four children. Funeral services were pending Thursday.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

Longhorns know football . . . right?

by Travis Normand

This is too funny / strange not to repost.  The following text is from a post/article by Stefan Scrafield.  Scrafield wrote the post for collegesportsblog.dallasnews.com on September 13, 2014, titled “Texas blows coin toss against UCLA, will kick to start both halves.”  You can see his post HERE. [Emphasis added]

After a puzzling coin toss decision, the Longhorns had to kickoff to start both halves Saturday against UCLA.

The Bruins won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. Texas defensive tackle Tank Jackson then informed the official that Texas would like to kickoff to UCLA to start the game.

Confused at first, the official turned off his microphone and appeared to ask Jackson for clarification. Still, Jackson insisted that the Longhorns would like to kick off to start the game.

Texas head coach Charlie Strong ripped into Jackson when he got back to the sideline. Don’t expect to see the senior defensive lineman doing too many more of those.

Despite having the ref explain to Jackson that if he chooses defense the Longhorns will kick-off both halves, he still elected to play defense.  (See video below).

The Longhorns lost the game 20-17 and also ended the game with 11 total possessions compared to UCLA’s 12 (game recap).

Video/Vine courtesy of GoodBullHunting.com

Darrell Royal dies at age 88

by Travis Normand

College football lost another legend today as Darrell Royal has passed away at the age of 88.  As a Texas Aggie, I have a lot of respect for Coach Royal and for what he did for the game of college football.

Obtaining the informal status of “Legend” is becoming harder and harder to do.  However, there is no question that Royal was one of the most well-known Legends of this great game.

Click HERE to see Darrell Royal’s Wikipedia page for a short bio on Royal’s life

Royal was head coach at the University of Texas for 20 years (1957-76).  During this span he compiled a record of 17-3 against Texas A&M.  His first game against A&M was in 1957 where he defeated Bear Bryant’s last Texas A&M squad (before Bryant took the head coaching job at Alabama).  This same 1957 Texas Aggie football team featured A&M’s only Heisman winner, John David Crow.

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