Oklahoma State’s National Title

by Travis Normand
October 26, 2022

This past weekend, I was watching an Oklahoma State football game when I noticed they had a sign in their end zone that laid claim to the 1945 National Championship. Somewhere in my mind I remembered that Oklahoma State had claimed a retro-active title, but I guess I wasn’t aware that it was the 1945 title (which rightfully belongs to Army). My first and immediate thought was that any school that would claim a share of Army’s national title (retroactively) was either extremely arrogant, ignorant of history, or both.

Having said that, I set out to do a little research and figure out why Oklahoma State would even attempt to claim the 1945 title, and the following is what I found.

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The Longhorns’ Thanksgiving Tradition … is Wrong!

by Travis Normand
November 29, 2020 (Original Publication Date)
(Updated for editing December 2, 2020; and added introduction on December 4, 2020)

Update again on September 14, 2021: After writing and posting this almost a year ago, I tweeted it to the sports information guys who work in the Longhorn athletic’s department (see below). When their 2021 Football Media guide was released, I checked to see if they made any changes to this historical information and they had not (see the 2021 Guide, Pages 167-176). Oh well, maybe next year?

In any event, scroll down past the following tweets to find the beginning of the original post.

Dated: December 17, 2020


[INTRODUCTION: I went back and re-read parts of this post only to realize that it is not the most “exciting” thing to read. However, it really wasn’t meant to be. Mainly, this post is my research, and proof, of what I would consider a fairly decent sized error in the 2020 Texas Longhorn’s Football Media Guide; but that in and of itself is not necessarily exciting (and I am sure there are some who will disagree as to my characterization of this error). If I had to add some editorial content to prepare the reader for what this is about, and potentially make it a bit more exciting, I would preface this post by saying: “The Longhorns think so highly of their ‘Thanksgiving Day Tradition’ that they felt it important to include a section in their media guide about it; however, it is readily apparent that the Longhorns should do a little more research into their own history before they claim to have a ‘Thanksgiving Day Tradition.'” – See Table 2 below.]

Mistakes happen in college football media guides all the time; after all, no one is perfect and typos are often missed (this blog is no exception). However, there is a fine line between a typo or mistake, and misinformation based on ignorance. Having said that, I recently noticed an interesting section in the 2020 Texas Football Media Guide (hereinafter, sometimes referred to as the “2020 Media Guide”). The section I found, which is discussed below, appears to be more than a simple typo, and is much closer to misinformation caused by the author’s ignorance.

Across the bottom of page 183 of the 2020 Media Guide is a section titled “Thanksgiving Day Tradition.” When I found this section, I began to wonder how long it had been appearing in Longhorn football media guides. After a review of the media guides I had available, it appears as if this section shows up at least as far back as the 2006 Texas Football Media Guide (and every year since then).

In fact, it appears on page 173 of the 2006 Texas Football Spring Guide; page 177 of the 2007 Texas Football Spring Guide; page 165 of the 2007 Texas Football Holiday Bowl Guide; page 187 of the 2008 Texas Football Spring Guide; page 217 of the 2008 Texas Football Fiesta Bowl Guide; page 209 of the 2009 Texas Football Spring Media Guide; page 222 of the 2010 Texas Football BCS National Championship Guide; page 202 of the 2010 Texas Football Spring Media Guide; page 202 of the 2011 Texas Football Spring Media Guide; page 206 of the 2011 Texas Football Holiday Bowl Media Guide; (online PDF) page 178 of 275 of the 2012 Texas Football Media Guide; (online PDF) page 65 of 162 of the 2012 Texas Longhorn Media Guide – Supplement; (online PDF) page 200 of 278 of the 2013 Texas Football Media Guide; page 220 of the 2013 Texas Football Alamo Bowl Guide; page 195 of the 2014 Texas Football Texas Bowl Guide; (online PDF) page 167 of 229 of the 2015 Texas Football Media Guide; (online PDF) page 77 of 89 of the 2016 Texas Football Media Guide; page 189 of the 2017 Texas Football – Texas Bowl Media Guide; page 167 of the 2017 Texas Football Media Guide; page 212 of the 2018 Texas Longhorns Football Media Guide; page 198 of the Texas Football 2019 Sugar Bowl Media Guide; page 162 of the 2019 Texas Football Media Guide; page 193 of the 2019 Texas Bowl Media Guide; and page 183 of the 2020 Texas Football Media Guide.

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Where does the name “Ole Miss” come from?

by Travis Normand
May 21, 2018

I stumbled upon this blog posted back in 2014 and thought it was pretty interesting. I wanted to re-post it / share it here for those who enjoy college football history.




Evidence Reveals Ole Miss Named for Train, Not Antebellum Reference
Oct. 6, 2014

This is the second segment in a two-part series on the evolution of the term “Ole Miss.” The piece is written by Dr. Albert Earl Elmore, a noted scholar who holds degrees from Millsaps College and Ole Miss Law School with a Ph.D in English Literature from Vanderbilt.

The History of the Name “Ole Miss”

The controversy about “Ole Miss” as a name for the University of Mississippi was conceived in innocent ignorance and perpetuated by the misinformation of the Internet.

Let us begin with the Internet misinformation that appears in the endlessly consulted Wikipedia entry for the name Ole Miss: “The student yearbook was published for the first time in 1897. A contest was held to solicit suggestions for a yearbook title from the student body. Elma Meek, a student, submitted the winning entry of ‘Ole Miss.’ Meek’s source for the term in unknown. Some historians theorize she made a diminutive of ‘ole Mississippi’ or derived the term from ‘ol missus,’ an African-American term for a plantation ‘old mistress.’”

To continue reading: HottyToddy.com

To read the rest, click here and visit HottyToddy.com.

Teams that won’t live up to the hype in 2016

by Travis Normand

(Originally posted on September 1, 2016 – Updated on September 7, 2016, and again on October 7, 2016)

Before the start of every season I try to sort through the pre-season hype and pick a few teams that are receiving so much undeserved excitement that there is no way they can live up to it. Here are my 2016 selections.  For the sake of these teams, I hope I am wrong.

  1. Michigan:  Do people really have them picked to make the CFP Playoff?  I will believe it when I see it.  I think Harbaugh will get things working for the Wolverines, but I need to see “something” tangible before I start claiming that they are about to win a national title.
  2. Tennessee: I put Tennessee on this list before their first game of the 2016 season, and then they almost lost to Appalachian State (and needed OT to secure the victory . . . at home).
  3. Washington: Coach Chris Petersen is probably the right guy for Washington and 2016 is a great time for Washington to finally get their feet under them (The Pac-12 North is primed for a Washington “rising” as Oregon is not as great as they have been recently and Stanford is good but is also looking for a new QB).  However, the amount of hype surrounding their 2016 season is a little too much for them to live up too.

UPDATE 1 (October 7, 2016):  So far, I have been wrong on all three of these teams!  I can admit when I am wrong.  However, there is still time for these teams to fall apart this season; not that I am rooting for that.

I think Washington will be fine as they look better than I expected and the rest of their schedule isn’t too “crazy.”  Now that they have (easily) gotten past Stanford, there is no reason that Washington can’t make it to the Pac-12 title game, and possibly further.  Side note: Despite being wrong in thinking that Washington wouldn’t live up to the hype in 2016, I actually got the rest of this projection right.  Go back and re-read my original post on Washington (above).  This is the perfect year in the Pac-12 for a Washington rising, Oregon is clearly not as good as they have been recently, and while Stanford is good, Washington was able to make short-work of them.

Michigan is also looking better than expected.  The Wolverines still have to get past Ohio State in order to get to the Big 10 title game, but even if they don’t, I would still say that this has been a great season for Michigan. Although, technically, falling short of the Big 10 title game would be considered “not living up to the hype” considering how many prognosticators had them making the CFB Playoff.

If the jury is still out on any of these teams, I would say it is still out on Tennessee.  They have managed to win each of their games so far, but each victory has been quite a chore for the Vols.  While I can see that they are a much improved team (compared to recent history), they are also living on the edge and have flirted with losing every game.  I don’t feel like they can sustain this kind of momentum for an entire season and their great run of victories is sure to run out sooner or later.  However, having said that, regardless of how the Vols end up, I think this has been, and will continue to be, a great season for them.  

UPDATE 2 (December 31, 2016): Wow, could I have been more wrong here? Can we just forget I ever made this post? I’ll leave it up, as I can admit when I’m wrong. Congratulations to all three of these teams for having a better season than I obviously expected.

FOX fails and I am happy

by Travis Normand

I don’t think I have written about my disdain for FOX’s college football coverage on this blog, but I used to write about it a lot on my old one.  Just like FOX’s college football coverage, my old blog was horrible but I also didn’t take it seriously.

I remember writing about how happy I was to hear that the BCS broadcasts would be moved from FOX to ABC/ESPN (in 2008?).  I also remember writing about how much I loved watching the Cotton Bowl each year, but hated the fact that I had to listen to FOX’s NFL commentators call the game.

Anyway, it comes as no surprise to me to hear that FOX’s college football morning show, FOX College Saturday, has been canceled before its second season has even begun.

I am not a TV executive, but maybe I should be.  After all, when FOX announced the show a year ago, all I could think was, “great, another awful idea in terms of college football programming by FOX.

It is final confirmation of what could be described as nothing but a disastrous tenure for Fox College Saturday, a program that couldn’t even make it to a second year.

– From AwfulAnnouncing.com



Some of the best . . .

by Travis Normand

If you are anything like me, you enjoy reading great college football articles — especially during the off-season.  Here is a list of articles which I thought were fantastic.  I hope you enjoy(ed) them as much as I did.

Note:  I will update this list as I find more articles that I think should be included.  

  1. Growing Up Penn State, The End of Everything at State College; by Michael Weinreb, November 16, 2011, Grantland.com.
  2. It’s Personal, Why we love the silly, irrational, ridiculous, beautiful world of college football; by Bill Connelly, August 27, 2013, SBNation.com.

I am also creating this second list of articles that are not quite as “great” as the ones listed above; however, they are definitely interesting and worth reading.  I should call this second list the “highly recommended” list.

  1. Meet the Bag Man, How to buy college football players, in the words of a man who delivers the money; by Steven Godfrey, April 10, 2014, SBNation.com.
  2. Manti Te’o’s Dead Girlfriend, The Most Heartbreaking And Inspirational Story Of The College Football Season, Is A Hoax; by Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey, January 16, 2013, DeadSpin.com.
  3. My Blue Heaven: What the 2007 Fiesta Bowl Meant for College Football, An Excerpt from ‘Season of Saturdays;’ by Michael Weinreb, August 20, 2014, SBNation.com

More to come . . .