Before this season, I adopted University of Texas as my college team. Growing up just north of Boston, I really didn't have a college team to root for -- outside of UNH hockey. Professional sports has always trumped any potential college allegiance.
And going to Tiny Liberal Arts School in Baltimore didn't give me any allegiance to a particular school. University of Maryland was the closest relevant University, but I never jumped on that wagon.
This year, however, I wanted a college team. One to root for in both of the NCAA sports: football and basketball.
It was a challenge to find the comfortable middle ground: a team that is competative in both basketball and football; a team that, while rarely the #1 ranking, was always relevant; and maybe most importantly, I needed a team that I could go see and had fantastic gear.
Maybe four years ago, U Texas would have been a band wagon pick. But after they stumbled through a 5-7 season last year, they are hardly a team that everyone is jumping on -- the hipster stock broker in me has seen an opportunity to buy into this team low.
Of course, there needed to be that initial push to follow this team. Something that set them apart from several other teams that fit into the vague qualifications I had for choosing a college to root for. I had two reasons -- one rational and one silly.
The Rational: Jean and I were very, very close to moving to Austin. It was our first choice and had I decided to not be lazy and take the GRE's, we would probably be there, and my fandom would be legitimized by actually being a UT student.
The Silly: I fell in love with the series that every sports fan has fallen in love with: "Friday Night Lights." Being primarily shot in Austin, TX, I was swayed toward UT. I'm not proud of this motivation, but it would be dishonest not to mention it.
One thing I didn't know, going into my first season, was that it would carry a creative, pesky defense run by new defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, and a young, explosive offense that runs trick plays at a Boise State like frequency -- hey, they have Boise State's offensive coordinator! I guess it wasn't a coincidence.
And so far, I haven't been disappointed, and the loss today -- correction, the complete obliteration today -- to the Sooners didn't shake the confidence I had in my decision to dive head first into the burnt orange nation.
The Longhorns are far from a polished product. They lack an offensive identity and really need to figure out what style of offense they want to run as opposed to their dilettante offense they are using right now -- an offense that only vocabulary nerds, like myself, enjoy.
And besides that, they are just young. Even the longhorns, who are snug in the middle of the best recruiting bed in the entire country, can't turn a team around in one season. The 55-17 shallacking is just indicative of an incomplete product that will continue to improve, and in two years, will be competing for a national title.
Though at this rate of change, in two years, there may be a playoff, 4 or 5 super conferences, and an NCAA that makes decisions that are logical -- just kidding on that last one.