On January 8, Alabama defeated Georgia to win the national championship and close out the 2017 football season.
Two days ago, Week Zero kicked off the college football season.
In five days, Texas will kick off against Maryland at FedEx Field.
Welcome to game week, intrepid travelers. You’ve successfully traversed another seemingly interminable offseason.
In the decade since Quan Cosby secured a Fiesta Bowl victory with a dive into the end zone, every Longhorns offseason has largely been marked by disappointment.
We’re not here to say that this season won’t be disappointing — the Longhorns aren’t going to go undefeated and win the national championship, so hey, there’s going to be some disappointment — but head coach Tom Herman and his team have a chance to get off to a hot start against a reeling Maryland team and what will likely be a mediocre Tulsa squad before hosting USC for a game of national interest.
Perhaps the Horns could even sweep the non-conference schedule for the first time since 2012. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, right?
Let’s just focus on the fact that it will only be a matter of hours until Texas football is back in action.
Is a fifth star coming for Jake Smith? The standout speedster from Arizona is off to a hot start in his final high school season before heading to Austin. Smith put up big numbers as a junior — more than 1,000 yards rushing and receiving, along with 26 combined touchdowns through the air and on the ground — but he’s truly coming into his own in 2018.
How about 11 touchdowns through two games? Behold.
You can just book it, each week 2019 Texas commit @jakesmith27 gonna ball.— Zack Poff (@Zack_Poff_MP) August 27, 2018
He answered his five touchdown season opener with a six touchdown performance in last week's win. #HookEm pic.twitter.com/89oC0FMTvI
Currently rated as the No. 17 wide receiver nationally and the No. 87 player overall, Smith is on track to prove that he’s currently underrated as a prospect. The question is whether that’s good enough to earn a fifth star. If Smith keeps this up, he’ll certainly be a five-star prospect in the hearts of Longhorns fans. Perhaps he already is...
Speaking of hot starts... Following a disappointing finish to the 2017 season, Texas volleyball did more than just take care of business over the weekend in the Vert Challenge in Lincoln. Jerritt Elliott’s team beat two ranked opponents — No. 18-ranked Oregon and No. 7-ranked Florida — to lend credence to the No. 3 ranking afforded the Longhorns entering the season.
A recent addition is making a big difference, too. Texas lost former Gatorade National Player of the Year Lexi Sun during the offseason, but made up for her departure by adding Croatian national Katerina Luketic on August 12. The 6’2 outside hitter has competed internationally for her home country since 2016 and debuted with a team-leading 14 kills and three blocks against Oregon. On Saturday, she notched 14 kills and eight blocks in support of a monster effort from Micaya White (17 kills, 15 digs, and four blocks).
Luketic and company are back in action on Saturday evening at Wisconsin on the Big Ten Network (7 p.m. Central).
Soccer is starting strong, too. Already four games into the season, the Longhorns tuned up with easy two easy wins (one in an exhibition) before an impressive showing to draw 1-1 against No.4-ranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill last Wednesday. On Friday, Texas pulled out at 2-1 victory against No. 23-ranked UCF.
If you don’t know it already, get to know the name Cyera Hintzen — the junior forward led the Big 12 with 25 points last season and already has four goals through three games, including two against the Golden Knights. The second came in the 93rd minute to win the match. Check this out:
The Garland, Texas, native now owns eight career match-winning scores, five career goals in the 82nd minute or later and has now equaled a program record for the most career “golden goals” with three.
Oh, those texts. Don’t let the fact that Urban Meyer finally managed to issue an apology to Courtney Smith on Friday — at the accepted news dump hour once again — distract you from assessments by open records experts that any attempts to delete text messages to hide information would be illegal.
The recently-completed investigation into the Zach Smith scandal in Columbus discovered that Meyer and his director of football operations, Brian Voltolini discussed doing exactly that in the midst of the scandal — altering the settings on Meyer’s phone to remove any texts older than a year.
Remarkably enough, when investigators obtained his phone, the settings were set to delete any texts more than a year old.
So even though the suspension is set for Meyer, it seems as if this story could continue to unfold in ways that could continue to reflect poorly on the Buckeyes head coach.
As if there hasn’t been enough of that already.