It gives me great pleasure to introduce the fine readers of BON to 2014 In The Huddle - Texas, which is now in it's second year with Lindy's and available online at that link and in magazine retailers across the state.
It's also an honor to provide this introduction once again in my second year as the editor of the magazine. I'm lucky enough to do so because our founder here at BON, Peter Bean, passed the editorial duties along to me last year.
As it always has been, ITH: Texas is 112 glossy pages of beautiful pictures, stats, and the same informative, incisive content you can count on at BON and have come to expect from previous editions of the magazine.
This is a magazine by diehard Longhorn fans for Longhorn fans. In fact, many of the writers for the magazine you know from their contributions here and at Barking Carnival. Second-time contributors like Blake Borron (GoHornsGo90) and Michael Pelech (formerly The Audit Horn) got their starts on BON and did pieces for the magazine, joining first-time contributor Isak Lee (The Elusive Shadow). It was also great to welcome back contributors like Abram Orlansky, Jeff Asher, Peter Bean, Cory Davies, and Barking Carnival's Stephen Ross (srr50).
Suffice it to say that not only are many of these voices familiar to voracious readers of this site, but I also believe them to be among the best anywhere.
As always, the magazine leads off with a breakdown of the roster, provided once again by Blake. The next two articles represent a slight chance from past editions, as Lindy's has lended their expertise to the opponent preview with the same in-depth looks that has made the national edition of the magazine a must-read for college football fans for years. More Lindy's content follows in the form of a look at the Lindy's top 25 and Texas fans will be heartened to see where the Horns land.
Then it's back to original content created for the magazine with a fantastic piece from Peter Bean on why new head coach Charlie Strong looks like the right man to return Texas to its former glory on the football field. Following in that vein, I took a look at the new coaching staff that will help Strong achieve his goals.
As usual, there are articles breaking down the offenses and defenses that Strong will run in his first year in Austin and a comprehensive section on recruiting -- the incoming 2014 class, the 2015 group currently under construction, and even an overview of where things stand in 2016.
In the historical section, Abram Orlansky and Jeff Asher look back on the tenure of Mack Brown in Austin, Isak Lee considers the All-Mack Brown team, and Michael Pelech keeps Horns fans updated on the Texas players in the NFL.
Finally, Stephen Ross provides another must-read piece looking back at the Darrell Royal Era, this time considering the life and career of quarterback James Street, who led the Horns to two national championships and will likely forever remain the only signal caller in Texas history to go undefeated as a starter over multiple seasons.
I could keep going and stop myself only at the risk of giving too much away and spoiling the excitement that always comes from opening up the magazine and taking that first perusal through the table of contents -- it was something that I experienced for the first time in 2008 and continued to experience over the following years as I became a contributor and involved in the editorial process that goes into producing the magazine.
Just know that even though the last couple years have been hard and it's hard to feel completely optimistic about this team, this isn't a magazine for sunshine-pumping. It should leave you feeling better about Texas' chances this season, but it won't do so at the expense of maintaining the objective distance necessary to deeply assess where the program stands.
Hope y'all enjoy -- this was truly a labor of love.