Tag Archives: Texas Bowl

Agree or Disagree With Tom Herman’s Sideline Mockery?

In case you missed it, Tom Herman created a bit of a stir at the end of the Longhorns’ 33-16 bowl game victory over Missouri. For this article to make sense, take a minute to watch this.

Now, to the casual college football fan, Herman looked completely immature and irresponsible as a head coach of a major university. I get that because he did.

I’m not going to make any excuses for Herman here because he’s got to be better in this situation. If you’re going to mock the opposing team in any way, do it behind closed doors so only your team can see it.

With that said, I have absolutely no problem with what Herman did. What the casual fan doesn’t know is that Missouri players had been mocking and trash talking to Texas players all week leading up to the game.

And then they committed the big no-no: flashing the horns down sign.

Here’s a video that surfaced to give the rest of this article even more context.

This is exactly why I have no problem with Herman’s mockery.

Opposing players, coaches and fans constantly mock Texas by throwing the horns down sign. Throwing the horns up sign signifies so much for the University of Texas, whether it’s celebrating after a big play, scoring a touchdown, singing the Eyes of Texas or anything else. When a person throws the horns down sign, they are mocking the player, coach, alumni and university as a whole.

And you know what? There’s never any outrage. In fact, I think I saw an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty thrown on an opposing team for the first time ever this year for doing it.

Why is it ok for other teams to throw their horns down with no backlash, but the Longhorns can’t mock an opposing player’s celebration? It’s complete crap is what it is.

Another reason why I’m ok with Herman’s mockery is that it shows he takes the horns down sign personally. Mack Brown did, but he handled the issue behind closed doors (like it should be). Charlie Strong didn’t respect the sign much and didn’t care if it was disrespected, in my opinion.

For the first time in a long time, I saw a coach and players get as upset and pissed off as I do when I see the horns down sign. Especially when it’s directed at me specifically. It takes quite a bit to make me mad, but there’s something about seeing the horns down sign that boils my blood every single time.

So when I saw the video of the Missouri players doing the horns down sign so freely and confidently, I was proud to see Herman and the Texas players on the sideline doing what they did. Probably the thing I’m most proud of after seeing the video is that the Texas players on the stage with those Missouri players didn’t light them up right there on the stage. If it were me, I would have had a hard time not going all-out Bobby Boucher on them as they were prancing around proudly with their horns down.

Unfortunately for Herman, he’s going to have to live with the social media backlash for a while. It will be talked about for a couple days and will definitely resurface throughout future football seasons, but it is what it is. But if he won over the locker room by doing it, then mission accomplished. And according to Breckyn Hager, he did:

Now if Herman makes this type of behavior the norm, then I’ll have a problem with it. But for a fragile program that has no self-pride in several years, I’m ok with it just this time.

My final point is for the people who say the team should act like they’ve been there before, in regards to winning. My rebuttal is this team has not been there before. They don’t know what winning feels like. Maybe this will give them a taste of winning, maybe it won’t. But for Herman, it’s a small price to pay to potentially elevate his program.

To recap:

Should Herman have done what he did? Probably not.

Is it the end of the world? Definitely not.

Should he make those antics a habit? Absolutely not.

Should Texas fans be embarrassed? Depends on your opinion, but embarrassment is not something that describes my feelings, obviously.

Do the Longhorns have a coach who genuinely takes pride in the University? You better believe it, and it was proven at the Texas Bowl.

And for the record, the Missouri quarterback whom Herman mocked understands the situation and has no problem with it:

Once Texas returns to their winning ways again, this will never be an issue with Herman or his players. I feel confident in saying that. The program just has to get to that point first.

Hook’em \m/

Photo: Wikimedia

E-mail Chase at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @chaseholik88.

Texas, Arkansas to tangle in Advocare Texas Bowl

During his introductory press conference back in January, Texas head coach Charlie Strong made no bones about it – the Texas Longhorns would not be competing for a national championship this season.

While some fans said he shouldn’t have made such a proclamation at a school like Texas, with multiple national championships and countless conference titles represented in the trophy case, Strong was being a realist. With the state of the program and the changes that he knew would be necessary for the Longhorns to reclaim the throne atop the college football landscape, Strong was basically telling the masses that 2014 would be a rebuilding year.

For most schools, “rebuilding year” means two or three wins at most, with a slew of lopsided losses along the way. Despite a one-sided loss to TCU on Thanksgiving to end the season, the Longhorns finished with a respectable 6-6 record on the season, gaining bowl eligibility with a road victory at Oklahoma State the week before.

Texas won 158 games in Mack Brown’s 16-year tenure on the Forty Acres, nearly averaging 10 wins per season, so a 6-6 mark is undoubtedly a step back. But Strong has the Longhorns headed in the right direction, especially in the eyes of the NCAA.

By winning three of the final four games of the season, Texas clinched a spot in the Texas Bowl against Arkansas at NRG Stadium in Houston. The game is scheduled for 8 p.m. Dec. 29 at the home of the Houston Texans.

A vocal section of Longhorn Nation wanted to see former in-state rival Texas A&M pitted against Texas in bowl season this year, but they will have to settle for the Razorbacks, yet another former longtime rival from back in the Southwest Conference days.

Though there have been heated games and controversial victories by both teams during the long-standing rivalry, one of the most widely-remembered games in the series happened in 1969. That year, top-ranked Texas traveled to Fayettville, Ark., to face No. 2 Arkansas.

The Razorbacks held a 14-0 lead after three quarters before the Longhorns rallied for the 15-14 victory in front of President Richard Nixon, who named Texas the national champions following the game. That didn’t sit well with much of the country, since the bowl season had yet to play out and Penn State also was undefeated that season.

Texas went on to defeat Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, while Penn State won the Orange Bowl to cap its perfect season.

With both teams entering the match up with .500 records, the stakes aren’t nearly as high for this year’s Texas-Arkansas contest. But none of that matters to fans of the Longhorns and Razorbacks. The teams seem to be entering bowl season headed in opposite directions, as Texas overcame a 2-4 start to the season to win four of the final six games, while Arkansas went 4-0 in non conference play, but just 2-6 within the Southeastern Conference to finish last in the SEC West.

The Longhorns’ rushing defense, which allowed nearly 150 yards per game during the regular season, will face a stiff test against Arkansas running backs Johnathan Williams and Alex Collins, who each surpassed 1,000 yards on the ground.

The duo split the carries almost perfectly, with Williams finishing with 188 carries for 1,085 yards and Collins gaining 1,024 yards on 187 attempts. Collins scored 12 touchdowns to Williams’ 11.

Undoubtedly, the main focus for the Texas defense is going to be slowing the ground and pound attack of the Razorbacks. For the offense, it wouldn’t hurt for Texas running backs Johnathan Gray and Malcolm Brown to have solid production in the ground game to limit Arkansas’ time of possession and keep the defense fresh.

Though a potential game against the Aggies would have been a nice capstone to Strong’s first season at the helm, the meeting against a regional rival such as Arkansas can also pay big dividends on and off the field.

With the state of Texas being a recruiting hotbed, teams like Arkansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and LSU recruit the state as hard as in-state schools do. A solid showing against the Razorbacks could go a long way toward helping several high-profile recruits make a decision that not only impacts their own lives for the next 4-5 years, but also the program where they land.

Strong and his staff have done a great job of getting the current players and committed recruits to buy into what they are selling and a bowl win could be the ribbon that ties up a gifted athlete for the Longhorns. Besides, 7-6 looks a whole lot better than 6-7 would.

Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt Has A Long Road Back

In an instant, Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt may have ruined years of hard work. At the very least, he set himself a long ways back, negating much of the progress he’s made over the past year as a player, a person, and a leader on the Syracuse football team. By throwing a punch and getting ejected during his team’s near loss to Villanova in the season opener last week, Hunt was anything but the leader he appeared to be heading into the season, and it could take him a long time and a lot of hard work to recover from such a classless move and get back to where he was before that one little left hook.
 
Hunt ended the 2013 season an Orange hero. He shook off a late interception against Boston College and led his team on a brilliant two-minute drive to score a last-second touchdown to beat the Eagles and send Syracuse to a bowl game. He then scored the game-winning touchdown in the Orange’s Texas Bowl victory against Minnesota, giving Syracuse its third winning season in the past four years. His clutch play and likeable personality turned him into the face of the program this past offseason, and despite not being elected a team captain, it was obvious that Hunt was one of the team’s leaders. However, his status as the face of the program and one of the team’s trusted leaders is in jeopardy after his punch and subsequent ejection in the season opener against Villanova.
 
It doesn’t matter if Hunt thought he was hit too hard, too late, or too near the head, there’s no excuse for throwing a punch at an opposing player, before, during, or after a play. We all know that football is an emotional game, but that’s not an excuse; nearly two-dozen players take the field on every single snap, and rarely are punches ever thrown. The emotions of football need to be managed properly and channeled into one’s play on the field; they are not to be unleashed after the whistle has blown. As a quarterback and an upperclassman, Hunt should know this better than anyone, and by failing to do so, he displayed poor leadership skills and a selfish attitude, two things that can never be seen in a quarterback and team leader.
 
Of course, Hunt was quick to recognize his mistake and acknowledge that an ejection from the game was warranted. He was also quick to apologize to his teammates, after his ejection nearly cost them the game. But recognizing a mistake, apologizing for it, and saying that it won’t happen again are not enough; it’s something that never should have happened in the first place. Of everyone on the Syracuse roster, Hunt is the last person who should lose control of himself and his emotions, even for an instant.
 
By making a mistake and getting ejected from last week’s game, Hunt’s leadership has to be questioned by his teammates, and it’s going to take more than a few words to make everything right again, even if they are the right words. Since stepping on campus, Hunt has worked hard to make his way up the depth chart and become a leader on the team and the face of the program. Everything he’s worked to become has now been called into question by one false step, and Hunt needs to work even harder to re-gain the trust and respect of his teammates, and prove to them that he is the person and leader they thought he was before he put this red mark on his permanent record.
 
But even if his teammates are quick to forgive and forget, which is by no means a given, the rest of the college football world may not be so quick to do so. Hunt should expect to be taunted by opposing fans and baited by opposing players, as they remind him of his indiscretion. At least for the foreseeable future, Hunt should expect to be synonymous with the punch he threw, and it could take a long time before he can escape that association. Should Hunt be cut some slack? Of course, we all make mistakes and Hunt was justly punished for his by the ejection. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, as it could be a long road back for Hunt to live down the punch he threw against Villanova and reclaim his spot as a trusted leader on his team and the face of the Syracuse football program.