AT&T U-Verse gets LHN

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LHN on AT&T U-Verse

As I live and breathe, the rumors are true! The Longhorn Network is now available on AT&T U-Verse. For confirmed proof, the picture is of my own TV and I’m a U-Verse customer. AT&T joins Grande Communications as the only providers of LHN in Central Texas. If you have U-Verse, check channel 1609. If it’s not there, reset your modem (unplug, then plug back in) and look it up. The season opener, UT v. Wyoming, will be on LHN so now maybe more Longhorn fans in Austin can catch the game.

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SEC Country? Not so much …

SEC Country?

The defectors from College Station won’t be playing tonight due to Hurricane Isaac (which is seriously no laughing matter) so for all those who were excited to see what “SEC Country” looked like on the field, I guess you’ll have to settle for Vanderbilt. If you haven’t seen the billboard in North Austin, take a look at the picture to the left and let us know what you think about it in the comments section.

The problem with this billboard is that, yes you are in the SEC Texas A&M, but that doesn’t make you an SEC football team. Right now A&M is as much of an SEC football team as Kentucky or the aforementioned Vandy. A&M will struggle to separate themselves from the middle of the pack in the SEC because at this moment they can’t compete with an SEC-style team. This could have been addressed when they cleaned house with Mike Sherman and were in the market for a new coach. Did they go out and pursue anyone from the SEC since it’s the “best conference in the country?” Nope, they hired their head coach from C-USA. I thought this was SEC Country, right? The SEC is all about defense and running the football, two things A&M’s head coach isn’t necessarily known for. And I’m not exactly sure he deserves to be known for what he is known for, offense. Kevin Sumlin inherited a University of Houston team from Art Briles that was already prolific on offense and he pretty much only had one QB his entire time there (although Case Keenum was hurt in 2010. their record in 2010? It was 5-7 if you were wondering). Right now, A&M’s football staff has one coach with SEC experience (defensive line coach Terry Price).

Now, how do we bring this back to UT (other than the billboard, of course)? After the loss in the national championship game in 2010, Mack decided that to win a national championship in today’s college football he needed to play tough defense and have an offense that could run the ball consistently (both characteristics that made Alabama the better team in 2010). Yes, there was some growing pains. But with coaches (which were pillaged from SEC teams) like Manny Diaz, Stacy Searels, Bo Davis and Bennie Wylie in their second year at Texas, UT should resemble a team from the SEC much more than A&M. Texas is trying to become an SEC team playing in the Big 12 while A&M is still a Big 12 team that just happens to play in the SEC. I’ll let the season play out and see which team’s philosophy equates to a better record.

One of those SEC coaches that UT stole, Bo Davis, shows what he brings to the table in this LHN video on YouTube. Check it out.

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Football in the Fall

I can still picture it clearly. Fall in Atlanta, Georgia is an amazing experience. The air is crisp and cool. The autumn leaves have started to change their color. Eating healthy is pretty much out of the question as it is time for some real comfort food, especially deserts. The smell of a freshly baked pecan pie and peach cobbler literally tease your senses.   Friends and family gather to reflect on the past year’s occurrences and to create a sense of community and belonging that will continue on until the New Year. Most importantly, it was the culmination of America’s original past time, the World Series.

Midtown Atlanta

My father, a mathematician, naturally passed his obsession and love for baseball and its statistics onto my brother and myself. We three would get our neighbors and friends together to play catch, pick-up ball and create our own dramatic 3-2 full count situations that added to the passion we had for the game itself. To top it off, the Braves had sucked pretty much since their move to Atlanta until 1991, a season which would see them capture the hearts of its city in a spectacular run to the NL pennant, and create the culture we became engulfed by when we moved to the city in 1992. Led by the dominant pitching of Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Steve Avery, the power of David Justice, the athleticism of Terry Pendleton and Deion Sanders (the one and only), the Braves would once again go on to win the 1992 NL pennant and with it my heart and what I would associate the fall season with until my freshman year in college.

Freshman year is an exciting time. New friends and people to meet, new places to go, new experiences to create, etc. The game that “had me at hello” was my first game at DKR stadium, a 65-0 blowout of UNT, in which Texas had over 500 yards rushing. The tailgates, the pageantry, Bevo, Smokey the Cannon, Big Bertha, the Showband of the Southwest, 80K people cheering, the smoothness of Vince Young, the power of Cedric Benson, & the post-game parties pretty much sowed the seed to the Saturdays I would look forward to with so much zealousness. It was the beginning of an era of Texas dominance, which would last all the way until 2009 and the way I would remember Texas football during my collegiate years.

It’s been a rough couple of years for us Texas folks. We’ve gotten rid of Greg Davis, a major catalyst behind our offensive ineptitude and fired several coaches who sat on their laurels after experiencing success. Last year was a transition year, with many underclassmen taking on major roles, for which we will hopefully reap the benefits this year.

Led by Manny Diaz and anchored by Kenny Vaccaro, Texas’ defense will be among the best in the nation. Legitimate NFL talent litters the defensive depth chart, the likes of which Texas hasn’t seen since the 2005 National title team.  On the offensive side, Bryan Harsin leads a group that still has many question marks. Our QB play needs to be more consistent, our OL needs to play with more tenacity, and for the love of God, if we just one TE who would step it up and hold down the fort, we would all be extremely grateful. Even then, the talent alone on defense will carry the team into a season which will set a foundation for the resurgence of Texas football.

Thus, let’s take this season for what it will be. Surprising moments that will lead to raised expectations and shortfalls that will have us realizing we are still a little ways away. I look forward to seeing all of you at our tailgate and for those of you I haven’t met; I look forward to becoming friends. After all, it’s Texas football that is bringing us together and what the Fall season is really about.

Hook ‘Em and God Bless.

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QB controversy won’t end anytime soon for Longhorns

Can you feel it All ‘Bout Texas tailgaters? Football season is here and this Saturday the Longhorns will be on the field with Wyoming for the season opener. ABT will bring you continuous coverage of all Longhorn football news along with our take on the happenings of the Big 12 and the national scene.

Texas Rise Magazine Cover

Relentless | Intensity | Swagger | Emotion

But first, the worst kept secret from camp was revealed with the release of the depth chart. Sophomore David Ash will get first shot at starting QB in 2012. Why do I say first shot? Because after watching last year, I have a hard time thinking that there is still that much separation between Ash and fellow Longhorn QB Case McCoy. They both had their good and bad moments last year (mostly bad) and I don’t believe that we have seen the last of a QB controversy in Austin. Just take a look at the Texas Rise’s cover (pictured). Ash and McCoy side-by-side, which is where I think they truly stack up in the minds of the coaches right now. But only one QB can start so Ash gets the nod as he has improved on his decision-making and has more raw talent than McCoy.

As much as I believe that Texas’ defense will be one of the best in the country this year, I find it hard to believe the Longhorns’ record will be better than last year without much improvement at the QB position. It’s a problem not even a three-headed beast at running back can fix.

We will have more UT football coverage as we get closer to gameday so unless you enjoy sounding like you have no clue what you’re talking about at your tailgate, keep stopping by ABT for more Longhorn news and analysis.

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