The Kevin Sumlin era hit Aggies like a breath of fresh air. Texas A&M gained a coach with some fire, an exciting offense, and the most exciting player in the country. In no time at all, the face of the program was no longer sad and droopy. Meanwhile, the Texas Longhorn program fell from the dizzying heights of 2005 to the middling mediocrity that came to define the end of the Mack Brown era. Far worse than the temperate results on the field were comments from experts about the culture surrounding Texas football. The program developed a reputation, in the college world and the NFL, as being soft, coddled, and entitled.
After Mack stepped down in the way only the classiest class who ever classed class could, the Longhorns turned down countless desperate suitors before hiring the first guy on their list. Like the Aggie Renaissance, the difference in culture has been immediately palpable as the Longhorns brought youth, fire, and life back to their program. Time will tell if results on the field come to match the fan hype.
If you have not taken the time to read this fine piece written by our friends at Barking Carnival, do so now. Then do yourself a favor and make a mental note to read everything written by Scipio Tex, as you will never read more reasoned, well-thought-out analysis on the state of Longhorn football anywhere else.
With that said, let’s take a good look at the new rules that Coach Strong will be imposing under his new reign.
Players will attend all of their classes and sit in the front two rows of all of their classes. GAs, academic folks, position coaches will be checking constantly now.
Yes, GAs will leap at the opportunity to tell 250 lb. behemoths that they are not toeing the line. This strategy has never failed at the highest echelons of college football.
No headphones in class. No texting in class. Sit up and take notes.
The NCAA will not be happy with this treatment of its athlete-students. Snapchatting is still okay, right?
If a player misses a class, he runs until it hurts. If he misses two classes, his entire position unit runs. If he misses three, the position coach runs. The position coaches don't want to run.
If he misses four, the professor runs. If he misses five, Ussain Bolt is hired to run, which is actually pretty sweet. But then if he misses six, two puppies are forced to run and the slower one is shot. And if he misses seven, oh man. Seriously, it’s just… oh man. Don’t miss seven. Maaaaaaaaaaan…
No earrings in the football building. No drugs. No stealing. No guns. Treat women with respect.
These rules are listed from most to least important. This is the only rule being imposed in response to a particular incident. You'll recall that freshman wide receiver Montrel Meander used a gun to steal drugs whilst wearing earrings and questioning the 19th Amendment. Kids these days.
Players may not live off campus anymore, unless they're a senior who hits certain academic standards. The University will buy out the leases for every player currently living off campus and put them in the athletic dorm.
These "certain academic standards" include admission to the University of Texas, defeating a fellow player at Words With Friends, and correctly guessing the number of fingers attached to the hand behind Strong’s back. The athletic dorm is installing new "Stronghorn Resort" signage.
The team will all live together, eat together, suffer together, and hang out together. They will become a true team and learn to impose accountability on each other. The cliques are over.
The team will also shower together (normal), macramé together (less normal), and shave Matthew McConaughey’s back together (keep Austin weird).
There's no time for a rebuild. "I don't have time for that." The expectation is that Texas wins now.
Strong went on to explain that, in fact, nobody has time for that. The internet rejoiced.
Players will learn that they would rather practice than milk a minor injury.
This is due to a little known Strong injury-recovery tool known as "The Pit." Despite rumors that The Pit is actually an intense workout regimen designed to be less attractive than attending practice, GBH researchers have discovered the true nature of the pit.
The focus is on winning and graduating. Anything extraneous to that is a distraction and will be stamped out or removed.
That list includes – but is not limited to – shenanigans, tomfoolery, ballyhoo, goings-on, and other assorted argy-bargy.
Strong met individually with seniors and key leaders and re-emphasized that the plan is to win now. They can lead the new culture or be run over by it.
History will remember that the key failing of Mack Brown was not planning to win.
"I don't want to talk about things. I'd rather do things. We just talked. Now it's time to do."
Then it will be time to talk. About what we do. And do we talk? Oh yes, we do!
The Longhorn fans are excited about the winds of change blowing through Austin, and rightly so. Kevin Sumlin could not be reached for comment as he was giving Swagcopter piloting lessons to a five-star recruit in the Lake Travis area.