Texas Longhorns coach Mack Brown thinks that Darrell K. Royal Stadium in Austin will host "the most electric crowd" they've ever had for a football game. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm excited about that. In a way. Selfishly, since I'll be at the game, I'm excited to experience one of college football's most legendary atmospheres at its very best. I hope to eat brisket, drink...whatever Texans prefer to drink, and see plenty of
scantily clad coeds people in cowboy boots and hats. With a 6pm local kickoff, there will be plenty of time to enjoy the famous Austin culture and nightlife on Friday and then be properly lubricated for the game on Saturday. To say I have a giant Eerection for this weekend's trip would be an understatement, and, if what Brown tweeted holds true, my excitement is only fueled.
I also don't think the team will be that fazed by it. Yes, this is our first road game this year and the 100,000 fans will comprise the largest crowd these guys have ever played in front of. But Texas doesn't have the reputation of LSU when it comes to night games, and our key playmakers have all played at night at LSU. And in terms of national appeal, the game doesn't have the stage of the Orange Bowl. This is but one game on a Saturday slate chock full of compelling matchups. LSU-Florida will just be finishing up. Georgia-South Carolina, the site of this week's ESPN College Gameday, kicks off simultaneously. A ranked Nebraska team plays a ranked Ohio State team on ABC at 8pm. The eyes of the nation won't be exclusively on this game.
And call me crazy, but I'm not sure I'll believe Brown's prediction until I see it with my own eyes. I'm clearly no expert on the history of Longhorn football, but for a storied program like that, how is the inaugural game against a 9th ranked team who has never won a national title or had a Heisman trophy winner going to produce the most electric home crowd ever? I know UT plays Oklahoma every year at a neutral site. But Texas has a history with teams like Texas A&M and Oklahoma State and shared a conference with Nebraska, Colorado, and Kansas State for 15 years. Oh, and there may have been a game in 2006 against #1 Ohio State, which just happened to be the return game from an epic 2005 clash in Columbus on the Longhorns' run to the national championship. I'm sure a visit from the West Virginia Mountaineers is right up there with that game.
Although, for a program who set its all-time attendance mark against Rice in 2011, maybe I'm overestimating these guys.