From May 22nd to June 2nd, Hook ‘Em Headlines will rank the biggest games of the 2013 football season. Today, we break down No. 8 on our list — a Thanksgiving matchup against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
When: Thursday, November 28th
Where: Darrel K Royal — Texas Memorial Stadium, Austin, TX
What: Who would’ve ever thought a Longhorn would be upset if an Aggie stopped showing up for Thanksgiving?
Such is life, though, in this new, out-of-whack world, where Texas is turning into SEC Country and snow cones are challenging a good book as essential bathroom material. Texas vs. Texas A&M was as much a Thanksgiving tradition as pumpkin pie, family resentment, and tryptophan-induced naps for over a century, and the series’ dramatic conclusion (I never get tired of linking to that) in 2011 only made its absence last year that much more painful. Not helping matters was how the Horns allowed TCU and their backup quarterback — who threw all of nine passes that night — to punk them at home, 20-13, in their first post-A&M matchup.
This season, UT tries on a new Lone Star State holiday opponent for size — the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Coming off an 8-5 campaign, Tech returns 13 starters (including eight on a defense that wasn’t horrific), but they did have to say goodbye to Heisman candidate Seth Doege (am I the only one who finds it weird that the eventual winner wasn’t in the top five SEVEN WEEKS INTO THE SEASON???) at quarterback and hello to one-time Longhorn grayshirt offer Michael Brewer. The biggest change on the plains, though, comes in the form of quite possibly the coolest coach in college football. Kliff Kingsbury has taken pictures with Jessica Simpson, hung out on Britney Spears’ tour bus, and left his team hash-tagged notes about video games. Even his name is cool, with its alliteration and unusual spelling and nickname versatility (K-squared? Dr. K? Circle K? Never mind…that last one makes no sense). And if that’s not enough to convince you, check out this video from spring practice.
Little known fact: It was Kingsbury’s use of the term “Murdered out” (which apparently means to be wearing all black) that allowed him to wrestle the title of “Hippest Head Coach in the Big 12″ from Bill Snyder.
Now, Kingsbury returns to Lubbock in hopes of restoring his alma mater to the standard that Mike Leach set and that scared Tommy Tuberville out of town before he could finish his dinner. As would be the case with any new coach who’s installing new systems and a new culture, it’s impossible to predict what the Red Raiders will look like in 2013. But we do know that Kingsbury — and Texas Tech, in general — loves to sling it the second he gets off the bus. He did it at the University of Houston, and he did it last year in College Station. And by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, Tech will have had a full season (check that…11 games used to be a full season, but hey, the NCAA is concerned about the “Student-Athlete”, right?) to master his way of doing things. Will he have the offense at its Air Raid best and Brewer playing at a Manziel-esque level? Only time will tell.
If he does, and the Red Raiders are able to spoil Texas’ (potential) hopes of reclaiming the Big 12 and BCS notoriety — not to mention Mack Brown’s dignity — it’ll make the Longhorns miss their old Thanksgiving dinner guests that much more.
You can contact Brent Stoller at [email protected]