Bohls: With strained relations, SEC slate, Horns may decline to play Big 12 teams in future

Austin American-Statesman
Thanks to strained relations and challenging SEC schedules, Texas will likely avoid future dates with its old Big 12 rivals for the most part.
Duke Carlisle, Ernie Koy and 33 other Longhorns will be on hand Saturday to honor 60th anniversary of the undefeated 1963 national championship team.
If SMU joins the ACC, it will invite powers like Clemson and Florida State into the Lone Star state on a more regular basis and could hurt the recruiting efforts of Texas and Texas A&M.
While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction:
Breaking up the band
1. Really cold shoulder: Laugh all you want about Brett Yormark’s apparent rooting interest for Texas Tech in Texas’ Big 12 finale in November, but the fact that it’s the Red Raiders further strains relations between the two schools among the two fan bases on top of the ugly field-storming after Tech’s overtime win in Lubbock last year. I don't think Longhorns fans want anything to do with any Big 12 teams moving forward, especially now when things are so heated. Plus Texas must deal with perhaps as many as nine SEC games in the future — if that is approved — and the neutral-site game with Oklahoma in Dallas. So as much as Tech would like to continue playing Texas once the Horns head to the SEC, those chances are diminishing by the day. Texas wants to protect its home schedule and might only agree to play Big 12 teams at home. ... “I think they lied to us,” one connected Texas Tech source told me. “The governor told us ‘I guarantee Texas is going to play us for 25 years.’ But Texas is doing everything they can to back-walk it.” Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte has told me no such plan was ever agreed upon, but Texas might be open to playing Tech and others in the future as schedules dictate. "I wouldn’t say there's strained relations," Del Conte tells me. "We'd be open to Big 12 opponents, but we don’t know our schedule; that shifts the dynamics." …. However, the Tech source said, “I think it’s slim (that we play the Longhorns). Will Texas play anybody in the Big 12 again? Probably not. UT is going to look at it this way: if we beat (a Big 12 team), we don’t get anything. If we get beat, we look bad.” Maybe it’ll just take five years or more to cool down. After all, Texas eventually wanted to play Texas A&M again before the Longhorns even joined the SEC. You can probably forget any home-and-home series with them. Texas is likely to supplement its SEC slate with a heavy diet of Rice, UTEP and UTSA.
Remembering Texas' first title team
2. Program changers: Ernie Koy and Duke Carlisle will join 33 of their football teammates from Texas’ very first national championship team in 1963 on Saturday when they'll be honored for ushering the Longhorns program into prominence on the 60th anniversary of their perfect 11-0 season. Without that team, there might never have been back-to-back championships in 1969 and 1970 because regents chairman Frank Erwin was growing impatient with Darrell Royal. … Texas’ terrific, undersized guard/linebacker David McWilliams will represent the team at the opening coin toss against Rice. … That team was so dominant that the defense allowed just 10 touchdowns the entire season. Texas won the Cotton Bowl when it smothered Roger Staubach and got two early touchdown passes from Carlisle to Phil Harris, thanks in part to laborious film review when they decoded Navy’s signals and used towering 6-foot-6 Longhorns assistant coach Charley Shira (wearing a big orange coat to stand out) on the sidelines to tip off Carlisle about the Midshipmen’s defensive strategy. … The late Tommy Nobis was a sophomore linebacker on that team, and student manager Roy Jones II remembers one game when linebackers Pat Culpepper and Johnny Treadwell “were walking behind Tommy on the way to the stadium and Pat said, ‘Johnny, that’s the guy who is going to make people forget you and I ever played linebacker for Texas.’“ … That year Texas held off Baylor and the Bears’ All-American tandem of Don Trull and Lawrence Elkins when Carlisle went in at safety and intercepted a pass in front of Elkins in the end zone to preserve a 7-0 win. That's one of my top 10 games I ever witnessed (at age 13) at DKR.
Fifty years later, the memories stay strong
3. Game ball: Texas' ’63 team will have a dinner at the UT Golf Club where Carlisle will speak along with tackle Staley Faulkner — whom Royal called “Bucket” because he needed a custom-made larger size 7½ helmet — and Jones, Royal’s long-time right-hand man. Jones had to do everything from shine players’ shoes to wax their helmets (with automobile wax). He was a roommate of zany wide receiver George Sauer. Jones’ father was a longtime prosecutor and during World War II was a member of the top-secret Security Intelligence Corps that did background investigations on “everyone from the janitor to Oppenheimer himself” on the Manhattan atomic bomb project. … Jones remembers that the team signed a football for President Kennedy and were to deliver it to him in Austin on Thanksgiving until JKF was assassinated in Dallas. (They re-signed the ball and sent it to his son, John John.) … The first of DKR’s three natties made him a made man. “We’d gotten so close,” said Jones, 81. “He felt like we finally got over the hump. He was just beside himself. It was a huge monkey off his back.” … Jones worked for the Abilene Reporter News for 40 years and still has the autograph of Mickey Mantle on the box that held his Cotton Bowl watch from a Longhorns banquet. “That was all I had for him to write on.”
Cowboys took their shot
4. Smart gamble: Trey Lance for a fourth-round draft pick? Heck, yeah. He’s as raw as raw can get. Only 21 starts since high school, which is jaw-dropping. Sure, he may never be able to audition in an actual game because Dak Prescott is still the man. But that’s very little to give up for a first-round pick. I applaud Jerry Jones for making the deal that the 49ers scooped up after giving up a king’s ransom and reaping very little from their gamble. Don’t screw up, Dak. … Speaking of deals, how impressive is the wheeling and dealing the ACC is doing when it’s close to getting SMU to agree to be a member and foregoing any revenue for seven years just so it can say it’s now in a Power Five conference. Rather, Power Four. The power of branding. Heck, maybe my Yankees can get SMU to take deadweight Giancarlo Stanton off their hands and pay his salary. But then the Mustangs dropped baseball way back in 1980 after only two winning seasons in history. …. If the ACC accepts SMU, it will become the sixth Power Five school in the state and hurt Texas and A&M in recruiting because it will invite in Clemson and Florida State to play in Dallas, get in headlines and TV highlights to extend their already considerable brands into the Lone Star state. Rick Neuheisel chastised the Big 12 for not inviting SMU, but seriously, Rick, what would the Mustangs bring that the league doesn’t already have, other than another mouth to feed at the table?
Golf's new superstar
5. Hello, Viktor Hovland: Got to love golf, where there’s always another young superstar to take the previous one’s place. In this case, it’s Hovland, the Norwegian from Oklahoma State who has taken hold of the golf world by claiming the FedEx Cup trophy along with the $18 million first-place prize after three wins this season. It’s a reminder that golf is a mercurial game and takes as often as it gives. Scottie Scheffler’s reign is hardly over, but his putter has deserted him in 2023. He’ll be back on top, but Jordan Spieth’s misadventures after winning three majors in about 15 minutes are a cautionary tale. Are you listening, Justin Thomas? Like Scheffler and Spieth, Hovland is a humble, gracious winner. He still lives in Stillwater, where he says “money goes a long ways.” Guess what: so does Hovland. … What was Zach Johnson thinking about naming Justin Thomas to the U.S. Ryder Cup team for the Sept. 29-Oct. 1 event at the exclusion of more deserving, better-playing golfers like Cameron Young, Lucas Glover and two-time PGA winner Keegan Bradley? Thomas has struggled almost all year and hasn’t won in 15 months and didn’t even rank in the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings. Thomas had better well live up to his 6-2-1 Ryder Cup record.
Start working those recruiting trails early
6. Move over, Shohei: I hope Texas is saving its NIL money for Brody Brooks and 6-foot-1 Louis Lappe, the two studs on the El Segundo, Calif., baseball team that eliminated the Needville, Texas, team and then beat Curacao 6-5 on Lappe’s walk-off homer to win the Little League World Series on Saturday. The two combined for 22 hits in 34 at-bats in the Series, and both starred as their teams’ pitchers, too. Remember their names, come future recruiting time. … Hats off to ESPN and especially field reporter Julie Foudy for their wonderful and compassionate broadcasting job.
This and that
7. Random hits: Jeff Traylor’s UTSA Roadrunners are picked second in their new American Athletic Conference and are as set at quarterback as any of the 133 FBS teams. Frank Harris is back for his seventh season after playing in 43 games and starting 42, which is fourth-most among all FBS quarterbacks. “Frank is pretty unique in the things he’s done the last three years,” Traylor said Tuesday. “He’s seen a lot. Beyond Victor Wembanyama, Frank’s the second-most popular athlete in San Antonio.” He doesn’t know what Harris makes in NIL deals, but “he lives in a nice house and drives a really nice truck.” … UTSA has a tough schedule, opening against Houston, facing Texas State as well as Tennessee and Army. Traylor said look out for Sam Houston transfer cornerback Cam Alexander. “I think we’ve got a really good team, but I don’t know what our record will be.” … Nate Yarnell is impressing at Pitt. The piano-playing, former Lake Travis quarterback is the third-stringer behind starter Phil Jurkovec, a grad transfer from Boston College, but highly regarded by the coaching staff after making a start against Western Michigan and excelling on the scouting team as a would-be Tennessee QB Hendon Hooker and others. Former Longhorn Malcolm Epps is now a tight end for the Panthers after three years at Texas and two at USC. … Not sure I buy Charles Barkley’s comment that the Bad Boy Detroit Pistons would “break” Steph Curry if the Warriors great was playing back then. Was it more physical back then? Of course, it was. But great players adapt.
Where has Rivers run to?
8. Scattershooting: While wondering whatever happened to former Texas State running back Reggie Rivers.
Meanwhile, from the greatest seat in the world ...
9. On the couch: My wife and I just finished “Suits” — OK, we were late to the party — but since starting it in mid-May, we knocked out all 134 episodes before the first college football kickoff. Most days I’m torn between wanting to be Harvey and Mike, but I do not have a yearning for mudding. Donna is every man’s dream girl. And I loved that every character read and digested a legal document in four seconds, give or take. Gave it nine ducks.
A drama-free kickoff weekend
Crazy prediction: Not a single AP Top 25 team will lose this week, aside from games matching ranked teams.

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