The start of Charlie Strong’s tenure as head coach of the University of Texas Longhorns football team has not been the instant success that many Horns fans had hoped for. An embarrassing loss to the BYU Cougars and a heartbreaking defeat a week later against UCLA has Texas under .500 with a tough Big 12 schedule in front of them.
But if Texas fans will look back only 1 season, they may find reason to hope.
In 2013, the Longhorns were in the exact same place. Texas got beat up by BYU, played better, but still lost to the Ole Miss Rebels a week later, then lost their starting quarterback for the season. That Texas team went on to win 6 straight games, including a rout of the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry, err… Red River Showdown. Unlikely leader Case McCoy played gutsy enough to put the Texas Longhorns in a position to win the Big 12 title at the end of the season, coming up 20 points short.
Fast forward back to 2014. Texas has a new coaching staff, new schemes, and a new quarterback, but the same opportunity sits in front of them. A bye in week 4 gives Texas a chance to put the non-conference schedule behind them, regroup, and get a little bit healthier. The beginning of the Texas Longhorns Big 12 Conference schedule will be crucial if the boys from Austin are able to salvage 2014.
Here’s a look at the upcoming games for Texas:
Texas Longhorns at Kansas Jayhawks | September 27th 2014 | – Median Ticket Price $34
This game is huge for both teams. The Kansas Jayhawks have won just 1 Big 12 game since 2011 and a win against the Longhorns at Kansas Memorial Stadium in Lawrence would go a long way to putting the Jayhawks back on track. This game is equally as important for the Longhorns who need to gain some confidence heading into what should be the 2 toughest games on their schedule.
Baylor Bears at Texas Longhorns | October 4th, 2014 | – Median Ticket Price $115
Baring an upset in Ames on the 27th, the Baylor Bears will enter this game undefeated and as heavily favored as they have been coming into a game in Austin as they might have ever been. From 1993 to 2009 Baylor beat the Longhorns only 1 time. But since 2009 the outlook of this game has changed completely. Baylor comes into 2014 having won 3 of the last 4, as defending Big 12 Champions, and as one of the hot programs in the country. The demand for this game has been on a steady rise over the last few years. The last time the Bears visited Austin (2012) the median ticket price was $95. Last year’s game in Waco, the median ticket price was $129. Look for tickets to this year’s game to approach that number and for demand for this rivalry to continue to rise.
Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners | October 11th, 2014 | – Median Ticket Price $228
The Red River Showdown is always one of the biggest games of the season. Oklahoma has serious playoff aspirations and would like nothing more than to beat up the Longhorns for the 3rd time in 4 years. Texas is hoping for a repeat of last year’s improbable lopsided victory over the Sooners at the Cotton Bowl. Despite the Longhorns struggles early this season, the demand for tickets it up from last year, where the median ticket price ended at $177.