Texas Longhorns football
|Texas Longhorns football|
|Athletic director||Mike Perrin|
|Head coach||Charlie Strong
3rd year, 13–15 (.464)
|Other staff||Sterlin Gilbert (OC/QB)
Matt Mattox (OL/RGC)
Vance Bedford (DC)
Brian Jean-Mary (LB/RC)
|Stadium||Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium|
|Field||Joe Jamail Field|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
|All-time record||888–352–33 (.711)|
|Bowl record||27–24–2 (.528)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||4 (1963, 1969, 1970, 2005)|
|Unclaimed nat'l titles||11 (1914, 1918, 1930, 1941, 1945, 1947, 1950, 1968, 1977, 1981, 2008)|
|Colors||Burnt Orange and White
|Fight song||Texas Fight|
|Marching band||The University of Texas Longhorn Band|
Texas A&M Aggies
Arkansas Razorbacks Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Texas Longhorns football program is the intercollegiate team representing the University of Texas at Austin (variously Texas or UT) in the sport of American football. The Longhorns compete in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) as a member of the Big 12 Conference. The team is coached by Charlie Strong and home games are played at Darrell K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas.
Beginning in 1893, the Texas Longhorns football program is one of the most highly regarded and historic programs of all time. From 1937 to 1946 the team was led by Hall of Fame coach Dana X. Bible, and then from 1957 to 1976 the team was led by Hall of Fame coach Darrell K. Royal, who won three national championships. In 2012, the football program was valued at $805 million, more than the calculated value of several NFL teams. In 2008, ESPN ranked Texas as the seventh-most prestigious college football program since 1936. As of the end of the 2015 season, Texas' all-time record is 886–346–33 (.718), which ranks as the third-most wins in NCAA Division I FBS history. Texas is known for their post-season appearances, ranking second in number of bowl game appearances (53), fourth in bowl game victories (27), most Southwest Conference football championships (27), and most Cotton Bowl Classic appearances and victories. Other NCAA records include 108 winning seasons out of 122 total seasons, 23 seasons with 10 or more wins, 9 undefeated seasons, and 26 seasons with at most one loss or tie. From 1936 to 2012, the Longhorns football teams have been in the AP or coaches' rankings 66 out of 76 seasons (86.8% of the time), finishing those seasons ranked in the top twenty-five 48 times and the top ten 28 times. Texas claims four Division I-A national championships (1963, 1969, 1970 and 2005) and 32 conference championships (3 Big 12 Conference, 27 Southwest Conference, and 2 Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association).
A total of 129 (53 consensus and 22 unanimous) Texas players have been named to College Football All-America Teams, while two Longhorn players, Earl Campbell (1977) and Ricky Williams (1998), have won the Heisman Trophy, college football's most prestigious individual honor. Seventeen Longhorns have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, while four are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Early history (1893–1926)
- 1.2 Clyde Littlefield (1927–1936)
- 1.3 Jack Chevigny (1934–1936)
- 1.4 Dana X. Bible era (1937–1946)
- 1.5 Blair Cherry (1947–1950)
- 1.6 Ed Price (1951–1956)
- 1.7 Darrell Royal era (1957–1976)
- 1.8 Fred Akers Era (1977–1986)
- 1.9 David McWilliams (1987–1991)
- 1.10 John Mackovic (1992–1997)
- 1.11 Mack Brown era (1998–2013)
- 1.12 Charlie Strong (2014–present)
- 2 Home stadium
- 3 Uniforms
- 4 Championships and bowl games
- 5 Record book
- 6 Appearances in the final Associated Press and Coaches polls
- 7 Individual accomplishments
- 8 Culture & Rivalries
- 9 Future non-conference opponents
- 10 Personnel
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Early history (1893–1926)
The University of Texas fielded its first permanent football team in 1893 managed by Albert Lefevra, the secretary-treasurer of the UT Athletic Association. The team played four games, a pair in the fall and two more in the spring winning all four games while shutting out all four opponents. The first was against the Dallas Foot Ball Club that claimed to be the best in the state. Held at the Dallas Fair Grounds, the game attracted a then-record 1,200 onlookers. It was a tough and spirited match, but when the dust had settled, the "University Eleven" had pulled off an 18–16 upset. "Our name is pants, and our glory has departed," growled the Dallas Daily News. The Texas club would go on to a spotless record and earn the undisputed boast of "best in Texas."
After the inaugural season Texas officially hired its first coach, R.D. Wentworth, for $325 plus expenses. Wentworth shut out the first six opponents, outscoring them 191–0 before miserably losing their final game to Missouri 28–0. There were a number of firsts in Wentworth's one and only season as head coach at Texas. Texas' first ever meeting against Texas A&M occurred in 1894 and resulted in a 38–0 shutout victory for Texas in Austin. Texas also faced Arkansas in the first meeting between the two schools in 1894. The game resulted in a 54–0 shutout victory for Texas as well. These two firsts set the ground for the long extensive rivalries with the Aggies and the Razorbacks over the next century in which Texas would dominate both series with the two schools including several anticipated games.
The 1896 Texas varsity was the first team to play out of state, as the team ventured east for games against Tulane (a 12–4 victory) and LSU (a 14–0 loss). The games were played on a Saturday and Monday in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, respectively, which was a particularly brutal travel schedule for that time.
Texas quickly established itself as a winning tradition in its first seven years of football going 36–11–2. In 1900, Texas also had its first ever meeting with Oklahoma, a 28–2 victory for Texas. The lopsided win for Texas was the beginning of one of college football's most heated rivalries to date. Texas also began rivalries with TCU, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Vanderbilt teams during this time where Texas quickly became the powerhouse and favored team. The Texas football program quickly rose to prominence during the early 1900s with winning records each season, including undefeated seasons in 1900, 1914, 1918, and 1920. Texas was selected as National Champions in 1914 by the Billingsley Report Ratings after finishing 8-0 on the season; this championship is recognized by the NCAA. Texas was again selected as National Champions in 1918 by the Cliff Morgan Ratings when the team went undefeated at 9-0. Texas participated in the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association from 1913–1917, winning two titles in 1913 and 1914 with 7–1 and 8–0 records those years. In 1914, standout halfback Len Barrell scored 14 touchdowns and kicked 34 extra points and one field goal to tally 121 points for the Longhorns. He held the UT record for points in a season for 83 years before Ricky Williams broke it in 1997 and again in 1998. In 1915, Texas joined the upstart Southwest Conference, winning the conference championship in 1916 and 1918. In 1916, 15,000 fans packed Clark Field to witness Texas’ 21-7 upset win against Texas A&M. It was the first UT vs. A&M game in Austin since 1909 and the first game in which the first Bevo was unveiled. Texas then won their first outright SWC Championship in 1920 with an undefeated record. 1920 was also the year in which the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry took hold with this historical meeting as both teams entered the game undefeated and unscored on that season. 20,000 onlookers (the largest in state history at the time) witnessed a back and forth defensive battle as Texas defeated Texas A&M, 7–3 on Thanksgiving Day. The game gave the Aggies their first loss in two years and closed another undefeated season for Texas. Texas would post a 35-6-3 record over the next five seasons led by coaches Berry Whitaker and Edward J. "Doc" Stewart through the 1926 season.
Clyde Littlefield (1927–1936)
Clyde Littlefield was the first superstar to both play for and coach the Longhorns. In his first season as head coach, he led Texas to a 6–2–1 record, bettering Edward Stewarts previous record of 5–4. His first season included a hard fought victory over a then tough Vanderbilt team in Dallas 13–6. During his second season, he won the SWC in 1928 going 7–2 including huge shutout wins over TCU and Texas A&M. The 1928 Longhorns were the first to wear "Texas orange" (burnt orange) jerseys. The change was made because the bright orange jerseys UT had worn faded from repeated washings. Burnt orange jerseys were worn for the next decade until a wartime dye shortage forced UT to go back to the bright orange. The darker orange was not re-adopted until Darrell Royal did so prior to the 1962 season. Littlefield also won another SWC Championship in 1930 and led his team to a near perfect 8–1–1 record. The following season saw Texas finish at 5-2-2 in 1929. The 1930 season was most remembered by the 98-yard touchdown drive against Oklahoma where both teams were tied 7–7 going into the fourth quarter. Texas managed to tack on a field goal to put the game away, 17–7 and their fourth straight win over the Sooners at the time. The 1930 team won the SWC Championship and was selected as the National Champion that year by several sportswriters however the school does not officially recognize this year. Littlefield almost captured another SWC Title in 1932 by finishing 8–2 but lost to SWC foe 0-14, Texas Christian University. Throughout the 1930s Texas' main in-conference foe was TCU as both teams sought after recruits within the state. Coach Littlefield only had one losing season, in 1933, mainly due to younger players and injuries to starters. From 1893 to 1932, Texas had 40 consecutive winning seasons. After finishing the 1933 season 4–5–2, the Longhorns' first losing season in program history, many people called for his resignation. Littlefield ultimately gave in to the calling of his resignation and left the head coaching position in 1933. He resigned as the Longhorns football coach but stayed on as a very successful track coach. To this day, he is still the fifth most successful coach for the University of Texas with a record of 44–18–6.
Jack Chevigny (1934–1936)
After the resignation, Jack Chevigny, a national celebrity and ex-Notre Dame player, was hired in 1934. His first season as head coach included a stunning victory over Notre Dame, 7–6, in South Bend, Indiana which was considered the greatest moment of his career and one of Texas' biggest victories at the time. After his initial winning season of 7–2–1 (often credited to Littlefield), Chevigny's career at Texas came crashing down when the Longhorns went 4–6 in 1935 and 2–6–1 in 1936, after which he resigned. Chevigny's coaching tenure never fully developed after the victory at Notre Dame. After his resignation he joined the Marine Corps as many people enlisted during the early stages of World War II. Chevigny died as a United States Marine Corps first lieutenant in the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. Another legend surrounding Chevigny is that, after the 1934 victory over Notre Dame, he had been presented a fountain pen with the inscription "To Jack Chevigny, a Notre Dame boy who beat Notre Dame," and that on September 2, 1945, the pen was discovered in the hands of one of the Japanese envoys on the U.S.S. Missouri; and that the inscription was changed to read, "To Jack Chevigny, a Notre Dame boy who gave his life for his country in the spirit of old Notre Dame." To this day, Chevigny is the only head football coach in Texas history with a losing record of 13–14–2.
Dana X. Bible era (1937–1946)
After the 1936 season Texas decided to pursue a head coach with extensive experience in the position. The coach chosen to replace Jack Chevigny after the 1936 season was Dana X. Bible. In the middle of the Great Depression, Texas courted and hired Bible to be the coach and athletics director at The University of Texas. Dana X. Bible had tremendous success at Nebraska and previously Texas A&M. It was a bold move by the university and a decision that would lay the foundation of the modern legacy for the Texas Football program.
The Bible era debuted in 1937 with a 25–12 victory over Texas Tech in Austin. Texas would only win two games in Bible's initial year as head coach in 1937 over Texas Tech and a stunning defensive battle over No. 4 Baylor, 9-6. The 1938 season would not be any better as Texas' only victory of the season was a 7-6 victory over rival Texas A&M in Austin, the final game of the season. Fans were anxious to witness Texas once again dominate the college football scene however the program would be in a transition period for a short time, but with the experience that Bible brought Texas was again recruiting good athletes. After two initial rough seasons where Texas only won three games, Bible successfully transformed Texas into a national powerhouse.
The 1939 season would prove different as Texas opened with a shutout win over Florida 12–0 followed by a 17-7 victory at Wisconsin. Then the turning point came in October 1939 when Texas was playing Arkansas in Austin. Down 13–7 with under 30 seconds to play, and with many fans heading for the stadium exits, Texas fullback R.B. Patrick flipped a short pass to Texas' halfback Jack Crain and ran 67 yards untouched for the score in the waning seconds of the game to tie Arkansas at 13. Those same fans that were leaving the stadium came pouring back in and onto the field. After the field was cleared Crain booted the extra point and Texas defeated Arkansas 14–13. This game became known as the "Renaissance Game" of the Dana X. Bible era, and the win revitalized the Texas football program in 1939. National championship talks began thereafter when Texas compiled their first All-American's with Malcolm Kutner, Jack Crain, and Noble Doss. The 1939 season was pivotal in providing momentum for the following decade as Texas would again become one of the most successful teams throughout the 1940s.
The 1940 season carried the momentum from the previous year as Texas was officially ranked in the AP poll for the first time. After an 8–2 season in 1940 where Noble Doss made the infamous "Impossible Catch" to set up Texas' 7–0 victory over Texas A&M kept the Aggies from repeating as National Champions and appearing in the Rose Bowl. In 1941, Bible then led the Longhorns to their 1st No. 1 ranking in 1941 during the season and finished the year 8–1–1 where many sportswriters named the 1941 team National Champions however they were not selected by the AP Poll that year. The 1941 Texas team is however recognized by the NCAA as National Champions. Texas won its first six games of the season, three by shutouts. After a 34-0 win over Southern Methodist, the Longhorns reached No. 1 in the polls and seemed destined for the Rose Bowl until a 7-7 tie in Waco against Baylor. SMU coach Matty Bell proclaimed UT as "the greatest team in Southwest Conference history ... even better than my Rose Bowl team of 1935." When the Longhorns arrived back at their dormitory from beating the Mustangs, "Miss Grif," the house mother, placed a long-stemmed rose on each plate at the dinner table. Texas anxiously awaited their opportunity to receive a Rose Bowl bid having turned down bids from the Cotton, Orange, and Sugar Bowls that year. Rose Bowl officials elected not to award the bid to Texas since they had one remaining game against Oregon, who had already lost to Oregon State earlier that year. After not being awarded the bid, Texas then took out its frustration on Oregon, overwhelming them 71–7. The Longhorns of 1941 were featured on the cover of Life Magazine, and are still to this day considered one of the greatest Texas teams of all time. The Longhorns of 1941 were the first Texas team to reach the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll. It was the first Texas team to have consensus All-Americans selected and the first to win the inaugural hat-inspired trophy for the winner of the Texas-Oklahoma game at the State Fair. Also, because of the 1941 Longhorns, fans first burned red candles at a hex rally against Texas A&M. They even escorted the team with a torchlight parade, another tradition that still lives today.
In 1942, Bible led Texas to a 9–2 season record and their first ever bowl game where the Longhorns represented the Southwest Conference in the 1943 Cotton Bowl Classic. Prior to the game, radio announcers in Georgia boasted that Texas didn't belong in the same league as Georgia Tech. Texas defeated the highly ranked Georgia Tech 14–7 with an incredible defensive effort that held the high scoring Yellow Jacket rush offense to only 57 yards. This would be the first of 22 appearances in the Cotton Bowl Classic for Texas.
In 1943, Bible again led Texas to the Southwestern Conference Championship and another Cotton Bowl Classic berth where they faced the only military institute to play in that bowl game, Randolph Field. The game was played during some of the state's harshest weather conditions during that year. The game resulted in a 7-7 tie. Bible's teams went 32–6–2 from 1940–1943. 1944 was a reloading year for the Horns as many starters graduated the previous season or were serving in the military. A young quarterback named Bobby Layne took over the starting position and again Texas was dominating its opponents.
In 1945, with the help of legendary quarterback Bobby Layne, and All-American Hub Bechtol, Bible led the Longhorn to their first 10 victory season which ended in a dramatic 40–27 Cotton Bowl Classic victory over Missouri. Lane scored almost all of Texas' 40 points himself; he ran in four touchdowns, he threw two passes for touchdowns, and he kicked four extra points. The 1945 team was even selected by several sportswriters as the National Champion, but again the AP poll did not select them.
The following year in 1946 Texas was picked as the preseason No. 1 team again, but 2 losses dropped them in the polls. 1946 was highlighted with a 20-13 victory over Oklahoma. Bible's final season as head coach in 1946 resulted in an 8–2 record, going out with a 24–7 win over rival Texas A&M. Over his tenure at Texas, Bible acquired three Southwestern Conference titles in 1942, 1943, 1945, two Cotton Bowl Classic victories with a post season record of 2–0–1 while the teams of 1941 and 1945 were selected as National Champions by various polling organizations.
In 1946 Bible retired from coaching but stayed on as athletic director and is credited for the hiring of the legendary Darrell Royal. Bible is still to this day the fourth most successful coach in Texas history with a record of 63–31–3 and responsible for revitalizing the Texas football program as a national powerhouse. Despite not winning a recognized national championship, the legendary Bible laid the foundation for the Texas football program and for future head coaches. Through his "Bible Plan", he inspired his players not only to succeed on the field but also to succeed in the classroom and in life. He is credited for originally revitalizing the Texas football program in the late 1930s and regarded as the first legendary head coach for the Texas football program. His teams of the late 1930s and throughout the 1940s are still regarded as some of the best in school history. Bible was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1951.
Blair Cherry (1947–1950)
Handpicked by Bible as his successor, was Blair Cherry in 1947. Cherry in 1947 with a veteran squad, including All-American quarterback Bobby Layne, led the Longhorns to a near-perfect record of 10–1, defeating No. 6 Alabama 27–7 in the Sugar Bowl and finished the year ranked fifth nationally in his first season of 1947. A chartered DC-4 provided the transportation, as the Texas football team used air travel for the first time for its 1947 game at Oregon. The trip, though reportedly very rough, didn’t slow UT as Longhorn senior quarterback Bobby Layne outdueled Oregon sophomore Norm Van Brocklin in Texas’ 38-13 win. Layne would finish his career at Texas with a best 28-6 record and was named the MVP of the 1948 Sugar Bowl win against Alabama. The 1947 season saw Texas defeat rival Oklahoma for the eighth straight season. The 1947 team was even selected as National Champions by the Massey Ratings, but again the AP poll did not select them. Cherry's 1948 team led by fullback, Tom Landry, went 7–3–1, including a 41–28 win over No. 8 Georgia in the Orange Bowl.
Cherry's 1950 team was considered one of the best in Texas history highlighted by a 23–20 win over No. 1 SMU where Texas held their No. 1 leading rusher with a negative 27 yards. Only a one-point loss to Oklahoma kept Texas from a perfect season that year. Texas went on to win the Southwestern Conference title going 9–2 overall and was ranked No. 3 nationally.
In November 1950, Cherry announced that he would resign from Texas to enter the oil business at the conclusion of the 1950 season. Three weeks after announcing his resignation, Cherry was hospitalized with an ulcer and a respiratory infection. He later disclosed that the overemphasis on winning led to his resignation. During his four-year reign Cherry was 32–10–1 leading the Longhorns to three bowl games (two victorious) and two of top-five national rankings. The 1950 team was also selected as National Champions by several polls, but AP poll kept Texas ranked third.
Ed Price (1951–1956)
After Cherry's abrupt resignation, Ed Price was promoted to head coach in 1951. In his first three seasons, Price carried over the success of Bible and Cherry, leading the Longhorns to three winning seasons from 1951–1953, a shutout 16–0, victory over Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and two Southwestern Conference titles. From 1939–1953 Texas had dominated the college football scene with a record of 115–35–3 (77%), but in 1954 Texas went 4–5–1, its first losing season in 15 years. 1954 started off with a 20–6 victory over LSU however the season was downhill from that point as Texas went 4–5–1. The 1955 season did not fare any better as Texas went 5–5 on the season.
The Price era never kept the Texas football program up to their standards of earlier decades. The program went from one of college footballs most successful programs to one of the worst in one season. After capping a string of three losing seasons with a 1–9 season (the worst record in the school's history) in 1956, Price tendered his resignation in 1956. Price compiled a record of 33–27–1 in six seasons.
Darrell Royal era (1957–1976)
Darrell K. Royal, a native Oklahoman, previously coached at Mississippi State and Washington before being hired for the head coaching job at Texas. With the guidance of former head coach Bible, Royal was tasked with bringing Texas back to prominence in 1957. He was destined to take the program to an even higher level. The Royal era of Texas football debuted in 1957 with a 26–7 win at Georgia. In Royal's first season he immediately turned things around for the program, taking the previous 1–9 Longhorns to 6–4–1 in 1957 the quickest turn-around among NCAA teams. The 1957 Longhorns obtained a No. 11 ranking, defeated a highly ranked Texas A&M team 9–7, and played in the Sugar Bowl. The following year proved even better as Texas went 7–3 in 1958. The immediate turnaround by Royal was praised heavily by Texas fans and the media. In 1959 Texas opened the season with a 20–0 victory over Nebraska in Lincoln. Texas also defeated No. 2 Oklahoma 15–14 to end a six-game losing streak to their rival and posted a 9–1 record in 1959 along with a Cotton Bowl Classic berth against Syracuse. Royal's teams of the 1960s and 1970s are regarded as some of the best in school history. The Texas team of 1961 posted a 10–1 record, achieved a No. 1 ranking along with a Cotton Bowl Classic victory and the team of 1962 posted a 9–1–1 record with a Cotton Bowl Classic berth.
In his seventh season, Royal, with the help of star linebacker Tommy Nobis and quarterback Duke Carlisle, led Texas to their first officially recognized National Championship in 1963. Texas began that season averaging 35 points per game heading into the annual game with Oklahoma. The game against Oklahoma was the first meeting in the series where both teams were ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the AP poll. Texas dominated the game from start to finish and beat the Sooners 28-7. There were no more threats to the team until the annual showdown with Texas A&M in College Station. On a rainy and murky afternoon both teams continued to turn the ball over in what was a close battle to the end. Texas would win 15-13, going on to post a perfect 11–0 record after a 28–6 victory over Navy in the Cotton Bowl Classic, which was another No. 1 vs No. 2 showdown during the season. Prior to the game, Pittsburgh sports writer Myron Cope said, "Tune in your television to the Cotton Bowl and you'll laugh yourself silly. Texas is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on the football public." Darrell Royal was asked about Cope's comments moments before taking the field. Royal smiled, looked into the camera and said, "We're ready," and Texas went on to dominate the Navy team, solidifying their first official National Championship.
The following year, 1964, was almost perfect. Texas was again ranked No. 1 during the season only to lose by one point to arch-rival Arkansas 14–13. Texas went 10–1 on the season and beat Joe Namath and No. 1 Alabama in the Orange Bowl, 21–17 with a famous last-second goal line stand, keeping Namath out of the endzone in the first televised bowl game at night. Duke Carlisle, who played both defensive back and quarterback, would finish his career with a 30-2-1 record as a starter. Royal's teams of the early 1960s went 40–3–1.
The next three seasons posted a 19–12 win-loss record, but in 1968 Royal became the first coach to install the Wishbone formation in the backfield led by a group of players that became known as the "Worster Bunch" consisting of All-American's Steve Worster, James Street, Billy Dale, Chris Gilbert, and Cotton Speyrer. With this powerful new offense in place, the 1968 team went 9–1–1 with a demolishing 36–13 victory over Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl Classic, one of the most complete and lopsided wins in all statistics since the 1941 win over Oregon, 71–7. The 1968 Texas team would finish 3rd in the AP poll but were crowned National Champions by various polls which are recognized by the NCAA.
With the momentum carried over from the previous season, Texas began the 1969 season by defeating all opponents by an average score of 44 points. The final game of the regular season had No. 1 Texas against No. 2 Arkansas in the true "Game of the Century" for the 100th year of college football. The game saw Arkansas leading throughout the game when the Longhorns came from behind in the 4th quarter to win 15–14, capturing their second officially recognized National Championship, in which President Richard Nixon declared Texas the champion after the game. Texas would then go on to face and defeat Notre Dame in the 1970 Cotton Bowl Classic which solidified Texas' place as the No. 1 team that year. This was also the Irish's first bowl game since 1924. Quarterback James Street would finish as the only Texas QB to win all games as a starter with a 20-0 perfect record.
In 1970 Texas again was ranked No. 1 throughout the season. One of the most memorable games was against UCLA in Austin. With the Bruins leading 17–13 and less than 30 seconds left in the game, Texas quarterback Eddie Phillips hit receiver Cotton Speyrer over midfield and Speyrer sprinted untouched for the winning score 20–17 with only twelve seconds left in the game. Texas finished undefeated when they defeated Arkansas 42–7, capturing their third recognized National Championship in 1970. The Longhorns' record from 1968–1970 was 30–2–1, which included winning 30 straight games.
Texas was also in the hunt for national titles again in 1972. Royal described his team that year as "average as a day's wash" before the season began. Only a loss to Oklahoma kept the team from finishing unbeaten that season. During the final game against Alabama in the 1973 Cotton Bowl, Texas quarterback Marty Atkins ran the bootleg to perfection in a come from behind 17–13 win over the Crimson Tide. In 1975 Texas was in place to win the Southwest Conference crown outright but a loss to Texas A&M at the end of the season sent Texas to the Bluebonnet Bowl, a 38–21 victory over Colorado with a top-5 ranking. Royal's final game at Texas was against Arkansas in Austin at the end of the 1976 season; Texas won 29–12.
Royal is also credited for winning the Southwest Conference Title six years in a row from 1968–1973 along with six straight Cotton Bowl Classic appearances. He successfully revitalized the Texas football program in 1957 and put the team back to national prominence over the next 20 seasons. Over the course of his 20-year career, Royal never had a losing season, led the Longhorns to 3 National Championships, 11 Southwest Conference Titles, 16 bowl games, and 9 top-5 poll rankings, 15 top-25 poll rankings, 30 straight victories, 42 straight home victories in Austin from 1968–1976, and a record of 167–47–5, which makes Royal the most successful coach to coach at the University of Texas.
After retiring from coaching football in 1976, Royal continued his role as athletic director until retiring in 1980. In 1996 the University of Texas officially honored him by renaming Texas Memorial Stadium to the Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium.
Fred Akers Era (1977–1986)
After Royal's retirement, he assumed that his long-time assistant coach Mike Campbell would take over as head coach, however the University had other plans. They picked a younger, former assistant coach of Royal's, Fred Akers who had experienced some success at Wyoming. With his new staff, Akers abandoned the wishbone offense and opted to rely solely on one running back with the implementation of the "I" formation, and some help from future Heisman trophy winner Earl Campbell; Akers led the '77 Longhorns to a perfect 11–0 regular season record, and would have acquired UT's 4th recognized National Championship if not for a loss to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl Classic. The 1977 Texas team has been recognized by various polls and the NCAA as the National Champion that year however the school does not claim this season as official. The following year Texas went 9–3 on the season including a 42–0 whipping of Maryland in the Sun Bowl.
The 1979 season had high hopes for the Longhorn faithful as Texas was again in the hunt for a national championship with an AP poll ranking at No. 3. Only a loss to Texas A&M in the final game of the season kept Texas from playing Alabama in the Sugar Bowl that year.
In 1980 members of the Southwest Conference decided to revise the game schedule and kicked off the new decade with Texas and Arkansas playing at the beginning of the season to commemorate a rivalry that was dominated by Texas. Texas again knocked off Arkansas 23–17 to start the new decade and once again reached the No. 1 spot in the AP poll for a period of three weeks before losing at home to SMU. Texas would stumble in the 1980 season due to several key injuries.
After a few winning seasons, Akers once again almost captured a National Championship in 1981 by beating Alabama in the Cotton Bowl Classic, a remarkable 4th quarter comeback effort where Texas won 14–12 and landed his team at No. 2 in the final polls. The 1981 Texas team is recognized by the NCAA and various polls as the National Champion that year however the school does not claim this season as official. The 1982 season had high hopes for the Horns once again but 2 losses during the regular season kept Texas from playing for the title. A 33–7 victory over Arkansas in 1982 closed the season for Texas and they carried that momentum over the following year.
In 1983 Akers had his Texas team on the hunt for a National Championship that had eluded him twice before and led the Longhorn to an 11–0 season ranked No. 2 behind Nebraska the entire season. Texas went on to win the Southwest Conference again and faced Georgia in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Texas managed to hold a 9–3 led throughout the entire game despite entering Georgia's territory seven times. Only a muffed punt in the waning seconds of the game gave Georgia the momentum they would need to defeat Texas 10–9. Later that evening, Miami would go on to stun top-ranked Nebraska in the Orange Bowl 31–30 and win the 1983 National Championship. Akers teams from 1981–1983 produced an incredible 30–5–1 record over three seasons.
The 1984 season had Texas once again ranked No. 1 in the polls but soon dropped after a tie with Oklahoma and 3 straight losses to end the season. A year later Texas was once again ranked in the top ten but finished the season with a disappointing 8–4 record. During his career at Texas he was praised for his winning seasons but drew ire from the Longhorn faithful for not winning a national championship despite coming close on three occasions.
From 1957–1985 Texas continued to have winning seasons. In 1986, Akers had his first losing season 5–6 due to many key injuries. And having two of the country's best running backs from high school being freshmen that year: Eric Metcalf, from Bishop Denis J. O'Connell High School in Arlington County, Virginia, and Andrew Jastal, from Santa Fe High School, Santa Fe, Texas. This was Texas' first losing season since 1956. After nine winning seasons, nine bowl games, two SWC titles and one Heisman trophy winner, Akers' tenure ended at the University of Texas with an 86–31–2 record, 3rd best in UT's history.
David McWilliams (1987–1991)
After the exiting of Akers, Texas hired David McWilliams who was a former assistant coach at UT. McWilliams had just had his first promising year at Texas Tech before accepting the Texas head coaching position. With a solid 7–5 first season and a Bluebonnet Bowl victory over Pittsburgh in 1987, McWilliams initially reminded people of Darrel K. Royal. However, after two losing season of 4–7 in 1988 and 5–6 in 1989, the luster had worn off. But after an opening victory of Penn State in 1990 McWilliams began the "Shock the Nation" tour leading his team to 10–1, only losing to the eventual 1990 National Champions, Colorado. The 1990 Longhorns went to the 1991 Cotton Bowl Classic where they were defeated by Miami. Many Texas fans had hope of National Championship in 1991, but were eventually disappointed when Texas finished with a 5–6 record which caused McWilliams to resign. At the end of his coaching career McWilliams led Texas to two bowl games, an SWC title, and a 31–26 record.
The period of the late 1980s and early 1990s would be detrimental to all football programs in the Southwest Conference. At that time all schools (except Rice University) were under scrutiny by the NCAA as sanctions were imposed due to violations of NCAA regulations and recruiting rules, with Texas facing their third recruiting violation in the last 20 years. The school that would suffer the most from the infractions was the SMU football program as they were handed the "death penalty" from the NCAA in which there would be no team for two years and no games would be televised. The sanction handed to SMU would prove pivotal for other Southwest Conference schools as blue-chip recruits in the state of Texas would begin signing letters of intent to play in schools outside of the Southwest Conference and the state of Texas.
John Mackovic (1992–1997)
The forcing out of David McWilliams allowed Texas to hire John Mackovic as head coach from Illinois. Having coached in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys, Mackovic brought a fresh perspective to Texas. He had a great ability to recruit fresh talent, like future Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams. Mackovic also pushed to renovate the University's facilities, which offended some of his supporters. Mackovic was determined to rebuild the Longhorns from the ground up. In 1992 and 1993, the Horns went 6–5 (but were not bowl eligible due to one win over a D1-AA school), and 5–5–1 respectively. The Longhorns began to see some hope in 1994, when they finished the regular season 7–4 and shared the SWC title. Texas also won its first bowl game in 7 years at the Sun Bowl in a come-from-behind victory against North Carolina. In 1995, the Horns went 10–1–1 under Mackovic, won the final SWC title outright and earned a bid to the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech.
The 1995 season was the final year of the Southwest Conference due to the sanctions that had been imposed after various infractions and recruiting violations as all schools withdrew from the conference and joined other established conferences. Throughout the 80-year history of the conference, Texas was the most dominant football program in its history, winning 27 conference championships and representing the champion in the Cotton Bowl Classic a record 22 times.
1996 brought about the formation of the new Big 12 Conference and new talks about Texas winning a National Championship. But after going 4–3, the Horns struggled just to stay bowl eligible. Texas then rallied, winning 5 straight games which would earn them the Big 12 South Crown. The first season of the Big 12 included an upset victory in the inaugural Big 12 Championship Game over then two-time defending National Champion, Nebraska where the famous fourth and inches call "roll left" occurred as Texas quarterback James Brown rolled to his left and passed to Derek Lewis for 61 yards as Texas won 37–27. The game was considered the most stunning upset college football game of the 1990s. Texas earned the automatic bid to the Fiesta Bowl where they faced Penn State. The close of the 1996 season and the five straight wins propelled by a high powered offense led by James Brown gave Texas fans high hopes for the 1997 season. In the opener, Texas defeated Rutgers but lost starting quarterback James Brown to an ankle injury. The following week Texas faced UCLA, their first meeting since a 28–10 win for Texas in 1971. After an embarrassing 66–3 loss to UCLA, Texas went into a downward spiral and never fully recovered. The team finished the 1997 season at 4–7, their worst record in over 50 years. After the season, head coach John Mackovic was reassigned within the athletic department, leaving his UT coaching record at 41–28–2.
Mack Brown era (1998–2013)
Major Applewhite years (1998–2001)
The Longhorns started 1998 with a new head coach, Mack Brown, who came to Texas after serving as head football coach at North Carolina. Immediately after being hired on Brown would begin the rebuilding process by conducting a speaking tour through many Texas high schools in order to turn around the relationship with coaches and schools that had previously been blocked out by previous head coaches. His ideas and ability to recruit would prove pivotal to the first several years in his position.
The Mack Brown era officially debuted with a 66–36 win over New Mexico State in Austin in which running back Ricky Williams would account for six rushing touchdowns. Texas was able to build on that momentum winning six straight including an upset win over Nebraska, 20–16, in Lincoln, Nebraska; which snapped the Cornhuskers streak of 48 straight home victories. The team would go undefeated at home that season and close out a thrilling 26–24 last minute upset win over #6 rival Texas A&M, Texas went on to face and dominate Mississippi State in the 1999 Cotton Bowl Classic, their first New Years Bowl victory since 1981. After a great start in 1998, the talk of national championships began in 1999. However, the talk quickly died after a rocky start, but Texas rebounded with a huge third straight victory over No. 3 Nebraska in Austin and finished the season 9–5. The 2000 season had many people speaking of a championship run with the loaded talent recruited from the previous year. There were growing pains during the season as Texas finished 2nd in the Big 12 and 9–3 overall. In 2001, Texas went 10–1 on the season and was heading towards a National Championship appearance against Miami but were upset in the Big 12 championship by Colorado, who they had previously beaten soundly in the regular season. Texas finished the year with an exciting shoot-out win in the Holiday Bowl over Washington where Major Applewhite would set a passing record of 473 yards in a come from behind 47-43 victory. The Holiday Bowl would be voted as the most watched bowl game of the 2001 season. Applewhite finished his career with a 22-6 record as a starting quarterback. Texas would finish the season 11–2 ranked in the top five.
In 2002, Texas was again ranked in the top 5 of the polls with hopes of another championship run. Two conference losses set Texas back in the polls where they finished 11–2, beat LSU in the Cotton Bowl, and finished in the top five.
Vince Young (2003–2005)
After the 2003 season, Brown had a 59–18 (77%) win-loss record but had not managed to win the Big 12 conference or to lead the Longhorns to a Bowl Championship Series game. He was often lauded for his recruiting while being criticized for failing to win the big games and most importantly, championships. Texas would finish the 2003 season with a 10–3 record again finishing 2nd in the Big 12 conference. The 2004 Texas Longhorn football team became that first championship team for Mack Brown by going 10–1 and playing in their first BCS Game, in a rare move, broke up the Rose Bowl's tradition of Pac-10 vs Big 10. The 2005 Rose Bowl, Texas faced the Wolverines of the University of Michigan the first meeting between the two teams. For sixty minutes, Vince Young broke down Michigan's defense. The Longhorns defeated the Wolverines 38–37 on a successful 37-yard field goal by place kicker Dusty Mangum as time expired. It was the first time the Rose Bowl had ever been decided on the closing play. The Rose Bowl victory earned the 11–1 Longhorns a top 5 finish in the polls for the season. With the Rose Bowl victory, Texas became only the fourth school in NCAA history to have won all four original New Year's Day bowl games (Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton Bowls).
National Champions (2005)
The 2005 Texas Longhorn football team was given a pre-season No. 2 ranking (behind defending National Champions University of Southern California) which they maintained throughout the entire 2005 regular season. Texas was tested early against No. 4 ranked Ohio State in Columbus, OH which was also the very first meeting between the two historical football programs. Prior to the game Buckeye linebacker, Bobby Carpenter, was quoted saying "our goal is to make sure that Vince Young is no longer a Heisman candidate after he leaves here." The No. 2 Longhorns went on to defeat Ohio State 25–22 at the Horseshoe in at Columbus, OH when Young threw a TD pass to Limas Sweed and then Aaron Harris got a game-winning safety. However, throughout the remainder of the season, Texas dominated every team they faced including a 45–12 victory over Oklahoma which ended the five-year losing streak to their arch-rival. The 12–0, undefeated No. 2 Texas would face No. 1 undefeated USC in the BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl. During the month of preparation for the BCS National Championship Game, ESPN ran a series of 11 specials listing the 2005 USC Trojans second among the greatest college football teams of all time, while the 2005 Texas Longhorns were never listed nor mentioned. Texas won 41–38 in the final 20 seconds of regulation by a Vince Young rushing touchdown on 4th down and 5, giving the Longhorns a perfect 13–0 season and an undisputed National Championship. Vince Young had beaten USC, Matt Leinart (2004 Heisman Trophy winner) and Reggie Bush (2005 Heisman Trophy winner) and would finish his career with a 30-2 record as a starter, the best of any Texas quarterback at the time. The wins and awards accumulated by USC during the Reggie Bush era that seemed to justify such attention have been vacated due to NCAA violations.
Colt McCoy (2006–2009)
The 2006 Texas Longhorn football team hoped to repeat as national champions even though quarterback Vince Young elected to go to the NFL early which left freshman Colt McCoy as the starting quarterback. After an early loss to Ohio State, the Longhorns with McCoy at the helm went into November undefeated in Big 12 play. But in a game against Kansas State, McCoy suffered a neck injury on a quarterback sneak which led to a 45–42 Texas loss. This was followed by a 12–7 upset loss against Texas A&M, when McCoy was again knocked out of the game. As a result of these losses, the Longhorns played in the Alamo Bowl and defeated Iowa, 26–24, ending the 2006 season with a 10–3 record.
Texas entered the 2007 season ranked in the top 10 but then suffered back-to-back losses to Kansas State (41–21) and Oklahoma (28–21). Texas surged back by winning the next five games in a row and appeared to be poised to gain a BCS bowl berth; however, a 38–30 loss to Texas A&M dashed those hopes. The 2007 Longhorns finished the season 10–3 with a victory over Arizona State, 52–34, in the 2007 Holiday Bowl. The Longhorns had problems off the field that culminated in the 2007 Texas Longhorns football suspensions.
The 2008 Texas Longhorns started the season ranked eleventh nationally but moved to fifth and then first after beating Oklahoma. They retained their No. 1 status by beating top-ranked No. 11 Missouri and No. 7 Oklahoma State, until the Longhorns lost to No. 6 undefeated Texas Tech on a last-second, game-winning pass from Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree. A later loss by the Texas Tech Red Raiders to the Oklahoma Sooners caused a three-way tie in the Big 12 South, between Texas, Tech, and OU each with only one loss to each other. The Big 12 tiebreaker would be decided by who was ranked highest in the final BCS standings. When released and the Sooners were ahead of the Longhorns by .0128 points, sending the Sooners to the Big 12 Championship Game and eventually the BCS National Championship Game, and the Longhorns to the Fiesta Bowl. At the conclusion of the regular season, Colt McCoy was one of the three finalists for the Heisman trophy along with Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford, who won the 2008 trophy. On January 5, 2009, the 3rd-ranked University of Texas defeated 10th-ranked Ohio State, 24–21, in the Fiesta Bowl in the third meeting between the two schools. With under a minute to play, Texas WR Quan Cosby caught the game-winning touchdown, ending the Longhorns' season with a 12–1 record at No. 3 in the AP Poll.
The 2009 Texas team went undefeated (13–0) in the regular season and played Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game which was "a defensive battle fought to the bitter end" as Kirk Herbstreit described it. Texas won 13–12 by a last-second Hunter Lawrence field goal, becoming the 2009 Big 12 Champions. The No. 2 Longhorns later faced No. 1 Alabama in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. Beginning with the sixth play of the first drive for Texas, true freshman quarterback Garrett Gilbert would play due to an early shoulder injury to Heisman-nominated starting quarterback Colt McCoy. Gilbert brought the team within 3 points in the fourth quarter; however Texas lost the game, 37–21. McCoy was not only the most successful quarterback of Mack Brown's tenure, but also the most successful quarterback in NCAA history with 45-8 record as a starter.
Final seasons (2010–2013)
In 2010, after losing six players to the NFL Draft, the Texas Longhorns suffered their worst season under Mack Brown, going 5–7 and finishing last in the Big 12 South. Texas started the season at 3-0 before losing at home to UCLA. Texas never recovered during the early season loss and finished last in the conference for the first time since 1956. The 2010 season was a pivotal point in the Brown era where the string of nine 10 or more win seasons came to an end. The only signature win of the season was a 20–13 upset in Lincoln over No. 5 Nebraska in their final in-conference match-up.
The 2011 offseason saw a change-up in several assistant coaching positions. Bryan Harsin, known for his creative trickery with offenses was hired as the new offensive coordinator while Manny Diaz was hired to run the defensive. Texas began the season at 4-0 highlighted by a come from behind victory, 17-16, over BYU and a dismantling win over UCLA, 49-20, in the Rose Bowl. Texas then lost to both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State but rebounded with wins over Kansas and Texas Tech. After two close losses to Kansas State and Missouri, Texas went into College Station for the final meeting against rival Texas A&M. The Aggies led throughout the game but were unable to put away Texas as Case McCoy scrambled for 42 yards to set up a last second field goal win for Texas, 27-25. After a 7-5 season Texas was selected to play California in the 2011 Holiday Bowl in San Diego, the Longhorns 50th bowl appearance in its storied program history. After a slow start David Ash guided the offense to three touchdowns along with a swarming defense that forced five California turnovers. Texas won 21-10 and finished the 2011 season at 8-5 overall.
The 2012 season was, to some, a disappointing season for the Longhorns. The Team started off the year with four straight victories over the Wyoming Cowboys, New Mexico Lobos, Ole Miss Rebels, and Oklahoma State Cowboys. However, Texas lost to the #8 West Virginia Mountaineers and a lopsided 63-21 loss to the #13 Oklahoma Sooners. Texas rebounded with four straight victories over Baylor, Kansas, #20 Texas Tech, and Iowa State. Texas lost their last two games of the regular season to TCU and #7 Kansas State to finish the regular season #23 with an 8-4 Record. Texas then defeated Oregon State 31-27 to win the 2012 Alamo Bowl. The game was iced for Texas when David Ash hit Marquise Goodwin for a Game-Winning Touchdown and when Alex Okafor made a Game-Winning Sack.
The Longhorns went 8-5 in 2013. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was fired following a week two BYU defeat in which Texas' defense allowed a school record 550 rushing yards. Texas lost again the following week against Ole Miss but went on to win six in a row, including a surprise win over Oklahoma and an overtime victory over West Virginia. Texas lost Oklahoma State 38-13, beat Texas Tech 41-16, and lost to Baylor 30-10 in what turned out to be a de facto conference championship following Oklahoma State's loss to Oklahoma. Quarterback David Ash missed most of the season with lingering concussion symptoms, so Case McCoy started under center for most of the year. Following a week full of speculation about his future with Texas, Mack Brown announced his retirement on December 14, 2013 following their Valero Alamo Bowl appearance versus Oregon. From 1998-2013 Texas posted a 158-48 record under Brown, 2 Big 12 conference championships, 1 national championship, and a 3-1 record in BCS Bowl games. Brown finished his career at Texas as the second winningest coach in school history.
Charlie Strong (2014–present)
In January 2014, it was announced that Charlie Strong would leave Louisville to become the 29th head football coach of the Longhorns. Strong is the first African American head football coach in Longhorn football history. The College Football Playoff/New Year's Six bowls was created where four teams are selected to play in a playoff to have a National Champion. During the offseason it was announced that nine different players would be released from the program for various reasons including violations of team rules and policies.
Texas under Strong finished 6–7 in 2014. The "Stronghorns" era began with a 38–7 stuffing of North Texas. Following the North Texas win, David Ash would suffer another concussion, leaving sophomore Tyrone Swoopes to run quarterback. In a rematch of last season against BYU, the Horns put up defensive battle but couldn't avoid a 2nd half collapse, lost 41–7. The following week, Texas would hold a 17–13 lead over #12 UCLA only to lose on a late touchdown pass 20–17. During their bye week, Strong announced Ash's retirement from football after a year-long battle with concussions. An improved Swoopes would lead the 'Horns to their first shutout under Strong, 23–0 against Kansas. The following week Texas put up a strong defensive battle against #7 Baylor at home. Despite keeping the nation's best offense in check with a 7-0 deficit at halftime, they would lose 28–7. The Red River Shootout against Oklahoma in Dallas the following week showed many signs of improvement. Texas led Oklahoma in every single statistical category (including penalties) but the final score. An interception return for a touchdown and a kickoff return for a touchdown proved to be the advantage for the Sooners as Texas lost a close 31-26 game at the Cotton Bowl. The next week, Texas won a 48–45 shootout in Austin against Iowa State after Swoopes threw two clutch passes to Jaxon Shipley and John Harris to set up Nick Rose for the game-winning FG. Kansas State shut down the offense, 23–0, the first time Texas was shut out in ten years. Sitting at 3–5, hope was almost lost for a bowl game. However, Texas rebounded with 3 straight wins over Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and stunning #23 West Virginia. The Horns were then defeated by #5 TCU on Thanksgiving, 48–10, ending the season at 6–6. Texas was then invited to play former Southwestern Conference rival Arkansas at the Texas Bowl in Houston. Arkansas defeated Texas 31–7 to end the 2014 season at 6–7.
In 2015, inconsistency plagued the Longhorns throughout the season. The season started on the road with a loss to Notre Dame and last second losses to California and Oklahoma State. Texas was able to overcome these losses and beat number 10 ranked Oklahoma, 24-17, in Dallas but then suffered key losses to Iowa State and Texas Tech. The final game of the season was against number 12 ranked Baylor in Waco. Texas was able to pull off the upset 23-17 over the Bears closing the season on a high-note. Texas eventually finished the season at 5-7 and would not qualify for a bowl game.
The Longhorns have played their home games in Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium (formerly just "Memorial Stadium" and "Texas Memorial Stadium") on Joe Jamail Field since 1924. The stadium is located on the campus of The University of Texas in Austin, Texas. The current official stadium capacity is 100,119, making it the second largest football venue in the state of Texas, the largest in the Big 12 Conference, the fifth largest on-campus stadium in the NCAA, and the seventh largest non-racing stadium in the world.
The stadium has been expanded several times since its original opening, and now includes 100,119 permanent seats, the nation's first high definition video display in a collegiate facility nicknamed "Godzillatron," and a newly renovated Joe Jamail Field with FieldTurf. The current DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium and Big 12 attendance record was set on September 4, 2016 with 102,315 spectators.
The final planned phase of the stadium's expansion includes the construction of permanent seating and an upper deck in the south end zone, completely enclosing the playing field. The stadium's seating capacity is expected to reach 112,000 once the south end zone is fully enclosed, which would mean DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium would surpass Michigan Stadium as the largest football stadium in North America. However, the date of the final construction phase to fully enclose the south end zone has not been set nor have any funds been raised. Varying sources claim this phase may not take place for upwards of 10 to 15 years, though on March 11, 2014 an announcement was made that an exploratory committee has been formed regarding the expansion of the stadium in conjunction with the construction of the Dell Medical School on campus.
Before the Longhorns football team moved to DKR, they played their home games at Clark Field from 1894 to 1924. Clark Field was a wooden-structured stadium located on the University of Texas campus. The Longhorns last game at Clark Field before moving to brand new Memorial Stadium occurred on October 25, 1924. The Longhorns battled the Florida Gators to a 7–7 tie that day.
The 1893 team did not always wear orange. They also wore gold and white uniforms. In 1895, the Texas Athletic Association moved to orange and white colors. In 1897, the Association moved to orange and maroon to save cleaning costs. The Cactus Yearbook at the time listed the University colors as either gold or orange and white until the 1899 Cactus declared the University colors to be gold and maroon. Students at the University's medical branch in Galveston (UTMB) were in favor of royal blue. By 1899, a UT fan could have worn any of yellow, orange, white, red, maroon, or even blue.
The Board of Regents held an election in that year to decide the team colors. Students, faculty, staff and alumni were asked vote. 1,111 votes were cast, with 562 in favor of orange and white. Orange and maroon received 310, royal blue 203, crimson 10, and royal blue and crimson 11. For the next thirty years, Longhorn teams wore bright orange on their uniforms, which faded to yellow by the end of the season. By the 1920s, other teams sometimes called the Longhorn squads "yellow bellies," a term that didn't sit well with the athletic department. In 1928, UT football coach Clyde Littlefield ordered uniforms in a darker shade of orange that wouldn't fade, which would later become known as "burnt orange" or "Texas orange." The dark-orange color was used until the dye became too expensive during the Great Depression, and the uniforms reverted to the bright orange for another two decades, until coach Darrell K. Royal revived the burnt-orange color in the early 1960s.
From 1961 to 1962, the Longhorns' helmets featured the individual player's number on the side in burnt orange above the "Bevo" logo, which was also in burnt orange, with a large burnt-orange stripe down the middle of the helmet. The burnt-orange stripe was removed in 1963 and the helmet featured only the burnt-orange Bevo logo below the player's number, which was also in burnt orange.In 1967, the team abandoned the individual player's number above the logo, and moved the burnt-orange Bevo logo to the center of the helmet's side. With the exception of the 1969 season, this remained the team's helmet design until 1977.In 1969, the helmet design commemorated the 100th anniversary of the first college football game. The player's number was replaced by a large burnt-orange football above the Bevo logo. Inside the football was a white number "100" that indicated the anniversary year.
Championships and bowl games
National championships (9)
The following list of national championships accounts for the four that are officially claimed by the University of Texas (in bold) and the five additional titles awarded by sources recognized by the NCAA, but not claimed by the University. Texas teams have also been selected as national champions in six other years (1918, 1930, 1945, 1947, 1950, 2008) by various nationally published ratings systems or voters which are not recognized by the University or the NCAA.
|1914||David Allerdice||Billingsley Report||8–0||No Bowl|
|1941||Dana X. Bible||Berryman, Williamson System||8–1–1||No Bowl|
|1963||Darrell Royal||AP, Coaches||11–0||Won Cotton|
|1968||Darrell Royal||Devold System, Matthews Grid Ratings, Sagarin Ratings||9–1–1||Won Cotton|
|1969||Darrell Royal||AP, Coaches||11–0||Won Cotton|
|1970||Darrell Royal||Coaches||10–1||Lost Cotton|
|1977||Fred Akers||Berryman, Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments (FACT), Sagarin Ratings||11–1||Lost Cotton|
|1981||Fred Akers||National Championship Foundation||10–1–1||Won Cotton|
|2005||Mack Brown||BCS, AP, Coaches||13–0||Won Rose|
|Total National Championships:||9|
Conference championships (32)
Texas has won a combined 32 conference championships. Texas won the Southwest Conference 27 times, 21 times outright, the Texas-Intercollegiate League twice, and has won the Big 12 Conference three times. Texas ranks 6th in total conference championships won among all NCAA teams
|Year||Conference||Overall record||Conference record|
† Denotes co-champions
- 1893–1895: Independent
- 1896–1904: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association
- 1905–1912: Independent
- 1913–1914: Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association
- 1915–1995: Southwest Conference
- 1996–present: Big 12 Conference
Divisional championships (7)
Texas has won a share of 7 Big 12 South titles, 5 of which resulted in an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game. Texas is 3–2 in those appearances. As of 2011, the new ten team Big 12 Conference ceased to have divisions and conference championship games.
|Year||Division championship||Big 12 CG result||Opponent||PF||PA|
|1996||Big 12 South||W||Nebraska||37||27|
|1999||Big 12 South||L||Nebraska||6||22|
|2001||Big 12 South||L||Colorado||37||39|
|2002||Big 12 South||NA*||NA||NA||NA|
|2005||Big 12 South||W||Colorado||70||3|
|2008||Big 12 South||NA†||NA||NA||NA|
|2009||Big 12 South||W||Nebraska||13||12|
*Both Texas and Oklahoma tied in the Big 12 South Division with 6–2 conference records and due to a tie-breaking rule Oklahoma advanced to the Big 12 Championship Game.
†A three-way tie in the Big 12 South Division between Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all with 7–1 conference records, due to a tie-breaking rule Oklahoma advanced to the Big 12 Championship Game.
Bowl Championship Series games (4)
|2004||Rose Bowl||W||No. 12 Michigan||38||37|
|2005||Rose Bowl (BCS National Championship Game)||W||No. 1 USC||41||38|
|2008||Fiesta Bowl||W||No. 10 Ohio State||24||21|
|2009||BCS National Championship Game||L||No. 1 Alabama||21||37|
Bowl game appearances (53)
At the end of the 2013 season, Texas is second in all time bowl appearances in the NCAA FBS at 52. (Note: Some years Texas went to two bowls although they were in different seasons)
|Bowl game||No. of appearances||First year||Last year||Bowl record|
|BCS National Championship||2*||2006*||2010||1–1–0*|
|Total bowl appearances||53||Total bowl record||27–24–2|
*The 2006 Rose Bowl was both the Rose Bowl Game and the sanctioned BCS National Championship Game, after that season the BCS NCG became a separate game unaffiliated with the major bowl games.
‡ The Freedom Bowl merged with the Holiday Bowl in 1995.
- Texas has the third most wins (886) in NCAA college football with an 886–346–33 all-time win/loss record.
- Texas ranks 2nd in the NCAA post-season bowl game appearances with 53 appearances as of 2014 with a 27–24–2 record.
- Texas is the only football program to post at least 10 wins from 2001–2009 seasons.
- Texas ranks 1st in the Big 12 conference for most bowl game appearances and victories.
- Texas ranks 1st with a Big 12 conference record of 109–45 (.707) since conference began in 1996.
- Texas ranks 2nd with 5 Big 12 conference championships game appearances with a 3-2 record.
- Texas holds the Big 12 Conference record for 21 consecutive conference wins from 2004–2006.
- Texas holds the Big 12 Conference record for 13 consecutive conference road wins from 2002-2006
- Texas holds the record for the most Southwest Conference Championships won with 27.
- Texas won a record 6 straight Southwest Conference Championships from 1968–1973.
- Texas is 6th with 32 total conference championships won among all NCAA teams.
All-time records against other conferences
- Texas holds an 83–30–7 all-time record against the American Athletic Conference.
- Texas holds an 18–12–1 all-time record against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
- Texas holds a 304–130–10 all-time record against the Big 12 Conference.
- Texas holds a 27–11–0 all-time record against the Big 10 Conference.
- Texas holds an 87–21–1 all-time record against the Conference USA.
- Texas holds a 6–12–0 all-time record against the Division 1A Independents.
- Texas holds a 13–1–0 all-time record against the Mountain West Conference.
- Texas holds a 37–21–0 all-time record against the Pac-12 Conference.
- Texas holds a 189–94–10 all-time record against the Southeastern Conference.
- Texas holds an 11–0–0 all-time record against the Sun Belt Conference.
- Texas ranks 6th in total appearances in the AP Poll with 703 weekly appearances since the poll began in 1936.
- Texas ranks 1st in total appearances in the BCS Standings with 105 weekly appearances since the rankings began in 1998.
- Texas holds the NCAA record of most consecutive weeks ranked at 162 from the 2000–2010 seasons.
- Texas has been ranked in 69 of the 81 seasons (1936-2016) the AP has conducted polls.
- Texas has appeared in 53 out of the 71 AP pre-season polls (1950-2016).
- Texas has been ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll a total of 45 weeks
- Texas has been ranked in the top 5 of the AP Poll a total of 267 weeks.
- Texas has been ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll a total of 443 weeks.
- Texas has been ranked in the top 25 of the AP Poll a total of 703 weeks.
- Texas has finished the season in the top 25 overall in 48 out of 76 possible polls.
- Texas has a 30–7–3 record when ranked the No. 1 team in the AP Poll
- Texas has played in six No. 1 vs No. 2 matchups and has posted victories in 4 of the six contests
- Texas has played in 164 Top 25 AP poll games since 1936 and has posted victories in 95 of those contests
- Texas is 2nd in the NCAA post-season bowl game appearances with 53 appearances as of 2014 with a 27–24–2 record.
- Texas had 6 consecutive bowl streaks from 1959–1964, 8 from 1968–1975, 9 from 1977–1985, and 12 from 1998–2009.
- Texas is tied for 3rd place for most all-time bowl victories.
- Texas has 4 BCS Bowl appearances with 3–1 record in BCS Bowl games (.750) 2nd most successful.
- Texas holds the record for the most Cotton Bowl Classic appearances and victories (22).
- Texas is one of four teams to have won all original New Year's Day bowl games (Rose, Fiesta, Sugar, Orange, and Cotton Bowls).
- First college team to implement the famous Wing-T and Wishbone Offenses.
- Texas has 108 winning seasons out of 122 total seasons of football.
- Texas is 103-18-3 (.843) all-time in season opening games.
- Texas is 69-15-3 (.810) in openers at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium
- Texas has had 9 undefeated seasons and 26 additional seasons with at most one loss and/or tie.
- 23 seasons with 10 or more wins.
- 10 seasons with 11 or more wins.
- 71 seasons with 8 or more wins.
Appearances in the final Associated Press and Coaches polls
Texas has made 703 appearances in the Associated Press poll over 80 seasons (1936-2015). Texas has spent 443 weeks in the Top 10, 267 weeks in the Top 5, and 45 weeks at #1. Texas has finished the year ranked in the final Associated Press and/or Coaches polls of the season 48 times with 28 finishes in the Top 10 and 20 finishes in the Top 5:
National awards and honors
The University of Texas has had 129 Longhorns selected to the College Football All-America Team including 53 Consensus and 22 Unanimous; Texas also has 17 players and coaches that have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
As of 2009 the Texas Longhorns have had 492 All-Conference Players since 1915, including 292 in the Southwest Conference and 200 in the Big 12 where the Longhorn player have had 63 first team and 43 second team all conference players.
Longhorns in the NFL
Culture & Rivalries
For additional information see the Texas Longhorns rivalries page
Texas has several long-standing rivalries with several schools throughout the duration of the Southwest Conference and the Big 12 Conference. The University's biggest rival historically is their instate rival, Texas A&M University  which began in 1894 and ran through the 2011 season. Their most significant and most fierce rivalry however is with the University of Oklahoma which began in 1900 and is played annually at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. Texas once had a major rivalry with Southwest Conference foe Arkansas where several meetings between the two schools would decide the winner of the Southwest Conference. The rivalry with Arkansas has become less important since Arkansas joined the SEC and because the schools no longer play each other regularly. Texas holds winning records over all four of their main rivals in football.
Texas has a long-standing rivalry with the University of Oklahoma. The football game between the University of Texas and Oklahoma is commonly known as the "Red River Rivalry" and is held annually in Dallas, Texas at the Cotton Bowl. Dallas is used as a "neutral site" since it is approximately midway between the two campuses. The stadium is split, with each team having an equal number of supporters on each side of the 50 yard line. Texas state flags fly around the Longhorn end of the stadium and Oklahoma state flags fly around the Sooner end. This border rivalry is often considered to be one of the top five current rivalries in the NCAA. The Red River Shootout originated in 1900, while Oklahoma was still a territory of the United States, and it is the longest-running college-football rivalry played on a neutral field. Since 2005, the football game has received sponsorship dollars in return for being referred to as the "SBC Red River Rivalry" (changed to AT&T Red River Rivalry in 2006 after SBC merged with AT&T), a move which has been criticized both for its commercialism and its political correctness. The University of Texas holds its annual Torchlight Parade during the week of the Red River Rivalry. In recent years, this rivalry has taken on added significance, since both football programs have been highly ranked and compete in the same division of the Big 12 conference. In 2005, the Dallas Morning News did an opinion poll of the 119 Division 1A football coaches as to the nations top rivalry game in college football. The Texas-OU game was ranked third. The game typically has conference or even national significance. Since 1945, one or both of the two teams has been ranked among the top 25 teams in the nation coming into 60 out of 65 games. Twice Texas has defeated the Sooners a record eight straight times from 1940–1947 and 1958–1965. One of the most significant meetings was in 1963 with Oklahoma ranked No. 1 and Texas ranked No. 2, the game won by Texas 28–7 en route to their first officially recognized national championship. The series has also had its share of games that came down to the wire and comebacks most recently in 2009 when Texas cemented a 16–13 victory in the fourth quarter over OU. The game has also been the result of controversy. The meeting in 1976 was a heated affair as the Oklahoma staff was accused of spying on Texas' practices, a move later confirmed by former OU head coach Barry Switzer. In the 2008 season Texas scored 45 points over then No. 1 Oklahoma for the win, but even with the victory Texas would not go on to the Big 12 Championship game due to BCS rankings. Six of the last ten showings featured one of the participants in the BCS National Championship Game (2000, 2003–2005, 2008, 2009), including national titles won by Oklahoma in 2000 and by Texas in 2005. Texas leads the all-time series 61–44–5, with a 49–39–4 edge in Dallas. Texas also holds a 35–32–3 advantage over Oklahoma in the post-modern era.
Aspects of the rivalry include:
- Series began in 1900 and has been played annually at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas since 1929.
- The winner of the game is presented the Golden Hat Trophy, a tradition since 1941.
- One or both teams has come into the game ranked in the AP Poll 67 of these last 79 years, including every time in the last 16.
- Game has had instances of controversy, including Oklahoma coaches spying on practices.
- Texas leads the all-time series 61-44-5.
- Texas leads the series in Dallas 49-39-4.
- Texas leads 35-32-3 in the post-modern era.
Texas A&M Aggies
The first meeting between the football squads of the University of Texas and Texas A&M was in 1894, a 38–0 win for Texas. In fact, Texas won its first seven games against the Aggies, all of them by shutout. By 1915 Texas held a 15–4–2 advantage against the Aggies. The game was a back and forth affair for the next twenty years as the home team usually took the victory in the game, however Texas still maintained the series lead. In 1940, Texas shutout the Aggies 7–0 and kept them from receiving the Rose Bowl bid that year. From that year forward Texas would go on to win thirty-three of the next thirty-eight games over A&M. It was not until the mid-1980s that A&M developed a win streak over Texas and in the late 1990s and 2000s the rivalry would again go back to Longhorns. The Texas/Texas A&M rivalry has given rise to several stereotypes on both sides: Texas A&M is generally portrayed as the rural smaller school while Texas is portrayed as the urban-wealthy larger school. With the exception of the 1994 game, when A&M's probation restricted the Aggies from being televised, the annual football game with Texas A&M traditionally takes place on Thanksgiving Day or the day after each year. This iconic in-state rivalry is often considered one of the top college rivalries of all time. In July 2011, Texas A&M elected to join the Southeastern Conference beginning in 2012. The move to switch conferences resulted in the ending of the 118-year rivalry game between the two schools. On November 24, 2011, Texas faced Texas A&M in College Station in the final scheduled meeting of the rivalry as of January 2012. Texas defeated Texas A&M 27-25 on a last second field goal to win the final meeting. In an attempt to generate more attention for the rivalry in sports other than football, the two schools created the Lone Star Showdown in 2004. Essentially, each time the two schools meet in a sport, the winner of the matchup gets a point. At the end of the year, the school with the most points wins the series and receives the Lone Star Trophy.
Aspects of the rivalry include:
- Each school mentions the other in its fight song ("and it's goodbye to A&M" in Texas Fight, and the entire second verse of the Aggie War Hymn is about Texas).
- The football series is the third longest running rivalry in all of college football. Next to Baseball and Basketball. Since 1900, the last regular season football game is usually reserved for their matchup.
- Each school has elaborate pre-game preparations for the annual football clash, including the Aggie Bonfire and the Hex Rally
- Texas has a unique lighting scheme for the UT Tower after wins over Texas A&M.
- In the past, mischief has preceded the annual game, such as "kidnapping" Bevo.
- Texas is 76–37–5 all-time against Texas A&M, including 46–20–3 on Thanksgiving Day.
- Texas is 46–13–1 all-time against Texas A&M in Austin.
- Texas is 25–22–2 at Kyle Field in College Station.
Texas Tech Red Raiders
The first meeting between the Texas Longhorns and Texas Tech Matadors (as the team was known until 1937) was in 1928, a 12–0 win for Texas. The teams only faced each other nine times before 1960 with Texas holding an 8-1 record over Tech at the time. From 1960 to 1995, both schools played annually as members of the Southwest Conference. Since 1996, both schools have played as members of the Big 12 Conference. In 1996, the Texas Tech University System was established and the system's first chancellor, John T. Montford, a former member of the Texas State Senate, started the exchange of a traveling trophy between the two universities called the Chancellor's Spurs. The spurs are gold and silver and engraved with Texas Tech's Double T and Texas' interlocking UT logo and were first awarded to Texas after a 38-32 victory over the Red Raiders in Lubbock. Texas leads the all-time series 49–15–0 as of the 2014 season.
Aspects of the rivalry include:
- Both schools have met during the regular season since 1960.
- Texas leads the all-time series over Texas Tech 49-15-0 as of the 2014 season.
- Texas holds the largest win streak over Texas Tech with 8 straight wins from 1958-1966.
- Texas currently holds the win streak over Texas Tech with 6 straight wins since 2009.
- Texas holds the largest win margin over Texas Tech with a 58-7 victory in 1999.
- The winner of the game is awarded the Chancellors Spurs, a tradition since 1996.
Old Southwest Conference rivals, Texas and Arkansas first met in 1894, a 54–0 blowout by Texas. In the days of the Southwest Conference, the game between the two schools usually decided which team would win the conference championship. Overall, Texas won the game about 71% of the time, which led to an incredibly fierce and intense rivalry. The two programs have met 78 times, with Texas holding a decisive 56–22–0 advantage, and have had many big games. The meeting in 1969 is the true Game of the Century commemorating the 100th year of college football, which led to the Longhorns' 1969 national championship. This game still does not sit well with Razorback fans to this day. The game saw Arkansas lead throughout only to have Texas come from behind and win in the final minutes, 15–14. The game also saw former President Richard Nixon attend the game and crown the Longhorns the National Champion in the locker room. Although the 1969 Texas-Arkansas game is also commonly known as The Big Shootout, it has not been played annually since Arkansas's departure from the Southwest Conference to the Southeastern Conference in 1991. However, many Longhorn and Razorback fans still consider this matchup an important rivalry. Texas and Arkansas played in September 2008, with Texas winning, 52–10. Texas and Arkansas also played in the 2014 Texas Bowl, which was won by Arkansas, 31-7. Texas and Arkansas have a scheduled regular season meeting in the 2021 season.
All-time records versus rivals
|Team||Rivalry name||Trophy||Active?||Games played||First meeting||Last meeting||Texas wins||Texas losses||Ties||Win %|
|Arkansas Razorbacks||none||none||No||78||1894||2014 lost 31-7||56||22||0||.718|
|Oklahoma Sooners||Red River Rivalry||Golden Hat
|Yes||110||1900||2015 Won 24-17||61||44||5||.579|
|Texas A&M Aggies||Lone Star Showdown||Lone Star Trophy||No||118||1894||2011 won 27–25||76||37||5||.644|
|Texas Tech Red Raiders||none||Chancellor's Spurs||Yes||65||1928||2014 lost 45-48||49||16||0||.754|
All-time records versus current Big 12 teams
For a more complete list see Texas Longhorns traditions.
The University of Texas is a tradition-rich school, and many of those traditions are associated with athletics events, especially football. Some Longhorn traditions include:
- Bevo – the school mascot, a live Texas longhorn steer present for football games and other special events. It is a common misconception that the mascot's name came from Texas students altering a 13-0 branding a group of Aggies gave the steer. In actuality, Bevo was received his name several months before the Aggies could vandalize the steer in a Texas alumni magazine. His name came from the slang term for a steer that is destined to become food, beeve, and in a common practice for the 00's and 10's, an "O" was added at the end, similar to Groucho or Harpo Marx.
- Big Bertha – Claimed by the University to be the world's largest drum, however Purdue University makes a similar claim about their drum.
- "The Eyes of Texas" – the school song, traditionally led by the Orange Jackets on the football field, sung to the tune of I've Been Working on the Railroad
- Hook 'em Horns – the school hand signal, was introduced at a pep rally in 1955. Sports Illustrated featured the Hook 'em Horns symbol in front of a Texas pennant on the cover of their September 10, 1973 issue (pictured).
- "Texas Fight" – the school fight song
- Texas – Fight! cheer – one side of the stadium yells "Texas!" and then the other side yells "Fight" – this is usually repeated several times
- Script Texas – half-time routine by the Longhorn Band
- Smokey the Cannon – fired in celebration on game day at the moment of kickoff and after Texas scores
- The University of Texas Longhorn Band, nicknamed The Showband of the Southwest
- The World's Largest Texas Flag is run on the field prior to home football games, bowl games, and other sporting events. It is also dropped from the President's Balcony during pep rallies. It is owned by the UT Alpha Rho chapter of Alpha Phi Omega.
- Lighting the Tower (also known as the Main Building) in orange for various types of sporting victories. After National Championship victories, windows are lighted in the main building to display a large number "1".
Future non-conference opponents
Announced schedules as of August 13, 2015
|vs Notre Dame||vs Maryland||at Maryland (Landover, MD)||vs Louisiana Tech||vs USF||at Arkansas||vs Ohio State||at Ohio State||at Michigan||vs USF||vs Michigan|
|vs UTEP||vs UCF||vs USC||vs LSU||at LSU||at USF||vs USF|
|at California||at USC||vs Tulsa|
|16||Jermaine Roberts Jr.||DB||5'9||171||Fr.|
|36||Alex De La Torre||FB||6'1||241||Jr.|
|93||Paul Boyette Jr.||DT||6'2||302||So.|
Current coaching staff
|Charlie Strong||Head Coach||n/a|
|Sterlin Gilbert||Offensive Coordinator||Quarterbacks|
|Matt Mattox||Offensive Line / Running Game Coordinator||Offensive Line|
|Charlie Williams||Assistant Coach||Wide Receivers|
|Vance Bedford||Defensive Coordinator||Defensive Backs|
|Brick Haley||Assistant Coach||Defensive Line|
|Jeff Traylor||Assistant Coach||Tight Ends|
|Brian Jean-Marie||Recruiting Coordinator||Linebackers|
|Anthony Johnson||Assistant Coach||Running Backs|
|Chris Vaughn||Special Teams Coordinator||Defensive Backs|
|Pat Moorer||Head Coach for Strength & Conditioning||Football Operations|
|Marcus Tubbs||Assistant AD||Football Operations|
|Clifford Snow||Director of Football Administration||Football Operations|
|Mike Giglio||Director of Player Personnel||Football Operations|
|Julian Wright||Assistant Director of Player Personnel||Football Operations|
|Ken Rucker||Director of HS Relations and Player Development||Football Operations|
The team has had 28 head coaches since it started playing organized football in 1893; however, they played without a head coach in their first season. Texas was an original member of the Southwest Conference, joining in 1915. The Longhorns became a charter member of the Big 12 in 1996 when the Southwest Conference disbanded. The Longhorns have played in 1,208 games during their 118 seasons. In those seasons, nine coaches have led Texas to postseason bowl games: Dana X. Bible, Blair Cherry, Ed Price, Darrell Royal, Fred Akers, David McWilliams, John Mackovic, Mack Brown and Charlie Strong. Ten coaches have won conference championships with the Longhorns: Berry Whitaker, Clyde Littlefield, Bible, Cherry, Price, Royal, Akers, McWilliams, Mackovic, and Brown. Royal and Brown have also won national championships with Texas.
Royal is the all-time leader in games coached (219), years coached (20) and total wins (167). Frank Crawford has the highest winning percentage of any Longhorn coach after going 5–0 his only year. Of coaches who served more than one season, Whitaker leads with a .865 winning percentage. Jack Chevigny is, in terms of winning percentage, the worst coach the Longhorns have had (.483). Of the 28 Longhorns coaches, Bible and Royal have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Royal and Brown have each received National Coach of the Year honors from at least one organization. The current coach is Charlie Strong, who was hired in January 2014 as Mack Brown announced he would retire after the 2013 season.
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