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ClipsRoadTripTexas: Many miles, many schools, many people

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The ClipsEd drove 1,200 miles in a woefully underpowered Hyundai for nine days in Texas, visiting 8 schools, 7 football stadiums and a dozen Chick-fil-A's (for Frosted Lemonade). 

By Nick Infante, Clips Editor, 10-25-15


The Clips MotherShip is as comfy and cozy as anywhere there is, but there are times (usually once a month) when I need to actually get out there and mingle with Clips subscribers. But it's a big country and Clips has grown to include several hundred schools, conferences, bowls, associations, etc. in 49 states, so it's hard to pick where to go and who to see. But that's a good problem.

Last week I took one of the longest, and one of the best, ClipsRoadTrips ever. "Best" being determined in this context as quality time with subscribers, game attendance, facility tours, campus tours and other proprietary intangibles.

I am very pleased that my subscribers'™ familiarity with Clips service (and me) has increased markedly.  And why not?  Clips is now 11 years old.  Therefore the welcoming factor for road trips has improved nicely. That's only natural; you put your time in, you listen, you talk, you listen some more, you follow up (and I have done all these things since Day One), you tweak the Clips service to appeal to the greatest number of readers, and "eventually”you become a more welcome visitor at many places.  

Don't get me wrong, it's not like athletic departments and conferences are sending me first-class air tickets and vouchers for 5-star hotels to come visit them. But, now that many of them have gotten to know me (and Clips) for several years, the welcomes and invitations have become more frequent and more, ah, competitive. On some trips my hosts have even competed with one another, trying to make me feel like more of a VIP than the next guy.   I rather enjoy the attention.

Last week's trip had its genesis when I realized that there was a yawning void in the ClipsRoadTrip rotation.  That void was the great state of Texas.  I put some feelers out to several Texan ADs, got the green light of welcome, and planned the trip.  

Being that Texas is so big and that I would not have access to a Gulfstream 5, I needed to plot out a workable itinerary that would not have me driving 350 miles a day for eight straight days.  


A pair of big football games

The trip was bracketed by two big football games.  The first was a Big 12 game on Saturday Oct. 10 at the neutral site Cotton Bowl, in which then-struggling Texas (1-4) took on then-cruising Oklahoma (4-0).   The second game was a week later at the magnificent, newly renovated Kyle Field at Texas A&M, where the TAMU (5-0, and ranked 9th in the country) hosted Alabama (5-1, and ranked 10th in the country).

The Texas-Oklahoma game is a 115-year rivalry that was known as the Red River Shootout for one hundred years.  Then "in a gesture to avoid condoning gun violence” it was changed to the rather wimpy-sounding Red River Rivalry in 2000.  Last year it became the Red River Showdown, er, the AT&T Red River Showdown.

The game is held on the second Saturday in October at the 85-year old Cotton Bowl, which is situated in Dallas in the middle of the State Fair of Texas, half-way between the two campuses.  The tickets are divided 50-50 between the two schools, and they are separated at the 50-yard line.  It is quite a sight to look down from the upper level press box upon the half red, half burnt orange assemblage of 92 thou.

The game itself was hotly contested, but the Longhorns were clearly playing above themselves.  This was a formerly bedraggled team that refused to be tromped on again.  Meanwhile, Oklahoma was in the wrong stadium against the wrong opponent on the wrong day, and Texas won the game 24-17 (but it seemed more like 30-10).  For taking his team to a 2-4 record Texas coach Charlie Strong was given the Gatorade dousing treatment and hoisted onto the shoulders of his jubilant players.  It was like they won a championship (and I guess they did, the Red River Showdown championship).

I wandered outside after the game and came across thousands of red-clad Oklahoma fans waiting patiently to catch a glimpse (and to wave their support) to the buses containing their team.  This was a nice touch.

And now, a few words about the bands.  They were both superb, and ranked right up there with any I've seen/heard.   The OK drum major (below) was especially good, he seemed triple-jointed.  members of each band conjugated before the game (below) and sang a song together (the Texas band members are the ones with the white cowboy hats).

Inexplicably, the Red River Showdown is held during the 24-day long State Fair of Texas, which draws some 2.7 million people in total.  With upwards of a quarter million football fans and fair goers coming and going simultaneously, your ClipsEd's egress (that's a fancy word for "departure" that I picked up from my pal Russ Simons of Venue Solutions Group) was torture.  

It's not like this glut of cars is a new phenomenon to the Dallas police, the State Fair and Red River Showdown have happened on the same day for dozens of years.  For the first few blocks away from the Fair the police had converted wide 2-way streets into really wide 1-way streets, so thousands of exiting cars got at least a few blocks away from the fairgrounds.  But then, all of a sudden there were no more police and no more one-way streets and it was every car for itself.  Chaos reigned.

What took five minutes to get in was 45 minutes to get out, and there were a lot of cranky people, myself included.  That's what happens when you add 92,000 football fans to about 150,000 fair goers.  Note to Cotton Bowl officials: please stage the Showdown before or after the 24-day fair.

So I was annoyed, hungry and thirsty, and on my way back to my hotel I stopped in to a Chick-fil-A for my first-ever Frosted Lemonade, which is a delicious sweet and tart concoction blended into a smoothie composition.  I had heard of Frosted Lemonades, but I never saw a Chick-fil-A in NJ-NY-CT.  I ended up downing one or two a day for my eight days of criss-crossing the sate.  A new taste treat added to my burgeoning list.

The next day (Sunday) was supposed to be sight-seeing (George Bush Library at SMU and the John Kennedy assassination memorial) but there was too much Clips stuff to do.  So I hunkered down in my hotel room, churning out the weekly Clips Update.  After all, keeping Clips subscribers up to date trumps museum visits.


The Monday whirlwind: starting with the CFP and SMU

Unfortunately I had botched my scheduling with Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the College Football Playoff (hereafter referred to as CFP), but he was nice enough to juggle things around and he invited me to come in at 8:30 am.  My hotel was about 25 miles away, and I was unfamiliar with the Monday morning commute into downtown Dallas (the CFP is actually situated in Irving, which was on the way to Dallas from my hotel), so I prepped for the worse and left my hotel at 6.   Natch, I got there early, really early, like 6:45.  

While searching for a local coffee joint to kill some time I happened upon the Big 12 headquarters building.  It was still dark and  and I drove into the parking lot "don't know why”and when I turned my car around I was startled to see a big dark grey cat walking along the top of a white XII sign.  Go figure.  Maybe the Big 12 has a "house cat?" 

Fortunately I stumbled across the Corner Bakery Cafe, another chain that does not exist in the Northeast.  It was really good, similar to Panera (a Northeast chain).  I emailed Bill and asked if I could buy him a coffee early, but it turned out he was already in the office doing paperwork and he asked me to come at the scheduled 8:30.

I entered the CFP offices at the appointed time and was warmly greeted by Bill.  He took me on a quick tour to introduce me to the staff (which would not be so tough because they have only about 20 people there).  Being that it was early on a Monday morning, about a dozen of the staff members were congregated in the spacious kitchen area, downing coffee, juice and various pastries.  

Is there a more gracious and accommodating person in college athletics than Bill Hancock?  I don't think so.  After Bill introduced me one-by-one to the gathered ten or so, he asked me to describe the College Athletics Clips service to them.  

Thereupon Bill and I retired to his office and we expeditiously and efficiently dissected all the issues in college football and college athletics in general.  Unfortunately, I cannot divulge the exact topics and subtopics, but suffice it to say that Bill and I have everything figured out, and all people have to do is just ask us. 

From there I was off to SMU, and I found that traffic was pretty heavy, so I traveled via a surface street—Hillcrest Avenue—that looked nondescript on the Google map, but it turned out to be one of most impressive stretches of residential real estate that I have ever seen.  It was one stone castle after the other, all bunched together without the expansive multi-acres that usually surround palaces like these.

After about three miles I got to SMU, which is located in a very nice section of Dallas adjacent to Hillcrest mentioned above.   At SMU I bumped into Sr. Associate ADs Tom Buning, Matt Roberts and Kurt Plottkotter.  Then I sat with AD Rick Hart for about 45 minutes, and we talked about the sun, the moon, leadership, hiring coaches and other intricacies associated with being a D1 AD.  

ClipsEd w SMU AD Rick Hart

While talking with Rick, I was impressed to hear such wisdom coming from a relatively young man, but that was strikingly similar to what I have heard from/about other young, 40-ish D1 ADs.  This new breed generally has learned very well from ADs who have preceded them, and they have added their own management/tech/marketing/fan behavior savvy, and they have very bright futures ahead of them. 


At North Texas the Infante light bulb went off

After SMU I headed up I-35 north for 40 miles to the University of North Texas, located in Denton.  I was warmly greeted by veteran AD Mike Villarreal, a dozen-year veteran as NT AD.  Mike has been a loyal Clips subscriber for ten years now, seven when he was part of a group subscription purchased by the Sun Belt Conference.  For the past three years Mike has purchased group subscriptions for himself and grateful staffers.

I had only met Mike briefly once—at a NACDA convention in 2007 or so—and I looked forward to getting to know him.  We hit it off pretty good; both of us talking (and listening) over each other and skittering around with a wide variety of college sports topics.

UNT is where the lightbulb first went on for me; that football is de rigueur in Texas.  For non-French speakers, de rigueur means "strictly required.”  The lightbulb went off while Mike proudly took me up and down and around and through the 4-year old Apogee Stadium, a beautiful 30,000-plus stadium built with all the amenities.  Note the unusual double pointed seating in one of the end zones below.

It dawned on me that Apogee Stadium was not much smaller than Rutgers’ High Point Stadium (which is the closest "big” stadium to the Clips MotherShip).  And Rutgers is in the Big Ten (this is not to denigrate Rutgers, I mention this only to provide a thudding example of the high regard that Texans have for football).

As big and nice as Apogee Stadium is, there are quite a few stadiums in Texas that are bigger and/or nicer: at Texas A&M, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, Baylor, SMU, UT-San Antonio, Houston and Rice, for example.  Not to mention peer schools/stadiums at Texas State, UTA, Texas Southern, etc.   And there are dozens of D2, D3 and juco stadiums; and hundreds (thousands?) of high school stadiums in Texas as well.

Texas is a huge state, and it is a huge football state.  Duh, I finally got it.

Mike Villarreal was a football coach/recruiter for the first decade or so of his career, and he enlightened me to the quality and quantity of home -grown football talent.  He described the very credible recruiting tactics for non Big 5 schools wherein they often point out the reality to very good players (who would be third-stringers on Big 5 teams) that they would be better off starting at a non-Big 5 school (i.e.-AAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt).  Duh, another light bulb.

Sufficiently wowed and enlightened, I bade farewell to Mike and headed back down I-35 bound TCU in Fort Worth for my fourth appointed stop of the day.


A few words about flyovers, highway construction and Texas driving

I ended up driving a total of 1,200 miles during my trip, and almost all of that was via interstates.  And most of that was on I-35, which is a north-south that starts in San Antonio (and points south) then up to Dallas (and on into Oklahoma and up-up-up north to its terminus in Duluth, Minnesota . . . hello Josh).

In my nine days I went back and forth on several sections of a 320-mile portion of I-35 between Denton and San Antonio, and I estimate that almost half of that is undergoing some kind of rebuilding or remedial work.  Never have I seen so many construction workers, cranes, bulldozers, huge piles of dirt, orange cones, etc.

What they are putting up is a new kind of highway.  Gone will be the 50s vintage cloverleaf exchanges, and in will come an imposing collection of tall overpasses, known in the trade as "flyovers.”  I have seen these in California and other states, but very seldom in the Northeast. 

The flyover pictures above do not do justice to the awesome length and height of these ambitious (and expensive?) structures.  Plus I don’t know the wage scales and actual numbers of construction workers, but I saw thousands of them at hundreds of different sites on the I-35 corridor.  There’s a lot of money being spent there.   When they are "finished” (are they ever truly finished?), what will those construction workers do? 


TCU: Experiencing the Del Conte Whirlwind

After a two hour drive from UNT, I got off at the exit for TCU, stopped at a Chick-fil-A for a Frosted Lemonade (natch), chugged it down, spilled some of the sticky goo onto my shirt, changed into another shirt and made my way to the TCU athletics complex, looking for the dapper and loquacious Chris Del Conte.

Chris is another Clips "long-timer;” I have known him almost from my start, when he was Sr. Associate AD at U-Arizona, and one of my earliest advisors—UA AD Jim Livengood—intro’d Chris to me.  Those of us who know Chris—or even have just heard him speak—know that he is one of the fastest talking, fastest thinking and funniest people that there is.  The man is also a sage beyond his relatively young years. 

As I headed for Chris’ office I saw a name on a door that I know well: Gretchen Bouton, whom I have know for a few years.   Dummy that I can be, I kinda sorta, um, forgot that she had moved over to TCU about a year ago, and I kinda sorta, ah, forgot to tell her that I might be stopping in for a visit.  Gretchen is another fast talking, fast thinking person, and I popped into her office.  She looked up, she seemed to recognize me, but it didn’t seem to register.  I love surprising people.  Gretchen is one of those Sr. Associate ADs who seems to oversee everything but development, finance and IT.  Good for her, I have trouble focusing on just one thing.

Gretchen and I walked down to Chris’ office; he was tied up but it was good to meet Monica Ray, his admin extraordinaire.  That "extraordinaire” tag is something I designate for admins who are specially tasked for keeping the AD office humming.  Monica does a lotta stuff there, and that’s part of why Chris can do as much as he does. 

Those of you who know me know that I can be a fast talker and fast thinker myself, but when I sat in one of the cushy chairs in Chris’ meticulous office I had already put in an 11-hour, 300-mile day.  But Chris graciously took it easy on me (he talked at half speed) and we covered some juicy topics (the NCAA of the future, the next round of realignment, hiring/firing, AD stuff, etc.).  I wish I wasn't so driver-tired and had more time with him.  Chris gave me a walking tour of their great facilities, and I was on the road again for what ended up being the highest mileage day of all.

ClipsEd at TCU Stadium . . . 


It is 190 miles from Fort Worth to Austin, where my next hotel room was waiting for me, and I struggled to make the distance on the perpetually under construction I-35.  I stumbled in to my room at 11:30, and put a long long day behind me.  


If it’s Tuesday it must be Austin and San Marcos

I had never been to Austin or UT before, and I very much liked what I saw in a short drive around in the morning.  I was early (for a change) and waited for lunch with Texas Sr. Associate AD Nick Voinis, who I have known for several years.  I was meeting Nick at the University Club of Texas, a posh membership-only restaurant located on the sixth and seventh floor of Darrell-Royal Stadium. 

I was sitting at the bar waiting for Nick; it was 11:30, I was thirsty, and there were several Texas beers in the glass back bar cooler.  I thought about having a morning beer (Shiner Bock looked good), but this was business so I opted for what ended up being three diet Cokes. 

It was quite a genteel and well-dressed crowd that filled up the 200-seat or so club, and Nick knew—and intro’d me to—several people.  Pretty cool place to have lunch.  Thanks Nick.

I don’t think there are more Longhorn insignias in one place than in the Executive Club:

I had hoped to say a quick hello to Texas Interim AD Mike Perrin, but, alas, it was not to be.  Nick took me on a walking tour of Darrell Royal Stadium, then an auto tour of most of the rest of the expansive Texas athletics facilities.  Part of that included the part (a large part) of the campus that juts into the Austin city streets.  UT is more of a city campus than I had thought.

ClipsEd in front of Darrell Royal; stainless steel BEVO outline inlaid into Texas marble

After UT I doubled back up I-35 to San Marcos, home of Texas State University, a relatively new member of the Sun Belt Conference.  Similar to UNT, Texas State has a very impressive football facility: Bobcat Stadium.  (The ClipsCamera was not operational during my Texas State visit, so these are stock photos below).

My "tour guide” at Texas State was Sr. Associate AD/SWA Tracy Shoemake, a native Texan from nearby New Braunfels.  Tracy had been very understanding of my jumbled travel schedule, and she graciously told me I could show up whenever I showed up, which was very well appreciated by this now-haggard Clips traveler.  Tracy intro’d me to her colleagues Travis Comer (Assoc. AD-Development) and Rick Poulter (SID) and we had a pleasant conversation (especially pleasant since I was not in a moving car).   Unfortunately Texas State AD Larry Teis was in a meeting with the president, so I was unable to say hello to him.

Tracy showed me around their impressive facilities, and the Texas football phenomenon continued to swirl in my head.  Come to find out, when Tracy graduated from the University of Texas she migrated to Boston, where she worked for seven years at the America East Conference.  Small world.

After Texas State, it was back into the ClipsMobile and—thankfully—just an hour drive south to San Antonio.


Hump Wednesday: a slower pace

I was able to catch up on Clips administrative duties in the morning and met UTSA AD Lynn Hickey and her new-hire Kellie Elliott (Sr. Associate AD) and Alamo Bowl Executive Director Derrick Fox for lunch at a restaurant not far from the UTSA campus.

Derrick and I showed up early and we had a nice conversation.  He is another 10-year Clips subscriber who I had never met before, but we had talked on the phone and exchanged many emails through the years.  It is always nice to meet people after you already "know" them.

A pleasant, leisurely lunch ensued when Lynn and Kelly arrived.  I had met Lynn many times, but not Kellie (who used to be part of a Clips group subscription when she was at Florida State a few years back).  Kellie had just gotten hired into UTSA a couple weeks ago.  Lynn has good hiring acumen.

The topics?  Well, when there’s a leisurely lunch, when there’s beer, when there’s coffee, when there are multiple desserts, well, you can cover a lot of ground.  And we covered it all: Big 5, Group of 5, NCAA, CFP, COA, etc.  We even strayed over into topics like the presidential election, the plight of polar bears and I-35 re-construction.  I wanted to ask Lynn about her stellar coaching stint at Texas A&M , but Derrick was on a roll and I did not want to interrupt him.


My first Texas Toll Road

Like Derrick Fox above, D3 Southwestern University AD Glada Munt has been a Clips subscriber since Year One, and I had never met her.  Glada suggested that I take a toll road that goes pretty much from San Antonio to Georgetown (where SU is located).  What’s this?  A chance to bypass the dusty, gnarly, bumpy I-35?  You betcha, I jumped on it and it was the most pleasant leg of the twenty or so legs of my entire journey.

Southwestern University, what a very nice school and what a pleasant golf cart tour that Glada took me on.  Very nice facilities.  Glada started in 1975 as the school’s women’s volleyball and tennis coach, and the rest has been history. 

And next, your ClipsEd took some R&R when I met my nephew Eben Infante, his wife Krista and their darling son Auggie (short for Augustine) for lunch in Austin.  Eben, Krista and Auggie recently moved from Ohio to Texas.


Last stop: College Station

From San Antonio to College Station (home of Texas A&M) is 106 miles, and thankfully none of it is via I-35.  After a good night’s sleep I met Skip Wagner for breakfast at the Blue Baker at 7, but I was a no show because I went to the wrong Blue Baker (there are two).  Skip called me and drove the 10 minutes to the "other” Blue Baker to find me.  

Skip is the President of the famed 12th Man Foundation, which is the fundraising arm that supports Texas A&M athletics, and he has been a Clips subscriber for two years.  Given that Texas A&M's stadium has undergone a $450 million renovation project, Skip and his organization have been integral to the process.

I have talked with dozens of development people and they are generally Type AA go-getters.  To me, Skip came off as a go-getter, yes, but not a Type A.  The next day, I saw him "in action" on the field about an hour before kick-off, talking in the impossible loudness with some guy who I imagined was a billionaire.  I wish I had more time with Skip.

Like any big school on the day before a home game against a big opponent (Alabama would be Saturday’s opponent) there was obvious excitement, bustle and, um, partying in the air.   

I managed to circle the athletics office thrice before finally finding my way, and when I pulled into the parking lot I came across deputy AD Marcy Girton and Sr. Associate AD/SWA Samantha Huge.  They "escorted" me up to the third floor office and I talked with them for a while.  Just like I expected, they were friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable.

Then I spent an hour with AD Eric Hyman, who I had previously spoken to only briefly at NACDA conventions.  We had what I thought was a good back-and-forth discussion, and I guess maybe he thought so too, because he didn't kick me out.  I was struck by Eric’s totally relaxed demeanor that Eric.  As with others I had spoken with that week, Eric and I covered many of the topics mentioned above about the present and future of big-time college sports. 

He was quite proud of what they had done with the Kyle Field renovation, and he thanked me for coming down.  So it all went well with my visit with Eric except when I trotted out my lame story about how I met Nick Saban and said to the famous coach, "Hey Nick! My name's Nick too!"  I think maybe I will shelve that story for the ages.  Eric, you might be the last one who had to endure it.

I left my car in the athletics department lot and roamed around and made my way to a big field next to the stadium where the SEC Nation crew had set up their three (or four?) semi's, their bus, the scaffolding, the stages, the lights, etc.

I had failed to let anyone know I was coming, so I pressed up against a fence and called out to Paul Finebaum when he was on a break, hoping that he would remember me.  Amazing, he did, and he asked one of his crew to get me a media credential to get in the SEC Nation inner sanctum.  Thanks Paul.

Next I made my way to the Facilities department to seek out Kevin Hurley, the Sr. Associate AD for Facilities and Construction.  Kevin had kindly invited me to come down to see all that they had done ("they” being Kevin and his TAMU colleagues, plus the 12th Man people, plus Populous, plus my aforementioned pal Russ Simons of Venue Solutions Group, plus I'm sure dozens of other partners and vendors and consultants on this and that and a gazillion other things).

I expected that Kevin might be a mite bit anxious and/or distracted and that maybe he might be too busy to give me the deluxe tour.  However, that was emphatically not the case.   Kevin was as cool as a cat, and he insisted on showing me around.  I could tell he was proud of what they had done, and he wanted to show me. 

Fortunately I bumped into James Gibson, who I've known for several years and he showed me around part of the stadium to relieve the pressure from Kevin.  James is involved in business and financial operations, which is every bit as important as the bricks and mortar.  Gotta pay for all that, right?

Kevin joined us midstream and showed me the expansive premium seating areas.  I can't remember all the names of all the levels and the dollar amounts, but I came away with the sense that premium seating for a thousand people would generate as much revenue as it would for five thousand or so "regular" season ticket holders.

I split up with Kevin and James and roamed around the campus.  The afternoon-before-the-game "tailgating" was building up in numbers and intensity.  "Tailgating" is written with quotation marks because tailgating at many stadiums implies that the dining, drinking and socializing are done off of, or next to, the tailgate of a vehicle.  That is the case at places like Clemson, Yale Bowl, Ohio State, Rutgers, Ole Miss, etc., where the majority of "tailgaters" are doing so right next to their vehicle on a grass field or a parking lot.  At Texas A&M however, the "tailgating" is done distant from vehicles, like Ole Miss' Grove, but on a much bigger scale.

Clips Ed atop Kyle Field

On Friday night, Russ Simons and I drove some 20 miles out of College Station to a town called Navasota to a "real" Texas steakhouse.  We were clearly the only non-Texans (the only ones not wearing cowboy boots) and the steaks were listed in 12 oz, 24 oz, 48 oz and 72 oz sizes.

The next morning was game day and it was amazing to see all the staff herding in over a hundred thousand spectators in such an orderly fashion.  Everything went very well, except that the Aggies ran into an Alabama buzz saw and got beat rather soundly.  Oh well.

Coming soon: A Clips posting dedicated exclusively to Kyle Field.  . . . in an email inbox close to you.

The ClipsRoadTripTexas came to a crashing halt the next morning when the iPhone alarm chimed at 4:30am and I made my way to the Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.


*       *       *       *       *       *


Addenda . . . . 

As I strapped myself into the seat for the ride back north to the Newark airport, I lapsed into a philosophic muse about all I had learned and observed during my trip . . . . .  

TEXAS IS HUGE . . . . .  How huge?  Well, it's 819.9 miles to drive across Texas from east to west.  But if one were to drive from Kennebunkport, Maine to Oxford, North Carolina, that would be only 750 miles, and one would drive through parts of twelve states. 



As in all things Clips-related, there's always room for nuggets of sociological, historical and political-economic factoids that somehow relate to intercollegiate athletics.  Let us frame that environment.

Texas is football-crazy . . . . .

Buttressed by annual flow of in-state recruiting riches, spurred on by their fans' fervent passions and both inspired and cowered by fans' outsized expectations, I could not think of a reason why Texas would ever lose its top-of-the-heap football dominance over any other state . . . no matter what realignment, NCAA rules or media payouts might bring.

*       *       *       *       *       *

In a paragraph, here's the Clips executive summary style socio-historical-political recap of/for the dominance of Texas football. In the signature 70s/80s/90s Herb Caen, SF Chronicle three-dot punctuation style, here goes: There was a vast inland sea, then dinosaurs and crocodiles and warthogs . . .  American Indians migrated into North and South America . . . Europeans came, Indians and buffalo almost became extinct . . .  Then cotton, tobacco, plantations, slavery, a civil war . . .  Rutgers vs. Princeton football in 1869 . . .  football sweeps Texas; baseball and basketball are afterthoughts, hockey is unknown . . .  the NCAA, WW1, the beginnings of pro football . . .  Red River Shootout, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M rivalries, Doak Walker, SMU, Southwest and Big 12 championships . . . Friday Night Lights . . . America's team...


After all, the Texas is to college football as California is to surfing, or Germany is to beer.  So Texas was most definitely a great ClipsRoadTrip destination.


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