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What has happened to Texas?
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Owl Grad and Dad Offline
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Post: #41
RE: What has happened to Texas?
A lot of hate in this thread. My feelings about UT have changed from my playing days. Since I had a daughter who was a 4 time all American and prospered because of UT my outlook has changed. While I agree there are many entitled fans there are far more really good people who love the university. With a grandson in mechanical engineering in his sophomore year I am even more attached.

While UT football is not even close to elite, check out the other sports. Rice can not even dream of that success. It’s actually fun to follow winning programs and a school that WANTS TO SUCCEED. Hoot ‘‘em and Hook ‘em.
11-27-2021 11:11 AM
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Owl 69/70/75 Online
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Post: #42
RE: What has happened to Texas?
(11-27-2021 11:11 AM)Owl Grad and Dad Wrote:  A lot of hate in this thread. My feelings about UT have changed from my playing days. Since I had a daughter who was a 4 time all American and prospered because of UT my outlook has changed. While I agree there are many entitled fans there are far more really good people who love the university. With a grandson in mechanical engineering in his sophomore year I am even more attached.
While UT football is not even close to elite, check out the other sports. Rice can not even dream of that success. It’s actually fun to follow winning programs and a school that WANTS TO SUCCEED. Hoot ‘‘em and Hook ‘em.

My freshman year, Rice beat TexasU in Austin. That made the series record over the last 32 years to that point 16-15-1, in favor of Rice, including over the last 13 years 6-6-1. At that point Rice had more wins against TexasU than anybody else, more than OU, more than aTm, more than anybody else.

TexasU wanted to succeed, Rice didn't. You pretty well nailed it. A couple of points about that.

One, a lot of Rice people blame Rice president Kenneth Pitzer for running off Jess Neely and starting the decline. But Pitzer left Rice to go to Stanford, at about the same time that Stanford decided to succeed--and did with Rose Bowl wins in 1971 and 1972, and eventually an overall athletic program that is regularly regarded as one of the best 2 or 3 in the country. Hard to believe that Pitzer would have been so hell bent on destroying Rice athletics and then gone on to lead Stanford on a path that led them to the top. I think it's called money, and I think Stanford had several wealthy alumni who a) wanted to support athletics in a big way, and b) were encouraged, not discouraged, to do so by the university.

Two, the one move that I think set Rice off on the absolute worst possible foot was replacing Neely with Bo Hagan. The Rice program at that time was still highly enough regarded to attract the interest of several highly-regarded coaching talents, including Ray Graves from Florida of the SEC, and Tommy Prothro from #2 UCLA. Prothro is the one that has always interested me. Why would he leave a loaded team at UCLA to come to Rice? Simple, no matter what he did with UCLA football, he would never climb out of the very long shadow cast by John Wooden and basketball. Also, he had built the UCLA program largely with recruits out of the Beaumont-Port Arthur-Orange area who were not welcome in the still-segregated SWC. He would almost certainly have opened that pipeline into Rice and would have put Rice near the front (not at the front, SMU and UH were ahead of us) of the move to integrate SWC athletics. Under Prothro, Rice would have had a legitimate shot at attracting a frankly amazing amount of talent. Prothro would also have fit pretty well with the Rice culture--Duke graduate, truly world-class bridge player (just imagine Coach Prothro and Doc C sitting down for a few hands). The downside is that Prothro was not the easiest person to get along with--kind of a Todd Graham without the sleaze. He would probably have gone to the Oilers in about 4 years (just as he did to the Chargers in the real world), but by then he would almost certainly have built a program at Rice that could sustain.

Rice has nobody to blame but Rice for its current situation.
(This post was last modified: 11-27-2021 12:44 PM by Owl 69/70/75.)
11-27-2021 11:49 AM
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Owl Grad and Dad Offline
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Post: #43
RE: What has happened to Texas?
I completely agree. By the way, my most cherished memories of Rice are sitting down after dinner and playing bridge with Doc C. What a treat. I cannot count how often we did that over 4 years.
11-27-2021 01:06 PM
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