Texas opens its 2016 season in a primetime, exclusive affair with Notre Dame on the Sunday night before Labor Day. It'll be big because it's Texas and Notre Dame, Nos. 2 and 3 in all-time FBS wins, two bluest of bluebloods meeting in Austin for just the fifth time ever and second time since the Korean War. It'll be even bigger since there will be nothing else on -- a nation starved for football, all served the exact same dish.
With that in mind, Texas's pre-season hype video opens on the perfect note:
"This is what you signed on for," Charlie Strong shouts to his team off camera. "You've got the spotlight tonight. You have a national audience tonight. What more do you want? You've got your teammate next to you. You've got a guy who's battled with (you), who has seen you battle each and every day. We're all in it together, guys. That's all we have. So when we're out there in that ballpark, they're always yelling for us. It's all about the University of Texas."
Strong is 11-14 in two seasons at Texas and, after opening with Notre Dame and a gimme with UTEP a week later, faces California and Oklahoma State on the road, then meets Oklahoma in Dallas. Then the Longhorns get Iowa State, a team that completely flattened them on Halloween night in Ames a year ago and nearly won in Austin in 2014. That's followed by a trip to Kansas State; Texas has lost four in a row in Manhattan and hasn't come within 18 points of the Wildcats in a full decade. Next comes Baylor, winners of two of the last three in Austin, followed by Texas Tech and West Virginia, both of whom best Texas in 2015. After another their second of two layups -- this one comes in red and blue and dresses like a Jayhawk -- Texas closes with TCU on Thanksgiving night, who has ripped Strong's teams apart to the tune of a cumulative 98-17 score.
So, yes, it's a challenging schedule, one that will ask the Longhorns to do two things they've yet to do under Strong: start fast (Texas is 4-8 before Oct. 15 under Strong) and win on the road (Texas went 1-4 in opponents' stadiums last season, and the losses came by an average score of 38-7).
This video is a nice start.