Make West Texas Football Great Again
In the Wild West of college football, an opportunity for Texas Tech and Angelo State
When my parents moved from the Corpus area to San Angelo for grad school, they were surprised one late summer day by this guy with huge thighs wearing Houston Oilers gear. They later found out that they had walked by a running back named Earl Campbell and that the Oilers held training camp at Angelo State. It was weird but cool that an NFL team was in the tiny town of San Angelo (birthplace of Gregg Maddux), among others. He used to watch practices from his dorm balcony.
While they went to hold camps at different places, they still had training camps in a city 7 hours away. Unrelatedly, I find it interesting that the Cowboys also held their training camp at my alma mater, Trinity, in 1992. That made the spectacle of seeing a training camp practice at the Alamodome in 2008 eccentric, given that thousands of fans there would cheer loudly for the cowboys anytime someone would catch a touchdown. You can see in HBO’s Hard Knocks from the 2003 season that coaches seemed frustrated while the owner seemed thrilled with the loud noise.
That spectacle brings me back to west Texas, specifically in San Angelo and Lubbock. In recent college history, there has been a significant matter of what ifs. What if Texas and four others went to the PAC 12? What if Texas and A&M formed a LoneStar Network?
Now with a comparatively balanced Big 12 up for grabs, it seems like the school has gone all in on football as it has with basketball.
In the same way, I think their sister school in San Angelo should also act aggressively. In 2013, Abilene Christian had to go through a four-year process to be admitted into the Southland Conference. In contrast, Tarleton State just joined the WAC in a much quicker time.
At this moment, when people are hurting in this area, I think Angelo should be bold in jumping up as well. While having significantly less money, they even beat ACU in 2020. Since I’ve last been in the city for the first extended time in a while, I’m amazed at how much the campus has improved. Unlike other schools in the Permian basin, San Angelo’s economy isn’t dependent on oil. There’s an Air Force base and large college along with other unique features. Time and time again, teams in professional leagues have been aggressive. It’s time for West Texas to make an entrance on a grand stage.
Below are some videos of why San Angelo is an incredible town that would be passionate about the local team if the university pursued it.