Texas coach Charlie Strong leaves the field after losing to Kansas in overtime in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Kansas beat Texas 24-21. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Year end review: 10 most-read stories on Hookem.com in 2016

Posted January 3rd, 2017

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What a wild year it was for Texas athletics.

We already showed you what we thought were the biggest stories of 2016, but we thought it would be fun to look back and see which stories generated the most attention with our readers. Here are the stories that resonated with you, our readers, throughout a wacky year.

10. Kirk Herbstreit calls Austin a ‘cesspool’

Saturdays were full of surprises this year. On Oct. 8, as Longhorns fans were getting ready for the Red River Rivalry, ESPN college football commentator Kirk Herbstreit gave his brutally honest opinion on the state of Texas football. And then, you gave your brutally honest opinions on Herbstreit.

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9. Texas fans react to crazy ending of Cal game

This feels like so long ago, doesn’t it? The Longhorns went into their first road game of the season ranked No. 11, but a wild second half went the wrong way and Cal running back Vic Enwere put on the finishing touches with a long touchdown run. Except… Enwere dropped the ball before he scored. Cameras caught the blunder and replay officials overturned the score, but they inexplicably gave the ball back to Cal despite Texas safety Dylan Haines picking up the ball.

The reactions. Oh, the reactions. Little did you know it was only the beginning.

8. Jordan Shipley finds his true passion (… or not)

Priceless.

7. Big 12 deal may be brewing between UT, Houston

The bizarre saga of Big 12 expansion just kept getting weirder all the way up until the conference decided not to expand in October. But the strangest chapter of them all might have been when politics and big-time college athletics butted heads back in July. After several Texas politicians — including Gov. Greg Abbott — tweeted support for the University of Houston joining the Big 12, some Houston supporters indicated they would “consider dropping their opposition to the University of Texas’ expansion in Houston in exchange for a deal that allows the Cougars to join the Big 12 Conference.”

6. A Charlie Strong eulogy from Matthew McConaughey

Don’t worry, we’ll get to Charlie. But if McConaughey doesn’t win any awards for his acting performances this year, he deserves one for the impassioned, impromptu speech he delivered when stopped by a Fox7 Austin reporter in November. Somehow, he found the perfect way to capture the feelings of wounded Longhorns fans counting the days until Strong’s inevitable firing.

5. Open mic catches what West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen really thinks of Texas

Dana blew his horn, all right. After nearly blowing a fuse several times during his team’s win over Texas, West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen found himself next to a hot microphone at Royal-Memorial Stadium. He let it fly.

4. Marvin Wilson, top recruit in Texas, talks Charlie Strong ahead of visit

He wasn’t lying. Wilson, the top defensive tackle recruit in the Class of 2017, released his top five schools on Dec. 27. Texas, previously considered one of the favorites, was nowhere to be found. Strong’s new team, South Florida, previously not even in Wilson’s top 10, made the list.

3. Chris Simms: Major Applewhite ‘treated me like crap’ at Texas

Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, left, is a happy camper on the sidelines with backup Chris Simms, right, after Simms made a fourth quarter appearance for a TD pass against Stanford. Taylor Jones/American-Statesman contributor
Texas quarterback Major Applewhite, left, is a happy camper on the sidelines with backup Chris Simms, right, after Simms made a fourth quarter appearance for a TD pass against Stanford. Taylor Jones/American-Statesman contributor

“He tried to kind of make up at the end, but I couldn’t get (past) the first year and a half or two where he kind of treated me like crap,” Simms said during an interview with CBS Sports in December, after Applewhite got the head coaching job at Houston. “Of course, everybody on the team was telling me things he was saying behind my back.”

2. Texas players threaten boycott of TCU game

After the Longhorns lost at Kansas and reports came out that the decision had been made to fire Charlie Strong (we’ll get there), a source told Austin American-Statesman columnist Kirk Bohls that Texas players were threatening to boycott the season finale against TCU. Senior wide receiver Jacorey Warrick later confirmed that as true, but said, “coach Strong was not going to let us boycott that game.”

1. Source: Texas officials have decided to fire Charlie Strong

Texas coach Charlie Strong leaves the field after losing to Kansas in overtime in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Kansas beat Texas 24-21. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Texas coach Charlie Strong leaves the field after losing to Kansas in overtime in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Kansas beat Texas 24-21. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

No surprise here. The story of the year, bar none.

However, there is one surprising thing about this list. No Bevo?!

Even after he made his debut, celebrated a win over Notre Dame, took in his first Red River Showdown, sent flowers to Mike the Tiger, played a role in the greatest Halloween costume ever and the greatest Christmas song ever, and celebrated 100 years, Bevo still couldn’t crack the top 10.

There’s always next year, big guy.

Bevo 15 at his ranch outside of Austin. (Tamir Kalifa)
Bevo XV at his ranch outside of Austin. (Tamir Kalifa)

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