|The Big 12 may fine me for this.
Everything's bigger in Texas - including, is seems, the offense.
The "horns down" gesture - basically, throwing down Texas' Hook 'Em gesture - has been a pain point for the Longhorn faithful for some time. So much so, in fact, that the Big 12 deemed it worthy of a taunting penalty. Most considered that simply a case of handling the league's 1800 pound steer with kid gloves - Texas, after all, already enjoyed the luxury of its own ESPN-backed network, so this just seemed more of the same.
Earlier this month, the gesture once again became a live wire, as C.Florida players threw down the horns after defeating Texas in Austin and Longhorns coach Rodney Terry blew up at the Knights, later calling them "classless" for the gesture. Terry later went on to apologize for the emotions of the moment, but Texas' pain around the issue had already been made evident.
Given my frame of reference, I couldn't help but notice horns down was already in C.'s arsenal, as an affront to rival and former conferencemate USF. Still, it doesn't get under anyone's skin nearly as much as it does Texas. And true to form, when Texas visited BYU the next week, they were greeted by a line of students wearing shirts reading "HORNS DOWN" before BYU administration had them remove them. While Big 12 longtimers may have already taken their shots at the Horns, it seems the conference newcomers want to poke the bull before Texas departs for the SEC at the end of the fiscal year.
With new foes figuring out immediately how to rattle the Horns, they may need to toughen their cowhide quickly before the conference change. Their travel partners, Oklahoma, and reunited foes in Texas A&M are already well versed in inverting the corna, and the rest of the Southland will catch on quite quickly. And while that maneuver may strike a particular chord with the Longhorn faithful, the rest of the conference will certainly pile on once there's blood in the water. A&M stands at the ready to Saw Varsity's Horns Off once more. Bama can't wait to sling a Rammer Jammer, and a STTDB stands at the ready in Baton Rouge. The burnt orange faithful would do well to prep themselves over the coming months, because if a hand sign is going to rattle you, there's far worse coming.