I like Texas. I spent five years working for the Dallas Morning News, primarily covering college football and basketball. I love places like Austin and San Antonio and even love parts of west Texas.

I still remember one of my first football trips, flying over the great state of Texas on a Friday, getting a sense of what “Friday Night Lights’ was about  by seeing those high school stadiums lit up in the darkness as I went from Dallas to places like Austin (U of Texas), Lubbock (Texas Tech) and College Station (Texas A&M).

Football is important in Texas. Maybe not with the overpowering sense of urgency you feel in the deep South about the SEC, but close.

I remember covering a game in Waco against Baylor on Saturday afternoon and then speeding up I-35 towards Fort Worth for a Saturday night Southwest Conference showdown between TCU and SMU.  I was cruising well over 70 when I saw Smokey come from behind an overpass, his lights flashing, and I’m thinking,”” I’m toast.”” The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.