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Updated: AT&T service being restored

(Update 1:55 p.m.): Most, if not all AT&T cell phone service has been repaired, according to Austin-Travis County EMS. 

(Original 12:57 p.m.): AT&T's cell phone network is down in the Austin area. The network is currently being restored, but some AT&T users are still experiencing outages and spotty service.

A cut fiber optic line caused the outage, according to the Bastrop County Office of Emergency Management. Affected phones with AT&T service do not say “No Service,” but users are not able to make phone calls or send text messages. FaceTime Audio calls and iMessages still work. The outage also affects other mobile devices, such as iPads, that use AT&T’s 4G network.

People began reporting service problems around 10:20 a.m., according to Wesburn Henry, a supervisor at an AT&T call center. Henry said AT&T doesn’t have a specific time for when the Austin-area network will be working again.

About 16,000 people reported outages between 9 a.m. and noon today, according to downdetector.com, a website that tracks technology failures.

Outages have also been reported in Houston, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, San Marcos, Sandy, Kyle, Leander and Georgetown.

Austin-Travis County EMS and other emergency services providers reminded people who need to call 911 to use landline phones.

Kay Bailey Hutchison, former senator and president of the Texas Exes, spoke at the KBH Center Symposium Friday. The symposium offered an interdisciplinary take on Mexican energy issues, exploring UT’s potential role in drilling opportunities in Mexico.
Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison spoke at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on Friday during the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center’s Symposium on North American energy security, an event designed to discuss geopolitical issues in North American energy. The symposium was part of UT Energy Week, a conference showcasing emerging research in the energy field. Hutchison discussed about the future of energy technologies and the effects of the energy reforms in Mexico. After the event, Hutchison sat down with The Daily Texan for a Q&A.   

Daily Texan: Where did the idea for the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center come from, and what unique perspective does a multidisciplinary study of the industry with business, law and engineering have to offer, specifically?

Former senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: Honestly, John Beckworth, associate dean of the UT law school, thought of a joint business and law school energy center. I immediately loved it because I have been general counsel of a corporation, and I know so often that the business people do not understand the legal needs to make sure everything in the transaction is right. Conversely, sometimes the lawyers do not understand the needs of the business people to complete a transaction in a timely way so that they do not lose their deal or their customer. So, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to have a joint center where law students in the energy field would learn about the business side and the business students would understand the legal side. [The Center] also has a particular focus on Latin America and the differences in the laws and legal systems. This could be very helpful for somebody who wants to explore or produce energy in another country. It was a perfect fit, and when they decided to name it after me, I was thrilled. 

DT: How would you gauge the success of the KBH center in achieving the goals that you mentioned?

KBH: Well, we have only been created since last summer, but we have come such a long way in a very short time. I think this inaugural symposium has been a huge success. We have had Mel Martínez, the former senator and cabinet member, and Bob Jordan, the former ambassador from the United States to Saudi Arabia. They have given great insights on international energy. Mel is the chairman of J.P. Morgan Latin America, so he showed us the corporate side. Bob Jordan was insightful because Saudi Arabia is doing so much right now to affect the price of oil globally. He also had some good insights on the new king and the new hierarchy in Saudi Arabia. The symposium has been a wonderful success. The panels have been good, the questions have been good. The audience is really asking questions and that is what you want in a good conference. 

DT: Has the KBH Center participated in the debate regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline?

KBH: I am a total supporter of the Keystone Pipeline, myself, but we have not taken a real position on that. It has been discussed in the symposium, and the [Obama] administration was represented here by an assistant secretary of state. The question has come up: Why would we not have a Keystone pipeline? Many in the room think that it would be an environmentally safer way to transport oil from Canada than the trucks that we are having to build new highways to accommodate. So that has been a real debate here and it has been very relevant.

DT: At a panel earlier this week, during UT’s Energy Week, experts agreed that for some issues, such as energy storage, regulatory agencies have fallen behind in developing regulation. Has the center tackled any of these issues and did you encounter any of these issues as a senator?

KBH: Absolutely. As a senator I encountered the new energy innovations. With solar energy, the biggest problem with using it was that it was so cyclical, and we could not store it. Even natural gas for cars. There has been so much that has emerged just in the last 10 years. I think the regulators are certainly trying to keep up with what is necessary in the regulatory field, but it is a work in progress. 

DT: Could you talk about some specific ways that you helped regulatory agencies catch up?

KBH: Well, for sure, the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center will be able to shed light on what is coming up in regulation in terms of what might be needed, what might not be needed, what would be a better way to regulate. We want to allow for creativity to grow and progress. [We] do not want to stifle creativity by regulating something that is not there yet because it is not ready. There has to be balance to assure that the new kinds of energy, clean energy especially, are not regulated to death before they are able to be useful. For instance, the lack of battery storage for solar panels is a problem. If we allowed battery storage we would be able to run manufacturing plants consistently rather than have to lessen output in peak hours. Battery storage is an area where the federal government is doing more research and it’s very important to develop that. But, we want to make sure that as we do, there are environmental rules that assure that we are doing it safely and in an environmentally friendly way. We want the creativity to emerge so we can start using solar energy more efficiently. The new technologies would apply in other areas as well.

DT: Obama has supported an all-of-the-above policy that supports natural gas as well as nuclear and other forms of energy. So, a lot of different forms of energy are being researched. What energy innovation are you most excited about?

KBH: I think it is essential to make sure that we are getting the oil and gas in an environmentally correct way so that we become energy independent. It is going to make us more competitive globally because our businesses will have lower-cost energy. This is an area where America has led. We creatively produce new ways to get oil and natural gas out of the ground and out of the water. So, I think oil and natural gas is probably the biggest area where we can move forward and truly towards energy independence. Solar power and wind power are also very promising. We do not have the mechanics yet to make it a big percentage of our energy use, but Texas is doing quite a bit in wind, as well as solar, and it is very efficient once it is up and going. If we could get the battery storage, it is going to be a real part of our overall energy independence. I am excited about that, and I am excited about Texas’ role in producing these new options. 

There is also another option — using currents in the oceans and the Gulf of Mexico. [We] can use currents to generate energy for use on land. That is something that is being experimented in the Galveston-Houston Area. The University of Houston is doing work in that area, as well as others.

DT: Today’s symposium has an international focus of stabilizing North America’s energy. What are specific energy initiatives in Mexico by Mexicans, Americans or private actors that you look forward to see implemented?

KBH: The exciting part of energy in Mexico is that they are opening it up. It used to be just PEMEX, the national oil company, that was able to produce oil and gas in Mexico. But President Nieto has certainly made strides in saying, “We want to open it up, we want foreign investment and we want more out of the ground, as well as the Gulf of Mexico.” He is making it happen, and the [Mexican Legislature] is going along with it, and they are in the regulatory stage now. I think the American companies are going to want to be a part of this. They are going to want to work, in some cases, with PEMEX, and, in some cases, independently. [The companies] are going to bid on leases in the northern part of Mexico that would be the continuation of the Eagle Ford find in South Texas that we think continues on in North Mexico. But also, in the Gulf of Mexico, there is a lot of opportunity. American and European countries are bidding and winning in the Gulf of Mexico for drilling in the deep water, but it is very expensive so that may be down the road because the price of oil is so low right now. But, the big question mark out there is safety and the drug cartels. No foreign company is going to want to come in if they are not going to be able to be safe and also be able to do business in a transparent way because we have laws that require that. This large criminal element in the drug cartels is really hurting so much of the tourism in Mexico, most certainly, and in some ways, business as well. 

Clay Johnston spoke at the AT&T Conference Center Friday about building a new health care “ecosystem.” Dr. Johnston is the inaugural dean of the Dell Medical School and will begin his tenure March 1.
Photo Credit: Xintong Guo | Daily Texan Staff

Clay Johnston, dean of the Dell Medical School, called for a health care revolution in a speech Friday at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center.

Johnston said he hoped to build a new health care “ecosystem” by shifting the industry’s focus to developing innovations in education and information processing. He said the health care industry should adopt the Lean Startup model, a plan that emphasizes preventative health care measures.

“We need experts in health care redesign and people who understand population health,” Johnston said “We can be much more influential by coordinating not just with the physician community, but with the broader community to get it to move forward.”

Johnston said the health care system is outdated, with discrepancies between modern technology and the technology used in the health care field. 

“Health care accounts for 18 percent of the U.S. economy, and, yet, it’s powered by technology that’s really 50 years old,” Johnston said.

The McCombs Healthcare Initiative sponsored the event. Edward Anderson, director of the Initiative and professor at the McCombs School of Business, said Johnston’s vision of coordinating health care with the community could lead to a technology boom in Austin similar to that of the 1960s. 

“We have the potential for doing, here in Austin, what was done back in the late ‘60s with high-tech manufacturing,” Johnston said. “It did great things for Austin and put Austin on the map. I think we’ve got a good shot, particularly with this mandate and this team, for making that happen again here in health care.”

Ahmed Riaz, creative director at Frog Design Inc., said Johnston had a positive message that applied to a variety of Austin professionals, including those outside the health care industry.

“He’s in a position to actually change things in the medical world and has a plan to create a system that involves the community,” Riaz said. “It really engaged Austin as a community and the society at large.” 

Johnston, who begins his tenure at the Dell Medical School in March 2014, encouraged future medical students to facilitate health care innovation.

“We want the medical schools here to enable the entire community to start thinking about being partners, envisioning better solutions and moving health forward,” Johnston said. “One of the best places to start that is here on campus.” 

Correction: This story has been edited since its original publication. In his quote about a potential health-care boom in Austin, Johnston referred to a mandate, not a man. Further, he began his tenure in March of last year.

U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, said leadership in the U.S. is not effectively solving issues in the Middle East at an intelligence conference held in the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on Saturday.

“America has invited aggression by stepping back from the world stage,” said McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

UT’s Clements Center for History, Strategy and Statecraft and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law hosted the “Intelligence Reform and Counterterrorism after a Decade: Are We Smarter and Safer?” conference to look back at the 10 years since the passing of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which restructured U.S. intelligence. McCaul gave the closing address Saturday about what he still believes are threats to national security, as well as what should be done in the future.

“The lack of leadership has fueled the rise of extremists and terrorist safe havens,” said McCaul, who is currently serving his fifth term representing Texas’ 10th District in the U.S. Congress.

McCaul said he believes the Obama administration is falling behind in national security and foreign relations. He said in 2013, weeks after President Barack Obama declared that the “War on Terrorism” was over, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi announced the formation of the Islamic State group.

“The rise of ISIS should have come to no surprise, and was certainly not to me,” McCaul said. 

According to McCaul, the creation of reforms, such as the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and National Counterterrorism Center, identified the Islamic State group as a threat more than a year ago.

Greater stability in the Middle East is the only way to combat the radical ideologies of Islam, according to McCaul, who also said the “moderate Muslim” ideology is the most effective tool in combating extremists.

“I think it is a little naïve to think that we can take a Jeffersonian democracy and put it in to some of these Middle Eastern countries,” McCaul said.

Plan II senior Mark Jbeily, who attended the conference, said he believes that threats such as the “War on Terror” have been distracting the U.S. from missed opportunities outside of the Middle East.

“The entire time that I’ve been politically aware of the world, its been the ‘War on Terror,’ it’s been Islamic extremism [and] it’s been trying to combat all of that,” said Jbeily, a member of ROTC and Clements Undergraduate Fellow. “The Middle East is an issue we’re just going to have to deal with. I don’t think we’re ever going to solve it, especially in our lifetime.”

U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, spoke at an intelligence conference in the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on Friday about Congress' role in improving the country's counterterrorism efforts.

The conference, titled “Intelligence Reform and Counterterrorism after a Decade: Are We Smarter and Safer?” is being hosted by the Clements Center for History, Strategy and Statecraft and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law to look back at the 10 years since the passing of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which restructured U.S. intelligence.

Thornberry, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he experienced many threats against the U.S. in his time working in Washington, D.C., but none like 9/11.

“I get to my office in the Cannon Building, turn on the TV news and they show lots of smoke coming out of the Pentagon, which I had just left 15 minutes before,” Thornberry said. “Then a Capitol Hill policeman comes running down the hall saying, ‘Get out, get out, there’s another one coming for us.'”

Thornberry said the aftermath of 9/11 and the anthrax scare led to a discomfort among the American population.

“Nothing that we had counted on to protect us was really working and that made everybody unsettled and concerned about our future,” Thornberry said.

John McLauglin, former acting director of Central Intelligence, said the biggest concern to national security is the fact that so many crises are demanding the attention of the American government at once.

“I think the biggest threat to our national security right now is the sheer number of problems that we have to deal with simultaneously; in other words, you’ve got to worry about the ISIS problem, you’ve got to worry about Russia, you’ve got to worry about North Korea, you’ve got to worry about whether we can get a nuclear agreement with Iran, and that’s just the first tier of the problems,” McLauglin said.

McLauglin said stopping the Islamic State group should be a top priority to national defense.

“Among those, ISIS is probably the single most important threat because what they are trying to do is establish a terrorist threat in the heart of the Middle East," McLaughlin said. "Something that we believe, those of us who worked on the Middle East, we sum it up in a single statement – what starts in the Middle East never stays in the Middle East."

Thornberry said Congress has a duty to the American public to protect, but it may be falling short.

“I think Congress could do a much better job at looking at the bigger picture and the longer term," Thornberry said. "The temptation is always to follow the news of the day because that’s what the reporter is going to put the mic in your face about.”

Joseph DeTrani, president of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, said younger generations are vital to the intelligence community.

“For the students here, functional issues [are] extremely important, regional issues [are] extremely important," DeTrani said. "Get into that, and I can tell you the intelligence community and the national security agencies per se, not just the intelligence community, needs that input, needs that youth, needs the millennials coming in and others coming in from universities, graduate schools and so forth because that’s the future.”

Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser, said at an intelligence conference held in the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on Friday that intelligence and counterterrorism reforms since 9/11 have been successful.

The conference, titled “Intelligence Reform and Counterterrorism after a Decade: Are We Smarter and Safer?” is being hosted by the University’s Clements Center for History, Strategy and Statecraft and the Strauss Center for International Security and Law to look back at the 10 years since the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 was passed and restructured U.S. intelligence. 

After the passing of the reform act in 2004, Hadley said the national intelligence committee has been putting much effort into improving its methods to keep the country safe. He said, by the support and dedication of the committee, they have managed to improve over the years.

“The effort by the intelligence committee became so refined that we were knitting up the intelligence and policy process in real time,” Hadley said.

Hadley said the intelligence committee requires the participation of policy makers at senior levels so it can have a better understanding and support of the methods required to solve national threats.

“Every paper that is prepared that comes to the senior policy makers will have an entire list of different approaches,” Hadley said. “And this overloads time because these policy makers are supposed to connect trust with power.”

Hadley said although there has been skepticism about the success of the intelligence committee and the National Security Council, they have been very effective.

“We are better and safer at this business,” Hadley said. “And what has made us better is that when we have a crisis we see it as an opportunity to take advantage of all of our work and seize the moment by taking thoughts and decisions and turning them into reality and change.”

According to Hadley, a big part of this success is due to having the right people doing the job, and contributions from the president, American citizens and National Security Council members.

Police escort a student to safety across from the Perry-Casteñeda Library after math sophomore Colton Tooley brought an AK-47 rifle to campus and fired multiple shots before ending his own life on the sixth floor.

Photo Credit: Andrew Torrey | Daily Texan Staff

On my way to teach a morning class at the Law School four years ago, I was leaving the AT&T Conference Center on University Boulevard driving toward 21st Street with the University of Texas Tower right in front of me, and as I approached the Littlefield Fountain, I heard what sounded like four or five gunshots coming from my left and from the direction of the University Catholic Center.  I immediately concluded though that the sounds must be part of a nearby construction project.

However, a moment later, right in front of me and the Littlefield Fountain, about a dozen or so UT students started scrambling behind wastebaskets, trees and monuments, and I initially thought to myself how sad it was that our society had come to a point of everyone immediately thinking that gunshot-like sounds were, indeed, actual gunshots — when, as in this case, they were just noises coming from a nearby construction project.  Just then, however, a slender young man wearing a black suit, black tie, white shirt, ski mask and tennis shoes, and carrying a solid-black and very large assault rifle, ran along the street and emerged from my left as I got to 21st Street!

I distinctly remember him turning my way as he ran from left to right directly in front of me and only five feet in front of my car, but then my memory of what happened after that became immediately foggy, even to the point of, at one time, firmly believing that he had fired what I thought were three more shots, not at me, but to my left.  As the day went on, however, and as the days progressed, this memory became less and less clear in my mind. And, to this day, it’s still somewhat foggy and unclear.

So, I continue to ask myself how I could have two vague memories of this one single event, both of which to this day remain completely inconsistent with each other. The answer, I believe, lies at the root of the problem with eyewitness testimony, and this is especially so in the midst of surreal, startling and unexpected circumstances. The mind just doesn’t process well during such events, and at that time, my thoughts, fears and emotions were all spinning through my head. I am aware of a number of studies that have been conducted on human memory and on the propensity of eyewitnesses to “remember” events and details that did not occur, and now, some four years later, I’m still wondering why my own mind remains unclear about these crucial and surrealistic seconds.

I quickly became aware that shots were fired. I saw students scrambling for cover. I saw the gunman dressed in a black suit and tie, with a ski mask and an assault weapon.  I knew that other campus shootings had involved multiple shooters, so I was scanning for others — even a team of others — who might also be involved. I had put myself in a prime position to be shot, essentially by coasting to 21st Street right in front of the gunman as the initial gunshots were fired.  I thought for an instant about running over the shooter with my car (as he was right in front of me for about two seconds or so), but I knew that sometimes people participated in crazy pranks and that this all could be nothing more than that. 

So, with my adrenaline surging, and as my pulse quickened, I froze for about 10 seconds as the scene quickly played out right in front of me. As the gunman ran down 21st Street toward Speedway, I made a quick U-turn and went back to the AT&T Conference Center, where, with the help of the valet attendants, I called in the incident to UT Police. 

I then got back into my car and drove around the campus to the Law School, where I ran up to my classroom and told them that there was a shooter on campus, that I thought he was likely a real shooter (and not a hoax), and that they should remain in the classroom until they received specific instructions to the contrary. My students were beginning to get text messages to the same effect.

Catching my breath for just a few minutes, I went into an empty classroom down the hall from my own class, and as I was sitting by myself, just thinking of what had happened, my phone rang with a New York City area code. Within about 30 seconds of answering that call, I found myself being interviewed live on nationwide CNN about what I had witnessed. To this day, I have no idea how CNN found knew about what I had seen, nor how they got my cell phone number — all within just a few minutes of the very event itself.

 Later that day, as I reflected on a crazy morning, my thoughts turned to sadness about the tragedy of the shooter, Colton Tooley, as his only intent that day evidently was to commit suicide in a way that created a stir, to die by his own hand in a public flash.  To this day, I have no idea what caused him to want to do that. One thing is clear, though: Tooley did not want to shoot anyone else. He had ample opportunity, and the weapon, to shoot many people that day — but he didn’t.  He only shot himself. 

All of that is so very sad for him, his family and his friends. And so very hard to fully understand. Those of us whose life briefly intersected with his plans, however, should recognize that someone with those intentions must, indeed, be mentally ill to do such a thing — but only be just a little more mentally ill to do so much more damage to others who randomly find themselves in his path. In a way, we should consider ourselves fortunate that Tooley’s mental illness — the one that caused his desire to kill himself in this way — had not progressed to the level of taking others with him.  It can be a thin and indiscrete line at these levels that separates each degree. Sad as it was, the UT campus can breathe a sigh of relief that Tooley’s mental illness fell below that line.

Wilhite is an adjunct professor at the UT School of Law.


 

The second day of the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival kicked off Saturday with one-on-one interviews with candidates for lieutenant governor, state Sens. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio.

The candidates touched on different issues, including education, bipartisanship, and health care at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. They spoke for 30 minutes each, separately from one another.

Patrick said he supports the voucher system and explained his reasoning for wanting students to leave schools if they felt the need to get a better-quality education elsewhere.

“No child should be forced to go to a failing school,” Patrick said. “Almost 10 percent of our schools we rate in the state as failing. Can you imagine to sending your child to a school rated as a failure?”

According to Patrick, students should not be locked into a school district and should be able to cross district lines if their home district is a failing school.

“You should have the opportunity to go to a charter school,” Patrick said. “If you can’t find a public or charter school, then you can apply for a scholarship from private businesses to go to a Catholic school, Christian school or private school.”

Van de Putte spoke more about education after high school. She said she supported paying for Texan students’ community college with the “Texas Promise Plan.”

“It’s not a subsidy; it’s an investment,” Van de Putte said. “Our rainy day fund, even with the withdraw of the water and transportation, will probably be sitting at $8.4 billion. You can take a one-time allocation of $2 billion to the voters, and the proceeds from that could fund every qualified high school graduate for 2 years of community college.”

Van de Putte and Patrick both called for health care reform, although in different ways. Patrick said the government is too involved in health care.

“I want our money to come back in the terms of block grants in the state of Texas," Patrick said. "Our hands are tied in many ways. The federal government is heavily involved. We need to continue and try to provide health care for every Texan.”

Van de Putte chastised Patrick for his lack of public appearances. She said his first press conference, which happened Friday, was too little, too late.

“If voters can’t depend on their leaders to be accessible and accountable to them before their elected, then what kind of behavior will that instill when they are elected?” Van de Putte said.

Patrick said he has been accessible enough, with more than 1,300 meetings with individuals and groups across the state. He defended the rhetoric of the Republican party, which he has spoken about on the campaign trail.

“What I have been saying is the Republicans are not anti-Hispanic, anti-anyone, we are pro-border law and security,” Patrick said.

Patrick stressed his focus on protecting Texans from any dangers across the border and out of the country.

“My one responsibility is to protect the public,” Patrick said. “The DPS estimates we have 100,000 gang members here illegally. We must have legal immigration reform in Washington, but, before that comes, we must secure the border.”

Van de Putte said she also supported securing the border, but that the topic needed to be approached in a sensible manner.

“Just like many people, I am so frustrated at Washington, D.C.,” Van de Putte said. “It seems like both sides of the party is more interested in making the other side look bad than focus on what is needed. [Immigrants] need to have a pathway, they need to pay taxes, not be a criminal, be proficient in English, and they need to get in line.”

Van de Putte said, now that the media portion of her campaign was up, she had an opportunity to take her message to the people.

“Who is Leticia, what does she stand for?” Van de Putte said. “The momentum is there. It’s not just the Latino vote. I’m having a significant Republican crossover on this. Very conservative communities are coming together because they know the difference between a frivolous expense and an investment.”

Government junior Tanner Long said he was disappointed the candidates did not address each other directly.

“I would have preferred Van de Putte and Patrick,” Long said. “However, I think that Van de Putte definitely stayed on message. She conveyed her ideas that puts her in a good light that shows her issues with the Patrick campaign.”

Under a new staff and coaching regime, Texas is expected to make many changes this upcoming season. New head coach Charlie Strong looks to bring Texas back into national contention, putting pressure on the Longhorns to win big games during their 2014 campaign. Here are the top five Texas football games to watch this year as the Longhorns start a new era under Strong: 

5. Texas @ No. 20 Kansas State  (Manhattan, Kansas)

Snyder Family Stadium has always been a tough place for Texas to play, but, with a new coach and mentality, the Longhorns should keep this contest more competitive than their last two trips to Manhattan. Of Texas’ latter half of the schedule, this is the only meeting with a preseason ranked opponent. A win here would be program’s first in Manhattan since 2002 and could build momentum to help the Longhorns win all four November contests. 

4. Texas vs. No. 7 UCLA (Arlington, Texas)

The Longhorns and Bruins will face off in a game with serious national implications at AT&T Stadium this September. With a win, the Bruins would be in great shape to make the College Football Playoff if they can emerge as Pac-12 champions. A victory on such a stage could also drastically boost UCLA junior quarterback Brett Hundley’s Heisman campaign. If Texas leaves Arlington undefeated, it would send a message to Big 12 opponents that the Longhorns are ready for the national spotlight once again and that they have come full circle from their loss to the Bruins in 2010 that started the tailspin to mediocrity. 

3. Texas vs. BYU (Austin, Texas)

Although Texas’ game against UCLA should be its most hyped up non-conference game, BYU will be in the mind of all Longhorn fans after last season. Texas embarrassingly allowed 550 rushing yards against the Cougars in Provo, Utah, including more than 250 to quarterback Taysom Hill. Assuming Texas gets by North Texas in its season opener, a win against the Cougars could become a springboard for success for Texas’ 2014 campaign. If the Longhorns win convincingly and shut down the run, it could be a good season under Strong. However, if they fall, another mediocre season isn’t out of the question.

2. Texas vs. No. 10 Baylor (Austin, Texas)

The Longhorns will host the reigning Big 12 champion in a rematch of last year’s de facto Big 12 title game that ended poorly for Texas. Tensions should be high, as senior linebacker Steve Edmond’s comments calling Baylor “trash” will likely resonate in the contest. Texas will look to avoid its fourth loss to the Bears in five years, which hasn’t happened since 1992, and a win over Baylor would add even more intrigue to the AT&T Red River Showdown against Oklahoma. Baylor will also be Strong’s first Big 12 home game and should test the Longhorn defense more than any other contest. 

1. Texas vs. No. 4 Oklahoma (Dallas, Texas)

Coming off last year’s convincing Sugar Bowl win, the Sooners seem poised to make college football’s inaugural playoff. Oklahoma will likely be a heavy favorite, but the Longhorns ran over the Sooners in similar circumstances last season, capturing a 36-20 win. Regardless of the result, this game could be an omen for what is to come from Strong against the Sooners. With a victory, he could grab the upper hand early over Sooner head coach Bob Stoops in the series. 

LeBron James pushed the Miami Heat to a 98-96 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in game two of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center Sunday night. 

After receiving plenty of criticism for leaving game one with cramps, James was dialed in for the second game, dominating the majority of the game. He finished the contest with 35 points and 10 boards.

The game was close throughout, as both teams traded the lead all night long. But, with under a minute and half remaining, Heat forward Chris Bosh hit a go-ahead 3 and Miami held on from there. Bosh finished with 18 points.

With the win, Miami improves to 6-0 Game 2 record when losing the first game of a series.

For the Spurs, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan led the team in a valiant effort. Parker scored 21 points and Duncan finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds. Duncan’s performance moved him into a tie with Magic Johnson for all-time playoff double-doubles with 157. But Duncan’s historic performance was not enough for San Antonio to get past Miami.

“We didn’t do it as a group,” Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. “We tried to do it individually, and we aren’t good enough to do that.”

As a team, San Antonio also sturggled mightily from the free throw line, converting just 12 of 20 attempts.

The NBA Finals now transition to Miami for the next two games. Game 3 is Tuesday at 8 p.m.