The state of Texas is quite popular for writing up petitions and referendums for secession from the United States, but for the sake of the Longhorns, it might just want to hope for more government shutdowns instead.
Texas has a 12-2 record when playing games the week of or immediately following a government shutdown. With Congress just recently voting to reopen the government after a 17-day shutdown, that statistic should make the Longhorns feel better going into their road game against TCU this week, right?
“I’ll have to look that up,” head coach Mack Brown said with a chuckle. “I didn’t know how we had done that. But no, it doesn’t make me feel any better.”
Even if Texas doesn’t know it, history is on its side. But that doesn’t help the Longhorns prepare for their fourth conference game of the season.
“It sounds good. It’s a nice little stat,” senior cornerback Carrington Byndom said. “But that doesn’t regard us. We’re just playing football.”
But technically, if there are more shutdowns, that means more wins for Texas, right?
“I guess if they keep using the debt ceiling as a bargaining chip then [shutdowns] will keep coming up more often so that’s not bad for us,” senior offensive guard Mason Walters said with a smile on his face.
So far this season, the government shutdown has been good luck for Texas. The Longhorns are 2-0 since the halt started on Oct. 1, beating Iowa State and upsetting No. 12 Oklahoma.
The positive effect of the government shutdowns for Texas football has been fleeting in the long run, though. The Longhorns are 58-25-1 for the rest of the season after there’s been a government closure and have made it to 10 bowl games. However, their record in those bowl games is 3-7. Four of those appearances have been in the Cotton Bowl Classic.
Coincidentally enough — or maybe it’s not a coincidence at this point — Texas is projected by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach to make it to the Cotton Bowl this year to face none other than former rival Texas A&M.
Nevertheless, Texas still doesn’t seem to put much stock in these facts.
“I don’t know,” junior running back Malcolm Brown said laughing. “We’re still going to go in the same way. Work hard and keep it rolling.”
While the majority of the games Texas has played the week after a government shutdown have been at home, the Longhorns will see this weekend in Fort Worth whether or not the end of these closures really is beneficial to them. If not, maybe Texans will just have to go back to signing those secession petitions.