Through the first two seasons on the job, you'd have to say that Tom Herman has lived up to expectations. After inheriting a program lost in the abyss, complete with players who had poor direction in the weight room, a love for the sticky icky and zero clue about the requirements needed to be better than average, Herman has done the very thing he said that he would do ... he's changed the program's culture. Beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl was proof of that. Heading into year three, he has the Texas program back in the national conversation, but now comes the most difficult task of all for Herman - dethroning Oklahoma for Big 12 supremacy. For those keeping score at home, that's the four-time defending Big 12 Champion Oklahoma Sooners, winners of 12 of the last 19 Big 12 titles. As history has showed, it's a task for Herman and Co. that is far easier said than done, regardless of whether Bob Stoops or Lincoln Riley is in charge of things in Norman. A week ago, I would have labeled the Longhorns as a firm favorite going into the 2019 season, mostly because Texas had Sam Ehlinger at the quarterback position, while Oklahoma was bringing nothing but unknowns to the table with regard to the most important position in the sport. Then Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma, which changes the entire equation of what should be expected next year in the Big 12. Say what you want, but Hurts is miles and miles different than potentially relying on a true freshman or anyone else that lacks significant playing experience. We're talking about a former SEC Offensive Player of the Year, someone with 25 touchdowns and three interceptions to his credit in the last three seasons, along with a national championship ring. Frankly, if you look at Hurts closely, you'll see a player that will remind you of Ehlinger. Add it all up together and whatever becomes of the 2019 season for the Longhorns, there won't be a cake-walk to a Big 12 championship, which was likely always going to be the case, Hurts or no Hurts in crimson. All of this brings me back to Herman. One of the reasons why he was hired at Texas was that win over the Sooners that he choreographed while at Houston and in his short time at Texas, he's already added a notch to his belt with a win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl this year. His head to head match-up with Riley seems similar to the battles that were waged between Mack Brown and Bob Stoops, battles that were won more times than not (along with Big 12 titles) by the Sooners. Outside of a five-year stretch between 2005-2009 when the worm turned in the series to the tune of four Texas wins out of five games, the Sooners have won 12 of the other 15 games the two schools have played since 2000. Outside of that 2005-09 window, the Sooners have won nine Big 12 titles, while the Longhorns have won none. It's up to Herman to change the dynamic and his tenure in Austin will be defined by his ability to do so. While Riley is deservedly projected as the golden boy in the Big 12 with potential NFL head coaching offers coming out of his sleeves, Herman feels like a head coach that doesn't receive the plaudits he deserves, considering what he's been able to pull off in four seasons as a head coach. After all, 30 percent of Big 12 head coaches from last season (Kliff Kingsbury, Matt Ruhle and Riley) were in a position to land NFL head coaching gigs and Herman wasn't in that group. That's just dumb. Of course, Herman has two things going for him. a. He doesn't seem motivated by impressing NFL people. b. His career will be defined by what happens in the coming years, not by what has already happened. Herman has his quarterback, a locker room full of his own group of very talented players and a coaching staff he believes in to such a degree that he has no desire to make changes. Everything would seem to be in place for the Longhorns to accomplish what it has not accomplished nearly enough over the course of the last two decades. There's just one problem ... OU isn't going away, which means that it's Herman's job to move them. No. 2 -UT's Minister of Culture ... The Horns give the Minister of Culture some love! Everyone is hyped and ready to go!! pic.twitter.com/7En7O4qEkb— Anthony Geronimo (@ATXANT10) January 20, 2019 Everyone needs to prepare themselves for the fact that a lot of folks that don't wear burnt orange are going to hate the images of Matthew McConaughey from the weekend. They'll roll their eyes at the idea of him sitting on the bench during UT's win over Oklahoma. Expect similar reactions to his burnt orange duds. More than anything else, they'll turn to shades of maroon or crimson at the thought of him talking to recruits. My response? Who cares what they think, because the recruits LOVE it. If a university has an Oscar-winning actor known for being America's "Alright, alright, alright" guy and he wants to participate in recruiting or sporting events because he bleeds for the program ... well ... that university needs to play that card every five minutes of it can. I'll be the first to admit that it's slightly odd to see McConaughey so engaged on Saturday night with a basketball team that most of you would prefer go away, but McConaughey loves him some Longhorns and is at a point in his life when he has both influence and time on his hands, so why not chip in with a little recruiting? Consider the comments made by recruits to Orangebloods on Sunday about his presence on Saturday: “Man, when he pulled up, I was like man I have to get a picture with him. It’s crazy how UT has the best alumni from what I’ve seen. Ride or die, he’s still here. Like he said, I could be anywhere, but I’m here on a Saturday night with you guys," Houston C.E. King 2020 S Bryson Washington said. “He was just talking about the best players in Texas need to stay in Texas. He said there’s no better place than the University of Texas,” Tomball 2020 QB Hunter Dunn said. “He was basically just saying Texas is the place to be. He said he could be anywhere in the world right now, but he’s in Austin because he believes in what they’re doing,” Prosper 2020 OL Jake Majors said. Trust me, when these kids go to school on Tuesday, it'll be selfies with McConaughey that they talk about to their peers. It'll stand out when they take future visits to other schools and there's no McConaughey to talk about when they return. Sure, it's a little thing, but it's a big little thing - the fact that the Longhorns have leadership in place to take advantage of his willingness to step up on a Saturday for the sake of his school. I guess the only real question I have moving forward is rather simple ... When can he do it again? No. 3 - Three things about the Texas quarterback situation ... a. I think Cameron Rising made a poor business decision. If he was unhappy in Austin, I get it. If he wanted to be closer to home, I get it. If he was thinking about making a move for football purposes, transferring to a school that no one outside of the state of Utah cares about in the name of potentially playing earlier, I think he made a mistake. The truth of the matter is that in a year's time, Rising had elevated himself to the unofficial No. 2 heading into the 2019 season and when you consider the fact that Sam Ehlinger has missed games due to injuries in each of the last two seasons, it's likely that Rising would have had some prime time playing time this season. Going to a school that wasn't seemingly on his radar 15 months ago in the name of getting a lesser education in a less dynamic setting, while playing for a football program that no one watches just feels like hustling backwards. b. Casey Thompson won the lottery in seeing the elimination of the two players he was competing with for practice reps, let alone game time. He has the pole position for playing time at the position behind Ehlinger and it's up to him to keep it. c. If I'm Tom Herman, I'm taking two quarterbacks in every recruiting class from here on out. Period. You simply have to assume moving forward that players at this position are going to transfer if immediate success isn't achieved. No. 4 - "Negative recruiting" ... You know what they call negative recruiting pretty much anywhere, but especially in the SEC? Recruiting. On a weekend when Tom Herman has the eyes and ears of some of his most important 2020 targets, it's important that he get out the message that he feels like needs to be stressed the most. If that includes, "Did you see us kick some SEC ass in the Sugar Bowl" ... so be it. If that includes, "You need to stay in Texas and the only major university that's never needed to fake its championships is Texas" ... so be it. If that includes, "Pluckers stomps a mudhole in Wings & More" ... so be it. If it turns out that a recruit committed to another university shows up and doesn't like the messaging ... so be it. Recruiting is nothing if it's not self-promotion at the expense of all others. If you show up and you find yourself lost in your feelings over some of that promotion because it comes at the expense of another school, well ... you should probably not bother yourself with visiting that school. Herman has one job and one job only in recruiting ... always put Texas first in every way he can put Texas first. That this is even something that needs be addressed would seem to indicate that Herman is hitting the mark with his sales pitches, which has some folks nervy. The end. No. 5 – BUY or SELL … BUY or SELL: Cam Rising lights up the PAC 12? (Sell) I suppose it comes down to what you mean by "lights up." I think he might end up being a solid starter for Utah in a couple of seasons, but I'm not convinced that he's a future star in the making. BUY or SELL: Javonne Shepherd signs with Texas and becomes a stalwart on the Longhorns OL? (Sell) I'm not convinced on either account. BUY or SELL: Texas gets a bell cow commit early for 2020 that will have the Malik effect? (Sell) I'm not sure if there's a Pied Piper in this class, outside of potentially Zach Evans, who won't be announcing early. BUY or SELL: Jake Ehlinger pulls a Dylan Haynes and earns a schollie and turns into a contributor? (Sell) I wouldn't rule it out because I could absolutely see Ehlinger emerging into a quality special teams player, but it's hard to project that at this point. BUY or SELL: Sam Ehlinger beats out Jalen Hurts for 1st team Big 12? (Buy) #TeamSam BUY or SELL: Roschon Johnson dropping to a Rivals 3 star in the latest rankings release is somewhat understandable? (Buy) I don't agree with it, but it is somewhat understandable considering he's a bit of a two- to three-year project. BUY or SELL: CTH and his staff will inflict a series of brutal, crotch-numbing man-yam blast in 2020 recruiting so brutal that it will lead to the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupting and wiping out Meateater Host Steve Rinella during a hunt for gophers? (Sell) I always know when you've asked a question. Well done. BUY or SELL: We have 4 OL commitments by June, all of whom will be ranked 5.8 or higher by the end of the season? (Buy) It helps that this looks like a very good offensive line year in the state of Texas. No. 6 - By any means necessary ... Give Shaka Smart and his players some credit because on a night when the season seemed to be on the line for a team staring at a possible fourth-straight loss in the face, it responded with the kind of performance that we haven't seen enough of this season. The seniors on the team played big. Big shots in the final moments were made. Hell, they scored 75 points, which seems like a bit of a miracle when you consider that Oklahoma is one of the best defensive teams in the country. The end result was a close win over an NCAA Tournament-level team, which Smart and Co. absolutely needed. There's no reason to go overboard about the value of the win, but there's also no reason not to give a tip of the cap when it's deserved. With games against TCU and Georgia around the corner, now is the time for the Longhorns to up the positive consistency a little bit. If they can find a way to pull out a couple of victories this week, suddenly the overall record will start to look a little more respectable and perhaps a little wiggle room for failure in the pursuit of an NCAA Tournament spot will emerge. If not, the Longhorns will return to that place where they were on Saturday night, halfway between purgatory and hell. Yet, for one night, the Erwin Center was a little slice of heaven and it's ok if you enjoyed it. No. 7 - GOAT vs Rams ... I'm at a loss over what happened in both of the NFL Championship games. One game was decided by the worst officiating call in the history of the sport, while the other was decided by a coin-flip. It's almost too much to process, but the end result is a Super Bowl match-up that's pretty damn tasty. Initial impression? Patriots 34 Rams 31 No. 8 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind … ... I'm soooooo glad I'm not a Saints fan. Last year was bad enough, but I would never get over what happened at the end of that game. ... Jared Goff outplayed Drew Brees in the Superdome with a Super Bowl spot on the line. Those are words I didn't think I'd be writing today. ... I never would have believed in a million years that the Rams would win in New Orleans with Todd Gurley rushing for 10 yards on four carries. ... Patrick Mahomes never touched the ball in overtime. That seems very unfair. Man, was that kid fantastic in the second half. ... It's been a struggle this season for Gronk, but he was massive on Sunday. ... Tony Romo might not make the NFL Hall of Fame as a player, but he might make it one day as an announcer. He makes every game he's involved in better. Much better. ... My thoughts on the Cowboys potentially hiring Kellen Moore as their offensive coordinator? ... The NBA was pretty fantastic this weekend. You had Embiid vs. Westbrook. And Harden going off for nearly 50 on national television in overtime. Boogie Cousins debuting with the Warriors. Seriously, it was damn good stuff. ... And then there's this from Westbrook on Embiid (NSFW) Russell Westbrook on the foul from Joel Embiid, and then asked if they are “cool.” (Warning: language): pic.twitter.com/7i0ahyEFTH— Royce Young (@royceyoung) January 20, 2019 ... Come on, Bryce. Just get it over with and sign with the Phillies. Mike Trout will be your teammate in two years. ... It's disgraceful that in the first event on ESPN, the UFC set up Greg Hardy in the co-main event. Both sides should have had more ethos than to reward someone who is almost exclusively famous for beating a woman. With no UFC history to his bio, they put him in that spot because of his name... which is known because he's an abuser. The UFC should be better. ESPN should definitely be better. Consequently, I didn't watch a fight card that I would have otherwise watched. ... If you paid $75 to watch Adrien Broner fight Manny Pacquiao, what the hell is wrong with you? ... The moment that Serena Williams and Dayana Yastrzemsk shared after their match might have very quietly been the best moment most sports fans didn't see this weekend. If you missed it, a devastated Yastrzemsk was consoled lifted by Williams after the match with words of love and consideration. It was incredibly touching. ... Harry Winks might have saved Tottenham's season on Sunday. I know that might sound like hyperbole, but they were seconds away from being in a real dogfight for a top four spot in the league and with his goal, the entire situation feels so much more solidified. ... 15 more games, Reds. Just keep grinding. ... Zion Williamson is worth tanking for. ZION WILLIAMSON OH MY LAWWWWDDDD pic.twitter.com/T61ZmmYI8h— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) January 19, 2019 No. 9 - The List: Top 10 Bruce Willis movies ... Bruce Willis Gets No Respect https://t.co/ieJ62u3CR1 via @ringer— DPAmerica1776 (@DPAmerica) January 19, 2019 After reading this article on The Ringer over the weekend, I thought it was time to give a little love to one of America's champions for bald men. 10. Moonrise Kingdom 9. The Siege 8. Die Hard with a Vengeance 7. Armageddon 6. The Sixth Sense 5. Twelve Monkeys 4. The Last Boy Scout 3. Unbreakable 2. Pulp Fiction 1. Die Hard No. 10 – And Finally ... In honor of one of America's greatest men, it would do us all well to do more than read Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Let's live his words. Inhale his convictions. Prove that we can be what he thought we could be.