For Texas, independence still an option

Updated: August 5, 2011, 9:26 AM ET
By Ryan McGee

Welcome back to Three Downs and Punt, where we've spent the week dancing around the house to the sounds of blowing whistles and clacking weights -- the sounds of fall practices beginning around the nation. But before we get on with the X's and O's, let's take a look at dotting the I's and crossing the T's. In particular, I'm talking about one very large burnt orange T.

First Down: Texas independence? It's there if they want to.

"Texas will again lift its head and stand strong against the nations."

Those are the defiant words of Lone Star State legend Sam Houston. It's also an unofficial motto for the ever-present Texas secessionists, emblazoned at the top of the home page for the Texas Nationalist Movement, an organization that works each and every day to "be the leaders of an independent Texas built on the values of Texas nationalism."

More and more, people are beginning to believe that's also the down-the-road mission of the University of Texas athletic department. Not breaking free of the shackles of the United States, but rather the weakening bonds of the Big 12.