The SMU Mustangs gallop onto the field with 20 returning seniors, back-to-back bowl appearances, and 96 years of football-flavored wisdom. Groupon-getters snag seats in section 123, which showcases exciting midfield events such as the coin toss, the kickoff, and the team's customary halftime minuet. With five All-Conference USA players on the roster, the Mustangs plan to wow fans and daunt foes with helmet-rattling tackles and earth-shattering punts. Last season, junior quarterback Kyle Padron set SMU records with 3,828 passing yards, 302 completions, and 31 touchdowns. Junior linebacker Ja'Gared Davis, a member of the Lombardi Award watch list, sacked nine opponents and 8.6 tons of groceries in 2010.
As a founding member of the Texas Collegiate League, the Texas Marshals have groomed college players for futures in pro baseball since 2004. The Marshals travel throughout the state each summer, playing a minor-league-style schedule while maintaining their NCAA eligibility. The players follow the same rules as minor leaguers, using the same equipment and making sure every entrance song is set in a minor key.
For the first time, the Governor’s Cup rolls its four-wheeled fury into Dallas for a weekend’s worth of hard hits and raucous parties. On both days, skaters hailing from seven southwestern Women’s Flat Track Derby Association leagues and descending from a long line of souped-up steamrollers jam and block their way to the big trophy. First-time host league Assassination City seeks to break away from the middle of the South Central division pack with tenacious teams such as the schoolgirl-styled Deadly Kennedys and the black-leather-clad Lone Star Assassins, defended by fierce veteran blocker and travel-team member Trigger Mortis.
For a team named the Revolution, Texas's Indoor Football League squad has undergone a fitting number of changes. After spending 10 years in the now-defunct af2 league as the Arkansas Twisters, the team migrated to the Lone Star State in 2011, carrying hitchhikers on their backs along the way and becoming the Allen Wranglers. In 2013, the franchise adopted its current name while remaining in Allen, where it continues to draw standout prospects from many of the region's colleges, including the University of Texas, Texas Christian University, and the University of Oklahoma.
TCU football kicks off its 2010 season with its opener against Oregon State. In a recent USA Today coaches' preseason poll, the Horned Frogs were ranked no. 7 and the Beavers were ranked no. 22, making this matchup a cleated clash between two gridiron gangs with much to prove to the college football world. Both squads have something to prove to themselves, too—TCU's 2009 season ended with a Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State, while Oregon State lost to Brigham Young University in the 2009 Maaco Bowl Las Vegas. In between the rushing, tackling, throwing, and kicking, keep an eye peeled for potential fisticuffs between mascots Super Frog and Benny Beaver, as each represents not only their respective university but also different water-frequenting members of the animal kingdom.