Courtesy of the Texas State 2011-12 Fan Guide
• What’s all this, then? On July 1, a crop of the realignment changes we’ve been so resistant to took effect. Among the movers were the Texas State University-San Marcos Bobcats, now residents of the WAC.
• Do we finally have a new WAC member school intent on staying there? LOLZ of course not! After one year in the great WAC way-station, the Bobcats will join the Sun Belt for the 2013 season.
• Is this at least a program with a modicum of history? Absolutely, and then some. Texas State began play in 1904, and spent most of its modern existence in the D-II Lone Star Conference before beginning FCS play as a Southland school in 1987. The Bobcats won back-to-back D-II national championships in 1981 and '82, and two conference titles during their FCS stay.
• So they have a big cat mascot. Can we make a rule against new schools entering the FBS having big cat mascots? Too many big cat mascots! I'm a dog person. Too bad. The Bobcats were here first, according to the university: "Texas State was the only college in the country until the late 1920s to possess the name for its athletic teams."
• Man, that "traditions" page is a barrel of squirrels. Every school's got one, and some are wackier than others. Perusing teams' "traditions" and "spirit of ____" websites is one of our favorite anthropological excursions. Our favorite slices of Bobcat lore include the chant, indeed unlike any other in that different stadiums are unlikely to chant "Texas State:"
The "Texas State" chant heard at Bobcat athletic events is unlike any other. At any point during the game fans on one side of the venue can be heard chanting "Texas" followed by a response from the other side of the venue, "State."
And the hand signal, which thankfully comes with a diagram (preserved for your edification up top):
The State of Texas is a great place and at the heart of this great state is Texas State University. As a shown sign of this match Bobcat faithful can be seen holding up the left hand in the shape of the State of Texas with the two outside fingers pointing down toward the middle of the palm indicating the location of the university.
• What miscellaneous factors might convince me, an uninvested college football fan, to pull for Texas State? The Bobcats have an enormous drill team, for one, if you're into fetching coeds coming perilously close to kicking themselves in the face (which we absolutely are). They are coached by Dennis Franchione, if you happen to be an ardent fan of Dennis Franchione. And they are curiously welcoming to newbies, providing a "fan guide"online that lists things like essential tailgate items for an ideal gameday:
Antacid: With all the foods consumed at the tailgate, you might need some help. Remember, defense wins championships.
Whoever wrote this: We are your biggest fans.
• Will Texas State's schedule make it easy for me, newly-minted Texas State fan, to see the team in action? It will. The Bobcats' games against Houston, Texas Tech and Navy have already been picked up by national television or streaming networks.
• Any other programs getting in on this netherworld action?
Three of 'em. Check out our introductions earlier this week to UMass
, UT San Antonio
and South Alabama