FRISCO, Texas -- Two separate generations have differing impressions of Texas football -- one built on a tradition of winning and another that has seen the Longhorns go to just one bowl game in the past three seasons and post three consecutive losing campaigns.
It's up to Texas' new coach, Tom Herman, and his staff to make sure that the recent downswing in Longhorns football is not the only thing that's in the minds of the players he's working to bring to Austin to turn that tide.
Herman spoke on Tuesday at Day 2 of the Big 12 Media Days about the expectations for his team and the perceptions he and his assistant coaches are working against to reboot the Longhorns.
It seems like it's been eons since Texas, which went 16-21 in three seasons under Charlie Strong, was among college football's elite teams.
Herman mentioned the not-that-long-ago string of campaigns from 2001-09 in which the Longhorns produced at least 10 victories per season, two appearances in the national championship game, and a title in 2005, but understands that today's players barely remember those successes. Only three current Longhorns have even been on a winning team in Austin.
"These 16-year-old kids that we're recruiting, since they were 2 years old, they've seen four losing Texas football seasons," Herman said. "So, the Texas that they know is a lot different than the Texas that people in my generation know. So, it's our job to show them what Texas is capable of, what Texas has been in the past, and what we're planning on being again in the future."
Herman, who joined the Longhorns after two successful seasons at Houston, made "rebranding Texas football" one of his top priorities in his first season.
And while his players have bought in to the changes he and his staff have brought to Austin, Herman said it's too early to heap huge expectations on a team that hasn't enjoyed a winning season since 2013 and has posted only three since the 2009 campaign.
"All of you are going to ask me about expectations," Herman said. "I don't know. I know that these guys are going to be trained as well as anybody in the country, and we're going to play to our maximum potential. What that is, I don't know right now.
"I feel good that these guys are willing to do whatever we ask them to coming off the three-year stretch that this program has had," Herman added. "They don't want that to be their legacy. They want to be remembered as the team and the group that turned this thing around. I think we're well on our way."
Texas, which was picked fourth in the Big 12's preseason media poll behind Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State, will be tested by the tough and balanced league and by a non-conference schedule that includes a road game at USC on Sept. 16.
WASHINGTON LAUDED BY GUNDY
Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington, who, along with teammate Jalen McCleskey, was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, was lauded Tuesday by Cowboys coach Mike Gundy and included in group of the greatest receivers in team history.
Washington led Oklahoma State with 1,380 receiving yards last season and hauled in 10 touchdowns. He announced before the Alamo Bowl he would forgo the NFL draft and stay at OSU for his senior season alongside quarterback Mason Rudolph.
"James Washington is up there with the Dez Bryants and the (Justin) Blackmons and the Rashaun Woods -- the guys that have been terrific football players," Gundy said. "I think James is just scratching the surface.
"James came from a terrific community out in west Texas, a small community. When he got to our place, it was dramatically different than what he'd ever been exposed to. So, he's had three years and I think the next 10 years for him, really the sky's the limit, for two reasons. One, because he's just starting to develop. Two, he's got a terrific attitude, and he's unselfish, he loves to play the game of football, and he's tough."
TRANSFERS PLAY HUGE ROLE FOR MOUNTAINEERS
West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has made a living and built some success in the Big 12 by utilizing transfers to their fullest potential.
Junior college transfers, graduate transfers who could play right away or players who came from another FBS school and sat out a year before becoming eligible have filled big roles for the Mountaineers and will again in 2017.
"The first year in the (Big 12) we had some top-end talent, but our depth wasn't very good, so we started doing a lot of transfers and they've worked out," Holgorsen said Tuesday. "It's just kind of been what our niche has been. They've just worked out for us."
Since National Signing Day in February, the Mountaineers have brought in six transfers -- including one graduate transfer, two junior college players and three transfers from FBS schools who will have to sit out the 2017 season.
The Mountaineers will rely on junior college transfers Justin Crawford, the Big 12's leading returning rusher after running for 1,184 yards in his first season at West Virginia, and Bednarik Award watch list safety Kyzir White. WVU will also look to receiver Ka'Raun White, who played alongside his brother Kyzir at Lackawanna College before the two came to West Virginia, as one of its top targets in the passing game.
Then there's quarterback Will Grier, who transferred to Morgantown from Florida. Grier went 6-0 as a freshman with the Gators before he was suspended for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance. He's been sitting out since October 2015, but Holgorsen said he's shown very little rust from the layoff.
"It didn't take long for us to figure out Grier's a really good player," Holgorsen said. "He's got that starting quarterback trait and he's got the locker room ready to roll. He gets them out there and watches film with them, throws a lot with them. He controls the huddle. He does everything right."
SNYDER READY FOR HIS 27TH SEASON
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder said Tuesday that he's "doing fine" while battling throat cancer and that's he's completed treatment and back to full duty after being limited in the spring.
"The recovery is ongoing, quite obviously, but I'm doing fine, getting around fine," the 77-year-old Snyder said. "I don't have any issues right now other than trying to prepare for the season. That's always an ongoing issue. That's 365 a year."
The upcoming season will be Snyder's 27th at the Kansas State helm. His team, buoyed by quarterback Jesse Ertz, running back Alex Barnes and a tough, no-name defense, has been picked third in the Big 12's preseason media poll and is a dark horse to win the conference.
"We really share one same thing and that's the fact that we want to win," Ertz said. "It doesn't matter how much we communicate or laugh together. At the end of the day we want to win and play football."
RUHLE'S RULE IS THE WORD AT BAYLOR
Baylor coach Matt Ruhle said Tuesday that the Bears will not run from the past but learn from it as a new regime takes hold in Waco after two seasons of strife surrounding a sexual-assault scandal at the university and investigations that continue into the school's football program.
"At the end of the day, I don't know everything that happened, but I just know something happened that was wrong," said Ruhle, who was hired away from Temple to replace interim coach Jim Grobe in December after the May 2016 firing of Art Briles.
"We're truly committed to getting the wrongs of the past corrected and to a bright new future," Ruhle added. "Together, we are committed to our continued cooperation with external and internal reviews of past conduct."
The Bears were 7-6 in 2016 and will be without key players from a year ago, including at quarterback, wide receiver, running back, the secondary and the offensive line. He does not come from an Air Raid background and will face a transition year not only in players but in offensive attack.