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The Best Ways To Experience Football in Texas in 2017

From high school to the pros, football in Texas is a timeless tradition

Come September, there is a buzz in the air for many Texans. No, it is not the mosquitoes. And, no, it is not allergies. Okay, maybe there are mosquitoes, but what we are really talking about is something more crucial and obsessive this time of year: football season.

No matter what teams you support, the next few months are a celebration of arguably our country’s most beloved sports (looking at you, baseball). Thankfully, there are many ways to pay homage to the gridiron Friday through Monday. So think of the following suggestions as stopping points for your Texas Football passport this season.

High School Football

When it comes to the most participated high school sport in Texas, there is no competition. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than one thousand schools and 160,000 students participated in football this past season. That means no matter where you live in Texas, there is bound to be a game happening nearby on any given Friday. The hardest part will be choosing which game to see.

One of the advantages of high school games is the lower admission price without losing any of the pomp. That means you still get all the football you crave, boisterous marching bands and rowdy crowds without breaking the bank. In fact, some may even argue that high school is football in its purest form, without all the big money contracts and merchandise.

In San Antonio, you have the Cibolo Steele Knights, who just last season fell short of the 6A Division Championship title. Translation: they are a pretty great team. By all outward appearances, this year should be no different.

Key Matchups

  • 10/13 Vs. New Braunfels – Steele kicks off district play against the Unicorns as they battle for each team’s playoff hopes.
  • 11/10 @ Clemons – Crosstown rivalries are always intense, no matter the stakes.

In the Austin area, Lake Travis is home to one of the most dominant programs in the past decade. The proof: five consecutive state championship victories from 2007-2011 and many undefeated seasons.

Key Matchups

  • 9/8 Vs. Steele – Two powerhouses. Only one leaves with bragging rights.
  • 10/13 @ Westlake – The battle for who’s the best team in Austin is decided tonight.

In Houston, the Katy Tigers have distinguished themselves from the competition with regular playoff berths and top 20 state rankings.

Key Matchups

  • 9/16 Vs. The Woodlands – The Lions represent Katy’s only regular season loss from a year ago. Plus, this game also benefits Touchdowns Against Cancer.
  • 9/22 @ Cinco Ranch (Katy) – A little in-town rivalry never hurt anyone. While perhaps not the most competitive of match-ups, the energy will still be high.

In Dallas, look no further than Carroll (Southlake). The Dragons have multiple state titles since 2004 and regularly finish in the top 25 in Texas.

Key Matchup

  • 10/16 @ Trinity (Euless) – The high school football gods foretold of a clash of Friday Night titans. Tonight’s that night.

College Football

Few occasions draw more Texans and alumni than tailgating near their favorite campus . The result is an epic display of food (especially barbecue), tent sprawl and loads of good-hearted competition. Experiencing tailgates first-hand is worth the price of admission.

Unlike high school ball, ticket prices rise way high up, especially for bowl and playoff games. But you can offset the premium cost of buying straight from the vender by looking around discount sites like SeatGeek and StubHub.

San Antonio Teams

When you think of San Antonio, you do not immediately think of college football. But San Antonio is home to a great competitive squad with the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA), who recently upset Baylor from the Big-12 conference. In past seasons, the Roadrunners have challenged big-name Texan programs like Texas A&M and UTEP.

Key Matchup

  • 10/7 Vs. Southern Miss – The Golden Eagles have struggled with UTSA in previous matchups. Will that luck run out this year?

Austin Teams

Football in the Texas capital comes down to one catchphrase: Hook’Em Horns. In terms of tradition and popularity, the fervor for Longhorn football has not waned, even in years of struggle.

Key Matchup

  • 10/21 Vs. Oklahoma State – The Cowboys are a Top-10 team this year, but historically they have struggled against UT.

Dallas Teams

Like San Antonio, Dallas is not known for its college football, despite being home to Texas Christian University (Fort Worth) and the Red River Rivalry between UT and Oklahoma (OU).

Key Matchup

  • 11/24 Baylor Vs. TCU – This end-of-season game will more than likely have some post-season meaning for both teams.

Houston Teams

The resurgence of the University of Houston into national prominence is nothing short of spectacular. The Cougars start this year unranked, but for how long?

Key Matchup

  • 9/23 Vs. Texas Tech – This game will more than likely result in a shootout with lots to prove on both sides of the ball.

National Football League

There is no higher calling than football on Sundays—for players and fans. Like their college counterparts, pro stadiums embody much of what we expect from premium entertainment: food, live performances and, in the case of Texas, the best football in the state (and, as some fans will argue, the world).

The primary downside to NFL football in Texas is that there are only two teams: the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans. So while Austin and San Antonio residents may feel left out, keep in mind drive times to either city are less than five hours. Might we suggest an overnight trip?

Dallas Cowboys

This Dallas team is an exciting bunch, set to make another run into the postseason. A trip to their temple, which seats upwards of 100,000 fans, is a must for any aficionado.

Key Matchup

  • 10/8 Vs. Packers – In what is a likely playoff preview, these two franchises will duke it out as two of the most popular teams in America.

Houston Texans

Doubters beware! This team is showing signs of life after several disappointing seasons in which they were their own worst enemies.

Key Matchup

  • 10/1 Vs. Titans – Top spot in the AFC South will likely come down to this series. The winner earns a playoff spot.

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