James Y Rauhut

Is Texas Back Yet?

One meme about college football turned into a website for fans to rally around. Little did I know, the team would excel expectations and the site would crash!

“Texas is back!“ is a phrase every sports reporter likes to write at least once in their career. 2009 was the last 10-win season (actually 13) for Texas Football and all of the fans were eager to go back to that standard. Reporters and broadcasters were so eager to be the ones that declared Texas to be “back”, that it turned into a long-running joke among fans.

During the 2017 season, I purchased the domain for istexasbackyet.com to post silly jokes after each game. The site was semi-popular among fans, but preparing jokes during games made it difficult to focus on the games themselves.

So for the 2018 season, I ended up automating the site to track our progress towards a 10-win season. Fans loved to check the site as soon as each game ended to see a progress bar inch closer to our collective goal. Texas ended up upsetting #5 Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to reach that last win and the site immediately crashed from all of the traffic. The site has since received 150,000+ visits and I have since learned to use serverless technology for hands-free scalability.

Once of the wildest moments of making goofy web apps, was being asked to come on to ESPN’s show Countdown to Gameday to talk about the site. I was nervous and struggled with complete sentences, but it is a funny experience to look back on.

In the past, I was scrapping the official Texas Football website for scores and schedule. Now there is a great API maintained by fans at collegefootballdata.com. I like to spruce the web app up once a season for the returning users that wonder, "Is Texas back?"