Changing race date might not be possible
U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas drew more than 117,000 fans on race day. Longhorns football games typically draw 100,000-plus fans to Royal-Memorial Stadium.
“Circuit of the Americas has expressed our strong preference for an alternate race date in 2013,” chairman Bobby Epstein said Wednesday in an email to the American-Statesman. “We understand that setting a global calendar can be very challenging, involves many factors and is out of our control. We feel confident that Formula One has taken our concerns seriously and is working earnestly towards a collective solution.
“Ultimately, our 2013 race date may remain as it currently stands.”
In an email, Nick Craw, the Federation Internationale de l’automobile’s highest-ranking U.S. official, said officials are still trying to move the race date, but he gave no other details.
Having both events on the same weekend would put a big strain on restaurants, rental cars, shuttle buses and bars. The biggest conflict, though, probably would be over hotel rooms — Texas foot- ball fans might not get many of them, and there are thousands of Longhorns fans who head to Austin for home games.
Bob Burda, the Big 12’s associate commissioner for communications, said league officials consider many factors in creating a football schedule that’s balanced for all 10 schools in the league.
“At the request of our television partners, the 2013 schedule is subject to adjustments,” Burda said. “However at this juncture it does not appear moving the Oklahoma State at Texas game off its scheduled date is an option as the two programs do not share a common open date.”
Butch Worley, UT deputy athletic director, told the AmericanStatesman last month that Texas would work to schedule the game for 2:30 p.m. so fans could get in and out without staying in a hotel.
“We’d do all we could to make that happen. The Big 12 understands the issue,” Worley said at the time.
The World Motor Sport Council did make one change to the 2013 F1 calendar: moving the German Grand Prix to July 7 to make way for another Formula One event, subject to approval. However, the location of that event was not announced.
The move means the 2013 F1 calendar will be made up of 20 races, equivalent to the 2012 schedule.
The Big Ten and Pac-12 have 10 teams remaining in the final 16. That includes top-seeded Penn State — a Texas nemesis who defeated the Longhorns in the 2009 finals and 2010 national semifinals — and sixthseeded USC, which travels to Austin and faces unseeded surprise Wichita State, a thirdplace finisher in the Missouri Valley Conference, on Friday.
Texas isn’t looking past anyone, especially physical Florida and its sensational SEC freshman of the year Ziva Recek, even though the Longhorns swept the Gators in August.
Elliott notices a sense of urgency in his players, but also tries to keep a lid on the pressure and minimize outside distractions. Toward that end, the coaching staff makes his players check in their cell phones on game days and handles ticket requests and tutoring schedules to limit stress and keep the players’ focus on the upcoming match.
“We’re really a dynamic, young and energetic team,” Webster said. “We’ve accepted the pressure and the challenge with open arms. I’m busy this week but I’ll have ample time to get ready. All I can see is the Florida Gators.”