Tarleton State has the opportunity Saturday to achieve something done only twice before at the school since its first season as a four-year program in 1961 - begin a football season 5-0.
No Tarleton team has won five consecutive games to start a season since 1990. That Texan team went on to claim the TIAA Championship at 10-0 before being eliminated in the second round of the NAIA playoffs.
Before 1990, the only four-year Tarleton team to pull off the feat was the 1978 Texans, a team that ran its record to 7-0 before a tie, their only mark of imperfection on an undefeated run through the regular season. Tarleton was TIAA Champs, and fell in the NAIA quarterfinals.
Back in its junior college days, the school, known then as John Tarleton Agriculture College, went 5-0 to start a season twice - in 1919 and again in 1925. The 1919 team finished 6-1, while the 1925 Plowboys (as was the mascot of the day) were undefeated but did have a tie at 8-0-1.
In 1937 JTAC went 4-0-1 through five games before finishing 6-2-2. The 4-0-1 start was again achieved by Tarleton State College (the name changed in 1949, and changed again to Tarleton State University in 1973) in 1956 by a squad that finished 7-1-1.
Standing in the way of a 5-0 mark for the 2007 Texans is Lone Star Conference North Division member Southwestern Oklahoma State. The Bulldogs haven't had enough bite for Tarleton in recent years , as the Texans have won the last three meetings between the schools, and seven of the past eight.
If the Texans continue their dominance of SWOSU Saturday, they will join a storied group of great past teams in the Tarleton history books.
Brad Keith is the sports editor at the Empire-Tribune. He can be reached at (254) 965-3124, ext. 241, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.