The Post Oklahoma Deflation Blues

For Longhorn fans, losses to Oklahoma are almost always disappointing and sometimes heartbreaking. This year’s loss was disappointing but it wasn’t heartbreaking. It was something worse than heartbreaking.  It was deflating.

How deflating? Let me count the ways.

1. With one loss before the Oklahoma, game the odds of Texas making the College Football Playoff were long but there was a chance. Of the 20 teams that have qualified since the four-team playoff format began in 2015—according to my quick research—11 of them were one-loss teams.  No two-loss teams have qualified since the four team format began. Even if Texas wins the rest of their games including the Big 12 Championship game, with two losses—for all intents and purposes—they’re out.

2. After their performance in the Oklahoma game, in my opinion, there is no realistic chance that Texas will qualify for the Big 12 Championship game and win it by beating Oklahoma. Given what I saw in Dallas last Saturday, I have grave doubts about Texas even qualifying for the Big 12 Championship game.

3. Dovetailing with #2, after the Oklahoma game, I’m anticipating that Texas will lose at least one more game in the regular season.  Road games versus TCU, Iowa State, and Baylor look particularly challenging. Texas Tech at home the day after Thanksgiving will be no walk in the park either.

4. The most deflating aspect of the Oklahoma loss is the loss of confidence in Tom Herman that I suspect is widespread among the Longhorn fan base.  Against the Longhorns biggest rival with much more than just bragging rights at stake, Herman rolls out a flat football team with an incredibly timid offensive game plan (more on that in a minute). No realistic observer expected the Texas defense to shut down Oklahoma but the wide open running lanes for Jalen Hurts and the wide open receivers were embarrassments. After year-and-a-half of futility against Spread offenses Herman’s defensive coordinator seems as lost and as over his head as ever. There just doesn’t seem to be light at the end of the tunnel for the defense’s deficiencies.

The hiring of Greg Davis is a sick joke on Texas fans and the offensive game plan against Oklahoma was vintage Greg Davis.  Why is Tom Herman getting paid $5.4 million a year and Tim Beck getting more than a million a year if they have to hire outside offensive consultants let alone Greg Davis?

Tom Herman was much sought after and hired because he was theoretically the antithesis of Greg Davis. Did Chris Del Conte approve this?  How tone deaf can these guys be?

My blood pressure went up 40% writing the last few sentences.

Kansas

Playing Kansas this week is good news, bad news. The good news is Texas will probably win. The bad news is Texas fans will fine little solace in beating Kansas.

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I was thinking about this column while walking my dog this morning and the 1965 Texas-Rice game darted through my mind. In 1965 my older brother Clayton was a freshman at UT and it was the first year that I closely followed Texas football.

From 1961 through 1964, Texas was 40-3-1 winning the National Championship in 1963 and the Southwest Conference in 1961, ’62 and ’63. From 1961 through ’64 Texas’ final rankings were #3, #4, #1 and #5 respectively.  They had a good run.

In 1965 Texas won their first four games and was ranked #1 when they suffered a heartbreaking loss to #3 Arkansas. Texas’ ranking fell to #5 after the loss and their next game was against Rice in Austin. Shockingly, Texas lost 20-17 and lost the week after that to SMU. Texas also lost to TCU that year and finished the season 6-4.

After the Arkansas game Texas just seemed deflated.

On that happy note . . .

Hook ‘Em,

W.E.

Kansas Over/Under

  • Tiebreaker: required

    Pick the winners against the line

    Kansas +21 1/2 @ Texas
  • Iowa St. -7 1/2 @ Texas Tech

5 Comments to “The Post Oklahoma Deflation Blues”

  1. These comments are too negative for me. Afterall, Herman has brought our program back to respectibility. A 10 win season, some quality wins, loses this year to two top ten teams, each by one touchdown, regardless of how bad they played and how it looked. We’ll see what happens the rest of this year and next. But, they do need to tackle better, block better, play better on special teams, be better coached, and get rid of Greg Davis’ footprint on the offensive game plan. Hook’em.

  2. Ok, I hadn’t realized we had hired G. Davis. But in retrospect, last week’s offensive game now makes so much sense! All those horrible play calls reeked of Davis. I mean, why? Why!?! Why is he back? Does he have some incriminating pictures of Herman or the athletic director?!

  3. I had no idea we had hired Greg Davis, but after the 1st couple of series, I remarked to the people I was sitting with that it looked like a Greg Davis game plan. Amazing! I haven’t done the tedious work, but I believe we averaged starting every 2nd down with close to 10 yards to go.

    Also, our field position was terrible all game. Why do we insist on running kickoffs out of the end zone? One of the biggest UT crowd roars of the game was when we finally took a knee in the end zone after a kickoff. We even ran an interception out of the end zone which set us up in a huge hole.

    Finally, why can’t we tackle?

  4. You hit almost every nail right on the head, but I have a couple kickers to throw in. I began ruminating about Sam Ehlinger and how he stacks up against other Big XII QBs this year. I came to th e conclusion that, frankly, he may only be the third or fourth best just IN THIS CONFERENCE. Hurts clearly is better, Jett Duffey at Tech has it working, skinny Charlie Brewer at Baylor seems better, and if not now, by next year, the freshman who ran circles around the Horns for Okie State, appears to these eyes to be better. Then there’s Brock Purdey at Iowa St. better game manager, in my opinion. To be clear, I’m glad Ehlinger is a Horn. But, whatever injury he and Herman are hiding, has brought a noticeable regression in his play. He’s running timid and, of course, virtually never comes off his primary receiver. He has a lot of TDs through two and a half years, in my view, because he’s often throwing 50 passes a game and many are to huge-bodies receivers who have won numerous “jump balls.” Which brings me to my second point. Three years into the Herman administration, Texas still really has only one quarterback. I don’t care what variables figure in there, Herman is taking $6.4 million a year to be a pedestrian people manager. And that includes his coaches. Forget about Orlando’s Manny Diaz-like Defense, Herman took a crap O-line Coach, demoted, not fired, him and then gave him the special teams. Is there a worse special teams (other than Dicker) in the conference? As the kids say, SMDH!

What Say You?