Let’s tap the brakes, Texas fans — at least for the time being.
Just face it, the Longhorn faithful got greedy. The possibility of finishing the season 8–5 for the first time since 2013 crossed their mind and they just couldn’t let it go. There’s plenty of blame to go around for everybody, but let’s shift the blame for now toward Longhorn fans.
Texas laid out a perfectly placed trap, and just like the gullible Longhorn fan base has done for the past four years, they fell for it. They got greedy. All it took was two mediocre victories.
One win was over a terrible 1–11 Kansas team. The other came against what was a decent then–No. 24 West Virginia team. Then the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback Will Grier left the game with an injury. Texas’ 28–14 victory appeared to be a solid win over a ranked opponent on the road, but let’s not kid ourselves, Texas’ third-string quarterback Jerrod Heard could have won the game for the Longhorns.
That’s how little of a chance the Mountaineers had to win once their starting quarterback left the game.
But of course, Texas fans didn’t take that into consideration. All they saw was the record: 6–5. And just like that, Texas laid the trap. And boy did the Longhorn faithful bite, hard. They saw the chance to beat Texas Tech, win a bowl game and all of a sudden the thought of finishing 8–5 was a realistic possibility.
That’s when expectations all of a sudden shifted. Shifting expectations often leads to greed. Both are dangerous. We saw exactly why on Friday night and the days following as Longhorn fans reacted to Texas’ brutal 27-23 loss to Tech.
The Longhorns’ record is 6–6. The regular season ended one week ago on Friday, and the term failure is already being associated with head coach Tom Herman’s first season. And Texas hasn’t even played in its bowl game.
Here’s a foreign concept, Longhorn fans: Don’t try evaluating an entire 12-game season immediately after one bad loss. It’ll help. It might even prevent the premature use of the term hot seat.
Texas fans’ overreaction to Herman’s first season is worse than this country’s premature celebration of Christmas. We need to stop listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving and Texas fans need to stop pretending like 6–6 is worse than the back-to-back 5–7 seasons.
This greedy, gullible, dramatic fan base needs to let the dust settle.
If we are going to mention hot seats, however, there is one person that comes to mind, and it’s not Tom Herman. It’s offensive coordinator, Tim Beck.
It may be too soon to declare a 12-game season a failure but in this case, 12 games was more than enough to realize that this Longhorn offense is borderline comedic.
That was on full display Friday night. With a 23-20 lead and just over 2 minutes remaining in the game, Texas faced a third-and-2 needing just one more first down to seal the game.
Instead of running the ball for a short first down conversion, the Longhorns decided to throw the ball. In case you haven’t heard, freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw an interception, allowing the Red Raiders to score the game-winning touchdown moments later.
That’s what I meant by comedic. The 250-pound running back Chris Warren III didn’t get one carry Friday night. But hey, the Longhorn coaching staff hasn’t utilized him all season, so why start now? No wonder he decided to take his talents elsewhere.
Warren will transfer to another school where he should be utilized much better than he was here at Texas, and once Longhorn fans have time to calm down, they’ll realize there’s one more game this season.
A 6–6 record isn’t the end of the world. It’s Herman’s first season and patience is a virtue. Texas hasn’t been elite in years, so the Longhorns’ return to prominence won’t happen overnight.
Don’t forget Texas’ place in college football right now. It may not be easy, especially after Texas’ collapse against Texas Tech, but slow downs on labeling this season as a failure. Oh, and enjoy the bowl game. Don’t be greedy, it’s something.