If any Longhorn fans happen to stumble across this, I’m guessing one of their first thoughts will be something along the lines of: What does a KU fan know about good football? Well, I definitely know about BAD football, so ipso facto, I feel like I have a pretty good feel on good football.
Also, as you’ll see, the question could be easily turned around: What does a Texas fan know about good football?
Of course at Kansas, I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum. I’ve seen 12-1 and an Orange Bowl (something Texas, a “football school,” hasn’t sniffed since 2009), and I’ve obviously seen the debacle that has been the last 10 years of KU football. So maybe at the very least, I will say I’m uniquely qualified to comment on the current situation.
Sure, making fun of Kansas football is easy. Lazy, even. But making fun of Texas (aka UT-Austin)? Turns out, that’s pretty easy too. Twitter has been abuzz with Texas jokes, and I’m here for all of it. I want to link and post them all, but who has that kind of time?
Every year the question is asked: Is UT-Austin back? Of course, that has become a meme in and of itself, because the obvious answer is always: lol no. Personally, I answer that question with a question: Has UT-A gone somewhere? They haven’t won the Big 12 since 2009, and have won just three conference titles in 22 years. Since 1980 - 41 seasons - UT-A has seven conference titles, and one of those was given to them by the NCAA after the team that actually finished in first place was hit with sanctions (1994).
That’s, uh, not really that impressive for an alleged football school. I’m not really sure you can claim you’re “back” if you haven’t been consistently great since the Vietnam War.
And now, UT-Austin is (probably) leaving for the SEC sometime within the next four years, where instead of battling one school for the conference title in Oklahoma, they’ll get to go up against... six?... perennial national title contenders, as any of Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida, LSU, and of course, Oklahoma (allegedly) will be able to go toe-to-toe with them from the get-go. (If sleeping giants Tennessee and Texas A&M ever wake up, you can add them to the list, too.)
To say it mildly, this is a problem for UT-A. And, using some biased comparative scoring, I intend to show you why.
In a result that will never cease to be hilarious, Kansas has only defeated UT-A on the scoreboard once since the Longhorns were rescued by the Big 12 as the SWC fell apart. However, the Jayhawks came close four other times, meaning the series could easily be a much more respectable 12-7 instead of the 16-3 that is currently reflected in the record books.
(KU was 2-0 vs Texas prior to the Big 12’s formation, people forget that.)
UT-A 27, KU 23. Ah, the infamous “Dollar Signs” game. I was in the stands for that one, and if you really think Charles Gordon pushed off, I have a bridge in Arizona I’d like to sell you. Even with that, if Nick Reid, KU’s second all-time tackler, makes just one more on that 4th-and-18, Mangino would never had to have made those comments. (I don’t say that to be mean; I love Nick Reid, and I’m sure he wishes he had made that tackle way more than I do.)
Also if you’ll recall, KU was on its 4th-string QB for that game, and still led 23-13 with just 7:41 to play.
That UT-A team lost to OU 12-0.
That OU team beat KU 41-10.
UT-A 21, KU 17. After Kansas took a 17-14 lead with 2:28 to play, it took another fourth down conversion with less than two minutes on the clock for the Longhorns to escape Lawrence with a win. I don’t recall much controversy with this one, but it’s another example of UT-A not being able to put away a bad team the way good teams are supposed to.
Good teams like, you know, Oklahoma, who beat KU 52-7 this year.
OU also beat UT-A 63-21. (Ouch.)
KU 24, UT-A 21. The one notch in KU’s belt, and really the only one that matters, right? Who cares if it was a fluke, it was the least the football gods could do for us after six years of Turner Gill, Charlie Weis, and David Beaty. Only, it turns out the gods were still punishing us after all, as then-AD Sheahon Zenger used this result as a basis for extending Beaty and doubling his salary. Oof. So in reality, maybe KU actually took the L on this one.
That UT-A team lost to OU 45-40.
That OU team beat KU 56-3.
UT-A 24, KU 17. After “jumping” on the Jayhawks and leading 21-0 after three quarters, the Longhorns yet again failed to put away their inferior opponent as the Jayhawks put up a furious fourth quarter rally. KU recovered one onside kick late in the game and even scored off of it, but the Jayhawks could not do so twice, and so once again, Texas escaped Lawrence with a W.
That Longhorn team actually beat Oklahoma 48-45. It was just the third win for UT-A over the Sooners since 2010.
To be fair, that Oklahoma team also struggled with KU, winning a 55-40 back-and-forth affair. KU punted twice and OU never did, which turned out to be the difference.
UT-A 50, KU 48. This one wasn’t in Lawrence, unlike the rest of our list. Kansas took a 1-point lead on a helluva 2-point conversion with just 1:11 to play, but KU’s defense was bad enough that this time no fourth-down conversions were required on UT-A’s part - just a third-and-six on their own 40 with 43 seconds left. However, take out the kicking woes, and KU wins that game by more than a touchdown.
UT-A lost to Oklahoma again this year, but at least by a more respectable 34-27 score.
Oklahoma demolished KU, 45-20.
After back-to-back close games with the Jayhawks in 2018 and 2019, UT-A “shutdown football operations” in the week prior to the KU game in 2020. The Big 12 did not reschedule, and it was declared a “no contest.”
Uh huh. I see what you did there, Texas.
Shortly after this cancellation, at least according to the timelines that have been reported, UT-Austin began talks with the SEC.
Pretty fishy, if you ask me.
So go ahead, UT-Austin. Swap out Kansas for Vanderbilt. Let’s see how much good that really does you. But hey, at least you’ll get away from the other Big 12 schools you struggle with. We’ve already discussed plenty regarding Oklahoma’s dominance of UT-A, but did you know that K-State is 9-8 vs UT-A since the Big 12 formed, with five of UT-A’s wins by less than a touchdown?
And let’s not forget about TCU’s 7-2 record against UT-A since the Frogs joined the Big 12.
Or how about a combined 0-4 against Maryland and Cal in the noncon recently.
To be clear, yes, I’m saying UT-A is doing exactly what Nebraska did in 2011 - taking their ball and leaving. I guess we shouldn’t expect anything else from a team that can’t handle the “Horns Down” gesture. So since they can’t hang in the Big 12, instead they’ll test themselves against squads like Arkansas, Mississippi State, and South Carolina.
But it’s OK, just keep believing you can hang in the SEC. After all, believing is half the battle.
Oh I know, you’ll make more money, too. It’s all about the money, isn’t it? After all, that’s what made the difference.