Thursday, June 13, 2013
No question where Texas' season hinges
By David Ubben
The scene's become all too familiar the past two seasons. As the endless fourth quarter dragged on, it was time for the overhead shot. The results were predictable. No longer was one half of the Cotton Bowl crimson and the other half burnt orange.
One half was Crimson and the other half was mostly silver, with a few masochistic Longhorn fans in burnt orange dotting the bleachers instead of electing to leak into the fairgrounds.
There's lots of talk about Texas being "back" this season, but the fans and I agree. No talk about that will really be complete unless Texas' 2013 season includes a win over Oklahoma. Nothing ruins a season faster than a loss to the hated Sooners, and 60 percent of voters said that's Texas' most important game of 2013. No contest here. It almost felt a little silly even making that poll, but we're walking through each team's schedule. No team's most important game has been more emphatic than the Longhorns'.
Just 13 percent of voters checked the Kansas State game, and the game against my Big 12 favorite for 2013, Oklahoma State, got just 12 percent of the vote.
Games against in-state rivals TCU (six percent) and Baylor (nine percent) didn't hit double digits.
Oklahoma's left the Texas State Fair as a winner in each of the past three seasons, but it's worth noting that the last time Texas won, it went 12-0 and played for a national title.
It's a little unfair to say Mack Brown is really on the "hot seat" this fall, but if he loses a fourth consecutive game to Oklahoma -- especially one that's not competitive in the second half -- the voices who say it's time for a change at Texas will be hard to drown out. The rest of the season is important, too, but that Oklahoma game always sets a tone for the season, and this year will be no different.
Any big year for Texas requires a win over Oklahoma to be truly satisfying.