Tom Herman doesn’t want Texas football fans to panic, but is it too late?

Tom Herman, Texas Longhorns. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK)
Tom Herman, Texas Longhorns. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via USA TODAY NETWORK) /

Tom Herman is absolutely feeling the heat from Texas football fans.

Texas football fans are panicking and definitely pointing the finger at head coach Tom Herman.

The Texas Longhorns may be a top-25 team, but only barely. They will take their No. 21 ranking into the Red River Rivalry to face what looks to be the worst Oklahoma Sooners team since 1998. Oklahoma is already out of it, but if Texas loses to the Sooners, this will be another Big 12 team we can cross off from the College Football Playoff conversation. It’s do or die in Dallas for Texas.

This has to be the worst Red River Rivalry game in a generation, right?

Like, how do we find ourselves here? Oklahoma and Texas had two Heisman Trophy-contending quarterbacks in Spencer Rattler and Sam Ehlinger…or so we thought. What we’ve seen out of the Big 12 in the first five weeks of the season has been nothing short of a disaster. Only the No. 10 Oklahoma State Cowboys remain unblemished in their 10-team, Power 5 conference.

Though the Boomer Sooner faithful can somehow convince themselves this year is an anomaly for their blue-blood football team, Longhorn Nation has to accept it’s just more of the same. Texas is still not back, and may not be able to come back under Herman’s watch. It’s been over a decade since Mack Brown’s 2009 team lost to Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide in the national title.

What is especially troubling for the Longhorns under Herman is their continued struggles against unranked teams when they reside in the top 25. This is the sixth time Texas has lost as a ranked team to an unranked one since Herman took over the program back in 2017. Since the TCU Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 in 2012, they are 7-2 under Gary Patterson vs. in-state rival Texas.

2020 was the year Texas should have finally been back. To be back, the Longhorns need to win the Big 12 Championship game with one or fewer losses and make the College Football Playoff. Anything less than that does not constitute being back. There is too much talent in-state for Texas to not regularly be a 10-win team in a 12-game season. This is underachievement at its core.

Even though Oklahoma is undeniably the better football program historically, Texas’s inability to not be a top-two team in the Big 12 during the College Football Playoff era is no longer acceptable. Whoever loses in the Cotton Bowl in the early-afternoon window on Saturday is in massive trouble. With Oklahoma in its most desperate spot in decades, this doesn’t bode well for Texas.

Herman may want to cease the panicking, but losing at home to TCU was not a solution for that.

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