Texas got past Kansas to earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship. What does it all mean to the college football world?
It’s Texas in the Big 12 Championship. It might have been a rocky road to get there, but it’s where it’s supposed to be.
Of course Texas fans demand national championships. Of course the program is supposed to be special, among the elite of the elite, and trips to the Big 12 title game are supposed to be a given. But celebrate the moment. It’s been a long, long time since the program was right there in the thick of things for the conference title, and Tom Herman has it there.
It could be a perfect day for Longhorn fans. Now, with this win, that could knock out Oklahoma, too. If the Sooners lose to West Virginia, they’re out of the College Football Playoff chase, and they’re done in the Big 12 title hunt, too.
But back to Texas under Herman, it hasn’t been dominant. It took way too much to get by Kansas, it was a sloppy game, and it was rough throwing the ball. But again … job done. It’s the first trip to the Big 12 Championship since 2009.
Sam Ehlinger wasn’t right. He played through his shoulder injury, but he threw two uncharacteristic interceptions and wasn’t able to run like he normally would. He scored a touchdown, but he only completed 16-of-28 passes for 154 yards with two touchdowns.
Ehlinger has to be Ehlinger to keep up in AT&T Stadium. Yeah, it’s fun that Texas is back in the Big 12 Championship mix, but it’ll get run out of the building if the passing game doesn’t five is sharpness and explosion again. That’s not happening without a healthier Ehlinger. His shoulder will be a wee bit of a topic of discussion this week.
Kansas was playing hard and it didn’t quit in the final game of the year and in David Beaty’s final day. But it’s still not okay that Texas only outgained the Jayhawks by five yards on the ground. Granted, most of the KU production came on one long touchdown run, but most of the work for the Longhorns cam on a big dash from Tre Watson, too.
In cold and less-than-ideal conditions, Texas managed to hang on to the ball for close to 35 minutes. The team might not have had its best day or played its A game performance, but it was able to grind the game down and get out with a win. The final score didn’t matter.
Texas is going to the Big 12 Championship.