Texas is not back. Far from it — Texas appears to have hit rock bottom.
After losing 57-56 in overtime at home to Kansas, a 31-point underdog, enduring mocking “S-E-C” chants and seeing a losing streak reach five games for the first time since 1956, the Longhorns need to win their last two just to go to a bowl game.
Tom Herman was fired a year ago for not winning a Big 12 title in four years. First-year coach Steve Sarkisian’s issues may be bigger than that.
“I don’t know,” he told reporters when asked if his players had checked out. “You’d have to ask them.
“I feel good about our messaging. I think we’ve got great leaders on the team, but you’d have to ask them that question.”
The Jayhawks had lost all nine times they’d ever played in Austin, but led by 21 in the second half on Saturday. Texas rallied, with quarterback Casey Thompson throwing a touchdown to force overtime with 22 seconds left, and the Longhorns scored first in OT.
But then it unraveled.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty gave the Jayhawks a short field. Devin Neal ran for a 2-yard touchdown and Kansas coach Lance Leipold decided to go for the win.
Jared Casey, a walk-on fullback who hadn’t caught a pass all year, hauled in the two-point conversion to snap a 56-game losing streak on the road in Big 12 play.
“It really says a lot about the young men we have in the locker room,” Leipold said. “They’ve been starving. It’s one win. We have to build on it.”
The loss for Texas also comes after defensive line coach Bo Davis was caught screaming at the team on the bus after a loss to Iowa State last week.
“Some of you motherf——s need to get in the transfer portal!” Davis yelled.
Sarkisian said the matter would be handled internally.
The Longhorns need to win at West Virginia and at home against Kansas State to finish 6-6 and be bowl eligible.