Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Texas football could still see hopes of a College Football Playoff appearance


For Texas fans, the last thing they wanted to hear on that Saturday afternoon was how Texas is okay. Losing to Oklahoma, both teams undefeated for the first time in over a decade, it felt like the end of the world. But for the greater picture, it’s easy to see that Texas football is more than alright.

The Longhorns have had 14 days to think about and overcome the dread of the Oklahoma game thanks to the bye week and it’s hard to believe a team this talented won’t turn right back around to where they were before Oklahoma. The Longhorns stand at 5–1, ranked No. 8  in the nation, and what all these players are thinking about is their game in Houston on Saturday. For the rest of the world, every pair of eyes is on the College Football Playoff. 

There is no set in stone way to qualify for the College Football Playoff, but generally, a team must have no more than one loss and/or be a conference champion of a Power 5 school. After the Oklahoma loss, around 20 teams looked like they had a chance at the playoff. After a week off and two top ten losses, that number is only getting smaller. For Texas, the route is simple: win out or miss the invitation.

Texas has six more regular season games remaining on their schedule, all against Big 12 opposition. Nothing is guaranteed for a team as volatile as the Longhorns, but as it stands, Texas is favored to win with a 75% chance or higher in every game left on their schedule, according to ESPN Analytics.

If Texas gets the job done, they will be in the Big 12 Championship and will likely face the now No. 6-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. If those two teams hit the gridiron in Dallas, the game will likely decide a spot in the CFP. 

It’s never easy to just predict a team to win out and run a gauntlet of seven straight games, four of which are hosted away or at a neutral site, but this Texas team is up to the task. 

Through six games, this Longhorn roster has looked better than any former team has in fourteen years. 2009 was the last time Texas started the season 5–0, and 2018 is the only other time since that they’ve started 5-1. Both of those teams finished inside the AP top 10 at the end of the season, with the 2009 team reaching the national championship. 

“Ultimately, you kind of do an audit on yourself halfway through the season at different aspects of the game,” head coach Steve Sarkisian said on Monday. “We just need to make sure that from a game planning perspective, and what we’re asking of our players in game … everybody has the utmost confidence in those things.”

Texas still boasts one of the most talented teams in the nation, still ranking top ten in EPA/play, according to EPA tallies how efficient a team is on every down of the game, meaning on both sides of the ball Texas is extremely efficient, despite having the second hardest strength of schedule, according to

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers is still top 20 in the nation in many efficiency stats, including completion percentage and yards per attempt, and sophomore running back Jonathon Brooks still stands in the top 10 of yards from scrimmage in the nation, despite the early bye week. The offense also stands as one of the best in yards per play, and yet the defense may be even more impressive, ranking No. 10  in the exact same stat while having faced high powered offenses like Oklahoma and Alabama.

At the end of the day, it’s easy to get angry and throw out blame, both for fans and for the team. What’s harder is picking yourself up, creating realistic expectations, and then reaching them. This Texas team has all the tools in the world to make a run, but the result lies in the hands of Sarkisian, Ewers and company. There will be a lot learned on Saturday against the Houston Cougars, including if Texas is up to the task that lies ahead.

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About the Contributor
Evan Vieth, Senior Sports Reporter
Evan is a junior journalism major and the sports editor for the Texan. He is originally from Washington DC and has covered UT sports for 4 semesters and counting. He has covered the Men's Tennis, Soccer, Baseball and Football teams and had the opportunity to write about the 2023 Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl.