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

Hutch’s Huddle: Kansas State

Lorianne Willett

So far this season, Texas football head coach Steve Sarkisian has been fairly humble in terms of bragging about his team’s success. In his press conference on Monday, one day prior to the announcement of the College Football Playoff rankings, Sarkisian weighed in his thoughts on how the Longhorns have managed to shine ahead of their departure for the SEC.

“I’d argue that we have the best win in the country right now,” Sarkisian said. “I hear so much about how tough the SEC is, but I haven’t seen any of those teams go into Alabama and win either.” 

Texas has claimed the third-highest ranked victory of the 2023 season, based on AP poll rankings, with then-No. 8 Washington’s victory over then-No. 7 Oregon and then-No. 15 Oklahoma’s Red River win taking the top two spots. 

Ahead of the actual results being released, predictions estimated that Texas would be placed behind Oklahoma but ahead of Alabama, as head-to-head matchups are heavily considered. However, others placed Alabama ahead of Texas, and Oklahoma underneath. All three teams have a 7–1 record, with each one receiving an upset loss to a lower-ranked team at the time. 

But after the official College Football Playoff rankings were finally released on Tuesday night, Longhorn fans were met with a treat instead of a trick. Texas was placed ahead of both Oklahoma and Alabama, with the only other one-loss opponent ahead of the Longhorns being now-No. 6 Oregon. As expected, the top five spots were given to the five teams who still boast an undefeated record, with Ohio State claiming the top spot.

In his announcement, CFP committee chairman Boo Corrigan described his thought process for placing Oklahoma underneath both Texas and Alabama. 

“Looking at this, Texas over Alabama, winning there in Tuscaloosa, similar to Texas-Oklahoma but then add in the factor that Oklahoma lost that game to Kansas as well as a close game with UCF,” Corrigan said.

Spectators argued that Oklahoma’s win over Texas should’ve carried more weight, as the committee considered Texas’ head-to-head win over Alabama. However, many factors come into consideration here, as Oklahoma beat Texas at a neutral site, not in Austin, with their margin of victory being only four points in a last minute scramble. Oklahoma’s lone loss to Kansas occurred in Lawrence, giving the then-unranked Jayhawks a high-stakes victory against the then-No. 6 Sooners.

Looking ahead, Texas, Oregon, Alabama and Oklahoma have the most probable chance of seeing playoff hopes as 7-1 teams. The Ducks currently look to face only two more ranked teams, No. 24 USC and No. 16 Oregon State, and with their only loss being a three-point game against Washington, Oregon is not down for the count and will most likely be the next team to slide in if the top five struggle in the coming weeks. 

The Crimson Tide, on the other hand, may see some struggle against its next opponent, No. 14 LSU. The Tigers stripped Alabama of its playoff hopes last season when then-No. 16 LSU defeated then-No. 5 Alabama by one point in a thrilling overtime finish. If the Tide can show out against the Tigers, then it will be smooth sailing for Alabama as their final three opponents are currently unranked.

Oklahoma arguably has the least worrying schedule out of the four contenders, as they currently have no remaining ranked matchups. But unranked opponents have seemed to be a thorn for the Sooners recently, with UCF giving Oklahoma a run for its money in Norman during Week 8, which Corrigan said he also considered in his CFP decisions. The program will take on Oklahoma State this weekend, who, despite being unranked through the season so far, came out on top against now-ranked teams Kansas State and Kansas just a few weeks ago. Another upset could be brewing for the Sooners, which would call for their dismissal from any playoff chances and give Texas the necessary upper hand.      

As for Texas, a hefty win over No. 23 Kansas State this weekend could prove to be helpful in climbing the rankings, as they are another ranked opponent on the schedule. The Wildcats come into Austin after allowing zero touchdowns for the Houston Cougars, something that the Longhorns couldn’t accomplish just a week prior. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian has already called upon fans to make Darrell K Royal Stadium a hostile environment for Kansas State, suggesting that Saturday’s game will be one spectators won’t want to miss.  

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About the Contributors
Emma Hutchinson, Senior Sports Reporter
Emma is a journalism sophomore from Prosper, Texas and is probably watching Dallas Mavericks highlights as you read this. She currently works on the women’s basketball beat as a senior reporter, but has previously reported on men’s swim and dive and softball. In addition to watching the Mavericks, she enjoys spending her free time with the people she loves most, usually by grabbing some coffee or boba with them.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.