With a Big 12 title surprisingly within their grasps, the Texas Longhorns need to pull for their rival Oklahoma Sooners for the remainder of 2013.
In fact, outside of Norman, the biggest Oklahoma supporters may actually reside in Austin.
It’s funny how college football works sometimes.
Back on Oct. 12, unranked Texas topped the then-No. 12 Sooners 36-20 in the 108th installment of the Red River Rivalry. It was an outcome that was not only unexpected, but one that also changed the expectations of the Longhorns completely.
Now, at 5-0 in the conference, the team is thinking Big 12 title and Fiesta Bowl.
It’s a stunning turn of events for a Texas squad that was considered dead in the water after losing two of its first three contests. That includes surrendering a school-record 550 rushing yards in a 40-21 loss to BYU.
Fortunately, those two losses came against non-conference opponents.
However, the Longhorns will need a little help from their adversary up north if they want to make a serious charge for a BCS berth.
As it stands, the Big 12 conference table looks like this:
|Big 12 Standings (Through Week 10)|
|Team||Conf. Record||Overall Record|
|4. Oklahoma State||4-1||7-1|
|5. Texas Tech||4-2||7-2|
|6. Kansas State||2-3||4-4|
|7. West Virginia||2-4||4-5|
|10. Iowa State||0-5||1-7|
Sure, it may appear that only one or two teams have a realistic shot of snatching the conference title out of Texas’ hands. However, the Longhorns remaining schedule isn't doing the team any favors.
Over the final five weeks of the season, the team’s schedule consists of: at West Virginia (Nov. 9), versus No. 14 Oklahoma State (Nov. 16), versus No. 25 Texas Tech (Nov. 28) and at No. 6 Baylor (Dec. 7).
It all makes for quite the challenging task for a Texas squad that has been anything but consistent this year. It gets even more daunting when you consider that those four teams have a combined record of 25-8.
That’s where Oklahoma comes in.
The Sooners play both the Bears and Cowboys before their season is up. Both are winnable games, based on how Oklahoma looked during a 38-30 victory over the previously undefeated Red Raiders on Oct. 26.
If the Sooners won both games, it would allow the Longhorns a little room for error.
Texas would be able to control its own destiny, even with a loss—granted that it doesn't come against Baylor.
Obviously, winning out is the team’s first priority. But who doesn't like to have a little security blanket?
While rooting for that doggone team from Norman, Okla. may go against the nature of every die-hard Longhorns fan, it’s also completely in the best interest of their beloved Texas team.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com.