Getting blown out by No.7 Oklahoma State did not just ruin the Texas Longhorns' perfect Big 12 season, it threw the program's entire future in doubt—especially in the recruiting realm.
Winning out this season would have been a major boost for the Longhorns on the recruiting trail. It would have helped Texas prove it was back on top, and therefore kept some stability at the top.
Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda.
Instead, Texas at least has the appearance of being a program stuck in neutral. That storyline will dominate the recruiting trail until the 'Horns prove otherwise, even as they continue to entertain top prospects.
Absolute Wrong Time to Get Blown Out
If you think the Longhorns' 38-13 loss to Oklahoma State was bad, just have a look at who was watching every painstaking moment of it.
It doesn't stop there. As many as 12 members of Texas' 2014 class also came to Austin for the game, along with several 2015 and 2016 prospects, according to ESPN's William Wilkerson.
These are the kinds of occurrences that were unheard of at Texas prior to its current four-year slump. Now Texas has to worry about each of its recruits looking elsewhere.
Nothing drastic has happened yet, but these losses aren't helping this program reel in key targets.
Longhorns a "Dark Horse" for No. 1 Cornell
When the 2015's No. 1 recruit Jashon Cornell announced his list of possible destinations, Texas was hoping to make the cut. It sort of did, which is all that matters this early in the game.
Cornell left Texas off of the 15-team list that could acquire his services, but he told ESPN that the 'Horns are still a dark horse.
Reading between the lines, that means Cornell is either waiting for Texas to start dominating again or for a coaching change with which he can get on board. Still, that's enough for the 'Horns to press the 6'3", 245-pound defensive end.
Cornell would fill a need for Texas at defensive end, as Cedric Reed will be gone after next season and Shiro Davis will be entering his senior year. If he commits now, Cornell will also be Texas' first pass-rusher of the 2015 class.
This is somebody on whom Texas needs to keep an eye. He is far too talented to stay near his home state of Minnesota and would give the program a great out-of-state win.
Henderson Decision Looming
In the coming weeks, Texas will finally learn if it will be able to add a fourth defensive tackle to its 2014 haul. Former TCU commit Zaycoven Henderson will be making his decision on December 9, according to ESPN's Damon Sayles.
The 4-star prospect will choose between the 'Horns, Baylor and Texas Tech early this month, after decommitting from TCU in September. 247Sports projects Henderson to pick the good, which would be a nice in-conference win for Texas.
Zaycoven Henderson will decide on his college decision of Texas, Baylor or Texas Tech in Early December— Michael LaBarre (@Michael_LaB) November 24, 2013
Henderson is not considered a top national prospect as of now, but he is one that figures to climb as the recruiting season winds down. Sayles' report lists him at 318, and he has the burst to be an impact player for the Longhorns.
Texas already has three defensive tackles in Trey Lealaimatafao, Courtney Garnett and Jake McMillon, but the team would gladly add Henderson to the mix. Chris Whaley's Longhorn career has come to an end, meaning just three battle-tested tackles will be on the roster next season.
If all goes as expected, then Texas will have kept him away from three Big 12 rivals and added to an area of need. It should be a nice get.