Texas Football: 10 takeaways from the college football weekend




 

The Texas Longhorns finished the season with a strong win over a good Baylor team on Friday. The game lifted the Longhorns to an 8-4 season, showing progress after last year's campaign.

While the positive program trajectory is noteworthy, there's still plenty to unpack for the remainder of the 2022 season.

Saturday wasn't as kind to the Longhorns who still had an outside chance at a conference championship appearance.

Steve Sarkisian and company needed the Kansas Jayhawks to upset the Kansas State Wildcats to help Texas into the championship game. Kansas couldn't get the job done.

The Longhorns' two main rivals played on Saturday night. The lesser of the two, Texas A&M, pulled off the upset of the century against LSU. That is, if they weren't on the losing end of the biggest upset earlier this year.

On a more positive note, the Longhorns' chief rival bit the dust on the night. Oklahoma lost to Texas Tech, 51-48 in overtime. Let's determine what to make of the weekend.

Texas makes tangible progress

 

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

In recent weeks, we've noted that Texas must first become good before they can be great. The Texas team that defeated Baylor by double digits was a very good team. There were certainly struggles. Quinn Ewers gave the opposition eight points with a fumble and intentional grounding, but it didn't matter all that much. Ewers ended up completing 75% of his passes and over 12 yards per attempt. Ultimately, if not for Steve Sarkisian showing mercy, Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson probably turn the game into a rout.

Lincoln Riley upgraded

 

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

I think we can put this debate to rest. Lincoln Riley upgraded by heading to USC. The Trojans have gone from 4-8 to 11-1 and are now on the brink of a College Football Playoff appearance in Year One. Riley is unquestionably a Top 5 head coach in college football, while the program he left is in disarray.

Oklahoma has work to do

 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners finished with their worst record since the John Blake era ended in 1998. The Sooners have the most work to do on head coach Brent Venables' side of the field after Texas Tech scored 48 points in regulation before kicking a game-winner in overtime. It's hard to locate rock bottom for the season. Oklahoma's 49-0 loss to Texas in Red River will probably be remembered most from 2022.

Fire up the hype machine for Texas A&M

 

Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M's upset win over No. 5 LSU was impressive. It doesn't erase the seven losses prior. The Aggies historically underachieved. The highlight of the year was a 17-14 home loss to a six-win Appalachian State team. That said, given their level of talent the team should see plenty of preseason hype next year.

Lincoln Riley isn't the only ex-Sooner thriving

It would appear former Oklahoma coaches and quarterbacks are better off away from Norman. Caleb Williams is well on his way to winning the Heisman and playing for a College Football Playoff. In addition, Spencer Rattler looks to have resurrected the South Carolina football program.

No conference championship this year

 

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman

The Texas Longhorns will watch the Big 12 championship from home this year. Frankly, they have no one to blame but themselves. That fact didn't make Kansas State's clinching win any less painful on Saturday night. The Longhorns were the better of the two teams, but K-State took care of business against Big 12 competition. The Wildcats were the more deserving title participant.

Remember the Alamo

 

AP Photo/Austin Gay, FIle

The Texas Longhorns are likely going back to the Alamo Bowl again this season. There are worse outcomes, but this game likely won't fire up the fanbase. Nevertheless, Texas is three wins better, and three losses better, than last season. The reality is, Steve Sarkisian and company will likely overpower their Pac-12 foe should they play in the Alamo Bowl again. There is an outside chance they make a better bowl game or face a tougher opponent than a Pac-12 squad.

Texas developmental improvement is staggering

 

Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylan Ford has gone from unknown to a likely All-Big 12 linebacker this season. Keondre Coburn, D'Shawn Jamison, Jahdae Barron, Jerrin Thompson and Barryn Sorrell all took huge steps forward this year. As for the offensive line, Texas should have one of the best in the conference next season with continued growth. Some of the above players will depart for the NFL, but Texas could start to become a plug-and-play type developer like they used to be in the early 2000s.

Balance of power is shifting

 

Ohio State Buckeyes At Michigan Wolverines

Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State are all likely to miss the College Football Playoff this season. Oklahoma certainly won't be there. Simultaneously Michigan and USC are back on the rise. The stranglehold once held by a select few in college football is loosening.

Texas can recruit with on-field product

 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The aforementioned player development cannot be ignored and is likely evident to Texas targets. Assuming Bijan Robinson enters the NFL Draft, the Longhorns will likely have at least one first round pick. Keondre Coburn, Roschon Johnson, DeMarvion Overshown and D'Shawn Jamison each have an opportunity to be taken in the seven-round draft as well. On-field production should help Texas not only recruit talented players, but winning players.

Story originally appeared on Longhorns Wire

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