FORT WORTH, TEXAS - I waited until today to post this, mostly because if I had done it yesterday, the entire report would have been this:
Shitshow. No further notes. On to Texas. See you on the Midway.
That still applies, and is the journalistic equivalent of what the coaching staff should do, which is burn the tape and forget it ever happened. That said, I figured I should offer some wisdom for those of you, unlike me, who did not sit through every game of the Schnellenberger/Blake era in person. Most of you don't have much experience with the kinds of beatings we took yesterday outside of national semifinals. I sat through four straight years of repeated beatdowns, interspersed with a few wins over mostly bad teams and the occasional close loss due to abject incompetence.
Where this team is now means you need to recalibrate your fandom. We aren't going to the playoff this year, and the conference title is almost out of reach two games into the conference season. Yes, I know that two years ago we started conference play 0-2 and still won it. And that could theoretically happen again. But this team is not that team, and I don't expect it at all.
So you need to just take each game as its own thing. No worries about rankings, or standings, or playoffs, or anything like that. Just go and enjoy each game as its own independent thing, and when it's over, it's over, and we move on to the next. I have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of what were otherwise "lost" seasons by doing this.
The last two weeks have shown how wrong most of us were to assume that losing half the coaching staff and turning over half the roster would not cause any hiccups. The first three games of the season didn't help that. But we are where we are now, which is not a very good place. This is not a good football team right now. The responsibility for that lies with one man, and his name rhymes with Stinkin Giley. He gutted us, and we are only now realizing just how bad it was. Coach V will get it back to where it needs to be, but it will take a bit.
Dillon Gabriel is a gamer, but he's not the kind of talent we need at QB. He's not elite. Against TCU, he repeatedly missed wide open receivers again, which really hurt the offense. He was getting protection and guys were getting open - he just couldn't hit them. His play was a stark contrast to what I saw when I watched PAC-12 after dark last night, and a guy who was in crimson only a few short months ago.
No telling at this point if Gabriel will play against Texas after his consciousness was yeeted away from him in the first half yesterday by a horrendous cheap shot. That hit should really be a multi-game suspension. Regardless, once Gabriel went out yesterday, Davis Beville came in and looked like the proverbial deer in the headlights. He got better in the second half, but was still not good. Him starting in Dallas is a frightening thought. But he's what we've got, so we will roll with him.
The prognosis for the Cotton Bowl is not good. Texas is favored for the first time since 2009. They think they will roll us. We think they will roll us. And they very well might.
But the nature of OU-Texas is such that the team that comes in looking like it is outclassed often wins outright. The backup QB that starts this game often has the game of his life and then is never heard from again. See McCoy, Case, etc.
So while the likelihood is that we will lose, and perhaps lose by a lot, to Texas. it's just as likely to go the other way. I may well be here next week reveling in a glorious win over the hated Horns. And then we will probably lose to Kansas the following week.
Speaking of Kansas, College GameDay is going to Lawrence for undefeated TCU visiting undefeated Kansas. Second Saturday in October, and the Big 12 game they are at is in Lawrence. Just like we all expected when the season started.
Anyway, you all need to keep the faith. This shall pass. And besides - it's just a game. See you on the Midway. BEAT THE HELL OUTTA TEXAS!!!