Texas has been 3-4 (or worse) eight times in the past 60 years. The Longhorns have been 3-4 in each of Charlie Strong’s three seasons with the program. It’s just one way to measure how disappointing Strong’s tenure has been since beginning with such hope and fanfare in early 2014.
The latest loss, a 24-21 decision at Kansas State, paints UT’s failures in bright colors. The Wildcats controlled the clock, overcame two second-half mistakes — a painful fumble near the goal line and a costly interception — and eventually wore down the Longhorns.
Meanwhile, Texas was completely unable to take advantage of any opportunity, failing to notch a single point off of Kansas State's three total turnovers. It all seemed familiar.
Once again with a losing record heading into the end of October, the Longhorns are left scrambling simply to reach bowl eligibility; any hopes of winning the Big 12 Conference were extinguished weeks ago. Is this what the program signed up for in 2014?
Obviously not. And hence the calls for Strong’s removal, which will hit a new fever pitch this weekend and continue through what might be his final weeks in the position.
Here are the rest of Saturday’s winners and losers across the Football Bowl Subdivision:
Alabama. While LSU and Auburn are yet to come before December, it feels as if Alabama passed the toughest test remaining on its schedule with a win against Texas A&M. Give some credit to the Aggies, who looked the part of a top-10 team. But the Tide are on a different level – and seem destined for an unbeaten record leading into the conference championship game.
Wisconsin. The Badgers snapped a two-game losing streak with a win at Iowa, adding another level of intrigue to the race in the Big Ten West Division. UW can step closer to booking a spot in the conference title game by beating Nebraska next week.
Best of Week 8 in college football
Lamar Jackson. After a sluggish performance in last week’s win against Duke — at least according to his ridiculous standard — Jackson was back up to his old tricks against N.C. State, scoring four touchdowns in the first half and accounting for 431 yards overall to solidify his grasp on the top spot in the Heisman Trophy race.
Auburn: The Tigers have found a groove after a slow start to the season, ratcheting up the offense to match a strong defense. Auburn embarrassed Arkansas on Saturday 56-3.
Western Michigan: The beat goes on for the Broncos, who moved to 8-0 with a 45-31 win against much-improved Eastern Michigan. The only problem? Two turnovers, which was twice as many as Western Michigan had through the first seven games.
Navy: The Midshipmen cruised past Memphis and are 5-1 overall, 4-0 in the American Athletic Conference and in command in the AAC West.
TCU. Half of the story is about West Virginia, which made another statement in its quest for national recognition by blitzing TCU. The other half of the tale is of the Horned Frogs, a trendy preseason pick in the Big 12 Conference. Not quite: TCU is 4-3, long finished in the College Football Playoff picture, and now in danger of being a Big 12 also-ran.
Texas A&M. Winning the SEC West Division now demands that A&M run the table and Alabama lose twice. So that’s not going to happen. The Aggies are still in the mix for a New Year’s Six bowl as the No. 2 team in the conference by ranking, but that’s little solace after coming up short against the Crimson Tide.
Stanford. The preseason favorite in the Pac-12 Conference is now 4-3, with all three defeats coming in league play. The latest was the ugliest loss yet: Colorado secured bowl eligibility in a 10-5 win, controlling the line of scrimmage against a program that has long prided itself on physicality.
Air Force. Once 4-0 with a win against rival Navy, the Falcons have since dropped three games in a row, with the latest a 34-27 double-overtime setback to Hawaii.
Missouri: The Tigers lost 51-45 to Middle Tennessee State of the Sun Belt, spoiling their 105th homecoming. Missouri (2-5 overall, 0-3 SEC) scored the most points in team history in a loss. The Tigers were flagged 13 times for 125 yards, allowing the Blue Raiders to extend multiple drives.
Contributing: The Associated Press