At this point it would take a three-game sweep to finish off the season for it to feel like anything close to a success for Texas fans, and primarily because it would mean a win over Baylor for the first time since 2012.
The Longhorns (4-5, 3-3 in Big 12) begin the home stretch with a tough road game Saturday at West Virginia. Then Texas gets Texas Tech at home on Thanksgiving night before the season finale at Baylor on Dec. 5. The Longhorns need to win two to qualify for a second bowl game under coach Charlie Strong. It would give Texas an identical 6-6 record as last season before getting thumped by Arkansas in the Texas Bowl.
Another lower-tier bowl game doesn't excite many Longhorns fans. However, that could change if Texas were to take a four-game winning streak, capped by beating Baylor, and a 7-5 record into the bowl game. The Horns beat Kansas last week after flopping the week before at Iowa State.
Article continues below ...
Yet curiously, Strong didn't pound home the importance of winning all three games during his weekly press conference Monday. He did stress the importance of taking two of three so Texas can send off the team's seniors with a bowl game.
“We have to get our seniors to a bowl game, and it's critical now,” Strong told reporters. “We're sitting there with three left, and we've got to go win two of the next three, and it is, it's a one-game season. They understand they have to go get two of the next three.”
But why not three of the next three? Yes, the Mountaineers are tough at home, but they're also 1-1-4 in conference play. The Longhorns were embarrassed last Thanksgiving by TCU, but should be able to beat Texas Tech at home. And then there's Baylor. Does Texas believe it can't beat the Bears? Has it already chalked it up as a loss?
Texas has one victory over a ranked team this season when it surprisingly dispatched Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl. A win over Baylor would surely get the attention of an increasingly disinterested state — and even fan base — and most important, those all-important recruits the Longhorns desperately need.