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The SMO: Your Sunday morning optimist

Taysom Hill and his indestructible knee embarrass the Longhorns for the second year in a row

Chris Covatta

There is something inherently awful about being emotionally invested into Texas football. I've been going to games for the last 15 years and last night's 41-7 loss against BYU was the worst home game I've ever seen.

A quick reminder--the SMO does not deal with logic or reason. It doesn't care about your fancy stats or film review. The SMO is an over-the-top emotional response to everything Texas football. That's what the fans want. That's what I plan to give them.

Extremely Optimistic- Texas Basketball

I know it's only week two of football season, but why waste a potential life-threatening tumor on that debacle when you can get ready for Texas basketball?

The Longhorns return everybody from last year's team, including big-man Cameron Ridley and point guard Isaiah Taylor. The Longhorns added five-star recruit Myles Turner and SF Jordan Barnett, who scored 43 points in his high school state championship game.

Sure, Rick Barnes might blow it in the Sweet 16, but this team has the potential to make a deep run in the tournament in March. They're a preseason top-five team as it is.

Optimistic - Defense

Texas held BYU to six points in the first half, but when you're on the field 80% of the time, you're going to get tired and give up big plays. That's what happened to the Longhorns in the third quarter.

The team is developing talent on the defensive line and in the defensive backfield. They need to find some young linebackers that can step in and start making a difference.

You feel bad for guys like Quandre Diggs, who've given everything they've had to this program the last four years only to have the guys surrounding them fall short of expectations. Diggs made a big interception last night at the end of the first half that kept the Longhorns within one touchdown--not that the offense had the ability to score six points.

Taysom Hill is to hereby be referred to as the legend of Taysom Football. He owns Texas. There was a point last night--when he jumped over Dylan Haines--where you wondered how other teams play BYU. If the Cougars are doing this to Texas year after year, how are they not slaughtering everyone else? How did UConn play BYU competitively and Texas lose by 34?

The good news for Longhorns fans is that they will never have to face Taysom Football again. If there was anything positive to come out of last night's humiliating loss, it's knowing that Taysom is gone now--leaving behind only the nightmares of his indestructible knee.

Extremely Pessimistic- Special Teams

It's absurd that a state school with 50,000 students doesn't have one student that can kick a football 40 yards between two goalposts.

Nick Rose attempted a field goal on Saturday night, at least that's what I think it was. It never stood a chance. He missed one last week, too. If you watch him during warmups, his percentage isn't very good--and that's with no pressure.

The kick return game was particularly bad, accounting for at least one penalty and one turnover. The only time Texas tried to set up a designed return, BYU tackled Marcus Johnson on the 10-yard line.

Punter William Russ is hit or miss every time he kicks the ball. He needs to be more consistent, because he's going to being punting a lot this season.

Extremely Pessimistic- Offense

Very few times in my life have I seen a Texas unit as inept as the Texas offense was Saturday. From the play-calling to the on-field performance, the offense struggled to impress anyone.

Shawn Watson's vanilla playbook was uninspired. Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes made a couple bad decisions but was serviceable. His first few passes came on roll-outs because he had no time in the pocket. John Harris flashed brilliance and then fumbled. Marcus Johnson and Jaxon Shipley struggled to get open and dropped some balls. The offensive line is a dumpster fire. The running backs had no where to go.

It was an embarrassing effort all around. Texas is going to lose a lot of games if the BYU performance was par for the course for this offense.


BYU has the Longhorns' number, and I hope not to see them on the schedule for a very long time.

It's embarrassing to see your school get routed at home. It's embarrassing to see the opponent put in its second-team against the Longhorns starting defense so they can get some "game experience." It's embarrassing to have single-handedly put one opposing player into the Heisman conversation two years in a row.

Texas isn't even the butt of jokes anymore. Pundits don't talk about Texas like its performance is surprising or disappointing. It's not a relevant program. Texas has regressed beyond that. Texas is the guy from high school who dropped out senior year and was the talk of town, but now, a few years later, is the afternoon manager at a local Radioshack and every time you're in town and you see him, you walk the other way because he makes you sad. It's not OK to poke fun at him anymore because you know he can't help it. That's Texas football. Texas football is slowly morphing into Tennessee.

Lay blame on the guys who keep getting in trouble. They left their teammates out to dry. Desmond Harrison, Kennedy Estelle and Daje Johnson are hurting the team with their behavior. They aren't good enough to get away with it.

Texas is now in a weird position where fans don't know if the team is struggling because of the old coaching regime or the new coaching regime. They won't find out until next year, which means if it's the new staff's fault, it won't get corrected until the 2016 season.

Welcome to Texas, Charlie Strong. You get a pass this season--but performances like last night's aren't going to fly anymore. Let's hope you can fix this program.