Keep in mind that Texas narrowly avoided the program's worst shutout loss since getting blown out 68-0 by Chicago by scoring a late and mostly meaningless touchdown, but did not avoid becoming the first Big 12 team since 2000 to allow its first five opponents to score 29 points or more in each game.
So, was it the fact that Texas got demolished 37-0 in the first half, and there was former head coach Mack Brown, the architect of its demise, doing his damnedest not to obviously smirk his way through his "analysis" of the terrible, no-good performance?
Was it the fact that freshman cornerback Kris Boyd was on his phone during halftime, retweeting a plea that he transfer to Texas A&M along with freshman linebacker Malik Jefferson, then having former linebacker Cecil Cherry join the chorus?
Was it the fact that despite all of Brown's incompetence and malfeasance, once again showing a lack of progress, preparation, and continued special teams problems is starting to increasingly fall on head coach Charlie Strong and his staff?
Regardless of your choice of poison, it's all equally destructive, as whatever hope and goodwill remained from the two close losses against Cal and Oklahoma State evaporated with a quickness on a gorgeous day at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.
Since everyone wants to play the blame game, let's get something out of the way -- the announcers and unbiased draft analysts agree that Brown deserves plenty of it for the program's current state:
Charlie Strong is not without some blame, but casual fans don't realize how bad the situation in Austin was post-Mack Brown.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) October 3, 2015
I get the criticism of Charlie Strong, but he inherited a #Texas team void of talent. No SRs look draftable; their best players are freshmen— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) October 3, 2015
With that out of the way, let's talk about why Strong can no longer avoid significant blame of his own as a coach and decision-maker, especially in the construction of a coaching staff that has already suffered five major changes and will almost certainly undergo more turnover after this season.
This isn't good enough and after the blowout losses continue to mount, saying that he's going to get it fixed sounds as helpless as Brown's own statements to that effect at the end of his tenure.
With essentially three well-regarded defensive backs coaches on the staff, Strong hasn't been able to coax improved zone coverage from his secondary, as the mistakes once again occurred with regularity and led to several easy touchdowns by the Horned Frogs early. TCU also took advantage of schematic mismatches like the Texas linebackers against speedy freshman KaVontae Turpin that fall on Strong and his staff -- asking Peter Jinkens and Naashon Hughes to cover Turpin isn't setting them up for success.
With new special teams coach Jeff Traylor on board to supposedly help an abysmal unit improve from last year, the results have somehow gotten worse. In the first half alone the meltdown happened quickly for the Horns, as a new special teams mistake followed a fumble on the first possession when long snapper Kyle Ashby hiked the ball over the head of punter Michael Dickson for a safety. Then kicker Nick Rose sent the free kick bouncing out of bounds to set the tone for the day.
Two makeable missed field goals by Rose (the first wide right and the second wide left), a shanked punt by Dickson, and a punt that the up man and returner both allowed to hit and bounce to inside the Texas 4-yard line rounded out the special teams mistakes. Nope. Sorry, Ashby also missed an opportunity to recover a muffed punt when the ball hit him in the chest and then trickled down and away from him to allow TCU to maintain possession.
Perhaps some of those are individual mistakes that the special teams coach can't control, but taken as a whole and combined with the continued poor blocking on kickoff return, Traylor and the rest of the staff can't escape from blame.
Likewise, while new play caller Jay Norvell managed to push some of the right buttons during the first several games, the limited play book is clearly catching up with Texas -- though TCU was basically playing guys who were back ups or third-string players last year, the execution against plays they had seen on film was impressive and effective.
While that's just Norvell having to deal with limited options at this point, it's not excusable that he came out throwing so much early with the newest version of NCAA at right tackle in senior Marcus Hutchins. It's not excusable that he kept giving senior Johnathan Gray the ball well after it's become apparent that sophomore D'Onta Foreman is a much better option.
Consistently throwing screen passes into numbers disadvantages on the perimeter through the entire game to predictable results hardly made Norvell look any better. Were those missed reads by the quarterbacks or just a play that the Horns should shelve? Either way, the results were the same, leading to a quick passing game that no longer includes effective slip passes or packaged throws to the perimeter.
Norvell wants the offense to develop an identity, but it's not happening, as redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard's pocket presence visibly collapsed when pressured early, leading to a regression in his mechanics that resulted in numerous underthrows to destroy the downfield passing game.
Worst of all, circumstances like the firestom Boyd created with his halftime re-tweet makes it look like Strong doesn't have control of his program, an accusation that opposing coaches are surely going to pump into the ears of recruits in the coming days. Early playing time might sell to some extent, but this season is rapidly becoming a worst-case scenario for results on the recruiting trail in what will be a defining 2016 class for Strong.
The Texas head coach still doesn't deserve to get canned after this game or even at season's end, but his seat is heating up and it's highly questionable how much longer this team can hold it together mentally before imploding to an even greater extent than has already happened.
As much as this feels like rock bottom, the fact that Kansas was the only clear projected win for Texas heading into the game means that it can still get worse for the Horns before it gets better. And that's a terrifying thought.