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Texas vs. OU: Your Sunday Morning Optimist takes a look at the good, the bad and the ugly

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‘Horns fans need to pull themselves together.

NCAA Football: Texas at Oklahoma Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

There is no worse feeling than losing to the Oklahoma Sooners for Texas Longhorns fans, but if you had to compare Saturday’s loss with the other two, it sure looked a lot better.

Still, Texas has dropped three in a row and is looking at the possibility of another .500 season. The program has become a laughingstock in the college football community, and not because of the on-field product. Just ask ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit:

Because optimism is low, we are going to come at today’s column from a different angle. Let’s start with the good.

The Good

Texas has a true freshman quarterback who, through five games, gives Longhorns hope for a brighter future. Shane Buechele has really only been afforded one cupcake in his first five games — unlike certain programs who frontload the schedule with FCS programs. In those five games, Buechele has already thrown for over 1,200 yards with 11 touchdowns and four interceptions.

D’Onta Foreman is battling through an injury, but the running back is earning his keep and then some. Foreman rushed 25 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns against the Sooners — averaging more than six yards per carry. The junior running back from Texas City has not played in a game this season where he hasn’t rushed for 130 yards or more. As ESPN’s Bomani Jones pointed out, Texas fans better appreciate what he is doing on the field while they still can.

The Texas receiving corps is loaded. The Longhorns have seven wide receivers who have scored touchdowns this season — with four scoring multiple times. This offensive unit should have Texas fans excited because it is young, developing and as competitive as any receiving corps in the country.

The Texas offense, statistically, is rolling. Let’s go to San Antonio Express-News reporter Mike Finger with more:

Texas is scoring points. The offense, for the most part, is cured. Problems on offense can now be described more as kinks than flaws.

The Bad

The Texas defense is atrocious.

There is no beating around the bush — it’s just bad. Texas allowed another unknown player become a college record holder yesterday, which has become an annual occurrence. ESPN tweeted out the following embarrassing stat line with three minutes remaining in the third quarter:

The Texas defense allowed 672 yards to the Sooners — only five yards less than the 677 it allowed OU in 2012. The big difference there? Oklahoma won that game by 42. The game yesterday (technically) came down to the final play.

I could sit around and bitch about the defense for another three paragraphs, but it’s beating a dead horse at this point. When it forced turnovers yesterday, the Texas offense couldn’t capitalize with points. When the Texas offense needed a stop — the defense couldn’t get off the field. It’s another game where Texas was “not close enough” — just like the OU field goal that looked like it was wide right before bouncing off the goal post and through the uprights.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow.

The Ugly

The ugly is you: The desperate, pathetic Texas fans who wrote off the 2016 season after the Cal game because, surprise, a team of underclassmen was unable to go undefeated.

Led by car salesman Red McCombs, a deteriorating old windbag who is the equivalent of an unhinged Orangebloods poster with $1.5B, the calls for Charlie’s head have been loud and damaging. It is unlikely he recovers.

Reasonable Texas fans love Charlie Strong, his staff and his players. Those same fans understand that Strong, who is not blameless by any means, is out of mulligans — and will need a miracle to keep his job. But those fans aren’t giddy about hiring a new coach, they’re disappointed for their current one.

A dumb college football fan believes that football coaches are binary. Certain coaches are “bad” and certain coaches are “good.” When a team is playing poorly, it is a reflection on its “bad” coach.

“If only we had a good coach,” an idiot thinks to himself, “perhaps we would have a good team.”

Let me turn your attention to a certain defensive coordinator in South Florida who will most likely be a finalist for the Broyles Award this year:

Texas fans can demand a complete staff overhaul for the second time in three years, but don’t pretend like it’s the magic cure. If you fire Charlie Strong, you better not whiff on another hire — or Texas football will be nothing more than Tennessee.

The 2016 season is far from over. Every remaining game on the schedule is winnable. Don’t give up yet.