Texas Longhorns baseball lost 6-1 in Norman Friday night in what was arguably the most debilitating loss of the season to date. The 11-15 Longhorns gave up all their runs on three homers, and on offense, there were only three players with hits at all (two from each Clemens brother, and two from Tres Barrera). Oklahoma’s win was their first at home over Texas since 2008.
This was a golden opportunity for Texas to build off any momentum left from taking the series against TCU last weekend. Before yesterday, Texas’ next three Big 12 opponents -- Oklahoma, Kansas St., and Kansas -- were 0-8 in Big 12 play. All three are also outside of the top 100 in Boyd’s rankings. The next three weeks are a huge relief from Texas’ fourth-ranked strength of schedule, and the Longhorns will need to capitalize on that going forward.
Wishing for momentum may seem futile when the successes feel more like anomalies than the disappointments. If the Longhorns have any hope of making the College Baseball Tournament, they are going to have to find a way to win their next two against the Sooners. With 26 games remaining, Texas can probably only lose eight or nine more in total to still feel good about their chances. It’s a Hail Mary prayer unusual for a program that has only missed the tournament four times since 1979.
It’s easy to live in the past. Heck, it’s hard to get away from it -- especially when photos from the 2014 College World Series are about the only Longhorn baseball pictures Burnt Orange Nation can legally use. That said, at this point it would be naive to expect a sudden return to glory in the 2016 squad. The Longhorns are running out of time, much like we are running out of pictures from that Vanderbilt game two years ago. There’s certainly room for growth in a young team with a hall of fame coach. However, It’s time to temper expectations. So buckle up, because Augie’s likely final ride is a tumultuous one.
Next game is today at 3 p.m. on Fox College Sports Central. Open thread in the comments.