For the first time since 2009, the Texas Longhorns are penciled in for a place in the Big 12 Championship game at AT&T Stadium.
After West Virginia re-opened the door for Texas to take control of its conference destiny last Saturday with a loss to Oklahoma State, the Longhorns stampeded through it and are now on to Arlington courtesy of a 24-17 Friday afternoon win over the Kansas Jayhawks.
“Extremely proud. We’re overachieving. We understand that there’s some really good teams in this league; really good teams,” Herman told FOX Sports’ Alex Curry during his post-game interview.
What’s now reality certainly wasn’t certain just weeks ago after Texas slumped through a two-game skid against Oklahoma State and West Virginia. With the two late conference losses removing Texas from its place atop the conference and out of the Big 12’s driver’s seat, the Longhorns needed a bit of luck to see their ticket to the title game get punched — namely, as noted, Mountaineers falling to the Pokes last weekend.
With the loss, which was celebrated by the masses at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium just moments prior to the ranked showdown with Iowa State, the Texas to-do-list had just two simple tasks — beat Iowa State and beat Kansas.
Of course, Texas cruised past the Cyclones on Senior Night, 24-10, and today, in avenging the 2016 loss that essentially sealed Charlie Strong’s fate and firing, Texas’ latest win sent the David Beaty era off in unsavory fashion while lifting the Longhorns to 9-3 and 7-2 in conference play.
Now, Texas awaits the outcome of tonight’s must-win matchup between No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 13 West Virginia.
With the Texas Red River Showdown win over Oklahoma, the Longhorns own the tie-breaker over the Sooners, so a West Virginia win would set up a rematch of the 42-41 loss on Nov. 3.
On the other hand, due to West Virginia falling short in Stillwater two weeks later, another Mountaineers loss would mark their third in conference play, and thus, see them fall behind Texas and Oklahoma in the top two.
At this moment, all Texas can do is wait and watch as the Horns discover their Big 12 title opponent, but that simple fact that such a feat has now come to fruition to cap Tom Herman’s second regular season on the Forty Acres is notable in and of itself.
The Big 12 Championship game is set for Saturday, Dec. 1, with Texas occupying the north sideline. Tickets are available here.