Now comes the tough love. The Longhorns were victorious and losers at the same time. Yes, both these things are true. They won the game and lost a chance to tell college football that they belong with the big boys this season. They choked away a long shot at history.
Let's call this what it was. This was a lucky 24-21 Fiesta Bowl win over an average team whose claim to fame now is beating Michigan. Whoop-de-damn-do. Everyone beats Michigan. Appalachian State beats Michigan. You won, Texas, but this was still uglier than one of Barry Switzer's chocolate pinstripe suits.
Because you needed to demolish Ohio State, I believe, to impress voters and have a chance at No. 1 in the country and you should've destroyed this team. This squeaker likely devastates your cause and obliterates any argument you have at claiming No. 1.
Please, don't hate the messenger. You saw what I saw. There was average offensive line play by the Longhorns, a Big 12 defense soft as a baby's bottom and Colt McCoy at times playing like Dr. McCoy.
Colt McCoy definitely had his splendid moments and his game-winning drive is further proof he belongs on the next level. But he needed to be spectacular for the entire game and he wasn't until the very end. He should have put up 600 yards and five touchdowns against this mediocre Buckeyes defense.
But this isn't solely about McCoy. This game is an indictment of the entire Texas team, who played mostly uninspired when the stakes were so high. Basically, they were great for only two minutes.
"I don't think there's anybody in the country who can beat us at this point," McCoy said.
But the Longhorns didn't show that with this win. They actually showed that anyone can play with them.
The problem is the Longhorns were supposed to make a statement to the country: Don't forget about us in the national championship discussion. We belong in the conversation with Florida, Oklahoma and Utah. They were supposed to seal that belief by blowing off Ohio State's doors, instead the 6-3 halftime score was the second lowest in Fiesta Bowl history. There hadn't been a Fiesta Bowl halftime score that low in three decades.
Florida would've destroyed this Ohio State team (been there, done that) and Oklahoma would have as well. Utah would've spanked them, too.
The Buckeyes just aren't that good.
|Colt McCoy needed to play well for four quarters for Texas to make a statement. (Getty Images)|
Texas blew it. Texas blew it big time.
A narrow three-point win over a mediocre team doesn't cut it when it comes to making statements.
When USC played Ohio State, the Trojans beat the Buckeyes senseless from kickoff to sunset. The Longhorns failed to score in the first quarter against the Buckeyes and it wasn't until near the fourth quarter when the Longhorns started to establish themselves.
Still, it was only a 17-9 Texas lead with seven minutes left in the game. Ohio State later took the lead and almost had it won until McCoy took over.
It's impossible not to like this Longhorns team personally. Brown is a gentleman and a good coach; the players and fan base aren't overly arrogant or thin-skinned.
But once the euphoria ends over beating Ohio State in the last minute the Longhorns are going to look back at this game and say, "We should've destroyed these guys. We should've made a huge statement."
They're going to say: We blew it. We freaking blew it.