After losing on the road against West Virginia 31-23, Texas was officially eliminated from bowl contention for the first time since 2016. Unfortunately for one of the proudest programs in the college, the infamous history does not stop there.
The Longhorns fell to 4-7 after losing six straight games for the first time since 1956. A loss also means head coach Steve Sarkisian has officially clinched the worst record for a first-year head coach on the 40 Acres since Dana X. Bible in 1937.
For comparison, Bible took over a program that went 2-6-1. Texas went 7-3 last season before firing Tom Herman. If the Horn loses their final game against Kansas State, they will clinch the program's worst winning percentage since that 1956 season, when Texas went 1-9 and fired sixth-year head coach Edwin Price.
When Texas opted to make a coaching change, the results on the field weren't terrible. Herman went 25-12 over his last three seasons. The Longhorns were in the Big 12 title race until late into Herman's final season and even rose to No. 8 in the AP Top 25 at one point. Herman's ceiling was never as high as fans and boosters wanted, but the floor wasn't as low as it is now.
The remaining talent was obvious earlier in the season as Texas built up double-digit leads against No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 11 Baylor and No. 13 Oklahoma. Running back Bijan Robinson was a Heisman contender. Wide receiver Xavier Worthy set the program freshman record for receiving touchdowns. Unfortunately, the Longhorns blew all three leads, setting off the historically embarrassing slide.
Earlier this week, Sarkisian noted that the program was impacted by transfers from the classes of 2018 and 2019. In the next breath, he noted that Texas could have 33 new scholarship players next season, opening the door to nearly 15 more transfers. The wheel keeps spinning.
Sarkisian wasn't hired to rebuild the program from its studs. The championship-winning offensive coordinator from Alabama was tasked with taking the Longhorns from good to great. Instead, the program has reached lows in virtually every category at a moment in history that it can hardly afford to collapse.
Over the offseason, Texas and rival Oklahoma announced plans to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. The Longhorns hoped a conference move could help reset what has been a dismal decade in the history of the blue-blood program. Instead, tripping over a series of rakes on their way out of the Big 12 puts the future of the program in danger.
Take a look at the program out east. When Texas A&M entered the SEC in 2012, it happened to experience one of the greatest seasons in program history behind Heisman-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel. The Aggies leveraged the metaphorical reseeding into growing a legitimate SEC West contender and hiring championship-winning coach Jimbo Fisher.
Conversely, look to the once-vaunted Nebraska Cornhuskers. The 'Huskers fired Bo Pelini after seven straight seasons of nine wins in hopes of taking the program to the next level. Instead, Mike Riley and Scott Frost are 34-46 over the last seven seasons heading into Saturday.
Losing to Iowa State, West Virginia and Kansas might be embarrassing, but the task isn't going to get any easier when the Longhorns make the move to the SEC. Instead, it will just be programs like Arkansas, Kentucky and Ole Miss leaving Texas in the dust long term.
If Sarkisian can't get the ship turned around, Herman -- an unpopular malcontent who won football games -- could easily become Pelini of the 40 Acres.
There is one piece of good news for Texas fans. After Texas fired Price in 1956, the program hired Darrell K. Royal, the greatest coach in program history and the namesake of its stadium. Just seven years later, Texas won its first ever AP National Championship.
Unfortunately, no Texas coach that finished below .500 later went on to earn an AP top-10 finish. If Sarkisian is going to be the guy to take the Longhorns into the SEC -- and reach national contention -- he'll have to buck history.