Sooners sting Horns as frustration mounts

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On the patio of an uptown Dallas bar on Saturday night, a young man with beer in hand dressed in Oklahoma crimson bumped into a burnt-orange wearing male.

The slightest contact of the two bodies brushing against each other led to a minor brawl involving another Longhorn fan repeatedly punching the Oklahoma fan in the head. A couple of tables flipped, sending drinks splashing onto others.

All three were physically removed from the bar, which was at maximum capacity throughout the night.

“It was chaotic,” said bystander and Texas business senior Mark Meaux.

But at least that’s one battle that a Longhorn won this weekend.

While fighting was probably not necessary, there are legitimate reasons for Longhorn fans to be upset following Saturday’s Red River Shootout at the Cotton Bowl, which ended with a 28-20 win for Oklahoma — the second loss in a row for Texas.

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The Longhorns have only lost two games in the past two seasons combined. Now, they go out and lose two in two weeks.

With the loss, Texas dropped out of both the Coaches and Associated Press polls for the first time since Oct. 15, 2000 — which was the longest active streak ever, spanning 162 weeks of polls.

So now what?

For the first time in 10 years, Texas will not have a little number next to its name in the sports pages and on ESPN denoting its national ranking.

The good news is that it is impossible for the Longhorns to lose this upcoming Saturday, as they have no game scheduled this week.

The bad news: An away game against No. 7 Nebraska is right around the corner — a game that could very likely be a third straight loss.

The Longhorns haven’t lost three consecutive games since the 1999 season when Mack Brown — only in his second season at Texas — had very few gray hairs.

Last time Texas had suffered three defeats in as many games, fans may have been a little more relieved than upset after they had just survived the Y2K scare on Jan. 1, 2000, which was also the date of Texas’ 27-6 loss to Arkansas in the 2000 Cotton Bowl.

This time around, the mood on campus won’t be so great. The loss to UCLA on Sept. 25 created more of shock for fans as they had to come to terms with the fact that their team — which they love so much — isn’t what it once was. Following Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma, the only noise made on a deserted Texas campus came from the bells in the Tower.

Since that season in 1999, Texas football has been synonymous with winning. They have won at least 10 games in nine of the 10 seasons since then. They have won a national championship and two Big 12 championships. They have put more players in the NFL than any other university.

But today, the Longhorns are a 3-2 football team. A repeat trip to a national championship is out of the question. A Big 12 Championship is becoming more and more in doubt.

Peeking ahead at the upcoming schedule, it now appears that no game is an automatic win. Instead of looking ahead to the Rose and Fiesta Bowls, should we be looking into getting tickets to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium? I hear New York is a little chilly in late December. Or, dare I say, is it possible for the Longhorns to not be involved in the postseason at all?

Well, that may be pushing it a little too far, but for now, things are grim in Austin.

But hey, basketball season is right around the corner.