This past season, Texas proved to all Oklahoma fans that they are back for good. They finally got one over on OU after the mass exodus following Lincoln Riley's departure from Norman. Oklahoma's roster was in shambles after losing several starters. A first-year head coach took over the reins of the team. There was a lot to figure out in Norman. It was enough to give Texas their first win over Oklahoma since 2018. But, that's no excuse.
Oklahoma had a GOD AWFUL season! With a roster that had been depleted as a result of the honest, courageous, and not a coward Lincoln Riley taking the best job in all of sports at USC, all Oklahoma fans expected the team to win the National Title, and it not even be a competition. Yet, Texas managed to beat Oklahoma? It doesn't make much sense to me.
In 2022, Texas had a lot more hardship than Oklahoma. Steve Sarkisian was entering his second season as a head coach. He had just one full recruiting class that he had drawn to Texas. They had the sixth-best roster in the entire NCAA, not the best roster in the entire NCAA. They were doomed from the start.
Oklahoma won six games last year. Texas won eight. Oklahoma lost to the #13 team in the nation by three points in their bowl game. Texas lost to the #12 team in the nation by seven points in their bowl game. If this season proved anything, it proved that Texas is back. Though they finished the season losing to the Washington Huskies, they should have been in the College Football Playoffs, but the committee is so rigged they wouldn't dare let a team with four losses in. They could have won it all if the committee wasn't so corrupt and put teams in the playoffs that paid them the most.
Since the turn of the century, Texas has not won more than two games in a row against Oklahoma, but that means nothing because Texas has always been better. They've actually gone undefeated against Oklahoma. The games just didn't last long enough to swing Texas's way.
If Texas wasn't back before, they are now. They have Arch Manning. Since he is a Manning, he's guaranteed to win the Longhorns four national titles and go undefeated until he goes to the NFL. Oklahoma has nothing to match Arch Manning. They just have a quarterback that won the Gatorade Player of the Year, an award that is nothing more than a participation trophy.
I want to talk about how great of a coach Steve Sarkisian is. You're delusional if you can't see that he is the next Nick Saban or Bill Belichick. His record since becoming the head coach of Texas is 13-12. That's above .500 for you folks that don't know math. In his nine years as a head coach, he has a record of 59-47, meaning he has won 55.7% of the games he has coached. After the 2015 season, he spent some time with Nick Saban in Alabama and under the decorated Atlanta Falcons, who went 17-15 during his time as the team's offensive coordinator. The man is a proven winner.
Venables, on the other hand, is not a proven winner. As a head coach, his record falls below .500. Granted, we only have one season to base our data on, but that's no excuse. He inherited an Oklahoma team that was intact. The best roster the sport of football has ever seen. A three-star quarterback who played in the NCAA's toughest conference before his time in Oklahoma. What possibly could have gone wrong? I expected more.
Since we have little data on Venables as a head coach, I want to break down his career as an assistant, which is virtually irrelevant. In 2000, under coach Bob Stoops in Oklahoma, Venables won his first championship as a defensive coordinator. A few years down the road, he won a couple more national championships at Clemson under Dabo Swinney as a defensive coordinator.
Again this is irrelevant because he was just an assistant. Everyone can agree that coordinator positions hold no real value to a team. They are just there to be the head coach's best friend. They have no active role in playcalling, recruiting, or game planning. A coordinator position is nothing more than a glorified fan.
Alright Oklahoma fans, I can sense the steam coming out of your ears. If you haven't figured it out, this is obviously a joke. Texas is back. Back to winning eight games a season. Last season was absolutely horrendous, but we can all agree Venables was not the issue. He inherited a team in shambles that he now has the responsibility of rebuilding, and he's doing a fine job if the 2023 recruiting class is any indication.
The standard in Oklahoma is to win Championships. I've discussed with my wife, a lifelong OU fan, that if Venables isn't the answer, Oklahoma will move on and find someone that is the answer. UT has always reminded me of the Dallas Cowboys. They look like a contender before the season starts, they have decent seasons, but they can't finish the Job. Even when Oklahoma doesn't win the Big XII title because they were the first team to feel the effects of the Transfer Portal, Texas can't squeeze one out. They let teams like Kansas State or Baylor take home the title.
Oklahoma is going to be fine. Texas very well MIGHT beat Oklahoma again this season, but they won't do it three times in a row like they last did in the '90s. It's been since the '60s since Texas has put together a decent streak against OU. Again, the standard is to win championships in Norman. The standard is to beat Texas.
If there is anything I know about Oklahoma's fanbase, it's that they're not delusional like most Texas fans are. Again, if Venables isn't the answer, they will move on. That being said, I do think Venables will have the team back on track this year. As mentioned, he inherited a terrible situation that no coach has ever managed before. It's only a matter of time before Thanos balances things out.