Monday huddle: Is reeling Texas even going to qualify for a bowl game?

Longhorns have a fight on their hands to gain bowl eligibility

(AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter) (Jeffrey Mcwhorter, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Huddle up! Here’s a look back at this weekend on the gridiron, with three key takeaways from the state’s football scene.

Longhorns slide below .500 with a fourth straight loss.

Now might be a good time for a reminder that when firing previous head coach Tom Herman last year, the University of Texas paid a $15.4 million buyout to him and a total of $24 million to buy out his staff.

The Longhorns went 7-3 last year.

This year, getting to seven wins appears unlikely in Steve Sarkisian’s first season.

Following a 30-7 rout at Iowa State on Saturday, Texas has lost four games in a row, is 4-5 on the year and is very much in danger of not even making it to a bowl game.

Texas should get back on track on Saturday with a home game against lowly Kansas, but the Longhorns will then either have to win at West Virginia or at home against Kansas State just to gain bowl eligibility.

If patience wore thin among Texas boosters with Herman after the Longhorns won 70% of their games last year, what would it be like with Sarkisian if Texas doesn’t finish strong in the coming weeks?

A banner weekend for the Aggies

On the flip side of Texas, it couldn’t have been a better weekend for Texas A&M. Not only did the No. 11 Aggies earn a 20-3 win over No. 16 Auburn at home, but they also won on the recruiting trail.

Before the game kicked off, Texas A&M got a verbal commitment from the nation’s top defensive tackle, Walter Nolen, who told head coach Jimbo Fisher of his commitment near midfield.

The Aggies then got another pledge a short time later, this time from top-100 wide receiver recruit Chris Marshall.

Texas A&M also remains very much in the thick of the SEC West race, but faces a tough test at No. 16 Ole Miss on Saturday.

Nothing goes right for the Cowboys, including a bizarre ruling on a blocked punt.

After six straight wins, maybe the Dallas Cowboys were due for a clunker, and that’s exactly what Sunday’s 30-16 home loss to the Denver Broncos looked like.

The Cowboys fell behind 30-0 and the score would’ve been worse if not for two meaningless touchdowns and two-point conversions late in the game.

But Dallas was victim to a strange ruling on a blocked punt.

Trailing 16-0 in the third quarter, Dallas blocked a punt deep in Denver territory and tackled a Denver player who picked up the ball, and attempted to advance it, well short of a first down.

It appeared it would be Dallas ball at the Denver 19-yard line, but Denver ended up keeping the ball after it was ruled that a Dallas player touched the blocked punt past the line of scrimmage before the ball was picked up by the Denver player.

The ruling was a muffed punt recovered by Denver, which ended up marching down the field for a field goal to take a 19-0 lead.

About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.