MONDAY HUDDLE: Loss to Oklahoma heartbreaking, but all is not lost for Texas in championship pursuit

Cowboys, Aggies blow opportunity against Alabama

Texas defensive back Jerrin Thompson (28) reacts to giving up the winning touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/LM Otero) (Lm Otero, Copyright 2023 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 -- and a glimpse at what’s to come next week.

Longhorns stumble in classic Red River Rivalry, but playoff dreams still alive

Sure, it was a crushing setback for Texas losing to rival Oklahoma, 34-30, on a touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining in the game.

Losing in that fashion on such a prominent national showcase was a gut punch, but when time settles, it might not ultimately cost the Longhorns any of their goals this season.

The best news going forward is that the schedule lightens up a bit for the Longhorns.

Following a bye week to get healed up physically and mentally this week, Texas embarks on a schedule that at the moment doesn’t have a ranked opponent on it for the rest of the regular season.

Games at home against BYU and Kansas State and a road contest at TCU figure to be the toughest tests of that stretch, but they are winnable for the Longhorns.

If Texas takes care of business, it could get a rematch with Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

Even with the loss to Oklahoma, Texas has a marquee win on its schedule that arguably no other team in the nation has with its road triumph at Alabama, which is looking better after Alabama’s 5-1 record through six games.

In short, Texas is still very much a contender for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Harsh reality for Cowboys

Despite early season hope of the Cowboys having the NFL’s defense and that they were a Super Bowl contender, harsh reality was dealt on Sunday night: The gap between the Cowboys and the best in the NFC remains sizeable.

Dallas hoped to show it could take down a San Francisco team that eliminated the Cowboys from the playoffs each of the last two seasons, but instead were routed, 42-10.

San Francisco and Philadelphia, both unbeaten at 5-0, look to be the class of the NFC right now. It’s obvious the Cowboys aren’t close to San Francisco. We’ll see if Dallas can at least hang with the Eagles when the teams have two regular season meetings later in the year.

Aggies disappoint in home loss to Alabama

It’s hard to ever call a loss to Alabama disappointing, but Saturday’s 26-20 setback at home to the Crimson Tide sure felt like it for Texas A&M.

The Aggies entered having won three in a row and with a real opportunity against one of the more inexperienced and vulnerable Alabama teams Nick Saban has fielded.

Add the fact that the Aggies held a 17-10 lead at halftime before being outscored 16-3 in the second half, and it was the definition of a disappointing result and might add more fuel for the Jimbo Fisher detractors.

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.