Case McCoy and these Texas Longhorns seniors delivered a much-needed win for Mack Brown today, breaking a three-game losing streak to Oklahoma with a surprising 36-20 upset in Dallas. McCoy threw two touchdown passes, but defensive tackle Chris Whaley set the tone for Texas early, returning an interception 31 yards for a score in the first quarter.
The unexpected Red River Rivalry win gives Brown at least a temporary reprieve from all the gloomy talk about his future with the Longhorns. Not that a few bad losses the rest of the way won’t land him right back in the hot seat.
Texas (4-2, 3-0) was a two-touchdown underdog, but never trailed after the interception return by Whaley, who is a converted running back. The Longhorns now somehow find themselves in control of the Big 12, against all odds.
Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1) had won the last two games in the series by a combined score of 118-38, but saw its 10-game Big 12 winning streak snapped by a team that seemingly had nothing going for it prior to this game. Now, the Sooners will need some help if they have any shot at the conference title.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Tigers (6-0, 2-0) took control of the SEC East with a huge 41-26 upset of No. 7 Georgia (4-2, 3-1). One year after finishing 5-7 and winning only two league games, the Tigers already have matched their conference win total from a year ago and notched their first win against a big-time SEC program since joining the league.
It was Missouri’s first road win against a Top 10 opponent since Oct. 3, 1981 at Mississippi State. But the victory came at a cost, as QB James Franklin left the game in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury. With No. 17 Florida and No. 14 South Carolina up next on the schedule, the Tigers’ chances at remaining in control of the East division likely hinge on the seriousness of Franklin’s injury.
The loss all but eliminates Georgia from the SEC title race, and certainly kills their national title hopes. With two top-15 teams already down, what other ranked teams could fall today?
No. 2 Oregon is in a close battle with No. 16 Washington, while No. 3 Clemson currently trails unranked Boston College 7-3 at halftime. Could one of these two be next? Also, No. 19 Northwestern is trailing Wisconsin big at halftime, 21-6, and Penn State is giving N0. 18 Michigan all it can handle in Happy Valley.
No. 10 LSU is ahead of No. 17 Florida 14-3 early in the second half, but there’s plenty of time for the Gators to mount a comeback. Later on, No. 5 Stanford plays at Utah and No. 9 Texas A&M at Ole Miss in two games that could add to the carnage at the top of the rankings.
But there is plenty of reason for concern among the other top teams in action, as there appears to be a frightening trend of upsets building early.