Texas always falls short of expectations in the Big 12
Texas was picked by the media to win the Big 12 Championship Game for the first time since 2009 during the preseason. But not everyone in the media shared the same view that the Longhorns were deserving of the Big 12 title hype in 2023.
When the "experts" were giving their picks for the most over and underrated teams in college football during the preseason late in the summer, the Longhorns were commonly mentioned among the most overrated. David Cobb and Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports picked Texas as the most "overrated" team in the Big 12 during the preseason. And Cobb had plenty to say regarding the Longhorns' chances in Big 12 play this season.
"Texas has often been the Big 12's most talented program since the end of Mack Brown's coaching tenure, and success hasn't followed. The four in-state Big 12 opponents on Texas' schedule should be particularly anxious to take a final shot at the Longhorns before they leave for the SEC. That dynamic, combined with undeservedly lofty expectations, is a recipe for disappointment."
Those "undeservingly lofty expectations" turned out to be something that Sark and the Longhorns not only met, but surpassed as they went 12-1 (8-1 Big 12) while handily defeating the No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Big 12 title game by over two dozen points.
Even Joel Klatt mentioned on his podcast "The Joel Klatt Show" during the preseason that he was "fed up" with the Longhorns being overhyped.
There are numerous other media outlets we could find that said the Longhorns were overhyped in the Big 12, the major polls, or both during the preseason. But those two serve as two good examples of how some of the national pundits viewed Sark and the Longhorns, even after this staff had a three-win improvement year-over-year in 2022.
This team felt different from the start of spring camp. Sark had playmakers at spots on the offense and more talent and experience along the offensive line to really have a high-powered squad in 2023. Most importantly, he had a returning starter at quarterback in Ewers who made some major strides as a sophomore and second-year starter.
Sark and Texas have quieted the noise that this program is just overhyped each and every preseason. This team lived up to the billing with all the talent and depth on this roster on both sides of the ball.