Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian was spot on in his attempt to turn Saturday’s loss to Alabama into a win for the program.
When the game is pretty much decided, there is a lot of room for interpretation in football.
A win is a win and a loss is a loss, but the nuance in it is sometimes greater than the sum of the parts it seems. Take Saturday’s loss at the hands of the Texas Longhorns and how it’s not Yes, really a loss beyond the obvious.
The 20-19 loss to Alabama fully counts as an overall loss to the program, but taking it at face value misses the point.
Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian wants to make that clear. After the loss, Sark boldly told reporters that it wasn’t Alabama that defeated his team, it was the Watch that defeated them.
All the Longhorns needed was a little more time.
A normal reaction to this is to roll your eyes and call it Football Guy nonsense. Texas held a six-point lead at home against the best school in the country in the third quarter and couldn’t hold it. The rules of the game are what they are, and the Longhorns didn’t beat Bama within the allotted time of each game.
What’s next, a comment on how they would have won if only Texas had more points?
Morale wins are the opiate of the trainer crowds, but rather than being rude and scathing about Sarkisian’s comments, we should be aware of the fact that this is a rare instance where nuance matters.
It’s dangerous to say this, especially in a post-truth world in Texas, but it’s not what you say, it’s how you interpret it.
Don’t focus on the fact that Texas lost the lead, it had a six-point lead over the No. 1 school in the country. The Longhorns didn’t lose, letting a National Championship finalist walk away by a point. Alabama didn’t win, it took a miracle game to set up a last-second field goal to avoid losing to Texas.
It is important to put the right stress on the right syllable.
Remember, the Longhorns tried to hold that lead with their backup quarterback replacing an injured Quinn Ewers and also injured himself. Was it sloppy play that led to Bama being punished more than ever under Nick Saban’s rule, or was it Texas that got into their minds?
What happens when Texas isn’t called out for a highly questionable passer penalty that nullified a one-point safety in a game? Or that late-miss face mask that would have lengthened a drive and consumed both more time in a game that took Alabama to come back almost every second and likely produced a touchdown and no field goal for Texas?
Perception is merely a lens through which reality is viewed, especially in college football and especially for a school as fortunate as Texas.
In recent years, the one constant about Texas football has been the number of jokes it left behind. Seeing TEXAS BACK inspires laughter rather than fear, and the school deserves every criticism it has received. But Saturday did a lot to change perceptions and for the first time in what feels like forever, there is more hope than hopelessness.
We’ll have to see how the Longhorns react after the loss to get a good idea of how bright the light is at the end of the tunnel, though
Also, let’s not sugarcoat what Sark is really saying and who he’s saying it to; He says that Alabama didn’t win the game but that Texas let them escape and the person he’s pointing at is Nick Saban.
When was the last time Texas had an advantage like this and landed? Better yet, when was the last time Texas even had an advantage?
Texas is in SEC country now, and morale victories don’t breed championships, but the Longhorns played a style of big boy football we haven’t seen them play in a very long time.
https://fansided.com/2022/09/11/steve-sarkisian-comments-texas-alabama-loss/ Steve Sarkisian is positive about Texas’ loss to Alabama, as he should be