Fans watch the game in the first half at Royal-Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas on Friday, November 25, 2016. James Gregg/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT

The year in review: 10 worst moments of 2016 Longhorn football

Posted December 22nd, 2016

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Oh, my. The bad car wreck that slows traffic down of a season the Longhorns had in 2016 produced many terrible moments of football futility. The program even had to change every coach, including the head coach, after the season. It was not pretty.

And thus Texas fans, when the going gets tough in the future, you can pull up this article and remember this: It could be worse, it could be 2016.

Here are the 10 worst moments of 2016 Longhorn football:

10. Almost no one watched the Red River Showdown this season outside of Texas and Oklahoma people

Maybe it’s because people don’t know what to call it. Is it the Red River Rivalry? The Red River Shootout? The Red River Showdown? How about the “Red River No One Cared in 2016” game. Despite Texas still filled with hope and Oklahoma still ranked, the annual matchup in the Cotton Bowl drew the lowest rating since hey day of the Baha Men letting the dogs out. The 2.0 overnight TV rating was the lowest since 2000. What’s weird is the game wasn’t that bad, with the Sooners winning 45-40.

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Oklahoma's quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates a 45-40 win over Texas with the Golden Hat trophy at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)
Oklahoma’s quarterback Baker Mayfield celebrates a 45-40 win over Texas with the Golden Hat trophy at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

9. That time Tyrone Swoopes played running back instead of the guy who rushed for 2,000 yards.

Texas beat No. 8 Baylor 35-34 in November. It looked like Charlie Strong was turning the corner with a month  left, I guess, and yeah, this was a good week. But as Kirk Bohls wrote, “That said, (offensive coordinator Sterlin) Gilbert’s game against Baylor — like seemingly every play Saturday — under review.”  The biggest one was the time quarterback Tyrone Swoopes played running back in place of D’Onta Foreman. See, Foreman rushed for 250 yards against Baylor, and Texas actually lost a lead and needed a field goal to win, so Swoopes playing running back at any point in the game made fans furious. Oh, and he fumbled on one of the handoffs. Fans were already furious because a great deal of Texas fans still had no idea why the 18-Wheeler Package was still a thing in 2016, let alone whatever a Buechele, Swoopes dual backfield was called.

Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (18) looks to get around Baylor's Davion Hall (2) in the fourth quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)
Texas quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (18) looks to get around Baylor’s Davion Hall (2) in the fourth quarter at Royal-Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

8. Maybe Swoopes playing running back was because Chris Warren missed, like, the whole season

Yeah, No. 9 was a result of Chris Warren getting hurt. It’s a catch-22 scenario. The greatest thing about the Longhorns’ season is just how awesome D’Onta Foreman played. Breaking Earl Campbell’s 100-yard rushing game streak, going over 2,000 yards rushing and winning the Doak Walker Award. Does Foreman accomplish that if Warren was healthy and taking snaps away from him? On the other side, Texas was so thin at running back that Sterlin Gilbert gave Tyrone Swoopes carries, Foreman was so overused in that Kansas game you can hardly blame him for the costly fumbles (he set a school record for carries in a game). Where was Chris? Chris suffered a knee injury against Oklahoma State and never returned.

Texas somehow believes that a player who played in about 3.5 games this season could be awarded a medical redshirt, which means Texas may suffer its next big defeat when the NCAA laughs at them on that request.

OK, OK, we’ll stay hopeful that Unicorns exist, Atlantis fell into the sea and Chris Warren will still be a sophomore next season because, you know, Herman! (Note: it was a long season).

Texas's Chris Warren is tackled by OSU at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Ok., on Saturday, October 01, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN STATESMAN
Texas’s Chris Warren is tackled by OSU at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Ok., on Saturday, October 01, 2016. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN STATESMAN

7. Speaking of the Oklahoma State game, remember when Charlie Strong phoned a friend, and that friend was the official, on that one call

It was the third quarter, Oklahoma State was called for an illegal man downfield after a completed pass in Texas territory. Texas coach Charlie Strong declined the penalty. The officials then went to Charlie, chatted for a second and “helped him out,” said the ABC broadcasting crew. Charlie accepted the penalty, and Texas would go on to lose the game (not because of this event though). Yes, the Big 12 Officials, the same bumbling group of misfits that are mocked on a daily basis by anyone who watches the league every Saturday, gave Charlie an assist on a call.

Charlie, my man, you made $5 million a year, it was a bad look. As far as optics are concerned, a coach on the hot seat not understanding the game situation would be as bad as coach on the hot seat having his team get mocked at home by another coach for lacking a certain machismo.

6. That time Dana Holgorsen told everyone what he thought of Texas

Uh, Dana Holgorsen didn’t know the referee’s mic was on. And he let it rip. West Virginia won 24-20. What’s more is this game also featured an epic fail by Fox Sports 1 and the network’s ability to count. We’ll leave out the part of Tim Cole’s father suffering a heart attack before the game (he’s OK now!) and just say that this was not the best day for Texas football.

AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 12: Head coach Dana Holgorsen of the West Virginia Mountaineers watches as his team plays the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal -Texas Memorial Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)
Head coach Dana Holgorsen of the West Virginia Mountaineers watches as his team plays the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal -Texas Memorial Stadium on November 12, 2016 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Covatta/Getty Images)

5. Remember when Texas had a 2,000 yard rusher, and Michigan had the Big 10’s 30th leading tackler, but the Michigan guy was a Heisman finalist?

Look, we get it. D’Onta Foreman’s team was not good. They were sub .500 and lost to Kansas. We understand. But Foreman rushed for 2,028 yards and 15 touchdowns. He averaged 6.3 yards per carry. He averaged 184.36 yards per game. He even had an offensive coordinator that sometimes forgot about him in games. Jabrill Peppers was invited to New York City. The Michigan linebacker had 72 tackles, making him tied for 30th in his conference. He played 15 positions and had 933 snaps. Many people lauded him for this versatility.

But Nic Cage starred in five movies in 2016, and we’re sure he was creepy and good in all of them, but he won’t be invited to the Oscars this season (we’re guessing on this, we didn’t see any of his movies, including “Dog Eat Dog”). Peppers could be a better pro. Peppers could be drafted higher. Peppers was on a better team. Peppers’ team didn’t lose to Kansas. But Peppers had no business being invited to New York over D’Onta Foreman.

Texas running back D'Onta Foreman takes a selfie with the Doak Walker Award after winning it for being the nation's premier running back Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Texas running back D’Onta Foreman takes a selfie with the Doak Walker Award after winning it for being the nation’s premier running back Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

4. The California game and the case of the broken door

True Austin American-Statesman story: The Longhorns, playing in California, played super-late according to Central Standard Time, and the game didn’t end until the wee-hours of the morning. Texas was ranked No. 11  before the game. Then Cal scored 50 points and shattered Texas fans’ hopes of a national championship (yeah, I kind of chuckled to). Well, at the same time, in the Statesman’s lobby, one of the glass doors  just mysteriously shattered. The whole thing, a million little cracks. Broken. Security tape showed that it just happened. No one did anything to it.

This door broke the same night as Texas' defense during the Cal game,
This door broke the same night as Texas’ defense during the Cal game.

My belief: the tremors of Cal’s offense reverberated all the way back to Austin and shattered the door. The rest of the week we had caution tape around the door and we needed to get it replaced. Also in related news: Texas replaced its defensive coordinator, Vance Bedford, a few weeks later.

Cal Golden Bears running back Vic Enwere celebrates touchdown agains the Longhorns during the first half of a NCAA college football game, Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Cal Golden Bears running back Vic Enwere celebrates touchdown against the Longhorns during the first half of a NCAA college football game, Saturday, September 17, 2016 at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

3. Pretty much every minute of the TCU week

Following a loss to Kansas, Texas returned home and on Sunday and reports surfaced that Texas was planning on firing Charlie Strong. I mean, he lost to Kansas. But Texas denied it. Brian Davis and Kirk Bohls reported it, and stuck by it. The next day Charlie Strong held his scheduled press conference. Players showed up and were emotional, they looked like they wanted their coach back. The Statesman and other outlets stood by their reporting. Then LSU reportedly tried to hire Texas’ top target, Tom Herman. Then reports started changing that it would take a blowout over TCU for Strong to stay the coach. Then LSU hired someone else not named Tom Herman, those rumors that Strong could somehow stay in Austin withered.

Then Texas played TCU.

In a game in which the players were supposed to play and win for their coach, it didn’t work out so well. Texas lost 31-9 on a Friday to TCU. Charlie Strong was fired the next morning. Texas hired a new coach that afternoon, Herman. The next week started with Texas introducing him on Sunday.

Texas' linebacker Erick Fowler, a five-star freshman recruit from Manor, TX. gives Coach Charlie Strong a hug after several players came to support and watch their coach Charlie Strong address his coaching status during his weekly media availability in Belmont Hall on campus Monday afternoon November 21, 2016. After the presser they greeted Strong with hugs, smiles and laughs. Strong says his job status will be evaluated after their last regular season game at home his Friday against TCU. RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Texas’ linebacker Erick Fowler, a five-star freshman recruit from Manor, TX. gives Coach Charlie Strong a hug after several players came to support and watch their coach Charlie Strong address his coaching status during his weekly media availability in Belmont Hall on campus Monday afternoon November 21, 2016. After the presser they greeted Strong with hugs, smiles and laughs. Strong says his job status will be evaluated after their last regular season game at home his Friday against TCU.
RALPH BARRERA/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

2. The Kansas game, yeah we’re surprised as well that this isn’t No. 1, but hear us out

The University of Texas, home of Ricky Williams, Earl Campbell and My All-American, doesn’t have a lot in common with the University of Rhode Island. Texas is the largest of the 48 continental states. Rhode Island is the smallest. But what they do have in common is they both lost a football game to the University of Kansas. That’s not a typo, they lost a football game. Men’s basketball coach Bill Self was not involved. Instead of talking about all the terrible things that happened to Texas in the game, here’s our complete coverage of one of he worst days in Texas football history.

After Texas's D'Onta Foreman fumbles the ball late in the fourth quarter, Kansas' Cameron Rosser reaches out to grab it in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Kansas beat Texas 24-21in overtime. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
After Texas’s D’Onta Foreman fumbles the ball late in the fourth quarter, Kansas’ Cameron Rosser reaches out to grab it in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Kansas beat Texas 24-21 in overtime. DEBORAH CANNON / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

1. The only thing that could possibly be worse than losing to Kansas is the threat of having to watch Texas kick more field goals this year

Before you write the emails, here’s what I’m talking about:

Here’s a link to the Oklahoma State game. 

Here’s another link to the Oklahoma State game

Here’s a third link to the no-good, rotten, awful, terrible day of kicking during the Oklahoma State game

And when they weren’t getting blocked, Trent Domingue was just plain missing them. The graduate transfer was 15-22 on field goals. He was 40-44 extra points. Pretty sure most of those were blocked. Here’s the thing, his numbers actually don’t leap off the page as terrible, but it was a running joke after the Oklahoma State game about how bad he was. People were scared when he stepped on the field and he wasn’t benched until the TCU game in the second quarter.

The kicking game was so terrible that the very first player Tom Herman ever signed at Texas was …“Junior college kicker Joshua Rowland officially signs with Texas”

Well, there you have it Texas fans, the worst of worst from Texas football in 2016. Take a cold shower, maybe pet your dog and know that it can only get better from here. We think.

Get caught up with the end of the year series: 

Dec. 19: Texas football’s top 10 plays of 2016

Dec. 20: 10 best Longhorn newcomers of 2016

Dec. 21: 10 best Texas football moments of 2016

Dec. 22: 10 worst moments of 2016 Longhorn football

Dec. 23: Top 10 recruits to come to Texas in 2016

Dec. 24: 10 best Longhorn moments of 2016

Dec. 25: 10 best Longhorn athletes of 2016

Dec. 26: 2017 Longhorn storylines to watch

Dec. 27: 5 Longhorn squads that can win it all next year

Dec. 28: 10 Longhorn football recruits to watch in 2017

Dec. 29: 10 Longhorns athletes to watch in 2017

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