What is the over/under on Steve Sarkisian's coaching future at Texas?


The betting windows in Austin are now open. What is the over/under on Steve Sarkisian's coaching future at Texas? The Longhorns lost ignominiously again Saturday, and the firing of its first-year coach has to have at least crossed the minds of the big-cigar influencers at UT.

Too soon? Never. That's what they do down there, throw money at problems. Sometimes, it works in the form of a shiny, new state-of-the-art basketball arena. Sometimes, the cash goes right down the sewer in really the only sport that really matters at Texas.

Actually, football failing has become as common as Shiner Bock six packs, just a lot less palatable. The school that annually competes with being the richest athletic department in the country just lost to Kansas. And it wasn't a fluke.

Sark got outcoached. The Longhorns got outplayed. Overtime only extended the agony. The last time Texas lost five in a row, 1956, 80% of the U.S. population wasn't born. Let that sink in.

This is another painful lesson that money really doesn't buy happiness -- or even a win over the lowly Jayhawks.

In the interest in brevity, we'll sum up the Texas disaster by recounting how thousands of Orangebloods left Darrell K. Royal Texas Memorial Stadium at halftime. That will happen when Kansas scores three touchdowns in 85 seconds.

Whether Sark is canned Sunday or Monday, next week or next season, a result like this makes his future appear inevitable now. I don't know how much of it is even his fault.

Tom Herman was 7-3 last year and got fired. He never lost to Kansas. These Longhorns need to win their last two just to go to a bowl game.

It would be easy to sum up Saturday's 57-56 loss by saying Sark isn't working out. Actually, it seems like nothing is working out at Texas. That includes the decision to go to the SEC. Even before Saturday, if those big cigars thought moving to the nation's best conference was going expedite what now is a massive makeover, well, they were wrong.

You don't bring your Prius in for a tune-up at the Indianapolis 500.

Saturday proved it's going to be a long-term project, not a quick fix. About 100 miles down the road, Baylor's coach, in his second season, upset Oklahoma. Dave Aranda did it with a quiet panache that suggests he's a short timer, too. USC and LSU have to seriously consider Aranda now for their openings.

Just a few months ago, Sark was that guy. His hire made total sense. It still might if Sarkisian survives this and goes on to win big at Texas. He was the best name left on the board and probably came highly recommended by Alabama coach Nick Saban. The two share the same high-powered agent, Jimmy Sexton.

But first, Sark he has to turn around a locker room that looks like it has quit on him. Until then, the process is a template for how a school paints itself in a corner: Texas was so desperate to find -- and overpay -- for a competent coach, it has to shell out $21 million in buyout money to admit its mistake. Even that might be too much for those cigars considering Herman is living comfortably off his $15 million buyout.

But sooner or later, they have to look in the mirror.

They're the ones who swung and missed on Saban. Remember that? They're the ones who pulled the trigger on Herman when it looked like he was, you know, winning. Worse, Ryan Day, Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher aren't walking through that door. Right now, at Texas, there isn't even a door.

Officially, Sark wouldn't be fired for cause if he doesn't make it out of Year 1. There has been no misconduct that would violate his contract. Just missed throws, tackles and opportunities.

"We're capable of winning any game," Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy said.

It's been 35 days since the Longhorns have done so. Remember the Oklahoma game? The Horns came into that 4-1 and ranked. They blew an 18-point halftime lead and have never been the same.

Might as well swallow hard again and deal with the ignominy. Kansas' streak of 56 games without a road conference win ended Saturday. The Jayhawks had long since blown past the old record of 44, set by Sewanee from 1931-39.

Texas was beaten by a third-string quarterback, Jalon Daniels. The man who caught the winning two-point pass, Jared Casey, was playing the first offensive snap of his career. KU entered 0-100 in games since 1978 as at least a 24-point underdog, according to ESPN. On Saturday, the Jayhawks were favored to lose by 31.

It's been 13 years -- since the KU seniors were in third grade -- that Kansas team won a league game on the road. 

Where does it end for Texas? Are there any coaches left to hire? The Longhorns have an endowment that would choke a financial advisor. They snatched one of the best basketball coaches from Texas Tech in Chris Beard to boost basketball.

But football can't beat Kansas? Somewhere, Herman is smiling. Charlie Strong is probably laughing. Not that they're taking delight in Sark's predicament; it's just that they know the feeling. They also know that some things at Texas can't be tolerated.

The administration, at this point, has no idea how to fix it. Stick with Sark? Fine, it's probably the right thing to do for the moment. Impatience has permeated college football this season. Three coaches have been let go this season before their third seasons were complete.

But if it happens, Kansas will have the distinction of getting two Texas coaches fired in the last five years. Strong lost to Kansas in 2016 and was canned after the season.

Here we are again. But hey, but at least there's the SEC to look forward to this time.

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