Texas football makes history in loss to West Virginia — for all the wrong reasons

Is Texas back? Decidedly not.

The Longhorns dropped yet another game on Saturday, losing to Big 12 foe West Virginia 31-23. Following the loss, Texas dropped to just 4-7 on the year with just a 2-6 record against conference opponents.

Texas is a storied program with the sixth-most wins in FBS history and four national championships in the poll era, most recently having won a title in 2005. They competed for one as recently as 2009.

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But this hasn’t been a milestone year for the program — at least, not in a positive way. And the loss to West Virginia only makes it worse. Here’s a look at some unfortunate milestones the Longhorns have hit with their loss to the Mountaineers.

Losing streak

This season is going to rank up there among the worst ever in program history. The losing streak certainly is nearing that point.

Texas has now lost six straight games, marking the longest such streak since 1956, when the Longhorns dropped eight in a row to end the season. That season, the streak was started by West Virginia.

There isn’t much history of long losing streaks for Texas. Only in three previous seasons have the Longhorns lost five or more games in a row. The 1938 and 1956 teams each have the longest streak, at eight games. The Longhorns also lost five games in a row in 1936.

No longer bowl eligible

It used to be that Texas was always involved in bowl games. It was bowl eligible every year from 1998 to 2009; it only missed two bowl games from 1969 to 1987.

But with this loss, the Longhorns have failed to earn bowl eligibility for 2021. That means next week’s game against Kansas State will be their last of the 2021 season.

Texas had been bowl eligible four straight years, and certainly has had success in those matchups, winning each of those games. Those results helped Texas finish ranked in the AP Top 25 in the last three seasons.

Texas will not be ranked at the end of this season.

Conference losses

Texas hasn’t been a powerhouse in recent years, but it rarely has been the doormat of the Big 12. While Kansas will likely have that “honor” again in 2021, Texas is going to be awfully close (especially considering the Jayhawks beat the Longhorns in Austin).

With six losses already, it matches the most conference losses Texas has ever had in a season. That mark ties the record shared by the 1956, 1997, 2010 and 2016 teams. Should Texas lose to Kansas State next week, it would fall to 2-7 in conference play, marking its worst record ever.

Even the overall record is nearing a program low, though it certainly won’t sink quite to 1956 levels at 1-9.

But if Kansas State beats Texas in the final week of the season, the Longhorns will have a record of 4-8. That would be the most losses by this program since that infamous 1956 season. It would also tie the 1938 team for the second-most losses in a season (eight). The four wins would mark the fewest since 1997.

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