How is it 2030 and Texas football still isn’t back yet
By John Buhler
Texas football has been down for more than a decade. Is it too soon for Vince Young to fire Garrett Gilbert as head coach?
Texas football is in as bad of shape as Kansas State football was before Bill Snyder arrived.
It’s been a long 21 years since the Texas Longhorns last won a conference title. It used to be called the Big 12, but now it’s the Big 16 with yes, 16 teams actually in it. The additions of the BYU Cougars, Cincinnati Bearcats, Colorado State Rams, Houston Cougars and the Memphis Tigers and the Nebraska Cornhuskers’ return have been to Texas’ subtraction.
Texas is 1-5 overall and 1-4 in Big 16 play after getting embarrassed by the rival Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Showdown. The Longhorns lost a neutral-site affair to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, but has 16 teams now as well at Jerry Jones Memorial AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Texas may go 1-10 in conference play this year.
Texas has lost three of their first four games in Big 16 South play. Though the Longhorns beat Baylor in Austin, the road loss to Texas Tech in Lubbock has yet another head coach on the hot seat, as athletic director Vince Young has a decision to make. Can he possibly fire former Longhorns quarterback Garrett Gilbert before the end of his second year as head coach?
AD VY probably doesn’t want to because Gilbert was his first big hire since being named athletic director in 2028. The former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator was a major head coaching candidate in the NFL for all that he’s done under Dan Mullen. Gilbert could have had his pick of any NFL job, but he answered Young’s desperate plea from his alma mater.
Looking at what Texas has ahead of them on its remaining schedule, there is a good chance the Longhorns go 1-11 (1-10) in Gilbert’s second year. Like, how is this possible? The ‘Horns went 3-9 (3-8) a season ago? It’s part of playing in the dominant Big 16 South and having to face three of the four best teams out of the Big 16 North this year in divisional rotation.
Texas football’s remaining 2030 regular season schedule:
Oct. 26: TCU Horned Frogs
Nov. 2: at BYU Cougars (Provo, UT)
Nov. 9: at Oklahoma State Cowboys (Stillwater, OK)
Nov. 16: vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nov: 23: at Memphis Tigers (Memphis, TN)
Nov. 30: vs. Houston Cougars
As you can see, Texas has four more division games: Home vs. TCU (Oc. 26), at Oklahoma State (Nov. 9), at Memphis (Nov. 23) and home vs. Houston (Nov. 30). Though BYU is not a great team, this one is in Provo, and will be the easiest challenger the ‘Horns will get out of the Big 16 North this year. Cincinnati, Nebraska and West Virginia have all been ranked.
Not getting Colorado State Kansas, or Iowa State out of the Big 16 North rotation this year crippled Texas’ chances of getting to bowl eligibility. Those would have been three winnable games, along with Baylor and Texas Tech. Losing at home to Cincinnati and West Virginia in Morgantown back in September really put the Longhorns in a bad spot before Red River.
So what is the best Texas can do here? The ‘Horns aren’t winning in Stillwater vs. Mike Gundy and the Pokes and they sure as hell won’t beat Lavonte David’s Cornhuskers because man, does he have his alma mater’s program humming. Those Blackshirts are dominating Big 16 North competition this year and are the presumptive favorite to get to Arlington.
So the best Gilbert can do is get Texas to 5-7 (4-7) with wins over Baylor, TCU, at BYU, at Memphis and Houston. As sad as it sounds, that’ll be good enough to get him an extension before he kicks off spring practice in year three. Texas hasn’t been to a bowl since 2026 and hasn’t finished better than a three-way tie for fifth in the Big 16 South since 2025’s expansion.
Mack Brown will turn 80 in August and he was 58 the last time Texas won the Big 12 title.