What Texas did Saturday night against Missouri defied all reasonable logic. At the very least, it defied recent college football history.
The trend of late had been that as soon as the media jumps on a potential national champion's bandwagon, that team almost immediately lays an egg. Following a week of unfettered adulation -- a week in which the 'Horns shot to No. 1 in the rankings and QB Colt McCoy rose to the top of every Heisman list -- Texas did the exact opposite of lay an egg. On Saturday night, the 'Horns managed to exceed the hype in a 56-31 win that wasn't even as close as that score.
College football is a sport based on emotion and momentum, and Texas seemed to carry a whole bunch of both into Royal-Memorial Stadium, jumping to a 35-0 first half lead against a Missouri team just two weeks removed from the top five. It was as if the 'Horns, like the rest of us, figured out in the fourth quarter of last week's Oklahoma win just how good they really are -- and then went out and played the part.
McCoy delivered yet another near-perfect game: 29-of-32 for 334 yards and four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing). Ponder those numbers for a second: They're ridiculous. But what makes the 'Horns truly scary now -- more so than, say, three weeks ago -- is that they've developed a running game to boot. Three of the Texas' first four touchdowns came on the ground. McCoy and RBs Chris Ogbonnaya and Vondrell McGee ran it right down the Tigers' throat on their first two possessions.
And then there was the 'Horns defense. Time and again, the pocket collapsed around Missouri QB Chase Daniel within seconds of the snap. When he got off passes, someone was usually there to immediately wrap up the receiver. The previously unflappable Tigers star made several uncharacteristic mistakes last week against Oklahoma State. Against Texas, he didn't even have a chance to do that.
Just as the momentum from their Oklahoma win likely had a carryover effect on the 'Horns' performance, the shock of Missouri's loss last week likely contributed in its own way. The Tigers admittedly beat up on lightweights early in the season, but it's still hard to believe the same team that put up 52 or more points in four of its first five games could regress so dramatically these past two weeks. The Cowboys may have damaged their psyche even more than their ranking.
Texas doesn't have to worry about its own ranking. I would be surprised if most of those No. 1 votes that went to Alabama last week don't swing to the 'Horns. Even so, they're hardly out of the woods. Next week, undefeated Oklahoma State comes to town. A trip to undefeated Texas Tech awaits the following week.
It seems highly unlikely that McCoy will keep completing 80-plus percent of his passes every week. One of these teams is bound to hold him to 75.