On top of the celebratory stage after No. 15 Texas upset fifth-ranked Georgia in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday night in New Orleans, sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger just couldn’t help himself when he leaned into the mic and yelled, “Longhorn nation, we’re baaaaaack!”
The Texas fans in Mercedes-Benz Superdome erupted. The phrase “Texas is back,” first made famous (and infamous) by ESPN play-by-play man Joe Tessitore at the end of the Longhorns’ 2016 win over Notre Dame in Austin, was uttered constantly throughout the season.
And it’s also been — and will — continue to be a subject of debate.
On Thursday, a rival coach took to Twitter to take a bit of a dig at Texas and Ehlinger’s proclamation. Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Cale Gundy, a former Sooners quarterback and the brother of Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy, tweeted the following, with photos from the last four Big 12 championships:
Texas and Oklahoma met twice this season for the first time since 1903. The Longhorns upset the Sooners, 48-45, on a 40-yard field goal in the final seconds back on Oct. 6 in the Red River Showdown. The two rivals met again on Dec. 1 at AT&T Stadium in the Big 12 Championship Game, with Oklahoma winning 39-27 and securing the fourth spot in the College Football Playoff.
It’s clear, though, that both programs are the two leaders in the Big 12 right now, with Texas finally surging after nearly a decade wandering in no man’s land. The Longhorns just captured their first 10-win season since 2009 and biggest bowl victory since the 2009 Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State.
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