"The Stretch Run" in the sports world usually refers to the final games of an athletic season for a team in contention for post season play.
As we know, there is no such thing as post season play in college football, so this puts added emphasis on every single regular season game. That having been said, lets take stock of what the Texas Longhorns are on the precipice of as they head to Lubbock this weekend. Here is the Longhorns' recent schedule:
October 11 - vs. #1 Oklahoma
October 18 - vs. #11 Missouri
October 25 - vs. #6 Oklahoma State
November 1 - vs. #7 Texas Tech
So far, Texas is 3-0 through that "murderer's row" of match-ups. Additionally, when Texas takes the field on Saturday against Texas Tech, that will make the combined records of UT's opponents on the day of each of those games: 25-1.
If Texas manages to beat the Red Raiders in Lubbock this weekend, I say hand them the trophy now.
There is not another team in the country that has, or will face a 4 game stretch like that. For Texas to come through that without a single loss should put them on a pedestal unreachable by any other team in the country for the rest of the year.
USC? Please, the Pac-10 is horrible. Penn State? The Big 10 is equally as horrible. Alabama? They've looked good and they do play in the SEC, but they've only played 2 ranked teams all season, let alone 4 straight. Oklahoma? Uh, they lost to Texas. Georgia? They have beaten 2 ranked teams, back-to-back, but they do have a loss this season.
My fear is that Texas will come through this ridculously brutal schedule still unbeaten and ranked #1 in the country, lose in the Big XII Championship game, and fall out of a BCS bowl. That would be an absolute travesty, given as well as this team has played so far through this toughest stretch in college football this season.
Mark Van Paasschen