MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Extended losing streaks are few and far between for the Texas Longhorns football program.
In the entire history of the Longhorns, which started in 1893, there have only been four losing streaks that lasted five games or longer.
One of those four is currently in progress.
Steve Sarkisian’s first year in Austin has been rocky. The Longhorns have lost each of their last five games, including an overtime loss to the lowly Kansas Jayhawks last Saturday.
You have to go back more than sixty years to find the Longhorns’ last losing streak of five games or more.
It happened in 1956. Dwight D. Eisenhower was President of the United States, and “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley was the top song on the charts on Oct. 6 of that year.
Why October 6? That’s the day the losing streak started.
Who did it start against? The same program that Texas will face this Saturday.
The 1956 WVU football team is responsible for starting that Texas-sized Longhorns losing streak, which lasted the final eight games of the season. Larry Krutko scored the Mountaineers’ lone touchdown of the day in WVU’s 7-6 win in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
West Virginia and Texas didn’t meet on the football field again until the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 in 2012.
It’d be another 32 years after the ’56 campaign that the Longhorns lost four games in a row again. That losing streak was snapped on Texas’ tenth game of the year.
Nine years later, in 1997, the Longhorns once again lost four-straight late in the season. John Mackovic’s crew snapped the losing skid against Kansas, oddly enough, in the eleventh game of the year. Mackovic would coach just one more game with UT before the Mack Brown era would begin in Austin.
Brown didn’t lose often, but he did lose four-straight in 2010. Once again, that string of four straight losses was snapped in the eleventh game of the year.
But in both 1997 and in 2010, the Longhorns snapped the losing streak at home.
Texas will be on the road this Saturday. It will try to join the 1988 Longhorns as the only team in program history to stop a losing streak of four games or more on the road.
Aside from this season, 1956, 1938 and 1936 are the only times Texas fans have seen five or more consecutive losses.
It doesn’t happen often to the people in Austin. When it does, the Longhorns have made habit of ending those streaks late in the season.
WVU and Texas will each play their eleventh game of the year on Saturday, in Morgantown, as Sarkisian and company look to end their overall skid, and as Neal Brown looks to send his seniors out on a high note.