Tom Herman is facing adversity for the first time in his head coaching career. Herman took college football by storm in 2015, then tried to build off that by threading the P5 playoff needle in 2016. He parlayed those two seasons into the head job at the flagship university in the state. Four quarters into his new gig in Austin he came face to face with the unreasonable expectations that go hand in hand with Texas football. Dave Campbell's Texas Football didn't do him any favor by plastering him on the cover with the title "Mastermind." The AP ranking the Horns 23rd didn't help. It's all gasoline on the fire in Austin, where Longhorn fans see their program on par with Alabama and Ohio State.
Are those expectations unreasonable? Yes. Are they real? Absolutely. So when Longhorn fans began booing in the second quarter and pelting the field with debris in the fourth, the message was clear - there will be no grace period at Texas. You can't oversell and under deliver, not even in week one. Maryland ran off the field with their first win over a ranked opponent in who knows when, they were the better team, they out schemed and outsmarted a Texas team prone to penalties and turnovers.
We don't even know if we should be surprised by the performance because even as the local media has built up Texas to be a potential playoff team, we have no idea how good this program is. The Longhorns possess a roster full of four and five-star potential. But the potential has yet to transfer into wins.
But here is the good news, week one doesn't define a season. Texas learned that much in 2016. Herman can still accomplish plenty of his goals, the Horns are still 0-0 in the Big 12 and have a huge opportunity against USC in two weeks. We all want to jump to conclusions, but it's far too early to put any bow on Texas' season. What happened Saturday was all too familiar for fans of college football in this state, Texas believes it should win now, no excuses and no time.