"Kansas State and OU may be the two best teams in the country," Brown said. "It would have been a gut check either way. Kansas State was going to be a good team whether we won or lost (Saturday)."
A victory at nationally ranked Kansas State Saturday could re-ignite the Longhorn's season and ease a little of that morbidity that hovered over Austin' leaden skies Sunday.
"These kids have a tremendous amount of pride," Brown said. "What they've done in our past is try to feel better the next week, and the only way to feel better is to win."
The past two seasons, the Horns have "felt better" after Oklahoma losses by winning road games at Colorado (28-14) in 2000 and at Oklahoma State (45-17) in 2001. But this one especially hurts since Texas has now dropped three straight to the Evil Empire and was a consensus choice as a national title contender. It still may be.
"We may have a national champion with one loss this year," Brown said. "The best teams may end up 8-3 over the next four or five years."
At the same time, Kansas State is such a good team that "we could play well and still lose," Brown said.
But that's not the mental approach that Brown is taking going into a killer stretch where Texas follows the game at Manhattan with a visit from suddenly lethal Iowa State and a road trip to still dangerous Nebraska.
"We plan on winning every game," Brown said. "That's the mindset we'll take even though our schedule is much more difficult this year."
The Horns may not have to have beaten the Sooners, but now they have to run the table. The Wildcats, meanwhile, rolled Oklahoma State 44-9 on Saturday.
"They played a team Saturday that we barely beat and beat them badly," Brown said.
And OU, of course, would have to lose twice like it did last year. But to who?
These are OU's remaining games:
Oct. 19: Iowa State. QB Seneca Wallace is big, fast and multi-dimensional. He is the kind of QB who can give the Sooners fits (or any team, for that matter). Can the Cyclones continue their magic, catch OU in an emotional hangover, and wipe the smirk off of Bob Stoops' face?
Nov. 2: Colorado. The ‘Buffs are the Big 12's most schizophrenic team; you never know when this bunch is going to briefly emerge like a crazy aunt you keep locked in the basement and shock someone. If this game was in Boulder, I'd like CU's chance. But OU has an open week to prepare for this one.
Nov. 9: at Texas A&M. If there was only some way for both teams to lose. A&M has dropped two at home this season, so you can't count on the 12th Man to be the difference-maker. But A&M's offense has shown signs of life as of late, the Wrecking Crew is still stingy and head coach R.C. Slocum may be coaching to save his job in the Aggies' biggest home game of the year.
Nov. 16: at Baylor. Umm, yeah. Next category please, Alex.
Nov. 23: Texas Tech. Any chance that Tech coach Mike Leach can spring the upset on his former boss? It's QB Kliff Kingsbury's last chance on the national stage to impress voters for post-season honors.
Nov. 30: at Oklahoma State. Brown said the Cowboys are "going to break some hearts this year." This would be a great week for OSU to generate at home the heartburn it inflicted in Norman last season.
Dec. 7: Big 12 Championship. Ok, let's say a once-beaten OU team loses to a once-beaten Colorado or Iowa State team that is still ranked just below a Texas team that has clawed its way back to at least the No. 4 position. And with top-ranked Miami playing Virginia Tech this weekend…well, stranger things have happened. Just ask the 2001 Cornhuskers.