Several key steps remain for Texas before it can call itself a national contender. Before thoughts of making the College Football Playoff are entertained, Tom Herman’s program must first win the Big 12. Before that can take place, simply beating scrappy teams on the cusp of bowl eligibility must consistently happen.
That game absolutely looked like two heavily flawed teams with conference title hopes leaving everything they had on the field in pursuit of a big win. Evidently Iowa State's bad luck streak was no match for Texas' horrendous initial game plan and then end of game management.
If you're feeling pretty confident in the Texas offense (I am) and you think the Texas defense can stop conventional running attacks (probably), then assessing opponent QB play is paramount in reasonably predicting the rest of the season. It's very early with a lot of football yet to be played, but I've got a pretty decent sense of the landscape.