The Texas Longhorns ruffled feathers across the college sports landscape by deciding to leave the Big 12 one year earlier than initially agreed upon. As a new season dawns, Texas football is ready to “embrace the hate” that comes with not only bailing on its conference, but entering kickoff of 2023 as favorites to win the Big 12.

Coach Steve Sarkisian explained his team's mindset on Tuesday, comparing the Longhorns' 2023 approach to that of iconic movie assassin John Wick.

“I think this team is on a mission, they've taken this mindset of being on a mission. They've kind of adopted the John Wick mentality,” he said, per Dave Wilson of ESPN. “I think that they've kind of assumed this mentality of, ‘Embrace the hate.' We get it. We're the University of Texas, we get it. This is our last year in the Big 12. We can sit there and be a punching bag, or we can go attack the people that we're going to play. And I think that they've assumed that responsibility to say, hey, we're gonna go after everybody else too. I think that that's the right mentality to have.”

After going 8-5 last season, including 6-3 versus conference opponents, Texas football was picked to win the Big 12 in the first media poll for 2023. The last time the Longhorns earned that honor? All the way back in 2009, when Colt McCoy and Earl Thomas led their team to an undefeated season before Texas fell to Alabama in the BCS National Championship game.

Expectations aren't quite that high for Quinn Ewers, Xavier Worthy and company almost 15 years later. But if the Longhorns can truly channel the ruthless precision that's made Keanu Reeves' portrayal of Wick an international phenomenon, they're fully capable of winning more than just the Big 12 before moving on to the SEC next year.