Posted June 30th, 2009 by BT
Filed under: Feature, Football

Can Texas make it through their schedule and back to the Rose Bowl for another MNC?

Can Texas make it through their schedule and back to the Rose Bowl for another MNC?

It’s about that time to start sizing up the college football season, so here’s my rundown of games on the Longhorns schedule, in order from easiest to hardest. These rankings take each team’s projected strength, plus the location and timing of the game.

12. [tag]Louisiana-Monroe[/tag] (Sept 5)

Why they’re here: Because this is a gimmie game. Don’t kid yourself; this is the Glass Joe on our schedule. In their two games versus big-time teams last year (Auburn and Ole Miss) the Warhawks were outscored 93-0. Best of luck fellas!

Why they’re not higher: Because they finished 4-7 last year and the game is at home. Seriously, the Christians walking into the Coliseum to face Lions had more of a chance. On the bright side, this may be our first glimpse at the QB of the future Garret Gilbert.

11. At [tag]Wyoming[/tag] (Sept 12)

Why they’re not here: Okay, this team is also Glass Joe… but playing at home in what should be the biggest game in their history. Sorry that’s all I got.

Why they’re not higher: Because the got pounded by the “big boys” in the WAC last year (TCU, Utah, BYU) by a combined score of 129-14. Bite the curb, and tell us how it tastes. We’ll try and not make you look too bad in front of your parents.

10. [tag]UTEP[/tag] (Sept 26)

Why they’re here: Yes, they are a small conference school, but they have a coach who guided his previous team to two Rose Bowls. Don’t underestimate the importance of coaching in college football.

Why they’re not higher: Because when you move past the coach, this is still the same team we beat 42-13 in El Paso last year. And there won’t be any chicks giving their boyfriends hand favors on the mountain to distract our defense this year.

9. [tag]Central Florida[/tag] (Nov 7)

Why they’re here: They gave us a hell of a tussle in their place a couple of years ago. More than any “gimme” in the schedule, they probably believe they can beat us. Plus, given where they fall on the schedule (between Oklahoma State and Baylor) our boys could be due for a letdown.

Why they’re not higher: Because they lost to UTEP by 45 points last year. THE END.

8. Colorado (Oct 10)

Why they’re here: Because their coach is pretty damn good, and they play division one football there. Not intramurals brother…

Why they’re not higher: Because we smoked their ass last year, and this team traditionally is not great away from Boulder. Seriously, look it up: the school’s biggest three wins since joining the Big 12 have either come at home or on the a neutral site. Danger Dan Hawkins, danger!!!

7. At [tag]Missouri[/tag] (Oct 24)

Why they’re here: Because last year at this time, people were picking them as a National title contender. Sure they lost a bunch of talent, but I’m sure Pinkle has a bunch of talent ready to shine, right?

Why they’re not higher: Wrong. Sorry, but Chase Daniels was special (for Missouri at least) and Jeremy Maclin and Chase Coffman are NFL talents. So far, Missouri hasn’t shown the ability to reload and keep pace in the Big 12.

6. [tag]Texas Tech[/tag] (Sept 19)

Why they’re here: Because they beat us last year, and are always a tough out. Tech is the most hit-or-miss team in the country: when they’re off they can lose to SMU, when they’re on they can beat Oklahoma or Texas…

Why they’re not higher: at home. Sorry, I should have finished that thought. Look it up, Tech’s biggest wins in the last few years have come in Lubbock. Factor in that they will be working in a new starting quarterback, and the timing of this game is the final nail in the Red Raiders coffin. Don’t underestimate the “revenge” factor working in Texas’ favor.

5. At Texas A&M (Nov 26)

Why they’re here: It’s the Aggies; they have one good game in them a year and they always seem to save it for “t.u.”. They also will be playing at home and have the benefit of the 12th Man, plus they have a former NFL coach at the helm and a better-than-you-think reservoir of talent.

Why they’re not higher: Because the reservoir doesn’t run THAT deep. Look at the rankings, the Ags recruiting fell off mightily during the Fran tenure (or as they call it on Texags.com “the Dark Ages”). Plus the fact that the Horns seniors are 1-2 versus the Ags will provide a little extra motivation. A+M will really need the 12th Man… hell, they might even need to grab a 13th and 14th while they’re at it.

4. At [tag]Baylor[/tag] (Nov 11)

Why they’re here: Because the Bears have the fastest collection of skill players in the Big 12 (no really!), and now their Freshman All-American QB Robert Griffin has a full year starting under his belt. If you recall, the Bears battled back to tie the score at 14 in Austin last year before Texas pulled away. I just have the feeling that Art Briles has one major upset in him next year… and A&M doesn’t count.

Why they’re not higher: Because playing Baylor on the road is only slightly more difficult than playing them at home. Waco is basically a stone’s throw from Austin, relatively speaking, so the crowd will be 40% Horn fans at worst. Plus, Colt McCoy’s girlfriend will be in attendance, so he’ll be extra motivated. Wouldn’t you be?

3. [tag]Kansas[/tag] (Nov 21)

Why they’re here: Because Kansas is good, that’s why… potentially REALLY good. Todd Ressing is a top 10 quarterback nationally, and Kerry Meier and Dezmon Briscoe form the conference’s best 1-2 punch on the outside. The Jayhawks’ falloff last year can directly be attributed to the defense, which should be much improved this fall.

Why they’re not higher: Because the game is in Austin and an improved Kansas squad is still a notch below what the Horns will line up with. The Texas D, playing without All-American Brian Orakpo, shut down the Jayhawks last season holding them to a season-low 7 points. Plus the timing of this game likely means the Horns will either be locked in on a BCS berth, or at the very worst trying to salvage the Cotton Bowl; regardless, it is unlikely they will have their guard down coming into this game.

2. [tag]Oklahoma[/tag] (Oct 17)

Why they’re here: This is always the game of the year in the Big 12 conference, but with all the late season debate and hoopla last year, this game’s intensity has been ratcheted up to another level. The Sooners are they only team quite in UT’s weight class on the schedule, and like it or not, they’re won the last three conference championships. The offense is manned by Heisman winner Sam Bradford and All-American Jermaine Gresham (who’s caught three touchdowns in his career versus the Horns), and their defense looks both deep and talented. Plus they have Ryan Reynolds back, who’s like the greatest football player ever!

Why they’re not higher: No, really he’s not. This is still the same defense that Colt hung 38 on last season, and Greg Davis seems to have Brent Venerables’ number. The Sooners’ also lost four starters on the offensive line along with their top two receivers, so Bradford won’t likely duplicate his numbers from last year. And to be honest, all the extra motivation is on Texas’ side: they beat OU, OU gets the BCS title shot and Bob Stoops crows and taunts by taking some less-so-subtle shots at Mack Brown. It’ll be a battle, but Texas looks to be a little stronger than 08, whereas OU looks to have taken a slight step back.

1. [tag]Oklahoma State[/tag] (Oct 31)

Why they’re here: 26. That’s the combined halftime deficits the Horns have faced their last two trips to Stillwater. I don’t know if it’s something in the water or what, but our boys always seem to stumble through the first half, only setting the stage for a thrilling comeback. This team is too good for us to spot double digits in the first half, plus the Horns will be coming off one huge game (Oklahoma) and one somewhat tough road game (Missouri) the two previous weeks; can they be at their best three weeks in a row?

A lot of things about this scenario bring back memories from Lubbock last year.

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4 Comments

  1. reply to  #1

    Seth Webster

    Wow, This season is gonna be exciting! I’m looking forward to seeing if they call pull out some big wins on the harder games here.
    I’m also looking forward to seeing Colt McCoy’s preformance this year, I hope to be sporting the #12 Jersey this year! http://www.texasfangear.com/Nike_Texas_Longhorns_12_Burnt_Orange_Authentic_Football_Jersey.html

  2. reply to  #2

    Howard

    What an idiot. OU is the best team that you morons play. If you’re too stupid to understand that then you need to join the ACC and play Duke. Maybe then you can play in the conference championship game. And possibly get thumped by Boston College. Maybe then you’ll complain about the ACC tie breaker system. *Hook ‘Em Horns

  3. reply to  #3

    BT

    Ahem…yes, OU is a great team. Considering we play OSU on the road, I stand by my assertion that they will be the toughest game. Remember how we played OU on a neutral field last year?? Who won that game?? But we lost in Lubbock….hence, road games contain a higher degree of difficulty.

    I saw that DeMarcco Murray is hurt again, shouldn’t you guys start getting your bag of excuses ready this year?? Wait, let me guess, Ryan Reynolds STILL isn’t healthy, right??

  4. reply to  #4

    Howard

    No Excuses is Stoops’ motto. Try to teach it to cry baby Mack Brown. Texting pollsters while the Sooners were hammering Texas Tech. You remember Lubbock don’t you. All three teams got a South Division trophy; I think that makes it a three way tie. I know, we’ll just wait till November and make the tie breaker whatever Mack wants. Now on to this silly assertion about OSU. Who is going to play defense for OSU? We pounded them in Stillwater last year and Tech never punted to them. I didn’t think Texas worried about a team that never beats them. Worry instead about the team that has won three straight conference championships, six Big 12 championships and has beaten Texas 6 of the last 9 meetings. Boomer Sooner!

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