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Without being on the inside of the Texas program it is kind of hard to figure out what is going on in Austin. Was Tom Herman that bad? Was he a pain in the butt? Did he refuse to give in to some of the wealthy Longhorn boosters? I mean he won a lot of games, he just didn’t win enough to suit Texas. So, they fired him and hired Steve Sarkisian who went 46-35 after stints at Washington and USC which by the way are pretty good places to be. Not only that but he got in trouble at USC for having a drinking problem. But, he is all better now since a successful stint under Nick Saban and Alabama as the offensive coordinator. Never mind the fact that he had the best players on the planet to work with and a lot of coordinators could be successful with that kind of talent. I just think Texas could do better but I’ve been wrong before. And expectations at Texas are high for 2021.
Offense: The most pressing problem the Horns have is replacing 4-year starter Sam Ehlinger who did a little bit of everything and was the main cog of the offense. The position is unsettled but the nod will probably go to Casey Thompson who played well in the 2020 Alamo Bowl. He will be pressed by Hudson Card who is the highest-rated prospect Texas has signed in a decade. Bijan Robinson has enormous talent at running back and could be one of the best the Horns have had in a while. They return WR Joshua Moore who had 30 receptions last year and former five-star Jordan Whittington is healthy after being injured for most of his first two years. The offensive line returns 4 starters and they have experience and have played in a lot of games.
Defense: The defense returns 5 starters back including NFL type guys LB DeMarvion Overshown and CB D’Shawn Jamison. NT Keondre Coburn is back but the loss of Joseph Ossai to the NFL is going to hurt the defensive line. Other than Overshown there isn’t much experience at linebacker. Both safeties will be new and besides Jamison, Josh Thompson returns at corner. There are a lot of holes that have to be filled.
9/11 at Arkansas
The Longhorns open up with Louisiana which is a decent Sun Belt team. Why am I building them up? If Texas is any good they beat them by 30. The trip to Fayetteville to play Arkansas will be a tough test as the Razorbacks will be ready for this one. Rice is a gimme.
9/25 Texas Tech
10/2 at TCU
10/9 Oklahoma at Dallas
10/16 Oklahoma State
10/30 at Baylor
11/6 at Iowa State
11/20 at West Virginia
11/27 Kansas State
The conference schedule has home games against Kansas and Texas Tech that are must wins. The other two games in Austin are with Kansas State which should be a win and a toss-up game against Oklahoma State. The road schedule has games at Baylor and West Virginia and these games won’t be easy. Games at TCU and Iowa State will likely determine if Texas makes it to the title game. The Red River Rivalry with Oklahoma is always unpredictable but OU will be favored.
Summary: The Longhorns have some pretty big holes to fill. They are unsettled at QB and that is a major concern for anyone. They have several holes on defense too. But they have good players at Texas and they have talent waiting in the wings. Sarkisian put together a great offensive scheme at Alabama and he will attempt to do the same at Texas. He has hired a good staff and time will tell if the Horns made the right choice this time.
Predicted Finish: 4th Place in the Big-12
Overall Record: 7-5
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