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Oklahoma Sooners

Texas Longhorns, Your Big 12 Champion?

Rich DeCray

richdecray

Time and time again, the media hops aboard the Texas Longhorns train as it departs the station. However, by the time the locomotive approaches the final destination, most of the ticket holders have mysteriously vanished. Deception, illusion, misdirection, or slight-of-hand…I continuously question what instrument Greg Fenves is using in Austin, Texas to persuade others to buy into the program.

Since Fenves took over as president of the university in 2015, the football program pulled in the No. 10 (2015), No. 7 (2016), and No. 25 (2017) nationally ranked recruiting classes. Despite the success on the recruiting trail, the Longhorns posted a 17-20 record over the same span.

During the most recent signing period, Texas inked the No. 3 recruiting class according to 247Sports due to the efforts of second year head coach, Tom Herman. The recent surge in talent placed the Longhorns at No. 22 in the way-too-early rankings released by Sporting News. Clearly, the cogs in the hype machine continue to churn behind the scenes. I may be sensing a trend but it doesn’t stop there!

Although Joel Klatt has never once said, “Texas is back,” the color commentator for Fox Sports believes the Longhorns have what it takes to win the Big 12 this year.

Must I remind those outside of the Big 12 Conference that Texas hasn’t  produced a star quarterback since Colt McCoy? The last time McCoy starred in the burnt orange was in 2009! Tasked with resurrecting a program and revitalizing the quarterback position, I believe Herman is the man for the job. However, all of the viable quarterbacks are incoming freshmen.

Currently, the quarterback situation pits Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele in a competition for starting job. However, I’m not sure Buechele can wrestle the role out of the hands of the now sophomore, Ehlinger. Adding to the situation, the offensive line proved incapable of protecting the quarterback a year ago. Allowing 34 sacks, the Longhorns ranked No. 107 nationally while leaving the signal caller scrambling in the backfield.

Looking ahead, the offensive line remains the weakness of the program. Sure, there’s talent on the roster but it’s unproven at this point in time. While Cameron Rising is clearly the future, it’s unlikely he’ll start behind a inept line as a true freshman.

With that said, Herman has been unpredictable in the past.

Simply put, in a league dictated by quarterback play, the Texas Longhorns fail to measure up. Although UT has been included in the “way-too-early” conversation, it’s only a matter of time before the patina fades. I give them five games.

Are you taking the over or under?

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