I had a few good conversations with Patrick Vahe, Breckyn Hager (it was hard not to just camp out and listen to him the entire time), Andrew Beck, and Tom Herman. I didn’t connect with Chris Nelson, which was probably a mistake.
After Texas’ “gauntlet” stretch where they face TCU, K-State on the road, and then OU in Dallas without a break, comes a much more favorable stretch.
They draw Baylor in Austin, a bye week, and then they face Oklahoma State on the road and West Virginia back in Austin. This is the obvious point on the schedule for Texas to rest and recuperate and for Todd Orlando to figure out what his best combinations of players and tactics are for handling Mike Gundy, Dana Holgorsen, and the back half of the schedule.
Much like a year ago, the Texas schedule is set up for a tough middle stretch with a softer landing on the back half that should allow a strong finish. The season’s ceiling will be set by games four through six, which we are previewing today. The Longhorns host TCU, travel to Kansas State, and then take on Oklahoma in Dallas.
Texas’ 2018 schedule is generally considered the toughest in the Big 12 and one of the harder slates nationally. This is mostly because the rest of the Big 12 isn’t opting for taking on a blueblood like USC in their non-conference slate this year (except TCU, taking on Ohio State) but it’s still fairly remarkable given that, unlike the rest of the Big 12, Texas never has to play Texas. Not literally, at least.
After a decade of bad football and proxy rivalry contests with Texas A&M over recruiting and relative success rates, it’s already easy to forget how ridiculous of an event the 2011 showdown was at the time. The 2011 Longhorns weren’t terribly good and only 6-4 with consecutive losses to Missouri and Kansas State in which the offense scored a combined 18 points heading into this matchup. It weighed heavily on Longhorn fandom that this decisive, final battle with the little bro Aggies was going to fall to this particular Texas team.
The 2008 Red River Shootout was the second of three consecutive I attended. It was easily the most exciting and rewarding live game I’ve attended in any sport. Because of the scarring that had resulted from five consecutive defeats to Bob Stoops’ Sooners, there wasn’t a ton of confidence going into any of these games even though Texas ended up finishing 3-1 against OU during the Colt McCoy era.
Before the 2005 Rose Bowl, Texas had never played either Michigan or Ohio State. Despite the Longhorns’ claim as one of the premier programs in college football history, they’d never played either of those equally storied programs because of the game’s regional eccentricities. That changed in the 2005 Rose Bowl.
Nebraska hates Texas because the Longhorns ended its dynasty.
If you go to the big moments in Nebraska history over the last two decades you regularly find the Huskers building towering achievements only to see the Longhorns ending or spoiling them.
One of my favorite things to do in the offseason is to find full games of Texas’ QB recruits from when they’re still in high school. The difference between watching highlights and a full game is a major one for any player, but at QB it’s a particularly big deal. It’s highly instructive to see how the team goes about moving the ball and the role the QB plays in making it happen, as well as what they do when things get tough. The best games to watch are the ones in which the QB’s team was seriously tested and perhaps even defeated, I found exactly that for Roschon Johnson.
I’ve been researching HS games to do a big scouting report on Roschon Johnson but today we’re going to take a moment to look around at the rest of the league.
I’ve got extensive notes on the rest of the Big 12 so here’s your chance to ask questions about the specific teams that Texas needs to beat in order to finally win this conference. You can ask about personnel, schemes, or whatever else seems interesting and I’ll empty the vault.