The 9-4 Longhorns have a marquee match-up with a 11-2 Georgia team that many believed deserved a spot in the College Football Playoff after going toe-to-toe with Alabama in the SEC Title Game before succumbing 35-28 after a 14 point 4th quarter Crimson Tide rally.
This game is a great opportunity for Texas. Texas has little to lose, is playing with house money and as a 12.5 point underdog, the staff should be able to simultaneously cultivate a sense of disrespect for the Longhorn brand as a double digit underdog with a what-do-we-have-to-lose commitment to cutting it loose on the field. Put more succinctly: it’s time to let some nuts hang.
Georgia is the better team overall. And so what? Match-ups and motivation matter in bowl games. A lot. Re-watch the Army-Houston game if you want to see an extreme example of what those elements can yield when one team really wants to be there and the other is brooding over some sense of slight. If Texas shows up on both sides of the ball and Georgia leaves their best football on Bourbon Street, Tom Herman and the Longhorns will notch a signature win.