The Big 12 Conference hasn't released their plans for the 2020 college football season amid the coronavirus pandemic, but other conferences have. The Southeastern Conference announced Thursday its teams would play a conference-only schedule, meaning Tom Herman's Longhorns won't travel to Baton Rouge to face the defending national champion LSU Tigers.
The 2019 Texas schedule was one of the more fortuitous set-ups the Longhorns have had in some time. They only had to leave the state of Texas twice, including the bowl game, and from the beginning were encountering a down Big 12 that lacked many high level passing and receiving combinations. The best receivers, Tylan Wallace and Ceedee Lamb, lacked high level passers and the best passers, Sam Ehlinger and Brock Purdy, lacked either a topline outside receiver or the opportunity to play against Texas.
Texas gave that game to LSU. There's no question that LSU played outstanding football, clearly hiring assistant offensive coach Joe Brady was a great decision and he was able to join forces with Joe Burrow and Steven Ensminger to build a phenomenal spread passing attack. The Tigers came in and won that game with a great effort and a truly potent offensive system.
LSU’s visit to Austin will probably go down as the biggest national game that Texas has played under Tom Herman to date, aside from the 2018 battles with Oklahoma. For better or worse, Texas and Oklahoma will always be the ultimate measure of each other, but this LSU team represents a different sort of challenge. There's no ignoring the “SEC!!!” angle, which adds a few different important dimensions to this game. The first is the impact on Texas' reputation on the recruiting scene. A win in this game is a win on the recruiting trail against the “Texas doesn’t send players to the NFL” club that regional rivals love to throw at the Longhorns as well as the "come to the SEC and play the best" mythos.