The Texas Longhorns may have finally found their man in Tom Herman, a former graduate assistant under Mack Brown in Austin several years ago and a relative unknown in the head coaching ranks until turning Houston into a power in the Group of Five ranks. Herman won a national title as offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Ohio State and turned that into his first head job. He led the Cougars to a 22-4 record in two seasons with a New Year’s Six bowl during his initial campaign. The pressure will be on Herman from the outset after three straight losing seasons under Charlie Strong.
It’s been eight seasons since the Texas Longhorns last logged a double-digit win season. In Tom Herman’s first go round in Austin, the Horns went 7-6 and capped the year off with a trouncing of Missouri in what else but the Texas Bowl. The burnt orange returns a ton in 2018 and is expected to compete with the Oklahoma Sooners amongst others for the top spot in the Big 12. Will this be the season Hook ‘Em finally gets over the top?
The Longhorns enter the year with an 8.5 game season win total. The betting markets are bullish on their abilities evidenced by the heavy vigorish attached to the high side of that number. With a stable force under center in either Shane Buechele or Sam Ehlinger and a defense with loads of talent and depth, it’s understandable as to why the betting public is high on Texas entering the college football betting season.
The team’s ability to compete with Oklahoma over the last five seasons might just be the reason why. Though UT has dropped three of the last five Red River Showdowns, they covered each and every one of them as decided underdogs. OU is currently the +123 favorite to win the conference a fourth straight season, but the Horns are right behind them at +246. These are the shortest odds to win the conference Austin has seen in quite some time.
Texas took a solid step forward in 2017 under Herman’s watch, but the pressure will no doubt be turned up in year two. He’s got experience and talent returning at every level on both sides of the ball, so there will be no excuses. Especially with the Sooners about to discover what life is like in the post Baker Mayfield era. Herman has recruited well since arriving in the Lone Star State, but all those pieces will have to come together quickly for the program to take another leap forward.
The offense was inconsistent and erratic last season ranking No. 65 overall and No. 53 in scoring. Much of that had to do with the constant shuffling in and out of players. Especially at the quarterback position. Ehlinger is expected to get the QB1 gig after performances against USC and Ohio State that were ultimately marred due to late game turnovers. The hope is that another year in the system fine tunes his game. If that occurs, the sky’s the limit with the playmakers he has at his disposal. The addition of Auburn O-Line coach Herb Hand was a major coup.
Defensively, Texas only conceded an average of 21.2 points per game and shut opposing ground games down ( No. 9 ). The problem area was the pass defense that was gouged for nearly 260 yards per game ( No. 109 ). The unit will be extremely green in that area but not without talent. Herman’s offseason haul saw him land the No. 1, No. 3 and No. 6 safety prospects, as well as a couple of highly regarded cornerbacks. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando was given a raise in the offseason. It’s time for him to earn that paycheck increase!
Three of the Longhorns first four games will come in the comforts of state of Texas. Included in that mix are revenge bouts against USC and TCU. Win those, and the showdown with OU the first week of October could decide the victor of the Big 12. To close out the year, they get West Virginia and Iowa State at home. Their toughest true road tests will occur at Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. The schedule is incredibly conducive towards a big season and run to the Big 12 title game.
If you haven’t already, I’d scoop up some Longhorn shares to win the conference or at least get to the championship game. I’d also look to join the masses and hit their season win total over the number. I’m very bullish on what Herman and the Horns have in store for college football fanatics this season!
Week 1: Texas vs. Maryland, Saturday, September 1, 12 p.m. ET – FS1
Week 2: Tulsa at Texas, Saturday, September 8, 8 p.m. ET – Longhorn Network
Week 3: USC at Texas, Saturday, September 15, 8 p.m. ET – FOX
Week 4: TCU at Texas, Saturday, September 22
Week 5: Texas at Kansas State, Saturday, September 29
Week 6: Texas vs. Oklahoma, Saturday, October 6
Week 7: Baylor at Texas, Saturday, October 13
Week 8: Bye Week
Week 9: Texas at Oklahoma State, Saturday, October 27
Week 10: West Virginia at Texas, Saturday, November 3
Week 11: Texas at Texas Tech, Saturday, November 10
Week 12: Iowa State at Texas, Saturday, November 17, 8:00 p.m. ET – Longhorn Network
Week 13: Texas at Kansas, Friday, November 23, 12 p.m. ET – FS1
The College football season is here, and that means there are plenty of stats and information out there to make accurate decisions when investing in the betting lines and totals moving forward.
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Here are the individual conference break downs for each conference. If you click on the conference links we will also break down each school team by team sorted by conference.
|SEC Conference||Big 10 Conference|
|ACC Conference||Big 12 Conference|
|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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