We are 29 days, 0 hours and 32 minutes away from the kickoff of the 2010 season. It's a transition year (i.e. Colt to Garrett), and it's hard to know what to expect. How do we predict how a season will play out with so many unknowns at so many key positions? We don't. But we try.
I'm not going to attempt a deep, intense, game-by-game preview of the schedule. You wouldn't read through all of it anyway. Plus, some of the fine BON writers have already penned a comprehensive game-by-game preview in that fine publication, The Eyes of Texas.
So, we'll run through the schedule, stopping at each game for a quick look at the key issues building on each other as the season progresses. It's sort of a big-picture look at how things could play out. Texas has seven home games this year, which is great for all you roaming the 40 Acres. But two of the top three games are on the road (including the trip to Dallas). So, dig those spurs in and let's run through this thing together.
The Hook 'ems open the season away from the friendly confines of DKR for the first time since 1995. Weird? Yes, especially if you live in Austin. Does it matter? No. It's Rice, and the offense will run pretty vanilla, allowing Garret Gilbert a high completion percentage. He'll look solid and should build some confidence.
The Cowboys put up a good fight last year while Texas forgot to get off the bus. But Wyoming's uniforms are too hideous for the team to put up a fight for the long haul. This should be another good warm-up for the young offense.
Do not overlook this one, folks. It's in Lubbock. At night. And strange things happen in Lubbock at night. Plus, it stinks up there, and that bass-boat paint job on their helmets has a distracting glimmer in the lights. Yes, the Red Raiders might still be a bit out of sorts as Tommy Tubbs installs his offense, but this will be a solid test in September.
UCLA lost five games in a row last year. They're good enough to win, but they won't. They will have good athletes on the field, just as they do every year. They're not a team that's easy to overlook, which is good with the OU game looming the next week. I fully expect a 4-0 record at this point, but I won't be pulling my fingernails off if we have a 1 in the loss column. Maybe.
Oklahoma is a popular pick for surprise team for a lot of college football analysts. They will be better than most people think, but that will probably be evident by the time the Texas State Fair rolls into town. I think the Texas defense comes up big again here. The DBs will dominate. Texas will score more than last year's 16 points, but field goals could still be a big factor. And with a new quarterback and an unproven running game, that could be a very overlooked issue.
Funny that this is probably the top game on the schedule. How long has it been since the most important conference game was against someone other than the Sooners? If those corn-feed farmers are undefeated by Oct. 16, it will be insane in Lincoln. They've already created a website for the stinkin' game. But we've seen scenarios like this plenty of times. We've beaten Nebraska by a total of seven points the last three meetings, and since the formation of the Big 12, we're on top 8-1. The lone loss was 11 years ago. Payback is on the brain.
Iowa State... meh. Let's hope no one gets hurt.
Baylor scares me just a bit. Robert Griffin is a very talented quarterback, but the defense has the experience to handle him. Baylor has just one trick, and while it might mesmerize you once, it's not hard to figure it out. Plus, they still have to play defense.
The only Big 12 team that Texas has a losing record to in conference (2-4). That's a great reason to kick 'em around a bit. K-State is not a terrible team, but they always play Texas well. Just watch out. That's all I'm sayin'... just watch out.
If Texas is at worst 8-1 at this point, this game becomes so much more crucial. (And at least it's not on Halloween, so I won't have to DVR-it while I take my daughters trick-or-treating and not answer my cell phone for fear of someone calling me about the game.) OSU loses almost all of its offense, but this is another annoying team that makes our blood pressure hit about 160/100. We will know a lot about the 2010 Hook'em Horns by this point, and we all know how the polls shake up by mid-November. This could be the game that puts Texas right in the mix or at worst keeps them alive for a shot at the Big 12 title.
Crap! Who made this schedule? This is nothing but injury trap. Playing four non-conference games is ridiculous. Thankfully we probably won't have to deal with this in the Big Whatever next year.
The agriculturalists were skitsofrantic on offense last year, and that makes them dangerous. Jerrod Johnson will move the ball on ya, and the Texas defense cannot let things get out of hand like they did last year. I think it will be a close game, and even if Texas has more than one loss by this point, a Big 12 title shot should still be well within reach.
Every year I like to think of best- and worst-case scenarios in terms of wins and losses.
Four losses will make me cry. Unacceptable.
Two? OK, not bad. Not bad at all.
One loss would make my year. It's doable. Remember 2006 when we lost to Ohio State early and we were actually on track to make it back to the National Championship Game before the debacle at the end of the season?
Undefeated? I don't see it. It would mean beating Nebraska twice. Is it possible? Of course.
There ya go, I leave you with that to ponder and comment on below. Plus, I have to stop writing because the headline says "Six Good Minutes on the 2010 Texas Longhorns Schedule" and you have probably been reading for... exactly... six... minutes... right... now. Hook 'em!