This Saturday, the Texas Longhorns will travel up to Dallas to square off against the Oklahoma Sooners in game that has increased dramatically in importance over the past week.
While this game signifies so much to the future of the Charlie Strong era, and shouldn’t be overlooked, it’s a fan’s duty to also monitor the outcomes of games across the college football landscape, cheering for random teams in order to improve his own team’s standing among college football talking heads.
Most of the time, this will involve complicated thinking in one’s head, causing you to discard this seemingly meaningless process altogether, but don’t worry we got you covered.
Being the trustworthy friends we are at BON, we have compiled a list of every game Longhorns fans should be watching this weekend and who you should be rooting for. Enjoy.
*All times listed in CT*
TCU at Kansas, 11:00 AM, ESPNU: Cheer for Kansas.
In what may be an exercise in futility, ‘Horns fans should really pull for the Jayhawks on Saturday. Not only does Kansas deserve a win, considering they may be the worst FBS program, but a win against TCU would further hurt head coach Gary Patterson’s chance at rebounding for a Big 12 title, something Texas is still aiming to accomplish with only one conference loss.
The good news for the Jayhawks is that TCU’s defense appears to be an uncharacteristic mess, and they may be able to mount an offensive effort. Bad news for the Jayhawks is that they’re still the horrific team that’s gone 1-3 so far this season. That being said, a miracle in Lawrence on Saturday would help the Longhorns.
Iowa State at Oklahoma State, 2:30, ESPNU: Cheer for Iowa State
Some pessimistic souls would argue that an Oklahoma State win here would make the Longhorns loss against the Cowboys last week look better. However, those people seem to forget that a Big 12 title is still mathematically possible for this Texas team, assuming it takes care of its own business.
A big help to that goal would be if Iowa State downs the Cowboys on the road since Oklahoma State is the bigger threat to the Big 12 crown. Iowa State challenged Baylor mightily last week, so maybe the Cyclones can pull the upset here.
Texas Tech at Kansas State, 6:00, ESPNU: Cheer for Texas Tech
This will be an interesting matchup of one of the best offenses versus one of the best defenses in the Big 12. Superstar Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes is listed as ‘day-to-day’ and may not appear in this game, causing backup Nic Shimonek to prepare for Saturday. Although the Longhorns game against the Red Raiders is still some time away, a Texas Tech win would further strengthen their resume, meaning a ‘Horns win would be all the more impressive.
Florida International at UTEP, 7:00, No Listings: Cheer for UTEP
In what will be a clash of football titans, UTEP hosts the mighty Panthers of Florida International on Saturday. As Texas’ only other win this season, a UTEP win would give Texas fans a tiny moral victory, not that it would mean much. I’m still a huge fan of Aaron Jones fan though (running back for the Miners).
Notre Dame at North Carolina State, 11:00 AM, ABC/Watch ESPN: Cheer for Notre Dame
Texas’ lone-marquee win against Notre Dame is losing its shine each week thanks to an abysmal Irish defense. However, the Irish travel to Raleigh, North Carolina this week to take on a solid NC State team, which could give Brian Kelly and Notre Dame more confidence with a win. The Texas strength of schedule benefits every time Notre Dame wins, so a win here will help the Longhorns.
Army at Duke, 2:30, Fox Sports Southwest: Cheer for Duke
It’s probably the least interesting games on the slate, but Texas fans are tied to it by way of Notre Dame’s weak defense. Duke shocked, well, everybody when they traveled to South Bend and defeated Notre Dame a couple weeks ago. So, the better Duke looks better, the less awful Notre Dame’s loss to the Blue Devils look. See where I’m going with this? Good. Let’s move on.
Syracuse at Wake Forest, 6:00, Regional Sports Networks: Cheer for Syracuse
We’re tied to another mind-numbing ACC game by way of Notre Dame, as our eyes travel to North Carolina to see Syracuse battle Wake Forest. Syracuse lost to the Irish last week, but looked pretty impressive on offense, which apparently isn’t that hard to do against the Irish. A win for Syracuse further strengthens Notre Dame’s schedule, a team we’re unfortunately tied to the rest of the season.
Virginia Tech at North Carolina, 2:30, ABC/ESPN 2: Cheer for North Carolina
Both teams were included in the AP Top 25 last week, thanks to some shuffling of teams in the twenties and North Carolina’s upset of Florida State on the road. As an objective viewer, I think this game will actually be pretty entertaining and deserves some time during your channel-flipping on Saturday afternoon.
Virginia Tech sits at 25th in the rankings and poses the biggest threat to Texas re-joining the ranks next week, assuming Texas finds a way to take down Oklahoma. So, a loss for Virginia Tech means more for the ‘Horns. Sally and Mack Brown also would sure like it if you picked the Tar Heels.
Florida State at Miami, 7:00, ABC: Cheer for Miami
Has any fan base been demoralized by field goals more than Florida State’s? What a win by North Carolina, but wow. Florida State now has to travel to Miami against a top ten Miami team who’s responding very well to new head coach Mark Richt.
The Seminoles sit in the twenties in both polls, so a loss to Miami would again help the Longhorns if they beat Oklahoma. I know it may still be hard for Texas fans to root for the Hurricanes (never forget the ‘91 Cotton Bowl), but sucking it up for this week will help the ‘Horns chances.
BYU at Michigan State, 2:30, ABC/ESPN 2: Cheer for Michigan State
Michigan State was the second team to beat Notre Dame this season, causing everyone to believe they were one of the nation’s best, much like Texas. After losses to Wisconsin and Indiana, however, people too are questioning the Spartans. The reason we care again is Notre Dame’s public perception. As long as Michigan State looks good, then Notre Dame’s loss to them won’t be perceived as poorly.
California at Oregon State, 8:00, Pac12 Network: Cheer for Cal.
The beginning of Texas’ defensive disaster really started in Berkley three weeks ago, so this one’s hard to swallow. If Cal wins games in the Pac-12, then Texas strength of schedule will improve. The Golden Bears should be able to handle a lackluster Oregon State team, and there will be plenty of offensive fireworks. If you’re prone to cases of Longhorns PTSD, however, you may want to shed your eyes from the Hansen-Webb combo.
UCLA at Arizona State, 9:30, ESPN 2: Cheer for Arizona State
We’re back to our transitive fanhood again, but this time we’re tied to California. Arizona State beat California earlier this year, and Longhorn fans want to make that Cal loss look as respectable as possible. Another interesting thing to consider is that Arizona State beat Texas Tech earlier this year too. If the Sun Devils continue to play well, it makes the Big 12 look a little less bad. Conference pride, am I right?!
Arizona at Utah, 9:00, FS1: Cheer for Arizona
Utah is another team in the twenties that would prevent Texas from jumping into the rankings after a win against Oklahoma. I know, I know, take care of your own business and rankings are stupid, but it’s always nice to see a number next to the Longhorns’ name. So assuming Texas wins itself, a Utah loss would propel the ‘Horns into the top 25.
Houston at Navy, 2:00, CBS Sports Network: Cheer for Navy
This one goes out to all my Hermanites out there. If Texas fires Charlie Strong this year, UH coach Tom Herman will be the clear frontrunner for the job. There are many questions about Herman’s long term future at UH, but I think he would jump all over a Texas job offer (a thought for another day). Back to this week, a loss against Navy may force Herman to rethink his long term situation at Houston and make him wonder if he wants to explore other options. For those who want Strong gone and Herman in, a Navy upset may create a little doubt in Herman’s mind to make him explore burnt orange pastures.
UNLV at San Diego State, 9:30, ESPNU: Cheer for San Diego State
See our explanation for the Arizona State game. This may be a tough game to watch considering the opponents and time though. I won’t blame you if you go to sleep.
Tennessee at Texas A&M, 2:30, CBS: Cheer for Tennessee
This one shouldn’t need an explanation.