I received a nice email from an SMO enthusiast this week.
Just a quick note to say that I enjoy reading your column. I know you said it may be the MMO, and now here we are at TEO (Tuesday evening optimist)...:-). Any chance you'll be writing an article for last week's game?
Thanks for your articles...
Nichole - to be honest - I was planning on sitting this one out because Texas football took my fragile little heart and stomped on it last weekend.
But to see my readers out there begging for content - I realized I can’t let them down the same way Texas football has let me down. Someone has to be here reminding fans that it’s not all bad - even when you lose by double digits to Maryland — the Big Ten’s recent basketball addition — at home on opening weekend.
EXTREMELY OPTIMISTIC - Texas overs the rest of the season
Vance Bedford. Charlie Strong. Todd Orlando. Chuck Noll. Tom Landry. It doesn’t matter who is calling plays on the defensive side anymore - Texas is giving up points, baby.
For a unit that returned a majority of its starters this season, the Texas defense looked like hot garbage. Excluding one defensive touchdown in the first minute of the game, the Longhorns were pretty much unreliable the rest of the contest. Texas gave up nearly 500 yards (482) and 51 points to a team that averaged 377 and 25 points/game last season - playing with a quarterback in his first start who many believed did not know how to correctly throw a football.
When Texas’ offense was able to get the game within three points twice in the second half, the Longhorns defense simply couldn’t stop the Terrapins from extending the lead back to 10. It was an absolutely atrocious performance from a defense made up of veterans.
The over/under last week was 56.5. Total points scored was 92. Go ahead and mash those overs for the rest of the season because this Texas defense isn’t stopping anybody.
SMO prediction: Haven’t seen an over/under on this week’s game but I am going to guess it’s in the low 60s and you can put your life savings on that over.
EXTREMELY OPTIMISTIC - Ticket prices
Folks, if you’re in the market for an affordable Saturday family activity, might I suggest an afternoon at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium?
According to Kirk Bohls of the Austin American-Statesman, Texas has 13,000 available tickets for this weekend’s home contest against San Jose State. The powers that be are doing their best to unload those before kickoff this weekend - even offering up free tickets to people affected by Hurricane Harvey. Cynical translation: Texas is expecting a lot of empty seats.
Former Texas coach Mack Brown used to preach that losing the season opener is unacceptable because it lets “too much air out of the bag” on the rest of the season. Well, the air is out of the bag. Texas fans are not going to show up in 100 degree heat to watch San Jose State’s freshman quarterback kick off his Heisman campaign.
SMO prediction: You can get a family of four into the game this Saturday for $15 a head.
EXTREMELY OPTIMISTIC - Schadenfreude
Texas is not good. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that Texas A&M and Baylor are bad as well. And what is more fun than watching your favorite team - considered by some to be a dark horse for the college football playoff - get throttled by a Big Ten bottom dweller at home? Watching your old pal A&M blow a 34-point third quarter lead on the road at UCLA only 24 hours after the imposing Liberty Flames marched into Waco and embarrassed Baylor, 48-45.
If you’re looking for small football victories this season, consider basking in the misery of another fan base.
SMO prediction: UTSA beats Baylor at McLane Stadium this weekend.
EXTREMELY OPTIMISTIC - Reggie Hemphill-Mapps
Not everything about Texas football was unwatchable Saturday. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie Hemphill-Mapps was a fun little bright spot that should have Texas fans excited for his future.
Hemphill-Mapps pulled in seven receptions for 69 yards against Maryland. Additionally, the Texas newcomer returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown in the second half - the only exciting moment of the final 30 minutes and the first punt return for a Longhorn since 2015.
That return brought Texas within a field goal - filling Texas fans with hope before the Texas defense immediately relinquished another seven points to the masterfully proficient Maryland offense.
Let’s check in with South Carolina fan and BON’s resident gambling expert Greenville Pat for his take on Texas football and his five picks for Week Two:
“The Maryland loss doesn’t matter. Texas is still winning the Big 12 and this will be a funny afterthought on the Longhorns’ 2017 national championship campaign. This is Clemson’s loss to Pitt last year. The fairy dust has been sprinkled. Texas wins by three scores MINIMUM.
Texas 55, San Jose State 21.”
PAT’S PICKS (2-3)
Notre Dame -4 v. Georgia
Washington State -10 v. Boise State
Northwestern -3 v. Duke
Stanford +7 v. USC
South Florida -17 v. UConn
MMO PICKS (3-2)
Oklahoma +7.5 v. Ohio State
Georgia +4 v. Notre Dame
SMU v. North Texas over 64.5
UTSA +16.5 v. Baylor
Texas v. San Jose State over 63
UPDATED FULL SEASON SMO PREDICTION
Most realistic Texas fans figured the Longhorns would come into conference play later this month 2-1. Well, 2-1 is still on the table - and that’s where Texas will be after three games in the UPDATED FULL SEASON SMO PREDICTION.
Maryland (scrimmage) - SCORE WAS NOT RECORDED
SAN JOSE STATE - WIN
@USC - WIN
@IOWA STATE - THIS IS MOST DEFINITELY A L***
KANSAS STATE - WIN
OKLAHOMA - WIN
OKLAHOMA STATE - WIN
BAYLOR - WIN
@TCU - WIN
KANSAS - TOSS UP
@WEST VIRGINIA - WIN
TEXAS TECH - WIN
“Texas is back, folks.”