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The SMO: Texas turns over a new leaf in 2018 (by winning every game, the conference, the title)

NCAA Football: Texas Bowl-Texas vs Missouri Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Obligatory reminder: The SMO is usually an emotional overreaction based on the game events the day before. It does not deal in logic or reason.

It’s game week.

This is Christmas for college football nerds — if Christmas lasted about 15 weeks in the fall and was responsible for a rapid decline in work productivity while also severely damaging romantic relationships.

Nothing is more important these next three months than college football. And college football’s richest and most important team — The University of Texas — is back and ready to roll with hype increasing to levels we haven’t seen in quite a long time.

Sitting in its perpetual preseason ranking, No. 23, Texas hasn’t proven anything yet.

Others see the preseason ranking and scoff. ‘We know how it goes,’ they think. Texas starts at No. 23 and jumps to No. 18 after winning one game before falling out of the rankings after a humiliating home loss that kick-starts an opposing quarterback’s Heisman campaign.

Outside these massive burnt orange walls, the Longhorns are routinely mocked and ridiculed.

Seasons of lowlights provide plenty of fodder for the college football plebes — as they watch their high priest miss a game-tying PAT to lose a home game against unranked California or accidentally defer and kickoff both halves before losing to UCLA by a field goal.

We all know what the last five years have been like. We’ve seen the brutality of Steve Patterson — whose idea for fan experience started and ended with ‘jet packs’ and ‘concession price increases.’ I imagine when Patterson first saw the massive jumbo-tron above the south end zone, he calculated just how many ads he could fit on it at one time.

Former coach Charlie Strong certainly had his moments — from the recruiting coup of 2016 to the amazing atmosphere of Texas-Notre Dame in Austin later that fall. But for every positive moment there was an equally significant negative one. The Kansas game. The UCLA game. The fact that his team spent three years refusing to practice special teams.

Those days are behind us. The future is now. Texas football is relevant again. Texas football is good again. Texas football is ..

.. back folks.

Game predictions

Maryland - WIN

Tulsa - WIN

USC - WIN

TCU - WIN

Kansas State - WIN

Oklahoma - WIN

Baylor - WIN

Oklahoma State - WIN

West Virginia - WIN

Texas Tech - WIN

Iowa State - NEVER PICK AGAINST MATT CAMPBELL SO I’M LEAVING THIS ONE BLANK

Kansas - WIN

Oklahoma - WIN

Clemson - WIN

Auburn - WIN

Anybody who predicts a loss is a coward. This is Texas — college football’s gold standard. There is no game where Texas players walk onto a field and are significantly outmatched. This isn’t South Carolina. The players at Texas can compete with anybody at any time.

Game week is always euphoric for Texas fans — filled with so much optimism understanding completely that these Longhorns can routinely find new ways to absolutely destroy you at almost any time.

I don’t know how Texas plans to emotionally wreck me this year. All I know is — looking at this schedule — every game is winnable. Texas hasn’t played a down yet — and maybe our moods will change when they do — but for now it’s all encouraging.

See y’all in Maryland.