Following the announcement of this year’s bowl pairings on Sunday afternoon, the Texas Longhorns opened as 6.5-point underdogs for the Valero Alamo Bowl against the No. 12 Utah Utes in San Antonio on Dec. 31, according to Bovada.
It will only be the second meeting between the two schools — Texas beat Utah, 21-12, in 1982 — but the line may not reflect how difficult of a challenge it will be for the Longhorns. Utah is 11-2 on the season and just played for the Pac-12 title, ranking No. 7 in the SP+ rankings entering the weekend and boasting the nation’s No. 6 defense.
However, the young Texas players will have chance to grow during bowl preparation and head coach Tom Herman is 3-0 in bowl games, including the resounding upset of Georgia last year in the Sugar Bowl.
Like the game last year against the Bulldogs, one of the main storylines surrounding this Alamo Bowl is whether the disappointment of going from a College Football Playoff contender to missing out on a New Year’s Six bowl impacts the game.
The 11-2 bowl record of Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham suggest otherwise.