If Texas isn’t entirely back just yet, it will be by the end of the season.
That’s at least how ESPN analyst Kirk Hebrstreit envisions it.
On Friday, ESPN released Herbstreit’s annual Herbies projections and he has the Texas Longhorns not only taking control of the conference and toping the Oklahoma Sooners to win the Big 12 Championship, but ultimately, Herbstreit picked Texas to earn a place in the College Football Playoff.
However, that’s where Herbstreit has the Horns’ season ending with a semifinal loss to Alabama, which he projects to win the National Championship over Clemson. Ohio State was the fourth team picked to make the playoff.
Set to enter the season ranked No. 10 nationally, Texas hasn’t captured a Big 12 Championship since 2009 when an otherwise unblemished season ended with a National Championship loss to the Crimson Tide. The Longhorns fell just short of that feat last season with a 39-27 Big 12 title loss to the Sooners, which went on to secure a place in the College Football Playoff for the third time in four seasons.
The general expectation is that the two programs will meet in Arlington once again in December with the winner, in all likelihood, advancing to the College Football Playoff. And Herbstreit expects the Horns to come out on the right side of that history.