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Roundtable: Quick observations on the Alamo Bowl

Plus, transfer portal talk.

NCAA Football: Baylor at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Texas is going bowling for the first in the Sark era, returning to the Alamodome for the 6th time in program history to face the No. 12 Washington Huskies. What are your quick observations about the match-up?

Daniel Seahorn (@DanielSeahorn) - Washington is a good football team that just wrapped up a 10-2 season under first-year head coach Kalen DeBoer and they will enter the matchup following the news that starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. will be returning for one more season. On the other side of the fence, the Longhorns will reportedly be without their dynamic duo at running back in Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, along with starting linebacker DeMarvion Overshown. My gut reaction is that the Huskies should be favored heading into this matchup and Texas is going to need to be able to score plenty to come out on top.

Gerald Goodridge (@ghgoodridge) - It’s hard to say without knowing for sure who is going to be opting out and who is going to be playing. Early reports are that Bijan Robinson, Roschon Johnson, and DeMarvion Overshown are all going to sit out of the game, which definitely is a blow. Even if it’s a Jonathon Brooks, Keilan Robinson, Jaydon Blue kind of night, I feel good about the way Texas should be able to run the ball against the Washington defense that is pretty bad against the run. Conversely, Michael Penix announcing that he is returning gives me all sorts of heartburn, so hopefully, Texas can shorten the game and give him limited opportunities to make magic happen.

Cameron Parker (@camerondparker) - Not having Bijan brings down the fun factor of the game but it still should be a fun watch with many storylines. Sark and PK versus their former employer. A sneak peek of what the 2023 Texas offense will look like. Ewers vs Pennix. As Sark mentioned in his Alamo Bowl press conference, Washington is one weird loss against Arizona State away from potentially reaching the CFB Playoff. Unlike Utah and Georgia, the Huskies might actually be fired up to play this game.

The transfer portal has opened with ten Longhorns headed out of Austin including QB Hudson Card, OL Logan Parr, DE Prince Dorbah, and others. Did anyone surprise you by announcing their decision to enter the portal and who will Texas miss the most?

Daniel - None of the exciting players really took me by surprise if I’m being honest. All of the Longhorns that have opted to get into the portal are guys that have been buried on the depth chart and need fresh starts to get more opportunities to see the field. The one I think Texas will miss the most is Hudson Card simply because he filled in admirably for Quinn Ewers when he went down with his injury and he proved to be more than your typical backup quarterback. Card is going to end up a solid Power 5 destination with a legit chance to revive his career moving forward.

Gerald - None of the guys were particularly surprising. I think seeing Andrej Karic and Logan Parr leave speaks to how quickly Kyle Flood has been able to turn around that offensive line room. Honestly, the guy that I am the most bummed to see ride off into the sunset is Troy Omiere, simply because we heard so much about how he flashed preseason three years ago, but he seemingly was never able to put it back together after the knee injury.

Cameron - Thankfully, no big surprises. I understand the decision by Hudson Card and hope he lands somewhere that allows him to succeed. Losing Parr and Dorbah hurt the depth but I didn’t expect either to become starters next season and Isaac Pearson just never panned out in Austin.

Outside of Austin, the portal has been very busy, especially down in College Station with 20 players from Aggieland announcing their decision to leave the program. Should Texas target anyone from A&M or elsewhere?

Daniel - At first glance, I don’t think Texas will be targeting any of the Aggie players that have entered the portal. Texas needs to focus on players that were productive at their previous stop and not guys who were buried on depth charts that still need time to develop. The Longhorn staff can afford to be patient, as they need guys who can step in from day one and make an impact.

Gerald - It seems like a lot of the cats leaving College Station were dudes that were some combination of non-contributors, locker room issues, or both. Someone is going to take a flyer at a few of these five-star guys, but I don’t think Texas is in a position where they have to take a risk on a guy. From what we’ve seen, the coaches have been patient with the offers during this period, so it feels like they’re either trying to be choosy, waiting on specific names they know will drop, or both.

Cameron - I’m on the same page as my colleagues…stay away from the Aggies entering the portal. Unless it’s Evan Stewart. With Pearson hitting the portal, Texas has moved quickly on finding a replacement but outside of that, I’d like to see them go after another LB even if Anthony Hill commits.

The Heisman trophy winner will be announced tomorrow with Bijan Robinson not getting an invite to New York. If you had an elevator pitch for why Bijan should be a finalist, what would it be?

Daniel - If you think Stetson Bennett is a top-four player in college football, then I have beachfront property in Idaho that I’d like to sell you.

Gerald - How do you watch Georgia play football and see Stetson Bennett as one of the four best players in the country?

Cameron - If you took each finalist away from their team, would they lose more games or no? If you took Bijan Robinson off of Texas, they might have honestly lost two more games. You can’t say that about any other player except maybe Caleb Williams.