Two weeks until the college football season kicks off for the Texas Longhorns. Thank goodness. Before we get into season expectations and predictions for the Horns - let’s preview the opponents. Who is one Big 12 opponent you are high on this season?
Daniel Seahorn (@DanielSeahorn) - I think it’s Kansas State for me. Chris Klieman is a really good coach and he has that program going in the right direction after getting them to the Sugar Bowl this past season. Those Wildcat teams are never going to be pushovers and will be mentally tough. They have to figure out how to replace Duece Vaughn this year, but I have faith they will find someone to pick up the slack.
Gerald Goodridge (@ghgoodridge) - This pains me to say it, but I think Texas Tech has a shot to do something. College football is a quarterback-drive game and Tyler Shough seems to have some sort of magic with that team. When he was on the field last year, Texas Tech was 5-1. When he wasn’t, Texas Tech was 3-4. That being said, he’s not gone a year without missing time for one reason or another, so the Red Raiders have to find a way to keep him healthy or they’re likely in for another lackluster season.
Cameron Parker (@camerondparker) - Tech. 11 starters are returning on offense including QB Tyler Shough and RB Tahj Brooks. Defensively, they’ll be experienced with six seniors and five juniors. Plus, they ended the year on a four-game winning streak. I’m buying high on the Red Raiders.
Which Big 12 opponent are you expecting to have a disappointing campaign in 2023?
Daniel - West Virginia. Neal Brown barely held onto his job during the coaching carousel this past year and I feel like things are still trending down for his program heading into 2023.
Gerald - I don’t get the Kansas State love. Their offensive line is going to be one of the better units in the conference, but I just don’t see how the offense will be the same with the losses of Deuce Vaughn, Malik Knowles, and Kade Warner. On the other side of the ball, you lose Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Julius Brents, and two of your top three tacklers, it just seems like they’re losing too much to build on what they did last year. Maybe I’m reading it wrong.
Cameron - Iowa State. The recent gambling probe means the Cyclones will be without up to five starters this season - including their returning starter at QB Hunter Dekkers. Now they’ll have a freshman at QB with a young offensive line. Plus, their schedule to start conference play is rough with Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, TCU, and Cincinnati in the first four weeks. Matt Campbell is in danger of back-to-back losing seasons.
First coach fired in the Big 12?
Daniel - Neal Brown. It looked like he was going to be fired this past year, but they oddly decided to hold onto him for another year. If they don’t show dramatic improvement this year he is going to be getting his pink slip.
Gerald - I want to say Neal Brown, but his buyout is preposterous. I just don’t know how many seasons they’re willing to sacrifice on a guy that is very clearly not the guy as their head coach. Honestly, if his buyout wasn’t $20 mil last year I bet we would already be looking for the newest West Virginia coach.
Cameron - Neil Brown. Year No. 5 and hasn’t had more than 6 wins in any season. And it doesn’t look any more promising this year either.