How the times have surely changed.
The line for the game currently favors Baylor by 15, a movement of several points since betting opened on the game, though the line was as high as 17 at times during the week.
When asked about it on Monday, head coach Charlie Strong could only laugh and praise the Bears.
On Wednesday, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford was hardly laughing. He said that studying the Baylor offense had kept him up at night trying to figure out how to stop the attack orchestrated by Bears head coach Art Briles. And only the cold had really managed to do that, leaving joking that he was ready to concede the match up.
"Somebody said we're a 14-point underdog," said Bedford. "I'll give ‘em 21 points. If it was up to me, I don't know if I can even show up to the game. I'll waive the white flag. I surrender."
For the first time since at least the start of the Mack Brown era at Texas, the Horns are a significant underdog at home:
Texas was +9 vs. No. 3 Nebraska in 1999. As far as I can tell, that was biggest home underdog of Mack era.— Max Olson (@max_olson) September 29, 2014
Of course, facing such a spread against Baylor is hardly unprecedented in recent history, as the spread last season was 16 in favor of the Bears.
Courtesy of the Statesman, here's the list of the biggest spreads the Horns have faced over the last 20 years:
- Sept. 19, 1998, at No. 5 Kansas State (KSU by 23). Texas lost, 48-7
- Dec. 7, 1996, vs. No. 3 Nebraska (Nebraska by 20). Texas won, 37-27
- Nov. 28, 1997, at No. 15 Texas A&M (A&M by 16). Texas lost, 27-16
- Oct. 31, 1998, at No. 7 Nebraska (Nebraska by 16). Texas won, 20-16
- Dec. 7, 2013, at No. 9 Baylor (Baylor by 16). Texas lost, 30-10
- Saturday, vs. No. 7 Baylor (Baylor by 15). Kickoff at 2:30 p.m.
- Dec. 30, 2013, vs. No. 10 Oregon (Oregon by 1). Texas lost, 30-7
The good news, to the extent that it exists, is that the Texas record in those games is 3-3, a strong mark given the expectations heading into those games.
The bad news? The Horns have been exceptionally poor against ranked teams since 2010:
Texas vs. AP Top 25: 2004-’09: 18-5 2010-’14: 4-16— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) October 3, 2014
Fans have provided their own opinion about how they think the game is going to go down, as around 7,000 tickets still remained as of Friday afternoon.
For those music fans in the Texas fanbase, spending a gloriously sunny afternoon in 80-degree temperatures listening to tunes in Zilker probably sounds like more fun than the beatdown that the Bears may lay on the Horns.