Longhorn nation, we’re back.
We made it.
Finally, we made it back to the first full Saturday of the 2019 college football season.
Take a few moments to breathe it in, take a sip and bask in the accomplishment that is surviving the last seven months without a major distraction from your daily life and the people in it.
You now have something to look forward to Sunday through Friday. You can smile again. You earned this.
Now, usually, I like to wait until after a win or the first week of college football to start spewing hot takes, but I’m feeling good on this day. Today, I will tell you my five bold predictions for the 2019 Texas Football season and you will agree with me.
Before we dive into the mix of guarantees and sure bets, I want to assure you of one thing. Consider this my bonus bold prediction.
(Pro wrestling radio commercial guy: “THE BONUS BOLD PREDICTION! ON SATURDAY - SATURDAY!! - SATURDAY!”)
BONUS BOLD PREDICTION: At your local drug store, bypass the cooler with the gatorade and waters and make your way to the medicine aisles. If you are going to be at a Texas game this fall, or simply watching every game from home, screaming at the TV and in the process ignoring your kids and scaring the dog, chances are you’re going to need something to make you feel better on Sunday morning, what with the kids you neglected wanting to play and your wife giving you 11 impossible tasks around the house to complete in a single day, all while your brain feels like it’s playing the kick drum at a Metallica concert inside your head.
Find the generic adult Pedialyte drinks that are usually labeled with the drug stores logo. Buy two. Drink one before you begin your Saturday festivities. Drink the other when you wake up.
Look, I’m not telling you anything most people probably don’t already know. But more often than not, all I see is amateur hour out here. Wake up after a long day, one in which you didn’t prepare for with proper hydration, and your first instinct is to grab some Advil and a Gatorade.
Not a bad play, but this is Texas football. This is the University of Hydration.
“If the pee is brown, might as well put horns down!”
BOLD PREDICTION NO. 1: Texas will beat Louisiana Tech by 20 points or more, covering the -19.5 line.
Look, this is bold. You might not think so, but take a look back at the last two season-openers for Texas. Maryland or not, Texas has not kicked off its season each of the last two years with anything to get excited about. And considering last year’s awkward win against Tulsa that felt more like another giant red flag that the season was headed down a dark path, it’s about time the Longhorns come out here — fully hydrated — and beat the ever-loving life out of a team.
I like Sam to rush for two and pass for three touchdowns today. Five total touchdowns. And I like Texas by a final score of 47-24. Let the 24 Louisiana Tech points be an indictment on a young defense that, luckily, can take some lumps this week in preparation for the big LSU game a week later.
BOLD PREDICTION NO. 2: Texas will win 10 games for a second consecutive season.
I don’t know if Texas beats LSU or OU. Maybe they win both. Maybe they lose both. Maybe they split. What I do know is that Texas has a great chance to win all of its Big 12 games. The floor is nine wins for this team. The ceiling is 11. I think this program is, at the very least, moved past the days of laboring through six and seven win seasons. Eight wins would be a major disappointment. I like Texas at 10-2 or 11-1 this season, spending much of the year on the fringe of College Football Playoff dreams coming to fruition.
BOLD PREDICTION NO. 3: Texas will play for the Big 12 Championship for a second consecutive season.
Admittedly, this has more to do with the Big 12 than Texas, but let’s not take away from the Longhorns. The fact of the matter is Texas shouldn’t face the real threat of losing to anyone in the Big 12 aside from Oklahoma and Iowa State. Sure, there are a few games where a Texas team could stumble and get bit right on the arse. But if there’s one thing Tom Herman has brought back to this program, it’s the fact that rarely will you find this team completely unprepared or having an “off day.” Couple that with Sam Ehlinger’s emergence as an incredible leader and talent and it’s very unlikely this team is going to lose games it should absolutely win.
Texas has three real threats for a big fat ‘L’ this season — LSU, OU, Iowa State — and it’s plausible to think they can at least win one of those. I like the Longhorns at AT&T Stadium in December for a chance at the Big 12 Championship.
BOLD PREDICTION NO. 4: Sam Ehlinger will finish second in both the Heisman Trophy and Davey O’Brien Award ceremonies.
This isn’t a knock on Sam. This is the next step for the Austin native and lifelong Longhorn, setting up an incredible 2020 season.
In 2018, Ehlinger was one of four quarterbacks who threw fewer than five interceptions while passing for 25 or more touchdowns. And we’ve all heard the statistic: Ehlinger joined the likes of Tim Tebow, Baker Mayfield, Marcus Mariotta, Johnny Manziel, and Lamar Jackson as one of a handful of — *cough* Heisman *cough* — quarterbacks to throw for 25 or more touchdowns and run for 15 or more touchdowns in the same season. Ehlinger is deserving of every single ounce of hype he’s receiving until he isn’t. And as most Texas fans will tell you, whether it be bias or objective, Sam is the real deal. Texas has been in more games because of Ehlinger than most realize, and that started as early as his freshman year. Remember his incredible drive at USC that looked like it was going to seal a huge road win? The kid has the stuff. This year is just the next step in his journey. I like him as a finalist for both the Heisman and the Davey O’Brien, more than likely after playing for another conference championship, just before preparing for another New Year’s Six bowl game.
BOLD PREDICTION NO. 5: The pain really is over. We don’t have to hurt anymore.
2018 was not a fluke. You don’t have to go see that therapist on the east side of town anymore.
I mean, your life will still probably remain the same. In fact, I’d probably keep seeing that therapist. But as far as your college football hopes, yeah, we good, b.
Two straight top five recruiting classes with Clout 2020 looking like Texas is on its way to a third straight recruiting landslide has Longhorns fans happy. Here’s the simple fact of the matter — Texas is going to have a good 2019 with glorious 2020 on the horizon. Even if the Longhorns went 9-3 and didn’t play for the conference championship, that’s still consistent with 2018. Texas was 9-3 going into the Big 12 Championship. A 9-3 season would still leave the door open for a 10-win season. That’s consistency. That’s what Texas hasn’t had in years.
This program is put together. Herman is putting the future pieces in place. And Texas has Sam for two more seasons (more than likely).
These are good times, y’all.
Longhorn nation, we’re back.