Is 2020 the year that Texas finally gets over the hump under Tom Herman? The Longhorns entered 2019 as a potential Big 12 and College Football Playoff contender, but fell well short of expectations.
Texas finished 8-5, though they did close the season out on a high note by blasting No. 11 Utah in the Alamo Bowl. Next year will be a pivotal campaign for Herman and the UT program, as they’ll need to take a step forward. At least one ESPN analyst thinks they will.
In a recent appearance on College Football Live, Cubelic named Texas as a “legitimate” contender in the Big 12 and a potential CFP sleeper. This is a bold prediction, for sure, but Cubelic backed it up by praising quarterback Sam Ehlinger and the core of talent the Longhorns have coming back.
It has been 11 years since Texas last won its conference. Led by Mack Brown, the Longhorns also played for the national championship during that 2009 season.
“I think this might be the year we talk about Texas being a legitimate contender in the Big 12 and maybe a team that can make a push into the College Football Playoff,” Cubelic said. “With Sam Ehlinger returning at quarterback, you have a guy who has big-game experience and he understands the moment. Four of their top six offensive linemen return. You’ve got skill receivers there who are young, but extremely talented.
“Even though you bring in a new offensive coordinator, Herb Hand is the run-game coordinator and the familiarity will be there with this offense. I think Samuel Cosby has a chance to be one of the best left tackles in football. The physicality has been ramping up year by year under Tom Herman and I actually expect Texas to not only contend for the Big 12, but also be in the mix for the College Football Playoff this season.”
Our take: it’s not out of the question that Texas is in the mix for Big 12 supremacy, but the CFP talk seems over the top. Basically, we have to actually see it from Herman’s team before we believe it.
The Longhorns’ margin for error is slim, considering one of their non-conference games is a road trip to LSU to take on the defending national champions. October 2020 also looks like a nightmare month for Texas.
In a five-week span, they face Kansas State, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech and Baylor. Talk about a gauntlet.
[ 247 Sports ]