Big 12 Sports Articles

Why We Should Temper Expectations for the Texas Longhorns

I was set to write a piece being a sunshine pumper about the 2015 Texas Longhorns football season.  I was ready to shout to the world how great year two of the Charlie Strong era is about to be. How Tyrone Swoopes had progressed exponentially between his first season and fall camp and that he would be an all- conference Quarterback. I was ready to tell you, the reader, that the Defense would be just plain salty and even better than last season.  I was ready to proclaim that the 2015 Longhorns would shock everyone and compete for the BIG XII Conference Championship.

I apologize. Trust me, I want to write about that. I want to believe with every fiber in my body that these things will happen. Alas, I can’t. I just can’t do it. With only three weeks to go until the opener against Notre Dame why am I being such a pessimist?

The Schedule
Texas has one of the most difficult schedules in the country. It has been ranked as the 7th overall toughest schedule by Phil Steele.  Texas has four teams ranked in the top 18 of the Preseason Amway Coaches Poll.  They have a tough season opener on the road in South Bend against #11 Notre Dame.  Two weeks later Texas takes on, what is predicted to be, a much improved Cal team.  The Longhorns will go on the road to play #2 TCU and #4 Baylor, both of which are the predicted favorites to win the Big XII conference. They also go to Morgantown to take on West Virginia, which is not an easy venue to play. Then there are these three games #18 Oklahoma, Kansas State, and Oklahoma St. They will be a grudge match. Texas lost to both OU and Kansas St last year.

Quarterback consistency
Which Tyrone Swoopes will we see this year?  We have seen the good throwing for 305 yards and 2 TDs with zero interceptions against Oklahoma St. We have also witnessed the, deer in the headlights bad, that resulted in 4 interceptions in a blowout loss to TCU.  How quickly can Swoopes grasp the new spread concepts that Texas is installing on offense this year? Can he make the quick reads necessary? He has a cannon for an arm, but will the mental process catch up? It is often said that the most improvement in a QB is between year one and year two in the same offense. It remains to be seen with Tyrone Swoopes. This will be his second offensive scheme he will be learning over the last two years. Just like last year this team will go where Tyrone goes.

Offensive Line
Let’s face it … the offensive line for Texas has not been very good for several years now. Due to complacency and just plain missing on the evaluations of incoming recruits under the previous coaching staff, there is a lack of depth. This unit that was once a model of nastiness and consistency is shell of itself.  Attrition and injuries have left Texas with a young and unproven core of offensive linemen. As a result Texas could be starting two true freshmen Connor Williams and Patrick Vahe.

I really don’t want to be such a pessimist. But, admittedly, I am going into this season with tempered expectations and trying to take a realistic approach.

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