The Texas Longhorns failed to live up to high expectations a year ago. Maybe some time out of the spotlight will benefit a team that was probably better than its record last year.
The ingredients for a conference-winning season are there in Austin: a proven quarterback, an improved offensive line, veterans on defense. How quickly can an overhauled coaching staff put everything together, however? If Texas' overhauled coaching staff can push the right buttons, this team could find itself in the College Football Playoff at the end of the year.
Athlon asked a few editors and one of its college football contributors to share their realistic win/loss projection for Texas in 2020.
Texas Football Game-by-Game Predictions for 2020
Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Last year’s 8-5 season was a disappointment, but Texas has the necessary pieces to rebound and earn a trip to the Big 12 title game. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger is one of the best in the nation and should benefit from the arrival of new play-caller Mike Yurcich. Despite losing receivers Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson, there are plenty of weapons for Ehlinger. Keaontay Ingram, Roschon Johnson and Bijan Robinson headline a talented backfield, while Brennan Eagles, Jake Smith, Jordan Whittington and Tarik Black anchor the receiving corps. Texas was hit hard by youth and injuries on defense last fall and it showed on the stat sheet. After allowing 27.5 points a game (seventh in the Big 12), coach Tom Herman hired Chris Ash to call the defensive signals in 2020. Ash inherits a group with plenty of talent and upside, but how will the unusual offseason hinder its development? The early matchup versus Oklahoma will provide a good gauge of just how far Herman has brought this team since last season. Don’t be surprised if the showdown at Oklahoma State decides second place in the Big 12 this fall.
Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
It's been tough sledding for Texas under Tom Herman, but this may be the season where everything comes together. Oklahoma has dominated the Big 12 for five straight years, although the Sooners have some question marks entering this campaign, and the Longhorns have beaten OU twice during that same span. The key is whether Texas takes care of business elsewhere on its schedule. Herman's overhauled coaching staff doesn't get the benefit of a full, normal offseason to implement changes, but there's more than enough talent and experience on the roster, so don't be surprised if these Longhorns wind up in the Big 12 title game.
Allen Kenney (@BlatantHomerism)
The Longhorns ease into the season with a three-game slate against teams that didn't make a bowl last season. They catch Oklahoma early enough this year to capitalize on the current challenges within its program. A Halloween trip to Stillwater feels like a loss, but UT should have enough in the tank to win out and secure a trip to the conference championship game.