The word excitement just doesn’t accurately depict the feelings around Austin ahead of the 2023 season.
There are Big 12 championship discussions, and some have even gone as far to say that Texas can make the playoff. However, the question around the country is whether or not the Longhorns can return to the prominence that the program was once known for.
Something Paul Finebaum discussed on SportsCenter on Friday, as he explained there is one game in particular that can help Texas be “back.” That game is of course their Week 2 matchup against Alabama.
“They’re going to be the pick to win the Big 12. But … they have Alabama in Week 2, in Tuscaloosa. You will see on College GameDay that day upsets picked. I promise you that. [And] if they pull that one off, they’re going to be off and running,” Finebaum said. “They have one of the best quarterbacks in the country [in Quinn Ewers]. They have the most famous freshman in the country in Arch Manning. And I think they’ve got a shot at getting to the Playoff and a legitimate shot this time.”
While in theory this game could be pivotal for the Longhorns, historically they have not faired well in there out of conference matchups in the regular season. Dating back to the 2012 season, when the Longhorns play a Power Five program in the first three weeks of the season they hold a 2-10 record. If you count meetings against independents BYU and Notre Dame, that record becomes even worse at 3-13.
If Texas can not only beat Alabama, but remain unscathed the rest of the way there is no doubt they can make the playoff. However, the Longhorns have been frequently coming up short of their goals for a decade now.