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College Football Preview: #22 Texas Longhorns

The countdown continues on our breakdown of College Football Live’s Top 25 pre-season rankings.

At #22 we have the Texas Longhorns. Texas has had a disappointing last few seasons and is looking to get things going back in the right direction. However, quarterback is still a big question with the Horns. They still need to decide on a starter between David Ash and Case McCoy. Whoever gets the starting nod will then need to come out of the gate strong, or there will be a lot of noise about bringing in the other.

Texas has some good young running backs coming in with guys like Malcolm Brown, who had 742 yards last season and Johnathan Gray, the #7 ranked player in last year’s recruiting class. Mike Davis is the leading returning receiver with 45 catches for 609 yards and one touchdown. 

The defense is the strength of the team. Last season, they were great at times, but were lit up in the big games. Part of the problem was the offense put them in bad field position. But even though the Horns gave up over 40 points to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Baylor, they still only allowed under 23 points per game. The leading returning tackler is Kenny Vaccaro with 82. Jackson Jeffcoat is also back. He had eight sacks a year ago. Quandre Diggs also returns after picking off four passes a year ago.

Altogether, the Horns have 13 offensive and defensive starters returning from a year ago. As usual, they are loaded with a ton of talented, highly recruited players. They could be a sleeper team, much like Boise State or Florida. If the young talent lives up to their potential, the Horns will beat someone they aren’t supposed to.

Unlike Florida and Boise, the Horns schedule starts off fairly easy. Wyoming, New Mexico and Ole Miss give the Horns three tune ups before having to face Oklahoma State on September 29. After that the schedule gets brutal. West Virginia, Oklahoma and Baylor follow the OSU game. If the Horns don’t have their issues ironed before the end of September, they could find themselves 4-3 or even 3-4. However, we like them to beat Baylor and possibly even West Virginia. They may also beat the Cowboys too. Don’t be too surprised if they are 6-1. They end the season with TCU and Kansas State. Something is just wrong with Texas vs Kansas State to end the season.

Betting prospectus: We see the Horns going at least 9-3, and possibly 11-1. They will likely win the first three games handily. That’s the time to get your bets in. After that, they may be a little overrated going into the tough part of the schedule. That may be time to bet against them with the point spread. Also, they look like a good under bet with a suspect offensive game and a pretty good defense.

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Saturday, August 4th, 2012 College Football 2012

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