Longhorns head coach Mack Brown must produce this season for the storied football institution that is the University of Texas. The first step in this process is defeating the MAC's Wyoming Cowboys, and by the considerable margin expected by college football odds makers.
Texas' recruiting advantage has not done
anything for the program over the past two seasons. The 'Horns failed to
come even remotely close to winning a Big 12 championship in 2010 and 2011. They
missed a bowl game outright in 2010 and settled for a mid-tier bowl bid last
season. The pressure is on Brown to deliver the goods in 2012. Otherwise, the
natives are going to begin to get restless in Austin. The journey for Texas
starts against the Wyoming Cowboys.
College betting odds: Texas -29.5
The Cowboys can win because…
Texas does not have a fully-formed offense, one that
would inspire complete trust and confidence throughout the Longhorns' coaching
Last week, David Ash beat out Case
McCoy for the starting quarterback spot at Texas. McCoy was the better player
for much of 2011, but neither man took hold of the job with any appreciable
degree of authoritativeness. At any rate, if there was a favorite entering
August camp, it was McCoy.
The fact that Ash won the derby suggests that the
competition was marked more by the limitations of the two men than by any
superlative qualities the two athletes displayed on the field. This has to
concern Brown and his second-year offensive coordinator, Bryan Harsin, who was
hired away from Boise State to transform the way Texas's offense operated on
If the Longhorns cannot move the ball with any
consistency in the first half, Wyoming can shorten the game and stay within
striking distance in the fourth quarter. If the Cowboys can do that, Texas will
feel a lot of pressure and just one or two Longhorn mistakes can give Wyoming a
shot at a huge upset.
The Longhorns can win because…
They're Texas, and
their opponent is Wyoming.
come from the opposite sides of the tracks in college football. Texas is old-money power and prestige while Wyoming is a member of the sport's underclass
from the unheralded Mountain West Conference. Texas expects to be in a BCS bowl
every season, while any bowl at all marks a great year for the Pokes.
Texas, for all of
its woes on the offensive side of the ball, has a loaded and deep defense that
will smother Wyoming's offense. As long as the Longhorns don't commit four or
more turnovers and play a clean game on special teams as well, they won't give
Wyoming the free points they need to spring an ambush.
Outlook & NCAA football betting prediction:
The Longhorns won't be smooth or crisp in terms of
offensive execution, but they'll get out of their own way and allow the defense
to win this game for them. Texas won't score a ton, but it might not give up
anything more than seven points in this contest. The Longhorns will wear down
the Cowboys and win comfortably - just not by 40 or more points.
Pick: Wyoming +29.5