Game-By-Game Predictions for Texas' 2014 Season
If the current roster is any indication of how quickly this team can jump back into college football's elite, Texas may be back sooner rather than later.
Contrary to popular belief, Brown did have the talent that was needed to compete on the national stage. But, for whatever reason, he couldn't seem to get the most out of that talent over the past few years, leading to the change in leadership for the Longhorns.
While Texas may have a loaded roster on its side, one major problem is a loaded schedule early on. It has a brutal mid-September to mid-October stretch that includes three teams that could all wind up in the Top 10 in the nation by the end of the season.
So, will Strong be able to lead Texas to a Big 12 title in his first year at the helm? Let's run through the schedule and make predictions as to how things will turn out in Austin next season.
8/30/14 - vs. North Texas (WIN)
This should be an easy enough game for Strong to get his first win as Texas head coach. The Mean Green did win nine games a season ago, but the Longhorns are the superior team.
9/6/14 - vs. BYU (WIN)
BYU ran its way to a comfortable victory in last season's matchup due to Texas' inability to stop the run. My guess is that the Longhorns will be a little better prepared for things this time around, leading them to 2-0 on the season.
9/13/14 - vs. UCLA (LOSS)
Talk about the perfect game to hold at Cowboys Stadium. This non-conference tilt should be a ton of fun, and should give us a better idea of which team is for real. Texas could certainly win this game, but Jim Mora Jr. will have the Bruins ready for the challenge. Great game, close loss for the Longhorns.
9/27/14 - at Kansas (WIN)
This is certainly a great way to start of Big 12 play. The future just doesn't look all that bright for Kansas, as the Jayhawks may struggle to win a conference game. Texas dominates from start to finish.
10/4/14 - vs. Baylor (LOSS)
The good news for Texas is that it gets the Bears at home. These two teams have the best chance at challenging Oklahoma for the Big 12 title, so there's a lot on the line in this one. There are still defensive concerns that could rear their ugly head here for the Longhorns. It should be a high-scoring game, but Baylor wins.
10/11/14 - vs. Oklahoma (LOSS)
Well, this isn't the ideal opponent a week after getting Baylor. The Sooners have all the tools to not only win the Big 12, but to also win the national championship. I'm not sure we can say the same about Texas right now, so Oklahoma gets the nod in this rivalry game.
10/18/14 - vs. Iowa State (WIN)
Last year's game between these two was filled with controversy. Texas ultimately won the game by a point, but the Cyclones game the Longhorns all they could handle. Expect another tight contest, but the result will stay the same.
10/25/14 - at Kansas State (WIN)
No one likes to play at Manhattan regardless of Kansas State's expectations for the season. The Wildcats won't challenge for the conference crown, however, they will give top teams like Texas all it can handle. The Lonhorns pick up Big 12 win number three here.
11/1/14 - at Texas Tech (WIN)
This particular game is tricky because the Red Raiders could potentially surprise everyone. It'll need to avoid a collapse like the one a year ago to do that, but Texas Tech should have enough to give Texas all that it wants. But yet again, Strong's team battles for a road win.
11/8/14 - vs. West Virginia (WIN)
Texas beat the Mountaineers in a 47-40 overtime thriller in Morgantown in 2013, and now it will look to pick up another win in the series. I can't see West Virginia going into Austin and winning this game.
11/15/14 - at Oklahoma State (WIN)
I'd bet a lot of money on this being one of the best games in the conference all season. There will be plenty on the line for both teams by this point in the year, and Texas will be looking to avenge the home thumping that it took from the Cowboys last season. Winning at Texas Tech is nice, but winning here would give Strong that first big signature road win. The Longhorns score late to win their fifth straight.
11/27/14 - vs. TCU (WIN)
TCU is a bit of a mystery. The Horned Frogs could potentially go toe-to-toe with the big boys in the conference or struggle mightily once again. Either way, there will be no stopping a Texas team that has all the confidence in the world.
Texas 2014 Projected Record: 9-3 (7-2)
How do you see Texas faring in Strong's first year on the job? Let us know your game-by-game predictions for the Longhorns by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!