How Texas Would Fare If Longhorns Played Texas A&M's 2013 Schedule

Randy ChambersAnalyst IApril 4, 2013

How Texas Would Fare If Longhorns Played Texas A&M's 2013 Schedule

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    Things are difficult enough for the Texas Longhorns. Having to travel the road playing a schedule full of teams that are on the rise in the Big 12 is no easy task.

    But what if we went ahead and threw a monkey wrench into the equation by giving the Longhorns the Texas A&M Aggies' schedule? I know you are likely thinking that because Texas finished 5-4 in its own conference last season, there is no way it could compete with an SEC schedule this year.

    Texas does return a boatload of starters from last year, and there would be no better way to prove this program is back by playing some of the best teams in the country.

    So with that said, let's flip this bad boy.

    Instead of the Aggies' opponents traveling to College Station, they will now play the road game inside Darrell K. Royal - TX Mem. Stadium. Of course, Texas will say goodbye to its Big 12 foes for a season and have to travel to the places Texas A&M is scheduled to go.

    Will Texas fall flat on its face?

    The results are quite surprising.

Vs. Rice

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    How the Longhorns Win

    Just don't do anything stupid such as turning the ball over a million times or racking up an absurd amount of penalties. You know your backups are better than the other team's starters, just go out there and play Texas football.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Keep scoring points at a high rate and find a way to improve a defense that was ranked 79th in the country in scoring defense. Rice was able to surprisingly win seven games last year and could continue to surprise with 17 starters returning.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 45-3 (Texas has won the last 12 meetings against Rice. Need I say more?)

     

    Record: 1-0

Vs. Sam Houston State

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    How the Longhorns Win

    This calls for pretty much the same recipe in the game against Rice. Sam Houston State was a great team in the Southland Conference a year ago, but that's like being the smartest 17-year old in a middle school classroom. Really? Go out there and play for a few quarters and good things will happen for you.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Wish. Hope. Play out of its mind on both sides of the ball. Hope some more.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 55-7 (If Texas doesn't win this game by three touchdowns or more, I would walk to Huntsville, TX and shake each and every Bearkats' hand)

     

    Record: 2-0

Vs. Alabama

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    How the Longhorns Win

    The Longhorns win by having success running the football and giving their defense a break. Texas has one of the better backfields in the country, which will come in handy in this matchup. To beat an SEC team, you have to play like one. Put your big boy pads on and get to grinding this game out.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    The same way Alabama wins every game it plays. Abuse the opposing offense with its stifling defense and then run the ball down the throat of a Texas defense that allowed 191 rushing yards a game. Unless that defense performs miracles leading up to this matchup, it isn't looking good if you are a Longhorns fan.

     

    Prediction

    Alabama 35-14 (Texas should make this somewhat competitive, but not many teams are built to hang with the Crimson Tide for four quarters)

     

    Record: 2-1

Vs. SMU

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    How the Longhorns Win

    Pressure the quarterback. SMU allowed 34 sacks last season, which was good enough for 11th in the C-USA. The offensive line may in fact be even worse than that now that only two starters are returning up front. If the Longhorns defense can generate some pressure, a third victory in the first quarter of the season will happen.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Put together an impressive defensive performance. SMU was solid by C-USA standards a year ago, but with only three starters returning, steps backward are likely going to take place. If the Mustangs can't come up with stops defensively, this game will be over before it gets started.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 28-7 (Even though these teams haven't played for quite some time, the Longhorns still control the rivalry, winning the last eight meetings. Texas is still the superior team no matter how much SMU has improved)

     

    Record: 3-1

At Arkansas

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    How the Longhorns Win

    The Longhorns need to win the turnover battle. Three of the four games last season where Texas coughed the ball up more times than the other team resulted in a Texas loss. This will be a tricky road game, and the last thing the Longhorns need is to make things that much more difficult by giving the other team extra possessions.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    The Razorbacks must follow the same formula. With all of the issues Arkansas had a year ago, turnovers haunted this team the most. There were a total of 31 lost turnovers last season and a turnover margin of -19. I don't think it gets any clearer than that.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 28-10 (Arkansas won't go down quietly, but I'm not sure there is enough offensive firepower for the Razorbacks to keep up)

     

    Record: 4-1

At Ole Miss

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    How the Longhorns Win


    Follow the same formula that resulted in a victory over this team last season. Get the offense firing on all cylinders and sit back and enjoy the show. If the quarterback play and the offensive line can dominate up front like that again, the defense doesn't need to do much. Texas will cruise once again in impressive fashion.

    How the Opponent Wins


    Play defense. Mississippi had decent showings at times last season and does return 10 starters, but there were five games of at least 400 yards allowed. There was also no other team that dropped more yards on this Rebels defense than Texas.

    Prediction


    Texas 45-21 (Didn't Texas unleash 66 points on this defense a season ago? Um, yeah, I'll go out on a limb and pick the Longhorns once again)

    Record: 5-1

Vs. Auburn

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    How the Longhorns Win

    By now I think we all know the offense will be able to handle its own. This is all about slowing down that Gus Malzahn spread offense and keeping the Tigers in check. It doesn't matter which players are on the roster, Auburn is going to be dangerous offensively now that he is calling the shots. The defense must be prepared.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Auburn must be a better team on both sides of the ball. This may sound obvious and simple, but things really couldn't have gotten any worse than they did last year. Ranked 13th in the SEC in total defense and dead last in total offense, some signs of life must be shown heading into this matchup.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 24-10 (There are just too many question marks surrounding Auburn to believe this will be a close matchup)

     

    Record: 6-1

Vs. Vanderbilt

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    How the Longhorns Win

    The Longhorns must get off to a fast start and put Vanderbilt on its heels. James Franklin has his team believing that it will soon be competing for SEC titles and the longer an underdog is in the game, the more it begins to believe it can win. Texas must shatter those dreams quickly by taking a commanding lead early.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Do a better job of protecting the quarterback. Vanderbilt allowed 24 sacks last season, which is simply not good enough when trying to take that next step as a program. With nearly the entire unit returning, better production has to take place. If the Commodores can keep their quarterback upright, they will have a chance.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 24-17 (I like Vandy to keep it close but don't believe it is a program that is there quite yet)

     

    Record: 7-1

Vs. UTEP

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    How the Longhorns Win

    If the Longhorns show up and put 11 guys on the field, a victory belongs to them. Seriously, it is that easy.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    The Miners can hope that a giant sand storm takes place in Austin, forcing the game to be canceled. This wouldn't give them the victory, but it would at least delay things for a week or two.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 60-6 (UTEP hasn't won a bowl game since 1967 and is coming off a season that included just three wins. Nothing to see here)

     

    Record: 8-1

Vs. Mississippi State

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    How the Longhorns Win

    The Bulldogs were below average defensively last season, and that may not change much after losing Darius Slay and Johnthan Banks in the secondary. This is where quarterback David Ash takes advantage of these concerns and has one of his better games. If he takes care of the football and throws for at least 250 yards, the Longhorns win once again.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Ride the back of LaDarius Perkins by giving him the football 25 times or so. Mississippi State is a team that doesn't have much elite talent on either side of the ball, and with questions defensively, this is where the bread and butter comes into play. Perkins must continue to be the workhorse and lead his team to victory.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 35-21 (Have you seen the Mississippi State record against ranked opponents under head coach Dan Mullen? Go Google it. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Well, unless you are a Bulldogs fan)

     

    Record: 9-1

At LSU

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    How the Longhorns Win

    Texas must find a way to stop the running game. What you see is what you get with LSU, and you know it is a team that loves to pound the ball right up the middle a ridiculous amount of times. If the Tigers are able to have their way with the ground attack, you can forget it.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    The same thing that Alabama likes to do is the exact same thing LSU will look to use to its advantage. Great defense and running the football is the recipe for Les Miles and his boys. Hold the opponent to under 20 points and run for 200 yards. It has been the formula for this SEC powerhouse for quite some time.

     

    Prediction

    LSU 21-10 (Texas will be better than it has been in years past, but I'm not sure if that is good enough to win a road game against LSU)

     

    Record: 9-2

At Missouri

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    How the Longhorns Win

    Texas must do the simple things right in order to win this game—things such as taking care of the football, getting off the field on third down and not shooting itself in the foot with penalties. Missouri is a team that had issues in all three of those phases, which helped contribute to last season's failures. The Longhorns will be fine as long as they don't beat themselves in this former Big 12 rivalry.

     

    How the Opponent Wins

    Quarterback James Franklin has to be healthy and look like his old self in this meeting. When he is in his zone, Franklin is easily one of the better dual-threat quarterbacks college football has to offer. If he is anywhere close to the same playmaker he was back in 2011, the Texas defense may be in trouble.

     

    Prediction

    Texas 32-17 (Until Missouri shows some sign of turning things around, it is tough to pick against Texas at this point)

     

    Record: 10-2

What We Learned

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    If you needed to be reminded, the Texas A&M schedule is soft when going by SEC standards. The first month of the season consists of nothing but home games and the only true conference tests are matchups against Alabama and LSU.

    There are mediocre opponents in Rice, Sam Houston State and UTEP, while most of the remaining SEC squads on tap have major question marks. Both Auburn and Arkansas have new coaching staffs and appear to be a year or two away from competing, while Mississippi State and Missouri are desperately trying to remain relevant.

    This isn't your typical SEC schedule that you are used to seeing, and even the Longhorns should be able to take advantage of that. 

    Texas has had its fair share of issues the last couple of years, but this is easily the most talented team head coach Mack Brown has had in a while. With 19 starters returning, a legitimate quarterback, talent at the skill positions and nine defensive starters, this is a team that could put Texas back on top. We shouldn't hear national championship talk until this team actually does something, but the possibilities are there.

    The Longhorns would have no problem at all switching schedules with the Texas A&M Aggies for the upcoming season.