After last season's 5-7 debacle, 2011 has been a rebuilding year for Texas. Despite having a talented bunch at their disposal, coach Mack Brown and his staff have been trying to get the starting lineups just right.
However, this has proven to be more difficult than expected and has resulted in a mixed season so far. After a 4-0 start, the Longhorns were expected to give the Sooners a run for their money. Alas, they were blown out in the Red River Rivalry game, and followed it up with a home loss to a tough Oklahoma State team.
But the following week, Texas shut out a hapless Kansas team to get back on its feet.
With five unpredictable weeks still left, there are a few different ways this season could turn out for Texas.
In all likelihood, a 5-2 Texas team will qualify for a bowl this year.
Seeing as how the 'Horns are charged up after shutting out the Jayhawks, they are favorites to win at least two out of their remaining five games. They could be headed to a bowl even with a 6-6 record.
While Kansas State and Texas A&M have looked much better this year, Baylor will be eager to prove that last year's win was no fluke. Other than these three tough opponents, Missouri and Texas Tech also present an ever-present danger.
However, Texas is bound to overcome the Red Raiders at home, even though they upset the Sooners a couple of weeks ago. The other game that Mack Brown's inexperienced offense is likely to win is the away game at Missouri.
Judging by the Kansas game, the Longhorns have the legs to take them to a respectable bowl game like the Holiday Bowl after finishing fifth in the Big 12. They even have the depth to overcome an opponent like Washington or Arizona State in that game.
This will no doubt be a great result in a rebuilding year like this one. It'll also set the stage for 2012, when the 'Horns will be a more experienced and confident group.
This is a long shot, since it requires the 'Horns to win it all from here on out, and it also require both the Oklahoma teams in the Big 12 and Kansas State to lose their way badly.
However, if the Cowboys, Sooners and Wildcats end up losing two conference games each by the end of the regular season, we could see a five-way tie for the Big 12 title. Texas will have to share their winnings with Texas A&M, K-State, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
This is, of course, wishful thinking, and it largely depends on three highly-ranked teams doing exceptionally badly over the next few weeks. But for Longhorns fans, this could be the perfect end to a thus far shaky 2011.
Like the previous outcome, even this is a long shot. But there is an outside chance for Texas to make it to a BCS bowl, IF they go undefeated for the rest of the year AND the likes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and even Texas A&M take a nasty fall.
There is an outside chance this might happen. Unfortunately, from what we've seen on the football field, it simply remains a mathematical possibility.
While David Ash seems to have booked the starting job for now, Case McCoy doesn't seem all that far behind in the race for starting quarterback. By the end of the season, we will get a much clearer picture on this battle.
From the looks of it, David Ash could establish himself as the sole signal-caller since he has the backing of his coaches. Having said that, he could be just a placeholder till Connor Brewer comes to the Forty Acres next year.