AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 5: Running back Joe Bergeron #24 of the Texas Longhorns makes a second quarter long run down the sidelines against safety D. J. Johnson #12 of the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 5, 2011 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
How good is Texas going to be this year?
That's been the question you have heard the most this offseason. From the pimple nosed cashier at the grocery store that sees your Texas t-shirt to the annoying co-worker who smirks at you when asking that question to Small Talk Airport Guy to the annoying cousin that went to an inferior state school, to your wife when she's looking for something out of you other than a shrug of the shoulders and a grunt, you've no doubt heard it several times a week.
And, of course, the answer is always, all together now, it all depends on the quarterback.
Texas fans had hoped that incumbent David Ash would have risen up and could be a poor man's A.J. McCarron, who led Alabama to a national title despite throwing for 200 yards or less in 8 of their 13 victories.
And perhaps he could still be. After all, Alabama played two quarterbacks in their season opener against Kent State last season.But if he could be, why not just name him the starter? Unless, of course, Case McCoy has been Tom Brady minus the supermodel wife in summer practices, of which I have seen none unless you count um, going to a "friend's" house and watching the Longhorn Network's coverage of practice featuring the guy from the Real World that isn't Mike the Miz (imagine how much street cred we'd have then), and perpetual sideline guy Ahmad Brooks.
So we tell the airport guy that our defense should be "SEC-caliber", and then get immediately annoyed that everything is now judged in terms of that annoying conference. We tell the grocery store kid that the stable of running backs should be good enough that we will consider bringing back the Single Wing offense as a set base if a quarterback gets injured and we tell our co-worker that Ash's weapons include an Olympian and the sibling of a Texas legend who had a great year last year despite needing his own ward at the hospital.
But we walk out of the store or go back to our cubicle knowing that 11-1 wouldn't be a complete shock, but nor would another 7-5 campaign.
But who knows?
All we know is that the answer to the "How good is Texas going to be" question starts to be answered on Saturday.
Boise State @ Michigan State -7:
Michigan State has the defense and running game to get back to the Big 10 championship game, while Boise State has to replace the all-time leader in victories as a quarterback in Kellen Moore, as well as 9 starters on defense.
Michigan State 27 Boise State 17
ATS - Michigan State
SU - Michigan State
Notre Dame 27 Navy 24
ATS - Navy
SU - Notre Dame
Clemson -3.5 vs. Auburn:
Clemson has the better talent here and should win...if new defensive coordinator Brent Venables can keep Auburn under the 70 points that the Tigers gave up in the Orange Bowl to West Virginia.
Clemson 31 Auburn 28
ATS - Auburn
SU - Clemson
Michigan vs. Alabama -14:
I'm tempted to believe in Robinson here to at least keep it close, but this isn't Notre Dame and Indiana here.
Alabama 34 Michigan 16
ATS - Alabama
SU - Alabama
SMU @ Baylor -10:
Baylor 34 SMU 31
ATS - SMU
SU - Baylor
Wyoming @ Texas -31:
Quarterback Brett Smith was the Mountain West conference's freshman of the year last year, and went through a stretch mid-season where he threw 8 touchdown passes to zero interceptions. He might not even be in the top half of quarterbacks Texas faces this year, but he's certainly not one to beat his own team.
Texas 38 Wyoming 10
ATS - Wyoming
SU - Texas
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for going to a bar to see this game.