I sat with Ray Charles and I was sitting and I was playing with him and I hit a wrong note, he said, "now why the hell would you do that?"
And I said "I don’t know", and he said, "the notes are right underneath our fingers, all you gotta do is take the time to play the right ones." – Jaime Foxx, Golden Globes acceptance speech – Best Actor (Ray)
You could throw a rock this off-season and hit Mack Brown talking to a local media scribe, or national media broadcaster, or Longhorn band member, or the Cedar Park PTA, telling them how good that his Longhorn team will be this season.
"I think I’m most excited because I think we’re good, and I’m ready for you all to reap the benefits and for our fans who have hung in there," Brown said recently. "I have worked my tail off for three years to make sure we’d get back to this point."
Hey, I don’t know what we want him to say, but Brown seems to think that these last three years happened by chance, and that somehow he wasn’t guiding the ship through these tumultuous waters.
Assistant coach after assistant coach can be recommended for other jobs, we can change the offense from a spread to a NFL-style to a Dana Holgersen starter-kit, we can imply that last year’s disappointing losses were due to injuries when it is the lack of recruiting moxie that left us one-deep in several positions in the first place.
Rather than hearing how good they’ll be this season, Texas fans need to see their team defend their home stadium like a powerhouse program should. They need to see Kansas State dejectedly board the bus to Austin Bergstrom Airport. They need to see their team go on the road and not make a game closer than it should be because they just can’t get up 12 Saturdays a year.
And yes, they need to see that you care about the game against Oklahoma as much as they do.
I hear about 19 returning starters and I say "great", but let’s not kid ourselves. We had the talent in years past to not lose by 20 at home to a UCLA team that would finish 4-8. We had more talent than Iowa State. And Texas A&M. And Missouri. And TCU.
National pundits aren’t quick to pick Texas to win the conference for a reason. They have an experienced, talented quarterback, a backfield that stacks up against any in the country, an offensive line that is easily the best since the national championship year and a defense that plugged its holes from last season quite nicely and is poised to at least not embarrass themselves at every opportunity this season.
But they just don’t trust Texas.
That trust won’t be earned back against New Mexico State on Saturday night. But it could be an opportunity to build that foundation again.
They’re right underneath your fingers, just play the right notes.
On to the games...
North Carolina @ South Carolina -12.5:
When did South Carolina become the official Opening College Football Weekend Thursday Night Game team? Anyhow, the Tarheels have a pretty decent quarterback in Bryn Renner, who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards the last two seasons.
If he survives the Jadeveon Clowney Show, he should be able to keep North Carolina in this one for a while.
South Carolina 28 North Carolina 20
ATS – North Carolina
SU – South Carolina
Georgia -2 @ Clemson:
It was called "pulling a Georgia" before it was called "pulling a Clemson", but Georgia has the potential to regain their title. They are possibly a little overrated entering this year due to several defensive losses, but their offense should be good enough to carry the team while the defense figures it out.
When it doubt, go with the SEC over the ACC.
Georgia 31 Clemson 24
ATS – Georgia
SU – Georgia
Alabama -20 vs. Virginia Tech:
Let’s put it this way. Michigan last year played in a New Year’s Day bowl game, and had the misfortune of facing Notre Dame, Ohio State and yes…Alabama, who embarrassed them in the season opener last year.
Virginia Tech isn’t Michigan.
Alabama 41 Virginia Tech 13
ATS – Alabama
SU – Alabama
Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State -12.5:
Mississippi State was decimated in the secondary by graduation…and Oklahoma State likes to pass the ball a little bit. Tough matchup in the opener for the Bulldogs.
Oklahoma State 37 Mississippi State 20
ATS – Oklahoma State
SU – Oklahoma State
LSU -4.5 vs. TCU:
The last time we saw Zach Mettenberger he was sparing us to death in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, and the last time we saw Casey Pachall, well, sometimes you just have to come up with your own punchline.
This should be a defensive standoff. Vegas sees 43 points and that might be optimistic.
LSU 21 TCU 16
ATS – LSU
SU – TCU
New Mexico State @ Texas -42:
How bad was New Mexico State in 2012? They lost their last 11 games, giving up 454 points in the process, they lost by three touchdowns to a school that didn’t have a football program three years ago (UTSA) and gave up 446 rushing yards to that powerhouse program down the road Texas State.
We at Texas have a history of the season opener setting the tone for the regular season, and if that is the case, it should be a good one as I don’t see any way in hell the Aggies stay anywhere near Texas.
Horns let the good times roll.
Texas 54 New Mexico State 10
ATS – Texas
SU – Texas
For entertainment purposes only. Save your money for NCAA officially licensed Johnny Manziel autographed memorabilia.