Alabama Football: Among Texas supporters doubt creeps in

Sara Diggins/Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK
Sara Diggins/Austin American-Statesman-USA TODAY NETWORK /

Alabama football fans are enthused after college football’s week one. After the Texas Longhorns’ opening win over Rice, optimism in Austin has faded. ‘Big’ is the most used word to describe the state of Texas and everything about it, but this week big talk is fading.

Fans of the Longhorns are starved from long years of Texas not being one of college football’s ‘big-time’ teams. The 2023 season was supposed to be that year, when the talk of Texas being back became a reality.

With Alabama having been fortunate to escape Austin with a win last season, Texas fans have spent months relishing what they expect the Horns would do to the Tide in Tuscaloosa. Now that game week is here, much of the optimism has turned into doubt.

In several ways, Texas should be, and probably is a better team than last season. Many college football experts have predicted the Longhorns will win the Big 12. More than a few of the experts have predicted Texas to be a CFB Playoff team.

An Upset of Alabama Football?

That Big 12 prediction may prove to be true, while at the same time, the Longhorns may not have what it takes to upset an also improved Alabama football team.

A credible source about the Texas program is Andrew Miller of Hook’Em Headlines. After the Rice game, Miller provided a sober assessment of the Longhorns and their prospects against the Crimson Tide. Check out quotes from Miller below.

"(Quinn) Ewers had the same fundamental and/or mechanical issues throwing the deep ball"

"Despite some spotty protection from the offensive line in the first half, allowing multiple quarterback pressures and a few sacks, Ewers had pretty efficient counting stats."

"Five different interior defensive linemen had at least one quarterback pressure in this game."

"Texas doesn’t have the momentum it wanted heading into the Alabama game"

At the end of Miller’s very detailed analysis of the Longhorns, he added,

"Texas might be able to ride its defense to have a shot at pulling the upset of the Tide next weekend in Tuscaloosa.That seems like a longshot, though, unless something major changes for the Longhorns on offense this week in practice."

There is no sound refutation of Miller’s opinions, but ‘longshot’ might be a stretch. Everywhere but a running back, Texas should be better than last season. The Horns have disruptive players on the defensive line, an outstanding linebacker, and a talented secondary. With the addition of AD Mitchell from Georgia, the Longhorns have a bevy of dangerous receivers. Quinn Ewers can be one of college football’s top quarterbacks. The offensive line, though inconsistent against Rice, returned intact from last season. Before the Rice game, one Texas football expert predicted the O-Line would be a strength for Texas, and one game does not erase that expectation.

Next. Week 1 SEC Power Ranking. dark

Bryant-Denny will be a tough environment for the Texas team, but expecting the Longhorns to not play well would be a mistake.