Raise up the annual chorus: “That is going to be our 12 months! No, we all know we stated that final 12 months after Sark acquired employed after which promptly went 5-7, and the 12 months that Tom Herman acquired employed and we went 7-6, and nearly yearly for the final decade with nothing a lot to point out for it, however 2022? Yeah, it’s the 12 months of the Texas Longhorn — for actual this time, guys!’”
I gained’t lie, I actually do envy the everlasting delusion that Longhorns followers reside with. It’s a miraculous, against-all-odds sense of hope and optimism that even the strongest of us in all probability wouldn’t be capable to sustain 12 months after 12 months. In fact, they’re typically aided by nationwide sports activities media inexplicably backing them up of their perception — ESPN up to date their preseason Soccer Energy Index rating final week, and Texas — who, want I say once more, went 5-7 final 12 months — is ranked sixth. SIXTH. The quantity after 5!
The groups forward of them on the FPI are Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia, Clemson, and Notre Dame. Because of this Texas rests forward of Michigan, Oklahoma, and Auburn, amongst many different questionable decisions, within the preseason rating. However hey, when is it not Texas’ 12 months? In 2021, they began the AP Ballot at No. 21 preseason. By the ultimate ballot, they obtained zero votes. In 2019, they have been ranked at No. 10 — no less than they managed to complete that season within the Prime 25, clocking in at No. 25. 2020 was first rate, I gained’t erase that — they started at No. 14 and ended at No. 19 after ending 7-3, no less than considerably assembly expectations, possible as a result of the expectations have been tempered. However 2018 was the final season that would have legitimately been known as “Texas’ 12 months,” and even that could be a standalone within the final decade.
12 months after 12 months, the powers that be in some way purchase into the Longhorns followers’ all-encompassing perception that subsequent season is at all times their season. As at all times, there’s some participant or coach who they assume is lastly going to show this system round, to recover from the hump that they’ve been bumping in opposition to for a decade. It was Steve Sarkisian final 12 months, whose greatest headline of the previous 12 months concerned an assistant coach, a stripper, and a monkey. This 12 months, it’s Ohio State switch QB Quinn Ewers and standout RB Bijan Robinson.
Ewers has but to be battle examined, having taken all of two snaps on a Division I discipline, however he does sport a implausible mullet, so there’s some hope for you. There’s at all times a Man, some switch or recruit or rent meant to be the messiah who will return Texas to its glory days, however there’s no actual cause to assume that this 12 months’s Man can be any totally different than every other Man — notably because the Longhorns face Alabama within the second sport of their 2022 season and comply with that up with the common matchups in opposition to sturdy Oklahoma and Oklahoma State groups in October.
Texas’ recruiting class of 2018 ranked third nationally. So did 2019’s. The recruiting class of 2020 ranked eighth. Yet the last time they even played in a Big 12 championship game was 2017. The last time they won was 2009. The 2022 draft class saw zero Texas Longhorns, marking the fourth time since 2014 that they’ve had zero or one player drafted, and 2019 barely beat that by sending two former players to the NFL. And yet ESPN, in a show of faith impressive to even the most religious among us, has them ranked sixth for the 2022 season — I mean, come on. The boosters’ reach doesn’t go that far, right?