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Texas Longhorns 2009 Big 12 Football Future Lines

Texas Longhorns Betting Odds – CFB Football Future Lines

Today we take a look at the Texas Longhorns, a team that dealt the only regular season loss to Oklahoma, but did not manage to get into the Big 12 title game:

2008 Record: 12-1 SU, 9-4 ATS
Three-Year record (’06-’08): 32-7 SU, 20-17-1 ATS

NCAA Football Odds

Texas Odds To Win Big 12 South Division

Baylor +1500
Oklahoma +150
Oklahoma State +600
Texas A&M +2000
Texas Tech +850

To Win Big 12 title +165
To Win National title +725
Over 10 wins -160
Under 10 wins +120

There wasn’t very much not to like about what Texas was able to do last year. The ‘Horns beat Oklahoma 45-35 in the annual blood war, and suffered its only defeat on the last-second heroics of Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech. They lobbied for inclusion in the Big 12 title game, but apparently Oklahoma’s higher ranking, as well as its string of gratuitous 60-point performances, impressed people more, and the Longhorns had to settle for the Fiesta Bowl, where they beat Ohio State by three points.

Colt McCoy had a year that would be pretty hard to duplicate. He completed almost 77% of his passes, with 34 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and has set himself up as a “third party” candidate for the Heisman in case Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford slip somewhere.

McCoy has people to throw to. Quan Cosby was lost, but he had a great running mate last year in Jordan Shipley (89 catches, 1060 yards), who returns. John Chiles, the former backup quarterback, has been converted to wide receiver.

McCoy also was the leading rusher for his team, gaining 561 net years (after sack losses are subtracted) and that is part of a problem for Texas to solve. They need a consistent running attack from somebody like Vondrell McGee, who ran for 376 yards (4.3 ypc) last season.

They could conceivably do a committee attack, using sophomore Foswhitt Whittaker and highly-touted freshman Chris Whaley, who brings a lot of size (6’3″, 235 pounds) to the table.

The offensive line returns four starters. Center Chris Hall and left tackle Adam Ulatowski are all-conference performers. Ulatowski in particular will supply McCoy with a lot of time to pass. This is a pretty deep group, and it gives hope to the development of a running game.

The primary job for defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is replacing a standout like Brian Orakpo, who won last year’s Bronko Nagurski Award and had 11.5 sacks. Sergio Kindle, an outside linebacker who is back as a senior, had 10.5 sacks, and he has Jared Norton and Roddrick Muckelroy coming back to join him.

An interesting recruit was Alex Okafor, a freshman speed rusher who may be able to pick up some of the slack left by Orakpo’s departure. The Texas secondary, with three returnees, will be much tougher this year than last. The guys to watch here are sophomore safeties Earl Thomas and Blake Gideon.

This team will be as tough as any in the Big 12, but I’ve wondered how good McCoy really is. Surely he stacks up with all the other good QB’s in the Big 12, but there is no way he is going to pull those great numbers again. This is a team that has lost just twelve lettermen, meaning Mack Brown has great depth at his disposal. On balance they’re probably the best in the division, but it’s nip-and-tuck with Oklahoma, who could conceivably beat them out.

As far as the over/under, look – with teams of this caliber, every game is winnable. When you are talking about ten wins, you’re asking if they could lose more than two in the regular season. The pivotal game might be an October 31 visit to Stillwater to face Oklahoma State.

I’ll go with the ‘Horns to go “over” that 10 wins total, though the price is somewhat steep (-160) in the BetUS NCAA football futures betting odds. I wouldn’t bet them to win the national title, and Oklahoma may bring more value within the division, especially if the Sooners win their duel in Dallas on October 17.

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