Longhorn Preseason Roundtable

Burnt Orange Beat subscribers get their opportunity to make predictions and provide commentary on everything from a season record prediction to toughest games to the Heisman winner. Our astute readers provided some interesting predictions and even better rationale for their predictions.

The Texas Longhorns head into the 2009 season with great expectations thanks to a boatload of returning starters, a senior quarterback that happened to be runner-up for the Heisman last year and a very manageable schedule. As many would expect, these roundtable answers give a glimpse inside the Longhorn fan mindset and validate the high expectations.

Season Record

Answers range from 10-2 to more than a handful of 14-0 seasons.

Best Commentary: If I had to put money on it, I'd bet 12-1 or 13-1 with a win in a BCS game other than the Rose Bowl because I think that's the most likely outcome. However, I think if this team develops a mean streak early, there's no one who will beat them. The games that give me the most concern are OSU in Stillwater and a potential bowl matchup with Florida. LonghornScott

I think it all hinges on Oklahoma State (even moreso than Oklahoma because I don't see OU running the table this year). Beating them means we play in the NC, and I think, of course, that we will. timbeam

Upset Alert

Oklahoma State on the road on Halloween looks to be either the most difficult game or the upset special. There were also a diverse group of other answers from some of the respondents, including:

Missouri - texlarry
Kansas - LonghornScott
Baylor - timbeam
Texas A&M - textex

Biggest Keys to Season

The number one answer was virtually unanimous: Colt's health.

Other interesting answers:

Creation of turnovers - We were mediocre at it last year and it's going to be important for the back 7 to step up this season. closetojumping

Aggression and depth from the defense early - I think the best chance for this team to take a stab at greatness is for the defense to convince Muschamp that they are ready to step up. They need to show him that if he makes an aggressive call, they can turn that into an impact play. Pressure, big hits, and turnovers and minimal mental errors (athletic mistakes will happen and that's ok). On paper, the pieces are there for this group to play a versatile, high risk-reward, intimidating style of defense... the perfect compliment to our methodical, consistent offensive brand. Muschamp (and Mack for that matter) need to see the edge early and often to convince them that this defense can take over games rather than just holding it together enough for the offense to do its thing. LonghornScott

Bowl Projection

Here is another rather diverse group of answers but the common thread all seemed to be a BCS bowl game.

BCS Game, Boise St. 24, Texas 17 Texlarry
Rose Bowl, Texas 27 Alabama 20 ScipioTex
BCS Game, Texas 24, Penn St. 21 textex
NC Game, USC 27, Texas 24 texaus
NC Game, Texas 21, Florida 20 closetojumping
NC Game, Texas 28, Florida 17 LonghornScott
NC Game, Texas 27, Florida 17 timbeam
NC Game, Texas 38, Florida 28 beowulf

Heisman Votes

This one may be a surprise for some given that the voters are Longhorn fans. Florida's Tim Tebow was virtually a unanimous selection with Colt McCoy gaining the only other first place vote. Tebow was at worst selected to be runner-up on every ballot. The other names mentioned were Cal's Jahvid Best and Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant.

Honorable Mentions

These are some of the best lines that certainly deserved to be included.

14-0 National champs. Deja vu all over again from 2004-2005…Beowulf

With the hype going into the year for Tebow above anything I can remember ever, I have a hard time thinking the voters haven't already anointed him, barring injury…closetojumping

Defensive Tackle depth is the only issue on paper with this team. The concern there is mainly in the red zone for this team. Last year we were very good at limiting damage in bad situations (something in common with the 2005 defense). Both OU (through pace) and OSU (through match-ups) have a chance to exploit this weakness in our team. Roddrick Muckelroy and Earl Thomas become incredibly important figures for us in those two games…LonghornScott


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