After posting its first 10-win season since 2009, there’s a ton of buzz surround the upcoming Texas Longhorns’ football season.
In fact, we’ve all heard the phrase “Texas is back” so many times it’s gone straight past meme territory and into the world of cliche. However, for a program like Texas to truly be back, they must begin the College Football Playoff picture at the end of the season. For that to happen, Texas will have to find a way to win at least four out of these next five tough matchups. Let’s have a look a the five most important Texas football games for the 2019 season.
5. Baylor (Home, Nov. 23)
The Bears are one of the up-and-coming teams in the league under excellent head coach Matt Rhule. In his third season he finally seems to have the recruiting in place to make his solid coaching and challenging scheme work in Waco. The game’s date (Nov. 23) will also play a heavy factor in the game’s importance as it comes Black Friday, just one week before the end of the season. The eyes of the entire country could be on the Bears and Longhorns on this day.
4. West Virginia (Away, Oct. 5)
The week before a massive showdown with Oklahoma the Longhorns must travel to Morgantown for a rematch with the Mountaineers after a last-second thriller in Austin a year ago. West Virginia will be rebuilding after losing one of the best quarterbacks in program history in Will Grier, which gives this game all the makings of a potential trap before the Red River Rivalry. Escaping this game with a win will be a big key to building national hype for the following week.
3. Oklahoma State (Home, Sept. 21)
Want to hear some crazy stats? Oklahoma State is 7-2 against Texas this decade including 5-0 in Austin. Though Texas passed the Cowboys in the standings last year, the only way to officially vanquish this demon and ascend the Big 12’s pecking order is to finally get a home win over Oklahoma State on Sept. 21. Add in the fact that this is the conference opener and will set the tone for what the Horns are hoping is their first conference title season in 10 years and you have all the makings of a major showdown.
2. LSU (Home, Sept. 7)
Here’s another fun fact, Texas has a 2-0 record against the SEC since Tom Herman took over. Last year’s win over Georgia in the Sugar Bowl helped set the tone and build hype for this season, but a win over powerhouse LSU in Austin would launch the program into the stratosphere and probably make Texas the Big 12 favorite entering conference play. Expect College Gameday to pay a visit to Austin and just about every major media outlet to be represented at this blockbuster non-conference tilt.
1. Oklahoma (Dallas, Oct. 12)
Yes, beating LSU would be a big win for the Texas program, but beating Oklahoma is likely to be the only way Texas gets where it wants to go in 2019. Forget all the pageantry and bragging rights that come with one of (if not the) best rivalries in all of college football, the Sooners have four-straight Big 12 titles and will probably be in the thick of the race for a fifth this year. As Ric Flair once said, to be the man, you’ve got to beat the man.