A year ago Texas came into Notre Dame Stadium and got the wheels blown off their wagon to the tune of 38-3. A year later, college football pundits think the story will be different with numerous analysts picking the Longhorns to pull the upset tonight.
Yesterday on ESPN’s College Gameday, three of the four analysts picking the game selected Texas. It started with Desmond Howard. Shocker there. Then the celebrity guest of the week, Aaron Rodgers, picked Texas before Lee Corso could say “not so fast my friend”. Kirk Herbstreit continued the Texas love with his pick of the Longhorns.
It didn’t stop with the ESPN Gameday
clowns crew either. Phil Steele has dubbed Texas his most improved team in the country this year and has Texas upsetting the Irish by two points (ESPN In$ider) this evening.
The experts over at SI.com are relatively split on this game with three picking Texas and four picking Notre Dame. Spoiler alert: notorious Notre Dame hater Brian Hamilton – previously of the Chicago Tribune – picked Texas over Notre Dame. Shocking.
For some more homerish predictions, the guys over at Blue and Gold are all picking the Irish with Brian Driskell going so far as to predict a 14 point victory.
Interestingly enough, the betting line has trended towards the Irish a bit according to Bovada’s line. The Irish opened as a 3.5 point favorite on August 27th and currently sit as a 4 point favorite. Regardless of whose line you look at, the line hasn’t moved much at all though.
Notre Dame’s mysterious two-headed monster at quarterback that no one has any real insight into outside of those inside the Gug could be leading to experts picking Texas. With 12 new starters in the lineup tonight and uncertainty at quarterback, there is easily plenty for Notre Dame fans to be concerned about heading into tonight’s opener.
Much like last night’s Alabama-USC game, however, it wouldn’t surprise me if one quarterback ended up playing the majority of the snaps. Both will definitely play, but if one gets a hot hand early like Jalen Hurts did for Alabama in their thrashing of the Trojans; that QB will end up playing most of the game.
In my weekly preview, I have the Irish taking this one by four points – right at the spread – and still feel as uneasy about this one as I did on Friday. In the end though, I still don’t see Texas being able to hang with Notre Dame for four quarters – especially with all of the freshmen the Longhorns are counting on in this one.
With just over seven hours until kick-off, it won’t be long until we find out just what kind of team the Irish have and if the pundits are justified in their optimism towards Texas or if they’ll be eating a side of crow tomorrow morning with their breakfast.