Pundits Picking Texas Over Notre Dame

Charlie Strong enters a pivotal year in 2016 after two subpar campaigns to start his Texas tenure. (Photo: Tim Heitman // USA TODAY Sports)
Will Charlie Strong still be smiles later tonight or will the Irish take care of business again?  (Photo: Tim Heitman // USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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  1. My glasses were crushed at an ILM rally yesterday, shame as I really enjoyed them.
    If ever a Plan B was necessary, it was last night.
    Stay classy!

  2. Where are all the rose-colored-glasses crowd today? The wait-to-next-year lot?

    I don’t know about irrelevant lives. But the irrelevant lies often spewed on this site matter.

  3. Well apparently they (the pundits) knew something most of us on here didn’t. There is no way you can let a team put 50 points on you (even with 2 OT) and expect to win. The level of play on the D side doesn’t look real improved at all and that’s where championships are still won. This game didn’t exactly fill me with much optimism for the season, especially the defensive play. Score 47 and lose, that isn’t a good sign.

  4. Sometimes I wonder with these overwhelming predictions for an underdog like Texas, is in reality their way to try to prevent gamblers from laying big money on the favorite. I think there are people like me who are surprised that ND is only a four point favorite. I was thinking at least a touchdown for the spread. This is the only football game tonight, so we all know there will be a lot of money thrown on this game tonight. So have a bunch of talking heads scare many gamblers from betting big money on Notre Dame. That is just my theory.

    Actually I believe this is a must win for Charlie Strong. Maybe that is the reason why these predictions are skewing towards Texas. Texas has a big hill to climb in their quest to get back to the top. They play plenty of teams in their conference that are better than they are right now. It is almost like this game is for his job tonight. Which is ridiculous to believe this for the first game of the year, but Texas needs a strong (no pun intended) beginning to their season and beating Notre Dame gives Texas and their faithful hope that the football program is turning around. If they lose to Notre Dame, then the loss generates a lot of skepticism for Strong. A loss could be the beginning of another bad year for Texas football.

  5. If ND can’t decisively handle a team with a mediocre o-line and an unknown QB who is getting the nod over an average at best QB, then obviously there are serious issues that don’t bode well the rest of the season. Should win by 17.

  6. The Irish are used to going to foreign ports and snatching away victories,; Tokyo, Dublin. This is just a little side trip to the Southwest. Irish 31-21.

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