Best and worst case scenarios for the upcoming season per 247Sports

It is not a tall order for Texas to improve upon their 5-7 season in 2021.

Second-year head coach Steve Sarkisian completely revamped the roster this offseason, landing several immediate impact players via the transfer portal and signing arguably the strongest offensive line class in program history.

There are still several question marks on the defensive side of the ball, as the Longhorns lack an experienced pass rusher, but the Big 12 title is seemingly up for grabs this season and Texas has the most lethal offense in the conference.

Dean Straka of 247Sports recently outlined the best and worst case scenarios for each Big 12 program ahead of the 2022 season. For Texas’ best case scenario, Straka tabbed Texas with a 10-2 record.

As has been the case in recent years, there might not be a team in the Big 12 with a wider variance than the Texas Longhorns. So the best-case scenario within reason? Running back Bijan Robinson has a Heisman-caliber season, quarterback Quinn Ewers thrives out of the gate with a handful of elite wide receivers at his disposal, and play in the trenches for the Longhorns exceeds expectations. If that all transpires, there’s no reason why the Longhorns shouldn’t be competing for a Big 12 title, especially if the rest of the league cannibalizes each other. Texas falls against Alabama in Week 2 and takes a loss somewhere along the way in Big 12 play – the Red River Rivalry is an easy one to envision given the emotional nature of the game – but a 10-2 finish and potential conference championship in Year 2 of the Steve Sarkisian era would nonetheless be a ringing endorsement of where the program is headed under his leadership.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Straka believes things could go south and the Longhorns end the season with another 5-7 record.

We saw the Longhorns go 5-7 a year ago despite a 4-1 start and plenty of talent on paper, so while not likely, it can’t be ruled out entirely. In this scenario, Ewers flashes at times but the jump to life as a starter at the collegiate level makes him look human. Even if there’s a move to Hudson Card, he doesn’t show the progress folks hoped for at his position. Bijan Robinson is a bright spot, but doesn’t have the electric season he desires as the offensive line is a problem. A lackluster defense from a year ago doesn’t improve either. Just like 2021, Texas finds itself playing in many games that are winnable but can’t get over the hump. And Sarkisian’s seat is that much warmer – if not hot – as the Longhorns go under .500 in consecutive regular seasons. The last time that happened (2015-2016), head coach Charlie Strong was shown the door when the dust settled.

The most likely scenario, of course, is that Texas finishes somewhere inbetween these two projections. Fans would surely be content with less than four losses this season.

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