The task of rebuilding the Texas Longhorns and getting them back among the elite in college football was never going to be easy, but it’s fair to suggest that Tom Herman has made a solid start as the head coach. Herman didn’t quite perform as well as Longhorns fans would have hoped, but when you consider the state that the program was in when he took over, he certainly deserves a passing grade in his first season in charge. The defense looked very good last season, but now it will be on Herman and his staff to elevate the offense in 2018. If they can do that, the Longhorns might just be in the running in the Big 12. Let’s take a closer look at the 2018 version of the Texas Longhorns and their chances to win the championship.

NCAAF Texas Longhorns +2800, Odds to Win the Championship 1Tom Herman was hired in part because of his skills as an offensive guru, so it came as a surprise to some that the Longhorns took a bit of a step backward on the offensive side of the football. In fairness to Herman, the coach did not have a lot to work with and spent much of the season shuffling guys around to try and get the best possible return. Sam Ehlinger will once again be under center in his sophomore season, with the hopes that he will eliminate some of the mistakes he made as a freshman. Ehlinger did not get much help from his O-line last season, which is why coach Herb Hand was poached from Auburn to shore things up there.

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Senior TE Andrew Beck will return from injury, creating a nice outlet for Ehlinger, while upgrades on the line should help the running game improve, which would also take some pressure off the QB. The Longhorns look to be pretty deep in the backfield, and the addition of California transfer Tre Watson should push the guys who are already part of the running unit. If Herman can get his offense in line this season, Texas could well be one of the stronger teams in the conference.

NCAAF Texas Longhorns +2800, Odds to Win the Championship 2The biggest bright spot for the Longhorns last season was the performance of the defense, which gave up a little over 21 PPG. The unit also excelled in 3rd down defense, while also chipping in 7 TD’s, which was the best in the nation. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando got himself and extension and a hefty raise because of the performance of his unit, and he will need to earn every penny of that money this season, as there are some big holes that need to be filled, particularly in the linebacker spot. The feeling is that there is still enough there to make things work, and let’s not forget just how loaded the Longhorns are in the secondary.

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NCAAF Texas Longhorns +2800, Odds to Win the Championship 3The feeling here is that while the defense lost some good talent, they are still going to get the job done. The question now is whether the offense can match that output. The Longhorns improved by two wins under coach Herman, and a repeat of that might be the best that this team can expect. Realistically 9 wins would be a solid achievement, although not enough to win the Big 12 Conference.

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