Since splitting up 11 years ago, Texas and Texas A&M have traveled separate but similarly underwhelming paths.
Aggies may scoff at that statement with their 91-48 record — compared to the Longhorns’ 79-60 —- and a Heisman Trophy winner (Johnny Manziel in 2012) since leaving Texas in the Big 12 for the SEC, but neither program has won a championship of any kind while spending a fortune.
They will be reunited next year when Texas joins the SEC so this is the last season where the rivalry plays out vicariously.
This weekend is another opportunity for both to make a statement, though to be fair the opportunity for Texas is much bigger as they travel to Alabama for the return match of last season’s one-point victory for the Crimson Tide in Austin.
The 23rd–ranked Aggies are at Miami for a game with far less curb appeal, but plenty of intrigue.
The Lone Star state’s biggest brands make the list of Week 2’s most interesting games, with lines from FanDuel Sportsbook:
No. 11 Texas at No. 3 Alabama
Plenty of Longhorns believe Texas would have won last year’s game had Quinn Ewers not left in the first half with an injury. Ewers is now the more established quarterback in this game with Jalen Milroe moving into the spotlight for Alabama. The third-year quarterback was great last week against Middle Tennessee for whatever that’s worth.
It’s a measuring-stick game for Texas, of course, but also for a Crimson Tide team that has more mystery around it than at any time in years under Nick Saban.
LINE: Alabama by 7. PICK: Alabama, 31-21.
No. 23 Texas A&M at Miami
The Aggies and Hurricanes met last September in a dud of a game in College Station that foretold of disappointing seasons for both. They reconvene for another mental-health check for two fan bases who tend to be on edge about the trajectory of their programs.
Week 1 provided good vibes against overmatched opponents. Week 2 will give us an idea of how much of that was truly meaningful.
Sidenote: The Hurricanes try to make the Atlantic Coast Conference 3-0 in marquee matchups with the Southeastern Conference after North Carolina and Florida State took care of business in Week 1.
The Green Wave looked a lot like the team that beat USC in the Cotton Bowl in a surprisingly easy opener against South Alabama. That sets up the biggest nonconference home game for Tulane in more than half a century. The schools have a long history (63 meetings), mostly dominated by Ole Miss. The Rebels have won 12 straight, dating back to 1989.
LINE: Ole Miss by 7. PICK: Tulane, 38-34, UPSET SPECIAL.
Nebraska at No. 22 Colorado
Coach Prime’s team was the story of Week 1. Now Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter and Co. make their home debut against an old Big Eight rival also rebuilding under a new coach. The Cornhuskers’ first game under Matt Rhule didn’t go nearly as well as Colorado’s under Deion Sanders, but first game results can be deceiving. If nothing else the atmosphere at Folsom Field will be as good as Boulder has seen in years.
LINE: Colorado by 2 1/2. PICK: Colorado, 35-28.
No. 13 Oregon at Texas Tech
The Red Raiders tuned up for the biggest nonconference game in Lubbock in years by getting beat at Wyoming. It happens. Don’t discount a major bounce-back this week as QB Tyler Shough faces his old team. Oregon scored 81 against an FCS school in Week 1, which meant 546 pushups for the Duck mascot in a pretty clear case of animal cruelty.