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Hold Off Bold Predictions on What Arch Manning Can Do

It's fair to see No. 1 recruit just one player, but don't forget recruiting impact or even the portal
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Arkansas fans will love what ESPN's Pete Thamel said last week.

It was in interesting twist of the knife for Razorback fans after Texas landed No. 1 recruit Arch Manning.

"The best way to think about the state of (Texas') program now — in the moment that Arch Manning committed — is that they're three touchdowns behind Arkansas, which is a middle-of-the-pack team in the SEC," Thamel said on "Get Up" on ESPN. "What Arch Manning does is give them a building block for SEC competitiveness. He gives them a lynchpin, a base of their recruiting."

That may or may not hold up by the time the Longhorns get into the SEC. The official timeline is still the party line of 2025, but most think it will be earlier and some at both schools have told me in the past two weeks it could be 2023.

Arch Manning-Newman

We'll see how accurate that is. Let's not assume the SEC hasn't had a plan for things to happen that early for several months now just because they haven't told anybody. Greg Sankey doesn't have a lot of leaks out of Birmingham.

For many media folks who tend to follow the time-honored tradition of looking back and somehow thinking the recent past is the direction of the future that would be a natural assumption.

Texas has been under-achieving for awhile. What the problem actually is in Austin may be more complicated than anybody knows.

But Steve Sarkisian has generated at least more conversation. It's easy to say they lost at home to Kansas last year as a state of the program, forgetting Alabama lost to Louisiana-Monroe at home in Nick Saban's first season ... in Tuscaloosa.

The Crimson Tide ran the table in 2008 like I predicted at SEC Media Days on Alabama radio and even they almost fell out of their chairs.

No idea if that will happen at Texas this year but the guess is they will be a drastically improved team in 2023.

A lot of that will be directly due to Manning and not so much what he can do on the field.

"He gives them a magnet for recruiting," Thamel said. "To say they roll out of bed now and compete with Alabama and Georgia is crazy. They have a long way to go. Before we say Texas is back let's wait a few years and stack those recruiting classes."

Steve Sarkisian

By all reports he's already working the recruiting trail to get top players to come join him with the Longhorns.

It probably won't be surprising to see some high-profile de-commitments and flipping to Texas. That goes on every year and the Longhorns won't be the only ones. The Hogs usually have a couple back out and pick up a couple more.

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What is impossible to predict that dang transfer portal.

Which means everybody is fair game.

Predicting what MIGHT happen these days is dang near impossible.


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