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Sarkisian's Longhorns Overrated? One National Outlet Says Yes

Are the Texas Longhorns 2021 expectations a little bit too high?

The Texas Longhorns are one of the more intriguing teams in college football heading into the 2021 season. 

One reason for that, is their brand new head coach, Steve Sarkisian. 

Following his national championship run with the Alabama Crimson Tide, which came complete with two Heisman trophy candidates, including the winner of the award, Sarkisian came to the Longhorns as arguably the most sought-after head coaching candidate in the entire nation. 

Behind Sarkisian, star players like Bijan Robinson, DaMarvion Overshown, D'Shawn Jamison, and Keondre Coburn, not to mention the all-star coaching staff he assembled in the ensuing weeks, Texas came in ranked No. 19 overall in the country in USA Today's preseason coaches poll.

However, according to that same outlet, the coaches might have voted Texas a little bit too high, as they were also labeled one of the five most overrated teams in the rankings. 

Expectations are always high for the Longhorns, so don’t expect much of a honeymoon for coach Steve Sarkisian. Difficulties come right away.

First, he must figure out his quarterback situation with four-year starter Sam Ehlinger off to the NFL. Neither Casey Thompson nor Hudson Card have seen significant action except for Thompson’s impressive second half of last year’s bowl game. Add to the equation that Sarkisian’s offense isn’t an exact fit for what was run the past four years under Tom Herman and there are some expected growing pains. The problem is that there isn’t much time for that with No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette visiting in the opener and a trip to Arkansas the following week.

New defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski has his own challenges. Texas hasn’t broken the top 50 in scoring defense in the past three years. With all the other Big 12 contenders returning starting quarterbacks, more will be expected out of this group to possibly contend in the league.

– Erick Smith

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Alongside the Longhorns, Notre Dame (No. 7), USC (No. 14), Miami (No. 16), and Ole Miss (No. 25) were the other four teams to make the list. 

One way or another, we will find out if USA Today is right soon enough when College Football Playoff dark horse contender Lousiana (No. 23) comes to Austin on September 4. 

Texas will also face tough early-season tests against Arkansas in Fayetteville and conference opponents Texas Tech (homes) and TCU (road) before their showdown with Oklahoma in Dallas. 

CONTINUE READING: Texas' Card Taking QB Battle In Stride Under Sarkisian's Direction

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