Texas enters this week sitting at 1-2 with a host of issues facing head coach Charlie Strong.
Despite the concerning start for one of college football's marquee programs, the Longhorns appear to be an optimistic bunch.
Starting quarterback Tyrone Swoopes said on Monday that he expects Texas to find its place among the elite programs in the country this season.
"This year, yes"
Well OK then.
Something tells us members of the selection committee aren't giving serious consideration to Texas after it suffered a blowout loss to BYU at home in Week 2 and a three-point loss to UCLA in Arlington, Texas in its last outing, when the Bruins were without quarterback Brett Hundley for much of the game. Strange things happen, but it seems highly unlikely that Texas will position itself as a playoff contender after what the team has shown through its first three games. The Longhorns play at Kansas on Saturday before facing the one-two Big 12 punch of Baylor and Oklahoma.
Swoopes has played well in challenging circumstances, taking over for starter David Ash, who has left football due to health concerns, to complete 67 percent of his passes despite a youthful offensive line and a lack of game-breaking receivers. The quarterback is always supposed to be the leader of the team, so perhaps the sophomore is stepping up in that department by telling his teammates he believes in them.
In that respect, he's taking a somewhat different approach than the one employed by his head coach earlier in the year.
"We have everything available, and I don't know why we can't be successful," Strong said in April. "There's no reason for us not to be. Now, I can't tell you how soon it's going to be. Don't hold me to that. Don't say, 'Ooh, coach said next year we'll be in the national ...'
"We will not be in the national championship game."
Perhaps they'll agree to disagree in the football offices this week.
In the meantime, it's time for Texas to focus on more pressing matters like, gulp, beating Kansas.