AUSTIN, Texas — In fun spirits, the KVUE Sports team wanted to compete against one another in a Texas Longhorns pick 'em this season, and we want to include you, our KVUE viewers.
Every Friday night, KVUE will tweet out a Twitter poll asking for your prediction of the upcoming Texas Longhorns football game with a range of victory margins for each team. The answer with the highest poll numbers will be the designated "KVUE Viewers" pick. Standings will be calculated and updated throughout the season.
Here's how the standings will work: there will be a win-loss column and a "margin of error" tie-breaker point bonus. Essentially, the difference between the actual margin of victory will be compared to the projected margin of victory. (Ex. Actual score: 35-14 Texas wins, 21 point margin. Person 1: 42-7 Texas wins, . Person 2: 28-21 Texas loses. Person 3: 31-17, Texas wins. Since Person 3 was the closest to the actual score, he/she will get one tie-breaker point.)
Emily Giangreco, Sports Reporter/Anchor (@EmilyGiangreco): 3-0 (+2)
Paul Livengood: Sr. Digital Sports Producer (@IamLivengood): 3-0
Jake Garcia, Sports Reporter/Anchor (@Jake_M_Garcia): 2-1 (+1)
Jeff Jones, Sports Director (@JeffJonesSports): 2-1
KVUE Viewers: 2-1
Week 3: Texas-Rice
Jeff Jones: Rice hasn’t beaten Texas since 1994—that won’t change this year. The Longhorns will score as often as they want, and their starting defense won’t give up a touchdown. I expect the score to be significantly more lopsided than the last time these teams met, when UT won by two touchdowns. I also expect to see a UT touchdown from special teams or defense. Texas wins, 42-9.
Emily Giangreco: The Longhorns have showed us they can play and that they can put up numbers. Rice hasn’t been much competition for them and while they’re working on changing that, I don’t think this year is going to be it. This will be Texas’ first road game, so it’ll be interesting to see how they play outside of DKR. However, I don’t see the Owls giving the Longhorns much to worry about. Texas wins, 42-15.
Jake Garcia: The only worry for the Longhorns here is an emotional letdown in what could be perceived as a trap game. A top-10 slugfest that doesn’t end in your favor can be draining, but Texas will heal quickly thanks to the leadership of Sam Ehlinger. UT beats up on Rice early and often, allowing it to iron some things out in the second half in preparation for Big 12 play and Oklahoma State next week. Texas rolls, 42-14.
Paul Livengood: This is an easy pick. Texas is flat out a better football team and it will show. The question for me is how convincingly will the Longhorns pull out the win? Will UT come out flat and let Rice stay in the game because they are still getting over last week's loss to LSU and overestimate the Owls? Or will the Longhorns come out focused and determined to bounce back with a large-margin win? Under the direction of Tom Herman, I think it'll be the latter. Texas wins big, 56-10.
KVUE Viewers' pick:
Week 2: Texas-LSU
Jeff Jones: Is Texas back?—it’s time to find out! Another win over a big, national SEC brand on a big, national stage will silence any leftover critics and prove that Sam Ehlinger’s post Sugar Bowl comments were spot-on. Speaking of Sam, he’s going to have to ‘shoulder the load’ in this game to keep Keaontay Ingram (UT’s only remaining scholarship running back) from getting 35+ touches. I believe this will be a close game, and close games often come down to coaching, quarterback-play, and home-field advantage—Texas has the edge in all three areas. Texas wins, 31-28.
Emily Giangreco: The Tigers claim to have a ‘new offense’ this season and if week one was any indication of that, then they’re bond to have an epic season. I think this is the week Texas’ injuries will be most impactful and will really play out on the field. LSU wins, 35-28.
Jake Garcia: LSU has the slightly better matchup on paper, the slightly more imposing roster, but I’ve convinced myself there’s too much going in the Longhorns’ favor from an intangible standpoint for that slight LSU personnel edge to matter. Texas has proven to be a big-game program recently, as Tom Herman has proven to be a big-game coach. And as was the case with the Georgia and Oklahoma wins last year, the Longhorns come in as the underdogs. Herman is 8-2-1 against the spread. Speaking of spread, the hype surrounding LSU’s spread offense is just too good to be true. Having new-era offensive mind Joe Brady design the offense and old-school Sam Ensminger calling plays seems like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It also sounds like a communication nightmare in a hostile road environment in game two of the season. Oh and Texas is used to defending this type of offense because that’s what everyone in the Big 12 runs. If the Texas O-line can protect Sam Ehlinger, the Longhorns will win this game. Texas wins, 35-28.
Paul Livengood: I had to think for a long time about this one. What are the pros and cons for each team? Texas is at home. LSU has what is seemingly the better defense of the two in terms of personnel -- the stats definitely show that. LSU allowed 98 total yards to Georgia Southern and UT allowed 413 yards to Louisiana Tech. Sure, Louisiana Tech may be a more formidable opponent than Georgia Southern, but a difference 300 total yards worth? I don't know about that. And the common phrase is "defense travels." Do I think the Tigers defense will shut down Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns offense? No. However, I think they'll make enough plays to give LSU a slight edge when it's all said and done. Don't hate me Austinites, but I'm going to shoot you straight every week. I see LSU escaping Austin with a narrow -- and I mean narrow -- one point win. Ehlinger has a chance to win late and LSU makes a play on defense to hold them off. LSU wins, 31-30.
KVUE Viewers' pick:
Week 1: Texas-Louisiana Tech
Jeff Jones: La. Tech will be better than people expect, but they're just out-matched at every position in this one. I believe the betting-line is around 20-- The Longhorns might not cover, but they'll win. In addition to the win, let's hope they stay healthy and get some backups in the game. Are you already looking ahead to LSU? I am, and we'll be there soon enough! Texas wins, 34-17.
Emily Giangreco: Sam Ehlinger says Texas is back and I believe him. The defense does have some young guys so I think this will be a good test of how they’re going to operate and they may let a touchdown or two slip through. LA Tech has a ton of experience on their team which is ultimately why I see them putting up 14. Texas wins, 42-14.
Jake Garcia: No overthinking needed. The Longhorns are the better team athletically and physically. When you add in their urgent desire to be emotionally ready for an opener (after losing the last two to Maryland), it’s not a tough call to pick them, and by a lot. What’s tougher is whether or not Texas will cover the 19.5-point spread. I say they do, extra motivated by the sounding off Louisiana Tech did in advance of this matchup. Texas wins, 49-21.
Paul Livengood: Texas has been plagued in season openers the past two seasons. However, the Longhorns are still riding the high wave of how last season ended: a 28-21 statement win over No. 5 Georgia in the 2018 Sugar Bowl. Texas' offense will be electric in this game and score a ton of points. Vegas is giving Texas a -19.5 line. Texas wins, 31-10.
KVUE Viewers' pick: