Top 25 teams and games — No. 8 Texas


Published: Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 11:11 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 11:11 p.m.

Team No. 8 Texas

The buzz: The Longhorns must replace many of their skill players, but the way Mack Brown has recruited over the years, that shouldn't be a problem. Junior quarterback Colt McCoy has gotten bigger and stronger and should have a huge year as he expands his role as a runner. Austin is abuzz over what new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp brings to the program.

Difference-maker: Senior Brian Orakpo may be the best defensive end the Longhorns have produced in years. He's a physical freak who is 6-4, 260 pounds and runs like an outside linebacker. He'll command double teams, which should create opportunities for the other players on a very talented defensive front.

The upside: The Longhorns should have a productive running game, which will take a great deal of pressure off McCoy and the passing game. Texas is strong on the defensive front and the special teams have a chance to be excellent, led by returner Quan Cosby.

The downside: The Longhorns have to replace their top tight end, top wide receiver and top running back. A young secondary that features three new starters is a concern.

Schedule factor: The Longhorns have the chance to ease into their season with games against FAU and UTEP. A month after Arkansas comes to Austin on Sept. 13, things will grow hot and heavy, with consecutive games against Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State and at Texas Tech.

Game No. 8 Georgia at LSU

Where: Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.

When: Oct. 25.

Why it's sexy: These are two national championship contenders who could end up facing off again at the end of the regular season in the SEC Championship game in Atlanta. LSU's defensive front going against tailback Knowshon Moreno and the balanced Bulldogs' offense is an intriguing heavyweight match-up.

Preseason buzz: Many thought LSU and Georgia were the best two teams in the SEC at the end of last season, but the 'Dogs failed to reach the conference title game. This will be Georgia's first trip to Baton Rouge since 2005, when the Bulldogs fell 17-10 to the eventual national champions.

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