After two years in the football wilderness, the Texas Longhorns are back in the Top 25, and they’re a strong NCAAF pick this Saturday against the California Golden Bears.
They say it takes three years for a new head coach to put his stamp on a college football program. This is Year Three for the Texas Longhorns under Charlie Strong, and guess what, they’re one of this week’s hottest college football picks against the spread. Texas is an 8-point road fave against the California Golden Bears this Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN), up from –7 at the open. Early betting patterns have twice as many people on the Longhorns as there are on Cal.
It seems like a lifetime ago that Mack Brown had Texas at or near the top of the AP polls. His run ended in 2013, then Strong took over and cleaned house – nine Longhorns were dismissed for assorted violations. Only now has Strong managed to build up enough talent to get Texas back into contention. The ‘Horns are 2-0 SU and ATS to start the 2016 campaign, with an eye-opening 50-47 overtime win over Notre Dame (–3.5 away) and a 41-7 cakewalk over UTEP (+31 away).
The Golden Bears saw some positive results in 2015, which was also Year Three under head coach Sonny Dykes. He had some big shoes to fill taking over from Jeff Tedford, and Dykes had Cal as high as No. 20 in the polls last year before thumping Air Force (+5.5) in the Armed Forces Bowl. However, 2016 hasn’t been kind to the Bears. They’re 1-1 SU and ATS, failing to cover against Hawaii (+21.5) in Australia, then barely covering in a 45-40 loss at San Diego State (–5.5 at home).
Texas vs. California football game schedule:
Date: September 17, 2016
Start Time: 10:30 PM ET
TV Channel Schedule: ESPN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Odds and Point Spread: –8 Texas, 79.5 O/U