Bowl season continues on Tuesday as the Pac-12's Colorado Buffaloes (4-1) take on the Big 12's Texas Longhorns (6-3) at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Kickoff is set for 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
This is the first meeting between the two schools since 2009, after which Colorado departed the Big 12 for the Pac-12. Future pros Colt McCoy and Earl Thomas led that iteration of the Longhorns to a 38-14 win over the Buffaloes that day, their fifth straight win in the series.
Colorado Buffaloes Outlook
The Buffaloes exceeded expectations in their shortened season that didn’t kick off until November 7. Colorado was projected to finish at the bottom of the Pac-12 after Mel Tucker departed for greener pastures at Michigan State, replaced by Karl Dorrell in February.
Offensively, Jarek Broussard finished second in the conference in rushing yards after missing all of 2019 with a knee injury. He’ll be a key player to watch in the Alamodome as Colorado will secure just their second winning season since 2006 no matter the outcome on Tuesday.
Unfortunately, the Buffs will be without senior linebacker Nate Landman. The team’s leader in tackles and sacks ruptured his Achilles and will miss his final game at the school.
Texas Longhorns Outlook
Another disappointing season by Texas' standards has fueled speculation around head coach Tom Herman's future all year. That came to a halt - for now - when AD Chris Del Conte gave him the public vote of confidence and assured fans that Herman would return next season.
Not returning to Austin in 2021 will be Sam Ehlinger. The Longhorns’ QB will be playing his final game at Texas on Tuesday after starting all four years of his collegiate career. The senior finished the season with the fourth-most passing yards in the Big 12 and tied for the most touchdown passes with 25.
Betting Line and Pick
Texas is favored by 9.5 in the Alamo Bowl, with an over/under of 63.5. The line opened with the Longhorns laying 13, which would have tied for the most points they’ve been favored by in a bowl game since 2001. UT beat Washington in that year’s Holiday Bowl outright but failed to cover. Colorado is 10-25-1 ATS vs. ranked teams since 2010; only New Mexico (3-12) has a worse cover percentage over that span.
For all the scrutiny Herman has received in his time on campus, Texas is 3-0 in bowl games under his watch. He won’t be looking over his shoulder for Urban Meyer to replace him this offseason, and perhaps that security will make things easier against Colorado. This will be a step up in competition for the Buffs, who did not face a ranked team all season and they were dominated by Utah in their regular-season finale. Look for Ehlinger to make a statement in his swan song and give Herman momentum into a crucial 2021 season with an Alamo Bowl win.
Betting Pick: Texas Longhorns (-9.5).