Latest Texas football transfer news puts even more pressure on Arch Manning

Maalik Murphy transferring away from Texas will put Arch Manning under an even bigger spotlight.

Arch Manning, Texas Longhorns
Arch Manning, Texas Longhorns / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The news of Maalik Murphy entering the transfer portal sent a different kind of shockwave throughout the college football world. With Quinn Ewers likely to return to Texas for another season, as well as Arch Manning waiting in the wing, it always felt like Murphy was going to get squeezed out of Austin. He is immensely talented, but him leaving before the College Football Playoff is so very sad.

Given how well Murphy is going to be perceived in the portal, he kind of felt like he was left no choice but to hop into the portal. No, this does not feel like Tyler Buchner Marcus Mariota quitting on his teammates mid-season. Murphy has no interest in playing lacrosse, but rather trying to see if he can start on a team in the expanded SEC or Big Ten next season. I don't blame him for entering the portal.

However, with Murphy leaving Texas behind with upwards of two more games left to be played, it puts an absurd amount of pressure on Manning, now, next year and in the future. Ewers will be fine, but if he were to get hurt vs. Washington and the Longhorns were still able to beat the Huskies, good luck putting all your eggs in Manning's basket to lead Texas past either Alabama or Michigan in Houston.

Manning's hype will be tested once he has to get ready to play in games not yet decided for Texas.

With Ewers' injury-prone history at Texas, Manning is now one snap away from playing in the playoff.

Maalik Murphy transferring puts even more pressure on Arch Manning

Besides pedigree and obvious football talent, a reason to believe in Manning under center this soon for Texas has everything to do with the talent Steve Sarkisian has assembled over the last few years. Texas is back, baby!, and Sarkisian is well aware of this undeniable fact. Simply put, Sarkisian can put Manning into advantageous situations to succeed if he had to be forced into action a bit prematurely.

Even though I think Texas is in a fantastic position to succeed long-term once it joins the SEC, what happens if Ewers has another AC joint sprain mid-season next year and Manning is thrust into battle? This is not the Big 12; it will be the SEC. With Oklahoma and Texas joining the league, every SEC member institution in 2024 faces a bloodbath of a regular-season schedule. It will be so unforgiving.

Factor in that Murphy could conceivably transfer to somewhere like Auburn or LSU, that might make Manning look worse if he had to play a ton of snaps next year as a true sophomore in a potential extended absence for Ewers. This may be a moot point if Ewers has a clean bill of heath in what should be his final season of college football. However, Manning will have to live up to his name soon.

He never asked for this, but Texas' initial foray with SEC play will largely hinge on how well he plays.

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