Top-40 Countdown: #24 Texas Longhorns

Undergraduate Enrollment: 38,168

GOAT: Vince Young (QB)

Key Losses: James Kirkendoll (WR), Sam Acho (DE), Aaron Williams (CB), Curtis Brown (CB)

Key Additions: Bryan Harsin (OC), Manny Diaz (DC), Malcolm Brown (RB)

Normally there is a lively debate about which team was the most underachieving in any given year. 2010 is the exception to that rule. Everyone knows Texas owns that title after finishing 5-7 (at TEXAS!!) in a weak Big 12. All Mack Brown (usually) does at Texas is win 10+ games. In the nine years leading up to the 2010 season, the Longhorns won 10 or more games every single year. In 6 of those 9 years they won 11 or more. After losing to Alabama in the championship game in 2009, Texas was expected to take a step back with the departure of Colt McCoy. You don’t lose a quarterback like McCoy and get better (unless of course you’re Tennessee in 1998). Of course no one expected Texas to fall flat on their face, least of all Brown.

Brown has accrued so much good will in his 13 years at Texas that one bad season isn’t much to worry about; though losing 7 games with Texas is a bit mind-numbing. The 2010 off-season was a busy one for the Longhorns as Brown went out and plucked two of the hottest assistant coaches in the country away from Mississippi State (defensive coordinator Manny Diaz) and Boise State (offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin). Texas will surely win the national title now that Greg Davis is no longer the head coach as Texas fans have blamed him for everything wrong with Texas for several years now.

With a revamped staff and a new found sense of urgency after a dismal 2010, Texas looks to rebound and get back to winning 10 games annually. But do they have the talent? I’m not so sure.

OFFENSE

Texas, like Notre Dame or USC, will always have a highly touted quarterback on the roster. It’s just one of those college football facts of life. Garret Gilbert is currently the “next greatest thing ever” on the roster…only he isn’t very good; or at least he hasn’t been up to this point. The junior was handed the keys to the Longhorn machine last season and promptly drove the car into the ditch. He then got out of the car and set it on fire for good measure. The former 5-star recruit threw an NCAA-high 17 interceptions and completed less than 60% of his passes, accounting for only 10 passing touchdowns. He now has to win the job after having it handed to him a year ago. Gilbert has the arm to make every throw in any playbook, but that is also the problem. He thinks he can fit the ball into tiny windows that, frankly, he can’t hit. Gilbert’s accuracy must improve or McCoy’s younger brother, Case, may be the next McCoy to unseat an all-world recruit.

While Gilbert deserves plenty of the blame for Texas’ nightmare season, the piss-poor (putting it kindly) rushing attack is the biggest issue facing Harsin and the Longhorns. Leading up to the 2010 season, all of the talk surrounding Texas was a re-dedication to the power rushing attack. While that sounds all well and good, if you have nothing but 7v7 passing camp warriors littering the roster, going from the spread passing attack of the McCoy era to a pound-the-rock approach in one off-season is a recipe for disaster. Texas’s leading rusher was Cody Johnson, now a fullback, and he only finished with 592 yards. That’s right, the leading rusher for the University of Texas was a fullback and had less than 600 yards on the ground. That’s pathetic. What does Texas do to rectify this situation? They go out and land the nation’s best running back in Malcolm Brown. The 6-foot-0, 215-pound true freshman is a total beast, and if Texas is serious about pounding the rock, Brown is the perfect piece for Harsin’s system (this one touchdown run is a perfect example of how badass he is). Texas brings back 2 starters from last year’s offensive line, but new starters Trey Hopkins and Tray Allen were each highly recruited out of high school (4- and 5-star respectively).

One thing Texas desperately needs to find is a go-to wide receiver. For three years Malcolm Williams has teased Longhorns fans with his talent, but he’s yet to be anything other than a track guy playing receiver. He needs to step his game up following a pedestrian 2010 that saw him catch 24 balls for 334 yards. Mike Davis returns after finishing second in yards and catches, but neither he nor Williams feel like true No. 1 receivers.

Assuming Brown is as legit as people say he is, Gilbert should have a large burden lifted from his shoulders and he can perhaps settle down and settle in to being the star many thought he’d become.

DEFENSE

It must be nice to be Texas. For three years Will Muschamp was the defensive coordinator for the Longhorns and for three years Texas had a nasty defense. Then Florida called and Muschamp left to take over for Urban Meyer. What does Texas do? They go out and pilfer arguably the hottest young defensive coach in football in Manny Diaz. The new defense will blitz more often and from different slots compared to Muschamp’s base set, and Texas will have just the guy to come off of the edge in sophomore Jackson Jeffcoat. The 6-foot-5, 253-pound tank will be the next big defensive player to bust in the NFL from Texas (I kid, Longhorn fans). Jeffcoat is perfectly suited to be the rush end in a 4-3 defense, so expect to hear his name often, especially when he’s getting slobbered over on the new Longhorn Network.

Blake Gideon returns as the ball-hawking free safety, but Aaron Williams and Curtis Brown must be replaced at the corner spots. Adrian Phillips and Carrington Byndom will get first crack at filling in for the two NFL draft selections. All-world recruit Jordan Hicks should slide into a starting role in 2011 as the weak side linebacker. At 6-foot-2, 228-pounds, Hicks should be all over the field in Diaz’s scheme. If either Hicks or Jeffcoat live up to the hype, Texas should have another stout defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Justin Tucker returns as the team’s kicker and punter. Tucker was money as a kicker, hitting 23/27 last season while hitting on all 27 PATs. His 36.5 net-average was solid as a punter, and he pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line 17 times. Curtis Brown is gone to the NFL, so Texas will have to find another punt returner. Brown averaged a stellar 14.9 yards per return in 2010, so filling that void will be paramount for the Texas special teams. DJ Monroe returns from a solid-but-not-spectacular KO return campaign (20.5 per return).

SCHEDULE

Rice

BYU

@UCLA

BYE

@Iowa State

Oklahoma

Oklahoma State

BYE

Kansas

Texas Tech

@Missouri

Kansas State

@Texas A&M

@Baylor

 

  • http://cbhsports.blogspot.com cbh49er

    8-4 or 9-3.

  • ParrishWalton

    8-4 or 9-3.

    My thoughts exactly. I think OU curb-stomps them and they should lose to OkSt as well. Texas A&M on the road is tough, and Missouri can also take them out. Simply put, they aren’t as good as their name would suggest.

  • http://cbhsports.blogspot.com cbh49er

    Yeah I hedged because I am not sure about the Oklahoma State game. It probably isn’t valid but I have images of Ok State blowing huge leads to Texas still in my head from years past.

  • arkbadger

    Garret Gilbert is currently the “next greatest thing ever” on the roster…only he isn’t very good

    what about his lifetime achievement award and two Heisman’s that he was presented before the start of last season?

    #fucktexas

  • Watsonian

    Fuck the entire state of texas

  • ParrishWalton

    what about his lifetime achievement award and two Heisman’s that he was presented before the start of last season?

    #fucktexas

    All of this. Clown still has some of Gilbert’s man juice on his lips after last season.

  • Johnny

    Fuck the entire state of texas

    I approve of this post though aside from housing UT Austin is actually somewhat of a nice city. I liked it better when UT was bad

  • knightwhosaysni

    But do they have the talent?

    No. They end up 8-4 and should be criticized roundly for that piece of shit schedule I see up there.

  • Trey

    Good write up.

    Texas’s 2010 was a fluke, they’re 8-4/9-3 (as others have stated) this year and even better next year. If only they had held on to Will Muschamp!

  • Trey

    Diaz is there for a year before taking the UGA job.

  • ParrishWalton

    If only they had held on to Will Muschamp!

    I think Harsin could end up being a great hire. Diaz is great, but going from Muschamp to Diaz is probably a step down. Going from Davis to Harsin is most likely a big step up.

  • ParrishWalton

    Diaz is there for a year before taking the UGA job.

    Please. Kirby Smart, Charlie Strong, Gary Patterson, Dan Mullen Gus Malzahn are all well-ahead of Diaz.

  • Trey

    Venebles

  • Trey

    I actually like Diaz more than Smart. Smart is Kevin Steele. Diaz is Bob Stoops

  • ParrishWalton

    I wouldn’t want Kirby. I want Richt to win this year and end this talk, but if he doesn’t, I will be very interested in watching Louisville this year. Strong intrigues me. I think Patterson would be my first choice at this stage, though.

  • Trey

    Patterson isn’t leaving TCU. Strong would be a great hire, I still think UGA would go after Diaz or Smart first.

  • ParrishWalton

    Patterson isn’t leaving TCU. Strong would be a great hire, I still think UGA would go after Diaz or Smart first.

    If UGA comes calling TCU will have its work cut out for them.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    If UGA comes calling TCU will have its work cut out for them

    why? because UGA is SOOOOO much better than all the other schools Patterson has turned down to stay at TCU?

  • ParrishWalton

    why? because UGA is SOOOOO much better than all the other schools Patterson has turned down to stay at TCU?

    Yes. UGA would be the best job he’s ever been offered. It would pay him more money, give him a shot to compete in the SEC and he’d have everything he’d need in order to win right in his backyard. He wouldn’t have to recruit from a position of an underling like he does at TCU compared to Texas, A&M and OU. In Georgia he’d be recruiting from the top perch.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    UGA would be the best job he’s ever been offered.

    he’s turned down interest from Michigan, Tennessee, and Minnesota if I remember correctly. UGA is a middle of the pack SEC team (59.5% conference winning percentage historically) who has had 0.500 or worse seasons 19 of the last 60 years, has one national championship, and has a losing record against 4 of the top 5 SEC schools*.

    *the 46-40 record over Florida is rapidly evaporating

  • ParrishWalton

    he’s turned down interest from Michigan, Tennessee, and Minnesota if I remember correctly. UGA is a middle of the pack SEC team (59.5% conference winning percentage historically) who has had 0.500 or worse seasons 19 of the last 60 years, has one national championship, and has a losing record against 4 of the top 5 SEC schools*.

    *the 46-40 record over Florida is rapidly evaporating

    Right now UGA is a better job than Mich, Tenn and a much (much x100) better job than Minny. UGA is somewhere around 10-15th in terms of the top jobs in the country. The recruiting base in insane and the school is the top Dawg in the state. Also, going from the Big East to the SEC is a big deal for coaches. Coaching in the SEC is as big as it gets in college.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    Coaching in the SEC is as big as it gets in college.

    which is why he should have taken either the Michigan or Tennessee job when those two were interested instead of waiting a few years for Georgia to suck with even more regularity. Michigan is in a conference with less barrier to win than the SEC and it’s got the budget and athletic department backing to take it right back to the top along with Ohio State. winning at Michigan would be WAY more of a big deal than winning at UGA.

    also, did he not get some attention from Notre Dame when they fired Chuck?

  • ParrishWalton

    also, did he not get some attention from Notre Dame when they fired Chuck?

    I don’t remember him getting any mention.

    Michigan is in a conference with less barrier to win than the SEC and it’s got the budget and athletic department backing to take it right back to the top along with Ohio State

    They don’t have the natural recruiting base anymore. They have to recruit nationally, and that makes it difficult.

  • Johnny

    As much as I loathe Michigan Kip is correct

  • Basil Rathbone

    UGA is somewhere around 10-15th in terms of the top jobs in the country

    No

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    They don’t have the natural recruiting base anymore. They have to recruit nationally, and that makes it difficult.

    and it’s not like Georgia is locking down its own state anyway. everybody recruits Georgia.

    that’s not the point though…you’re changing the argument. my point is UGA is not hands down the best job that Patterson has ever had to consider leaving TCU for. if he’s not leaving for Michigan or Tennessee, he’s definitely not leaving for Georgia.

  • Basil Rathbone

    the school is the top Dawg in the state

    Worst. Pun. Ever.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    The recruiting base in insane and the school is the top Dawg in the state

    stop this ghey shit, please.

  • Basil Rathbone

    TCU is a better job than UGA.

  • ParrishWalton

    Worst. Pun. Ever.

    What’s sad is I didn’t mean to do it. It was terrible.

    and it’s not like Georgia is locking down its own state anyway. everybody recruits Georgia.

    Go look at what they were doing when Richt first got there. That’s the potential.

    As much as I loathe Michigan Kip is correct

    Winning at Michigan is probably a bigger deal nationally, but I don’t think it’s by as much as you two believe. If you win anywhere big today it becomes a big deal.

    No

    Um….yes, it is.

  • spencer096

    They don’t have the natural recruiting base anymore.

    they didn’t before either…they were always paying ohio kids to betray their families and friends.

  • ParrishWalton

    TCU is a better job than UGA.

    Now this is just a batshit crazy statement to make. Sorry. TCU isn’t a better job than UGA. It’s not even close.

  • ParrishWalton

    they didn’t before either…they were always paying ohio kids to betray their families and friends.

    This line cracks me up every time you say it.

  • HawkEye

    Now this is just a batshit crazy statement to make. Sorry. TCU isn’t a better job than UGA. It’s not even close.

    As much as saying that UGA is a top 15 program to coach at??

  • ParrishWalton
  • ParrishWalton

    Arguing that there are 15 better jobs than UGA is just asinine. I’m not saying that as a UGA fan, I’m saying that as someone who understands how CFB works. UGA has a top-5 budget and is a top-3 talent producing state. It also lives in the SEC, which makes it easier to recruit.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    As much as saying that UGA is a top 15 program to coach at??

    off the top of my head:

    Ohio State
    Michigan
    Southern Cal
    Notre Dame
    Penn State
    Texas
    Oklahoma
    Florida
    Alabama
    Tennessee
    LSU
    Florida State
    Nebraska
    Miami
    Oregon

    /no particular order

    if Auburn’s not in there, neither is Georgia.

  • Basil Rathbone

    That list is bullshit. How is UGA any better than LSU or Alabama?

  • http://thevictoryformation.com patphish

    Floriduh, Texas and California would like a word.

  • Basil Rathbone

    Ohio State
    Michigan
    Southern Cal
    Notre Dame
    Penn State
    Texas
    Oklahoma
    Florida
    Alabama
    Tennessee
    LSU
    Florida State
    Nebraska
    Miami
    Oregon

    You forgot UConn

  • ParrishWalton

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’d put UGA over NEB, Tenn (how you have them above UGA blows my fucking mind, by the way), Miami, FSU, Michigan, Penn State, LSU, Oregon and ND.

    I’d put OSU, OU, Texas, FLA, ALA and USC above UGA.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    I’m not saying that as a UGA fan, I’m saying that as someone who understands how CFB works.

    here’s how CFB “works” at Georgia…pretent that your team is competitive for a national championship, don’t be remotely competitive for a national championship, blame the best coach to ever drink a cup of coffee in the halls of UGA and place him on the hot seat annually.

  • ParrishWalton

    Floriduh, Texas and California would like a word.

    Per capita UGA is No. 2 I believe.

  • spencer096

    top-3 talent producing state

    cali, florida, texas.

    georgia, ohio and PA are next. the deep south gets points off for type 2 diabetes.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    Tenn (how you have them above UGA blows my fucking mind, by the way),

    you obviously have zero perspective.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    Per capita UGA is No. 2 I believe.

    per capita? that’s a really retarded metric to use for recruits. it’s quantity of talent. not quantity of talent divided by general population as determined by the 2010 census.

  • Johnny

    Can’t we talk about something we all agree on. Namely the state of Texas is a horrible horrible place

  • ParrishWalton

    you obviously have zero perspective.

    Really? A team in the same division of the same conference with a crap natural recruiting base is better? Did you not remember what happened when Lane left Tenn? The coach of mother fucking Air Force turned them down. AIR FORCE!!

  • spencer096

    per capita, wouldn’t louisiana and american somoa blow away florida, texas and cali too?

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    Can’t we talk about something we all agree on. Namely the state of Texas is a horrible horrible place

    never been there.

  • http://cbhsports.blogspot.com cbh49er

    Namely the state of Texas is a horrible horrible place

    Disagree, loved everywhere I have been including, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin. But I have heard Houston is a piece of shit.

  • spencer096

    /loves texas

  • Basil Rathbone

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I’d put UGA over NEB, Tenn (how you have them above UGA blows my fucking mind, by the way), Miami, FSU, Michigan, Penn State, LSU, Oregon and ND.

    The fact that you would rank UGA above Penn State, Michigan, and ND shows how insanely biased SEC homers are.

  • ParrishWalton

    The fact that you would rank UGA above Penn State, Michigan, and ND shows how insanely biased SEC homers are.

    I guess so.

  • Johnny

    San Antonio was fine. Dallas is a sprawling mess of a city. I think I would like Austin and Houston is just a cesspool. The rest of the state is backwoods suckiness filled with people who think they’re superior to everybody because they’re from Texas

  • spencer096

    The fact that you would rank UGA above Penn State, Michigan, and ND shows how insanely biased SEC homers are.

    hardly…the top half of the SEC is beyond those programs now. live in 2011, plz…this aint 1970.

    shit, have those teams even finished above .500 half the time in the past decade? barely.

  • http://www.I_have_a_faggy_name.com Kip Devereaux

    Really? A team in the same division of the same conference with a crap natural recruiting base is better? Did you not remember what happened when Lane left Tenn? The coach of mother fucking Air Force turned them down. AIR FORCE!!

    like I said, you have no perspective.

  • ParrishWalton

    hardly…the top half of the SEC is beyond those programs now. live in 2011, plz…this aint 1970.

    shit, have those teams even finished above .500 half the time in the past decade? barely.

    Thanks for saying this for me. Didn’t want to be the SEC homer that I clearly am.

  • spencer096

    i loved dallas (you’re right about the sprawl tho) and austin. houston was a puckered chocolate starfish of a city and i like san antonio fine enough to not hate it.

  • ParrishWalton

    like I said, you have no perspective.

    I guess so. I mean, most of the top-15 programs get turned down by pretty much every single coach they go after and end up settling for Derek freaking Dooley.

  • spencer096

    im not saying UGA could poach a coach from those schools, but why is it outrageous to think that UGA wouldn’t have their pick of the litter from the next group of potential coaches?

    and just because patterson is entrenched at TCU and likes his spot there doesn’t mean that UGA isn’t a better job. patterson just doesn’t want to be the next rich rod or dan hawkins who couldn’t fly with the big boys week in and out.

  • Basil Rathbone

    the top half of the SEC is beyond those programs now

    Yes, but Georgia is not.

  • spencer096

    He wouldn’t have to recruit from a position of an underling like he does at TCU compared to Texas, A&M and OU. In Georgia he’d be recruiting from the top perch

    judging by the NFL output of those two, seems to me that TCU’s getting all the good recruits in texas.

  • spencer096

    Yes, but Georgia is not.

    yes they are. you dumb boy? you think the cocktail party is only a big deal because of florida?

    and who cares anyways? it’s a damn fine destination job. you really think michigan or PSU or ND could steal away richt if they wanted? fuck no. sure they might be higher on your arbitrary ranking, but cmon…if you’re on that list, you’re a big boy school.

  • Trey

    Top 5 jobs IN NO ORDER.

    – Texas
    – Carlisle Indian School
    – New York Knicks
    – Notre Dame
    – Notre Dame again

  • spencer096

    i hate to be THATGUY but…

    if there’s no order, how could it be “notre dame again?” how would we know there’s a first notre dame if there isn’t an order?

  • Johnny

    i loved dallas (you’re right about the sprawl tho) and austin. houston was a puckered chocolate starfish of a city and i like san antonio fine enough to not hate it.

    It’s a fine city but the sprawl really gets to me. LA’s sprawl sucks too but at the very least I could see myself enjoying life in the beach cities surfing in the morning before work

    I’d much prefer to live in cities like a New York, Chicago, or Sydney (while turning into a bit of a sprawling mess still has beautiful views and an excellent train system) where I could rely on public transportation

  • Trey

    i hate to be THATGUY but…

    if there’s no order, how could it be “notre dame again?” how would we know there’s a first notre dame if there isn’t an order?

    I’ve added this to a list of 5 things that make Ohio State fans giant pussies.

  • knightwhosaysni

    judging by the NFL output of those two, seems to me that TCU’s getting all the good recruits in texas.

    I’ve been to Texas several times. Christians everywhere. Like a freaking plague. Of course Texas Christian gets all the good recruits.

  • http://joebushfreelance.com vez

    He wouldn’t have to recruit from a position of an underling like he does at TCU compared to Texas, A&M and OU. In Georgia he’d be recruiting from the top perch

    can’t wait to see von miller in the league