Monday, August 30, 2010
#8 University of Texas
Offense: Garret Gilbert, Cody Johnson, Tre Newton, Malcolm Williams, James Kirkendoll, Marquise Goodwin.
Defense: Sam Acho, Emmanuel Acho, Dustin Earnest, Aaron Williams, Chykie Brown, Curtis Brown.
Special Teams: Curtis Brown can return punts which will give him practice at picking off any dying ducks heaved up by the garbage QBs he'll see this season, Marquise Goodwin is faster than everyone.
Initial Thoughts: Texas doesn't rebuild, they reload.
People will call me crazy for this, but I've got more confidence in this team than I did in last year's team. Colt McCoy had to literally win more games than any other college quarterback ever to win me over. Granted, he did, but he still doesn't inspire the same confidence that Gilbert does. Maybe it's because I saw him get knocked out of big games throughout his career, but I just never saw him finishing anything.
Texas fans will surely miss the closeted homosexual Jesus freaks (McCoy and circlejerk roommate pardner Jordan Shipley), but just because ESPN crammed that sappy shit down our throats doesn't mean that they are the be-all end-all of Longhorn football.
Gilbert definitely doesn't have McCoy's speed, but he's got the confidence to step in to the biggest game of his life when McCoy goes down, suffer through a series or two of garbage play calling, then come out with a re-energized purpose in the second half, and play acceptably. More snaps with the first team and a better feel for the speed of the college game will only help.
I was sad to see Earl Thomas go, simply because he was the best player the Longhorns had last year. Well, that and he would clean up Blake Gideon's messes. But looking at the defensive backfield, three dudes (the Browns and Aaron Williams) have great shots at playing at the next level.
Sergio Kindle was an empty uniform for much of last year, but I wish him all the best on the Ravens. He won't be missed. Texas is stacked at defensive end and linebacker. They could throw fresh bodies at you at any time and not miss a step.
Moreover, last year I had a LOT of doubts about the offensive line. If you watched them, they had more than their fair share of troubles. People had to be shuffled around, often mid-game, to try and marginalize problems. This year, they pretty much return everybody, all a year wiser. Also, this year, all tight ends survived the summer, which is better than last year, when none of them did.
So let's look at their schedule. Texas Tech in the third game might make some peoples' buttholes pucker up, but let's remember that the Red Raiders no longer have Leach. He was the only thing that made them a force to be reckoned with.
Then comes the gauntlet. September 25th against UCLA could be the bell-weather. An unknown non-conference that is no stranger to playing big games that early in the season. The next week, Texas takes on Oklahoma in the annual temptation of Icehouse's violent urges. Then comes a bye week, followed by Nebraska. Nebraska seems fearsome, I guess, but they no longer have DonkeyKong Suh, so I'm inclined to scoff at their preseason ranking. Unfortunately, they go from West Coast high-fliers, the emotional drain of the Red River Shootout, then having to grind one out against the Huskers. The off-week could either provide much-needed recuperation, or they could come out flat. Hopefully they clobber the first two teams and come out firing for Nebraska.
Truthfully, I could see Texas A&M pissing in the Longhorn's cheerios this season. At least it's played in Austin as opposed to College Station, as Kyle Field is intimidating as fuck. But home/away debates aside, Jerrod Johnson is really good, and he's tired of losing to the 'Horns. I could see him going into beast mode for his last charge against the hated orange juggernaut.
The Longhorns are perfectly poised to run the table again, at least as much as Alabama is. Would anyone really hate a rematch for the National Title?*
*Besides, of course, SEC haters, Texas haters, the playoff contingency, the Pac-10, the Big 10 (11), Oklahomans, and several other assorted groups I've failed to mention.