Who Can Lift Texas Back to Greatness?
The reported demise of Texas Longhorns football as we know it may be a bit premature. Sure, they have now gone two consecutive seasons not being ranked in the final AP poll. (The last time that happened was 1992-1993 when the Bowl Coalition was in existence.) Last year saw a slight rebound from 2010, when the Longhorns failed to make a bowl game for the first time in Mack Brown’s Texas stay.
But the failures, albeit not what Longhorns fans have come to expect, are not signs of a troubled future. Texas’ success will be as simple as finding a starting quarterback. Whether it is Case McCoy, David Ash, or an incoming player, Texas needs to find a signal caller who can lead this offense. Once that is accomplished, UT’s record will be more in line with what college football has come to expect, namely double figure wins.
It is hard to move on from what Texas had at quarterback this past decade. With Vince Young and Colt McCoy under center for seven straight years, Texas had one of the best runs of players at that position in college football history. Both players were historically great, which is not something that can be expected each and every season. Replacing Young was not going to be easy until they lucked out with Colt. Now replacing him has been much harder, especially having gotten used to an All-American candidate under center each Saturday since near the turn of the century.
Once QB is settled (and both Case McCoy and Ash got chances to play last season), the rest of Texas’ roster is what people are used to, specifically on the defensive side. Last year, overshadowed by the slightly disappointing 8-5 finish, saw Texas finish in the top 10 in the nation in pass efficiency defense and rush defense, while finishing 11th in total defense. The Longhorns were, plainly, one of the best units in the country. Even the dreadful year before, going 5-7 in 2010, saw Texas rank sixth in the nation in total defense and pass defense.
Playing that side of the ball has never been an issue for Mack Brown’s squad. Once they find someone to throw the ball, it will be the same old story for UT.