25 Comments

  1. Cameron

    Couple things:

    1) In your sixth diagram (power read play), you’ve got one too many players. The “Y” should not be there. Just an FYI.

    2) I don’t find your suggestion that you expect the Longhorns to be good as “homerism”. But that’s probably in part to the fact that I personally think Texas will play like a top-20 team in 2017. Whether that’s going to be enough to challenge Oklahoma or stave off OSU and TCU … not sure. We’ll see. Young teams tend to be inconsistent, but all of the pieces are in place.

    The Longhorns return basically everybody, the squad is the most athletically gifted in the conference, and has a great coaching staff. I mean, you could replace Herman with a monkey at this point and Texas would probably win 8 games. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea. I think Bill Connelly’s projections have Texas in the top-20 as well, so you’ve even got computer support for your position.

    Bottom line: even if you were biased, which I don’t think you are, it doesn’t mean you are wrong.

    • ianaboyd

      1) I think maybe you miscounted?

      There’s an H-back, a RB, QB, and three WRs. It’s a little messy in the box, perhaps you thought there was a 2nd TE?

      2) Glad to hear it, although that doesn’t matter with many fans. There are lots of OU fans that (understandably) just aren’t going to believe that Texas is really a threat until the Longhorns start showing it on the field.

      I’ve been accused of homerism on many instances while Texas fans tell me I’m much harder on the Longhorns than I should be. It’s an emotional thing so I just wanted to throw out the caveat and address it.

      • Cameron

        1) I must be taking crazy pills because I swear I saw an additional TE/2nd Y, but not when I look now. Weird. My bad.

        2) I don’t understand that mentality at all. But it should be noted that I’m a Notre Dame fan and live on the West Coast so not having any vested interest may be a factor in that.

  2. Philly Frog

    It’s all about the quarterbacks in this league.

    And, unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma appears to have the upper hand at that spot. For now, at least. The Sooners will need to show they can keep their guys out of the pokey for a full season.

    Davey: Frogs only lose one guy on offense from last season (Aviante “Carmelita, Hold Me Tighter” Collins). And we get the Horns in Fort Worth. It seems like the comparative experience level against the Horn defense would be a wash; do you think the schematic changes from what Strong was running will make that large a difference in production?

    I do expect Texas to make big strides on offense under Herman, though. They just need to show more patience with him than they did for Charlie.

    • ianaboyd

      “do you think the schematic changes from what Strong was running will make that large a difference in production?”

      It’s less about the schemes themselves, although they will be better, and more about the teaching of said schemes. The last staff didn’t teach well.

      They just need to show more patience with him than they did for Charlie.

      The notion that Charlie was unjustly railroaded just doesn’t hold up to real scrutiny. He was doing simply a terrible job of building a winning program in Austin.

      • Philly Frog

        He made some poor initial choices, agreed.

        Nonetheless, he had things headed in the right direction IMHO. We’ll never know.

        • ianaboyd

          Did he? Remember when he was in position to be retained but managed to lose a football game to Kansas? He may have been accumulating talent but his hires continued to have a “plugging holes in the titanic” effect and that talent wasn’t being developed properly.

          • Philly Frog

            I’m 1,700+ miles away from Austin [which is my favourite city in Texas bar none] and freely admit your greater knowledge of the program.

            But…

            His central error in my view was not committing day one to some version of the spread and recruiting to that system.

            In the land of 7-on-7 heaven you miss out on so much firepower by not doing so. By the time he began to correct that prime error it was too late to make a difference.

            Not having even a mediocre offense in this league will leave your defense production in the toilet, too. That’s what you saw in the 4th quarter of the TCU game last year.

            At least Charlie’s young enough to get another ticket. I think we all wish him well, too.

          • ianaboyd

            Yeah…but even after he got the offense on track with the spread his defense was collapsing. And the stories that came out of the program on the down low painted a picture of a guy in over his head.

        • Davey OBrien

          I think Harvard Business School could be a very good case study on what happened with Charlie Strong and his time at Texas.

          No doubt he suffered from a number of self-inflicted wounds, did not get help from his immediate boss in some key areas, and in the end was felled by failing to meet expectations that might have been highlighted a bit by his predecessor to a few key people.

          I do believe that in the fourth quarter last year against TCU we saw a Texas team do something which to do that point they had no to Charlie and that is quit.

          There are a few interesting narratives that now being tossed around. I don’t know how correct they are as anytime the talk gets really deep into x’s and o’s I recall the words of a departed friend of mine who was the stereotypical Texas high school head coach. He would simply say “last man with the chalk in his hand always wins that sh**”.

          Something went wrong be it the players no listening, being taught, or being in the wrong place. Funny thing is when Charlie was hired we read and heard about his talent in these very areas. Same for some of his staff. Hell, Clay Jennings when he was at TCU was known for taking unknown high school players and molding them into quality corners in a Patterson’s defense and last year he was considered an idiot. Was it Gary all the time? Was it Charlie? Was it Vance?

          Won’t know, but now Bo Orlando is the newest defensive wizard to Austin. Sure he has a great resume, sure he does great things, but the Cougs’ defense wasn’t bulletproof the past two years.

          Yeah, they hammered OU and Louisville and then proceeded to get schooled in Military option football at Navy in a game that some seem to have forgotten. One loss does not ruin a resume just as a victory shouldn’t make it.

          I think things are in place for Texas to be very good this year, but all I know is some of this sounds very familiar to what I have heard and read before.

          • ianaboyd

            “I do believe that in the fourth quarter last year against TCU we saw a Texas team do something which to do that point they had no to Charlie and that is quit.”

            I think some guys probably quit before then. A reminder, Texas lost to Kansas.

            “Something went wrong be it the players no listening, being taught, or being in the wrong place.”

            Texas has a horrible tradition this decade of bad LB play and 2016 was the worst yet.

            “Yeah, they hammered OU and Louisville and then proceeded to get schooled in Military option football at Navy in a game that some seem to have forgotten.”

            Who cares though? OU has had troubles with service academies in years they went on to have good defenses and good teams, if I recall.

    • Davey OBrien

      Philly,

      I think sometimes in the off-season the best thing to do is to follow the words of Nassim Taleb and place more emphasis on the unknown instead of overvaluing the knowns.

      Not sure what to expect from TCU offensively. On paper there is experience returning, but unless big improvements are made in quarterback play, line, and receivers I don’t think you can expect the same results using the same formula.

      Plus what about the unknowns? The Frogs finally have a real offensive line coach for the first time since Eddie retired. You mention Collins, but the simple fact he is in position to get drafted and played so poorly at times last year only reinforces to me what a mess the Frogs where offensively in 2016.

      Also what about a kid like Reagor? Any of the other receivers? Now include all the new variables for Texas defense and remember that going into the fourth that was a close game last year.

      Always fun to talk about the possibilities in the Spring, but remember both squads have a long time and a great deal of work to get done before August.

      • ianaboyd

        “I think sometimes in the off-season the best thing to do is to follow the words of Nassim Taleb and place more emphasis on the unknown instead of overvaluing the knowns.”

        This is wisdom.

        Last year before the season I added up the “what could break good?” and “what could break bad?” for the Longhorns and realized that a 50-50 split in how things broke out would mean that Texas wasn’t very good.

        Sure enough…

      • Philly Frog

        Davey we agree to disagree. A wee dram of disagree, at least.

        On offense, a few minor tweaks, a little growing up, and a refocusing of leadership says my glass starts half-full. After two years of Star-Wars level production those new guys thought all they had to do was strap on the uniform; the reality was they needed to strap on something else.

        The key difference I think is that this year there’s enough talent in the 3-deep where you have choices. If a Hill doesn’t cut it, then Cumbie won’t think long about plugging in a Robinson.

        Same with all the position groups on offense.

        This is the best depth overall they’ve ever had.

        The only two spots that are on the thin side are at DE and CB. We may have guys coming in the summer to fix those issues, too.

        Philly

        PS: Go look at what some of the 2017 kids are doing in track & field.

        • Davey OBrien

          Funny but the paid site guys talk about Noah Daniels in district, but he actually ran faster a few weeks earlier. I am not sure he gets out of region in the 100M and 200M could be interesting.

          Snell has been hurt and only clocked in the 10.6 range, Reagor has gone 10.8 to go with the 26′ in the LJ. He has added ~ 4 1/2′ in three weeks. Jalen sits now some 10″ short of Marquis Goodwin’s state record with at least one meet to go.

          One interesting note also is the defensive back out of New Orleans they are looking to move to LB has been running track this spring. He has clocked 11.2 which isn’t eye popping, but I find it interesting he is running this year.

          All that is fine and great, but I don’t think qb is as plug and play as some think and the line play was bad last year. I know the trend has to been to indirectly blame the results at the end of the year on the Meachum-Cumbie rift, but I think that is as biased as saying all Charlie’s defensive problems were on the staff unable to teach.

          39 points in regulation in the last four losses of regular season including 12 in the last two homes games better have gotten someone’s damn attention. This wasn’t about missing kickers or coaches not talking. Far too many dropped passes, terrible reads, bad passing blocking technique, and horrible play calling.

          You are either getting better or getting worse and when you are a small school in a big conference you don’t get the soft landing of the big schools when you stumble.

          • Davey OBrien

            Boring world if we all agreed about sports Philly.

            Talent, depth, and potential are all great to have and the Frogs do have more than they have in quite some time.

            So does most of the B12 and none of it matters if you don’t convert all those variables into wins.

  3. Davey OBrien

    Ian, My point about UH’s loss to Navy is simply that as much as we try to eliminate bias in our decision making there is little doubt it gets tempered by us overvaluing the positive and downplaying the negative.

    I could have easily used the SMU game as the focal point. Opted for Navy because at that time UH was undefeated and the media in Houston was talking about how once the Cougs ran the table and were in the play-offs they would have to be offered an invitation to the Big 12.

    Cart meet horse and just another reminder why we love sport and why patience is required from all of us. The games will be played out and the end is rarely what we were so sure would happen.

  4. Davey OBrien

    Philly, In response to your point about Charlie not recruiting to the spread that ties into my thoughts about he not getting the support from his superior (Patterson) at the start of his time in Austin and it is one of just multiple what if scenarios that could be played out.

    Ian would know better, but it is my understanding that Patterson would not give Charlie the money needed to go get the OC he wanted and as result he brought with him Watson. Not the first time a multi-million dollar business got derailed by trying to save nickles and dimes when real dollars were at stake.

    If the stories are right they damn near bungled the second hiring because of AD #2.

    • ianaboyd

      Ian would know better, but it is my understanding that Patterson would not give Charlie the money needed to go get the OC he wanted and as result he brought with him Watson. Not the first time a multi-million dollar business got derailed by trying to save nickles and dimes when real dollars were at stake.

      There was definitely some penny pinching but Watson wasn’t a result of it. Charlie saw him as the guy who helped him get the Texas job by developing Bridgewater, and he was right to think that. But he then saddled Watson with a perfectly wrong supporting cast on offense and things spiraled from there.

  5. Philly Frog

    Anyways…..

    This is a Texascentric post, so to wit: The events of that past year leave me fairly sanguine about the immediate future of college football in the state.

    If it develops that the Horns and Frogs carry the banner in the near term o’er the spoilt carcasses of Aggies, Bears and Raiders, then this will be one happy fan.

    We then need rise up against the usurpers of the north and smite them verily. Over and over and again.

    The championship of this conference belongs in Texas.

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