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Texas Selected as ESPN’s Top Bounce-Back Team

Texas Selected as ESPN’s Top Bounce-Back Team

ESPN’s Travis Haney selected the Texas Longhorns as his top bounce-back team for 2012. Last month The Saturday Edge published several articles including Big 12 Football: Most Improved & Overrated Teams, and Texas is Phil Steele’s No.1 surprise team of 2012, suggesting the Longhorns were definitely a team ready to rebound in 2012.

The Texas Roster is LOADED

As Haney points out in his article, it wasn’t that long ago that the Longhorns played in the 2010 BCS Championship Game. And, to some, they don’t feel all that far off now from another title — even with six total Big 12 wins the past two seasons — when their wealth of talent and settling-in, on-the-rise coordinators are considered.

“We know what they’re signing every year,” an in-state coach said. “The players are there. It’s not like anyone expected them to stay down long. We hoped, but we never expected it.”

No Vince Young Required

Haney goes on to say that if the line and quarterback play have improved this fall, the Longhorns can compete for championships. Coach Mack Brown hints at the QB questions when he has said he is good with the SEC model of winning with defense and hard-nosed running.

All but one offensive lineman returns and  according to Phil Steele, Texas will get a “big upgrade on offense with my No. 4 set of running backs, No. 11 receivers and No. 8 offensive line and they will get the best QB play since Colt McCoy left after 2009.”

With a top 10 defense, starters back at every offensive line spot but one, a potential first team All-Conference running back in Malcolm Brown and a more experienced and confident David Ash at Quarterback, Texas is poised to do some damage in 2012.

So what do you think? Does Texas have the player and coaching personnel in place to “bounce-back” in 2012 and maybe even make a run at the Big 12 Championship?

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8 Responses to “Texas Selected as ESPN’s Top Bounce-Back Team”

  1. SoonerBS says:

    The obvious question with Texas is, will they have better quarterback play? David Ash may be more experienced, but his experiences were dismal. He may be more confident, but confidence doesn’t win games. I can think I am the greatest golfer in the world, but I am still only capable of numbers in the high 70s.

    I guess it is a little like an old adage my Dad use to say, “you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken manure.” Last season, Ash and McCoy both looked like chicken manure.

    However, this being said, it would take a great fool to overlook the talent Texas has available. They shouldn’t be kept down for long.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      SoonerBS, true a lot of Ash (and McCoy’s) experiences were dismal last year, but those dismal experiences should only make them better.

      Ash looked pretty confident against a pretty decent Cal defense in the bowl game and all those added practices should also help.

      I just think that as bad as the Texas QB’s played last season, they are bound to show improvement, and even a little improvement makes Texas a good team again.

      OU is the only team on the schedule that can match them talent wise. The rest of the schedule is really favorable getting OSU early and West Virginia at home.

  2. GoSooners GoSooners says:

    Harsin obviously saw something with Ash in those 3 weeks between the Texas A&M game in which he rotated Ash with McCoy, and their bowl game with Cal in which he just played Ash. I think in that extra practice time he decided Ash would be the player better suited to manage their offense. And he did a very good job against Cal. Just remember, I said manage the offense, I didn’t say single handidly win games for them. He’s more than likely not going to be able to do that. Keep in mind that because of their defense, LSU was able to do the same thing last year with mediocre QB play. Texas has the defense (in a conference with very little defense) to be able to similar things as long as their D is as good as advertised. Texas isn’t going to be the type of team that beats the hell out of you then takes your lunch money. I’m betting that many of their games in 2012 will be close, ugly low scoring games.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      GS, I agree. If the Texas D is as good as everyone seems to think it can be, Ash will be asked to manage the game ala Jefferson/Lee at LSU and even McCarron at Alabama (though he looked like he was capable of more then just managing a game in the NC game).

      Sounds like Mack would be satisfied w/ a good running game and playing defense. Though at some point he’ll need Ash to do more than just hand the ball off.

  3. Maggiore says:

    I don’t have near the knowledge you guys do with the Big 12, but to me managing a game in the SEC seems a lot different than the Big 12. Big 12 teams play at a fast pace offensively, and even trying to “manage” a game with a good defense is going to take some plays being made by the quarterback. I guess I am just trying to say that it is easier to get away with a “game manager” at quarterback in the SEC.

    I also have a lot of respect for the talent that Mack Brown brings to Austin. But has he ever really won anything without an elite quarterback? I know that could be said for a lot of coaches, but with the surrounding players Mack has had, it is time to see if he can scrap together a great season without a great player under center.

    • Pezgordo Pezgordo says:

      Good point about an SEC “game manager” vs a Big 12 “game manager.” However, outside of OU and West Virginia, I just don’t see the Big 12 offenses being as prolific as they have been the last few years.

      No way Baylor and OSU match their 2011 (or 2010) offensive numbers. Texas Tech and TCU will probably have solid offenses, but if Mack gets Texas to play up to their talent level, they shouldn’t have much trouble with either.

  4. Kevin says:

    I think the fact that Stacy Searles is their offensive line coach nets them a -1 game coaching disadvantage.

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