I massively struggled with where to put Texas this season. I have doubts that they should be ranked at all. Mack Brown is entering a season where he will decidedly be put on the hot seat should he not succeed, and by succeed I mean win at least eight games.
The one thing about the Longhorns that I don’t have doubts about is their defense. Behind the coaching of Manny Diaz, the Longhorns have proven to be a top 10 defense in the country (11th in 2011). Brown will have to rely heavily on his defense to make up for his depleted offense.
The Longhorns are going to struggle again at quarterback this season. Projected starter Sophomore David Ash injured his hamstring, which allowed Junior Case McCoy to take the role back from him. McCoy took over the starting job for the 2011 season from Garrett Gilbert, who underwent shoulder surgery and had to sit out the rest of the season after the Rice opener. McCoy then lost his job to David Ash and the flip-flopping began. With Ash out, for now, McCoy is going to have to hope that Sophomore running back Malcolm Brown can step up and provide a spark. McCoy’s main targets, Sophomore wide receiver Jaxon Shipley and Junior Mike Davis are back this season, so there is some hope in the passing game if the o-line can hold off the Big 12 pass rushers for long enough and McCoy makes smart decisions with the ball.
Why Texas should be ranked higher:
Head coach Mack Brown. Isn’t that normally how it works? Biggest games are at home this year.
Why Texas shouldn’t be ranked higher:
The offense struggled so badly last season, it’s hard to imagine a drastic improvement that would propel the Longhorns into the top 15 with Oklahoma, TCU, and West Virginia looking to dominate Big 12 play, but they get all three of those games at home.
Returning Starters:9 Offense / 7 Defense
Best games: at Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU, at Kansas State
2011 Total Offense: 54th
2011 Total Defense: 11th
2011 Turnover margin: 59th
Championship odds: 15:1
Projected record: 9 – 3