While everyone will be basking in the glow of Texas' whipping of the Sun Devils at least until after PB recovers from his attending the game, I will be otherwise occupied for the next week. So I'd like to offer an early set of New Year's resolutions for the Horns that could take the momentum of this season into next. I'm wary of getting too excited about next year just yet - after all, we don't know who might be arrested (!), flunk out or be injured in spring practice before next September. More than that, I follow SI's Stewart Mandel's (love him or hate him) advice in not putting too much stock in a big bowl win as a predictor of next year's success. To that end:
(1) Jamaal Charles, you will stay for your senior year. You'll have a boatload of fun and might even win the Heisman. Whatever happens, you'll improve your NFL draft stock from the upper 3rd round to the top 10 and thus literally make millions in guaranteed money. It's like getting the equivalent of an M.D. and your medical residency in one year!
(2) Colt McCoy, you will make friends with the weights (again!), especially the resistance hand ball to build some hand strength so you don't fumble every time a linebacker looks at you crosswise. Strengthening your arm so you can throw a post pattern would be great as well.
(3) John Chiles, you will go to QB "camp" and learn how to throw a football, from the footwork on up. You will line up at receiver in some of the 7 on 7 drills in the summer. Does the name Percy Harvin (Florida) mean anything to you?
(4) James Kirkendoll, Brandon Collins, Malcolm Williams, (John Chiles, you can jump in here if you want) your time has come. One of you will beat out Jordan Shipley for starting wide receiver on the basis of speed and turning on some brain cells. Without your speed, we'll be seeing another season of 1 yard passes to Quan Cosby. James K., you especially will learn how to catch the ball, and not fumble, on kickoff returns so the Horns have a real threat there.
(5) Trevor Gerland, you will get that kink out of your leg or whatever it is so UT will have something better than an average high school punter next year.
(6) Sergio Kindle, you will get your knee healed up, hit the books, and not even think about going near a car if you've even seen a beer bottle in past three hours. With you to join Muckelroy and Norton and Keenan Robinson and Rashad Bobino (for depth, for depth, people), LB will go from a weakness to an agency of fear for Chase Daniel, Todd Reesing, Graham Harrell, Cory Bradford, and most importantly, Stephen McGee. Lord knows the Horns will need it.
(7) God's children (a.k.a. Ben Wells, Curtis Brown, Chykie Brown), you will take off the diapers, start hustling in practice, and get ready to join your NFL legacy of brotherhood following Marcus Griffin and the heir apparent, Deon Beasley. I mean, the thought of having Ishie Oduegwu and Ryan Palmer responsible for half the field next year is like the thought of having dinner with your mother. Necessary, nice, and you'll do almost anything to avoid it.
(8) Adam Ulatoski, you will take ballet, dance, and gymnastics next semester (forget English, Music Appreciation, or whatever you registered for) so you can have a prayer of having the footwork to play left tackle for an entire season.
(9) Cedric Dockery, you will make men out of these young linemen (Kyle Hix, Tray Allen, Michael Huey, Britt Mitchell, Steve Moore, Buck Burnette) so they can join uber-backup Chris Hall on one of the great offensive lines in UT history by 2009.
(10) Jermichael Finley, you will get film of Antonio Gates and study it so much you will wake up at night looking for him in the bed next to you (Yuk! I know). Learn how a great TE can dominate on a team with little in the way of deep speed.
(11) Quan, my man, Quan... You will lose 5 pounds and find a way to get back that 4.3 speed you had coming out of high school. Speed kills. Especially in college football.
(12) Henry Melton, you will spend all of January and half of February walking with your shoulders lower than 40" above the ground, so you can finally learn to get leverage at the point of attack. That's all that, with your speed, is standing between you and the All-American banquet circuit. Barring that you are about to be moved to defensive tackle and some kind of success from you in your Horns career would be nice.
I'm sure one could add to these, but hey, given how well most people do with their New Year's resolutions, I'll settle for even 2 of them.
Happy New Year