Texas and the Top Ten: A Love/Hate Relationship

So I just picked up the first preseason mag that I've seen this summer yesterday at CVS - The Lindy's Big 12 2008 Preview.  Brought it home, read the whole thing on the toilet, and now my new puppy is chewing on the spine and I'm not going to stop her.  I'm going to tell you that it's garbage, and don't waste your money, but I know it won't help, because I got it last year, it was garbage, and I knew that when I bought it.  I just can't leave all that optimism sitting on a shelf, but I also can't read it without laughing.

It was sweet at first: Texas is their number 8 team, they've picked us to finish 2nd in the South (to You Know Who... not David Hernandez), and third overall in the Big 12.  Not bad, says I, we just need to beat OU, like always, and that's first in the South. 


One in a million...

But then they didn't give us a single All American, first or second team, they didn't rank any of our units (LBs, DL, OL, QB, RB, etc.) in the top ten in the nation, and our Big 12 unit rankings go like this:

QB - 6th
Receivers - 4th
RB - 7th*
OL - 6th*
DL - 5th*
Secondary - 9th
LBs - 7th*******
ST - 9th

*  I'll argue to the death that these are too low, but still...

Does that look like the #8 team in the country?  Granted, the Big 12 looks like the SEC right now, but the third best team in the SEC is LSU (with Perrilloux, in this mag.  LOL @ press deadlines.), who didn't look half bad before Ryan found Osama hiding in that restaurant.  Why don't they at least lie convincingly?

So now I've gone full circle.  You love being in the Top Ten every June.  You know you do.  Every season is the season that won't be so frustrating as the season before this season.  You hate being in the Top Ten every June, you know you do.  Even if you won't say it, you know that it's just another opportunity to be disappointed.  We've been talking about the fact that we aren't supposed to be good until next year, but you just wait.  You're bound to believe one of those magazines, or one of those drunk guys, before Florida Atlantic comes to town.  Don't worry, though, we all do it.  Well... except Wells, but he went to Colorado...

My point is, Texas is a Top Ten team again because no one can find more than one or two games that Texas (the name) should lose.  Just like we should have beaten everyone last preseason.  Then Arkansas State happened.  Followed by UCF.  Followed by Kansas State.  Every year most of us will eventually succumb to the repeated insistence by the media that Texas is reloading, not rebuilding, despite the fact that that imagery doesn't make any more sense than an Oklahoma graduate thesis.  (What are we reloading that takes three years?  A cannon on a ship in a bottle?  Plus, if we are reloading, we certainly can't shoot you right now, can we?)

Aside from the preseason magazine "reloading" madness, people are talking gibberish in the newspapers as well.  Check out this AAS article that I found buried in one of their email updates:

First, a disclaimer: Considering the depleted numbers on defense last fall, Mack Brown did the best coaching job of his career by getting 10 wins out of the Longhorns.

Excuse me, but what the hell?  I thought all along that we couldn't defend the pass worth a Stephen McGee deep ball, but we were just injured?  Well in that case I guess we owe Duane Akina an apology and a re-promotion.  Who needs Muschamp anyway?

The culprits: Recruits who haven't panned out. Players such as all-world linebacker Sergio Kindle and five-star defensive end Eddie Jones.

Oh, right, so when a bunch of recruits don't fulfill their potential, we should blame them for losing to abominable teams like KSU and A&M.  Damnit, Eddie Jones, why didn't you play more this year?  When you destroyed Adarius Bowman and he had to be carried off the field, why didn't you play more after that?  Where were the sacks?  It's not like it's someone else's decision whether your freak self gets to rush the passer or if you have to play contain to funnel the ball away from Killebrew.  Come on, Eddie.

If Mack's best coaching job of his career includes a 20 point loss to 5th in the North KSU and a blowout by the Aggies, then maybe I should be even more pessimistic.  More likely, though, some people are just crazy.

So.  Overhyped preseason rankings.  Just like 54b, love 'em or hate 'em, you can't help but believe 'em.  Thoughts and prognostications wanted below.

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