Must. have. Horns. news. Starving and dehydrated, I spot the oasis of fall practice and football season. Is it a mirage?
Montezuma's Revenge--conventional wisdom.
The last water I had in this desolate summer had a serious dose of regurgitated conventional wisdom and a visit from our buddy Montezuma. The first time I saw this drivel from Terry Bowden, I didn't think I was going to make it. Look, Muschamp is from Auburn and so was Chizik! The Longhorns won a MNC with Chizik! That's like, a parallel or something. At least he likes chances this year for the Horns, predicting a chance at the Big 12 title. Rivals keeps the conventional wisdom flowing, summing them all up nicely for you:
Texas has seven consecutive 10-victory seasons. But this season, it's difficult to know what to expect. In fact, Texas probably is facing more uncertainty than in any season since 1998 – Brown's first in Austin. Can McCoy significantly reduce his interceptions? Can the Longhorns get consistent production at tailback? Will they find a deep receiving threat? Will an adequate tight end emerge? Will the pass defense improve? If the Longhorns get a positive answer to all – or most – of these questions, they could mount a stern challenge for the Big 12 championship. If not? The streak of double-digit victory totals will end.
Coming soon, Texas AD Mack Brown? Nope.
Mack Brown shoots down any speculation about moving into the athletic director position at Texas, citing the health of his knee. It looks like any thoughts of Major Applewhite or Will Muschamp succeeding Mack Brown in the next several years can be put on the backburner. The extent to which Muschamp and Applewhite can infuse the program with fresh ideas and intensity will determine how long Longhorn fans will hold off on calling for Mack to take the step into the AD's chair. That and winning every game.
OMG! Take the keys from the crazed baby-faced driver! He just crashed into that telephone pole while driving on the sidewalk!
Speaking with the sagacity of the aged, one baby-faced quarterback warned another about the dangers of the dreaded sophomore slump.
Colt McCoy on OU's Sam Bradford:
Your freshman year, it's like when you start driving a car, you stop at every stoplight, put your blinker on, you never go above the speed limit," the Texas quarterback said. "In the second year, you have your driver's license, it's a little tempting, you pass on the double yellow line, you do some crazy things.
So that would make Colt's 18 picks and wild heaves downfield last year a car wreck from his crazy driving? McCoy claims he was too comfortable and overconfident last year, but has returned to the "basics." Whatever that means. Will it cause Greg Davis to take his car keys away and give Colt less freedom at the line of scrimmage?
Will Good Colt please stand up?
PB noted the other day the conventional wisdom I've been having trouble digesting. On one hand, McCoy has to cut down on interceptions, but on the other hand, the Longhorns need playmakers. Any playmakers in the receiving corp will still have to catch passes from McCoy. Is that going to come from establishing a deep threat or dinking and dunking with the low-risk low-reward screen passes Horns fans have come to hate over the years?
Wanna sip this Burnt Orange Kool-Aid?
Quan Cosby wants you to know that he knows his cliches and can speak while saying nothing like the best politicians. Nothing of note here, move along. BC's "resident curmudgeon" EyesofTX is drinking the Kool-Aid even if PB isn't. The national media is declining, according to Kirk Bohls.
Lemme have some of that.
Some Kool-Aid I will swig the heck out of--Brian Orakpo is a stud. The money shot from Mack Brown:
We thought Brian Orakpo in preseason was as good a defensive end as we've ever had. That's at North Carolina (where Brown previously coached) with some of the great ones and the guys we've had for 10 years at Texas. No one on our team could block him in preseason.
With speculation about the Horns using a nickel defense, I think we have to wonder how the use of Orakpo will influence the defensive formations. Rak alludes to it briefly in his conversation with ESPN's Tim Griffin:
I don't want to to give out anything too early, but they should know that Coach Muschamp is a guy who utilizes people's capabilities and their strengths. If I was looking, you might look for me everywhere. You might not know where I am. With his scheme and the way we're going to play defense, I might drop into pass coverage. Or I might just be rushing the passer. I'm fine with however they use me.
While I think that it is important to use defensive backs on slot receivers, zone blitzing could drop athletic ends like Orakpo and Eddie Jones into coverage. That allows blitzing dbs to pressure the quarteback quickly, necessary to disrupt spread offenses throwing the ball quickly. Maybe Muschamp runs a 3-3-5 defense with Orakpo standing up and moving around as the Dolphins did with Jason Taylor several years ago when he completely flummoxed a good Patriots offensive line. I can't find the link, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was the year that Muschamp was there. It would certainly fulfill his desire to remain "multiple". I'm sippping the Burnt Orange Kool-Aid on Muschamp bringing enough looks this year to confuse some good quarterbacks. One last comment, notice how he says that Muschamp "utilizes people's capabilities and strengths." A lot of times that's a throwaway line, considering what Horns fans have seen the last couple seasons, it isn't. No more Scott Derry defending Jordy Nelson or Anthony Gonzalez.
Mmm mmm mmm. I feel a lot better after drinking that Kool-Aid. Rak, the Burnt Orange faithful are counting on you being a beast this year. Let's enjoy Muschamp playing with his new toy. I think I might make it...
Horns faithful can enjoy their booming defensive coordinator from a stadium that is now among the nation's largest. Why? Cuz We're Texas. The fans will have to make some noise this year with the beautiful renovations nearly complete and the stands finally abutting the field. Pressure on.