SI's Andy Staples looks at the recruiting classes of 2006.
Also, some classes suffer because of the quality of the classes that came before and after. Texas, which finished No. 5 in the Rivals.com rankings, is the prime example in 2006. The 2006 Longhorns' class has produced only two starters, linebacker Sergio Kindle and quarterback Jevan Snead -- who starts for Ole Miss, not Texas. The rest of the 2006 Longhorns signees have sat the bench, not because they can't play, but because they sat behind the members of the criminally underrated (No. 20 by Rivals.com) 15-member 2005 class, which included quarterback Colt McCoy, tailback Jamaal Charles, receiver Quan Cosby, defensive end Henry Melton, nose tackle Roy Miller and linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy. Meanwhile, the Longhorns' 2007 class already has produced three starters.
ESPN's Tim Griffin lists what to watch for in spring practice. Here is the wrap-up for Texas:
Spring practice begins: Feb. 27
Spring game: April 5
What to watch:
- Build consistency in the running game: The Longhorns ranked 41st nationally in rushing last season -- their worst national ranking since 2002 -- and relied on Colt McCoy as their primary running threat. That dangerous strategy has to change this season if the Longhorns have any legitimate national title contenders. Key tasks during the spring will be to build cohesion in an offensive line that loses only starter Cedric Dockery from last season and additional work for Fozzy Whittaker, who struggled with injuries most of his freshman season last year.
- Rebuild the defensive front: The Longhorns had the nation's most productive pass rush, leading the country with an average of 3.62 sacks per game last season. It will be a challenge to replace key players like Brian Orakpo, Roy Miller and Henry Melton. But defensive coordinator Will Muschamp liked what he saw in limited playing time for players like Sam Acho, Russell Carter, Ben Alexander, Michael Wilcoxson, Kheeston Randall and Eddie Jones. Those players, along with possibly Sergio Kindle getting more playing time at defensive end, will be key to Texas' defensive hopes this season. And incoming freshmen Dominique Jones, Alex Okafor and Kyle Kriegel all arrived at college early to challenge for immediate playing time.
- Build confidence with young receivers: Leading receiver Quan Cosby graduated and Jordan Shipley will miss spring work after recovering from shoulder surgery. It will give McCoy a chance to build confidence in some of the younger members of his receiving corps, most notably Brandon Collins, Dan Buckner, Malcolm Williams and James Kirkendoll.
Egos. The Wiz of Odds looks at the Mike Leach situation. It seems that there are serious personality issues between the AD Gerald Meyers and Leach.
Tim MacMahon of the Dallas Morning News wrote: "During my season on the brink in Lubbock, I was amazed/amused by the dynamic between Myers and Knight. It was as if Myers worked for Knight, not vice versa.
"Myers' top priority seemed to be making sure Knight was happy. Myers apparently ruffled the feathers of the school's most important coach — football is king around these parts, you know — in the process of kissing up to Knight."
Leach's representatives have openly bypassed Myers in negotiations and in one proposal sent to chancellor Kent Hance, requested that Myers no longer be Leach's boss. The coach would be given "full control and responsibility for managing the football program and [Leach] will report directly to [Hance]." Leach's new title would have been athletic director for football.
If it isn't ugly enough, Mike Leach has decided to take his fight to the people by hiring a media relations consultant.
Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach has hired a media relations consultant to help repair public perception caused by his derailed contract extension negotiations, and she's helped organize a rally for him Tuesday.
Football Rumor Mill thinks Tech could fire Leach and hire Art Briles.
With coach Mike Leach and Texas Tech in a stalemate over a contract extension, there is a chance for this affair to take a turn toward the absurd: Texas Tech could fire Leach. You read that correctly. A coach who just led his program to one of its greatest seasons ever could get fired because of an inability to reach some type of peace on a contract extension that is on the table.
Sam Bradford does not regret staying another year.
No second thoughts for Sam Bradford.
At a time when top NFL prospects are getting ready for the draft, Bradford on Monday night was recognized with the Davey O'Brien Award as the nation's top quarterback — and looking ahead to another chance to lead Oklahoma to a national championship.
Tim Griffin is starting to look ahead to the 2009 schedule.
Scout offers $5 million plus to settle a lawsuit.
In 2007, a group of publishers and former publishers, led by Scout sites that covered Ohio State, Texas and Stanford — some of the more heavily trafficked sites in the Scout network — filed the action claiming that Scout accounted for revenue in ways not consistent with prevailing contracts. The group further alleged that Scout had endeavored through inadequate disclosure of information and accounting methods to hide its transgressions.
One more web site to push a playoff in college football.