1. McCoy or Chiles? Explain.
I'm with Chip Brown here: if there's any chance Colt is dealing with any post-concussion symptoms, he shouldn't play. Does he give us a better chance to beat OU this year? Probably. Does it matter? No.
Even if Colt plays, I hope the coaches use John Chiles much more generously than they have to date. The first thing I said when I watched OU beat Miami was, "The defensive line isn't very good. They can be run on." Obviously, what Chiles lacks in passing he makes up for with his rushing. I'd like to see Texas use Chiles as a weapon in the running game. Even if he's just in there to make the linebackers think a little bit.
2. Bigger concern: Texas' offensive line or secondary?
Without question, the offensive line. Oklahoma's defense isn't quite the juggernaut it's made out to be, but Texas' problems along the line are every bit as real as their harshest critics have claimed. Charlie Tanner and Dallas Griffin cost McCoy a year off his life last Saturday. They've been liabilities all season. I'm not sure how the coaches can't watch the tape from last weekend and shudder in horror.
Solutions? For one thing, we need Ulatoski to stay healthy. He's not been good this year, either, but it at least saves us from swinging Hall out to tackle. I'd rather Hall play mediocre at left guard than Tanner awful at guard. I'd also give Buck Burnette every opportunity to prove he's ready. He can't do much worse than Griffin, anyway.
No easy solutions here, I'm afraid. These guys have to play their best game of the year or it's lights out.
3. A win will cause you to...., while a loss will cause you to....
A win will send me into a hurricane-force eruption of glee. Seriously, the season's headed in such a negative direction that a win Saturday would thrill me endlessly. OU is beatable, but we'll need to play well.
A loss will cause me to start demanding answers to tough questions. We've stuck our toes in the water this week, but a poor showing Saturday will require us to become a lot more critical than most of us are normally comfortable with. Let's hope the coaches were disappointed in themselves last week and treat the fans to a performance we can be proud of. That's not too much to ask.
I'm trying, trying, trying to look for silver linings here. And there are some. Oklahoma's reputation is a bit bloated, even after the CU loss. This is a good Sooner team; it's far from a great one. Sam Bradford has done a very nice job working those short and intermediate throws, but it's damn simple stuff. We're still talking about a redshirt freshman here. And, I do think if Texas has a GOOD showing - both in terms of gameplan and execution - we can certainly win the game.
I'm still skeptical. Mostly, I'm frustrated that obvious, critical problems dating back to 2006 have yet to be addressed. It's much easier to be optimistic when those in charge are showing signs that they understand and address weaknesses. Right now, they seem stuck in a rut.
If there's one more silver lining here, though, it's that typically these changes get made after the first loss. Sadly, that loss came last week. On the upside, we can hope that there will be some urgency to make right.
I think Texas will have a better showing than a lot believe, but I worry that the weaknesses are too fundamental to be adequately addressed in a week. I'm begrudgingly picking the Sooners.
Prove me wrong, 'Horns.