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Phil Steele Review, Part Two: Unit Rankings (Offense)

We began last week with a review of Phil Steele's positional ranking of Longhorns; we continue today with a look at his unit rankings, divided into two parts - offense and defense.


Texas #11

Phil's Comment: Colt McCoy played even better than expected in his first year completing 68% with a 29-7 ration filling the large shoes of Vince Young. he iss now a soph and shouldd be even better. Sherrod Harris (PS#23, rFR) and true frosh John Chiles (PS#8) are capable backups.

In last week's positional ranking review, there was much criticism of Steele's placement of McCoy at #22 on the quarterbacks list. Phil doesn't do much in the way of explaining his methodologies, but I ventured a guess that he might have been hedging a bit because of Colt's injury. I had a friend this week also posit that the rankings might have more to do with pro potential, in which case we needn't concern ourselves much with the list at all.

Either way, Steele's unit ranking of Texas at #11, along with the commentary, tell us that he's anything but down on McCoy. (Additionally, McCoy is listed at #7 on his Heisman Trophy list - further evidence that Steele recognizes how good McCoy was last year, and could be in 2007.)

The comment that Harris and Chiles are "capable backups" is interesting, if only because neither has seen a snap of live college football before. It's going to be interesting to see how much progress these two made over the summer.

Phil's Top 10 Quarterback Units: Louisville, Hawaii, West Virginia, USC, New Mexico State, Texas Tech, Tennessee, Missouri, Michigan, Kentucky.

Running Backs

Texas #13

Phil's Comment: Jamaal Charles (PS#6) is 200 lbs and was #1 in the Big 12 and #5 in the NCAA in the 100M (10.23). He has rushed for 1709 (6.2) the last 2 years. Chris Ogbonnaya (PS#33WR), rFR Vondrell McGee (PS#20) and true frosh Foswhitt Whittaker (PS#18) supply the quality depth.

Seems fair enough to me. The fact is that neither Charles nor Selvin Young excelled last year, and though you won't find many who are higher on Charles than I am, this is a "prove it" season for JC. By prove it, I mean - do it without VY alongside you.

I'm most curious to see who between McGee and Ogbonnaya emerges as the complementary back.

Phil's Top 10 Running Back Units: Arkansas, West Virginia, USC, Texas A&M, Clemson, Navy, Wisconsin, Michigan, Oregon, Arizona State

Wide Receivers

Texas #5

Phil's Comment: Limas Sweed is 6'5" and was 1st Tm Big 12 with 46 (17.4). Quan Cosby (PS#9DB) had 45 (11.7). TE Jermichael Finley (PS#18WR) had 31 rec (12.0) and backup WR Jordan Shipley (PS#7) had 16 (14.3). Nate Jones (PS#21) had 13 (11.8). Billy Pittman has 69 rec the last 2 yrs. The unit returns intact.

You could make a case that this is the nation's best receiving corps - and certainly its deepest. We're splitting hairs, though. Steele correctly identifies this as a huge team strength for Texas. I'm positively giddy about the passing attack this year.

Phil's Top 10 Wide Receiver Units: California, Louisville, Hawaii, Purdue, Texas, Florida, Alabama, New Mexico State, Florida State, Oklahoma

Offensive Line

Texas #30

Phil's Comment: None.

Phil's only got comments for his top 15 units, and Texas ain't one of 'em. Nor should they be.

Phil's Top 10 Offensive Line Units: Texas A&M, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan, BYU, USC, Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Wisconsin