Barring a major meltdown from either of the two Oklahoma schools, Texas is no longer in the Big 12 Championship conversation. And we can only point to one reason. Texas is soft! When the going gets tough, Texas folds. And it's been this way for quite a while - Sam Ehlinger being the singular exception to the rule. That dude played his hardest every play. The only thing I can think is that Texas has such a financial advantage over most every other school, the players get coddled so very much, they don't have that intensity they need to win big games. Call it distractions. Call it a hollywood mentality. Texas players don't know how to handle a challenge because they've been silver spooned their entire careers. Charlie Strong saw it when he got rid of the charter buses from the locker room to the practice field. Tom Herman saw it when he fed poor performing players differently than those who graded out. And whether those decisions were right or wrong, they signaled the coaches understood the underlying problem. Texas players are proverbial babies. And we're not going to win another championship up and until we drill down to the heart of this proble
That said, I believe there's hope. For once in a long time, Texas is showing signs of righting the ship. Coach Sark seems to know what to do. He just needs the depth to make it happen. Consider the fact that when Texas won it's 2005/6 National Title, guys like Brian Arackpo were redshirted for the future. And we just don't have that yet. But get that depth, let starters know that their job isn't safe with guys coming behind them who could take their jobs, and it begins to create a mental toughness that Texas needs. Sure, we'll give you everything in the world! But if you don't grind for four quarters, limit mistakes, and make game winning drives/plays, there's someone behind you hungry enough they could have the motor to make it happen.
As much as we've maligned the Offensive line, we really need to talk defense as well. Let's face it, Texas is scoring fairly well in the first half of games. Thompson and Robinson are fairly good and we create a big lead. Sadly, the offensive and defensive lines aren't deep enough to hold up for four quarters. Eventually, oponents slow down the offense, the defense can't hold up, and the rest is history. In the off season, I look for Sark to hit the trenches hard in recruiting. If not, we need to be concerned. And that's because we're already so thin at those positions, our run stop ability and pass protection fades after 2 quarters. We need depth!
Texas losing to OU and OSU doesn't hurt our chances with Arch Manning. Our O Line does. Keep an eye on the O Line recruiting and that will tell you where Arch goes.
Regarding coach K. I haven't said this much, but I was curious about the coach K hire. Granted, I believe he needs more time. But Sark hired him for the main reason that Coach K was the one coordinator who gave Sark the most difficulty prepping for. I'm not yet sure I follow that logic. We're talking Pac 12 defenses vs Pac 12 offenses. It's strange to me but I'd want to ask that question regarding what D coordinators challenged him most at Bama, not USC or Northwestern. Always wonder if it's easier to end up with a higher rated defense or offense for that matter, in a lesser rated conference?