I have a problem with some of these selections…
The Big 12 preseason All-Big 12 media teams are out and I wanted to share my thoughts on them. It’s my belief that the media tends towards a little bit of groupthink and may not always evaluate the factors that led to the prior year’s performance that typically inform preseason picks. I think this year is also fairly challenging at some positions as there isn’t clear differentiation.
I’m in the closing stages of writing and editing the 2018 Thinking Texas Football Preview magazine which will be available verrry soon. Needless to say, the process of writing and tons of extensive research from both public and private resources gives me a lot of time to think about Texas, our opponents and other important things.
Like recruiting. The Marques Caldwell commitment triggered me to expound on Tom Herman’s three star recruits.
Anytime there’s a rule change of significance in any sport (the 3 point line and defensive rules in basketball, pro-offense rules in football and the NHL), you learn to quickly distinguish which coaching staffs play checkers, which play chess and which struggle with rock-paper-scissors.
(…and how to get out)
Since 2010, Texas has been a .500 ball club. Or, more precisely, our 53-48 record makes us a .525 ball club. Let’s not short ourselves. Over those eight years, the Horns have posted four losing records, only one AP Top 25 finish and our best three year run occurred between 2011-2013 when Texas went 25-14. Since 2013, Texas is an execrable 23-27 (.460).
How’s that for a headline to excite or scare you? While Texas faithful are rightfully excited about the incoming 2018 freshman class, those true freshmen will be secondary factors (elite DB class pun intended) in 2018 season results.
If you want to understand Big 12 programs, observe how they recruit.
Baseball is an individual sport disguised as a team sport; football is a team sport guised as a unit sport. – Me, 2018
While it’s natural and useful to break down a football team by discrete units, game theory and tactics are always impacted by total team football considerations.
Draw a line from San Antonio to Galveston. Follow that line up the Louisiana border and take a hard left before the Arkansas border to Dallas. Now connect Dallas south to San Antonio. Color it all in. That rhombus drawn by a 2nd grader comprises less than 20% of the geography of the state and 95% of the football talent. So that’s what we mean by recruiting the state, with apologies to the good people of El Paso, Harlingen, Dumas and Buffalo Gap. What we really mean, more precisely, is that UT should recruit a small part of the state and then ignore vast swathes.
A sizable number of Texas football fans believe that the Longhorns need only recruit state of Texas athletes (> 90% or more) to maximize the program, supplementing occasionally with a few legacies, a sprinkling of JUCOs and the random who recruits himself to Texas. Homegrown recruits should certainly form the core of the program, but the perception of a healthy in state vs out of state ratio is skewed by prideful regionalism and a failure to appreciate the level of talent that can be acquired elsewhere. There’s also a lack of awareness of the practices of our peer institutions.