With the regular season approaching its
end, it’s time for some housekeeping. Or maybe some crow-eating.
Let’s take a quick look back at each of
my columns from this season and see where I was right, where I was
wrong and where I was waaaay wrong.
David Ash: Just Doing His Job
This was written back when we were
still expecting Texas to be a very different football team. After
throwing for only 156 yards against Wyoming and 221 against New
Mexico, David Ash put up 326 yards and four TDs against Ole Miss and picked up a non-trival amount of Heisman hype (yes, that was
I thought that big performances from
Ash were not going to be necessary for Texas to win. I was mistaken.
Much of it was due to an anemic defense. Ole Miss is where those concerns began
in earnest. But the Horns were also coming off a shutout. Perhaps in
Big 12 play we would see this defense assert itself, as expected.
Over the next four weeks the defense
gave up 36 to Oklahoma State, 48 to West Virginia, 63 to Oklahoma and
50 to Baylor. It was apparent that Ash needed to be big for Texas to win. He had to do much, much more than just protect
So I was a bit off on that one…though
still a lot closer than when I said Garrett Gilbert would start every
game of the 2011 season.
Depth Chart Threat Levels
I’m generally comfortable with where I
set the “threat levels” for each position.
I’d lift running back out of “Low”
just because, despite strong performances from Joe Bergeron and
Jonathan Gray, the absence of Malcolm Brown has affected the Longhorn
running game. The biggest change I’d make would be at linebacker.
“Elevated” did not come close to describing the damage an injury
– say, to Jordan Hicks – would do at the position.
However, the least accurate part of the
column was the intro, which I spent bagging on an apparently
struggling Oklahoma team. Turns out, as the season progressed Oklahoma’s “lack of depth” did not become much of an issue. It
certainly didn’t on October 13.
Ah yes, a column from when many of us,
myself included, were still in justification mode. If the Texas
defense could just play together, everything will fall into
place. Easy. …Right?
Oh. No. Not right. Not right at all.
Still, the piece includes a gif of a
mulletted Luke Pohlmann at the Fiesta Bowl, instantly trumping any
negatives about the column.
The October 20th game in
Morgantown between West Virginia and Kansas State did not prove to be
a “de facto Big 12 Championship Game,” but the general concept of
the column remains true. Texas has been eliminated from the Big 12
championship race and Oklahoma still has a chance. Flip the result of
that meltdown at the State Fair and the current roles would be
So, Your Football Team Is Terrible
I had the most fun writing this one.
And I felt having the columnist slowly descend into madness as he
writes would be the most accurate way to represent how Texas fans
were feeling after that terrible, terrible game in Dallas.
The least accurate part of the
column was this minor point: “If the Longhorns only win two more games – and
with Kansas still on the schedule one’s already in the bag – then
Yankee stadium is their likely destination.” The Kansas game did
not prove to be so easily “in the bag.” It took a last-minute
drive with a fourth down conversion to beat the now 1-10 Jayhawks.
Also, scratch that note about “offer
does not apply to Alabama” in item No. 3.
Fundamentally the Same
Despite his job status being the
primary topic of the 2012 season, I haven’t written any other columns
about Mack Brown. I didn’t feel it was necessary. This summed it up my feelings on the topic.
And by the way, no Jeff Conner, I was
not wrong about Texas going on to win nine games this season. As I said, this
season isn’t fundamentally different from what we’ve seen in the
past. And that’s the problem.
Breaking Out of the Bottom Tier
Wrong. Completely wrong. I was wrong in
pretty much every way with this one. Texas did go on to beat Tech,
and it did not “change the story” of the 2012 season in any way.
I was so wrong because I structured the
story on the erroneous assumption that Tech was in the “top tier”
of the Big 12. Clearly, that is not the case.
Forever the Soul of Texas Football
A simple tribute to the great Darrell K
Royal, utilizing quotes from the man himself. No other column I wrote
this season received more positive reactions.
No other column I wrote this season
received more negative reactions.
Just an hour after the column went up,
the thread about it on the Inside Texas Members Only message board
was already at about 50 posts.
Wow, you guys just really do not want
anything to do with Texas A&M again, do you?
History Lesson: Texas and TCU
I enjoyed going through the record books and
looking up old stories on Texas and TCU games for this basic run-down.
Though in retrospect, a particular entry stands out: 1956: TCU 46,
There was no game more influential in
the hiring of Darrell K Royal than this one. Price was likely to step
down anyway after a rough ’56 season that saw the Horns finish last
in the SWC, but the Horns were at least competitive in most of their
games, including a 7-6 loss to West Virginia, a 10-7 loss at Baylor
and a 34-21 loss to No. 4 Texas A&M. But the blowout loss to
unranked TCU in the second to last game of the season caused Price to
tender his resignation as UT’s football coach. (Price stayed on at UT
for many years as a physical education professor and eventually
became assistant dean of students.) Could “2012: TCU 20, No. 16 Texas 13”
be similarly influential in the hiring of [insert next coach’s name]?