Football

Column Review

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

September 19

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

a thing).

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

the football.

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

September 26

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.

Feedback Loop

October 3

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.

Elimination Time

October 10

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

reversed.

So, Your Football Team Is Terrible

October 17

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

October 24

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

October 31

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

November 7

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.

Embrace It

November 15

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

November 21

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,

Texas 0

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]?