It’s our first edition of the Inside Texas Pressbox. Our staff gives predictions on the UT season in 2014, Big 12 champion, National Champ, and the Heisman Trophy winner. We also forecast Texas – North Texas at DKR on Saturday.
High quality prognostication from the staff at Inside Texas.
1) TEXAS WILL FINISH (record, w/ Big 12) AND (place in Big 12):
Eric Nahlin – (9-3), 3rd. Texas has enough talent to win the Big 12 but everything would have to go right. More likely, acclimating to new schemes and questions about depth will relegate Texas behind the likes of Baylor and OU.
Justin Wells – (8-5), 4th. Defense and a renewed emphasis on toughness will keep UT competitive in most games, but a lack of talent and offensive firepower means another trip to the Alamo Bowl awaits.
Ian Boyd – (8-4, 6-3), 4th. The Longhorns have an unfortunate schedule in 2014 that pits them against dangerous opponents early and then against the young teams that could be on the rise later. It’s a tough draw for a team with a lot of question marks.
Jesus Shuttlesworth – (8-4), 4th. UT has losses to UCLA, OU, Baylor, and Kansas State.
Mike Blackwell – (8-4), 3rd. I can’t envision the Longhorns beating Baylor or OU, but I think Strong’s team can beat everyone else (caveat: this prediction is based on David Ash’s health)
Bill Frisbie – (8-4), 4th. The first half of the season includes three games against Top 10 teams, not to mention BYU. The second half includes trips to K-State and
Texas Tech. It adds up to the Big 12’s toughest schedule. A better-coached team will at least match last year’s 8-4 regular season record against a much tougher slate.
Michael Pearle – (9-3), 3rd. The defense will keep Texas in every game, but a lack of explosiveness on offense finds the Horns coming up short in a couple of relative shootouts.
Clendon Ross – (8-4). I’m not certain that David Ash stays healthy. If he does, 8-4 will be a (slight) disappointment.
Sean Adams – (9-3), 3rd.
2) TEXAS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Eric Nahlin – RB Malcolm Brown
Justin Wells – QB David Ash. If Ash minimizes mistakes, eliminates risky runs, and plays within Watson’s scheme, he throws for 3000 yards and 20 TDs. That’s OPOY type stuff in this offense.
Ian Boyd – QB David Ash
Jesus Shuttlesworth – RB Malcolm Brown
Mike Blackwell – QB David Ash (caveat: this prediction is based on David Ash’s health)
Bill Frisbie – RB Malcolm Brown. It’s hard not to pick Johnathan Gray, and David Ash’s health means more to the season than whatever success Brown might have. But coaches have been forcing-the-issue for Brown to emerge as the offensive vocal leader. That should translate into more totes and a MVP season.
Michael Pearle – RB Johnathan Gray
Clendon Ross – RB Daje Johnson
3) TEXAS DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Eric Nahlin – DT Malcom Brown
Justin Wells – DB Mykkele Thompson. I think Strong and Bedford are the best things that could’ve happened to Thompson at this point of his life. He’ll play Nickel CB along with safety and feel he’ll flourish. He’s naturally gifted athlete, who I’ve been very critical of. This year, he proves us all wrong.
Ian Boyd – DT Malcom Brown
Jesus Shuttlesworth – DT Malcom Brown
Mike Blackwell – LB Jordan Hicks. (caveat: this prediction is based on Jordan Hicks’ health)
Bill Frisbie – DE Cedric Reed. This guy could be playing Sundays.
Michael Pearle – DE Cedric Reed
Clendon Ross – DE Cedric Reed
Sean Adams – DT Malcom Brown
4) TEXAS NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR:
Eric Nahlin – WR Armanti Foreman, WR. He will make enough plays where many would go with him but I’m not sure his role will be more important than Jason Hall’s.
Justin Wells – WR Armanti Foreman. Explosive, suddenness, quick twitch. Foreman is all of the above.
Ian Boyd – DB Jason Hall
Jesus Shuttlesworth – WR Armanti Foreman
Mike Blackwell – DB Jason Hall
Bill Frisbie – DT Poona Ford. Pass-rushing terror on passing downs in the 2nd half. Just watch.
Michael Pearle – Armanti Foreman (Off) & Jason Hall (Def)
Clendon Ross – DB Jason Hall
Sean Adams – DB Jason Hall
5) WHO WINS THE BIG 12, NATIONAL TITLE, AND HEISMAN TROPHY:
Eric Nahlin – Baylor. FSU – and not because I like them that much, I just think they’re a lock to make it into the playoff with that schedule. Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon.
Justin Wells – Baylor. Oregon beats FSU in NC, Marcus Mariota wins the Heisman.
Ian Boyd – Oklahoma. Alabama. It’s going to be painfully obvious how terrible it was to lose A’Shawn Robinson and Kiffin would have to struggle to blow it with all of Bama’s offensive talent. Hopefully not Bryce Petty cause that means he murdered us. I’ll take Melvin Gordon.
Jesus Shuttlesworth – OU. UCLA. SEC will beat each other up leaving a UCLA – FSU national championship. Brett Hundley.
Mike Blackwell – Baylor wins the Big 12. Florida State wins the national championship vs. a weaker-than-usual field in the Final Four…Marcus Mariota at Oregon wins the Heisman.
Bill Frisbie – Oklahoma. A Sooner letterman told me that he is “worried” because Texas finally has “a real coach,” and I like Texas’ chances against OU more than UCLA. It’s hard to imagine OU going a third straight season without a title, plus they get the league’s top teams in Norman. Florida State over Bama or Bamam over Florida State. I don’t care. I hate them both.
Michael Pearle – OU. Florida State and Famous Jameis Winston repeat in 2014.
Clendon Ross – Oklahoma, Alabama, a QB not named Jameis Winston.
Sean Adams – Baylor wins the Big 12. Alabama wins the NC. Marcus Mariota at Oregon wins the Heisman.
6) TEXAS – NORTH TEXAS PREDICTIONS:
Eric Nahlin – Texas will have a heavy foot on the gas from start to finish. UNT has too many holes to fill at all the wrong positions. It’s a very favorable match-up for Texas.Texas 44 UNT 13
Justin Wells – UT runs the ball consistently well, puts UNT in 3rd-&-long situations, and pulls away late after a sluggish start. Texas 34 North Texas 13
Ian Boyd – Aggressive defense provides turnovers and field position that covers an offense that’s far from a well-oiled machine. Texas 38 North Texas 10
Jesus Shuttlesworth – Texas 38 UNT 10
Mike Blackwell – Texas is going to release some frustration on the Mean Green from Denton. Texas 52 North Texas 13
Michael Pearle – The Horns keep it pretty conservative on offense, but the ground game wears down the undersized Mean Green D by the second half, resulting in a few late scores. As for the UNT O against the Horn D? To quote my man Robert Cray, “the forecast calls for pain. Texas 38 North Texas 10
Clendon Ross – That’s a WAG (wild ass guess). At this point, I don’t know what to expect from this Longhorn team. I think the offense will be relatively plodding and the defense will be stout, but given this new staff and a new approach, I’m not confident that what little we’ve seen of this team is enough to make much of a prediction. I guess I’ve been burned too many times recently by Mack Brown’s squads. Fingers crossed that this one is actually less hyped than it proves to deserve. Texas 38, North Texas 17
Sean Adams – Texas 45 North Texas 13
7) TEXAS NEXT COMMIT IS….
Eric Nahlin – I don’t see anything happening soon unless the staff moves on a 2015 late bloomer after seeing a couple of weeks of senior tape. A guy like Hunter Thedfordcomes to mind. Gun to head I’d say North Shore’s Tyler Moore but he’s not announcing until late October, at least if he has his druthers.
Justin Wells – Tyler Moore, 2015 (OL) GP North Shore *if it’s not a greyshirt, which I still think it might be
Ian Boyd – Justin Hicks, OH…Jk. Holton Hill (2015 DB, Houston Lamar), I hope.
Jesus Shuttlesworth – Chris Warren, 2015 (RB) Rockwall
Mike Blackwell – Vincent Dunning, 2015 (RB) Whitehouse
Bill Frisbie – See Eric and Justin’s answer.
Michael Pearle – See Eric and Justin’s answer.
Clendon Ross – Malik Jefferson (if wishing could make it so).
Sean Adams – See Eric and Justin’s answer.