2011 Longhorn Football Preview
Longhorn repeat or Longhorn redemption: Texas football fights for respect
I’m not really into guessing final scores. After a couple of beers on game day, you can generally get a silly guess out of me—usually wrong (although I once won free barbeque for exactly guessing the Texas-OU score)—but otherwise I’ve learned that the football bounces in crazy directions sometimes, and there’s no reason to guess which way it will go or how often.
Instead, I prefer to think in broader strokes. Will we win big, have a tight game, or lose? I hate losing almost as much as Mack Brown. Frankly, I’ll bet I’ve watched Texas lose more often than Mack Brown. Those late 80s and early 90s were tough.
Last season was the worst, though. High expectations dashed to the ground by an unmotivated, almost disinterested team.
Texas has too much talent and too much pride, Texas leadership is too smart to allow the core to melt-down again.
The Longhorns will be good again, this year.
Not National Championship good, not Big 12 Championship good, but second tier Bowl good. I don’t think I’m being overly optimistic about this. It’s hard to imagine the scenario that brings this team to their knees again.
Texas has a brand new, young, enthusiastic and creative coaching staff. Yes, they’ve barely had time to learn the names of their colleagues kids or significant others, but Mack Brown is a master at leadership. If anyone can find ways to create a strong team among these new coaches, it is Mack Brown.
Texas will be good because of last year, not in spite of it.
Last season Brown described the team as immature, lacking motivation and playing with a sense of entitlement. Those kids are a year older now.
Garrett Gilbert’s dream turned in to his worst nightmare. These are not stupid young men. I fully expect Gilbert to recognize his own leadership failings and make changes. He didn’t win two state high school championships without learning some leadership skills.
The receiving corps should be good and might be special. These guys are fast and can run routes. And I can’t wait to see Malcolm Brown put on the Burnt Orange.
The Texas defense will be good, maybe very good. Despite needing another tackle or two, and needing to find cornerbacks, the talent level is deep and Coach Manny Diaz brings an enthusiasm and imagination that we should see on the field day one.
We fans, we hurt. The 2010 season left an unhealed scab and ripping it off would hurt, so we’re careful, not willing to go out there and hope.
Texas will be good because Mack Brown will not let them be anything less.
Brown is saying all the right things:
- “The coaches are making practice fun, and guys are working as hard as they ever have. The summer conditioning program was very good when you look at the results. The guys are stronger and in great shape.”
- “We're developing a level of toughness that we felt like we lost over the past couple of years through our very physical practices.”
- “The coaching staff is really coming together. I like what I see with them. They're very high energy and have great new ideas.”
- “It's a critical teaching time for us especially when we're putting so many things in, but at the same time it is working. The coaches amaze me how they teach the players, so I've been very impressed.”
Texas has too much talent and too much pride; Texas leadership is too smart to allow the core to melt-down again.
I know. We fans, we hurt. The 2010 season left an unhealed scab and ripping it off would be painful, so we’re careful, unwilling to go out there and hope too much. But maybe if we keep our expectations low, we’ll be okay.
Don’t fall into the trap.
The Longhorns will be good this year.
Keep saying it.
If you say it enough, you might start to believe it.