Texas plays in a league where 10 teams run spread, west coast-y offenses designed almost entirely around avoiding sacks. Texas still led the country with 44 of them.
We are football fans in an era of almost unconscionable offensive production, one in which any QB who can make decisions faster than your average pot-head and has the roughly the accuracy of Shawn Kemp's sperm can throw for 3,000 yards. Just in case you forgot, our secondary consisted of two freshmen, four first year starters, and a LB
core corps that couldn't cover Plaxico Burress today.
We led the league in scoring defense despite playing, arguably, five of the best 11-12 offenses in the country. Texas football sported a pass rush for the first time since 1983. Players with potential turned into players who are good players. We still don't have anyone you'd call a good run stopper at LB, but do we really need one? Kansas had three and it didn't do them any good. The days of having gap filling LBs and trying to force 3rd and 5+ by stopping the run are over. These days it's about not giving up yardage 15+ at a time and waiting until you make a play to put then in a 3rd and 13. Pass rushers are even more valuable than they were 10 years ago.
Now that pretty much anyone can score, and the state of Texas will feed the conference QB's forever, you'd better be able to play defense. It's going to end up being the only thing that sets anyone apart. We're all going to have to adjust our expectations, though. It's not like 20 years ago, when shutouts weren't reason enough to close the office on Monday and take a holiday. These day's it's about holding teams that score 35 to 21. The fact that we gave up 16 total points to a couple of not horrible offenses is hard enough, but Kansas was actually good. Don't underestimate how hard that is to do to anyone in 2008.
College football is turning into what high school ball has been for years -- take your best athlete, put him at QB, take your next best athlete and make him your RB or WR. 6'4 260 guys who can run are TEs now. It's the new equalizer, and for the most part is has equalized.
There are maybe 1-2 real quality ends that come out of Texas each year. Aside from the curious Richetti Jones saga, and the OU brainwashing of RJ Washington, those kids go to Texas. Anyone can find a Todd Reesing, but Brian Orakpos are as rare as uneaten butter in the Mangino household. The game is about getting to the QB and there just aren't the athletes to go around.
The point is, give a coach like Will Muschamp players like we have and you set yourself apart from the pack. We'll probably never be more talented on the DL that this year, but we will certainly be better everywhere else. The big key now is hopefully getting Greg Davis to stick around. That guy sure is in high demand I tell you what!