Well that went about as well as Texas fans could've hoped for.
Most of the credit is going to Muschamp for closing strong and while I'm not in the war room with the staff the correlation between Muschamp's arrival and Texas closing hard on national recruits and OOS guys makes a strong case. If he can combine Mack's early commitment process with these closing skills we're all in for a stronger follow-up than the Akers Era.
The class started with Connor Wood and needs to finish with the next great Texas closer. Kris Stockton, Dusty Mangum, Ryan Bailey, Hunter Lawrence and...Will Russ? In all seriousness, late kicks have secured big victories in a Big 12 title, Rose Bowl, at Oklahoma State, and at Nebraska (that's just off the top of my head). Having a guy who's reliable inside the 30 is a tremendous weapon for a college squad.
The major grab by Texas was still not deemed enough for ESPN to rank the class higher than Florida, though it might be a strong $incentive for Muschamp to stick it out until Mack leaves. He won't have better tools for his schemes anywhere else. Additionally, it seems Meyer's instability (and I can only guess the departure of Strong) was very influential in securing Hicks for Texas.
It's really amazing though that one of the most celebrated HS linebackers in Ohio's history didn't attend Ohio State, famous for producing NFL linebackers, in order to attend Texas which has produced exactly two famous LBs. Truly a major recruiting victory. When I see Hicks smiling at his press conference I'm imagining Tressel staring at the field with his arms folded after watching Hicks stuff Power-O right for the 5th consecutive time...it's a rewarding mental image.
Speaking of defeated foes, Oklahoma or vindictive Texas fans can watch Berry Tramel reminisce the old glory days with Barry Switzer back when the Snake would slither across the Red River with impunity.
Finally, despite all the attention I believe it's most likely that we won't hear much from Mr. Hicks or Mr. Jeffcoat in their freshman seasons because there is still a lot of experienced talent ahead of them. Ousting Keenan Robinson or Emmanuel Acho from Outside linebacker will be a serious task while two 5 star defensive ends and Sam Acho are currently ahead of Jeffcoat. On the other hand, they both have a good chance of avoiding the redshirt and earning spots on the 2-deep and/or in situational spots as pass-rushers.
ESPN's gameday crew breaks down the Baylor vs. Texas matchup and provide the kind of analysis that comes from actually following the teams and not providing basic axioms like "the team that can shoot at a high percentage will be the team that gives themselves the best chance to win" or other such drivel. On a side note, my favorite analysis I've heard was in regards to Chauncey Billups, "Chauncey Billups has an innate sense of knowing when to provide his team with offense!". Yeah I have that too, it's called the scoreboard.
Last year, in the Big 12 tournament, Baylor secured their first victory over Texas since 1998 (you can read Trips Right's sad recap here). A 23 game winning streak which featured an incredible come-from-behind effort with Kevin Durant utilizing the full-court press in the conference tournament, as well as some OT wins and a 1 point victory. That program has slowly snuck up despite a setback with that scumbag Dave Bliss with Australian guards and cast-offs till now when they are fielding a truly athletic team. This has become a big game for Texas as a resume builder, means of controlling basketball within the state that Barnes has dominated, and a big step in establishing an identity as a team, hopefully as conference champions.
Tip-off is at 3 CST in the facility Chip Brown has begun to derisively refer to as "the hum-drum".
It's time to present John Calipari's "jagoff of the week" award to New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams for his comments about landing some "remember-me shots" on Peyton Manning. Now, it's possible that he wants the Colts to prepare and ready themselves for the kind of blitzing the Saints threw at Favre, but even more likely that he's simply an idiot reading press clippings about how his team won the game by brutalizing Favre.
Let's review some quick stats that occurred while the Saints blitzed and landed their shots on Favre (including a few illegal and uncalled shots):
1). The Vikings converted 7-12 3rd downs
2). Threw for 310 yards
3). Accumulated 475 total yards
4). Ran for 165 yards
People who claim that the Saints pressure resulted in the turnovers or victory are deceived. The fumbles came from sloppy ball-handling, one interception the league admitted should have been called back on an illegal hit and the 2nd was a vintage Favre play thrown into coverage (really do any Favre interceptions need to come with some kind of explanation?).
Furthermore, a much better blitzing team took their shot last week against Peyton Manning and were destroyed by an epic playoff performance. Do you think Peyton Manning is lying awake at nights dreading the Saints pressure packages and hits? More likely he's going over the most lethal way to punish them for each instance of recklessness. There has never been a worse quarterback to blitz than Peyton Manning and I'm not sure he's played at a higher level than now.