srr50 had some thoughts about Texas in the Big 10 which was followed by a lot of discussion on various "super conference" possibilities. I'm all in favor of changes that result in college football structure in which the best teams can face each other on the field. It's bizarre that this hasn't happened because in the most obvious sense, that's the way to make the most money.
Junior day has seen 3 commits so far. Jaxon Shipley seems like a better take than Case McCoy as he has shown more on the field at this point. Chet Moss is a speedy outside linebacker from Cedar Park so I've got his back regardless of his talent. I can tell you that Cedar Park plays base 4-3 cover-2 all the time almost regardless of circumstance.
I remember attending the Cedar Park/Leander game in Blake Gideon's senior year and finding myself extremely frustrated when, facing a 2 score deficit with about 6 minutes remaining, Cedar Park stayed in their 2-deep base defense as Blake Gideon ran the zone-read down the field and swallowed the clock. I was almost screaming for an 8-man front as the Free Safety, who was never going to throw a deep pass that could threaten a cover-3, marched down the field.
Finally Cedar Park shifted into a 9 man front, the safety immediately blew outside containment Leander scored a touchdown to put the game away.
All that said, Cedar Park has been producing some good linebackers the last few years, Moss is the first with Texas speed.
It feels like gluttony to want any more top defensive recruits, at least until you imagine the senior year of a given class or think back on a year like 2007 on defense. The only pressing need is at corner where Texas will be starting over after the Browns graduate and Williams leaves early. From this perspective the Chet Moss take is a little more questionable but I'm assuming Muschamp gave him the stamp of approval. Leroy Scott is the most important target in my mind but I wonder now, like Scipio, if Muschamp would rather move towards zone-coverage after all these bump-and-run guys graduate.
Mark Schlabach provides us with the main position battles for spring ball in the Big 12. For Texas he lists defensive line. I'm not sure if Texas will use the buck position this season because the two best ends, Acho and Jones, aren't really Buck players. Okafor is a possibility but he'll have to pass up Jones. Dravannti Johnson seems to fit the bill in description, but again while these guys may offer the flexibility to switch from the 4-3 to the 3-4 I don't know if they'll pass up Jones and Acho in pure pass-rush ability.
Replacing Houston is another issue altogether. I'm excited about Kheeston Randall at nose-tackle after another year in S&C and learning from a season's worth of tape. Calvin Howell is really the only other name coming up for the 3-tech spot and I'm having trouble seeing it. If we do end up with Howell and Randall I'm hoping that either Randall can start beating double-teams and pressuring up the middle (ala Roy Miller) or that the ends are so dominant that it doesn't matter.
We should all be delighted that OL is amongst OU's top concerns for next year. It was a delight hearing from OU fans last season who thought the offense would be fine without Jon Cooper, Duke Robinson and Phi Loadholt. Hey, where did the running game go?
Rick Barnes has some almost encouraging comments about J'Covan Brown and the Nebraska game. Basically that Brown will start because of "a more diligent approach to practice". I'm sure being the only lead guard on the team who can create in this offense had nothing to do with it. He also said that either Balbay or Mason will be in the game at all times because of their "toughness", which I read as "defense". I can probably live with that as it will certainly help the offense some and Balbay isn't a guy you want to remove from your rotation because his defense is so excellent.
But then, I've given up on a final four berth or really anything beyond a sweet sixteen appearance. "I don't care, I'll eat this cat poop."