Over at Better Off Red, our husker site, blogger Nate posted a top 25 for the coming year. After ranking the Big 12 offenses the other day I can appreciate the effort and research that goes into such a comprehensive list. Good job Nate.
Of course he ranks Texas 15 because of they aren't returning a starter at quarterback and most of the national champions the last ten years have had muli-year starters at quarterback (with some notable exceptions).
I would argue that many teams have also won national championships with quarterbacks who wouldn't start at Lake Travis. Nate is going by traditional pre-season wisdom which I hope I've made clear that I basically despise. It's easy to rate teams you aren't as familiar with by checking what they have coming back but it's not going to be a precise means of ranking teams.
Also of interest in his ranking of Texas is that it's behind the following 14 teams: North Carolina, Wisconsin, Oregon (no returning starter at QB), Arkansas, OU, Virginia Tech, Miami, Florida (no returning starter at QB), TCU, Iowa, Alabama (that's 4rth for the national champs if you are counting), Nebraska (hahahaha), Boise State, and....
Ohio State makes sense, honestly I would have trouble picking a champion at this point. He puts their odds at reaching the national championship at 60%. For all of you gamblers out there, no I don't have his phone number.
The optimism and hope for Nebraska emanating this year reminds me of their strong belief in the possibility of a home upset over Nebraska a few years ago in the season when Callahan was expected to put it all together. You remember that game right? The one where USC's tailbacks could have ridden tractors through the holes their line blew through the blackshirt defense?
I'm not sure what part of Ndamukong Suh's brilliance and what it's absence means Nebraska fans are missing but it is clearly significant. Then, I'm sure they are saying the same for us and Colt McCoy.
If you are looking for things to look for in fall practice Tipsy Gypsie has you covered with his post about Jackson Jeffcoat's weight gains in the summer program. Not running up and down a gym for several hours combined with frequent power-lifting and regular meals can make a big difference in a young man's body.
In fact, a gain of 20 pounds in that time is almost alarming. However, even if Jackson Jeffcoat were to fill out into a 290 pound player I think he could still be a dominant linemen because his footwork, striking, and overall technique can translate anywhere on the line. I'm sure he won't get that big though.
Dedfischer came back with a typical Sand Aggy post about chasing pigs and frontier life. He also makes some strong points about demographic changes in the US and the subsequent effects on Texas football at every level. You have to wonder if the sudden departure of human civilization from Detroit will have a negative impact on Michigan's dominance. California is routinely screwing themselves over with over-taxing.
My worry is that these people migrating to Texas will insist on the same idiotic Govt. intervention here that brought down their previous homes. I'm not betting on your average citizen understanding the chain of cause and effect that brought them to the sunlit lands.
So next time you read about all the growth in Texas' economy and population consider that the masses congregating in Rome was not the foundation of her success but the death of the Republic.
You can get another preseason preview of the Big 12 at One Foot Down. Two things of note here, 1). He lists Muschamp as Texas' edge over OU year in and out 2). He agrees with my assessment of Taylor Potts as a dead ringer for Teen Wolf.
Texas actually seemed to get over the hump against OU after Vince Young busted the ghosts in 2005. This was followed by the 28-10 defensive beatdown in 06, the 28-21 defeat in 07 where Texas played the game smarter and closer than any previous defeats, and then the last few victories. In those games Greg Davis actually revealed game plans and plays that had been hidden up to that point in the season and were often just what the doctor ordered for bringing down the OU D.
In 2007 Texas used a draw with Charles that had great success before Jamaal's fumble scared the coaches away from it along with another brilliant plan where they actually threw to JerMichael Finley.
2008 it was the 4-wide offense with Shipley devastating the middle of the field.
2009 Texas unveiled it's sweep-misdirection run that was barely a difference maker. This one is all Muschamp, S/T, and Colt being gritty.
Finally, here at BC we got an interesting take on the upcoming season from Scipio about the uneven distribution of talent in the matchups on the edge of the line. If you haven't read it you need to rectify that situation because I guarantee his point will have have a major impact on the season. Disrupting the main offensive strategy at the line is the surest way to get punts and turnovers.
I saw Predators. I rank it just behind the original and the Danny Glover sequel while safely ahead of AVP and AVPR. It's a fun theatre movie and if you enjoy the typical action-movie you won't be disappointed. Amongst the movie weaknesses are Adrien Brody's insistence on using batman voice the duration of the film and an end that won't actually do so.
You also get a trailer for the Expendables which looks like Stallone attempting to perfect the action-movie formula for one last cash influx. I thought his final Rambo picture took the original point of the film and demonstrated Stallone starting to catch up to his vision with his filmmaking. Which is the worst thing that could have happened.
We don't enjoy First Blood pt. II because it makes us think about the sacrifices of the soldiers and the country who forgot them, we enjoy it because it's mindless entertainment. Watching women and children run across rice fields strewn with mines before their captors are brutally shot down by mercenaries doesn't reach me as enjoyable and mindless entertainment. Not like watching Stallone destroy half the NVA from a helicopter and with explosive tipped arrows.
Hopefully this is rectified in The Expendables with a movie that doesn't try to teach us anything important about life. Except what mean expendable...