This was a long time coming. Entering Saturday's bloodbath, the Texas offense had managed to put forth the season's worst effort (in terms of yards gained per play) against each of its previous three opponents (excluding I-AA S. Utah's performance against Wyoming). Against UCLA, the Longhorn O held true to its identity and shit itself all over its home field against a mediocre opponent.
Did the UCLA game surprise you? It shouldn't have. With few notable exceptions, Greg Davis's offenses have maintained a high standard of impotence at Texas. Remember that five-year stretch of epic limpdick against our biggest rival? Do you recall our long history of going fetal against any defense with a pulse? Offensive jackassery is par for the course under Greg Davis.
But this year has exceeded even the most cynical observer's (i.e. my) expectations. This year, the Texas offense isn't merely a flaccid wiener. No. The Horns have been fully Bobbitted. And I harbor no delusions that the cadre of nitwits overseeing this offensive offense are capable of finding Bevo's once-proud cock and sewing it back on the blubbering, hysterical castrati that is the Texas Longhorns offense.
A Little Context
Just how bad is the Horns' offense this season? Well, it's the worst offense that three of our four opponents to date have played. At least, according to any meaningful statistic. See for yourself:
1. Baylor (456, 7.0 YPP)
2. Northwestern (451 yards, 5.8 YPP)
3. UNT (420 yards, 5.3 YPP)
4. Texas (369 yards, 5.3 YPP)
1. Boise State (648 yards, 7.5 YPP)
2. Texas (389 yards, 6.1 YPP)
3. Air Force (445, 5.3 YPP)
4. S. Utah (384 yards, 4.9 YPP)
1. UNM (433 yards, 5.5 YPP
2. SMU (327 yards, 5.0 YPP)
3. Texas (320 yards, 4.1 YPP)
1. KState (377, 5.3)
2. Houston (360, 5.3)
3. Texas (349, 5.1)
4. Stanford (362, 5.0)
A few notes about those stats. None of the opposing defenses we've faced to date can even be considered "average," much less "good." In terms of YPP, Rice is #98, Wyoming ranks #111, Tech is #67, and UCLA comes in at #68.
Texas put up the worst numbers in terms of both yards gained and YPP against both Rice and Texas Tech. The University of North Texas, SMU, New Mexico, Baylor, Houston and Northwestern out-gained the Longhorns against their respective common opponent.
The Longhorns put up the second-to-worst performance against UCLA in terms of YPP and the worst in terms of yards gained. However, that stat is somewhat misleading. During the first half (when the outcome was still in doubt), Texas' offense averaged 4.14 YPP and was shut out. The offense scored its first points on a field goal nearly 13 minutes into the 3rd quarter. By that time, the game was 20-3 and pretty much out of reach. The offense had gifted UCLA 6 of those 20 points. In other words, through three quarters of football, the Texas offense had contributed -3 net points to its team's cause. Only a meaningless 80 yard-drive in trash time allowed the Horns to break the 5 YPP mark and win the moral victory of eclipsing Stanford in YPP-against-UCLA. I'm fairly certain Stanford, which beat UCLA 35-0, doesn't mind allowing Texas this meaningless notch on its belt.
The fact that opponents will look at the Texas Longhorns as their weakest competition during the 2010 season should make you nauseous. We're Texas, for Christ's sake. If the Texas game is not the most terrifying Saturday on the opponent's schedule, something's very wrong. That opponents actually look forward to teeing off on the creampuff Texas offense is evidence of gross incompetence.
Is Talent to Blame?
If you think the problem on offense is lack of talent, you're half right. Texas clearly has no playmakers on offense. But this doesn't excuse the coaches. In fact, it is just further evidence of their woeful job performance, for at least two reasons: (1) recruiting quality talent is part of their fucking job and (2) developing the talent on hand is another fucking part of their fucking job. The offensive staff has failed miserably at #1 or #2 or both.
The fact is that Texas has loads of talent on the offensive side of the ball. At least, according to recruiting rankings it does. The offense is littered with former 4- and 5-star recruits. The only starters on offense not ranked in the ESPN Top 150 are Britt Mitchell, Marquise Goodwin and Fozzy Whittaker. In other words, 73% of the starting lineup ranked among the bluest of the bluechips as high school seniors.
Lack of talent is not an excuse. Either the coaches have recruited inappropriately for the system they have in place (you should laugh at the mere suggestion that there's anything resembling a "system" in place) or they've simply failed to develop a very talented crop of players into a cohesive team. I personally believe the latter conclusion is the truth. The coaches have no ability to utilize talent. You could put this staff on a desert island with Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and a mountain of cocaine, and it would somehow manage not to get laid.
So What is the Problem?
This season's experiment on offense is a statistician's dream. We have a unique opportunity to determine, empirically, what portion of Texas's offensive success has been due to talent and what portion is attributable to Greg Davis's coaching acumen. The evidence so far paints a clear picture: without transcendental talent, Davis' offense is an anemic embarrassment. Merely good talent is not enough.
Davis requires either an uncanny improviser at quarterback (Colt), an NFL superstar-level running back (Ricky, Jamaal), or an overwhelming collection of NFL talent (Simms/Ced/Roy/Bo) just to field an offense that can compete with the mediocre defenses on our schedule. But even that level of talent hasn't been good enough to force our will on talented defenses. Under Davis, better-than-average performances against top defenses are only possible when a superhuman (Vince) is available to make lemonade out of Davis's lemon of a playbook.
In any other walk of life, where job security tracks merit, Greg Davis, Mac McWhorter, Major Applewhite and Bobby Kennedy would be shitcanned this week. As well they should be. Hell, Davis's firing is at least 8 years overdue. This is a bad staff, run by a proven moron. Unfortunately, as we all know too well, that moron is in the employ of his BFF. And he has a Broyles Award, single-handedly won for him by Vince Young and his patented "Oh-fuck-this-shit-coach-called-ain't-gonna-work-so-I'm-gonna-have-to-do-it-myself" offense, that he can point to as evidence of his purported achievements. So there will be no firings this week. Or next week. Or ever.
Brick, How Should I, as a Texas Fan, Feel Right Now?
Texas fans should be angry as hell right now. We're looking at a minimum of 3 losses this season - 4 is fairly likely -, and the offense will be almost 100% to blame for each one. An offense marshaled by the same coordinator whose unit is solely at fault for at least 3 OU losses, several lost opportunities to play for the Big 12 title, a loss in the Big 12 title game, and last year's near-disaster in the Big 12 championship and eventual loss in the national championship game.
Mack isn't afraid to make necessary changes. Muschamp is the 5th defensive coordinator in the Mack Brown era. Coach Brown even went so far as to demote his friend Duane Akina after the defense underperformed in the 2007 season. The Longhorn defense hasn't been perfect over the years, but, even at its lowest points, it never approached the level of incompetence and downright stupidity that Greg Davis has displayed. And yet, the fat man remains at the helm, continuing to cost Texas opportunities for glory - opportunities the team would easily cash in if only it had a competent offensive coaching staff.
You should be angry about that. And even angrier that nothing short of Mack's own departure will ever fix the chronic problem that is rotting the program from the inside.
Have a nice week, and try not to build your hopes up for the next couple of games. It ain't gonna be pretty.