Austin, Tx- It was the year 1893. The year that Thomas A. Edison finishes his construction of the first motion picture, and a year that held true to the establishment of the first recorded college basketball game. It was a year in which Gandhi committed his first act of civil disobedience, and it was even the year that the United States Supreme Court declared that the Tomato is a Vegetable. Among all of these events in 1893 was a dynasty that was created in Austin, Texas. Now nearly 120 seasons later, the four time national champion Longhorns, full of experience and rich in talent, look to be in prime condition for the start of the 2012 season.
Texas has a history of signing elite players from all-throughout the nation, and the burnt orange colors can arguably be recognized just as much as any other collegiate team’s out there. Mack Brown is easily the highest paid coach of the NCAA, but the truth is that the Longhorns haven’t produced outcomes that would seem to be sufficient to the talent both in the staff and the players that is put into the program.
Mack Brown and his posse completed a disappointing 8-5 season in 2011 along with a 5-7 record the year before. Yes, the horns beat their rivals in College Station but if that was your goal as a team for the past few years then congratulations. There is still an overwhelming amount of pride though that comes out of the state capital city even when regarding the let down seasons. The fans are ready for a year once again that can make their dignity credible. This upcoming 2012 season looks to be one that can do that for the burnt orange nation, and while there are those who doubt the likelihood of that happening, the reality is that the opportunity for success is readily available.
For a start, Case McCoy and David Ash, both of which are coming back in 2012, completed a combined 187-319 passes. The two rising quarterbacks will be a tremendous help but the team needs to reduce the number of turnovers allowed. In 2011 the Longhorns had 26 turnovers, and while the defense produced 26 of their own it’s hard to counteract that for multiple seasons. Texas flashed obvious defensive talent last season as it was fourth in the country in yards per play allowed, and several key components to that defense are returning for at least another year.
Skeptics of the Longhorns progression over this summer lie in the idea that while they may one day be good once again, as for now this is a very young team. With that said though, ESPN’s Travis Haney quotes from an in-state coach that “We know what they’re signing every year…the players are there. It’s not like anyone expected them to stay down long. We hoped, but we never expected it.” Leading the young guns is the Texas native running back Johnathan Gray who was rated by ESPN as the number one running back in the collegiate draft class. He’s a player with a great blend of speed, and power that the longhorns hope will bring them back to the national stage.
The future football seasons will be ones of change and of opportunity with the several adaptations of the conferences, and a new format the fans have been waiting for that is highlighted by a playoff system. For the Longhorns it will be a test to see if the talent available matches the output. There is tremendous talent in the the Texas system and soon we will see if it proves to be successful once again at the national stage.