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The Morning After UTEP: Heard's the Word (by Chris Flanagan)


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Jerrod Heard didn't follow the Heard (pun intended) when it came to most quarterbacks in college football.

In this transfer era of quarterbacks, everyone is looking for a place to land. I don't blame these quarterbacks for doing it. If you want to make it to the NFL as a quarterback, you have to have game film of you playing the position. Considering there are so many success stories of players making it on rosters who barely played any college football, it's clear that many players just want to get seen on the field. Heard, on the other hand, found a way to help his team while switching into a position he is unfamiliar with playing.

Jerrod Heard was the winningest quarterback in Denton Guyer's history. In his final high school game, in the 4A Texas state championship at Cowboys Stadium, Heard ran for 146 yards and threw for 97 yards en route to a 2nd straight national championship.

After redshirting in 2014, he burst out onto the scene with record breaking 527 yards in his first start against Cal. You saw the game breaking ability of Heard in that game.

But multiple lackluster performances down the stretch led the Longhorns' staff to open up the quarterback competition for the 2016 season. Heard was definitely in the mix. However, an injury left him unable to play in the spring game which gave allowed true freshman Shane Buechele's ability and instinct to shine.

This left Heard a decision to make: either tough it out as the backup and wait for an opportunity to transfer or make the transition to another position. I would not have blamed Jerrod if he decided to stick as a quarterback and then transfer to another program.

However, he did what very few have done, stuck with the program. Loyalty is cheap nowadays, and in many cases, the lack of loyalty is justifiable. Millienials are growing up in an era of constant outsourcing and "downsizing" where their careers could be gone in a day. The instability leaves many constantly looking for the best opportunities while in their current situations. Maybe Jerrod decided that his best opportunity to make it to the NFL was as a wide receiver and wanted to see if he could seamlessly make that career change. Regardless, it's nice to see the ingenuity to adapt in the small marketplace of the 40 Acres.

Now that Heard has 2 touchdowns to his name and is the second leading receiver on the Longhorns, he can say that he made the best decision for the team and his future. Give the kid a ton of credit, because it's hard for any of us to accept a role that isn't what we desperately want in this life.

Other thoughts on Week 2 of College Football

  • Overall, it was a dull week. Not many good matchups, very few upsets, and little to any exciting action. Next week should be better.
  • After the TCU-Arkansas game, Bret Bielema is "so happy" to represent the SEC. Just be happy to represent Arkansas. This is what annoys people outside the SEC. It annoys me and my alma mater is in the SEC.
  • The Big 12 took a big hit as a conference on Saturday. I know I just wrote that you shouldn't root for a conference, but that doesn't mean I can't recognize a bad week in terms of perception. Oklahoma State lost on a Hail Mary lateral to Central Michigan. Texas Tech proved once again it has no defense as the Arizona State Sun Devils scored 68 points and their running back tied a NCAA record with 8 rushing touchdowns in a game. To top it off, TCU lost in double overtime to Arkansas. Not the greatest day for the Big 12.
  • So does that mean a Big 12 champion will be out of the college football playoffs? Unless there is an undefeated or 1 loss champ, yes. Even if there is a 1 loss champ, I doubt it will sway many of the voters of the CFB Playoff committee to vote in a Big 12 champion. Oklahoma has to beat Ohio State to show its a tough conference. The wild card is Houston. If they stay undefeated, they will get a playoff spot. That would mean two power 5 conferences are left out of the playoffs.
  • Tennessee, oh Rocky top. Down 14 -0 early, they rally back to win 45-24 at Bristol. Luckily they ended up winning comfortably because they did not look good at all.
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Hard to know exactly 2 games in as teams improve and regress, but things are looking good for the horns, the conference not so much. The 3 game span from Cal to OU is not the test that was expected at the beginning of the year. It will still be the 3 games that will determine how good this season will be for the horns. I don't see them as a playoff caliber team yet, but a high tier bowl game is not out of the question if this young team continues to grow. While OU beating tOSU would help this season, long term it would benefit the horns more if OU had a horrible season if only for recruting reasons. IMHO, next year and beyond is when we can realistically expect UT to be a playoff team regardless of conference strength.

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Hard to know exactly 2 games in as teams improve and regress, but things are looking good for the horns, the conference not so much. The 3 game span from Cal to OU is not the test that was expected at the beginning of the year. It will still be the 3 games that will determine how good this season will be for the horns. I don't see them as a playoff caliber team yet, but a high tier bowl game is not out of the question if this young team continues to grow. While OU beating tOSU would help this season, long term it would benefit the horns more if OU had a horrible season if only for recruting reasons. IMHO, next year and beyond is when we can realistically expect UT to be a playoff team regardless of conference strength.

 

I agree. 

 

The issue is that Texas's best win is Notre Dame so far. Now, many people after the Notre Dame game (i.e. ESPN talking heads) were asking questions like "Can Notre Dame still make the playoff?" 

 

Let's say Texas goes 10-2 and becomes Big 12 champs. Notre Dame is 11-1 with a loss to Michigan State. Should the Irish get into the playoffs? Also, is Houston still undefeated? This is a tough call and frankly why the 4 team playoff is not viable as a long-term solution. We are still making arbitrary determination on greatness when teams don't play each other like they do in college basketball. We should go to an 8 team playoff where all Power 5 conference champions are in, the highest ranked Group of 5 is in, ND automatically if they meet certain criteria (schedule strength, W/L, etc.), and 2 at-large teams (unless ND is in).  

 

Not that there isn't logistical issues to an 8 team playoffs. When would the quarterfinals be played? You could move traditional Thanksgiving day games a week up as well as not start the season on Labor day weekend. But that's likely not going to fly. Plus you have finals in December and the NCAA would want to keep that charade of caring about academics going for as long as possible. You could make those 1st game bowl days the quarterfinals (December 17th this year), using the Las Vegas, Orlando, Chicago, or other regional cities and wherever the top 4 teams are located, they go to those cities. Or make it a home game. Then keep the New Year's Eve/Day for the semi finals and then the finals two weeks later. It will get done, but there are issues. 

 

But I digress. Texas is good enough to get to a New Year's 6 bowl game. Can they execute to get to that level? Time will tell. 

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  • 2021 Texas Football Schedule

    Week
    Opponent
    W/L
    9/4
    Louisiana
    W 38-18
    9/11
    @Arkansas
    L 21-40
    9/18
    Rice
    W 58-0
    9/25
    Texas Tech
    W 70-35
    10/2
    @TCU
    W 32-27
    10/9
    Oklahoma
    L 48-55
    10/16
    Oklahoma State
    L 24-32
    10/30
    @Baylor
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    11/13
    Kansas
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    11/27
    Kansas State

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