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View from the Cheap Seats-Alamo Bowl


echeese
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View from the Cheap Seats-Buffs return to Texas

Game review and season/off season wrap up.

 

One of the things bowl games bring is  hope for the following season.   It is a game where younger players who have often not gotten much playing time, get a chance to shine while giving the fans a glimpse of things to come.    This year’s Alamo Bowl game certainly gave TEXAS fans what they hope is a vision for the future though sadly, TEXAS has failed to deliver on that tease for 3 years in a row.   While not the “signature win” of the Sugar Bowl beat down of the Dawgs, this was easily one of Coach Herman’s Top 5 wins at TEXAS.  (OU, Dawgs, Utah and USC round our our top 5)  If there is one thing Tom Herman can do, it’s tease TEXAS fans with dominate bowl game performances.    

Sam deserved better.   Before we jump into the game, we wanted to take a minute and honor an absolute warrior who left everything he had on the field for his beloved Horns.   It sucked for him to have to leave what might have been his last game at TEXAS after the 1st half with a shoulder injury.    Sam is the man and leaves an amazing legacy of grit and toughness.  In a year of craziness both on and off the field, Sam showed real leadership all season as he has done over his 4 year career.  

Next to the word “electric” in the dictionary is now a picture of Bijan Robinson.  It did not take Bijan long to make his presence felt, on TEXAS’ first offensive play, he took off for 27 yards and largely did not look back from there.    He finished with 182 yards rushing (on only 10 carries) and a TD plus  2 receptions with a TD apiece.    In his last two games, he’s put up over 350 yards rushing and accounted for 6 TDs.  They hype for him in 2021 will be on overdrive.  

Not to be outdone, Casey Thompson started the 2nd half of the game and in a quarter and a half, out played Sam.   It began on the opening possession of the 2nd half where following a 66 yard 1st down run by Bijan, Casey hit Joshua Moore with a 13 yard slant on a perfectly thrown ball.     Casey would finish with 4 touchdown passes on 5 drives with one drive ending with a field goal.  For those keeping track of drive points (an important analytic) that is REALLY GOOD.   Along the way, only 2 of his 10 passes were not completed.   Though truth be told, he did hit a Colo DB in the hands for what should have been an easy INT.

OK, this was not a very good Colo team, comparable with WVU or TCU and clearly the weakest of the 4 bowl opponents TEXAS/Coach Mensa has faced in his tenure.   But it felt good seeing some young guys flash and winning is FAR SUPERIOR to losing when it’s all said and done.   Our only negative issue with the offense came at the end of the 1st quarter/2nd quarter where TEXAS went Punt, Miss FG, Punt Punt before hitting on a FG to close out the 1st half.   After 3 drives of moving the ball well, the offensive play calling seemed to go away from what was working back to what really had not worked all season.  Pretty much our only negative of the night.  ..again, other than Sam’s injury.

Flipping to the other side of the ball, TEXAS once again faced one of the top RBs in the nation. Broussard came in ranked #3 in yards per game averaging 6 yards a carry and was the Pac12’s offensive player of the year.   Mr Broussard would go home reaching half of his season averages.   Not the only time this year the TEXAS D has bowed up to the challenge of facing a Top flight RB and they have been up to the task each time.   The D held Colo to 10 points in the 1st half, their sole 1st half TD drive needed 3 TEXAS penalties (each for 1st downs) to get into the red zone.   Credit where credit is due, it’s clear as the season has progressed, Coach Ash’s young charges have played better each week.   Well except for the KSU game.       

Coach Y’s offense seemed to be regressing as the season wore on as the performances against WVU and ISU were tepid at best.   Bijan being unleashed the past two games seems to be the catalyst for a couple very good performances, again save that weird, revert back to what hasn’t worked all year play calling in the 2nd quarter.

The big question, which seems to be the same question every year, was a great bowl performance an indication “we’re back” or is it fool’s gold?    TEXAS loses a bunch of starters but candidly outside of Joseph Ossai and the Sam twins, this might be addition by subtraction.    Sorry not sorry if this offends the PC crowd but we had some serious problem children in the locker room who had a focus more on off the field issues than winning the conference.

Offensive player of the game:

BiJan Robinson with his 2nd amazing game in a row

Honorable Mention:  Casey Thompson leading TEXAS with 4 TD passes on 5 drives in just over a quarter of play

Defensive player of the game:

Alfred Collins.   Big man arrived in style, 6’5” 305 lbs and he goes vertical to block then intercept a Colo pass.   If you did not hear the quote, in a pre game interview, Coach Ash told Mike Golic Sr that he coached both Bosa brothers and Collins has the potential to be as good as they were.   BTW, both top 3 NFL picks

Stats that matter

4   Number of TD passes thrown by Casey Thompson in just over a quarter+ of work.  His 5th drive resulted in a FG

3   Average yards rushing by Colo/Pac 12’s player of the year RB Broussard who came into the game averaging 6+ per carry

4/221   TD/Total offense accounted for by true freshman BiJan Robinson

4-0   Coach Herman’s bowl record, best in TEXAS history

0-4    Coach Herman’s conference titles

 

Game Highlights

 

Season Review

No other way to spin this, season was a failure.   With the best talent in the conference lead by a senior QB and an All American pass rusher, TEXAS failed to win the conference.   In fact with a CCG berth on the line, TEXAS choked behind their worst offensive performance of the year, sadly squandering what was likely the best defensive performance of the year.    And it was set up perfectly for TEXAS this year as OU dropped 2 games early and could have been eliminated from conference contention.    Instead, the Sooners would win their 6th conference title in a row and in the BigXII’s quarter century year, OU would win the conference 14 times.    Depressing to type. 

So the $64,000 question for CDC is what to do with Coach Mensa.   Recruiting has dropped from a potential Top 10 class down into the high teens.  Rumors of negative recruiting from inside the locker room float about.   Has anyone seen anything that makes you think CTH is somehow going to improve in 2021 with a brand new QB who hasn’t thrown 25 CFB passes?    So does TEXAS’ administration opt for a “dead man walking” type season in 2021 or do they pull the trigger with a list of prospective new head coaches, all of whom come with question marks.   Well except for Urban Meyer who still is teasing perspective suitors.    

There is a very good chance, CTH is at the helm again in 2021. We don’t like the idea but we also have not gotten a call from CDC asking for our opinions either.    Recruiting is already trending towards “meh”. . . .TEXAS only has 3 pledges of the state’s Top 25 and 7 of the Top 50, zero of them are offensive linemen.  Meanwhile the Aggies and thieves of land would each nab 5 of the Top 25 in state recruits and each enjoys a Top 10 class (measured by average star ranking).  

Quick summary of the potential hires CDC might consider if he pulls the trigger:

Urban Meyer-everybody’s dream date to the prom.   After him, everyone else comes with question marks.

Brian Kelly-Clearly knows how to get to the playoffs, question is why would he leave Norte Dame?  

Mike Campbell-The fair haired boy of the BigXII, just finished Iowa State’s best 4 year run in their history.   A clear upgrade over CTH (who isn’t at this point)    Can he recruit and coach well enough to unseat OU as conference champs?   Damn near did so with ISU talent

Mario Cristobal-Just won his 2nd Pac 12 title.   One of the best recruiters in the nation and an outstanding offensive line coach with ties to Nick Saban.   Odd he is getting so little play here as after Urban and Kelly, has the best resume of any of the candidates.

Steve Sarkisian   Proved his recruiting and coaching chops as he pulled a moribund UDub program out of the ashes (0-12 the year before he got there).   Spectacular flame out at his next stop of USC due to drinking.   Re building his career at Bama and coaching a great offense, perhaps Bama’s best of the Saban era though face it, he’s working with more offensive talent than anyone not named Dabo.

Luke Fickell   Group 5 darling doing great things at Cincinnati.   Our issue, group 5 coaches generally flame out making the leap to Power 5

Hugh Freeze     Great success at Liberty, good success at Ole Miss.   But recruiting violations and hiring escorts for players/recruits might seem a major negative to many.

Tony Elliott    Who????    The offensive coordinator at Clemson.    He’s this year “hot name” though he’s never worked outside of South Carolina and has only called plays for a year or so.   

James Franklin    OK, we should have hired him over Charlie Strong.   Not that we think much would be different though we would not have had the worst 3 year run in our history.  Has not really challenged for the B1G title, to us, he’s CTH 2.0.   

Or CDC can play the cards he’s dealt himself and we re-do this exercise in a year with basically the same mixed bag of candidates.

 

Ranking the Big XII coaches

 

#1  Lincoln Riley

#2  Matt Campbell

#3  Mike Gundy    very nice bowl win over Miami

#4  Gary Patterson    great talent evaluator and developer

#5   Tom Herman     kinda by default

#6   Neal Brown    Look for him to climb

#7  Chris  Klieman    Long been a fan of his work

#8 Less Miles    Mostly on the back of his work at LSU

#9  Dave Aranada   

#10  Matt Wells   

 

Playoff projections

Bama spanks ND

Clemson spanks tOSU

Bama over Clemson in what shapes up to be a great game.

Fighting Mack Brown’s

Top 2 RBs opted out which is a bummer as we wanted to see UNC run aggies out of the building.   Still a really good test and we pick Mack Brown in a close game. . . .hey, we love Mack, despise aggie and we’re shameless homers.

 

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3 minutes ago, primal defense said:

CDC is not in charge. He's along for the ride which is good. If he were he would either want to keep Herman or hire Franklin or Mario.

 

OK

 

So who is in charge?   

 

Franklin?  No way, Herman 2.0

 

I think Cristobal would be outstanding.   Immediate bump in recruiting and improved OL coaching

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2 hours ago, echeese said:

 

OK

 

So who is in charge?   

 

Franklin?  No way, Herman 2.0

 

I think Cristobal would be outstanding.   Immediate bump in recruiting and improved OL coaching

BMDs and regents. I usually like for the AD to make the decision since he should be a football guy. However, in CDC's case hearing he either wants to keep Herman or hire Franklin or Cristobal changes that for me.

When Franklin was a finalist seven years ago the info on him wasn't a okay coach, but a great recruiter. Probably the only chance to win a NC with him is if we get another VY.

I agree that Christobal is a great recruiter and OL coach. However, I don't think he has a strong enough resume. He's only in his third year at Oregon and they started slow this year..

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On 12/31/2020 at 9:35 AM, Eastexhorn said:

Greatpost due to money either get Myer or keep Tom no other choice.

IMO Texas does not have best talent in conference OU does as much as it pains me. Texas has only player on offence who might start for OU..

If we are not #1 in talent, we are not far from OU.    If ISU can beat OU, why can't we?

 

On 12/30/2020 at 7:41 PM, primal defense said:

BMDs and regents. I usually like for the AD to make the decision since he should be a football guy. However, in CDC's case hearing he either wants to keep Herman or hire Franklin or Cristobal changes that for me.

When Franklin was a finalist seven years ago the info on him wasn't a okay coach, but a great recruiter. Probably the only chance to win a NC with him is if we get another VY.

I agree that Christobal is a great recruiter and OL coach. However, I don't think he has a strong enough resume. He's only in his third year at Oregon and they started slow this year..

If BMDs and Regents are making the call, then what are we paying CDC $2 million a year to do?

 

Cristobal has a G 5 conference title and now 2 Pac12's.    This side of UM and Kelly, he has the best resume of any candidate.

My concern, none of our options are going to be much different after 2021, you may get another "flavor of the day" but in hindsight, that is all CTH ever was.   Our recruiting will continue to slide, we've already gone from Top 10 to very high Teens and likely into the 20's for 2021.

Our biggest needs are recruiting, OL development/recruiting and playing championship D.   Mario checks boxes 1 and 2.   If he wanted to keep Ash, good with me.

 

 

 

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Eastexhorn said:

Why cann't we beat OU. IMO OU has had better QBS for last ten or soyears. 

Not to mention better coaching. And proably better over talent that was used to best ability.

And yet we were in position to win every game under Herman with OU save the CCG.

They have been much better coached, especially on defense than we have been.

Keeping CTH simply kicks the can down the road for another year and further reduces our talent levels with our 2022 class.

 

 

 

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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
    L 24-31
    11/6
    @Iowa State
    L 7-30
    11/13
    Kansas
    L 56-57 OT
    11/20
    @West Virginia
    L 23-31
    11/27
    Kansas State
    W 22-17

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