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January 28, 2013
I'll be the first one to tell you that I don't know how to predict what in the world is going to happen with the Longhorn football program in 2013.
Whatever happens, we all know that David Ash's fingerprints will be all over it. His development will either take the Longhorns over the next bridge in their return to national prominence or the complete opposite. What we know is that the Longhorns have been their absolute best under Mack Brown when they've had elite, not good, but elite quarterback play.
Therefore, I thought we'd lead things off this week with some perspective on the quarterback position in the last 20 years of the program. The results are a little surprising, so let's get right to it.
David Ash (Through his sophomore season: 25 games, 18 starts)
313 completions/492 attempts/3,778 yards/23 TD/16 INT (1.35 TD-INT ratio)
137.043 quarterback rating
244 yards rushing/3 TD rushing/1 TD receiving
Major Applewhite (Through his sophomore season: 24 games, 22 starts)
445 completions/761 attempts/6,835 yards/39 TD/20 INT (1.95 TD-INT ratio)
145.577 quarterback rating
-106 yards rushing/0 TD rushing
James Brown (Through his sophomore season: 20 games, 14 starts)
243 completions/437 attempts/3,757 yards/31 TD/14 INT (2.21 TD-INT ratio)
144.826 quarterback rating
263 yards rushing/3 TD rushing
Colt McCoy (Through his sophomore season: 26 games, 26 starts)
493 completions/742 attempts/5,873 yards/51 TD/25 INT (2.04 TD-INT ratio)
148.872 quarterback rating
662 yards rushing/6 TD rushing
Chris Simms (Through his sophomore season: 16 games, 6 starts)
86 completions/153 attempts/1,287 yards/10 TD/8 INT (1.25 TD-INT ratio)
137.979 quarterback rating
-49 yards rushing/0 TD rushing
Vince Young (Through his sophomore season: 24 games, 19 starts)
232 completions/393 attempts/3,004 yards/18 TD/18 INT (1.00 TD-INT ratio)
129.195 quarterback rating
2,077 yards rushing/25 TD rushing
Thoughts: The bottom line with the quarterback position is that the Longhorns have only received pretty good play at best from the position when the players have been in their underclassmen years and it doesn't matter who we're talking about. McCoy had the best combined numbers of the group, but the truth of the matter is that his combined 148.83 rating through his sophomore season would have ranked 25th in the country this season. All of the players outside of Ash that have already finished their careers made significant progress in their developments going into their junior seasons, so I don't think anyone is a sunshine pumper for thinking that we haven't seen Ash's true ceiling as a player yet.
It's pretty much science.
No. 2 -Scattershooting on the Longhorns?
? All in all, you'd have to say that Marquise Goodwin had a hell of a week in Mobile. If he blows it out of the water at the combine, it's possible that he'll end up being a top 75 pick according to two scouts I spoke with this week, which would make him the highest drafted wide receiver for the Longhorns since Limas Sweed was drafted with the 53rd pick of the 2008 Draft.
? I'm not one of those guys that is ever going to bash Bryan Harsin? ever. I think he did some really good things and I think he did some not-so-good things, but he was dealt an off-suited 10/2 when he arrived into town and that can't ever be forgotten. That being said, he caught seven passes in his final seven games before the Alamo Bowl, which is about as many as he caught in the first drive of the game in Mobile on Saturday. How in the world did he touch the ball one time in the passing game in losses to Oklahoma, TCU and Kansas State, and only three offensive touches overall in those games?
? I just can't get over those numbers.
? "Wow" Moment of the Weekend: "Everybody has him in the top ten," Russ Lande of the National Football Post said. "He's a ball-hawking safety that can come up and hit and tackle. He's the real deal. I wouldn't be shocked if Detroit - if there's no elite pass-rusher there - Detroit at No. 5 may take him. He's really good." A first-team All-Big 12 pick in both 2011 and 2012, Vaccaro amassed 107 tackles as a senior and recorded five career interceptions.
? Man, I just don't know what to make of Sedrick Flowers, but I find it interesting that few seem to be counting on him emerging as a starting-level player in 2013, as he enters his junior season. Two seasons ago, the coaches were talking about this kid as a future star and now he seems to be completely out of the discussion with the commitment of Desmond Harrison at tackle. My first thought is that it's a sin that Flowers didn't redshirt in 2011, but you can pin that on a jacked up offensive line situation. My second thought is he better get his butt in the weight room and make a new level of commitment because it's not happening right now at the current rate.
? Don't count out Dom Espinosa. It's going to be asking a lot for Desmond Harrison to come in and play at a high enough level in a month of practice in August that he's ready to take on a starting role at left tackle. It could happen and probably will happen, but it doesn't always happen like that. Meanwhile, Espinosa is as much of a grinder as anyone on that line, so I know that he's going to have a chip on his shoulder in the off-season.
? It's important to note that I don't think Espinosa is the weak link of the line as much as he's the smallest guy on a line that the Longhorns want to make much larger. There's a lot about his skill set that is better than those around him more secure in their spots.
? If there's a guy on the line that needs to feel a little heat, I'd pick Mason Walters. He has one season left and he hasn't taken the step from ok to above-average yet. This was a cat that I thought was headed for greatness and instead he's been just a shade better than Tray Allen.
? Two stats you didn't know: No Big 12 defensive tackle has recorded more tackles for loss in the last two seasons than Dorsey has in the last two seasons. No Big 12 defensive tackle recorded more tackles for loss in 2012 than Dorsey's 10. I don't even know if the Texas SID office knows those two little tidbits.
No. 3 - Recruiting randomness?
? Read my lips: As long as A'Shawn Robinson sticks with his verbal pledge, the 2013 recruiting class is just fine.
? The last time people were worried about a Longhorn recruiting class, it was back in 2005 when the Longhorns signed only 15 players and everyone was freaking out a little because of the success a second-year A&M coach was having in recruiting. The Aggies' class ranked 8th and UT's ranked 20th back in 2005. The rankings as of right this moment? A&M ranks 8th and the Longhorns rank 18th. True story.
? I don't have a lot of nitpicks of the final 2013 Rivals rankings, but the lowering of Tyrone Swoopes within the Rivals rankings fails the smell test as far as I'm concerned. Considering every Rivals recruiting guy watched him up close for multiple days this summer and came away thinking he was still a nationally elite kid, I'm curious what changed. He's still the same high-upside, high-ceiling player that he was this summer and the same need of time for development still exists. Ultimately, I understand why everyone is nervous about the young man, but his tool box has more stuff in it than a lot of the peers ranked ahead of him. A four-star ranking is still nothing to sleep on, but I completely disagree with essentially dropping him out of the top 33 in the Lone Star State. For instance, I love Jake Raulerson, but if I could only take one guy at the next level, I'm not wasting time to blink before I make a decision in picking Swoopes? yet Raulerson ranks 14th in the state according to Rivals. That's not to say they have Raulerson in a bad spot, it's that Swoopes needs to be ahead of him in any in-state rankings.
? The highest-rated player in Texas according to Rivals is Mike Mitchell, a player the Longhorns didn't offer. File that little note away because my guess we'll hear it a lot in the coming years, so just prepare yourself.
? By my count, the Longhorns only offered 17 of the top 33 players ranked in the Rivals.com Texas Top 33.
? If Larry Porter is the guy we think he is, he'll get Leonard Fournette on campus at some point. There's no reason Texas shouldn't be at least a mini-player in this deal with upside.
? The nation's No.1 running back is Derrick Green out of Richmond, Virginia and he committed to Michigan, which is noteworthy, but not the No.1 think that stood out about the decision. The report that Brady Hoke cried when he learned the news ranks in the top spot. Come on, Coach. You think Saban cries?
No.4 - I love winning. You know? It's better than losing ?
The Longhorns are off the schnide. The men AND the women. Yeah, it really happened. The combined 12-game losing streak in conference play by both of the basketball teams on the 40 Acres is finally over, even if it took a month to get there.
The men drop-kicked Texas Tech by 16 at home and the women one-upped them in blasting the school that usually serves at kryptonite to all things burnt orange by 19.
The most beastly performance of the day and perhaps the biggest glimmer of hope for the future of the women's program was the 20-point, 16-rebound performance by sophomore Nneka Enemkpali. Not far behind her was the 18-point, 11-rebound effort by freshman Imani McGee-Stafford. I'm not going to pretend that I've spent much time thinking about the women's program this season and I couldn't pick Enemkpali or IMS out of a line-up, but there appears to be some ray of light for the future upon inspection of the box-score.
Without knowing much else, it would seem like this team needs a few bad mamma jammas at the guard position.
As for the men, they did a lot of nice things all at once in taking out a pretty wretched Texas Tech team? a wretched Texas Tech team that came into the game with two more conference wins than the Longhorns (and you and I for that matter).
Now both teams need to use their wins as a building block, rather than some random anomaly. It's easier said than done because better teams and tougher venues await both? constantly. However for day the world was all smiles in the Longhorn basketball universe.
It might seem like a fairly weak silver lining, but at least rock bottom didn't include both teams losing to the outfits they took on Saturday.
No. 5 - Let the circus activity begin?
Super Bowl week has arrived and not a moment too soon because I'm trying to get away from Days of Our Te'o or General Te'o Hospital as quickly as I can.
I still feel the same way about the game today as I did last week, which means my head says I should pick the Niners, while my heart says I should pick the Ravens. It's a game that could go either way and it's one that will likely come down to the final five minutes.
I'm still sticking with the Ravens winning 29-27 on a Justin Tucker field goal in the final minute.
Of course, the game is being played in New Orleans, which means absolutely anything is possible in the next seven days. At some point this week, I expect the Ray Lewis murder thing will become a central topic (as it probably should), I expect Terrell Suggs to say something talk-worthy on Media Day and I definitely expect us to get tired of the game being referred to as the HarBowl.
But, I think this week is going to be a lot of fun.
From the bottom of self-loathing Cowboys fan soul, all I can say is, "Go Ravens!"
No. 6 - NBA randomness?
? The best thing that happened all weekend was this. LeBron really does make it hard on folks to hate him.
? Down goes Rondo! Down goes Rondo! The Celtics are going to need to lean on some very tired legs down the stretch this season with their best player down with an ACL tear. My Sixers might make the playoffs when it's all said and done.
? I think we just saw the very best of the Los Angeles Lakers 2012-13 season on Sunday. I just don't know if they'll have a moment better than that all season.
? Am I crazy or has Kobe Bryant just learned that passing the ball can be cool in the last two games?
? Call me crazy, but I think Royce White makes a ton of sense in talking about the need of teams to have both team trainers and team psychologists available to help make decisions on the health of its players. I had a chance to speak with former Houston GM Carroll Dawson this week and he told me that having a psychologist on staff isn't something normal for the NBA. If White's having an anxiety breakdown, a specialist in the field should be helping make decisions on whether he can play and not some guy that tapes ankles. White is absolutely on the right side of this discussion about anxiety/mental stress issues and the seriousness that the subject matter presents, but he's not a sympathetic figure in interviews at all becomes across so strong (and almost cocky at times). It's a complicated discussion and I'm glad that his situation is giving us a reason to have a serious discussion, but he needs to take some acting classes.
? A lot of you thought I was bonkers for picking Damian Lillard as my Rookie of the Year at the start of the season. Hell, I might get that one right when the vote comes in because he's the front-runner right now, although Anthony Davis looms.
? Am I a heartless SOB for not caring at all that Sacramento lost its basketball team to Seattle. The NBA just upgraded.
? Tony Parker is an honorary Texan at this point. No Frenchy would come back from the shot he took on Friday night and come back later in the game and serve up a can of whup-ass like he did.
No. 7 - If it's free, I'll take three ?
The return of the UFC to the free airwaves of Fox didn't provide the sexiest card in the history of free elite-level MMA, but I'm not complaining at all. It was two hours-plus of action that gave us a little bit of everything in terms of action and storylines.
A new superstar might have been created with a knockout kick to the gut of Cowboy Cerrone. Say hello to Anthony Pettis, if you hadn't met him prior to Saturday night. That joker is bad.
There was an aging star losing convincingly, but fighting like a warrior until the end in his swan song, while some guy that might be an even badder Big Tex than Mark Teixeira starred in his first real introduction to major UFC action. .
And in the main event I was thoroughly entertained by two human sugar gliders, who fought like men twice their size, but at twice the speed for 25 minutes.
Like I said, I'm not complaining at all. I was entertained.
Three more things?
1. Pettis looked like a flat out baller in his destruction of Cerrone. Learning that he beat Benson Henderson a few years ago makes me want to see him in some bigger fights, maybe even a re-match against Henderson this year.
2. I can't say I knew much about Glover Teixeira before Saturday night, but he's a guy I'm looking forward to watching in the future. Maybe against the winner of the Lyoto Machida/Dan Henderson fight? I'm just thinking out loud.
3. I thought Mighty Mouse was going to get knocked out. That's why Demetrious Johnson's comeback domination of John Dodson was really, really impressive. I had both of the first two rounds going to Dodson and I wasn't sure Johnson was going to make it out of the second, but I also thought Dodson was too timid in taking advantage of his opportunities. As soon as Johnson got his senses back, he took over the match and by the end of round five, it was apparent that he was the better man on Saturday night. Had the same exact score as two of the judges? 48-47 for Johnson.
No.8 - Seven more sports things before I go ?
I. Best knockout of the year thus far? I'm guessing it had to be this right hand from Lucas Matthysse on the face of Mike Dallas Jr. I'm guessing no one will be speaking of Dallas' strong chin for quite a while. My goodness.
II. So, that Tiger Woods fella? I think he's done winning majors? Whatcha think?
III. Novak Djokovic is baaaaack. Men's tennis seems to be on a merry-go-round with a different guy winning the last four majors and with everyone back down under, it mean that it was Djokovic's turn to hold the winner's trophy. After all, it seems pretty obvious that Djokovic is to the Australian Open what Rafa Nadal is to Roland Garros . His four-set in over Andy Murray was convincing enough to remind everyone why he's still the No.1 guy on the scene, even if he had been in a bit of a losing streak over the course of 2012 in the final three majors. With Nadal's knees constantly bothering him, the French Open would seem to be Djokovic's for the taking.
IV. My popcorn will be ready for Dr. Phil on Tuesday. I feel so much sham for admitting that.
V. I'm not sure I should even fill out a bracket when March rolls around.
VI. Danica Patrick is dating a rival race-car driver. I'm sure blue-blood racing fans just l-o-v-e the ever-living-you-know-what out of that. My feeling on the matter is that they are three billion guys in the world for her to select from and she's out of line for mixing business with pleasure in this instance. It's none of my business and the heart leads you where the heart leads you, but come on? This is just asking for trouble. Of course, if they have a nasty breakup and begin a blood-thirsty feud on the track as a byproduct, I reserve the right to change my opinion.
VII. LOL at the Pro Bowl.
No. 9 - Pop goes the culture because the culture goes pop.?
? Hottie of the Week: (Kinda NSFW) Hello, Italian TV goddess Alessia Marcuzzi.
? Looking for a new man: Taylor Swift is on the prowl.
? Movie I Would Watch: Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/01/24/mila-kunis-to-star-in-fifty-shades-grey-movie/#ixzz2JD0qV7z9
? Headline of the Weekend: It's Miley, bitches
? Worst movie of all-time?: ' Apparently, Movie 43 sucks pretty bad. From this review: "[I]f you mashed-up the worst parts of the infamous 'Howard the Duck,' 'Gigli,' 'Ishtar' and every other awful movie I've seen since I started reviewing professionally in 1981, it wouldn't begin to approach the sheer soul-sucking badness of the cringe-inducing 'Movie 43,' which has been dumped on an unsuspecting public without advance press screenings."
? Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us: ' Hansel And Gretel' Wins The Weekend Box Office
? What did the five fingers say to the face?: Canada refuses Cousin Eddie
? 100-Words (or less) Movie Review: This is 40 (B)
For a guy that is three years into marriage and creeping up on the big 4-0, I found the latest from Judd Apatow to be really entertaining and spot on with its commentary on life from all realms. Oh, and I absolutely have a crush on Leslie Mann, who owns this movie and warrants more recognition for her performance, which at times steals every scene. Honestly, Apatow + Mann + Paul = a movie I'm pretty much guaranteed of enjoying.
? If I had a vote that mattered (Oscar-style)?
(These are my updated Academy Award picks based on movies I have actually seen in 2012-13.)
Top 5 Movies on Still-Need-To-See List: Silver Linings Playbook, Life of Pi, Amour, The Sessions and The Impossible
3. Zero Dark Thirty
4. Les Miserables
1. Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
2. Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
3. Ben Affleck (Argo)
4. Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)
5. Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom)
1. Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
2. Denzel Washington (Flight)
3. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
4. Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
5. Matthew McConaughey (Killer Joe)
1. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
2. Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
3. Leslie Mann (This is 40)
Best supporting actor
1. Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained)
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
3. Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
4. Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths)
5. Alan Arkin (Argo)
Best supporting actress
1. Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
2. Sally Field (Lincoln)
3. Amy Adams (The Master)
4. Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)
5. Samantha Banks (Les Miserables)
No. 10 - The List: 50 Cent
It's funny, I wasn't really motivated this to churn out another musical list because the two-week Elton John project damn near ruined all urges to listen to music for a little while. In fact, I was going to feature a Tribe Called Quest, but I couldn't find any of my CDs and with "Scenario" not even available on Spotify, I was in real trouble on Friday of being List-less.
And then 50 Cent walked into my life as a guest of my show on YSR on Friday and suddenly had the inspiration I needed.
The funny thing about "Fiddy" is that his music represents a completely different life for me than the one I live now. When Get Rich or Die Tryin' dropped in 2003, I was single and his music reminds me of club-hopping and tying up boats in the glory days of Devil's Cove.
I can't tell you how many times I've seen an incredibly sexy woman dancing to In Da Club, Just a Lil Bit or Candy Shop on a boat with five other really good looking women on a two-foot area on the back of a boat. Say what you want, but there was a three-year run from 2003-05 when a lot of my favorite memories in life are associated with Curtis Jackson's music.
Last five songs out: Patiently Waiting, Candy Shop, You Don't Know, Wankgsta and Baby By Me
Ok, let's get on with the list? (Listen to the entire list by Subscribing via Spotify)
10. I'll Still Kill
The album Curtis might be the least favorite of the four albums he's released in his career thus far, but this is a redeeming track and sneaks into the list.
9. I'm Supposed to Die Tonight
One of the best tracks on The Massacre, which was the follow-up to his debut album.
8. Just a Lil Bit
One of the great Devil's Cove songs of all-time. Anyone that ever says the best day as a boat owner is the day you buy the boat and the second best day is the day you sell your boat never used their boat properly.
7. What Up Gangsta
The first track on Get Rich is 1,000 pounds of TNT. The first time I listened to the album, this was the song that first hooked me.
6. How to Rob
Fiddy wasn't even a made man in the game when he put half the industry on blast.
5. Many Men (Wish Death on Me)
Probably the most underrated song off of Get Rich. Fiddy comes out of the box with a snarl.
This songs features one of the greatest hooks in the history of hip-hop. I might have this song ranked too low because of that fact alone.
3. In Da Club
It's one of the defining club jams of the last decade and it's the joint that the whole damn thing off back in 2003. It has to be included in the top three.
2. A Baltimore Love Thing
One of the most underrated rap tracks from the last decade. It's a damn shame that Fiddy didn't take his music in this direction a little more because this release from The Massacre is a true standout from the crowd.
1. 21 Questions
This. Was. My. Jam. Long before it was released as a single, this was the track I always had to listen to on his debut album. I may or may not have gentlemen establishment stories that go along with this song.
Previous Lists: 2-Pac, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Beethoven, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Chuck Brown, Jeff Buckley, Cartoon themes, Eva Cassidy,CCR, Phil Collins, Sam Cooke, The Eagles, Joe Ely, Al Green, Guns N' Roses, Hall and Oats, HBO Shows, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Ice Cube, Elton John, Janis Joplin, Jodeci, Kool and the Gang, Led Zeppelin, Amos Lee, Bob Marley, Metallica, George Michael, Mo-Town, Bill Murray, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, Nirvana, One-hit Wonders from the 1990's, Outkast, Pink Floyd, Prince, Queen, Reba, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Scarface, Sexiest Women of All-Time, Snoop Dogg , Bruce Springsteen, Gary Stewart , George Strait, The Strokes, TV Themes, UGK, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Williams Sr.
Previous Lists on Spotify: 2-Pac, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Beethoven, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Jeff Buckley, CCR, Phil Collins, Sam Cooke, Joe Ely, Al Green, Guns N' Roses, Hall and Oats, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Ice Cube, Elton John, Janis Joplin, Jodeci, Amos Lee, Bob Marley, George Michael, Mo-Town, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, Nirvana, One-hit Wonders from the 1990's, Prince, Prince (After Hours), Outkast, Queen, Reba, Otis Redding, The Rolling Stones, Scarface, Snoop Dogg . Bruce Springsteen, Gary Stewart , George Strait, The Strokes, UGK, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hank Williams Sr.