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February 18, 2013

Ketch's 10 thoughts - a UT talent evaluation

With both spring football and the second Junior Day around the corner, we're leaving the metaphors and similes at home this week and focusing on an honest to goodness in-depth football conversation. Hell, we're not even going to talk about Mack or DeLoss because this week it's all about the personnel on campus and the talent that is waiting in the cupboard for the program in the foreseeable future.

The goal?

With this audit of the talent base, everyone should have a better understanding of what the next few years looks like from a depth chart standpoint, while also highlighting the true needs of the 2014 recruiting class.

Let's get to it.

Quarterbacks

2013: David Ash (Jr.)/Case McCoy (Sr.)/Connor Brewer (RS Fr..)/Jalen Overstreet (RS Fr.)
2014: David Ash (Sr.)/Connor Brewer (So.) or Jalen Overstreet (So.) or Tyrone Swoopes (RS Fr.)
2015: Connor Brewer (Jr.) or Jalen Overstreet (Jr.) or Tyrone Swoopes (So.) or Jerrod Heard (RS Fr.)

Overview: The conversation about Ash and what his true value as a player is worth at this point could last 100 pages, but let's save that for another day. If nothing else, it's safe to assume in my mind that he's the starter for the next two seasons, which is ideal for the development of young quarterbacks. While there might be an interesting battle for positioning and reps this season, the truth is that the real spotlight won't flash on the youth in the program until next spring when someone out of the Overstreet/Brewer/Swoopes trio will need to assert himself as the back-up to Ash for his senior season. Even then, the real battle might take place in the spring of 2015 when the starting job is open for competition because at that point a light might have gone off for one of the younger quarterbacks that would change the dynamics of everything.

Running Back

2013: Johnathan Gray (So.)/Malcolm Brown (Jr.)/Joe Bergeron (Jr.)
2014: Johnathan Gray (Jr.)/Malcolm Brown (Sr.)/Joe Bergeron (Sr.)
2015: Johnathan Gray (Sr.)/Duke Catalon (So.)

Overview: One of the great things about youth taking control of a position early on is that it can make long-term planning a lot easier. When you look at the roster, it's pretty clear that the trio of Gray/Brown/Bergeron can carry the position through the next two seasons and beyond, and we're not even including Daje Johnson in this discussion (see wide receiver). If there's a concern right now it's the long-term depth at running back, which looks a little light beginning in 2015. The commitment of Catalon in the 2014 class gives the Longhorns a single stepping stone away from the trio that should hold down the next two seasons, but the continued needs for the 2014 class seem pretty obvious because if anything were to happen to Gray (junior departure?) or Catalon (insert any number of things that can sidetrack a young player), there wouldn't be a back-up plan in place at this stage.

Fullback

2013: Chet Moss (Jr.) or Alex De La Torre (So.)
2014: Chet Moss (Sr.) or Alex De La Torre (Jr.)/Daniel Gresham (Fr.)
2015: Alex De La Torre (Jr.) or Daniel Gresham (So.)

Overview: This position seems completely open heading into the spring, and while it might not be a full-time need for this team, someone needs to step up or short-yardage situations will continue to be a bit of an adventure. Moss and De La Torre are going to get serious cracks at the position, but you have to wonder if Joe Bergeron will finally become a factor at this position after it was initially projected for him coming out of high school. JUCO transfer Geoff Swaim is also a candidate for contributions, but he's also slated at tight end and he won't be able to play everywhere at once. Someone in this group needs to step up. The best news might be the fact that Gresham could be what the doctor is prescribing as a member of the 2014 class, but it might be 2015 before he's ready to make an impact.

Wide Receivers

2013

WR: Jaxon Shipley (Jr.)/Marcus Johnson (So.)/Bryant Jackson (Jr.)
WR: Mike Davis (Sr.)/Kendall Sanders (So.)/John Harris (Jr.)
WR: Daje Johnson (So.)/Cayleb Jones (So.)

2014

WR: Jaxon Shipley (Sr.)/Marcus Johnson (Jr.)/Bryant Jackson (Sr.)/Jake Oliver (RS Fr.)
WR: Kendall Sanders (Jr.) or Cayleb Jones (Jr.)/John Harris (Sr.)/Jacorey Warrick (RS Fr.)
WR: Daje Johnson (Jr.)/Montrel Meander (RS Fr.)/ Roderick Bernard (Fr.)

2015

WR: Marcus Johnson (Sr.) or Cayleb Jones (Sr.)/Jake Oliver (So.)
WR: Kendall Sanders (Sr.)/Jacorey Warrick (So.)/Lorenzo Joe (RS Fr.)
WR: Daje Johnson (Sr.)/Montrel Meander (So.)/Roderick Bernard (So.)

Overview: First of all, I included Daje Johnson in this discussion, while understanding that he is a guy that will play in multiple spots, but he's the guy on the offense that can best stretch the defense vertically. Second, the importance of the development from the freshmen foursome that arrived last year cannot be stressed enough when you take a look at the state of the position in each of the next three seasons. While Davis and Shipley give the program a really strong 1-2 punch coming heading into the 2013 season, the depth at the position will almost certainly come from the Johnson/Jones/Sanders/Johnson group and beginning in 2014, the responsibility for that group increases substantially for the next two seasons. Overall, the numbers at the position are strong, the only question I have is whether the Longhorns have any true game-changers in line behind the Johnson/Jones/Sanders/Johnson foursome.

Tight End

2013: M.J. McFarland (So.)/Greg Daniels (Jr.)/Geoff Swaim (Jr.)/Miles Onyegbule (Jr.)
2014: M.J. McFarland (Jr.)/Greg Daniels (Sr.)/Geoff Swaim (Sr.)/Miles Onyegbule (Sr.)
2015: M.J. McFarland (Sr.)

Overview: From a numbers standpoint, this is a position that looks fairly well-stocked going into the next two seasons, even if we don't know whether any of the four players on the depth chart can truly be consistent plus-players. Assuming that this group can emerge as a productive unit, the concern that will impact recruiting will begin to occur in 2015 when only one player currently on the roster will still be in the program. That means that tight end represents a major need in the 2014 recruiting class and it makes me wonder why they didn't make a stronger effort to recruit this position nationally in 2014 outside of Swaim.

Offensive line

2013

LT: Donald Hawkins (Sr.)/Desmond Harrison (Jr.)/Kennedy Estelle (So.)
LG: Trey Hopkins (Sr.)/Sedrick Flowers (So.)/Rami Hammaad (Fr.)
C: Dominic Espinosa (Jr.)/Garrett Porter (Sr.)/Jake Raulerson (Fr.)
RG: Mason Walters (Sr.)Curtis Riser (RS Fr.)/Darius James (Fr.)
RT: Josh Cochran (Jr.)/Garrett Greenlea (So)/ Camrhon Hughes (RS Fr.)/Kent Perkins (Fr.)

2014

LT: Desmond Harrison (Sr.)/Kennedy Estelle (Jr.)/ Camrhon Hughes (So.)
LG: Sedrick Flowers (Jr.)/Rami Hammaad (So.)
C: Dominic Espinosa (Sr.)/Jake Raulerson (RS Fr.)
RG: Darius James (So.)/Curtis Riser (So.)/Demetrius Knox (Fr.)
RT: Josh Cochran (Sr.)/ Kent Perkins (So.)/ Garrett Greenlea (Jr.)

2015

LT: Kennedy Estelle (Sr.)/ Camrhon Hughes (Jr.)
LG: Sedrick Flowers (Sr.)/Rami Hammaad (Jr.)/Demetrius Knox (So.)
C: Jake Raulerson (So.)
RG: Darius James (Jr.)/Curtis Riser (Jr.)
RT: Kent Perkins (Jr.)/Garrett Greenlea (Sr.)

Overview: I'm not 100 percent sold that Harrison is a day-one starter at left tackle, but the plan is for him to take that spot and we all know that the line dynamics might change drastically if that happens. Regardless, the line looks strong on paper in terms of experience and raw numbers. With four seniors on the two-deep, the real discussion about this position begins in 2014 when there will be a serious turnover at the guard position and then in 2015 when the Longhorns will be forced to replace both tackles and center. No matter how you slice it, the Longhorns are going to lean on some young players on the line next year, unless they go after a JUCO kid or two. The coaches continue to wait for the switch to come on for Flowers and you would have to assume he'll be a starter in 2014, but if he can't find the switch the team might have to lean on players that were just signed in February. The depth outlook for 2015 is surprisingly questionable, but that should be addressed with continued 2014 recruiting. The most important element of this discussion is the need for the Longhorns to finally develop some of these young guys because if a few of these guys wash out, there could be some real problems by the time 2015 rolls around in terms of depth. This situation reminds me a little of the 2010 recruiting class when the Longhorns were worried about carrying too many linemen in the program for a single season. If the Longhorns take three linemen in the 2014 class (which I feel is needed), they'll potentially have 15 on the roster next season, but it would ensure they have enough to field a two-deep in two years. In my opinion, the Longhorns need to be planning for some attrition and at least some failure here.

Defensive tackles

2013

DT: Ashton Dorsey (Sr.)/Hassan Ridgeway (RS Fr.)/Paul Boyette (RS Fr.)
DT: Malcom Brown (So.)/Desmond Jackson (Jr.)/Chris Whaley (Sr.)/Alex Norman (RS Fr.)

2014

DT: Hassan Ridgeway (So.)/Paul Boyette (So.)
DT: Malcom Brown (Jr.)/Desmond Jackson (Sr.)/Alex Norman (So.)

2015

DT: Hassan Ridgeway (Jr.)/Paul Boyette (Jr.)
DT: Malcom Brown (Sr.)/ Alex Norman (Jr.)

Overview: If Ridgeway is the player that everyone seems to believe he can be which means he will become an impact performer, then this position has a chance to be in very good hands in the next two seasons, but numbers are potentially a concern for the 2014 and 2015 seasons, especially if any of the young players in the program fail for any reason. From a 2014 recruiting standpoint, the need for a JUCO player probably comes down to the development of Boyette and Norman. If one or both really start to show well this season, I'm not sure you'd need a JUCO guy as a 2014 necessity. However, there's no getting around the fact that this position is a critical need in 2014, whether they look at the JUCO ranks or not, because the likelihood that the players signed in 2014 will be called on for serious duty in the 2015 season is strong.

Defensive ends

2013

DE: Jackson Jeffcoat (Sr.)/Shiro Davis (So.)/Bryce Cottrell (RS Fr.)
DE: Cedric Reed (Jr.)/Reggie Wilson (Sr.)/Caleb Bluiett (RS Fr.)

2014

DE: Shiro Davis (Jr.)/Bryce Cottrell (So.)/Derick Roberson (Fr.)
DE: Cedric Reed (Sr.)/Caleb Bluiett (So.)

2015

DE: Shiro Davis (Sr.)/Bryce Cottrell (Jr.)
DE: Caleb Bluiett (Jr.)/ Derick Roberson (So.)

Overview: The first thing you need to know about this position is that those behind the scenes reportedly feel very good about the likes of Davis and Cottrell. In fact, don't be surprised if Cottrell ends up being a very important member from the 2012 recruiting class, despite being a little unheralded and perhaps underrated. If those behind the scenes are correct about the young players waiting in the wings, then this won't be a dire situation at all, but if those young kids stumble along the way, this could be a questionable situation in terms of numbers and quality beginning as soon as next season when Jeffcoat and Wilson depart. Regardless, the Longhorns need to add numbers beyond Roberson in this class because they have little protection as it currently stands.

Linebackers

2013

OLB: Jordan Hicks (Sr.)/Kendall Thompson (Jr.)/Aaron Benson (Jr.)/Tim Cole (RS Fr.)
MLB: Steve Edmond (Jr.)/Dalton Santos (So.)
OLB: Peter Jinkens (So.)/Tevin Jackson (Jr.)/DeMarco Cobbs (Sr.)/Deoundrei Davis (Fr.)

2014

OLB: Kendall Thompson (Sr.)/Aaron Benson (Sr.)/Tim Cole (So.)/Cameron Hampton (Fr.)
MLB: Steve Edmond (Sr.)/Dalton Santos (Jr.)
OLB: Peter Jinkens (Jr.)/Tevin Jackson (Sr.)/Deoundrei Davis (So.)/Naashon Hughes (RS Fr.)

2015

OLB: Tim Cole (Jr.)/Cameron Hampton (So.)/
MLB: Dalton Santos (Sr.)
OLB: Peter Jinkens (Sr.)/Deoundrei Davis (Jr.)/ Naashon Hughes (So.)

Overview: Numbers certainly won't be an issue for the program in either of the next two seasons, not with 11 scholarship players on the books for 2013 and 10 (as of now) on the books for 2014. There's no running from the fact that there will be six players departing from the program in the next two years, which means that six are scheduled to be on the books for 2015 and that doesn't take into consideration any possible attrition at the position. Since you'd like to have eight or nine on board at all times, the Longhorns probably need to take two more in 2014 and another two in 2015.

Defensive Backs

2013

CB: Carrington Byndom (Sr.)/Leroy Scott (Jr.)/Bryson Echols (RS Fr.)
FS: Quandre Diggs (Jr.)/ Josh Turner (Jr.)/Chevoski Collins (Fr.)
SS: Mykkele Thompson (Jr.)/Adrian Phillips (Sr.)/ Adrian Colbert (RS Fr.)
CB: Duke Thomas (So.)/Sheroid Evans (Jr.)/Kevin Vaccaro (So.)/Antwuan Davis (Fr.)

2014

CB: Sheroid Evans (Sr.)/Leroy Scott (Sr.)/Bryson Echols (So.)
FS: Quandre Diggs (Sr.)/Josh Turner (Sr.)/Chevoski Collins (So.)
SS: Mykkele Thompson (Sr.)/ Adrian Colbert (So.)/Eric Huhn (RS Fr.)
CB: Duke Thomas (Jr.)/Antwuan Davis (So.)/Kevin Vaccaro (Jr.)

2015

CB: Antwuan Davis (Jr.)/Bryson Echols (Jr.)
FS: Adrian Colbert (Jr.)/Chevoski Collins (Jr.)
SS: Chevoski Collins (Jr.)/Eric Huhn (So.)
CB: Duke Thomas (Sr.)/Kevin Vaccaro (Sr.)

Overview: Duane Akina probably has his position in the best shape, from top to bottom, of anyone on the defensive side of the ball. Obviously, my projections have Diggs sliding into Kenny Vaccaro's missing position on the depth chart, but the bottom line is that a lot of these parts of interchangeable within the Akina secondary vision. Barring attrition at the position, the Longhorns will need to be defensive back heavy on the scholarship board in 2014 if they want to take advantage of the strength of this year's 2014 in-state class, as they are scheduled to carry 12 scholarship players in 2014 without a single commitment in this year's class. Given that eight defensive backs will have departed from the program in the next two years, filling up now makes for fortunate timing without the need for a desperate disposition.

Kicking

2013

K: Nick Jordan (So.)/Anthony Fera (Sr.)
P: Anthony Fera (Sr.)/Will Russ (Jr.)

2014

K: Nick Jordan (Jr.)
P: Will Russ (Sr.)

2015

K: Nick Jordan (Sr.)
P: Open

Overview: The Longhorns would appear to have the place-kicking situation under control for the next three seasons with Jordan on hand, but it remains to be seen whether Russ can handle the punting duties well enough to warrant sitting tight in the 2014 class and waiting until 2015 to address the need. Don't be surprised if the Longhorns entertain the idea of looking at the JUCO ranks in this year's class if Russ isn't the answer.

No. 2 - 2014 recruiting needs by position …

Based on the needs outlined in the previous section, here's a look what needs to be filled in for the 2014 class, along with the eight commitments already in hand.

Needs in parenthesis

QB: (1) Jerrod Heard
RB: (3) Duke Catalon
FB: (1) Daniel Gresham
WR: (3) Roderick Bernard and Lorenzo Joe
TE: (2)
OL: (4) Demetrius Knox
DT: (2)
DE: (3) Derick Roberson
LB: (2) Cameron Hampton
DB: (4)

That makes for a class of 25 commitments in the Class of 2014, which I think is perfectly within reach for the program when you consider that it is currently sitting at 84 scholarship players and is scheduled to lose 15 seniors following the 2013 season.

That sets the minimum bar at around 16 available spots, but these numbers don't account for an ounce of attrition that will take place between now and the summer of 2014. Given that it's pretty common to lose at a minimum of 3-4 players per yet to attrition, it's not hard to see how that number will grow. My expectations have the Texas staff publicly talking about a class closer to 2010 for much of the year out of respect for the fact that the math doesn't support taking 25 quite yet, but in the back of everyone's mind we can take it to the bank that there will be some combination of grades, playing time issues, arrests, girlfriends problems … you name it … that will add to the 2014 numbers by the time signing day approaches.

If forced to cut back at all, you'd could probably get by with taking one less defensive back, offensive lineman and defensive end.

No. 3 - 2014 Prospects that I Believe Texas Should Recruit …

With the conclusion of the recent update to the 2014 Lone Star Recruiting Top 100, a number of new names have popped up on the scene that are probably unfamiliar to many of you and some of them fit the profile of exactly what the Longhorns are looking for.

Here are three names I think the Longhorns should take a look at in the coming months.

1. Longview wide receiver Dorian Leonard

The Longhorns already have a pair of commitments, but there's a lot about Leonard that reminds me of former Longview/Oklahoma wide receiver Malcolm Kelly because of his combination of size and playmaking ability. The Sooners must agree because they offered Leonard this week

2. Plano West running back Auston Anderson

I considered sending Anderson even higher up the list than I did with his debut ranking this month, but the bottom line is that if you watch his film, he jumps off the screen with his explosiveness, balance and skill-set.

3. San Antonio Warren defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao

What he lacks in height he makes up for with play-making ferociousness on the field. If he's closer to 6-3 than 6-1, which is what is being claimed these days, he has a chance to emerge as a national-level prospect

No. 4 - Ladies and gentlemen, meet rock bottom …

That is exactly what Saturday night felt like if you dared take to watch the saga of Rick Barnes and Co. in Lawrence.

Consider that last weekend I was calling for a mercy killing on this season after the Longhorns shot 39.0-percent from the floor, 57.1-percent from the free throw line and 5.6-percent from three-point range in a horrifying loss to Oklahoma State … and those numbers were just setting the stage for what we witnessed on Saturday

21.8-percent from the floor. 65.6-percent from the free throw line. 12.5 percent from three-point range.

Worst of all, super-recruit Julius Randle was on hand to take it all in … again … this time as a guest of Kansas.' If you made me bet a mortgage payment on this thing right now, I wouldn't put it on Texas landing the kid, which leads me to one simple question.

What happens if Texas doesn't land Randle or another super-blue in this recruiting class? I think it's a question everyone needs to be prepared to answer.

No. 5 - When it's this early in the baseball season, I choose to focus on the positive …

It's just the wise thing to do with the sport, so when trying to make sense of what the opening weekend for the Longhorns in their series-win over Sacramento State, it's best to keep in mind that championship teams take time to mold.

Whether the Longhorns have a future of that sort remains to be seen, but there were some positives to take from the weekend.

I'm not sure Parker French could have pitched better in his seven shutout innings on Friday night and Dillon Peters was pretty good in his own right on Sunday. Meanwhile, Mark Payton went 7 for 12 on the weekend with three extra-base hits and five RBI.

We'll know more in the coming weeks when both Nebraska and Stanford dot the weekend itineraries.

No. 6 - The night that Kobe locked up LeBron in the fourth quarter …

Yes, Kevin Durant dropped another 30 in an all-star game like he it was nothing.

Yes, Chris Paul was sensational throughout the game and his battle with Kyrie Irving in the fourth quarter was a hell of a lot of fun.

Yes, Chris Bosh had a night to forget, unless we're judging it by Alicia Keys' standard at halftime, in which case he was actually pretty awesome.

There were a lot of things we can all talk about tomorrow morning, but the lasting image from the Houston All-Star game experience was watching the Black Mamba put LeBron in is back pocket in the four quarter and making sure everyone in the building knew about it.

On this night in the fourth quarter, five was better than one.

No. 7 - Randomness on The Association …

… The all-star game weekend wasn't as good as a normal slate of weekend action. I found myself bored by everything but the game on Sunday night.

… There sure seems to be a lot of talk that the Spurs could make a move before the trade deadline to acquire Josh Smith, but I don't know if I like any deal that involves Kawhi Leonard in it. There's no question that Smith would upgrade the San Antonio frontcourt, but I don't know that I move my most prized young prospect within the franchise to get him.

… On the other hand, I love the proposed Eric Bledsoe for Paul Milsap trade that might be on the table if the Clippers can't convince Kevin Garnett to come to Hollywood. That's a trade that would appear to help both teams, as Bledsoe's impact for the Clippers will diminish as the playoffs near and Chris Paul holds down the fort for 40 minutes per night, while trading Milsap would clear up room for the Jazz that will lead to more playing time for their young front-court members.

… The Thunder need to make a move. I don't like their roster right now as a championship outfit. They can't beat the Heat with the team they currently have.

… I love me some Manimal. Not only is Kenneth Faried an absolute baller, but he's also not afraid to stand up for the right thing .

… I'm completely okay with Derrick Rose waiting until next season before returning to a NBA arena in full uniform.

No. 8 - A few more pieces of sports randomness before I go …

… I'm not sure what I should make out of Adrien Broner's fifth-round TKO win over Gavin Rees on Saturday night. On one hand, he put on an entertaining fight, as he always does. On the other hand, he sure got tagged more than I was expecting from the outmanned Rees, who was game for the beating he took. As exciting as the kid is, he better work on his defensive skills or he needs to hope his chin is made of granite.

… Rafa Nadal won a tournament this weekend and made the upcoming French Open a heck of a lot more interesting in the process.

… Danica took the pole at Daytona? Oh, it's going to be a rough week for the good ol' boy NASCAR crowd.

… Other than peeking at a few games here and there (outside of the Texas game), I didn't watch a lot of college basketball this weekend.

… If the new details coming out of the Oscar Pistorius case are any indication, the crazy swings in this story are likely just beginning. It very well could be the early Trial of the Century.

No. 9 - Pop goes the culture because the culture goes pop …

… Hottie of the Week: Rosie's baaaaaack

… Happy Belated Valentine's Day: Vin Diesel takes on Rihanna

… It's Always Something: Rihanna gets bloodied in London.

… Catfight of the Weekend: Justin Bieber vs. Patrick Carney. Solid gold stuff here.

… Sign that the Apocalypse is Upon Us: Mom Disrupts School Assembly By Stripping, Cops Say.

… Get ready for another Die-Hard movie: ' A Good Day finishes No.1 at the box-office.

… That girl is nasty: Ke$ha Drinks Her Own Urine In MTV Documentary Series 'My Crazy Beautiful Life'.

… 100-words or Less Movie Review: The Sessions (B)

A touching, sweet little film that completely caught me off-guard because I knew nothing about the storyline going in. Based on the real-life story of a physically-limited Mark O'Brien, the emotion in this 95-minute flick is raw and real. The wonderful Helen Hunt gives one of the best performances of her career and gives way to any and all inhibitions along the way. John Hawkes doesn't quite channel DDL in My Left Foot, but he's not far off. Overall, it's just a splendid, well-acted movie.

… 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 Movies on my "Still-Need-To-See" List: Amour, The Sessions and The Impossible

Best picture

1. Lincoln
2. Argo
3. Silver Linings Playbook
4. Zero Dark Thirty
5. Les Miserables

Best Director

1. Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
2. Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty)
3. Ben Affleck (Argo)
4. Tom Hooper (Les Miserables)
5. David Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Best actor

1. Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
2. Denzel Washington (Flight)
3. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
4. Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
5. Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi)

Best actress

1. Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
2. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty)
3. Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
4. Leslie Mann (This is 40)
5. TBA

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. Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
3. Sally Field (Lincoln)
4. Amy Adams (The Master)
5. Kerry Washington (Django Unchained)

No. 10 - The List: The Beatles

This week's challenge is an impossible one, I know. Frankly, I've been dreading this task from the moment I started the weekly List project because I completely understand the magnitude of the task.

It's. The. Freaking. Beatles.

Yet, after avoiding the task for more than a year, something clicked inside of me that suggested now was the time to take on the holy grail. Perhaps it was serendipitous that I took on the challenge during a football rankings week because the process that I use for the LSR Top 100 is pretty similar to the way I approached this assignment, which means that before I could even think of ranking the full catalog, needing to break things down to some basic levels, I created six sub-categories within the entire catalog: Pre-Rubber Soul, Post-Rubber Soul, John songs, Paul songs, true John/Paul collaborations and a George/Ringo section.

The idea behind the sub-categories is simple, as it helps eliminate some of the clutter when it comes to producing a final order. Therefore, before I unveil my final top 10, here's a look at how each sub-category looked before I started the final process.

The John List: 1. Come Together 2. Strawberry Fields Forever 3. Twist and Shout 4. Dear Prudence 5. Yer Blues 6. Across The Universe 7. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 8. I Am The Walrus 9. You've Really Got a Hold On Me 10. Help!

The Paul List: 1. Yesterday 2. Let It Be 3. Eleanor Rigby 5, Hey Jude 5. Here, There and Everywhere 6. Kansas City/ Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey 7. Can't Buy Me Love 8. Why Don't We Do It In The Road? 9. Helter Skelter 10. Two Of Us

The John/Paul List: 1. A Day In The Life 2. I Want To Hold Your Hand 3. In My Life 4. A Hard Day's Night 5. She Loves You 6. She's Leaving Home 7. I Saw Her Standing There 8. I've Got a Feeling 9. Ticket To Ride10. Love Me Do

The George/Ringo List: 1. While My Guitar Gently Weeps 2. Something 3. Roll Over Beethoven 4. I Be Mine 5. With a Little Help From My Friends

Pre-Rubber Soul: 1. Yesterday 2. I Want To Hold Your Hand 3. Twist and Shout 4. A Hard Day's Night 5. I Saw Her Standing There 6. Kansas City/ Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey 7. Roll Over Beethoven 8. Can't Buy Me Love 9. You've Really Got a Hold On Me 10. Help!

Post-Rubber Soul: 1. A Day In The Life 2. Let It Be 3. Come Together 4. Eleanor Rigby 5. While My Guitar Gently Weeps 6. In My Life 7. Strawberry Fields Forever 8. Dear Prudence 9. Something 10. Yer Blues

With my notes out of the way, let's get on with the list…

Last five songs out: A Hard Day's Night, Something, Hey Jude, Dear Prudence and Yer Blues

10. In My Life

I don't care who wrote what, I just know that it's next to impossible to leave this song out of a top 10 list.

9. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

George Harrison's masterpiece. It's ironic that the band broke up right at the moment when he was truly reaching his creative best.

8. Strawberry Fields Forever

John's most beautiful song in a catalog full of beauties.

7. Twist and Shout

This song's place in Ferris Bueller's Day Off ensured that this song will forever have a place on any list I make.

6. Eleanor Rigby

One of my favorite Paul songs and my vote for the best song on Revolver/

5. I Want To Hold Your Hand

This is the song that changed rock and roll forever and kick-started America's love affair. Yes, the sophistication of the song-writing and sound evolved from this moment on, but there's a beautiful romantic nature to the song 50 years later.

4. Come Together

100% rock and roll heat for the ages.

3. Let It Be

There are some things in this world that can't be helped and my playing this song at least three times in a row every time I hear this song is one of them.

2. Yesterday

Personally, this is one of my favorite songs in existence. It's just a timeless beauty of a record and it foreshadowed the fearlessness that would eventually become a staple of their work.

1. A Day In The Life

It's the perfect selection for the No.1 choice in my mind because it's a true collaboration between John and Paul, and it occurs as the group was reaching its pinnacle in terms of creating the kind of music that transcended what others had ever thought of creating. It's just a masterpiece of a song.

Previous Lists: 2-Pac, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Beethoven, Biggie Smalls, Boyz II Men, Chuck Brown, Jeff Buckley, Cartoon themes, Eva Cassidy,CCR, Gary Clark Jr., 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, Norah, 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, Gary Clark Jr., Phil Collins, Sam Cooke, Joe Ely, Al Green, Guns N' Roses, Hall and Oats, Jimi Hendrix, Whitney Houston, Ice Cube, Elton John, Janis , Jodeci, Amos Lee, Bob Marley, George Michael, Mo-Town, Willie Nelson, Stevie Nicks, Nirvana, Norah, 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.


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