Texas Preview 2006

Posted Aug 27, 2006

Texas Longhorns Preview 2006  

Offense | Defense | Depth Chart | Further Analysis  

Yeah, there's one thing missing.

Had Vince Young decided to come back for his senior season, there'd be no reason to play the 2006 season. Texas would walk through the year on the way to a second-straight championship and a 34-game winning streak. Oh sure, many would point to USC last year and Miami of a few years ago to show that greatest-of-all-time teams are beatable ... nyuh-uh. This would've been 1995 Nebraska all over again.

Head coach: Mack Brown
9th year at Texas: 83-19
23rd year overall: 169-93-1
Returning Lettermen:
Off. 19, Def. 23, ST 1
Lettermen Lost: 19
Ten Best UT Players
1. OT Justin Blalock, Sr.
2. SS Michael Griffin, Sr.
3. DE Tim Crowder, Sr.
4. DE Brian Robison, Sr.
5. RB Jamaal Charles, Soph.
6. DT Frank Okam, Jr.
7. OG Kasey Studdard, Sr.
8. RB Selvin Young, Sr.
9. C Lyle Sendlein, Sr.
10. WR Limas Sweed, Jr.

2006 Schedule
CFN Prediction:

9/2 North Texas
9/9 Ohio State
9/16 at Rice
9/23 Iowa State
9/30 Sam Houston State
10/7 vs. Oklahoma
10/14 Baylor
10/21 at Nebraska
10/28 at Texas Tech
11/4 Oklahoma State
11/11 at Kansas State
11/24 Texas A&M

2005 Schedule
CFN Prediction:
2005 Record: 13-0

Preview 2005 predicted wins

9/3 UL Lafayette W 60-3
9/10 at Ohio State W 25-22
9/17 Rice W 51-10 
10/1 at Missouri W 51-20
10/8 Oklahoma W 45-12
10/15 Colorado W 42-17
10/22 Texas Tech W 52-17
10/29 at Oklahoma St W 47-28
11/5 at Baylor W 62-0
11/12 Kansas W 66-14
11/25 at Texas A&M W 40-29
12/3 Big 12 Championship
Colorado W 70-3
1/4 Rose Bowl
USC W 41-38

But Young is off making millions as a Tennessee Titan and life does go on. The biggest question of the 2006 season is if freshmen quarterbacks Colt McCoy (a redshirt freshman) and Jevan Snead can do enough with the talent around them to keep the machine rolling. As good as Texas was last year, it wouldn't have beaten Ohio State without Young, and if it had somehow made it to Pasadena, it sure as shoot wouldn't have hung around with USC.

So does Texas go back to being, well, Texas? The inside joke was that Young was so good that he Mack Brown-proofed this team, but now the Longhorns might be doomed to once again being a perennial top five team that suffers one or two heartbreakers a year to keep from getting over the hump. If that sounds like it's a bad thing, it isn't.

USC only has one BCS title under Pete Carroll. Oklahoma only has one under Bob Stoops. National titles won by Florida State, Miami, Tennessee and Michigan seem like a lifetime ago. It's really, really hard to get to a championship game, much less win it, so the trick is to keep being in the mix until all the breaks fall the right way. Texas has the foundation in place to keep being among the elite of the elite for years to come.

Now we get to see just how much Brown and his staff can coach. If the quarterback situation is steady, there's no reason to think there can't be a return trip to the title game. But it's not going to be a walk in the park because of ...

The Schedule: Ohio State and Oklahoma are good enough to be considered among the three best teams in America, and road games at Nebraska and Texas Tech in back-to-back weeks would be too tough for almost anyone else. Fortunately, those two games come late enough in the year to allow Snead and McCoy time to get their feet wet. At Kansas State might not be a peach, but it has to be a must-win for a team hoping to play for the national title. The rest of the schedule should be a light breeze considering the toughest games are at home.

Best Offensive Player: Senior OT Justin Blalock. He would've likely been a top 15 pick had he come out this season, and now he'll be the anchor of one of the nation's best run blocking lines. He moves well in pass protection and is a steamroller for the ground game.

Best Defensive Player: Senior SS Michael Griffin. Ends Tim Crowder and Brian Robison will get the bigger NFL paydays, but the sure-tackling Griffin will the be the leader of the D. He'll finally get the national respect he deserves now that he's out of Michael Huff's shadow.

Key player to a successful season: Besides Colt McCoy and Jevan Snead, it's sophomore OG Cedrick Dockery. If he isn't better than he was this spring, Blalock might have to move to right guard putting redshirt freshman Adam Ulatoski. For quarterbacks that need all the time they can possibly get to throw, Blalock is desperately needed on the outside.

The season will be a success if ... Texas plays for the national title. After last year, would anything less be acceptable? If there isn't a repeat trip to the championship game, that likely means a loss to either Ohio State, Oklahoma or Nebraska, and the heat will be back on Mack Brown.

Key game: Sept. 9 vs. Ohio State. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Oklahoma is good again and the Red River Rivalry means everything, but the showdown against the Buckeyes might be the equivalent of the national title game. The winner will likely be number one with the inside track to Arizona.

2005 Fun Stats: 
- Second quarter scoring: Texas 218 - Opponents 48
- Rushing touchdowns: Texas 55 - Opponents 15
- Average yards per game: Texas 7.1 - Opponents 4.4

The Last Time Texas …
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Rose Bowl vs. USC)
…missed a bowl game…1997
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Baylor)
…was shutout…2004 (Oklahoma)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Colorado)
…went undefeated…2005
…won a conference title…2005 (Big 12)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2005 (Vince Young)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Vince Young)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2003 (Roy Williams)
…had a first-round draft choice…2006 (QB Vince Young, DB Michael Huff)

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