Tag Archives: Vince Young

All My Exes Live in Texas

Well, at least more of them do now – and, of course, I’m referring to Texas Longhorn football coaches. With this week’s announcement that at least three, maybe four, coaches would be resigning from the Texas Longhorns football staff, there is quite a bit of work to be done to fill the void.

That said, there is one coach in particular that Texas fans can agree they’ll be glad to see go – offensive coordinator Greg Davis. While he did bring some success to Texas during his tenure (including a 2005 National Championship and the Frank Broyles award for the Top Assistant Coach), it’s been hard to assess whether his impact on his players and the program was good or bad. Now, he’s been reduced to fixing classic cars, ballroom dancing, and illeagl gun running, according to some sources.

Either way, after 13 years, Texas fans owe Greg Davis a “thank you” for all that he’s given the university, so on your behalf, EyesOfTX has taken a stab at a proper send-off, below.

Dearest Greg Davis:

It’s been quite a run you’ve had at the University of Texas and with the Longhorns football program. In your 13 years, you’ve given us many memories, and we couldn’t let you shrek off in to obscurity without highlighting out some of the moments to which we owe you thanks.

Thank you for convincing Ricky Williams to stay for one more year.

Thank you for benching Chris Simms in place of Major Applewhite in the 2000 Big 12 Championship game; one quarter sooner and we would’ve played for another national title.

Thank you for recruiting Vince Young, Colt McCoy, Garrett Gilbert, and Cedric Benson to Texas, but not for recruiting Chris Simms.

Thank you for starting Major Applewhite in the 2001 Holiday Bowl against #21 Washington.

Thank you for the bubble screen.

Thank you for allowing Vince Young to utilize his skills in the zone read offense.

Thank you for never getting the offense off to a fast start.

Thank you for figuring out a way to beat oklahoma 6 times (but not for losing to them 7 times).

Thank you for the play call to Quan Cosby on the final play of the game in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl.

Thank you for the quarterback option call on the fifth play of the 2009 National Championship game against #1 Alabama.

Thank you for boosting Colt McCoy’s sense of self-worth by limiting our running backs enough that he was the leading rusher 9 out of 10 games.

Advising Mack Brown on various weight loss schemes that took him from…in the words of “Can’t Buy Me Love,” geek status, to king status, to no status.

Thank you for resigning.

We appreciate your time in Austin, but are ready for and in need of an offensive change that doesn’t take three years to implement. We will try to forget your ignorance around teaching the quarterbacks how to read the blitz, for not figuring out how to run a successful screen pass to the talented running backs, for throwing for one yard wide receiver bubble screens on 3rd and long, for running a set type of offense with the wrong kind of player personnel, for never getting the most out of the talent on the field, and for thinking you were better than you were and never understanding where you made mistakes and fixing them.

We hope you enjoy your time away from football and the University of Texas, we will.

Best,
Fans of the University of Texas football team

What’s missing, ‘Horns fans? What would you like to “thank” Greg Davis for after all of these years?

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College Football: Week 9 Viewing Guide

This week on “PTI,” Tony and Mike were asked which coach needs a win more, Urban Meyer or Mack Brown. They both have three-loss teams, both have been beaten at home by lesser ranked opponents, and both were preseason top five teams. Their argument came down to which fan base has the crazier fan base with the most unrealistic expectations. Both Tony and Mike chose Urban Meyer as the coach with the most heat at the moment. They’re probably right, though for the wrong reason.

It seems that every year Mack Brown gets another 9-year extension, and is currently on contract until seemingly 2035. The UT boosters, administrators, players, janitors, parking attendants, and field mice love him. The problem is, and always has been – in the eyes of students and alumni at least – offensive coordinator Greg Davis. In the early years of the last decade the phrase “Fire Greg Davis” was as ubiquitous as “Texas Fight” around the Forty Acres. For a time, those cheers quieted as Vince Young and Colt McCoy were able to compensate for poor coaching with superior talent. Today, the cries for Greg Davis’ job are as loud as ever, but are we any closer to his ouster now than we were after five consecutive losses to ou? His supporters can point to this season’s signature win at Nebraska as a point in his favor, and they can fault the inexperience of Garret Gilbert as a reason for the offensive struggles.

After last weekend’s loss, however, even Mack Brown had harsh words for his assistants, saying, “I told them if one of your guys is playing bad, I can change them. If three of your guys are playing bad, I change you.” For a coach known to always take the blame, shielding his players and coaches from criticism, those words carry extra weight and make you wonder if maybe his long partnership with Davis is nearing an end. What would it take? A third straight home loss? To Baylor, no less? Losing out and missing a bowl game? Or, has the damage already been done?

This week Baylor comes into Austin ranked for the first time since 1993, and hoping for their first win over Texas in 12 years. The Bears are also currently in first place in the Big 12’s South division. It’s hard to imagine that a win over Baylor could actually be a signature win on the season, but that is the situation we find ourselves in.

All rankings below are from the current BCS poll. Also, make sure to check your local listings for channel availability, and also these coverage maps for the mid-Saturday and prime-time regional games.

The games this weekend stink, so commentary is light, but if you can bear to watch, here’s your Week 9 viewing guide.

Saturday, October 30
12:00 p.m. ET
#17 Oklahoma State at Kansas State (FSN, Comcast Sports)

The next two Longhorn opponents.

#22 Miami (FL) at Virginia (ESPN)
The early games are light on intrigue.

3:30 p.m. ET
#5 Michigan State at #18 Iowa (ABC/ESPN)

One of the day’s better games, and what should be MSU’s last big test.

#6 Missouri at #14 Nebraska (ABC/ESPN)
This game should decide the Big 12’s North division champion.

Florida vs. Georgia @ Jacksonville, FL (CBS)
Has there ever been less hype for this rivalry?

6:00 p.m. ET
#1 Auburn at Mississippi, ESPN2

The top team has fallen each of the last three weeks. Don’t expect that trend to continue, tune in to watch Auburn QB Cam Newton be awesome.

7:00 p.m. ET
#25 Baylor at Texas (FSN)

See how Texas responds to their latest embarrassment.

8:00 p.m. ET
#2 Oregon at Southern California (ABC)

One of Oregon’s final tests en route to the BCS title game.

#11 Ohio State at Minnesota (ABC)
If Michigan State goes down, the top of the Big Ten will be real interesting presuming OSU and Wisconsin continue to roll.

9:15 p.m. ET
Colorado at #9 oklahoma (ESPN2)

The night cap game has ou giving Colorado a send off from the Big 12. Over/under is at 65 points for ou.

Thanks to “Lil Pete” for his ongoing contributions to EyesOfTX.

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Texas’ 2010 Football Recruiting: Locked & (Re)Loaded

If Texas football coach Mack Brown and his staff are still feeling as if they let one get away after last month’s disappointing loss to Alabama in the BCS National Championship game, then Wednesday should help put the Longhorns’ coaches in position to make another run at the success that eluded them January 7th in Pasadena.

The title of “Mr. February” has long been retired ever since Brown put to rest the stigma that he “couldn’t win the big one.” Texas’ run to Brown’s first Big 12 and national championships in the 2005 season validated him as a game day coach, and mythical titles have since been replaced by more tangible ones.

But with that said, the first Wednesday of every February is Texas’ time to shine – at least it has been since Brown restored recruiting order in Austin – and this National Signing Day was no different as he and the Longhorns’ staff secured signed letters of intent from 25 of the nation’s top prep athletes en route to another consensus top 5 recruiting class for Texas.

Among the group signees announced on Wednesday, seven were named Parade All-Americans, three earned first-team USA Today All-USA honors and two others earned second-team All-USA honors. All told, 17 players earned All-America status, 15 players were listed among ESPNU’s Top 150 national prospects and 20 were listed among all-state teams.

The 2002 class that would eventually carry Texas during Brown’s memorable 2005 season is considered by many to be the standard by which Mack Brown classes should be evaluated. It featured several impact contributors such as offensive lineman Justin Blalock, Lyle Sendlein, and Kasey Studdard, defensive back Aaron Ross, tight end David Thomas, defensive end Brian Robison and, of course, quarterback Vince Young.

And while Brown isn’t willing to rush to any hasty judgments of a group that hasn’t played a down of collegiate football, he didn’t back down from entertaining such comparisons either.

“Some will want to compare this group to some of the other great classes we’ve had at Texas and based on their accomplishments coming out of high school, they have the potential to be in that conversation,” Brown said Wednesday afternoon during his signing day press conference. “But, as a staff, we’ve been doing this for a long time and we’ll evaluate them in four or five years at the end of their run and not now.”

While the 2010 class’ legacy is yet to be determined, they do stack up well with other top classes in the country. Rivals rated the Longhorns class third behind only Florida and USC.

“Texas’ class is certainly right up there with any program in the country when you factor in how much talent the Longhorns are bringing in and how well they’ve filled their needs,” said Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Jeremy Crabtree to Jason Suchomel of Orangebloods.com. “Any other year, this would be the clear No. 1 class in the country.”

For the fourth time in the last five years, Texas finished in Scout’s top 10, also at No. 3 where they followed Florida and Oklahoma. The Longhorns’ most favorable ranking came courtesy of ESPN, which ranked Texas second behind only Florida.

Texas’ class is obviously loaded with plenty of star power capable of supporting its lofty ranking, but according to Brown, the class also carefully addressed key areas of need as the Longhorns look to improve depth throughout the roster.

“Of our 13 classes at Texas, this group addresses every position more so than any other class we’ve had,” Brown said. “We were fortunate enough to sign a talented young player at every position which is very unusual for a class.”

The intent is that improved depth will improve competition as the Longhorns begin preparations for the 2010 season with spring football rapidly approaching.

“We will prepare all of these guys to play this season and I expect many of them will,” the 12-year Texas coach continued. “This class, along with the outstanding young players we have returning next season, will provide immediate help and also be a great foundation for success in years to come.”

Also impressive is the efficiency the Longhorns staff exhibited while identifying and ultimately landing this year’s class. As Brown indicated Wednesday, the Texas coaches extended 30 total offers, and hosted just 25 of the 62 official on-campus visits permitted by the NCAA. All 25 of those official visits resulted in signatures on Wednesday.

No stranger to signing day drama and losses – uttering the name “Ryan Perrilloux” is still liable to spark bitterness among the burnt orange and white nation, Brown was happy to enjoy an uneventful signing day.

“It’s a whole lot worse to be No. 2 in recruiting than it is No. 5,” Brown said. “Because if you lose today, you not only lost the guy you lost, but you lost the guy you would have taken if he hadn’t come. So actually, you lose two or three players when you lose a guy late.

“That’s why we’ve tried to do our recruiting earlier for guys that want to come. We’re very fortunate that we didn’t have drama at the end. All of our guys were honest with us. All of our guys told us exactly what they thought from the beginning, and we really feel like none of our guys wavered. And that’s something that’s very, very important to us.”

This year’s class is predictably dominated by Texas’ top talent as 22 of 25 prospects hail from the Lone Star state. Since taking the Longhorns’ job, Brown has embraced legendary Texas coach Darrell K. Royal’s advice to reestablish ties with the state’s high school coaches, and the program continued its stranglehold in 2010 as all 22 homegrown prospects rank in the state’s top 100 according to the Lone Star Recruiting rankings.

“We look at the young men in the state of Texas first,” Brown noted of his philosophy when it comes to evaluating prospects. “If a young man in the state of Texas is equal in ability with a young man outside the state of Texas, we take the in-state player first. We’ve always done that. We feel that’s very important.”

With regard to evaluating out of state prospects, Brown said that he tries to identify a reason why such a prospect might be interested in Texas. Wednesday, the Horns received signed letters of intent from three out of state prospects, including one ofthe country’s top linebacker prospects in Jordan Hicks from West Chester, OH (his explanation of why he chose Texas). Rarely do blue-chip athletes from Ohio escape Ohio State’s grasp, but in Hicks, Brown landed the first player of his tenure from that talent-rich region.

“This is a proud moment for them, for their parents, high school coaches and teammates who have helped them get to this point,” Brown said of the class. “These kids have worked their whole lives and had a dream to go to college. This is a huge moment for these young people and we’re excited to have them join the Texas family.”

Thanks to John Haynesworth for his contribution on Texas football’s 2010 National Signing Day recap for Eyes Of TX. More to come on Thursday, with in-depth player profiles.

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Texas QB Vince Young v. Washington QB Jake Locker

There will always be a debate over whether certain players are better than others. Each season, it happens on team’s two-deep depth charts, or in the determination of the Heisman Trophy and other post-season award winners. In addition, comparisons across sporting generations occur – between current and former college sports team legends, across conferences, and across a specific athletic event. For instance, will any college football player ever be as good as Ohio State running back Archie Griffin, who is the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy? Is Vince Young, Major Applewhite, or James Street the best Texas Longhorn quarterback? Is a non-BCS team quarterback better or worse than a BCS team quarterback? Are the D-I and D-II national championship teams on an equal playing field?

This week, in particular, USC’s head football coach Pete Carroll discussed his thoughts on Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who just led the Huskies to an upset of the now former #3 ranked Trojans, with a writer from the LA Times. Carroll’s conclusion – or at least the way it was portrayed in the article – was Locker was a better quarterback than former Texas quarterback Vince Young, who led the Longhorns to a national championship in 2005 over the vaunted Trojans and their star California trio of Matt Leinart, Reggie Bush and Lendale White. Carroll’s justification: Locker is the best quarterback he has ever coached against, while Young played the best quarterback game he has ever seen. Sounds like a bit of spin to Eyes Of TX; well done, Pete – smoke and mirrors.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, and having watched Jake Locker grow up under center at Husky Stadium for the past three years, Eyes Of TX thought Carroll’s comparison was suspect – much to the chagrin of my U-Dub friends. Below, broken down to the best estimations, Eyes Of TX’s analysis to see who was/is the better passing quarterback.

Some clarifying points before reading on: 1) Analysis is based on Young’s three-year starting role, and Locker’s projections on his three-year starting role – estimating for lost time due to injuries in 2007 and 2008 and his 2009 projections; 2) Eliminated the “team” factor as much as possible (i.e. – what if Locker played for the current Florida Gators, would he be better because of the talent around him? What if Texas ran a more proficient passing offense, and Young didn’t rush as often in the offensive scheme?); 3) Focus on the passing game, since we’re under the solid assumption that Young was the best rushing quarterback of the two athletes, based on “escapability,” but not to take away from Locker’s obvious rushing prowess; and finally, 4) Young holds a two-game advantage in games played (13-12-13) to Locker’s estimated (12-12-12).

Vince Young, Texas Longhorns
3-year starter at quarterback

Career:
444-for-718 (completions to attempts) for a college career 62% completion rate
Total passing yards: 6,040
Total passing TDs: 44
Total INTs: 28

Jake Locker, Washington Huskies
3-year starter at quarterback

Freshman year (12 games; injured for one game):
Passing yards: 2,062
TD passes: 14
INTs: 15

Sophomore Year (3.5 games; injured in game four):
Passing yards (actual): 512
Passing yards (estimation of full season, or 12 games, based on 3.5 game performance): 2,052
TD passes: 1
TD passes (realistic estimation of full season, or 12 games, based on 3.5 game performance): 6
INTs: 0
INTs (realistic estimation of full season, or 12 games, based on 3.5 game performance): 5

Junior year (through three games):
Passing (actual): 811 yards
Passing yards (estimation of full season, or 12 games): 3,244
TD passes (actual): 5
TD passes (estimation of full season, or 12 games): 20
INTs (actual): 1
INTs (estimation of full season, or 12 games): 4

TOTAL to-date:
268-for-526 (completions to attempts), for a college career 51% completion rate
Total passing yards (actual): 3,385
Total passing yards (estimated, through 3 full seasons): 7,358
Total passing TDs (actual): 20
Total passing TDs (estimated, though 3 full seasons): 40
Total INTs (actual): 16
Total INTs (estimated, through 3 full seasons): 24

Net-net, Young and Locker net-out near equal in most every category. The clearest exception, however, is their actual completion percentage, which Young leads with the 62% to 51% advantage. Locker, however, would clearly win the career passing yards battle (7,358 to 6,040). When it comes to ball security and leading the team to points via the passing game, it’s a draw: Young is +4 in TDs thrown, and Locker is -4 in INTs thrown.

Who do you think is the better college quarterback? Eyes Of TX still says Young, but will whole-heartedly concede that it was much closer than initially imagined. Maybe the 2005 national championship ring is blinding the analysis of the data.

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