Garrett Gilbert will lead Texas to the National Championship game.
He just won’t do it this year.
Gilbert has all the tools to become the next great Texas quarterback. He’s big, athletic, has an arm like a cannon, and has an NFL pedigree. Most importantly he’s a winner. At Lake Travis High School this kid was all-everything.
After a horrible first half in last year’s National Championship Game Gilbert showed flashes of why he will become a premier QB in College Football.
So as his first year in charge of the offense is about to begin, expectations are high for both Gilbert and Texas. Many are picking Texas as a serious contender for a spot in the Championship game. But contenders are all they will be.
This year the cards are stacked against Texas.
There’s no getting around this. Sure, Gilbert had a year to learn from the winningest QB in College Football history but he was never tested in a real game until Colt McCoy got hurt and he was thrust into the game against Alabama. He saw some mop up duty in blow out but nothing can prepare you for the real thing.
He’s going to make mistakes and some of them will be costly.
Gilbert had a chance to complete the comeback for Texas last year but failed to pick up the weak side blitz and ended up getting sacked and turning over the ball, which resulted in a touchdown and the end of Texas’s hopes for a championship.
That play just showed his inexperience. McCoy or any other multi-year starter would have seen the blitz and changed the protection.
Questions at Receiver
Unless Gilbert signed a lease for an apartment with a new wide out this summer, receiver could be an issue for Texas this year. Gilbert needs to find his Jordan Shipley, his Quan Cosby. He needs to find his go-to guy. By the time Gilbert leaves Texas he will have had multiple favorite targets but this year, this season he needs to develop chemistry with his receivers and that just takes time.
Texas won’t need to score a lot of points to win games this year, the defense will be that good. But there might be a game or two where the offense will need to win the game and those are the ones that could be troublesome.
It’s a consistent pattern. Texas gets great new quarterback and offensive coordinator Greg Davis does everything in his power to mess him up the first year.
Davis likes to play it safe with new QB’s. He did it with Vince Young, he did it with McCoy and he’ll do it with Gilbert. For his first season Davis will simplify the playbook and keep Gilbert on a very short leash. Then next season he’ll let Gilbert open it up and he’ll thrive.
It happened before and it will happen again.
Texas has a pretty favorable schedule this year. Only really three games stand out as troublesome, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas Tech. Yet if Texas is to stumble it will be in one of these games.
The one that seems to have caught everyone’s attention is the Nebraska game. It’s in Lincoln and there is a lot of hype surrounding this game given what happened at last years Big 12 Championship game and this spring’s conference re-alignment drama.
Nebraska has one goal this year. Beat Texas. They even went as far as producing a video with that as the theme. The eye of the nation will be on this game and Texas will have to deal with an extremely hostile if not still somewhat classy environment.
Lets just say Texas does run the table and finishes the season undefeated, there’s still a good chance they won’t play for the national title.
The way things are shaping up we could end up with four undefeated teams. An SEC team, Boise State, Ohio State and for the purposes of this article let’s say Texas. If that happens rest assured one of the teams left out will a mascot named Bevo.
No way in a million years does an undefeated SEC get left out of the Championship game again. If Alabama or Florida runs the table then they have a spot in the big game.
If Boise can get past Virginia Tech and finishes the season without a loss book them in the National Championship game. The national media wants this, the BCS wants this, and Disney wants this so they can make a sub par movie about it.
Plus it’s been about two years since Texas has been screwed by the BCS so they are due.
Gilbert is going to be great I just think that this year he’s got too many things going against him to take Texas the distance.