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Garrett Gilbert vs. Case McCoy vs. Connor Wood vs. David Ash
As the rest of the nation snickered, Texas fans watched in horror as their beloved Longhorns went 5-7 in 2010.
After a host of new faces came in on the coaching staff, it was clear than there needed to be some major work done in Austin during the offseason. As spring approached, Mack Brown closed all spring practices to the media.
Beyond that, Mack Brown has limited his own availability, and his interviews have often been terse. When asked about almost anything, Brown responds by saying he doesn't respond to media rumors.
Coach Brown, if you seal off your program from the media, what else does the media have? Brown conveniently created an environment where he doesn't have to say anything to the media or talk about anything but the topics he chooses.
Finally, it took a rumor reported by ESPN that Garrett Gilbert had been privately told he'd be the starter in 2011 by Texas coaches.
Brown decided it was a good opportunity to violate his “I hate the media” rule, and talk to ESPN about the rumor.
By the way, ESPN and the University of Texas are preparing to jointly launch the Longhorns Network this September. Maybe that little tidbit had something to do with Brown's no-media exception?
Anyway, Brown denied the rumors, saying that no player had been talked to about any possible position on the depth chart.
Brown also went on to say that he's looking forward to see the progress each quarterback makes in August.
Since Brown won't give anybody other than now-financially-linked-to-Texas ESPN any insight into his thought process for the 2011 quarterback job, all we have left is inference.
The fan base seems to be split on Gilbert. Was he to blame, at least partially, for last year's embarrassment? Some say yes, some say no. Should Case McCoy, little brother to UT's all-time winningest quarterback, get a shot to start for the Longhorns? What about redshirt freshman Connor Wood or true freshman David Ash?
All four quarterbacks played in the Texas spring game. Gilbert showed some improvement in reading defenses, but he also displayed many of the same problems that plagued him in 2010. Of particular concern is Gilbert's penchant for picking one receiver, staring at him, and throwing the ball to him regardless of the coverage. He also still has a habit of seriously under-cooking some of his passes.
McCoy had the only touchdown pass of the day, and completed nine of his 11 passes for 124 yards. Easily the most impressive and effective quarterback—at least during the spring game—McCoy went a long way towards convincing people he should get an opportunity to start of the Longhorns.
Both Ash and Wood played as well, and had solid, if uninspiring outings.
It's highly likely we won't know who's starting for the Longhorns until the days leading up to their opening game against Rice.
It's also highly likely that Texas's hope for a rebound season will have a great deal to do with who starts under center.