The Texas Longhorns are coming off of a miserable 5-7 season; their worst record since 1997. I wouldn't be surprised if the purchase of Zoloft pills went through the roof.
They enter this season with 12 remaining starters from a year ago and look to play the way Longhorn fans expect them to. It's time to get back on top of the college football world.
Today the Texas Longhorns announced that Garrett Gilbert is going to be the starting quarterback this season. This really comes as no surprise, as it was between him, a freshman quarterback or Case McCoy (who has only thrown one pass his entire career).
Gilbert started all 12 games for the Longhorns last year. He threw for 2,744 yards last season and 10 touchdowns, but also completed 17 passes to the other teams.
I don't really hold much stock in those numbers because it was his first true season as a starter and he played on a team where nobody really did anything right on the offensive side.
Heading into his second season as a starter, Gilbert should have improved a lot. His accuracy is great, as is his leadership. He plays with a ton of poise and just needs to work on that arm strength and he should be fine.
Gilbert will also have new offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin working with him this year. Harsin was the quarterback coach at Boise State and has been coaching offense since 2000, when he got his start at Eastern Oregon.
How many games will Texas win this season?
But will all of this translate into wins for the Longhorns in 2011?
Texas should start the season off 4-0; they open the year against four cupcakes before playing Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. This should give Gilbert plenty of time to gain familiarity with the offense and build up confidence before going up against the two conference powerhouses.
Also, to Gilbert's defense, Texas lacked a real solid running game last season. Plug in Malcolm Brown, who was one of the top recruits, and that helps fill in a major weakness to the Longhorns offense.
The Longhorns ranked sixth in total defense last year, but gave up several big plays and didn't force too many turnovers. The hire of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz should help get production out of the defensive players' potential.
Head coach Mack Brown is not known for losing seasons; last year was his first losing season at Texas and the first in his coaching career since 1989. With the talent on this team, don't expect another horrible year for the Longhorns.
Garrett Gilbert will be better this season, but it won't be up to him alone to get Texas back to where they're supposed to be.
This will need to be a team effort—and they have the pieces to do it in Austin.