Image via StarTelegram.com
Texas’ regular season ending 27-23 loss to Texas Tech has simmered. So I thought I’d put a post together with some of my thoughts on the loss. As well as some thoughts on the season, and moving forward to the offseason. Texas will still play in a bowl game this winter in hopes to get a win to take the sour taste away from this past loss.
– Tim Beck: I thought I’d just start off with the topic most are talking about right now, OC Tim Beck. A stat that really caught my eye recently was this one.
Todd Orlando resume note: Texas became first Big 12 team in over a decade (2006) to hold all conference opponents under 30 points. Longhorns only went 5-4 in the league however.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 25, 2017
So you’re pretty much telling me that Texas put the best defense on the field in terms of PPG in the last decade, and only managed to go 5-4 in conference play? The only answer for that was embarrassing offensive play. And we saw a lot of that in 2017 and the man that most of the heat is on is OC Tim Beck.
Another interesting thing was something I heard during the game was after halftime when the Fox Sideline reporter spoke after interviewing Tom Herman at half. He said he felt the offense as a whole was playing tentative, and that included OC Tim Beck’s play calling. That was a big thing I felt from the Texas offense, was that they were playing not to lose but not to win. That’s something that won’t win you many games.
One huge factor in college football that most don’t consider is stability. Everyone wants Texas to fire Tim Beck, which I can understand to a degree. But if Beck is fired, Texas will have their 5th different offensive play caller in only 4 seasons if a new OC is in Austin in 2018. How in the world can you expect a group of college football players to excel in an offense if they’re in a new scheme every single year? The simple answer is, you can’t. But the word patience is no longer in the vocabulary of most decision makers in college football. So we’ll see what happens with Beck this offseason.
– Sam Ehlinger: I’ve gone on record before the season, during the season, and now saying that I have never thught that QB’s Sam Ehlinger or Shane Buechele are the long term answers for Texas to get them back to the top. I have said that Ehlinger gives them the best shot to win games though. He’s played really well at times, but Friday was his 3rd game of the season where he’s had a turnover that has either lost the game for Texas right then and there or a TO that pretty much sealed Texas’ fate. That’s something that can’t happen, and the main hope is that this is something he can improve with as he gains more experience.
Like I’ve said before, keeping Ehlinger healthy will be the biggest key moving forward.
– Juniors to the NFL?: I’ve said multiple times that there is no way I can see JR’s Malik Jefferson and Connor Williams returning to Texas for their SR seasons. Both are likely first round picks and they know that. The more interesting decisions will come with guys like DeShon Elliott, Holton Hill, and even guys like Michael Dickson and Charles Omenihu.
After talking to some people it sounds like Elliott and Hill will both likely test the NFL waters but neither one of those decisions are as much of a sure thing like Williams and Jefferson. There was a time earlier in the season that DE Charles Omenihu was playing very well and some talked about him possibly leaving early. I’m told that likely isn’t going to happen anymore. Punter Michael Dickson, who has an argument of being Texas’ best player in 2017 is draft eligible. I’ll be honest, I’m not an expert on kickers or punters leaving early. And I’m not sure if Dickson is set to graduate early like guys like Williams and Jefferson. I will say that he can 100% start for an NFL team in 2018, heck he could right now.
Those are some things to keep an eye on over the offseason.