Texas Longhorns Season Preview

“Hook `Em Horns”! New Coach Tom Herman has Longhorn Optimism High 

Nearly 20 years after his graduate assistant job at the University of Texas, Tom Herman returns to Austin, this time as the boss of the Longhorn’s football program. If the trail of success that has followed Herman everywhere he has traveled since began coaching at Texas Lutheran in 1998, the ‘burnt orange’ faithful soon be proudly waving the ‘hook `em horns’ symbol again.

Herman spent the next decade navigating his way across the Lone Star State, gradually progressing up the coaching ranks with each move, and leaving a trademark of getting the ultimate potential out of players. For the next 5 years, he would bring his prowess as an offensive genius, first to Iowa State and then under Urban Meyer at The Ohio State University.

In 2015, another Texas school saw the immense potential that college football experts regularly discussed, and Herman returned to Texas, accepting his first head-coaching job at the University of Houston. In his two full seasons as the Cougar’s boss, they lost only 4 games, and were undefeated at home and also unbeaten in six games against AP ranked squads.

While the head coach, nor anyone on his staff, will lace up their cleats at go to war on the gridiron next season, there are high hopes our Longhorn program is in the hands of someone who has consistently pried peak performance out of his players.
Our Longhorn squad the last two seasons especially, has been tagged with the label of underachievers. Herman and the staff have talent immediately available in the Longhorn locker room ready to return the program back to national prominence.

We have to dig deep into the Longhorns roster to find 17 seniors on an underclassman heavy team set to open Herman’s first season at the helm. The most intriguing battle as spring practice opens, will be the one for the QB spot in what will surely be one of the nations most electrifying offenses; a Herman trademark.
Shane Buechele impressed with a Longhorn record-breaking freshman year, but a talented freshman has been welcomed to Austin by the name of Sam Ehlinger. Ehlinger’s work ethic and leadership charisma have Herman silent about who he feels will operate behind center next fall.
Herman has a history of producing some of the most talented offensive players at every level he has been on staff. With seven returning starters from last year’s offense, we will get to see which of these players Herman will target.

With a new sheriff in Austin, everyone on the Longhorn squad will need to take their game to a higher level, especially on offense. One of the most intriguing will be a former quarterback turned wide out, Jerrod Heard. There’s some clear indication that Herman will work plays into the Longhorn offense that slot Heard behind center on occasion.
With a pair of talented quarterbacks and versatile set of wide receivers, Herman will also be looking for huge things from the running back spot. Chris Warren III will be playing with a chip on his shoulder, coming back from injury following a freshman record 276 yard/4 TD final game of the 2015 season. The tools are in place for Texas to explode onto the national scene offensively in Herman’s first year.

On defense, Texas will bring back eight returning starters, but Herman has already voiced concern on the defensive line. Defense will be a prime focal point in spring practice. More than a dozen returning Longhorns saw a lot of time on defense last year. Also, consider that the Longhorns were tagged by SB Nation as having the #1 stable of returnees in the country and both sides of the ball look strong.
It’s a given that Tom Herman has been successful everywhere he has coached. He steps into a head coaching position at the University of Texas, where the corral is full of untapped talent. Longhorn fans should be ready to twirl their ‘hook `em horns’, because UT football is ready to shake the underachiever label next fall.

Is Tom Herman A Great Fit For Texas ?

Early in the season last year, it became quite clear that the Texas Longhorns were going to be needing a new coach. Despite the fact that Texas came back from a dismal beginning of the season to knock off the number eight team in country, it was apparent to all Longhorns fans that Charlie Strong was on his way out the door. There is a now a new sheriff in town, and his name is Tom Herman. Herman is a very young coach, at just forty-one years old, and is without question a fan favorite. His last job was in Houston, where he legitimized a team that had been off of the National radar for a long time.

After an upset of the number nine team in the country, Tom Herman boldly stated that they had put the Houston Cougars back on the National map. After losing just one game in 2015, while consistently remaining in the top ten in the country, Herman and the Cougars took a slight backslide in 2016. However, Herman literally transformed the Houston program and finished two seasons at 22-4, which is truly a remarkable finish. As a result of his rapid success, he became highly desirable to some of the top teams in the country. Texas has been fortunate enough to swoop him up, and if things go as well as they did in Houston, it looks like the Longhorns are going to get the revival that they have so desperately needed.

There is a long standing football tradition in the city of Austin. Texas is known as being one of the best teams in the country and that identity is something that they have been missing for several seasons. One of the biggest reasons why Tom Herman looks like he is going to fit in amazingly well in Texas, is that he really is a players coach. His players over the years have had great support for him and have given him quite a bit of praise. Tom Herman has also held quite a bit of jobs in the state of Texas and has also worked for the university in the past.

When you look at a program like Houston, which is a team that has no where near the notoriety that Texas has, it is pretty amazing was Herman was able to do. Taking that amount of success to a storied team is something that can only add up to success, which is why things are truly looking bright, both for Herman and the Texas Longhorns. The Longhorns also have some amazing players on their roster and are without question one of the best teams in the country when it comes to recruiting players. Herman is likely going to play a big role in attracting new talent to Texas in the upcoming years. One of the reasons why things look so great for this team right now, is merely the fact that players love playing for Tom Herman.

After winning just a handful of games last year, a fun and energetic coach is something that the Longhorns have desperately been searching for. With so many teams vying for a shot at getting Tom Herman as their coach, the Longhorns are undoubtedly lucky to have him. Herman is also going to be coaching at a school that he has wanted to coach at for a very long time, which just adds to the potential dynamic for next season. The Longhorns players and fans have quite a bit to look forward to next season, as there is a very good chance they will be in the top ten next year.

Ranking Nick Saban’s Teams at Alabama

NICK SABAN’s best teams which he has had while he has been at Alabama….you may be wondering? Yes, there are a few. I will briefly describe, in my own respected opinion, what these may have been….and we begin.

I begin with a quote on this one of a kind leader. As do all other leaders from time to time, this one has lovers and haters. Let us have a brief look:

“He’s won 100 games, four national titles and he’s actually smiling after his latest title.Try picking his best team. It’s tough. About the only thing certain when ranking his Alabama teams is which one was the worst — his first one in 2007. That team finished 7-6. Every other one of his teams has won at least 10 games….”
(http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/list/ranking-alabama-teams-under-nick-saban-championships-derrick-henry-mark-ingram-amari-cooper-trent-richardson/pdkwjfn6u8lf11gw2lsvwov1b, pg. 1)

His rides at LSU were among the worst from what I have seen, absolutely cutting him off from the top of the top and being the very best in college football during this time. He continues to be an American football leader and coach today despite his many wins and losses, ups and downs. This itself serves as a true and living testimony to all of the good things which may come in time due to faithful and true perseverance at best. This also lies at the heart of real football, which is most important to note.

COACH SABAN has gone to the championships in 2003, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015 respectively. Just getting that far can serve as a true milestone of success for anyone. Not every can get that far, to the very championships. Not every one does, as we know. He led the teams of the Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide at these particular times, pushing his players to remember the key aspects which make or break a team….and which make each and every single one of them a success to all the rest. They had to believe it for themselves first. In a sense, he pushed the team players, and the rest was up to them. This was key to their advancement.

Here is a bit more back ground information on this one of a kind man, leader, coach, and family guy:
“He became the first coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936. Saban and Bear Bryant are the only coaches to win an SEC championship at two different schools.In May 2013…” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Saban, pg. 1, para. 2, section 2)

As we can see, there is always more to things than meets the eye. It is no different here. This man has a back story which have driven him to where he has gone…..a series of life decisions made which have in turn molded his successes, so to speak.

MR. SABAN has also been an assistant coach for the NCAA DIVISION 1. 2007 itself was not such a bad year when he coached the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. In fact, he appears to have finished the year with a 7-6.

What is also worth noting is the fact that the following year, though counted as highly unsuccessful and uneventful for him and his team, did yield many learning lessons and positive results. For one, it opened other doors for him….in addition to him continuing to receive many awards for COACH OF THE YEAR. This does not come to just any one.

Nick Saban’s 50 Best Players of All Time

Who are Nick Sabans Top-50 All-time Players? 

It is impossible to have a discussion about college football in 2016 without bringing up Nick Saban, arguably the greatest coach that the game has ever seen. While currently working on a 200-60-1 all-time career record in the college game, Saban has amassed five national championships and produced two Heisman Trophy winners. His accolades include a two-time National Coach of the Year according to the Associated Press as well as the three-time SEC Coach of the Year. Moreover, his coaching tree extends to include Jason Garrett, Mark Dantonio, and Jimbo Fisher.

Sabans legacy has produced dozens of NFL talent on both sides of the ball, which has sparked the conversation of who his greatest players of all-time are. Despite Saban jumping around at the beginning of his coaching career and even notching a short stint in the NFL, the Fairmont, West Virginia native has been a model of consistency since his first hire at the University of Toledo in 1989. From power running backs to shutdown defensive lineman, Nick Saban has consistently found a way to identify and develop the top talent in the country. And without further ado, here are the top 50 to ever put on a uniform for Coach Nick Saban:


50. Skyler Green
49. Greg McElroy
48. James Carpenter
47. Ike Reese
46. Derrick Mason
45. A’Shawn Robinson
44. Dee Milliner
43. Domanick Davis
42. Robaire Smith
41. Javier Arenas


40. D.J Fluker
39. Amp Campbell
38. Stephen Peterman
37. Eddie Lacy
36. Michael Clayton
35. Dre Kirkpatrick
34. Mike Johnson
33. T.J. Yeldon
32. Antoine Caldwell
31. Cyrus Kouandijo


30. Marcell Dareus
29. Ben Wilkerson
28. Chad Lavalais
27. Landon Collins
26. Bradie James
25. Chance Warmack
24. Marcus Spears
23. Ha Ha Clinton- Dix
22. Rashad Johnson
21. Ryan Kelly

20. Andre Smith
19. Josh Reed
18. Corey Webster
17. Flozell Adams
16. Reggie Ragland
15. Courtney Upshaw
14. Julio Jones
13. AJ McCarron
12. Dont’a Hightower
11. Julian Peterson

Top 10

10. Trent Richardson
Heisman Trophy finalist
NO. 3 overall selection in NFL draft
9. Plaxico Burress
NO. 8 overall selection in NFL draft
Super Bowl champion
8. Mark Barron
2x National Champion
NO. 7 overall selection in NFL draft
7. C.J. Mosley
National Champion
SEC Defensive Player of the Year
6. Rolando McClain
National Champion
SEC Defensive Player of the Year
5. Derrick Henry
Heisman Trophy winner
National Champion
4. Terrence Cody
Three consecutive Consensus All- American selections
National Champion
3. Barrett Jones
Rimington Award winner
4.0 GPA
2. Mark Ingram
Heisman Trophy winner
National Champion
1. Amari Cooper
Biletnikoff Award winner
NO.4 overall selection in NFL draft

As you can see, Coach Saban has been a staple of consistency throughout his years at the helm, and has produced some of the most recognizable NFL players in today’s football scene. Whether it was patrolling the sidelines at Michigan State or dominating the SEC as he currently does at Alabama, Sabans ability to prepare players for success at the next level is one that is perhaps unmatched by another other football coach in NCAA history. In my opinion his most promising disciple, Amari Cooper, has the potential to be an elite wide out for the next decade in the NFL as his rookie season has already drawn attention.