We've got football on the brain, mostly because it's almost football time, and football is our favorite thing in the whole football. We mean, in the whole world. Sorry--honest mistake.
We are anxious for answers in some key areas as we prepare for the 2007 Football Season, which you can see is capitalized because it is very important. First, the questions about the offense (and one personal question):
Item 1: (This is one you can help with, using the comment feature on this post.) Abram has an LSAT class next Thursday night from 5:30 to 9:00. Should he:
A) Go to the class and hurry home to catch the last hour or so of LSU's season opener against Mississippi State, which begins at 7:00
B) Go to the class for most of the time, but leave about an hour to 90 minutes early in order to catch most of the game
C) Go to the class for the first hour and a half and then get home in time for kickoff, or
D) Skip it entirely in order to prepare himself
Item 2: Can Colt McCoy back up his unbelievable freshman year with an equal-or-better sophomore campaign? Obviously, we are inclined to believe he can. All indications from the coaching staff and reporters watching camp have been very positive on Colt's progress, and he seems poised to pick up right where he left off before getting knocked out of the K-State game. But, it won't be until the TCU game Sept. 8 that we get the beginning of an answer here. And to be perfectly honest, while TCU is no slouch, they are not exactly a defensive juggernaut. So it will fittingly be Kansas State in Austin on Sept. 29 that proves to be the first real test of Colt's second season at the helm.
Item 3: How will Jamaal Charles respond to being the one and only feature back in the Longhorn offense now that Selvin Young has graduated? Chris Ogbannaya and Vondrell McGee are both very capable backups, and Ogbannaya is likely to get plenty of snaps with the first team at fullback in offensive sets where Texas has one. But Charles is now undeniably the go-to guy, a status he has not held yet in his career. The answer to Item 2 will depend heavily on the answer to this one, as JC has to provide a serious running threat if defenses are to respect the ground game and thus provide McCoy with opportunities to beat them through the air. And Item 3's answer will depend heavily upon...
Item 4: How will the Texas offensive line perform after losing 3 all-conference starters--Justin Blalock, Lyle Sendlein, and Kasey Studdard--off of the 2006 squad? This is the million dollar question. Mack Brown, he of the recruiting genius, has plenty of talent to work with in crafting this season's O-Line. Dallas Griffin, the center, is a 5th-year senior who has never started yet is on the Outland Trophy watch list. Guard Cedrick Dockery began last season as a starter then got injured against ou, and it will be interesting to see if he can return at 100% this year as predicted. His counterpart Chris Hall is probably the biggest question mark on the unit; he is a redshirt sophomore who appeared in 7 games as a backup last year. Finally, tackles Adam Ulatoski and Tony Hills both started some last season, with Hills doing so the whole season and Ulatoski starting after Dockery's injury. So, the good news is that it is not a young, totally untested group of blockers. The questions to be answered are how they will work together as a unit and who will step up to fill the leadership void left behind by Blalock, Sendlein, and Studdard. But make no mistake: these are five humongous, talented dudes who have the physical ability to make the offense extremely successful. Because everybody knows that lineman are what make the offense go.