Posted on: September 14, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 4:41 pm
Last spring I began a recurring element to my blog called Stats That Matter. It was a way to examine the approach of a coach about some slightly outside the box statistic that the NCAA doesn't officially keep track of. The goal: illuminating a key detail the coach sees as reflective of their success. This week's Stats That Matter features Va. Tech running backs coach Shane Beamer who focuses on the real secret to what makes Hokie tailback David Wilson one of the breakout stars of 2011: Tackles Broken.
Beamer, who just returned to Blacksburg after coaching at Miss. State and South Carolina, noted that Wilson broke an astounding 15 tackles in the Hokies opener against Appalachian State. Beamer then was informed by Billy Hite, Tech's former RB coach who has been around Blacksburg since before TV was invented, that Wilson's performance actually qualified as a Hokie record for tackles broken in a game. Then, in WK 2, against East Carolina, Wilson almost tied his own school record, by breaking 14 tackles.
Beamer says he has been amazed at just how powerful the 205-pounder is. "I knew from watching him on TV how fast he is and how explosive he was is," said Beamer. "I had no idea just how strong he was. You go into our weight room and he holds two of the all-time records for running backs in power clean and the front squat. You watch him in the weight room and he's right up there with our offensive linemen in leg strength and a lot of things."
As Miss. State's running backs coach, Beamer had a talented, bruising tailback in Anthony Dixon, but the assistant said the 240-pounder never piled up the broken tackle numbers the way Wilson is doing. "Anthony was a great player, but he didn't have David's speed and explosiveness," Beamer said. In 2010, he was an assistant at South Carolina, but wasn't coaching running backs so he isn't sure how Wilson's numbers measure up to Gamecock star Marcus Lattimore. "I know Marcus had a bunch of em. I remember last year when we played Georgia, he had an obscene number of broken tackles and yards after contact."
Seeing Wilson power through tacklers, though, has proven to be an even bigger revelation for the younger Beamer: "I coach the kickoff return team here. I tell those guys 'you gotta continue playing until you hear the whistle because there's a shot where it looks like David is tackled and the play is over and then the next thing you know, you look and he's still running. And the guy who we were actually double-teaming, made the tackle or else he'd have scored a touchdown on the kickoff return.' So we have to continue to teach our guys with David the play is not over till the whistle blows."
The first thing Beamer does on Sunday morning when he arrives at the office is grade the game film from the previous day. In addition Beamer keeps tabs on tackles broken and yards after contact. He does not include the tackles Wilson breaks on kick returns in his game total, but he does factor in the ones he breaks on receptions. (Thus far, Wilson has only broken one tackle as a receiver in 2011.) Beamer said there isn't a place on the wall in the running backs room where he keeps the players total tackles broke, but says he probably should have one. "We talk about it on Mondays as a running backs group and we talk about it in front of the team. When a running back plays well, the one stat that we always include is the number of broken tackles that he had."
Beamer's criteria: "I count (a broken tackle) as any time where there is a defender in position to make a play and he gets a hand, arm, shoulder on the guy and doesn't bring him down. I don't count a broken tackle as (the ball-carrier) just making a guy miss in the open field or where he just runs away from somebody. The guy has to be in good position to make the tackle and get a body part on him."
The coach also doesn't include any time Wilson drags a tackler, say, five yards downfield before going down. "If I guy makes contact and then gets him down, I'll give him yards after contact but not 'a broken tackle.' It has to be a guy he breaks away from and that guy doesn't make the tackle."
By talking about a stat and emphasizing it, players take note. It becomes a source of pride, which is just how the coach wants it. "I think it's an important statistic," Beamer said. "The great running backs are the ones that are breaking tackles. They're always falling forward on contact. That's the other great thing about David. He's always falling forward and those yards add up. To me, it's so important. We talk to our running backs all the time about breaking tackles and being physical, and that's all a part of it."
Wilson, an All-American in track as a triple jumper, has clearly matured as a back. In his first two seasons at Tech, he averaged 5.7 and 5.5 yards per carry. This year he's averaging 7.1 as he's learned to become a more patient back while becoming even stronger after arriving at Tech at 194 pounds. "He is high-energy guy, so you have to constantly talk to him about the details--his alignment, how deep he is from the ball, taking the right step, making the right read," said Beamer. "We always talk to him about letting everything slow down for him--give your blockers time to get out there and get set up before you hit the hole. Last year, he got the ball and he just went full speed. There was no patience.
"He probably felt like when he got in there, he'd better make something happen because with Ryan (Williams) and Darren (Evans), he didn't know how long he'd be in there. He's done a good job. He's not looking over his shoulder."
Now Wilson is the one everyone needs to be looking out for.
Posted on: September 14, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: September 14, 2011 3:21 pm
*A Cleveland-area businessman and Ohio State booster accepts responsibility for the payments that three football players received while attending a fundraiser staged by a charity led by his son-in-law, reports Randy Ludlow.
Though stopping short of saying he provided the $200 cash payments, Robert “Bobby” DiGeronimo confirmed to The Dispatch that he played a pivotal role in the payments that led to the players’ suspensions for violations of NCAA rules. Running back Jordan Hall, cornerback Travis Howard and defensive back Corey Brown were suspended for Ohio State’s wins over Akron and Toledo before they were reinstated yesterday by the NCAA for Saturday’s game at the University of Miami.
As a few other people I follow on Twitter pointed out, the booster claims the Pryor paid teammates $200 apiece but did not take any money himself, which seems like an interesting detail.
*Tennessee pulled quite a coup snagging blue-chip LB Curt Maggitt out of South Florida from a program with deep ties to UF. Maggitt isn't allowed to speak to the media, but Maggitt's dad explained to Jason Lieser that his son was turned off by the Gators recent history of player arrests and he got bad vibes from a guy he thought was UF's new DC Dan Quinn.
*After showing they could contain Matt Barkley and USC's passing attack, Utah's secondary should be able to deal with BYU QB Jake Heaps this week, writes Lya Wodraska.*The Auburn-Clemson game has a few compelling subplots. One of the biggest is about the two former prolific high school coaching buddies now running both teams offenses, Chad Morris for Clemson and Gus Malzahn for Auburn. Evan Woodbery examines their connection.
The story starts in Stephenville, Texas, a West Texas city roughly halfway between Dallas and Abilene. The pressure of college football is intense, but it might not compare to what Morris endured after his first year there. Stephenville was accustomed not just to winning, but to winning state championships. Every year. Art Briles had just left and was on his way to a successful college career. So when Morris failed to make the playoffs his first year, the response was not enthusiastic.
Posted on: September 14, 2011 1:05 am
For those of you who had read my old blog, you probably remember some of the staples. One of them was the weekly Top 10 list. This week's version: The 10 most exciting players in college football.
1-Denard Robinson, Michigan, QB: He was spectacular last year, shouldering a staggering amount of the Wolverines offense in 2010. The offense has been revamped with the coaching change in Ann Arbor, but Robinson he proved, once again, how spectacular he is when he sparked Michigan's dramatic comeback against Notre Dame last week. In that frenetic rally, Robinson accounted for a mind-boggling 226 of his team's 229 yards in the fourth quarter. As amazing as that was, we have come to expect the spectacular from him. And this is why he is 'Must-See' TV no matter who the Wolverines play.
2-T.Y. Hilton, FIU, WR-KR: No longer the best-kept secret in college football, Hilton, who almost signed with WVU, promised that he'd 'take one to the house' the first time he touched a ball in a college game (he did) and he's been making big plays for the Panthers ever since. Just ask Louisville or anyone watching their Friday night game about this guy's burst. Hilton made a team from a much bigger conference look like they were high schoolers as he blew past them.
3-De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon, RB: Chip Kelly's big get out of Southern California has been a big name in L.A. football for years on the prep scene. Thomas had a rocky debut against LSU, but bounced back in remarkable fashion, burning Nevada for two plays of 60-plus yards in Week 2. I know that LaMichael James and Cliff Harris have done more, but it's Thomas and his blazing speed and dizzying moves who is generating some buzz as we just begin to get a sense of what he is capable of and how he'll be used there. He is going to be a scary weapon in Kelly's offense for the next few seasons.
4-David Wilson, Va. Tech, RB-KR: An NCAA All-American in track as a triple jumper, Wilson isn't just a little speed back. He's a 205-pound headache for rival defenses, having broken, by VT coaches account, 29 tackles in two games while rolling up 300 rushing yards. (I'll have much more on Wilson and Tech in the blog on Wednesday.)
5-Vontaze Burfict, ASU, LB: Arguably the hardest-hitter in college football, Burfict's battle to straddle the edge has been fascinating the past few years. He and his teammates have been prone to being self-destructive, but there have been some signs of maturation. Thus far this season, he already has four sacks in two games.
6-Justin Blackmon, OK State, WR: Not the fastest receiver, the 6-1, 215-pound Blackmon plays even bigger than his frame would indicate. A former high school basketball star, he is in the mold of Michael Crabtree and Dez Bryant and just makes plays and big catches and looks unstoppable, toying with smaller DBs. His numbers in 2010 were fantastic: 111 catches, 1,782 yards and 20 TDs.
7-Lamar Miller, Miami, RB-KR: A decorated prep sprinter, Miller doesn't look like he's slowed down since muscling up to 216 pounds this offseason. He was a blur when he bolted through the Maryland defense for a 41-yard touchdown run in UM's opener. In the past year, Miller has learned to be more than just a speed back, becoming more patient as a runner since he now knows he'll get plenty of carries and doesn't feel like he has to hit a home run every time he touches the ball. He's also a dangerous kick returner and is #3 in the nation in all-purpose yards per game at 222.
8-Greg Reid, FSU, CB: A little guy who packs a wallop, as South Carolina star Marcus Lattimore learned in the bowl game last year when the 5-8, 186-pound DB blasted the 235-pound back. Reid picked off three passes last season and was one of the ACC's best return guys too.
9-Kendall Wright, Baylor, WR: Robert Griffin is Baylor's Heisman contender, but Wright is his go-to guy and quite a spark. The 5-10, 190-pounder who has the frame of a tailback and sports a 42-inch vertical, ate up Gary Patterson's TCU D in the opener for 12 catches and 189 yards and two TDs. The former Bears basketball player, a high school QB, also connected on 2-2 for 55 yards as a passer with one TD throw.
10-Chris Rainey, Florida, RB: I was tempted to go with Tennessee's freakish young 6-5 wideout Justin Hunter here, but I'll go with Charlie Weis' new toy. Rainey and his buddy Jeff Demps give the new Gator OC more speed than he's ever had to work with. In two weeks against a pair of overmatched opponents, Rainey is averaging over 7.3 ypc and 99 rush yards per game.
Posted on: September 13, 2011 11:48 am
Edited on: September 13, 2011 1:12 pm
It has been a very rough first two weeks of the season for Brian Kelly. The Irish, a team many figured would be a BCS bowl team, are 0-2 and have been plagued by some self-destructive moves. The ND head coach didn't do himself any favors in the wake of the team's meltdown against Michigan when he said a challenging early season schedule has only made the mistakes more difficult to overcome.
“I believe that we’re going to be a good football team. We won’t be until we clean up the little things that keep popping up on Saturdays.”
I agree with colleague Tom Fornelli who said: "Why Kelly felt the need to take a shot at Ohio State's early season schedule, I'm not sure. What's further confusing about it is that Kelly is also taking a veiled shot at Toledo, a school that gave Ohio State just about all it could handle on Saturday, and one of the best members of the MAC conference which is exactly where Kelly helped make a name for himself coaching at Central Michigan. It was hardly an "easy game" for the Buckeyes."Bringing up a specific school doesn't seem like a move Kelly should've made. He ends up taking a shot at two programs when he didn't needed to take any. You're at Notre Dame. You're not supposed to lament these kinds of things. Certainly not publicly. When he was coaching at Cincy, his teams played the Eastern Kentuckys and Southeast Missouri States. He took the ND job knowing all of this. The Irish also do benefit from a pretty sweet BCS bowl relationship that affords them a different status than most other programs. Besides, Toledo, which has 17 starters back, is a solid FBS program. They have several players, including standout WR Eric Page, could start any most AQ conference programs.
*Legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden revealed to the USA Today that he was treated for prostate cancer in the spring of 2007. He initially guarded his medical history for fear opponents would try to use the knowledge against FSU in recruiting. Just when you think the world of recruiting sounds about as crazy as it can get, you hear something like that.
"I did not understand the significance of prostate cancer back then," Bowden said in an interview with USA TODAY . "What I knew was when something like that happens to a coach and your opponents find out about it, the first thing they say is 'Don't go to Florida State, Coach Bowden is about to die.'
*Rick Neuheisel says he will no longer doing those post-game victory/loss speeches at the microphone following games at the Rose Bowl. I remember being at the Rose Bowl the night an undermanned Bruin team upset a ranked Tennessee squad. Neuheisel grabbed the mic and turned the place into a de facto pep rally. It seemed like the Bruin program was destined for greatness that night and yet it just hasn't materialized. It's certainly not for the coach's ability to work a crowd. According to Jon Gold, Neuheisel said he thought they had become a ''distraction'' and all about him and not about the team. He said he went to administrators, talked about it and they came to the same conclusion. Who is this guy and what has he done with Rick Neuheisel?
*North Carolina schools are having a very hard time keeping many of the state's best players at home, reports Tim Stevens.
*Florida linebacker Dee Finley was arrested on Monday afternoon after being pulled over on campus.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Finley is the sixth different UF player to be arrested since January and it is the seventh arrest Muschamp has dealt with in his short tenure.
*Touching story about how Vandy coach James Franklin provided Andrew Kittrell, an 11-year-old born without a leg with an unforgettable experience.
Posted on: September 12, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: September 12, 2011 12:04 pm
The biggest game of the week in at FSU where the Noles look for revenge after getting drilled last year at Oklahoma. Coley Harvey lists five reasons why the Seminoles could pull the upset. The biggest in my eyes was his No. 2:
When I visited FSU in the spring, Nole CB Greg Reid admitted to me he and his teammates thought they knew what they were getting themselves into, but they really didn't know what they didn't know. "That no-huddle offense killed us," Reid said. "I've never went through anything like that before in my life. It was a real learning experience. Coach [Mark] Stoops [FSU's defensive coordinator] kept saying, 'Y'all better tighten up. Y'all don't know what you're getting yourselves into.' And we were like, 'Aw, man, we got this. It's just a football game.' I had no idea. I'm looking over to the sidelines for a play and they're already hiking the ball. I can't imagine how hard it was for the D-line. That was real tough."
As much as the final score looked like a rout, the game wasn't even that close. Through three quarters, the Sooners led 44-7. Landry Jones, the Sooner QB, torched the Noles' defense, going 30-for-40 for 380 yards and four TDs.
"I believe we really didn't know what we were getting ourselves into, but this year, they have to come to the big brick place, they gotta come to Tallahassee," Reid said. "Everybody's excited. This place will be jam-packed. We got something on our shoulders where we have to prove a point, especially if they're preseason No. 1. From a defensive standpoint, we just have to stay focused, have fun and communicate. Not let the quick hurry-up offense get to us."
* Even though Stanford thumped Duke 44-14 in Durham, Jon Wilner notes there were some areas of concern for the Cardinal.
The Blue Devils aren’t any good, and yet they gave Stanford problems for a half, especially with their use of delayed blitzes to pressure Luck. I haven’t seen him get hit that much … ever. If he weren’t bigger than many of the players hitting him, he might have gotten banged up. Watch for upcoming Cardinal opponents to use the same defensive tactics — and with better players.
I spoke to a Duke staffer Monday who noted that the Blue Devils did have some success with delayed blitzes and they'd hit Luck when they brought six and seven defenders. They also had some success using line twists. But as Wilner says, this is a mediocre Duke defense. It is really young right now. Luck and the Cardinal O-line will face much tougher very soon.
* More bad news for Mark Richt and Georgia: The team's top tackler, LB Christian Robinson will miss at least a couple of games with a foot injury sustained in Saturday's loss to South Carolina, the AJC reports.
Over the weekend, Va. Tech's budding star David Wilson ran for 138 yards on 26 carries against ECU. In two games, he's now run for 300 yards. He's also broken 29 tackles, per the VT staff with him breaking 14 tackles on Saturday.* Rob Lohr was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week. The junior DT, who came to Vandy as a tight end/DE, became the first Commodore defender in more than a decade to post four tackles for loss. Lohr's four tackles for loss were the most by a 'Dore defender since linebacker Jamie Winborn contributed five such tackles against No. 6 Florida on Nov. 4, 2000.
* Tweet of the Day: From Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis, who has has been sidelined with a broken foot. @TravisLewis28 For everyone that's that's asking. . . Ill let y'all know by the end of the day if ill going to play this week
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:31 am
Edited on: September 9, 2011 1:02 pm
One of the most intriguing teams in 2011 steps into the national spotlight tonight when Arizona State hosts #21 Missouri. Yeah, it's a chance for the country to see the Sun Devils new unis with the new pitchfork logo, but the real curious part will be seeing just how much things with this bunch have changed on the field, if at all.
No question that coach Dennis Erickson is on the hot seat. ASU has not had a winning season since way back in 2007, Erickson's first year there. They're 0-10 in their last 10 games against ranked teams.
To say the Sun Devils have had a propensity for melting down in crucial situations would be an understatement. Still, they come into the season as the team most experts feel will come out of the Pac-12 South division thanks to a nasty defense, led by a talented D-line and ferocious MLB Vontaze Burfict.
As I said last night on "Inside College Football" on CBS Sports Network, the big questions with this team are these: can Brock Osweiler play like a big-time QB, and can the Sun Devils finally knock off all the knucklehead penalties?
Osweiler, the surprisingly nimble 6-8 one-time Gonzaga hoops commit, is talented and is very confident, but it's nights like tonight: national TV against a ranked opponent that will define him. I spoke to ASU OC Noel Mazzone Wednesday night about his young QB. "Let's see how he handles adversity," the coach said. "Now everybody expects something."
Last year, Osweiler had two starts late in the season and played well, and ASU won both. But Mazzone pointed out that Osweiler really struggled early against Arizona. Osweiler was 2-10 in the first quarter and just 8-23 in the first half. Osweiler went 9-13 though in the fourth quarter and the two overtimes in the 30-29 win.
"He was kinda rattled to start," said Mazzone. "He has to play a whole game."
I expect Osweiler to respond well. The other question about ASU is more complicated. In Week One, ASU's ringleader Vontaze Burfict put up an eye-catching stat line: three sacks, zero penalties. But as the competition level rises, can he and his teammates keep their focus? Earlier in the week, I wrote about Burfict's conversation with his idol Ray Lewis, who prodded him to make better decisions as the young linebacker tries to straddle the line between playing with an edge and being out of control. For some, that line is much more narrow than others. And, as I wrote, that level of focus is actually a talent not that much different than speed or strength. We'll soon find out if ASU has that in them.
*I was really impressed by Oklahoma State last night. The Cowboys jumped on Arizona right away. Brandon Weeden was smokin' hot, hitting on 14 of his first 15 passes. He was in total control, playing like a talented QB in his late 20s against inexperienced college kids. RB Joseph Randle, who packed on 10 pounds of muscle this off-season, showed he's become a more physical runner to go with being a superb receiver and is an emerging star. Better still, the OSU D didn't allow Zona to have any semblance of a running game. This is a very dangerous OSU team.
Meanwhile, Arizona, plagued with inexperience on both lines, now faces games against Oregon, Stanford and at USC up next and is staring at the possibility of a 1-4 start.
*In all my years of covering sports, I’ve never seen a prepared statement like the one new Gators coach Will Muschamp released Thursday night after the NCAA suspended UF defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd for two games for accepting impermissible benefits, writes Mike Bianchi.
*TCU could be without two key starters for the Air Force game due to injury: LB Tanner Brock (foot) and RB Ed Wesley (shoulder), reports Stefan Stevenson.
*Recruiting is a cold business, as this Teddy Greenstein story about Northwestern QB (and one-time Stanford commit) Kain Colter illustrates.
*The prospect of Texas going independent is a daunting one and one that could alienate UT from the rest of the college sports world, writes Kirk Bohls.
*Nebraska OC Tim Beck said true freshman right tackle Tyler Moore was "probably our most consistent linemen throughout the course of the day. We probably played Tyler too much in the first game because it's a long season and we're going to need all those guys," Beck said, according to the Journal Star.
*James Gayle, a redshirt sophomore got Va. Tech's lone sack in the season-opening win over Appalachian State, continuing his emergence as VT’s most dangerous, and consistent, playmaker along the defensive line, writes Mark Giannotto.
Posted on: September 8, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 12:32 pm
Stat of the Day: Courtesy of Mike Lucas, Wisconsin accumulated 499 yards of total offense on just 53 plays vs. UNLV, averaging 9.42 yards per play. No team facing an FBS opponent had a higher average in WK 1.
*Speaking of the Badgers, they have a pretty good Red Zone weapon to keep an eye on in TE Jacob Pedersen, writes Tom Mulhern.
Not counting a kneel-down they took at the end of the Northwestern game, the Badgers have scored on 56 of their past 57 trips into the red zone over 11 games, with 50 TDs.
*Enigmatic Arizona WR Juron Criner will not play in tonight's game at Oklahoma State, the Arizona Republic reports.
The Cats will miss the play-making skills of the big WR, although they do have some decent options without him. Texas transfer Dan Buckner is a gifted target, who caught four passes for 38 yards against NAU in the opener. Redshirt freshman Austin Hill who caught a 24-yard TD play in WK 1, is another guy their staff is high on. I was told by a source at U of A Thursday morning that Criner did not make the trip, but is expected to be back in action for the rest of the season.
*Here is a cool story about Oregon asst. Scott Frost, one of the true rising stars in the coaching world, talking about giving back and mentoring.
I was lucky enough to have a great father. Most of these kids we have problems with weren't. And to me, that was a huge motivation to get involved with something like this. Just seeing the guys on my team that didn't have it and the effect it had on them. If you're around it every day like I am, it's amazing to see. I've been involved a lot of my life in mentoring. I did it at Kansas State with Big Brothers Big Sisters. My next coaching job was atUniversity of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. And I was with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Posted on: September 7, 2011 11:24 am
Edited on: September 7, 2011 11:35 am
All of this conference realignment stuff is completely out of control. I woke up this morning and was scrolling through my Twitter feed and some of it feels soooo farcical at this point. 'Oh, now Ken Starr is in the middle of this?!?' You have a hard time figuring out what is really happening and what is being conjured up by The Onion or EDSBS.
Texas' role in this is fascinating to observe. Jon Wilner brought up some interesting points about the Big 12 lynchpin.
Texas is used to being the big boy on the block. In the Pac-16, it would have the same revenue cut and the same voting power as Texas Tech (and Washington State, for that matter). And UT would have to fold The Longhorn Network (four years of work) into the Pac-12′s regional network structure, allowing plenty of Texas Tech programming on the airwaves. None of that seems desirable for the Longhorns.
Nothing surprises me any more with this stuff. It's all a money grab. I'd be sorry to see some of the great rivalries disappear (Texas-Texas A&M for one) but as followers of the sport, we'd adjust. We might have no choice and they know we're still addicted to the games.
*Ohio State QB Joe Bauserman had a strong debut last weekend, and even though it came against one of the worst teams in FBS, the change in his demeanor, in addition to his production, is noteworthy, as Tim May writes:
*I saw on the Inside College Football show on CBS Sports TV that my colleague Rich Rodriguez is picking Cincy to knock off Tennessee. And, at the heart of this game is that the Vols' D-line is in for a challenge this week, Andrew Gribble reports.
I'll disagree with Coach Rod. I'm picking the Vols in this match-up.
*Forget San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson. In Blacksburg, Va, Tech OT Blake DeChristopher owns "The Beard" that counts, writes Randy King.
*Francis Kallon is making Georgia Tech look smart with its decision to both offer a football scholarship and accept a commitment before the transfer from London, England, had ever played in organized game of football, writes Michael Carvell.
Let's see if three months from now, the traditional SEC powers, the likes of FSU and some others come hard after Tech's find and try and turn Kallon. The recruiting stock of the late-bloomer is always one of the more intriguing stories in that subculture of college football.
*Tweet of the Day: From Louisiana-based writer Scott Rabalais
@ScottRabalais: Miles says from a recruiting standpoint, "Texas will become SEC country" if A&M joins. #LSU
I disagree with Les Miles' assertion. Will it help SEC schools to recruit Texas better with A&M in the family? Yes. But for so many Texas kids, they only know UT as Texas, not Tennessee. The Longhorns are what they -- and their families -- have grown up with. Texas may lose some kids to the Alabamas, LSUs and Floridas, but it won't lose many of the ones it really wants.