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Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Four Downs: Do Horns have momentum?

By Sean Adams

AUSTIN, Texas -- Each week Sean Adams looks at a few topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.

First down: Is momentum overrated?

Jaxon Shipley
Texas hired Jaxon Shipley's dad as a football analyst.
In the past week, Texas has made a great hire for its staff in Bob Shipley and lost a huge -- literally -- recruit in Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints offensive linemen Demetrius Knox. I keep getting emails about momentum and the fact that Texas is a program with downward momentum. I have even gotten the more accurate statement about the entire athletic department being in a downward spiral.

None of it matters to me. The Texas program and even the entire athletic department in some ways will rise and fall with wins.

Texas is beyond feeling real impact from losing Knox or even making an incredible hire in Shipley. The truth of the matter is that winning in 2013 will matter 10 times more than individual stories like the loss of Knox and the hire of Shipley.

Knox is one of the top offensive linemen in the state, but he would not be on campus and on the field until 2014. Shipley is about as good a hire as the Longhorns could make, but his big impact will felt past 2014.

Winning in 2013 is the only thing that matters, and all bad news that does not affect 2013 should be looked at as a pimple and not cancer.

If Texas wins in 2013, the future will be taken care of.

Second down: Shipley knows ball and that’s all that matters

Texas hit a home run with the Shipley hire.

As weird as this might be to read, he probably comes into his job underrated on his ability to affect the Texas football program because for a number of years now he has been relegated to being the gene stud that helped produce Jordan and Jaxon Shipley.

He knows and has great relationships with coaches around the state and will prove to be a great addition for the Longhorns.

The most important thing about Shipley is that he is a developer of men and cares about the success of young people. Developing freshmen into better men will make them better players throughout the course of their career.

He knows ball, he knows young people and he is a known commodity around the state of Texas. That is a win, win and win.

Third down: Is the Big 12 conference different post-spring practice?

Not one bit. The Big 12 has new quarterbacks at Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU (possibly), Texas Tech, Kansas, West Virginia and Kansas State.

After watching spring practices at all 10 schools, most believe 2013 will end up being a rebuilding year for the conference.

While Texas, Oklahoma State and TCU are the preseason conference favorites, nobody would be surprised if Oklahoma made another run at the title.

If Texas wants to win a conference championship to quiet the natives, 2013 will present the best opportunity to do it.

Fourth down: NFL draft this week

Success in college football does not happen without NFL-ready and eventually NFL-drafted players. It is no secret that Texas and the NFL draft have not had a great relationship over the last few years. You only need to look back over the last 15 years to understand that the most successful teams have been made up of great players who went on to be drafted and built careers in the NFL.

Texas won the national championship in 2005 and had a total of 22 players drafted to the NFL from that team. There were five first-round picks, four second-round picks and four third-round picks.

Texas played again for the national title in 2009, and while 13 of those players have been drafted, six were drafted right after that season and momentum had already started to take a turn for the worse. There have been seven players drafted thus far from the team that went 5-7 in 2010.

Texas will have a good draft this coming weekend, and it should get better over the next few years. Will that correlate to success on the field?