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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Four Downs: Turkey Day musings

By Sean Adams

Each week Sean Adams takes a look at some topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.

First Down: The senior class for 2012
While there are some seniors that are the leaders on this team like Alex Okafor, Mason Walters and Kenny Vaccaro, this is a generally a class that has been gutted and marginalized.

Mason Walters
Mason Walters is one of the key members of a small Longhorns senior class.
There were supposed to be names like Garrett Gilbert, the Gatorade National player of the year coming out of high school. He was supposed to be throwing the ball to Greg Timmons, being pressured by Calvin Howell and having his passes broken up by Marcus Davis. Not one of those young men is still in the Texas program.

When Vaccaro was asked about the small size of the senior class he laughed and called the 2012 senior class, “We are the few and the proud.”

Walters put it as good as anyone could when he said, “We know why the others ones didn’t. There are a lot of things we can talk to the younger guys about. We’ve seen guys come in this program and leave and we know what that looks like and we know how they act. That’s some valuable experience to know behavior that might put a guy on the ropes with the coaches.”

He finished off his thought by saying, “It’s rough seeing some of those guys go but it is what it is. You can’t make excuses for them and we’ve had to carry on and build without them.”

Nothing would make these seniors feel better than winning the last two games of the season and getting to a big-time bowl game.

Second Down: Texas football at home EVERY Thanksgiving
Schools, coaches and administrators around the country might not like Texas, but Texas loves itself and set itself up to have the most advantaged position in their conference. Only the Big 12 would allow the University of Texas to create a rotation to insure that it hosts Thanksgiving games in Austin.

I love it because I will not have to travel and will get to spend Thanksgiving with my family, but there is a reason that Texas wanted to keep the Big 12 together. These little conference favors would not happen in the Pac-12, Big 10 or the SEC.

It’s called home conference advantage. I’m not upset about it either because the Baylors, Iowa States and Kansas States of the world would not have the cash flow or be in a powerful conference if Texas had not held it together.

Third Down: Texas vs. TCU comes down to one battle?
The Texas offensive line against the TCU defensive line is the battle of Thanksgiving. If Texas is going to have success against the Horned Frogs, a lot of it will depend on the success of the offensive line.

Mack Brown said Monday that TCU has the best defensive line that the Longhorns will play since the Red River Rivalry against Oklahoma. The defensive end group for TCU of Stansly Maponga and Ross Forrest are two big-time players. The tackle combination of Donald Hawkins and Josh Cochran will have its hands full.

An offensive line that has only given up one sack in the last four games will be tested in a huge way. We'll get to see if this offensive line is as good as its recent stats.

Fourth down: Adams’ Big 12 Power Poll
1. Oklahoma (2nd last week) -- Easy move after Kansas State takes a beat down.
2. Texas (3rd last week) -- Who would have guessed the Longhorns would be here after getting blown out by Oklahoma a month ago.
3. Kansas State (1st last week) -- I wanted to push the Wildcats further down, but the one loss just does not justify it. They’ll be mad when they have to run into Texas.
4. Oklahoma State (5th last week) – The Cowboys seem to be back on track and punished Texas Tech last week.
5. Baylor (8th last week) – The Bears beat the top ranked team in the country. Enough said.
6. Texas Tech (4th last week) – The Red Raiders have been up and down all year, and Oklahoma State put them down.
7. TCU (7th last week) – The Horned Frogs can go up the ranking if they can beat Texas on Thanksgiving night.
8. West Virginia (6th last week) -- What a rude introduction to the Big 12. The Mountaineers almost got Oklahoma, so they are playing better, but couldn’t get by the Sooners.
9. Iowa State (9th last week) – The Cyclones blew out Kansas last week, so they are in front.
10. Kansas (10th last week) –Will the Jayhawks get out of the cellar?