Four downs: Debut of Big 12 power poll

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

1st Down: New Mexico is rebuilding and that’s an understatement

New Mexico beat Southern University last week 66-21 but we would all be wrong to read into this as an indication that New Mexico will give Texas a tough game on Saturday. This program has 72 scholarship players and is 3-33 over the last three years. I had the chance to talk with new UNM head coach Bob Davie earlier this week.

“It is exciting playing Texas but it probably wouldn’t be my first pick. We are realistic and we know we are just starting in this program,” he said. “We are going to get exposed some but it’s good to come in there to Memorial Stadium to play Texas. I’ve seen it as an opposing coach and as a broadcaster and everything about it is first class.”

I heard everything that I would want to hear from my coach if he were recruiting my kid and promising to help build the Lobos program. He knows that the New Mexico program is in a tough spot right now but recognizes that he is looking down the road in his plan to rebuild.

“It’s not about five days from now, it’s about five years from now,” said Davie.

He is right too. If Texas has any problems with the Lobos that should give you a real indication that something is wrong with Texas. I would not expect it.

2nd Down: Explosive plays in the passing game

Against Wyoming, Texas had two 100-yard running backs in Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron. There were three Longhorns running backs that averaged 7 yards per carry. All of this was done without a desired portion of carries for Johnathan Gray. The running game is going to be fine.

Texas has to figure out how to get the ball down the field. David Ash was 20-of-27 for 156 yards and a touchdown. While he did protect the ball and was efficient in his passing, nobody thinks Texas can sustain drives against the better teams in the Big 12 conference with five and six yard throws.

Ash almost connected on a few deep routes and already understands that he can correct those and change the way the Texas offense plays.

Every issue in the Texas program right now has a solution that can be in place this year. That is not so at other schools in the Big 12.

Texas needs explosive plays in the passing game to make the run game even better. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Will the run game help the passing game or will the passing game give way to more running lanes. The answer really should not matter. Texas just needs a down the field passing game and it has two games to work on it, hosting New Mexico and visiting Ole Miss.

3rd Down: Texas wins over Wyoming and drops two spots in the AP poll

The rankings and polls are a crazy thing. USC beat Hawaii 49-10 and loses its No. 1 ranking. Alabama was No. 2 and destroyed No. 8 Michigan and jumped to No. 1. Texas knocked out a team in Wyoming that could win 9 or 10 games in 2012. The Longhorns knocked off the Cowboys 37-17 and still dropped two spots in the polls.

Do not sweat the polls one bit. Texas is on a mission and if Texas wins the polls will follow. The Big 12 has five teams in the poll and after watching Baylor play SMU on Sunday, we could see the Bears become ranked soon.

Texas will have ample opportunity to beat enough good teams to realize every goal they have.

4th Down: Adams’ Big 12 Power Poll

  • 1. West Virginia: It scored 69 points in its opener and its top line position players all hit their benchmarks. Geno Smith made his first surge at the Heisman Trophy throwing for 323 yards against Marshall.

  • 2. Texas: The Longhorns won against a pretty tough Wyoming team and David Ash was efficient and did not throw any interceptions.