Can Texas win it all in 2012?

Jackson Jeffcoat will help lead one of the nation's top defenses in 2012. Ric Tapia/Icon SMI

ESPN Insider's "20 teams that can win it all" series is previewing each of the top 20 teams in Brian Fremeau's five-year program metric (for a full explanation, and links to all of the previews as they are published, click here), with the help of ESPN's Stats & Information Group. This is the entry for Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas -- During the halcyon days of 10-plus wins and title runs, the Texas Longhorns, in an apropos stereotype, were led by a gunslinger in a white hat or, in this case, helmet.

There was Vince Young running and passing all over everyone before ultimately sprinting into the corner of the end zone against the USC Trojans in the Horns' BCS Championship Game victory. Colt McCoy, with his Texas twang and pinpoint accuracy, followed. He carried Texas to new heights before being carried from the field against Alabama with the national title on the line.

Now, after two years of bumbling ineptness the likes of which have not been seen in Austin since John Mackovic roamed the sidelines in the 1990s, there are some, armed with reems of statistics and the knowledge the roster is once again bursting with young talent, claiming that Texas could once again challenge for a berth in the BCS Championship Game.

To those there is but one argument to be made: Have you seen Texas' quarterbacks?

Let's break down both the strengths and the weaknesses of the Longhorns' BCS title potential, looking first at the reasons Texas could prove capable of winning it all.

Why Texas can win it all

This could be a truly elite defense
Texas will have to lean heavily on its defense if it wants to contend for conference and national titles, and luckily for the Longhorns, this unit can more than bear the weight.