When a college sports program gets a new head coach, it often means truly open competition for starting jobs. Since the new coach is coming from outside of the program, he has no preconceived notions about who the best player is at each position, so everybody starts at zero, and anybody can earn playing time.
New Houston Cougar head football coach Tony Levine was promoted from within the program, so he may have some ideas about who should play. But he's doing his darnedest to make sure that the players understand that Spring practice means open competition.
Levine, a Twitter newbie, used just his 14th ever tweet to release the 2012 Spring Depth Chart, saying, "Let the competition begin." The accompanying link led to a depth chart...with "TBD" listed at every position.
Now, it would be a pretty huge surprise if guys like David Piland, Charles Sims, Jacolby Ashworth, Derrick Matthews, D.J. Hayden, Zach McMillian and Matt Hogan don't end up with starting jobs. But with a new coach and plenty of starting jobs vacated by graduating seniors, Levine's empty depth chart should inspire every player on the roster to feel like hard work in the Spring will be rewarded with playing time.
The empty depth chart does actually tell us something concrete, however; as expected, the Cougars are definitely moving back to the 4-3 defense after two years in the 3-4 under now-departed defensive coordinator Brian Stewart.
Spring practice starts on March 21st, and culminates on April 13th with the Spring Game. Workouts and scrimmages are open to the public. The Spring schedule can be found here.