Two weeks ago the young Longhorns were undefeated and had moved into the top 10 of the AP Poll. Today they find themselves on the outside looking in after two losses by a combined 50 points. So the question is; does this drop in the polls mean the young players aren't ready to play at this level and the slide will continue, or more likely, did they just face two better teams and they're still an 8-9 win team? I believe it's the latter; with the next 3 games coming against Kansas, Texas Tech, and Missouri...they have a great chance to run off a 3 game win streak, which would certainly move them back into the top 25.
Moving forward there are a lot of things to be encouraged about. Most of these young players were high level recruits who will get a lot of experience this year and with 10 starters returning on offense; this team should be very good next season. Malcolm Brown (FR) looks to be a Cedric Benson/Jamaal Charles hybrid that will be a star for the next several years. Already Brown is on pace for 1,118 yards; he's been better than advertised. At receiver, Shipley (FR) and Mike Davis (SO) look like they'll be just as good in a year as the Shipley/Cosby combo was for Colt McCoy.
So they have all the pieces in place, but 1 question remains; how good is David Ash? I'm on the fence here with Ash; he has the size, arm strength, and scrambling ability, but is his decision making and accuracy good enough to get to the next level? It's very early on obviously, but he's locking onto receivers and I haven't been impressed with his accuracy; especially on the 4th down pass to Whittaker in the 4th quarter vs. Oklahoma State. Vince and Colt showed flashes early on, hopefully we'll see some from Ash soon.
The schedule next year looks to be softer, so assuming the young players improve, there's a chance to win 10-11 games. Without a giant step forward by Ash though, they won't get back to the level of play every Longhorn fan expects and demands from their team.