Joyner: Longhorns can win the Big 12

Colleague KC Joyner took a closer look at Texas and he sees a clear pathInsider

for the Longhorns to win their first Big 12 title since 2009.

He's going with some advanced stats and notes that Texas finished behind only Alabama in good blocking yards per attempt (GBYPA), a metric that gauges productivity on plays with good blocking. He notes on the reliability of the stat, and Texas wasn't far behind the national champion Tide in "good blocking rate."

The most surprising revelation from Joyner's numbers? You'll need Insider to see it all, but in many ways, he wasn't far off from the league's most efficient quarterback last season: Geno Smith of West Virginia. His yards per attempt were better and was equal to what Matt Barkley and Johnny Manziel put up in 2012. That ranked 13th nationally.

Impressive stuff, and nice research from Joyner.

The big fix for the Longhorns is obvious. It's the same reason why any hopes of a Big 12 title crashed and burned last year, despite spending lots of time in the backfield and moving the ball efficiently.

The run defense was a disaster. Texas has the personnel to fix it, but Joyner takes a closer look at what has to happen to help plug the holes the surfaced last season.

Check out the full piece.