Chat with Max Olson
Welcome to HornsNation! On Tuesday, writer Max Olson stops by to chat about everything Texas.
Olson joined ESPN in 2012 after covering the University of Nebraska for the Omaha World-Herald and high school and college sports for the World-Herald and Rivals.com. Olson is a University of Nebraska graduate and lives in Austin, Texas.
Send your questions now and join Olson Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET!
Max Olson (3:59 PM)
Hey guys, welcome to today's HornsNation chat. Rough week for Texas, which is trying to bounce back from a loss to TCU but must go on the road for their finale against Kansas State. Send me your questions on all things Texas, recruiting, college football and anything else. Let's get this started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Bowl Game will the Texas Longhorns will play in this season?
Max Olson (4:01 PM)
Right now I still think the Cotton Bowl is looking good, even if Texas is sitting at 8-4. A lot will depend on if OU can hold onto a BCS bowl spot. I know Texas would be going into the bowl season with 2 straight losses, but you have to think those bowl reps would love a UT-LSU matchup.
Stephen (Seattle, WA)
So.. no 1000yrd rusher this year. I remember earlier in fall we were talking 1000, 600 600. thats NOT going to happen. and honestly the biggest upsetting thing is we shyd away from DJ on his "senior" yr. remember what Fozzy did? 7 yrds a carry for DJ im sorry he deserves the ball over all backs. Atleast 10 carries a game.
Max Olson (4:03 PM)
Definitely understand your frustration, Stephen. I guess you could say the Malcolm Brown injury was what really threw off the (admittedly lofty) 1000-600-600 estimates. Though Brown isn't playing even when he is healthy, so who knows what's up with that. As for Monroe, it was disappointing to see he couldn't even get a carry on his own senior night. I don't know that 10 carries is right, but 5-7 is a good sweet spot for him and his ability.
Will this loss to TCU cause a negative ripple effect even into next season?
Max Olson (4:04 PM)
Depends on how Texas responds against Kansas State. If the Wildcats put a whooping on UT (definitely not impossible), they'll be going into the postseason with very little momentum. The biggest ripple, of course, is what that game did to the QB position. Now the Texas coaches say if Ash were healthy this week there would be an open competition. That's not a good thing.
Dave (Sugar Land)
Which Qb will give Texas the best chance to win next season, I have a hard time thinking it will be either of the guys we have seen this year...
Max Olson (4:05 PM)
I still think it's David Ash, but I've been wrong on him before.
Tim (Wash DC)
Max, do you think it would have been best for the team and Ash to keep him in the game and let him play through his bad moments? The score was not out of hand and I think that the damage to his confidence was not worth the effort. He was the BIG 12 player of the week a few weeks back not to mention his clutch 4th Down conversion against Oklahoma St. My loss of confidence is in the coaching staff, not Ash. Your thoughts?
Max Olson (4:08 PM)
I've been thinking about this ever since the TCU game and I do agree with you. I don't see why Texas doesn't stick with Ash and take their lumps. I know losses are unacceptable here, but how can you truly develop a confident, trustworthy quarterback if you're ready to pull him at a moment's notice. Folks are way too over-reactionary about Ash. When he's good he's great, and when he's bad he shouldn't be the starter. But that's how it goes for QBs.
Given the current circumstances, does McCoy give Texas the best chance to win on Saturday.
Max Olson (4:09 PM)
Given the current circumstances, yes. I can't speak to the severity of David Ash's rib injury, but it's bad enough that they'd name McCoy the starter before this week's practices even began.
What would you rename the Big East Conference?
Max Olson (4:09 PM)
Easy. The Big Least.
Ez28 (Davis, CA)
Did you cry or eat leftover turkey when your Seminoles lost? FYI-I ate a hefty amount of pie after the Texas game
Max Olson (4:12 PM)
Not a Florida State fan, my friend. But I was driving home from a high school game in Houston when FSU lost, listened to it on the radio. Also, I baked an apple pie on Thanksgiving and it was excellent. I hope yours was too.
Ez28 (Davis, CA)
Can we just skip to signing day and skip all the mess that will happen?
Max Olson (4:12 PM)
That would make my job a lot easier. But unlike in video games, there's no simming ahead in real college football.
Aaron S. (Austin,Tx)
With all the recent troubles with the Longhorns at the QB position, does this open up a possibility for Tyrone Swoopes to come in the spring and win the starting job?
Max Olson (4:13 PM)
Open the possibility? Yes. Will he be the starter? No, I don't think so. Brewer and Overstreet will likely still be ahead of Swoopes by the end of spring ball, but you never know.
So the defense plays better, but then the offense stalls... we cant catch a break. Why cant Harsin figure out how to use the ridiculous number of weapons he has?
Max Olson (4:15 PM)
He says there's only one ball. To me, it's not about getting every guy a certain amount of touches. It's more important to start coming up with more plays that highlight Monroe and Daje. Harsin was very creative last year but hasn't had many tricks up his sleeve this season.
Ez28 (Davis, CA)
Would you rather: Patterson, Shaw, Franklin, Petersen, or Gary Anderson?
Max Olson (4:16 PM)
I'm going to assume you're referring to Utah State coach Gary Andersen and not former NFL kicking great Gary Anderson. If you're asking who the best guy for Texas would be, I'd say Patterson or Shaw. Just my opinion.
Zaid (Law School Library Dungeon)
How much should we be reading into these Malcolm Brown transfer rumors?? Over/Under % of him leaving....40%?? give me some good news Max!
Max Olson (4:18 PM)
Good luck in the dungeon, Zaid. I'm not going to speculate on whether Malcolm is unhappy at Texas, but it's pretty obvious he has no role in this offense right now and that Johnathan Gray is the future of the RB position for UT. So you can't fault him if he looks around. I'd put it around 40 or 50 percent.
Bryan (Austin, TX)
What did you think Texas' record would be back in August? I feel like the negativity around Mack is unrealistic when the majority did not expect them to beat OU, KST, and West VA this year in the preseason.
Max Olson (4:22 PM)
I just looked up my first prediction, from a chat on Feb. 15 when the schedule came out. I said this: "There's 7 wins and 5 swing games: West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas State and Oklahoma State/Iowa State." Wow. I'm looking pretty smart right now (ignore the ISU part). Texas has lost 3 of the 4 swing games so far. To answer your question, I think most people expected 9-3 or 10-2. 8-4 wouldn't sit well, especially considering this team has ended up being much more flawed than expected.
A Texas Fan (Undisclosed)
Do you think that we(texas) should leave Big 12 for conference with better competition such as Big Ten, SEC, or Pac-12? If not what teams do you think we can add that will make the Big 12 a powerhouse among the cinferences?
Max Olson (4:25 PM)
Uh, the Big 12 is going to have 9 of its 10 teams in bowl games this year. That's never happened before in any conference. I think the competition is just fine as it is. Right now I don't think there's any sense in expanding the Big 12 unless a big-time school like Florida State is interested.
Is there still a possibility of a Texas-Texas A&M cotton bowl? And if it happened, what do you think the outcome would be? If we lost would it cripple our in-state recruiting?
Max Olson (4:29 PM)
It's a possibility. But remember, the Cotton Bowl is selected by a large committee. You know there will be some UT grads in that group, and they won't want it. I think A&M would easily win that game. It wouldn't cripple in-state recruiting, but it would definitely not make Texas look good.
% that UT and ATM meet in Cotton Bowl?
Max Olson (4:30 PM)
Getting a lot of questions on this topic. I'd say 20%. But that's just off the top of my head.
Max. I know the Aggies have looked way better this year than expected. But if you dig deep into the numbers the only game they won worth mentioning is the Bama game. The other opponents are a combined 11-40. Not to mention 2 FCS opponents. With the facts that they are losing a lot of players next year. Do you think Texas will be back to the top of the state?
Max Olson (4:32 PM)
Of course Texas will be back. I'm just not sure when. Kevin Sumlin is building something very powerful over in College Station. I'm not entirely sure what Texas is even going to look like in 2013, and that is/was supposed to be the year Texas competes for a national title.
Sam (Washington, DC)
How is it that Mike Gundy and Okie St. can develop and coach up three freshmen/sophomore quarterbacks in one season while Mack Brown and Texas can't develop one QB in three seasons?? Isn't that the definition of Coach February??
Max Olson (4:34 PM)
That is a great question. I know our OU guy Jake Trotter joked on Twitter that all three Oklahoma State QBs could probably start for Texas, and he might be right. I guess you'd have to point to differences in offenses, though you'd think Texas' scheme should be as complicated as OSU's.
Clay (Fort Walton Beach, Fl)
Max, the thought of next year's potential title run was assuming that the quarterback situation would be resolved, correct? If we have yet another offseason QB controversy, that sets Texas back at least another year, right? Please shed some light on the situation and make me believe we can still make a run next year. Thanks!
Max Olson (4:37 PM)
You're right, no question about it. If Texas comes out of this season with uncertainty at quarterback, they're the same team they were coming into this year. I know they return a ton of talent but how can you call that a top-10 or top-15 team in 2013 if the Ash-McCoy drama is still ongoing?
DoubleD (Bellevue, WA)
What is our starting 11 on Defense look like next year? Will we look back 12 months from now and say how things worked out in 2012 were a blessing in disguise? We weren't winning any championships this year any way and honestly, if we aren't competing for championships, does the record matter?
Max Olson (4:40 PM)
DE: Jeffcoat, Reed/Wilson. DT: Moore, Jackson, Brown/Dorsey/Whaley. LB: Hicks, Edmond, Cobbs/Jinkens. CB: Diggs, Byndom. S: Phillips, ??? I really look at the safety position and replacing Vaccaro as the big question mark. And you need to see big improvement from either Cobbs or Jinkens.
Johnny Football (Downtown Athletic Club)
I want to know which one of the ESPN experts didn't even give me a 5th place vote in their mock poll? 14 gave me either a 1st or 2nd place vote. What happened to the 15th guy? Has he not seen any of my games? Oh, keep it Texas related. I could have solved the Horns' QB controversy!
Max Olson (4:44 PM)
It wasn't me, Johnny. And yes, you might've been able to solve the QB situation had you gone to Texas, been given a chance to play QB and had the UT offense redesigned to suit your remarkable talents. Who knows how that would've worked out.
Jerry (Port Arthur, TX)
Hey Max. If Mack Brown retires or is fired, who do you think would make good candidates to replace him? I say Jon Gruden. Spider 2 Y Banana!!
Max Olson (4:45 PM)
There's no doubt about this: The coach best suited to handle all of Mack Brown's Longhorn Network duties is Jon Gruden. That would be pretty remarkable. Not gonna happen.
Hey, two questions:1. Is McCoy starting because of Ash's injury or is he our new starter?2. Do Brewer/Overstreet/Swoopes have a chance to win the starting job? I think we have to move forward next year- I don't think we can get any better with Ash.
Max Olson (4:47 PM)
McCoy is starting because Ash is injured. If Ash wasn't injured, Ash and McCoy would compete for the starting job this week. Open competition. But they won't because Ash is questionable. The new guys will get a shot, yes. But it's going to be hard to bench both QBs who have legit starting experience.
John (San Antonio)
When can we start to consider that our recruiting has been overrated? Something is fishy about the way these players get ranked. Seriously, we should have more talent on campus now than any time in our history, but our players just don't pass the eye test. Maybe it is not the coaching, but rather, inflated expectations.
Max Olson (4:48 PM)
That's one way of looking at it. There has long been this expectation that if Texas takes you, you must be good. So I can see where you're coming from. But clearly based on the fact that Texas plays no backup offensive linemen and very few backup defensive players, depth is seriously lacking in some spots. Development has more to do with that than recruiting stars.
Jerry (Port Arthur, TX)
I think it could happen. He has been rumored for Tenneessee and couple of other jobs. I think he would take Texas over Tenneessee for many reasons. Would love to see the look on Chucky's face after Ash throws an interception.
Max Olson (4:49 PM)
If Jon Gruden is coaching David Ash, he wouldn't be throwing many interceptions. You'd have to assume he can bring out the best in Ash, right?
With Nick Harvey committing to A&M yesterday, will the 2014 class signal a huge shift in Texas recruiting? If so, more attributable to A
Max Olson (4:51 PM)
It's possible. When I first heard about Nick Harvey yesterday, what occurred to me is that Texas A&M is going to start winning more of those 50/50 recruiting battles for guys that both schools want. Texas will still get theirs, but this 2014 A
Bill K (Austin)
Isn't Conner Brewer the real thing? Won't he be competing/winning the starting job in 2013?
Max Olson (4:51 PM)
He's a real person, yes. The real deal? That remains to be seen. He's the No. 3 QB right now and he'll get a chance to compete.
Joe (Pearland, TX)
With all the attention that A&M is getting and rightly so . . . what can Texas and more specifically, Mack and his coaches, do on the recruiting trail to keep the Horns as the #1 choice among Texas High School football recruits?
Max Olson (4:53 PM)
You know, I'd actually like to see Mack get out on the trail more. Usually he lets his assistants take care of that with the exception of the last-second signing day guys. Mack is a rock star when he visits high schools and small towns. You have to think that would make an impression on people if he got on the road more during these next few months. Just an idea.
What kind of end of season does Texas need to have and what record for next season for Mack to stick around as HC? I'm figuring a Loss to KSU and LSU/A&M. Puts us at 8-5. Does he need 10 next year to stick around? Or would a 3 game skid to end the season be too much for him to overcome with the Big Money Donors?
Max Olson (4:55 PM)
OK, let's say he's 8-5 this year. I think you'd need to win 9 or 10 regular-season games with an impressive team that's clearly heading in the right direction, not one like this 2012 team that's stumbling to the finish line. Right now, it's very hard to judge how many losses it would take before change is necessary.
Max Olson (4:55 PM)
About to wrap this up, so last call for questions guys.
My bro in-law, an aggie, said Manziel is better than Vince Young and I say, no national title for Manziel, similar passing/rushing numbers for both, and Young had the harder opponents i.e. USC "team of the century" and Ohio State, OU, among others where Manziel is playing in a watered down conference and he still managed to lose two games where Vince lost two his entire career. What are your thoughts?
Max Olson (4:57 PM)
You're comparing a first-year starter to a three-year starter. Impossible. Manziel has as much raw talent as you can ask for. If he can keep up this pace for 2-3 more years, it's a discussion. But a runner like him absolutely has to stay healthy over the course of his career, don't forget that.
Dean (Fort Lauderdale)
There's lots of talk about FSU maybe being interested in Manny Diaz as our DC. What are your thoughts on that?
Max Olson (5:00 PM)
It's the school that first gave Manny Diaz his start in coaching. If he wanted to pursue that job, you can't blame him. We'll see what happens.
Max Olson (5:01 PM)
All right guys, that's all I've got for today. Thanks for some great questions, and be sure to keep reading HornsNation.com. Have a good one.