Longhorns check in at No. 7

Texas coach Mack Brown just spent one glorious year free of a quarterback controversy. Now, let's see how long it takes before the Chance Mock vs. Vince Young debate heats up. Mock, a junior, has game experience — his first collegiate pass two years ago went for a 21-yard touchdown and he is 6-of-9 for his career. Young, a redshirt freshman, is a 6'5", 220-pound athletic marvel.

Whoever wins the job won't have to win games by himself — just hand the ball to tailback Sloan Thomas.

The depth of talent Dakarai Pearson rank among the league's premiere defensive backs.

Getting a grip: The Longhorns lost just six fumbles all last season.

Two in a row: Texas has won 11 games in back-to-back seasons for the first time.

Stiff defense: The Longhorns allowed a total of 16 first quarter points all through the 2002 regular season.

2002 results: 11–2 (6–2 Big 12)

2002 Bowl Game: Beat LSU 35-20 in Cotton Bowl

Returning starters: 8 offense, 7 defense, placekicker

2003 Schedule:

A. 30 New Mexico State
S. 13 Arkansas
S. 20 at Rice
S. 27 Tulane
O. 4 Kansas State
O. 11 #Oklahoma
O. 18 at Iowa State
O. 25 at Baylor
N. 1 Nebraska
N. 8 at Oklahoma State
N. 15 Texas Tech
N. 28 at Texas A&M

Schedule Analysis: It starts and ends with Oklahoma, right? Well, sort of. Kansas State comes to Austin the week before the OU showdown, and a trip to Oklahoma State follows a visit from Nebraska in November. But really, the October 11 game in Dallas will determine the Big 12 South championship, possibly the Big 12 championship and possibly the national championship.

Final Word: This Texas team reminds us of another UT team, one that plays in Knoxville. In 1998, Chance Mock (or Vincent Young) leads Texas past Oklahoma and on to the national championship? There certainly is a Chance, right?

To pre-order the 2003 Athlon Big 12 Regional edition, which features a discussion on the Mack Brown era at Texas, click on the magazine icon below. The Big 12 Regional edition is set to hit newsstands June 6.

#7 Texas

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