The question isn't whether or not Texas can finally get over the hump, it's if it can get by Oklahoma. That question will keep dogging the Texas program, and specifically Mack Brown, until the Longhorns can finally get by the Sooners and be in the position to win the Big XII South. After taking care of the Big Crimson Machine, then all thoughts can turn to the rest of the league. Even though it plays in the toughest division in the toughest conference in the country, Texas still won't face lowered expectations even with a few question marks.
Getting by Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State without a loss is asking a lot of any team. Throw Kansas State and Nebraska into the mix and the Longhorns won't catch any breaks.
This team isn't as talented as last year's monster, but that might not be a bad thing. Maybe what Texas needs is to feel a little bit like the underdog even if it isn't. It won't happen much considering UT will be ranked among the top five teams in the country all season long, but the pressure isn't necessarily there to win the national title like it was with Chris Simms at quarterback. With the nation's best receiving corps and one of the best secondaries to go along with the talent everywhere else, it's very possible this is the group that will take Mack Brown and all the Longhorn fans where they want to go.
QB Chance Mock, Jr. - Mock is an experienced backup with great athleticism and a huge arm. The 6-2 Mock might not be the prospect that Vincent Young is, but he's ready to lead the team right now and take over the job without any interruption in production. Compared to Chris Simms, Mock adds a rushing element that the offense has lacked over the last few years.
RB Cedric Benson, Jr. - Ricky Williams lite has all the talent in the world, but there seems to be something missing. Many in the Longhorn Nation are waiting for Selvin Young to eventually take over the job, but they'll have to wait as Benson has too much talent to take off the field. He led the team with 1,293 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns, but he only averaged 4.2 yards per carry. He's also a solid receiver out of the backfield making 21 catches.
FB Ivan Williams, Sr. - Williams can play tailback if necessary, but he'll turned into a decent fullback with his blocking ability getting better and better as last year went on. His carries might be diminished, but he can be used as a receiver out of the backfield.
WR Roy Williams, Sr. - Without question, Williams is the single best receiver in college football and might be the best player in the nation. When healthy, he's a dangerous weapon from anywhere on the field with the quickness to handle the ball on handoffs and the deep speed to burn any defensive back. He's had problems with a hamstring injury, but that seems to be the only thing that can stop him. He caught 64 passes for 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns last year and also carried the ball five times for 85 yards and a touchdown.
WR B.J. Johnson, Sr. - Overshadowed by Williams, Johnson has never seen the limelight that he deserves. He's a big receiver at 6-1 and 200 pounds with outstanding deep speed. He has caught 122 passes for 1,840 yards and 12 touchdowns over his career.
TE Bo Scaife, Sr. - One of the biggest blows to the 2002 Longhorn season came when Scaife went down with a torn up knee. It remains to be seen if he'll be back to his old form, but he's expected to be back at 100% for the start of the season. When he was right, he was one of the best pass catching tight ends in America.
Tackle Jonathan Scott, Soph. - Scott might be the next great Texas offensive lineman. He's a tall player at 6-7 and 297 pounds, but he's very athletic getting stronger in his run blocking. He was hurt a bit over his freshman season, but he's expected to be 100%.
Guard Tillman Holloway, Sr. - Holloway might not be the most talented player on the line, but he might be the leader. With 24 starts under his belt, he has the experience to be the one they run behind in a pinch.
Center Jason Glynn, Jr. - Glynn took over the starting job last season and became a solid producer. A two-time first-team All-Academic Big XII performer, he's one of the smartest player on the line.
Guard Terrance Young, Soph. - Young could end up playing tackle. The 350-pound sophomore was a backup guard last year and is expected to be a dominating run blocker this season.
Tackle William Winston, Soph. - At 6-7 and 350 pounds, Winston is a mountain of a player and saw time as a backup tackle last year. As big as he is, he's still relatively athletic and a powerful blocker. He could end up playing guard.