Chip Shots

SOMETHING TO PROVE

ESPN.com came out with preseason rankings of the defensive lines in the Big 12 and ranked Texas fourth, behind TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor.

I don't really have a problem with this ranking. It wasn't like Texas led the Big 12 in rushing defense last year. Not even close.

The best run defenses last year in the Big 12 were as follows:

1. TCU ... 130.8 ypg (3.3 ypc)

2. Oklahoma ... 137.6 ypg (4.1 ypc)

3. Kansas St. ... 139.1 ypg (3.9 ypc)

4. Oklahoma St. ... 142.4 ypg (3.6 ypc)

5. Baylor ... 145.4 ypg (3.5 ypc)

Texas did lead the Big 12 in sacks in 2013, but 13 of UT's 39 came from Jackson Jeffcoat, who has moved on to the NFL.

Charlie Strong has to love having his best unit on defense being ranked fourth. He loves chips on shoulders. And this is not a deep group. TCU, OU and Baylor all have more depth on the D-line than Texas.

TCU has Devonte Fields, the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, back all kinds of off-field turmoil that cost him most of 2013, including a 2-game suspension; getting robbed; and suffering a foot injury.

OU has pass rushers Eric Striker and Charles Tapper back. And Baylor coach Art Briles says he's 8-deep on the DL, including 6-9, 270-pound DE Shawn Oakman, who his teammates call "Avatar."

Texas DE Ced Reed, DT Malcom Brown, DT Desmond Jackson and DE Caleb Bluiett still have a lot to prove. And this is not a deep group. Ced Reed will have a lot of expectations on him after a 10-sack season in 2013.

Malcom Brown is the best player/NFL prospect on that line. When Ced Reed is locked in, as he was over the second half of last season. When Reed uses his hands well and executes his long-arm rush, he's an NFL-caliber player. Desmond Jackson needs to take the next step, and I think Bluiett could be a pleasant surprise this season.

But I don't have a problem with Texas' D-line being fourth.

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TEXAS BASEBALL GETS ITS MOJO BACK

There were a few significant developments for me in Texas' 2-1 Big 12 series win over Kansas State last weekend that came down to solo home runs in the top of the 10th in Game 3 by Ben Johnson and Tres Berrera to break a 7-7 tie.

1) P Dillon Peters bounced back from missing his start in the WVU series with a salivary duct stone by giving Texas 7 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts as part of a 12-0, combined no-hitter with Morgan Cooper in Game 1.

2) The bats came back to life. Texas posted 41 hits in three games (19 in Game 1, 8 in Game 2, 14 in Game 3).

3) Despite giving up a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth in a rare collapse by John Curtiss and losing Game 2, 5-4, Texas showed toughness in bouncing back for a 9-8 win in Game 3.

Freshman catcher Berrera averaged batting nearly .400 through a 14-2 run in the middle of the season before going cold in losses to TCU, Oklahoma State and WVU (3 of 25 - .120). But he bounced back in a big way against K-State, going 7 of 13 (.538) at the plate with 5 runs scored and 5 RBIs, including his solo HR in the 10th inning of Game 3, which proved to be the winning run in a 9-8 victory.

NEXT UP: Texas Tech, 7:30 pm Wednesday, at Oklahoma City in the Big 12 Tournament.

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ELITE EIGHT

Congrats to the No. 9 Texas men's tennis team and coach Michael Center for reaching the final 8 at the NCAA Championships before losing to No. 1 USC 4-1.

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MAKE THAT EIGHT STRAIGHT

Led by freshman Beau Hossler, the Texas men's golf team eeked by New Mexico by one stroke for the fifth and final qualifying spot in the Auburn Regional, giving the Longhorns' their eighth straight appearance in the NCAA Championships (next week at Prairie Dunes).

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CLEAN SWEEP

The No. 2 Texas women's track team made it a clean sweep of the Big 12 indoor and outdoor titles with a decisive, 36-point victory outdoors over second-place Baylor.

The 10th-ranked Longhorn men's track team finished second to Texas Tech at the Big 12 outdoor meet (held in Lubbock).

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X-FACTOR TONIGHT

Keep an eye on the Thunder's Reggie Jackson tonight in Game 1 vs the Spurs.

With Serge Ibaka out, OKC has to find a way to make up for his scoring (Ibaka averaged 15.1 ppg and 8.8 rpg during the regular season).

Jackson has averaged 24 ppg on 67 percent shooting in OKC's last three games against the Spurs.

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NASAL STRIPS?

After California Chrome won the Preakness Saturday, of course the New York Racing Association said the horse can wear nasal strips in the Belmont - the third leg of the Triple Crown - on June 7.

Was horse racing going to give up a chance at history (no Triple Crown winner since 1978) over nasal strips? Hell, if that horse wanted to wear lace panties or a jockstrap, horse racing would have to agree.

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SCARIER THAN PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 12

You want to see a really scary movie, go see "Fed Up," the documentary the food industry doesn't want you to see.

You'll never look at your (or your kids') diet the same way again.

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