For the first time in 17 years Mack Brown will not be roaming the sidelines as the head coach of the Texas Longhorns. It is a new era on the 40 Acres as Charlie Strong takes over a program that is far from broken, coming off an 8-5 season that was tough to explain.
After consecutive troubling losses to BYU and Ole Miss, the Longhorns reeled off six straight wins including a 36-20 drubbing of the Sooners in Dallas.
In 2014 the Longhorns return 7 starters on offense if David Ash can come back from his concussion issues, which will be a key to this team's success in 2014. With or without Ash there will be plenty of offensive talent returning as both Malcom Brown and Johnathan Gray return in the backfield with Jaxon Shipley and Kendall Sanders out wide.
Over on Defense the Horns return eight and it is an impressive group of returners at every level including Cedric Reed, Jordan Hicks, and Quandre Diggs hoping to improve on the 68th ranked defense a year ago.
The Longhorns won their 5th consecutive over Texas Tech last thanksgiving in Austin that makes 10 wins in their last 12 match-ups against the Red Raiders, but Tech gets the Horns at home where the Red Raiders are almost 2 touchdowns better over the last five years.
The Horns have a few question marks hanging over their heads entering 2014, but if they can stay healthy and Charlie Strong lives up to his billing, the Longhorns could find themselves in the mix, in the top half of the Big 12.