Football Outsiders' Brian Fremeau broke down five teams that are nearly elite, but need big improvement on one side of the ball.
One of those teams? The Texas Longhorns.
You'll need ESPN Insider to see the full piece, but here's what Fremeau had to say about the Horns.
Texas won't likely be a legitimate contender this season, and its program rating is still clinging to the Colt McCoy years. The Longhorns were a perennial top-20 offense under McCoy, but no one has stepped in to create the same level of total offensive production in his absence. Texas has ranked 105th and 70th, respectively, according to opponent-adjusted OFEI in the past two seasons. Ten starters return this fall, and perhaps that consistency can bolster productivity on the field. Equipped with an elite defense, even a modest improvement offensively should position Texas for a strong run in 2013 and beyond.
I'd agree with that sentiment. The numbers support the common theory surrounding the Longhorns: They're getting better, but the best years are quickly approaching.
The Longhorns played 18 freshman last season. They'll be sophomores this year. And as juniors in 2013?
Look out. That's a lot of top-flight recruits with a lot of experience. Texas' biggest problem is obviously at quarterback, but it's been nothing but steps forward after a disastrous 5-7 season in 2010.