Sometimes you can be good, sometimes you can be lucky. It's usually a beautiful thing to behold when good and lucky meet up to make sweet love, which is actually what happened with Tom Herman and his staff in the 2018 recruiting year. Herman and Co. produced a well-planned, well-organized, bad-ass recruiting machine that mowed down everything in front of them for a top-five recruiting class, which included five of the top six, seven of the top 10 and 11 of the top 20 prospects in the state. Folks, that's good. Really good. The better news for Texas is that the wind was blowing in its direction in the staff's first year, as Herman brought in a coaching staff heavy on Houston-area chops in a historical year for talent in the greater Houston area. Five of the top six players from Texas played within a rock's throw from the Galleria. Nine of the Top 13. Twelve of the top 19. I've been covering recruiting on a professional level since 1994 and I have never seen a year in which the Houston area dominated the top of the rankings to such a degree, while the Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex was historically sub-par. Zero top-10 prospects sub-par. Only three of the top 20. The question mark about this staff a year ago was how it might compete in the Metroplex with a staff that didn't have a lot of history there outside of Tim Beck, but the tide of talent in year one took the staff mostly away from the Metroplex, as evidenced by the fact that 13 of the state's top 15 prospects from the Metroplex signed elsewhere. The dynamics in 2019 are quite different. While my currently LSR Top 100 list will probably be edited a half-dozen times between now and next February, I currently have the Metroplex producing the state's top prospect, four of the top 11 overall prospects and 10 of the top 20. Meanwhile, the Greater Houston area currently has four of the top 10 and seven of the top 20. The math in 2019 in terms of geography has changed considerably and a lot of the work that will need to be done will take place on terrain that won't be quite as friendly as it was a year ago when a Houston staff set up shop in its home away from home. Oklahoma is a much bigger presence in the Metroplex than it is in Houston, which is why the head-to-head battles that take place between the Longhorns and Sooners typically take place in this part of the state and East Texas. Given the increased presence that Texas A&M will have with a new coach in its first year in its backyard, it will be critical that Texas show muscle in its efforts in the Metroplex this year. I don't write any of this to sound off any panic alarms, it's just a nod towards one of the key stories behind the 2019 story that will begin to unfold in earnest in the coming weeks. This is one of the things to pay special attention to. No. 2 – The elephant in the room ... Tim Beck might have the biggest year of his coaching life in front of him. In addition to his likely continued role as play-caller going into next season (with a more involved Tom Herman at his side), one of the real feathers in Beck's cap when he arrived last year was that he brought the most experience when it comes to successfully recruiting in the Metroplex as anyone on the staff. He was a high school head coach in the area once upon a time and he's recruited the elite of the elite and has notches on his belt. Given the changes in dynamics discussed in the section above, Beck's role in the grand scheme of recruiting will likely be much different. While he won't be the only guy leading the charge, it would seem likely that he will be the guy that heads the charge. It's his backyard and, in theory, the biggest reason he was hired was so that he could go get 'em in Dallas. It's time to go get 'em. No. 3 – Scattershooting on Herman's Wednesday PC ... With a little more time to reflect on an information-filled press conference this week, here are some underrated little moments from his commentary. * These people were specifically named on Wednesday: Derek Chang, Oscar Giles, Bryan Carrington, Herb Hand (non-recruiting related comments) and Tim Beck (non-recruiting related comments) *These people were not specifically named on Wednesday: Stan Drayton, Drew Mehringer, Derek Warehime, Corby Meekins, Todd Orlando, Jason Washington and Craig Naivar I'm a little surprised that we didn't see him gush a little more on Washington and Naivar. * Chang seemed to be a guy that Herman wanted to stress as being ultra-important. For all of the buzz about Bryan Carrington, it was Chang from the support staff that garnered the most gushing, especially when you consider that Chang was brought up without prompting by Herman. * Listening to Herman talk about the new non-stop recruiting world that he and his staff suddenly live in, with 2019 official visit starting in the spring, you can't help but wonder if this sport won't start trending more to a young man's coaching game? * In almost an hour of talking, Tom Herman said the word "doubt" three times. "Sam's mindset is great. He's a great leader. He knows in order for him to take the next step as a leader, he's got to put himself in the position to where his teammates don't doubt him, where his teammates have a ton of confidence in him. "Leadership, consistency, just be an everyday guy, be the same guy every day. Your quarterbacks better be the hardest workers on your team. They better be the guys that are never late, that are always on time, that make great grades, stay out of trouble on and off the field. If not, that nasty word 'doubt' creeps into the players around them. That's a really, really bad thing to have when you're a quarterback. You need trust, which to me is the opposite of doubt. To develop that trust, you've got to be consistent." * Interesting quote: "Much like any head coach, even that does call the plays, I've researched from Chip Kelly to Scott Frost to Gus Malzahn when he was doing it, in the spring I’ve got to be the head coach. You're not going to see me out there in a headset standing on the sideline calling plays. I'm going to be behind the quarterback, watching the play, cheering and coaching both sides of the football. Tim Beck is going to call the scrimmage situation plays. We'll go from there and evaluate throughout the summer." No. 4 - Story time with Uncle Ketch ... It's funny to me that after all of these years, the DJ Williams/Albert Hollis official visit weekend from December of 1999 has taken on a bit of an urban legend feel to it that people still references nearly 20 years later. For those that don't know any of the backstory, Williams was the No. 1 player in the country and was viewed as a Texas lean coming into the visit, while Hollis was a national top-five running back prospect that had declared his intentions of committing to Texas before the visit. Both kids were from California, but unlike the cliques that we see in today's recruiting, these two arrived as a pair, only because they were from the same state. Things got off to a bad start on the night of the Friday night team banquet when Hollis walked up to starting running back Hodges Mitchell and told him he was going to take his job. The veterans on the Texas team took huge exception to such a call-out of a popular team leader and a couple players had to be held back from turning it into a more flammable situation. What isn't known about the Hollis side of this is that he was actually a very nice kid and within 24 hours, he'd kind of made good on his early mistake, only for things to kind of go sideways on Saturday night through no fault of his own. Later that night, almost the entire Texas team was hanging out at a bar on 6th Street called the "Sidestreet Bar" and quite a good time by all was being had. Yet, hanging out at a bar wasn't what Williams came to Austin to do and he indicated that he wanted to go over to a club that used to be named "Catfish Station" because he wanted to go dancing. Once it became clear that Williams wanted to leave, Texas sophomore Cory Redding (who was Williams' host) told him within a couple of inches to his face that, "Texas players practice together, Texas players play together and Texas players party together." If you're wondering how I know these specific details, it's because I was standing about three feet from it all. Williams didn't back down and he just left and grabbed Hollis on his way out the door, never to be seen from again by any of the Texas football players, as he did the thing he wanted to do the most ... dance. Later on, Williams and Hollis got lost trying to find their way back to the hotel and were reduced to calling me for directions. The next week, Williams visited Miami, where he found dance floors at every turn and his future home, while Hollis' commitment to Texas just kind of dissolved into an idea that never came to pass. Of course, Williams ended up being a first-round draft pick and a long-time NFL player, while Hollis' career ended because of a horrible non-contact injury. Hollis eventually became a fashion model with the moniker "Dynast Hollis" (feel free to Yahoo search). No. 5 – Three thoughts on UT hoops from the weekend ... * Texas can't win games when Matt Coleman (3 of 7), Kerwin Roach (2 of 7) and Dylan Osetkowski (1 for 6) go a combined six of 20 from the floor, while combining for three free throw attempts. I don't need to know anything else about the game if you tell me prior to the game that those three are going to combine for 17 points. Those three didn't do enough. * This team gave up way too many baskets at the hoop against TCU. When you consider that Osetkowski didn't commit a single personal foul in 30 minutes on the floor, I think I'd like to have seen him not stand still and watch a few of those TCU dunks and layups that took place right in front of him. I'm not suggesting that Osetkowski wipe anyone out, just don't let them waltz down the lane and score at the hoop uncontested. * The Baylor game on Monday night is pretty much as must-have as it gets. Considering the road games that loom for a team that hasn't proven it can win those types of games, a loss to the Bears would be a monster blow to this team's NCAA Tournament hopes. Texas better play with some desperation. No. 6 – Bottom line with the basketball team … Gotta win at home against Baylor, Oklahoma State and in the regular season-finale against West Virginia. That will get the Longhorns to 18 wins, an 8-10 record in Big 12 play and probably in the Tournament, especially with a single win in the Big 12 Tournament. Drop any of those three and it's truly "Uh oh" time. No. 7 – Buy or Sell … BUY or SELL: Beck is the primary play caller at the end of the 2018 season? (Buy) I think things are going to have to go way off the tracks on the offensive side of the ball for that role to be taken away by Herman and I don't think it'll happen. My prediction is that Beck is the primary play-caller, for better or worse, for all of the 2018 season. BUY or SELL: Although most of the recruiting class signed on NSD1, the bowl appearance and win were key to closing strong on NSD2. Absent the bowl game, the outcome of NSD2 could have been much different? (Sell) I think the bowl game had a huge impact inside the program with the current players, but I don't know that it impacted recruiting much. BUY or SELL: At some point in the future, Texas HC Herman will face off vs. A&M HC Fisher each year after the annual rivalry game is resumed? (Sell) The smart money is one at least one coaching change before these two schools are playing annually once more. BUY or SELL: The RB coach should be a recruiting rainmaker? (Buy) Absolutely. Period. BUY or SELL: Stan Drayton is the best recruiter on this coaching staff and is considered a rainmaker? (Sell) No and not really. BUY or SELL: Even without Calvin Anderson, ‘18 OL is better to the point we make plays and win games that we didn’t last season? (Sell) There's no way in the world that anything has transpired to justify giving that benefit of the doubt. BUY or SELL: There will never be another embarrassing loss for Texas football as long as Tom Herman is the head coach? (Sell) Never is a long time. BUY or SELL: I know it’s early but will Texas 2019 class finish higher than aggy? (Buy) I sold this a few weeks ago, but I'll buy this week. I expect both schools to have top-10 classes. BUY or SELL: There is always plenty of Kool-Aid to drink about new recruits who have never played a down of college football, but it 10 years the 2018 class will be seen as top 3 at Texas since the introduction of Title IX? (Sell) It's certainly possible, but I don't want to get too carried away. Mack Brown's classes from 1999-2002 set a very high bar. Even the 2015 class has produced at levels that the 2018 group will have to strive to surpass with four all-Americans and counting. BUY or SELL: There will be a fierce QB battle in the off-season and no decision announced for a starter until just before the Maryland game. Sam starts, but by halftime against USC he has suffered 2 more concussions and Shane takes over. With a serviceable OL, Shane shows his accuracy and never looks back during 2018? (Sell) Currently, I believe there's a better chance that one of the true freshmen on campus leaps beyond Shane Buechele than there is that he takes the job and never looks back. BUY or SELL: You're officially worried about Markelle Fultz? (Buy) Big-time worried. No. 8 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind … ... I haven't watched a single minute of the Winter Olympics. Maybe a second, here and there, but not a full minute. ... Can you imagine the emotional whirlwind that Isaiah Thomas has been on in the last 12 months? From surprise MVP candidate and beloved Celtics player to seriously injured to traded to Cleveland to being a disaster to Cleveland to coming off the bench for the Lakers. Humbling stuff. ... Have we seen the end of Luke Rockhold in the UFC as we once knew him? Was he overrated the entire time? ... I'm really not sure what to think of the new US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro, but as someone that wanted to see a complete overhaul of US Soccer, I'm disappointed that it seems like a case of same ol, same ol. ... Is Sergio Aguero the most underrated player in the Premier League? ... Bring on the Champion's League this week! No. 9 – Three weeks until the big night … After putting away The Florida Project over the weekend (Man, that was a demoralizing watch), I'm down to four un-watched films from the movies nominates in all of the major categories. That's manageable. Oh, here's my Tweet of the Weekend Somebody on FB called THE SHAPE OF WATER "Grinding Nemo" and now I can never not call it that.— Jessica Ritchey (@Ruby_Stevens) February 10, 2018 My updated Oscars rankings (my picks, not my picks of the actual nominations) (Still need to see: All the Money in the World, Call Me By Your Name, Phantom Thread, and Roman J. Israel, Esq) Best Picture 1. Lady Bird 2. The Shape of Water 3. Darkest Hour 4. Get Out 5. I, Tonya 6. The Post 7. The Disaster Artist 8. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri 9. Dunkirk 10. The Big Sick Best Actor 1. Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) 2. James Franco (The Disaster Artist) 3. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) 4. William DaFoe (The Florida Project) 5. Adam Driver (The Last Jedi) Best Actress 1. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) 2. Meryl Streep (The Post) 3. Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) 4. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) 5. Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) Best Supporting Actor 1. Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water) 2. Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri) 3. Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water) 4. Jason Mitchell (Mudbound) 5. Rob Morgan (Mudbound) Best Supporting Actress 1. Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) 2. Allison Janney (I,Tonya) 3. Holly Hunter (The Big Sick) 4. Carey Mulligan (Mudbound) 5. Kristin Scott Thomas (Darkest Hour) Best Director 1. The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro) 2. Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) 3. Jordan Peele (Get Out) 4. Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) 5. Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049) No. 10 – And Finally … Because I can't un-see this, I must share it with the rest of you because I'm that kind of person. Tweet!