Annoying questions from reporters be damned, Tom Herman wants the entire world to know that he likes this 2018 Texas Longhorns football team. This includes his offensive line. In the wake of a spring game that put the spotlight on all of the concerning areas on this football team, Herman was not about to have the narrative he wants for this team changed in the slightest, which meant that try as the media might on Saturday to get Herman to make concessions that some areas are still behind their needed timelines, he just wasn't having it. I'm not sure that he and I see this team exactly the same way going into the summer, but I understand where he's coming from. One of the things I appreciate the most about Herman is that he has an appreciation for the sense of urgency that exists in this program and with his own job security. He knows better than anyone that there needs to be tangible results this fall in order to create the kind of momentum on and off the field that's needed. Doubt can't be allowed to rear its ugly head in year two or it can create a tricky set of waters to navigate in year three. Just ask Charlie. Even if it hasn't all come together in April, Herman exudes confidence that it will come together in the fall because there's no other choice. You can't sell the vision of building something special to the likes of superstar wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who was on his official visit this weekend, if the results and progress on the side of the ball in which Herman specializes isn't plainly evident. Herman needs this team to hear his confidence and not doubt it because at some point Herman is going to need these little birdies to fly on their own when they are forced to jump out of the nest, and players hearing that Herman questions their abilities to fly at this point can create problematic scenarios. As it stands, Herman's confidence deserves the benefit of the doubt. If he's the special coach in the making that the Longhorn Universe believes him to be, then he'll pull the offensive side of the ball out of the wilderness through sheer will if he has to do. It's the story of this season, the thing that either slows down the momentum that Herman wants or sends it into the stratosphere. By God, Herman is telling us that it's going to be fine. Hell, more than fine. He better be right. No. 2 - Revisiting a point that was made last week ... A week ago in this very column, I suggested the following were the three things Tom Herman would probably like to see in the spring game, outside of the obvious choice of no significant injuries: a. 50,000+ fans. It was a good crowd for a Texas spring game, given the weather concerns from earlier in the week, which probably made attending the event a last-minute call for families all across the state. Unofficially, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said the crowd was in the 35,000 range during an interview with the Longhorn Network during the game. That's not the kind of number that will lead to a bragging press release, but it was a solid as a rock. More important than the number might have been the fact that the event felt more like an event from those that were on hand. Kudos to the athletic department, especially Herman, for adding some much-needed juice to the proceedings, even if concessions were made in the name of doing so (a confession Herman admitted to in the post-game media discussion). b. Progress at quarterback under the lights I suppose the moment Bob Wiley arrived at Lake Winnipesaukee in the movie What About Bob, a measure of progress could be acknowledged, while it being obvious that the real progress hadn't yet come close to occurring. That's kind of where I am with the Texas quarterbacks. I can see that there weren't any interceptions, and hooray for that, but that doesn't mean that my eyeballs witnessed the kind of inspired plus-quarterback play in a practice setting that would make you forget how unacceptable the quarterback play from a season ago proved to be. Nothing that happened on Saturday proved anything, instead it was merely a showcase for the problem that does exist and can't be wished away like a child blowing out the candles on his birthday cake. c. Physicality on both sides of the ball. Well, Tom Herman was certainly a little touchy on the subject of what his offensive line could and could not do on Saturday night. Admittedly, the lineman were used in an assortment of combinations in the name of trying to have a creative spring game, which means that there was a little bit of double fool's gold (fool's gold fool's gold, if you will) in place with regards to what we're watching. That truth/excuse/explanation/reason out of the way, this game setting showcased an absolute array of blown assignments that made the entire spring game feel like a game of jailbreak scrambling for the quarterbacks. With nearly 24 hours to process what we all watched, I think more than anything else that the rotating combinations up-front was a reminder how just how thin this offensive line is. Yes, Calvin Anderson is coming in, which means an upgrade from Saturday will be made in August. Yet, if Texas suffers even a single injury (let alone multiple) along the offensive line this season that takes a player out of the line-up, its impact on what the offense might become is significant. As I wrote yesterday, Denzel Okafor has some upside as an interior player, but if he's forced into playing tackle, that's a big problem at this point. Whatever upside exists with this group, and Herman seems to believe that it's tangible, has very thin margins with which to work. Herb Hand is a damn good offensive line coach based on his previous history, but he's not a sorcerer. No. 3 - The elephant in the room ... If Cal transfer Tre Watson had questions about whether he would have a tremendous chance of starting at running back at Texas, they had to have been answered in a very loud way. That was clear the moment Toneil Carter fumbled on third play of the spring game after Tom Herman had bemoaned ball security issues for the last month. Carter seemed to disappear to the bench, Daniel Young received only three carries and a guy Herman doesn't want to use at running back every play (Lil Jordan Humphrey) looked like your best option if a game was tomorrow. Tre Watson, come on down. No. 4 - Monster in the making ... At this time last year, I thought Malcolm Roach was on his way to becoming one of the best defensive player in the Big 12. Then he suffered the dreaded turf toe injury, seemed to get somewhat lost in searching for his real role in a new defense and generally had a sophomore season to forget. On Saturday, all of the promise from his freshman season was on full display and a reminder of the kind of player that he can become when he isn't battling a nagging injury was evident. Very quietly, he's the potential bad ass on this defense that will actually fly under the radar going into the season. No. 5 - UT's version of Reggie Bush ... Lil Jordan Humphrey would be my starting running back if I was calling the shots. I'm not talking about a starting running back that would be used in conventional starting running back terms (20+ carries per game). Instead, I'm talking about showcasing him in a way that uses him in the backfield in a variety of roles, while also putting him in the slot and on the outside. Oh, and he's not coming off the field, so whomever is in charge of the cockamamie wide receiver rotations can just figure out something else to do. He's getting 15 touches or intended touches per game at a minimum each week and taking 50-percent of the reps at the position until I see something that changes my opinion that he's the most dynamic option. Actually, a Watson/Humphrey tandem could be just what the doctor ordered. No. 6 – THIS is how the Longhorn Network should be used ... Playing Football At Texas = Exposure! https://t.co/nHy5yEIRlA— Bryan Carrington (@BCarringtonUT) April 20, 2018 Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting... For too long, too many people have not viewed the upside of the property through the eyes of real creativity. I'm not talking about live high school football games, I'm talking about creating ideas that a 17-year-old kid would see and think, "That's pretty cool." Creating content with your players that showcases the interests in their lives and allows for a platform for those interests to be seen has a ton of real value. If I was in charge of content, I'd be pushing for a Lip Sync show with all athletes, rap contests, barber shop setting discussions with athletes talking about things that are important to them, while showcasing their personalities and exposure. In the process, everything becomes a video that is potentially the next big viral thing on a daily basis. Hell, even if it never makes it to the big network, a web-centered platform that does the same types of things would have immense value. It's the kind of thing that potentially showcases Texas in ways that other schools can only try to copy. Under Herman and his staff of recruiters, I'm starting to get the feeling that they are figuring out what they have on their hands to work with. No. 7 – Dog-fight for the Big 12 title race ... With all due respect to the series against New Orleans this weekend, which featured the Longhorns taking two out of three at home, this team has bigger fish to fry than to worry about the one on Sunday that got away. This Texas team has three Big 12 series remaining in the regular season - at seventh place West Virginia, at third-place Texas Tech and at home against fifth-place TCU. Considering the Longhorns trail Oklahoma State in the standings by a game and lead both Tech and Oklahoma by a game while sitting alone in second place, it's not a bad place to be in the homestretch because the other teams have tougher stretches remaining. Oklahoma State and Oklahoma still have three games between them this upcoming weekend, while the Cowboys still have a three-game series with Texas Tech to conclude the season. If Texas can take four out of six on the road in the next two weekends and then sweep TCU at the end of the season, an 18-6 record would probably be enough to take home a share of the title at the very least. Hell, 17-7 might be good enough when you consider that the other teams are more likely to beat each other up than they are of running the table. No. 8 – Buy or Sell … BUY or SELL: The product on the field yesterday helped us with the grad transfers considering us? (Buy) It had to have helped with Tre Watson, who watched the primary competition for the job fail to take so much as an inch of progress on Saturday, especially Toneil Carter. BUY or SELL: LJH, CJ and DD combine for 2,000 yards receiving and 20 touchdowns this year? (Sell) After projecting Collin Johnson for more than 10 touchdowns a season ago and coming up way short, forgive me for showing some restraint with the prediction game. I do think that group has that kind of upside, if not the supporting cast around it to get there. BUY or SELL: The quarterback roster chart is the best it's been in a decade? (Sell) The quarterback room was better in 2009, which technically falls inside of a decade. I would also contend that the quarterback room was better in 2012, when David Ash actually had the type of sophomore season that Tom Herman might give a pinky finger for if one of his two older quarterbacks could repeat it. BUY or SELL: If Texas is 3-3 or 2-4 after OU, one of the freshman QBs is starting against Baylor? (Sell) It's not an impossible suggestion, but this season can't be allowed to come to that. BUY or SELL: Tim Beck is effectively removed as OC by the Baylor game? (Buy) I don't know if he's going to make it into week three. Tom Herman is going to need to be ultra-hands on. BUY or SELL: Joshua Rowland is the starting kicker? (Buy) Very quietly, that 50-yard field goal to end the first half on Saturday night was a real highlight of the game. That sucker would have been good from 57 or 58 yards out. He just needs consistency. BUY or SELL: Texas is actively searching for a grad transfer QB and/or O lineman. (Buy) Tom Herman is looking under every rock for anyone that can help this team NOW. If I was Tom Herman, I would be sending signals to the state of Alabama to a certain quarterback, letting him know that the job can be his if he's not happy with the Crimson Tide. I’d give Jalen Hurts the job tomorrow if he wanted and not look back. Texas can win nine games with that kid at quarterback, there's no doubt in my mind. BUY or SELL: Despite your pledge to not drink the Kool-Aid, both freshman quarterbacks have quicker feet, made quicker decisions, and have more upside than the two “you know who’s? (Sell) I still believe in the upside of the older quarterbacks, even if they are both a ways away from it. BUY or SELL: Sam Ehlinger is more Tyrone Swoopes than he is Colt McCoy? (Buy) At this point, he's much close to being a mini-me version of the 2016 version of Swoopes than any version of McCoy from 2006-09. BUY or SELL: Patrick Hudson comes in, locks up a starting spot and performs at an average B12 level or above? (Sell) Hudson is a young player that was still in the infancy stage of his development last season and now he's coming off a major knee injury, which has slowed his development. I think he's going to be a serious option for the 2019 team, but I'm not sure a big impact for 2018 is going to exist. It's a rewrite of history to suggest that he was a plus-player in limited playing time a year ago, even if he started to show some flashes. BUY or SELL: There are two future NFL quarterbacks on campus? (Sell) Tom Herman would settle for one and I'm not even sure that's the case. BUY or SELL: The Circle Drill with two often-injured QBs (one with concussion issues) is a dumb stunt that should not be repeated by Coach Herman. (Buy) I don't know if I would call it a dumb stunt, but it was kind of a dumb stunt. I know why it was done, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to expose those players to this type of drill when you otherwise have them protected at all times because the dangers of losing one are too significant. You read my mind. No. 9 – Eternal Randomness of the Spotty Sports Mind … ... The Sixers turned the ball over 27 times on Saturday and still found a way to get a road win and take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Heat. Man, this team is growing up before our eyes. ... The Ricky Rubio/Russell Westbrook battle has emerged as the most entertaining match-up of the first round. Can't wait to see how Russ responds to what Rubio did to him on Saturday night. ... Anthony Davis vs. the Warriors in the second round is going to be all kinds of entertaining. ... There was a no-hitter on Saturday and I didn't even know that it happened until noon on Sunday. ... Is Mike Trout the modern-day Willie Mays? ... My Phillies actually look pretty good through 21 games. Color me very pleasantly surprised. ... The Arsene Wenger Goodbye Tour began this weekend and here's hoping it ends with him being able to walk away with his head held high. ... Manchester United/Chelsea will be a fun FA Cup final. To the winner goes a chance to have something to hang its hat on when the season ends. I'm expecting a great game. ... Time to handle some business on Tuesday for Liverpool. I'm thinking 3-1 in favor of the Reds. YNWA. ... Mo Salah... the Egyptian and Premier League King. No. 10 – And Finally … If the season started today ... at Maryland (win) vs. Tulsa (win) vs. USC (win) vs. TCU (loss) at Kansas State (win) vs. Oklahoma (loss) vs. Baylor (win) at Oklahoma State (loss) vs. West Virginia (win) at Texas Tech (loss) vs. Iowa State (win) at Kansas (win) USC, Kansas State and Texas Tech are all coin-flips for me at this stage and I'm giving Texas the unearned benefit of the doubt in two of them.