The Longhorns got some big news Thursday morning when five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson committed to Texas along with his high school teammate, highly touted wide receiver DeAndre McNeal. This is a great revelation for the Burnt Orange, but on a day when Texas got their biggest win of the offseason, they stand on the verge of losing a key piece of 2014's success.
Defensive Coordinator Vance Bedford led the Longhorns to the top of the Big 12's defensive rankings last year, and now his name is being linked to head coaching openings. He's already drawn interest from Colorado State to fill the spot vacated by Jim McElwain's departure to coach the Florida Gators.
When you run a big-time program with any level of success you have to assume that you'll lose coaches to better opportunities, but it would be a major blow to Texas' future to lose Bedford before the Longhorns reach their full potential. Charlie Strong is first and foremost a defensive coach; Bedford is his trusted cohort. They've been together since their days in Florida, running the defense for two national championships.
Hopefully Texas can offer Bedford a raise that will keep the Horns' best assistant around for at least one more season of Strong's rebuild. This Texas squad is going to have to build their identity around their defense until they get a top-tier quarterback on the roster. Losing Bedford would be a big blow.
If the Horns do somehow manage to keep him, there should be a lot to look forward to next year. And while there won't be any visit to the Grove at Ole Miss, there's still the possibility for some great road trips on the schedule for 2015. I've gone ahead and taken the liberty of ranking them for you below:
•The Red River Shootout (obviously)
•West Virginia: Morgantown is a fun place to visit if you like to party. You just want to make sure you get out of town before they give you something embarrassing like a speeding ticket, STI, or college degree.
•Notre Dame: Make sure you let everyone know that Rudy was offsides.
•Iowa State: Not necessarily a noteworthy destination, but you should always take an opportunity to spend Halloween in a new college town. Common Iowa State Halloween costumes include the grain detective, a slutty interstate highway, and of course the serial killer from California laying low at college parties.
•Baylor: It's only two hours away, and their new stadium is pretty cool. Make sure to stop by the statue of RG3 so you can get your picture with the bust of a modern bust.
•TCU: Terrible trip by any stretch of the imagination, but there's always those kolaches.