October 16, 2012
Over the weekend, I saw my Texas Longhorns get steamrolled by the Oklahoma Sooners 63-21 in the Red River Shootout (Rivalry). This is the second year in a row the Longhorns have been defeated by the Sooners in embarrassing fashion. Last year, the Longhorns lost 55-17 in the same game. It’s not so much the fact Texas lost the game. I could understand if you just get beat by a better team. What bothers me is the way Texas lost. This was a team that was uninspired and undisciplined. Worse of all, this was a team that showed a lack of effort and heart. Once the beat down started happening, you could tell just from watching the game Texas was ready to go back to Austin. It was a performance the state of Texas was disgusted and sickened to watch. When you see a performance like this, especially against your chief rival, it makes you wonder about the direction the team is going. Anytime that question comes up, you automatically look in the direction of the head coach. Mack Brown, who has been head coach in Texas since 1998, is starting to come under fire after this horrible performance. Brown has already said he has no plans to retire, but if this disturbing trend continues, he might be forced to find another job. As I said earlier, this is the second year in a row the Longhorns took it on the chin from the Sooners and the third loss in a row to their neighbors north of the Red River (Oklahoma won 28-20 in 2010). After playing in the BCS National Championship Game in 2009-’10 against Alabama, Texas has had two average years and seem to be on their way to another one this year. In 2010-’11, Texas didn’t even make a bowl game, which is completely unacceptable for a program of Texas’ caliber. The year after, the best the ‘Horns could do is the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. This year the ‘Horns already have two losses, and the way they looked against Oklahoma on Saturday tells me there will be more coming. Down in Texas, the standard is to compete for the national title every year. This is the only college that has a whole network dedicated to their school. This is a program that continues to pump in top high school talent year after year. There is no reason for this program not to be able to reload every year, like Alabama and LSU, among others. The Oklahoma game told me it might be time to at least consider a change at the head coaching position. I’ve always like Brown as the coach, but it doesn’t seem like the message he’s delivering to the players is getting through like they once was. The lack of effort and desire shows the mark of a team that has given up on the coach. I don’t want to say Brown has completely lost the team based on one game, but it speaks volumes when a team gets throttled like this. Maybe Texas can turn it around and get themselves into a BCS Bowl, but it doesn’t look likely. Average is not going to cut it, especially in a state that is known for their rich football history. It’s been two (and on their way to three) years of average, and if and when changes come in Austin, Brown may be the first change that is made. I don’t think Brown will be fired yet, but the seat is definitely a little bit hotter.
By Charles Taylor