The Thrill is Gone
I thought Texas was mediocre during the first game in 2012 versus Wyoming, but at halftime of the Kansas St. game I thought Texas was going to win. They were playing their best game of the year at that point. But for Texas over the last three years eventually their mediocrity rises to the top. Mediocre doesn’t win on the road against a 10-1 number 6th ranked team in the country. Texas is mediocre because the quarterback play is flawed, the offensive line can’t run block consistently, the defense is bad and the special teams, as usual, are bad. Sure, Texas has some very good players such as Jaxon Shipley, Mike Davis, running back Malcolm Brown, if he can stay healthy, and Alex Okafor. There are many other good players, some of whom have been grossly underutilized such as Daje Johnson, D.J. Monroe, defensive tackle Malcolm Brown, and linebackers Tevin Jackson and Peter Jinkens. I’m sure there are more players you could add to these lists. Still, with all the good players Texas has, they’re a mediocre team and have been for three straight years. That’s on Mack Brown, pure and simple.
The Longhorn Football team is Mack Brown’s Texas Football. If you don’t believe me reference the website mackbrown-texasfootball.com. Mack Brown is to Texas Football as Jerry Jones is to the Dallas Cowboys. If you think that’s a flawed analogy tell me who you think has more power over there than Brown. One of the big money donors? Only if there’s a consensus among them. DeLoss Dodd? Please. Bill Powers? I’ve read that he and Dodds don’t want to take on the hiring of a new football coach at this late stage of their careers. Good to know they’re still making the tough calls and earning their millions in salaries. For better or for worse, Mack Brown is the Texas Football Head Coach for as long as he wants to be. In my opinion the whole situation is extremely dysfunctional.
So it’s pretty much up to Mack Brown to decide if he returns for the 2013 season. I’m almost certain that he will, but if he were to decide to leave he would make that decision this week because any later would put Dodds and company behind schedule for making a hire for 2013. Don’t expect that announcement.
Fan’s Expectations and Entitlement
I have had hundreds of conversations about Texas Football with a longtime fan, alumnus, diehard Mack Brown supporter and one of the smartest people I know. His constant refrain is that Texas fans have a sense of entitlement and unrealistic expectations. I don’t know how he can ignore the fact that it’s Mack Brown who has consistently said, until the last two years, that, “We expect to compete for the National Championship every year.” In August of this year he said, “We’re good enough to beat every team on our schedule.” If Mack Brown and U.T. would like to lower the bar on fan expectations let them say that we’re de-emphasizing the Football program and lowering the ticket price for games such as New Mexico to $50 instead of $85. Also let them say that we’re going to pay the head football coach a measly $1 million a year instead of $5.5 million. Hey, that might be a way to get Mack Brown to step aside.
The Thrill is Gone
Short of a couple of more losing seasons after 2010 I never thought I would see Mack Brown lose the fan base. Based on my unscientific research he has. All but one of the most ardent Mack Brown fans I know now think Texas would be better off if he stepped down. Let’s call 80% in favor of having a new head coach in 2013.
The good news for Mack is the only thing he has to do to get his base back is to beat OU in 2013. Is that too much to ask?
The Kansas St. Over/Under played like a difficult U.S. Open Course with a scoring average of 4.7. As in golf the tough scoring conditions in Over/Under produced a fundamentally sound veteran winner. Jerry Smith wins the regular season finale with 7 correct answers. It’s the fifth straight year Jerry has posted at least on victory. In fact Jerry has won at least once every year Willie Earl’s Over/Under has been existence. An eclectic trio if Jill Zeitz, Clayton Frink and Greg Swan tied for second place with 6 correct.
Willie Earl will post the season standings sometime this month before the Alamo Bowl. The Alamo Bowl will serve as the Over/Under Championship Game and all players will be seeded and have a path to the Championship. The lower seeds will have a more difficult path.