Texas Longhorns head coach Mack Brown is currently tangled in a massive battle with a quarterback inside of his own state, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, for the title of most publicized, scrutinized and chastised figure in the game of college football for 2013. And, frankly, after Manziel’s masterful performance in defeat this past Saturday against Alabama, ol’ Mack may be winning this fight.
Following a loss to Ole Miss this past Saturday evening–dropping Brown and his team to 1-2 to begin the season–Texas fans and seemingly every casual college football fan within these 50 states are waiting in angst for the reality to set in that, after this year, the Texas Longhorns may be on a search for a new coach for the first time since the end of the 1997 season.
Well, don’t worry about Mack’s job security–yet.
Now what’s about to happen within the next two weeks may be a bit deceiving. I’m going to warn you, it’s going to be a roller coaster until we get to the point where we seriously need to put our primary focus on the national championship-winning coach being in serious danger of losing his employment.
This week, the Longhorns face off against a Kansas State team that’s clearly still trying to find its identity. As cliche as they may come across, I’m not sure Bill Snyder has this team where he wants them just yet. After that, Texas goes up against an Iowa State team coming off a loss to rival Iowa on Saturday. Both of these, at least in my mind, are winnable games for this program.
But then, on Oct. 12, that’s where the heat lamp really hits full wattage–and it’s set up perfectly for the ultimate controversy.
On the 12th of October, Brown and his embattled squad will take their annual trip to the Cotton Bowl in Dallas to match up against their historical rival, the Oklahoma Sooners.
It seems throughout this whole soap opera so far, that for every reasoning that’s given as to why Mack should be given the boot, there’s reasoning given as to why he shouldn’t.
Historically though, one philosophy is set in stone in regards to the job security of college coaches: If you show an alarming pattern against your biggest rival, your services are no longer needed at your institution.
And there’s certainly an alarming pattern developing as it pertains to Mack Brown going up against the Sooners in Dallas. A team that Mack is just 6-9 against in his career in Austin.
55-17 and 63-21 are the final scores of the last two outings in 2011 and 2012 respectively, both in favor of the guys clad in Crimson. These haven’t been just narrow victories, Oklahoma has been on another level than the Longhorns in every facet of the game on seemingly every play, and it’s shaping up to be more of the same this season.
In case you haven’t heard, Texas’ defense is rather ineffective–to put it lightly. The Longhorns are surrendering 491.3 yards per game through the first three contests of the year and have absolutely zero effect in regards to stopping the run. Meanwhile, BYU QB Taysom Hill just ran for about another 50 yards on one play against that D as I type this.
Taking into consideration that the Oklahoma offense that’s beginning to click, especially since the insertion last week of Blake Bell at QB, Oct. 12 isn’t shaping up to be a pretty day for the burnt orange in Dallas. This is the same Blake Bell, mind you, that found the end zone for himself four times in last year’s edition of this storied rivalry.
As for the rest of the offense, things aren’t looking optimistic for the ‘Horns in that regard neither. They have a dynamic rushing attack back there with Brennan Clay and Damien Williams. We found out last week that, well, contrary to popular belief in the preseason, Bell can toss the ball around quite accurately, and to add to that, the receiving corps of Jaz Reynolds, Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard are more than reliable, effective targets.
This is just an overall bad recipe that’s beginning to take shape as we inch closer to the 2013 version of Longhorns-Sooners.
So while some people want to see nothing more than Mack be given his pink slip immediately, I hate to tell them that it’s just not going to work out for them just yet.
However, be prepared, because the judge, jury and executioner may be on its way Oct. 12 in the form of the Oklahoma Sooners.