The facts are this– the Texas defense played as if they had no clue about basic defensive principles and tackling fundamentals, the Texas offense looked anemic and intimidated, and above all else, there was a total absence of heart and swagger– problems which have become viral and all-too-common in the past few years on the Forty Acres when the going gets tough.
While a head coach can’t necessarily always be held responsible for a total failure like Texas experienced today beneath his feet, the apple also doesn’t fall too far from the tree. Texas was systematically eviscerated by an Oklahoma team that was better in every facet of the game for a full 60 minutes.
In a game with the gravitas of the Red River Rivalry, it’s expected that even when there is a mismatch in talent– which there apparently is between these two teams in spite of what we might be led to believe on paper– that neither team will fold and lie down when they are not the stronger.
Today, if you watched closely enough, you saw all the signs of a team that doesn’t believe. Slumped shoulders. Lack of pursuit once the game was out of reach. Frowning faces on metallic benches.
I mean, don’t get me wrong here, the Texas defense was absolutely horrendous, but why were the necessary adjustments not made above Manny Diaz‘s head to ensure that some face could be saved? If anything, it looked worse for Texas in the second half rather than better.
I’m not firing Mack Brown.
He will still have his job when the sun rises tomorrow morning. I won’t, however, promise that this performance won’t yield a scapegoat. The question is, who will that scapegoat be, and, will it really matter?
After a 5-7 season a few years back, Texas underwent a full-scale house cleaning, and the staff responsible for the progress and competition level of this year’s team was hand-picked for their collective ability to turn things around by building each individual unit into a cohesive whole.
These coaches were hired by Mack Brown and DeLoss Dodds. DeLoss Dodds is an untouchable, Mack Brown is not.
If the Longhorns win the next two games, turn things around, and move back toward first-tier eligibility the seat beneath Brown’s backside will cool and things will calm. A few more losses and the voices calling for new, young blood at the reins of the Texas program will be as loud as they have ever been.
Those voices can’t be silenced forever and scapegoats won’t always be assistant coaches.
There’s a brand at stake, here, and where there is money change is waiting in the wings.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of the Rant Sports College Football Hour on the TSC Radio Network on Sunday evenings at 8 Central Time and Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.