In short: hellish.
If anyone can handle these situations, however, it is Mack Brown. The Texas head coach was as prepared as ever during this morning’s presser, with his folders in front of him, and a stern face plastered on.
Brown mentioned that Texas had won four of it’s last eight contests with Oklahoma– never a bad idea to deter a negative with a positive.
He reflected the media’s own criticisms back at them, spouting the familiar platitudes about how Texas had let down the fans, the administration, and those who support the university.
He said the right things at the right times and answered questions with grace and professionalism. This trademark professionalism however seems to have morphed into what he sees as the personal.
On multiple occasions during the presser, Brown made a point to note that “he now knows who his true friends are.” An interesting statement– one that certainly caused my ears to perk up.
Is he suggesting that the criticism may in fact finally be getting under his skin after all of these years of maintaining a stoic persona in good times and bad, showing emotion on the sideline, and in response to inane questions only when he felt his hand was forced to do so?
Has the line between professional criticism and criticism of character been crossed in his eyes?
This is an impossible question to answer without the ability to mind-read– and unfortunately, I’m not there yet.
If Brown does feel his character is being attacked, I can promise you this, he will do everything within his power to make sure things return to an even keel. Mack Brown has done plenty for the Texas program, on and off the field– this cannot soon be forgotten– but he isn’t done yet.
Regardless of how this season finishes, Brown has earned the right to determine his fate. A 7-5 finish this season could cause a warm seat to become scorching, but even under that scenario it’s difficult to imagine Brown being let go without being offered the opportunity to walk away on his own terms.
Only in the most dire circumstances over the next six weeks will professional failure lead to change in the personal life of Mack Brown.
Maybe the lack of separation and melding of the two sides of life which seems to be taking place given today’s comments will be just the motivation he needs to turn things around.
We’re all motivated in different ways– maybe this is his moment.
Only time will tell.
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 Houron 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.