There is no doubt whatsoever that Texas Longhorns head coach, Mack Brown, is feeling the heat much more than ever before in his long career. Throughout the off season, Brown convinced himself, his team, and the fans that this would be the season that the Longhorns would make their return to the top echelon of the college football rankings; however, after two pathetic performance to start the season, time appears to be running out for Mack Brown.
To say the Longhorns are in a tailspin is an understatement. With nineteen returning starters, there is no reason that this team shouldn’t be better this year than they were last season, but they aren’t; they’re worse.
It’s difficult to know exactly what the problem is with this year’s Texas team. It isn’t talent. The Longhorns have some of the best talent in the country. Regardless, they lack fundamentals. They lack intensity. They lack focus. They tend to quit when the going gets tough. In short, they play uninspired football. While player performance is certainly a reason for the Horns’ poor season, a lot of the problems with this team can be traced back to the coaching. If he hasn’t already, Brown is in danger of losing this team (as well as his fan base) for good. Sadly, however, it appears that it may be too late.
So where do Mack Brown and the Texas Longhorns go from here?
The rumors, though completely unsubstantiated and even denied by those in charge, suggest that the Longhorns could be looking for a new coach at the end of the season, no matter what happens for the rest of the year.
As one who has supported Brown throughout his entire career in Austin, I feel that it’s time for him to move on. I also feel that he deserves a graceful exit. The only problem is that things are only getting worse.
If I’m Mack Brown, and if (again this is a major “if”) I plan to retire at the end of the season, I am making an announcement as soon as possible.
I am not suggesting he leave midseason; that would be ridiculous to even suggest. However, if he does in fact plan to retire at the season’s end, there is no benefit–to him or the program–in waiting to announce his decision.
Let me be clear: I DO NOT EXPECT this to happen. In fact, I would be shocked if it actually did.
Nevertheless, this would be a move that would go a long way in helping the program begin to plan ahead and look to the future.
Perhaps such an announcement would rally the players and motivate them into playing with passion so that their coach can have the farewell season he deserves.
In terms of recruiting, sure Brown announcing his plans to retire now could mean losing some of the school’s future commitments, but I feel that ultimately the players are committed to the school, not the coach, and would want to be a part of the rebuilding process and the excitement that comes along with it. If anything, an announcement could help the program keep some of them who may be wavering.
Additionally, if Mack were to announce his plans, this would take the heat off of him and possibly help to save his legacy. Fans are sick and tired of the status quo. They are tired of the empty promises followed up with disappointment. This disappointment has now turned to immense anger towards Mack Brown, but knowing that he is putting the program ahead of his own desires (desires that many fans feel are selfish) could help to restore their feelings towards the man who helped pull them out of the pit nearly two decades ago.
I get that Mack wants to be the man to restore the Longhorn program once again. I even admire that. The problem is that it’s not going to happen under the current regime. Unfortunately, that is becoming all too clear, and the longer it takes for Brown realize that, the worse it’s going to get for both him and his program.
The Longhorn football program is simply treading water right now with no passion and nothing to look towards to help save it. There needs to be hope. There needs to be healing. There needs to be a plan.
And perhaps there is. Perhaps there are arrangements being made behind the scenes. Or perhaps there are not.
Whatever the case may be, assuming that retirement is indeed in Mack’s plans after their final game of the year, neither he nor the football program has anything whatsoever to gain by withholding an announcement until after the season ends.
The future needs to start now. The sooner the better–for everyone.