When the Texas Longhorns finished taking their 38-13 beating at the hands of the Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday afternoon, many questions were raised around the state of the once renowned program. Throughout the game, the Longhorns simply looked like they could not compete with their opponents in terms of talent level, or coaching, which subsequently put the heat on head coach Mack Brown.
On Saturday afternoon, Brown made a heap of poor decisions, but the one that took the cake was his decision to keep Case McCoy behind center even as his night went to shambles. The senior quarterback threw three interceptions on the night — bringing his season total to nine interceptions and only eight touchdowns — and generally looked like a guy that does not belong on a Division-I college football field. From a propensity to throw the ball to the other team, to dreadful arm strength and general poor decision making, there is no way to defend his play as that of a guy who should be starting for Texas.
While some may view it as an unfair judgement, putting McCoy on the field at all is an indictment on Brown as a coach. The quarterback’s main attribute is that his brother, Colt McCoy, was a legendary figure for Texas, although the talent clearly did not go down the gene pool. Everyone associated with the school has known this was the only reason the younger brother ever earned a scholarship in the first place, and with options such as freshman Tyrone Swoopes on the bench, there is no reason he should ever see the field again.
Unfortunately for Brown and his supporters, this horrific decision at the position of quarterback is only the tip of the iceberg for why the heat is on. The loss on Saturday dropped Texas’ record to 7-3, with upcoming games against Texas Tech and Baylor putting them firmly on track to finish a fourth-straight season with four or more losses. This is simply unacceptable for Texas, and leads one to wonder if the legendary coach has finally reached the time when his message does not resonate with college players any more.
Furthermore, this poor string of play in past seasons has affected Brown’s ability to recruit, as to date he has not gotten a single commit from a recruit ranked in the top 70 of players in the class of 2014. Whereas once signing this letter of commitment meant going to a winning culture and a quarterback that gave all players an equal opportunity, it clearly does not any more. Young players have reacted accordingly, and it is blatantly obvious that a scholarship offer from Texas does not have the same impact that it did 10 years ago.
In the end, there is nobody to blame for poor coaching decisions, bad recruiting and poor records other than Mack Brown, and he will eventually pay for it. Every passing loss makes this outcome more and more likely, and after Saturday’s loss, it is official that the coach is on the proverbial hot seat.