This weekend Texas will face Oklahoma, in Dallas, in what I still call the Red River Shootout. It won’t be pretty, or at least it shouldn't be based on what we've seen from Texas this year. Texas lost to Oklahoma 55-17 in 2011 and 63-21 in 2012, and unless Texas is somehow able to convince the game officials to help them again Saturday at the Cotton Bowl, this will hopefully be the end of the Mack Brown Era. I’m obviously no longer a fan of Mack Brown, and it isn't because I don’t like him as a person, but it has more to do with his performance in his job over the past several years.
I think Brown is in over his head at Texas. I think the game has passed him by, and I’m not saying that I think he’s old (he is), but he’s coaching 1990’s football in 2013. I’m also not suggesting he retire and not coach anymore, but he should leave Texas and coach somewhere else. Texas is a big school. Texas is the number one revenue generating school in the country. Number 1, and it has been for the better part of five years. When your program generates 50-plus percent of that income for your school’s athletic department, your team needs to be better than it has been.
Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds has already announced that he’ll leave his position next year, and as I’ve stated on many a College Football Round Table, the same needs to happen to Mack Brown. He isn’t the only one who needs leave. It’s time for men’s basketball coach Rick Barnes and baseball coach Augie Garrido to leave as well. Texas needs to clean house in order to save its entire athletic program.
I posed this question to the panel a few weeks ago: Are the Longhorns the best team in Texas anymore? Are they the third or possibly even the fourth best team in Texas? If your answer to the first question is no and/or your answer to the final question is yes, then the program has lost its way. There’s no reason a school the size of Texas should be fourth best team in the state.
If you’re wondering who the better teams are, they’re Texas A&M, Baylor, and Texas Christian. I’m willing to concede that TCU and Texas can interchange places three and four. Are Texas A&M and Baylor that much better than Texas? Yes, and they’re light years ahead of Texas in terms of recruiting and offensive play and scheming. Baylor doesn't play defense, but if they played the Longhorns in Waco, in Austin, or in any 22,000 seat high school stadium, they’d be Texas by 30.
Is there a chance Mack Brown can save his job? Of course. Beating Oklahoma cures all, at least in the short term. Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz in week two this year, and brought in Greg Robinson who is old school like Mack Brown. Again, the problem is Brown not recognizing the changing trend in college football.
Brown needs Texas to win and in a somewhat convincing style Saturday against Oklahoma, but I don’t have confidence they will. I honestly believe that the Sooners will win the 108th meeting convincingly, and I hope, for the sake of the entire Longhorn athletic program, that Brown is fired Lane Kiffin style after the game.
Operating under the assumption (hope) that Brown loses to Oklahoma and Bob Stoops on Saturday, the Red River Shootout should be Mack Brown’s last stand.