Losses to West Virginia and Oklahoma have halted a promising season for Texas and led to plenty of criticism getting thrown around. Head coach Mack Brown has received more than his fair share of the blame, even though the sudden struggles aren't his fault.
Brown was forced to refute talk he was planning to retire, according to the Associated Press. The longtime leader of the Longhorns also stated he's still receiving plenty of support from the boosters who support the popular program.
The head coach is always an easy target when a team struggles, so Brown was probably prepared for the backlash after Texas was embarrassed by the Sooners on Sunday. He likely didn't expect speculation about a possible retirement to start.
It's amazing how quickly things can change in college football. A couple weeks ago, he deserved praise for helping a young team start 4-0, including road victories over Mississippi and Oklahoma State. Now the tide has turned against him.
In realty, the Longhorns just aren't ready to compete with the nation's top teams this season. Getting off to the strong start gave fans false hope about what was possible this season. The team was never going to run the table.
Texas has several promising young pieces, such as quarterback David Ash and running back Joe Bergeron, both sophomores, but the team doesn't have the depth or experience necessary to compete with elite opponents on a weekly basis yet.
In a situation like that there's only so much Brown can do. He's a head coach of a college football team, not a miracle worker. The process of getting the program to where everybody—fans, boosters and the media alike—wants it takes time.
Who's more to blame for Texas' recent losses?
Brown has won more than 78 percent of his games at Texas and, of course, a national championship. Coaches that are able to have that type of sustained success don't come around often.
It's easy to criticize him now that the Longhorns have hit a rough patch, but given his track record, he should be given a lot more time to prove the system he has in place will work. The current situation is just another example of the lack of patience in college athletics now-a-days.
Should Brown have to answer questions about the team's poor performance over the last two weeks? Sure, but he's far from the sole reason they weren't able to hang with two teams currently ranked inside the Top 15 in the BCS standings.
Even great coaches have ups and downs. More often than not, though, the ups last longer than the downs. That's been true for Brown throughout his career at Texas.
It will be true again if he's given the chance to let his new wave of stars develop.