The Longhorns gut-churning 63-21 loss to Oklahoma last Saturday make this week’s smattering of calls for Mack Brown’s head hold weight.
Yes, Brown took a Texas program that went 52-49 in the decade before his arrival in 1998 to a 141-39 mark over the ensuing 14 years. And yes, this is the guy who led the Longhorns to nine consecutive 10-plus win seasons and a national title in 2005 (their first since 1970).
This is also a man who has represented the University of Texas in a way that simply has to be commended, a guy who by all reports makes the people and athletes he works with just as big of a priority as the games he prepares to coach.
Yes, here’s a man who is charitable, respectful and loved to be hated by a throng of rival fanbases—a fact that does nothing more than validate his status as a winning coach. They don’t hate you unless you beat them often.
But despite all the good things spawned from Mack Brown’s 15-year fling with Texas football, it’s becoming more and more glaringly obvious that it’s time for UT athletic director DeLoss Dodds to part ways with the now silver fox head coach.
Whether it come in the form of a “Dear Mack” letter or a well-phrased text message, it’s time for a change at the helm of the S.S. Longhorn, an appointment that is one of the most profitable and desirable coaching jobs in all the land.
Most of the folks rightly calling for Mack’s silent, quiet retirement or flat-out firing often quote stats such as: two conference titles in 14 years, a 6-9 record vs. Oklahoma, and the appalling 5-7 overall record in 2010 (the worst since John Mackovic went 4-7 in 1997).
These numbers are made even more unsettling by the overwhelming feeling that despite an 8-5 campaign last season and a decent start in 2012, things aren’t getting any better.
Texas’ return to dominance looks about as sure as A&M’s chances of winning the SEC West.
Though these arguments for Brown’s resignation or firing are all valid, there is a bigger reason why the time has arrived for a painful divorce between respected coach and historically winning football program.
And it all comes back to one of Mack Brown's more overwhelmingly successful abilities during his tenure in Austin—recruiting.
Yes, Brown has recruited lights-out at Texas, which is one of the major reasons he has been so successful. But now it’s the reason he must go.
The simple truth is painful—it’s criminal to secure top 20 rated recruiting classes, year in and year out, and not win, or have a real opportunity to win, every football game you suit up for.
According to Rivals.com’s comprehensive team recruiting rankings, Brown hasn’t brought in a class ranked lower than No. 20 since 2002, and seven of these hauls have been Top 5 rated groups.
Brown’s last four classes at Texas have been rated No. 5 (2009), No. 3 (2010), No. 3 (2011) and No. 2 (2012).
When you put the Longhorns’ wins, losses, scores and other stats in front of this striking backdrop, it becomes almost impossible not to question the quality of coaching.
And the coaching buck at the University of Texas stops with Mack Brown—not Manny Diaz, not Bryan Harsin and no, not Major Applewhite.
Simply put, the Longhorns 17-14 record since 2010 might be the most criminal misuse of talent in the history of major college football.
Don’t think so?
Well, Alabama has recruited No. 1, No. 5, No. 1 and No. 1 classes from 2009-12, respectively, and their record since 2010 is 28-4, which includes a national championship.
Oregon’s recruiting numbers are No. 32, No. 13, No. 9 and No. 16 over the same four years and they’ve gone 30-3 since 2010 and won back-to-back Pac-12 championships.
You could make a similar case, though not on the same obscene level, with a dozen other teams from around the country.
A boatload of top recruiting talent resulting in only a spoonful of victory is why a great guy, a tremendous institutional representative, and an otherwise good coach like Mack Brown needs to step down at Texas.