Embattled head coach Mack Brown still has what it takes to lead the Longhorns back to national prominence.
The Texas Longhorns are in desperate need of a return to glory in 2013. As he has proved before, Mack Brown is the right man for the job.
Over the past three seasons, Texas has been going through total limbo in almost every facet of the game of football. Following almost a decade of dominance, the Longhorns have had three different starting quarterbacks and offensive coordinators in as many years, have had the worst defense in school history, and have watched their rivals leave them in the dust.
Most of all, nobody is afraid to play the last non-SEC team to win a national championship.
Fans will point to head coach Mack Brown as the root of the problem. They will say, in spite of his exhaustive talk about being "re-energized," that Brown has fallen behind both on and off the field, failing to reel in the last two Heisman Trophy-winners while going an average 17-9 in their shadow.
The fact that they have had to watch rival Oklahoma draw and quarter the 'Horns by a combined 80 points over that span is not helping either.
This is just the latest chapter in the critic-laden Mack Brown saga. Let us not forget that this is the same coach who was justifiably hammered for his favoring of Chris Simms over Major Applewhite, endured the Chance Mock-Vince Young controversy, and stood by Colt McCoy when many fans wanted a look at Jevan Snead in 2006.
Think this Oklahoma streak is bad? It is the Renaissance compared to what took place between 2000 and 2004, when the Longhorns were beaten by double figures five consecutive times, including twice by 50.
Want to talk about whiffing on RG3 and Johnny Bleepin' Football? Art Briles was the only major college coach outside of Bo Pelini to recruit Griffin and the only Texas coach to pay attention to him. And it was Texas A&M-rivalry punchline Mike Sherman, not Kevin Sumlin, that took Manziel as a quarterback.
The point is that Brown has been kicked in the ribs, fired by the fans every other year of his tenure, and crucified by hindsight every step of the way. And he has made the critics back-pedal every time.
Brown pulled off a top-5 finish in 2001, his 2004 and 2005 teams were two of the best in school history, and his standing by Colt McCoy should have earned this program an extra Heisman in 2008 and a championship in 2009.
In total, this is still a top-5 coach of the BCS era that is 12-5 in the postseason and 3-1 in BCS bowls. In the BCS bowl he lost, against Nick Saban in the national championship, he out-schemed the era's best coach and lost because his starting quarterback went down on the first series.
Sure, given his 15-year tenure and recent struggles, Brown is certainly on the edge of Bobby Bowden territory. But heading into a season with the conference's most experienced quarterback, the nation's most returning starters, and in which he is favored in every single regular-season game, this has the look of another hurdle that he will clear in spectacular fashion.
Starting with 2013, will Mack Brown lead the Longhorns back to national prominence?
Mack Brown has rebuilt this team into a legitimate contender in 2013. That is the expectation, and history says that he has the chops to get it done. If he fails, then and only then can we say that he has lost his touch.