Major (Applewhite) Changes Need To Be Made at Texas

Dino NicandrosAnalyst IFebruary 2, 2010

AUSTIN, TX - SEPTEMBER 19:  Assistant coach Major Applewhite of the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 19, 2009 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ask anyone within a 20 mile radius of Austin, Texas what they think of Longhorns' offensive coordinator Greg Davis and see how many of the replies are positive.

I'm willing to bet that not too many burnt orange-clad fans are too happy with Davis at the present time, even if the man hasn't really done much wrong.

In fact, the cries for the sacking of Greg Davis have been slowly growing in Austin for the last few years and they continue to erupt at an alarming rate.  I can't imagine that the final score of the National Championship game will do much to help Davis' cause, either.

A few months ago I wrote a piece that actively defended the beleagered coordinator, citing the fact that Davis has been a part of a coaching staff that has won 127 games in 12 seasons.  Sure, head coach Mack Brown will rightfully collect much of the praise for Texas' impressive run through the last decade, but Davis called some brilliant games in that span, for which he should be applauded.

All of the pleasantries aside, it's time for Davis to go.

I've always been in Davis' boat, even when he made some of his famed coaching mistakes.  I don't know, maybe it was a certain shovel-pass call in the title game that really triggered this recent change in opinion.  Or maybe it was the bad games he called against Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Greg Davis is a great guy and solid football coordiantor who has done his job well at Texas, but unfortunately, "well" doesn't get it done in the eyes of Longhorn Nation, not anymore anyway.

It isn't necessarily all Davis' fault that the tide has turned against him in Austin.  He's made bad calls here and there, but when the fair-weather fans pump up their propaganda machine, there's no stopping it, not with a fan base this big.

Going forward in to the new decade, I think it would be wise for the University of Texas to start with a clean slate and strip itself of any controversy that plagued it over the last 10 years.

That controversy is embodied in Greg Davis.  The masses have willed he be removed, and so it must be done, whether it is just or not.  After all, the fans are the driving force behind the football program's huge revenue stream, and enough pressure from that many people will eventually force change.

Assuming such an action occurs, Mack Brown should look no further than his own coaching staff for Davis' replacement.

Former Texas quarterback and current running backs coach Major Applewhite should be the prime candidate for the job.

Talk about someone who could really unite Longhorn Nation.  Had Vince Young never come along, Major Applewhite may very well have been the most prized player in recent Texas history.  He's always been a fan favorite.

Ever since his days on the playing field, Applewhite has captivated fans.  He wasn't the best athlete, nor did he have the strongest arm around, but his sheer determination and will to win earned him the hearts of Texas fans everywhere.

Though still young in years, Applewhite has the experience to do the job effectively.

In 2006, he took a Rice squad that was 1-10 the previous season to their first Bowl game in over 40 years.  In his short tenure at Rice, Applewhite phased out the wish-bone and implemented a one-back spread offense that lit up C-USA.

His aggressive nature and brilliant football mind attracted newly appointed Alabama head coach Nick Saban.  Applewhite soon found himself in Tuscaloosa calling the shots for a classic college football power.

In his first season at Alabama, Applewhite improved the Crimson Tide offense, which gained 22.3 points and 340.9 total yards per game the previous year, to an average of 26.8 points and 372.6 total yards per game in 2007.

However, when Mack Brown came calling in 2008, Applewhite couldn't refuse a return to his alma-mater.  He has served as running backs coach and assistant head coach the last two seasons.

This guy deserves more.

He deserves the reigns of the Texas offense.  He earned it on the field and has proven that he can coach at this level.

His knowledge of the spread offense and his desire to run the ball more effectively fits perfectly with Mack Brown's philosophy.

Moreover, there is absoultely nothing controversial about this Texas hero.  No longer will fans cry out in anguish on a weekly basis regarding what should have been called in certain situations.

With Applewhite heading the offense and Will Muschamp leading the defense, you have one of the best coaching staffs in America.  In addition, recruiting in Austin would continue to sky-rocket fr years to come, even after Mack Brown decides to hang it up.

Greg Davis has been a part of some of the best years in Texas football history, but as we enter a new decade, improvements need to be made for the long-term success of the program.  Major Applewhite fits in perfectly with those designs.