In Austin, college football fans have long been calling for the head of Longhorn Offensive Coordinator Greg Davis. After 10 years in the position, it seems that Davis may have weathered the worst part of the storm, as outcries for Mack Brown to remove him from the staff have diminished. I'll admit that I was among those who joined the mob as perhaps one of its most outspoken advocates. But now I've started to see things more clearly. That's why I've compiled this list of reasons for Texas fans to spread the love about this clearly underrated football mind:
Reason # 5: The 2 QB System
Who could forget the controversy that likely got the public questioning Davis in the first place, when Davis (also the QB coach) and Mack Brown decided to bench Major Applewhite and bring out the younger, less injury plagued Chris Simms. Ever since then it seems that every departing quarterback at UT has been followed by at least a half season of in-game auditions for young, competing gunslingers, each given a few drives at the helm. This has evolved into the current system of putting in backup John Chiles alongside Colt McCoy as a running back.
What better way to propel your team to the top than by getting all of that talent on the field at once, putting both of your quarterbacks (who's the third stringer again?) at risk of injury?
Reason # 4: Genius on 3rd and a mile
One of the most widely recognized rules of play calling is that on 3rd and long, the offense should pass the ball. Greg Davis, being the sly fox that he is, has mastered this rule's greatest loophole: the screen pass. There's no better way to surprise a defense that's playing 10 yards deep than to throw to someone a yard past the line of scrimmage. Way to keep them on their toes.
Reason # 3: The zone read
If it worked for Vince Young, it must work for his successor right? Even if that successor is a sub 200-pound freshman pocket passer from a 2A high school? If nothing else, this move will also catch the defense off guard. A classic never dies.
Reason # 2: The 2005 National Championship Season
For those of you still not convinced by these arguments, the answer does not lie too far into the past, just 3 years in fact. Davis coached Vince Young and the Texas offense over Ohio State and USC en route to a 13-0 season and Texas' 4th national championship. During that magical year (and the others during Vince's tenure), Davis recognized that the best offense was no offense at all, allowing broken play after broken play to give a wide open lane for VY to do what he does best on the football field - run like a gazelle - during some of the most critical plays of the season. If it weren't for Davis' scheme to make a pretty talented supporting offensive cast obsolete, he may have had to put that 65.2% completion rating and 164 QB rating to the test.
Reason # 1: Head Coaching Positions
So here it is, the culmination of the conversion process for the remaining unswayed Greg Davis haters. If for no other reason, we need to turn public opinion around on this man so that he can see the same fate as so many defensive coordinators who we've come to appreciate under Mack Brown. He'll be hired away from Texas to be the head coach of another program.
It's as simple as that. To rid of him we must revere him. And, in case you haven't caught on, that's what this list is all about. Putting on a smile for the media so that we can remove what I believe to be the weakest link on a team that is just one year away from making another serious run at the National Championship.
On a more serious note, I can respect Greg Davis for what he's done so far. Becoming the OC at a school like Texas is no small task. Although I'm admittedly unfamiliar with Davis' coaching accomplishments prior to 1998, I understand that he must have, in some way, proven himself worthy of the position. I'll also admit that perhaps fans such as myself have been a tad harsh on him, and he probably didn't get a fair chance to show fans what he was all about before the scrutiny came raining down.
Nevertheless, high expectations are part of the job description. Despite some improvement I've seen from him in the past few seasons, I still find myself scratching my head a few times a game at how the offense is being run. That is a huge red flag in my mind, and I think that if next year (or, less likely, this year) is to be our year, it would be best if Greg Davis were left out of the party. It's obvious at this point that Mack will do nothing about this situation, so it's time to resort to other means. After all, money talks, and what coordinator doesn't dream of becoming the top dog?
Regardless of who the coaches are, however, I am and will always remain a tried and true 'Horns fan. Hook 'em!