Contra Mozilla

Monday, October 14, 2013

Go Figure

Go figure that the day after I write a post speculating as to whom Mack Brown's replacement might be, the Longhorns would thoroughly beat down Oklahoma. I'm saved by not ever actually predicting otherwise--in the asterisk note in take number 5, I wrote "[Mack Brown's firing/resignation/retirement] is very likely even if he doesn't get blown off the field tomorrow. I think he only keeps the job at 10-3 with a close loss tomorrow or 9-4 with a win tomorrow and no more blowout losses. Since he already has 2 losses, this means that if he loses tomorrow in close fashion, he cannot lose again (including bowl game) for the remainder of the season. On the other hand, if he wins tomorrow, he can lose two more games at some point (Baylor, Tech, upset, or bowl)."

I'm actually kind of wondering if even this is too generous, though. Certainly, if the Longhorns, currently 4-2, finish 10-3 with the only additional loss coming in the Fiesta Bowl, he's probably still safe. If he loses one more along the way but then wins the bowl game, the same is true, especially if nobody finishes unbeaten in conference play for the Big 12 (he will then have technically tied as conference champions, plus a bowl win over presumably an SEC team in the Cotton Bowl). And certainly if he wins out and finishes 11-2, he'll be safe to stay here.

However, I get the impression that another 9-4 finish will be grounds for his retirement (perhaps to take over DeLoss Dodd's job ad AD). There is a segment of the fan base at Texas which has never liked him, and which was loud even during the run of 10-3 and 11-2 seasons. For one, a number of fans who remember the Major Applewhite days (as quarterback, not as coach) still hold him to blame that Texas did not win the national title or at least the Big 12 tittle in 2001--because he alternated Applewhite (the fan favorite) with Chris Simms (the big-name recruit) and thus lost the Big 12 Championship game to Colorado. Some of these fans continued to express frustration with Brown even during the 2006 season (the year after the Longhorns won it all), and the 2008-2009 seasons (for which UT's combined record was 25-2, with one of the 2 being the national championship game in which they replaced their best and most important player with their worst player). Suffice it to say that the fans themselves may not be satisfied even with 11-2.

And for that reason, I suspect that Mack Brown may decide to retire/replace Dodds at the season's end even if the Longhorns finish 10-3 or 11-2 (still not a guaranteed thing).

And as an aside, it was amusing to watch as a number of the highly touted replacement for Mack Brown struggled this last weekend. Charlie Strong won, but not in the blowout expected on Thursday night. David Shaw and my darkhorse Pat FitzGerald (of Northwestern) both lost. And Art Briles' Baylor team won but ugly, after suffering problems defense.

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