Mack should leave.
Plain and simple. Itâ€™s time to go.
For everybodyâ€™s sake, chiefly the future of the Texas football program, but also for the well-being and state of mind of one Mack Brown. He doesnâ€™t need this weekly handwringing any more, and sadly Texas needs someone else to take the program to where the Longhorns need to be.
Itâ€™ll be hard to say goodbye, and trust me, there is no guarantee that Brown will pull the plug on the career of the best football coach Texas has ever had not named Darrell Royal. He restored the program to national prominence, won the schoolâ€™s first national title in 35 years and made Longhorns proud.
As Brownâ€™s friend and attorney Joe Jamail told me this week, â€œMack has not made any kind of a decision, but if he thinks heâ€™s not any longer good for the University of Texas, heâ€™ll decide not to stay. Weâ€™ve been real good to Mack, and heâ€™s real grateful. Iâ€™m surprised people are raising so much hell, but loyaltyâ€™s a fleeting emotion. The shortest emotion human beings have is gratitude.â€
But itâ€™s no longer about gratitude. Itâ€™s about greatness and whether Texas can find it again with Brown. The answer seems to be no.
Asked after Texasâ€™ 30-10 loss if he personally wants to stay on, Brown said, â€œIâ€™m not talking about any of that tonight. Iâ€™m in the same position I was when Iâ€™ve been asked the other 15 times. Weâ€™ll talk about the team tonight.â€
My guess is Brown truly wants to stay and see this through and try to return the Longhorns to the mountaintop. That doesnâ€™t look to be in the cards, but Iâ€™m not sure even Mack wants to go through the weekly emotional lynchings again of should-he-stay, should-he-go as he has in 2013. Lose a September game to UCLA next season and the chatter begins anew. Thatâ€™s not healthy for the coach or the players.
At 62, Brown has the same drive, same energy and same passion as he did in 1998. But critical injuries, devastating decisions on quarterbacks â€” is it asking too much to get a few snaps for Tyrone Swoopes, to run a trick play or even throw a pass to a tight end, which we hear is still legal? â€” and irreversible momentum have conspired against him. It isnâ€™t working, even though Brown has poured his heart and soul into this program.
â€œAnd heâ€™s still pouring it in,â€ defensive coordinator Greg Robinson said.
About a half-dozen players, including Case McCoy, Jackson Jeffcoat, Cedric Reed, Jaxon Shipley and Mason Walters, were unified in support of Brown.
â€œWe all love coach Brown,â€ junior wide receiver Jaxon Shipley said, â€œand we would love for him to continue to be our coach.â€
No one wants to fire Mack Brown. Itâ€™d be like firing Santa Claus. Bill Powers doesnâ€™t want to fire Mack. Steve Patterson doesnâ€™t want to fire Mack. But I think theyâ€™d prefer he step down on his own volition. Patterson will talk to Brown when both are in New York, starting Sunday.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Mack Brown, and he might have to grudgingly leave Texas after 16 largely successful seasons punctuated by the last four years of discontent. A mediocre 30-20 record and a 5-15 record against ranked teams since 2009 are not becoming of a franchise as proud as this one.
He may need to leave to appease a fractured fan base and bring optimism to a program thatâ€™s sorely lacking it. Someone else needs to find the right quarterback, the next Colt or Vince to return Texas to national prominence. David Ash is supposed to be healthy for the spring and beyond, but heâ€™s not special. Anyone see a national champion out of this roster?
With a decisive loss to Baylor on a frigid Saturday that was so cold and blustery that McCoy was rendered almost useless, the Longhorns fell to 8-4 again with hopes of moving up a peg from the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl into the Alamo Bowl if Oklahoma snags a BCS at-large berth.
Under Mack since 2009, Texas in effect has become an 8-4 program.
Good, but hardly good enough.
Sure, Texas can lower its standards, but thatâ€™s not what lured ESPN into creating the Longhorn Network. If ESPN wanted to do that, youâ€™d be watching the Aggie Network.
Brown is a good and decent man. I love the guy. He abides by the NCAA rules and has been squeaky clean. Heâ€™s glib, perfect for Texasâ€™ image and heâ€™s obsessed with making Texas better.
But heâ€™s also raised the Texas banner to a level that he canâ€™t continue to reach. Four years are enough time to regain Texasâ€™ standing, and even though the Longhorns were playing for the Big 12 championship Saturday, they were completely outplayed by a better Baylor team.
Four Texas losses this year, four blowouts. Whereâ€™s the progress in that?
In the end, he has been done in by his own supreme recruiting deficiencies at quarterback and a lack of bold leadership that demands accountability from his players.
On Thursday, the school president raved about Brownâ€™s track record.
â€œHeâ€™s been a very successful coach here,â€ Powers said. â€œHeâ€™s represented this school extremely well on and off the field.â€
Past-perfect tense. Past time.
Edit: Forgot Link http://www.statesman.com/news/sports...own-to-/ncFKs/