10.11.2003

Texas 13, OU 65 & Texas 40, Iowa State 19

MIDSEASON CRISIS

"Sappy Mack" (Think "The Who/Hummer-2" commercial)

Sappy Mack wasn't old, but he looked half-dead,

He lost again to the boys 'cross the river-red

The fans would all scream, he would start the wrong QB,

So they called for his head, but got another apology

The fans couldn't fire Mack

They tried and tried and tried

They started up a web site

And cried and cried and cried

But they couldn't stop Mack, or Carl from coaching

And they couldn't prevent Texas from Alamo bowling

SUFFERING FROM MALE MACKOPAUSE

I've been trying to write this damn commentary for over a week now. But every time I sit down to write, all the anger, frustration, lament, depression, incontinence, bleeding ulcer, night sweats and club foot returns and I have to retreat to my sock drawer for some intensive puppet therapy. I can't concentrate, and no amount of large animal tranquilizers or quality time with Marvin the tube sock will make me whole again. After "Red River Rout IV" (which was basically like watching Rocky IV, except with the Russian winning), my body did one of those Darwinian, self-preservation things and just shut down. Inside, I know my heart was beaking, but yet I felt nothing. After watching Mack Brown make the same mistakes four years in a row, I guess you just go numb. Four years ago, Texas got "surprised" by the Sooners losing 63-14. And though most fans, including me, tried to commit hara kiri with a corndog on the way out of the State Fair, we got over it and chalked it up as a learning experience. Mack was only in his 3rd year and most of the starters back then were young and inexperienced. But this year was supposed to be different. Brown and his coaching staff are now in their 5th year, and there is an abundance of senior leadership on the team, not to mention several high draft picks. Most fans find themselves wishing for an easy explanation for the Longhorns latest setback, but sometimes there just aren't any excuses left. Sure, OU is a great team and will probably win the national championship, but if Texas is supposed to be a national title contender and team on the rise, they can't go out and get beat by 52. It's like Texas has become this nice half-way house for top talent to hang out at until they're ready to be released into the NFL. For Mack Brown and his staff to have this much talent and all these resources at their disposal and produce such lackluster results is completely unacceptable. With the money these coaches are making, it's no longer enough just to verbally take responsibility for a loss of this magnitude. It's time for Mack and his staff to be held accountable and suffer the consequences as would any other highly paid employee in any other ultra-competitive industry. Firing Mack Brown may not be the answer, but I'm concerned that if something drastic doesn't take place between now and next season, the Texas program will continue to move in a negative direction. Look what happen to A&M's program because they spent 4 years planning RC's retirement party. Moreover, don't bet on Texas winning any more recruiting titles in the near future. All 17 commitments were on the sideline for this latest debacle and I find it awfully hard to see how some of those blue-chips can stay committed to a team whose coaches don't seem be committed to doing whatever it takes to win. Whether or not they end up signing with Texas remains to be seen. I'm sure a lot of it depends on what happens with the rest of the season.

THE SHOW MUST GO ON

Last weekend, the Horns sort of bounced back with a 40-19 thumping of hapless Iowa State and will probably get another lopsided victory over Baylor this weekend in Waco. But I can't see the Horns running the table the rest of the way considering how well OSU and Tech have been playing of late. Sadly, even if the Horns go 10-2, the only thing Longhorn fans will be celebrating is a 5th straight trip to the "Wait-til-next-year" bowl. Regardless of record or bowl appearance, I think you've seen the last of defensive coordinator Carl Reese who, ironically, was going to be forced to retire last season because of some obscure Texas law which makes retirement mandatory for state employees over the age of 55. Without a grandfather clause (no pun intended) he would have forfeited his health benefits. My thinking is Mack will ask him to step down after this season, and unless the Texas offense really gets "running," I'd imagine Greg Davis will get recalled too. I think what hurts the most isn't the amount and kind of losses Texas has suffered the last few years, it's what was all the talent that was squandered. It's like walking into to take test with all the answers, but still coming home with a C. The powers that be (Joe Jamail, et al.) really like Mack Brown, but their patience, like every other season ticket holder's, has just about run out. Everyone knows the job description for the head coach of UT is simple: Beat OU and Beat A&M or find yourself out on the street. John Cooper had several successful seasons at Ohio State, but he couldn't seem to beat Michigan. In stepped Jim Tressel and two years later, OSU won the national championship. No doubt Dodds has thought the very same thing, and there is certainly no shortage of up-and-coming coaches with innovative coaching philosophies and endless amounts of energy out there. I'm not ready to put the "For Sale" sign up in Brown's front yard just yet, but if the latest news out of Austin Concerning Cedric Benson is any indication of what kind of shape the program is in, I'd keep that real-estate broker's number on speed dial if I were Coach Mack.

"KICKIN' IT WITH THE HORNS"

Fresh off his 32-carry, 140 yard performance against those no-talent ass clowns up in Ames, Cedric Benson was charged with "breaking and entering" by Austin's finest. Allegedly, he and three friends went trick or treating for a Plasma TV that was stolen from him last year and wound up kicking in a door locked with a deadbolt at some coed's apartment. If you're like me, you're just happy to see that Ced is finally creating his own holes to run through. Who knows, maybe Benson will land himself a guest appearance on an episode of "Trading Spaces." From a legal perspective, not much will probably come of this, but it looks like our "trespassive-aggressive" running back will be on the bench for the...

NEXT GAME

Break-up the Baptists. First they beat those tree huggers from CU and almost pull off an upset up in Lawrence over an improved Jayhawk team. Word on the street is Baylor has replaced they're "pass-unhappy" offense with a semi-legit running game. Regardless, it's still Baylor and I don't expect much of a game, even in Waco. For more on that, let's turn it over to the...

UNPREDICTABLE PREDICTION

Yea, though Vince runs through the valley of the shadow of Dairy Queen, he will fear no Bear: for thou art with him; thy speed and thy agility they comfort me.

(LONGHORNS 45, Michael W. Smith Fan Club 13)

TAILGATE UPDATE

Apparently, banking on a big payday (Pay-lor) from Longhorn fans (Orange Sox Nation) eager to inflict more pain on themselves (sado-Mack-ochists), Baylor officials (Theologicians) have nixed any pay-per-view (tithe-per-pew) opportunities and the game will not be televised (ask Dave Bliss to "record" it for us). So if you want to see the game (ask yourself why), you better get to Waco (no hitting below the Bible belt) by 6pm Saturday night (Free Mandy Moore CD for first 100 virgins through the gate). According to Baylor's web site (www.ban-footloose.com), there are plenty of tickets still available (first pew is reserved). Most fans will probably be over at George's Party Zone (Iraq?) on Dutton Street before the game or tailgating (Baptism by Beer) in the parking lots around Floyd Casey (only stadium named after a barber).

QUOTEWORTHY

"The door's locked, we're going to have to double team it." – Overheard outside the victim's apartment before it got busted in. Police have already ruled out the possibility of any Texas O-linemen being with Cedric that night.

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