Saturday, October 13, 2012

Longhorns get trounced: 63-21

The Red River Rivalry (or Shoot Out, depending on your generation) is a tradition more than a century old.  The UT Longhorns drive up to Dallas, the Oklahoma Sooners descend from Norman, and they face off at the Cotton Bowl in an elliptical stadium that, when full of fans, is colored half burnt orange and half red in team colors.

As important as the rivalry is (and, I hate to tell Ags, was probably the more important of the two), its also a marker that tells us how our team is really playing this year.  Every year this game seems to be a tipping point for the fortunes of the Longhorns - displaying exactly how well we might do against the conference play in the Big 12 and more or less setting bowl expectations.  OU is always a worthy opponent, and in neutral territory, they don't want to take the slow, painful bus ride home, either.  

more or less the story of the game

Flat out, OU outplayed UT in every conceivable way for about 58 of the 60 minutes of the game.  We couldn't even get the extra point after a fluke touchdown.

Today was one of the worst performances I've ever seen by a football team, and I am not referring to the show put on by the Sooners.  UT just absolutely cratered up there, finding new ways to display ineptitude and managing to chalk up some terrible injuries in the process.  Those of you who understand sports better than myself may know why this happened, but I do know we had less than 15 yards of total offense in the first quarter and our defense looked so porous, it seemed we had only 6 or seven players on the field at any time.

It doesn't mean I won't show up and watch the rest of the games this year, but it does mean that I have to recalibrate hopes and expectations, and, of course, we'll see what is said and done in press conferences and with coaching.  Moreover, the team already seemed beset by injuries, and the team suffered all sorts of abuse from the beginning of the game, including a serious neck injury to a lineman.

Mack Brown brought UT a national championship, but I'm not sure even he can withstand the slings and arrows that come with big losses to OU and a third consecutive year where leadership at all levels appears to be in disarray.  


Jake Shore said...

That was rough. What's happened to UT's defense? At least I was right about West Virginia. I've always thought Mack Brown was overrated. I can't help but think what a Bob Stoops or Chris Peterson would do with Texas' perennial top 10 recruiting talent. And with respect to the rest of the team, Brown's NC, was delivered to him on a platter by Vince Young (in my opinion). Every program has a down year or two, but Texas is going on three years of mediocrity (by UT standards).

The League said...

What seems to be the case is that Mack may be a good motivational speaker, excellent with the glad-handing and political part of the job, but that he lets his coaches make decisions beneath him and continues to let them do their own thing, even when its not working. It took a house cleaning for him to get rid of Greg Davis, the offensive coordinator who was as predictable as the sunrise. That strong recruiting got them through a lot of winning seasons with that coaching.

Its clearly not working now, and he may not know how to fix it. This is fix #2 or 3, and UT fans are aware of his salary. I think if Muschamp hadn't bailed for UF, he may have already retired, but I don't know.

I will be surprised if def. coord. Manny Diaz survives past Christmas.

The League said...

I tend to not take the recruiting stuff too seriously, probably evidenced by many a Texas schools' flailings. But I do agree that athleticism got us into some great seasons over coaching, and the cracks are now showing. Vince AND Colt McCoy got us a lot further than our offensive schemes suggest they should have gone.

Jake Shore said...

You don't trust the exact science that is recruiting rankings? I am shocked sir!

I will say this. I was at the Holiday Bowl in 2000. I was around the forty yard line, but pretty high up. And even from that height I could see a SIGNIFICANT size difference. It was startling and it worried me from the outset. Leonard Davis looked Shaq playing ball with a bunch of pre-schoolers. The Ducks may have come close to matching Texas' speed, but Oregon won because Belloti and his staff outcoached Mack Brown. That, and Roy Williams and BJ Johnson both dropped potential game-winning passes. I still can't believe we won that game. I remember going crazy watching Simms chillin' in the pocked for days. I don't think we touched him all game.

The League said...


I so had it in for that guy. I still do.

There's been a lot of frustration on the part of Texas fans over the years with the coaching, but it usually gets directed below Mack. Its usually understood Mack's primary role during a game is to stand there and look upset, and that what conversations he has take place at halftime.

But I think the days of passing the buck onto coordinators is over. If we lose to Baylor this week, its going to get ugly.