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FROM THE NOSEBLEEDS

A TRUE FAN VIEW PRODUCTION

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It is really pretty simple, as a kid growing up in Texas you either grew up rooting for UT or A&M.  There were always the few Bears, Cougars and Red Raiders but for the most part you were either a Horn or an Aggie. I chose the burnt orange in the mid 90’s.  This in fact was a time when the Aggies were running the SWC and the state.  The burnt orange longhorn on the helmet to me was and still is one of the most iconic logos in all of sports.  I gravitated towards it.  UT had some up and downs in the late 90’s eventually resulting in John Mackovic being fired after a 4-7 season that included the infamous Route 66 game which UT lost 66-3.

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Those lost years ushered in the Mack Brown era. Brown made his name turning around a down UNC program that thought themselves capable of challenging Florida State, although he never could get past them. Gary Barnett was very close to becoming the head coach until Mack stole the show with the “Powers that Be” at Texas. His first and possibly biggest recruiting win was getting Ricky Williams to return for his senior year which ultimately put UT back on the map during his Heisman season and atop the state among recruits. In ‘00 Texas nab the nation’s #1 recruiting class headlined by Chris Simms and Corey Redding. Although that class never won a title they laid the groundwork for nine consecutive 10-win seasons. Mack has never been known for his X’s and O’s but more for his recruiting success. He did earn the nickname “Coach February” as you might remember.  In the early 00’s as Mack continued to win recruiting wars and 10 + games a year, pressure increased because of the lack of success in games against Oklahoma.  Beating the Aggies on a consistent basis was no longer enough.

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The ’02 recruiting class was #1 in the country and tabbed as one of the best classes ever with the headliner being Vince Young. Young forever changed Mack and the perception of Texas being  ”soft”. He brought a swagger and confidence to Texas that Simms and others never had. Young and the rest of that class eventually won a national title. Mack went on to win 4 of the next 5 vs. rival OU and returned to the national title game four years later led by Colt McCoy.

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This was the beginning of the Alabama dynasty and the end of the Texas Longhorns as we knew them.  The wheels have completely fallen off since. Lazy recruiting, changes in offensive schemes, scapegoat coaches have all been factors. The one constant from the 65-13, 63-14, 55-17, and 63-21 beatings at the hands of Oklahoma have been Mack Brown. The one constant in the country club atmosphere that currently is at UT is Mack Brown. The biggest thing Brown ever had going for him was recruiting. Locking up the best talent in Texas and leaving the rest of the schools in the state with the leftovers. With A&M rising in the SEC this is no longer the case. Manziel and Sumlin have lifted A&M to new heights in a powerful league and UT is falling behind.  Brown no longer has Greg Davis or Manny Diaz to blame. After the latest debacle against Ole Miss he must look in a mirror and realize his time has passed. He isn’t going to get this fixed. Not to the level UT fans expect and demand. Why does a man making five million dollars a year at the hottest coaching destination in the country feel the need to say  he is now “re-energized”? Shouldn’t that be a given?

I respect Mack Brown for what he has done for the university that I root so passionately for every Saturday. I respect him as a man. He is a great person. He brought me the best sports moment of my life: that national title season in ‘05.  He now must face what so many greats before have had to face.  It is time to move on. He will get his statue and name in the stadium in due time. But now Brown must bow out gracefully and let someone else take over and bring Texas Football back to where it should be. Make this your last year.  The time has come.

Mack Brown

Hook ‘em

Joey Covers

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