Monday was Texas coach Mack Brown’s day to meet the media, first on the Big 12 coaches’ teleconference, then to Austin-area reporters on campus, and there was plenty of explaining to do.
The punchout in Provo, Utah, was an early embarrassment for the program. In the previous two years, the Longhorns’ “nobody’s panicking” media sessions have happened after the Oklahoma games.
This time, Texas’ 19-point loss at Brigham Young cost defensive coordinator Manny Diaz his job, and had Brown saying things Monday like:
“When you lose at Texas, you’re going to be bashed. That’s fair. I’ve been here 16 years, I understand that.”
And “Tackling is bad in America. I didn’t count the number of missed tackles we had to know we didn’t tackle well.”
And “All the pieces are there. We just have to coach better.”
But are the pieces there? By what measure? In the last three NFL Drafts, Texas has had 10 players selected, the same number as Baylor, seven fewer than Oklahoma. There have been no consensus All-Americans in that time. There had been 10 in the previous five seasons.
Since falling to Alabama in the BCS Championship Game after the 2009 season, Texas is 11-15 in conference games. The winning percentage puts the Longhorns fifth among current league members who have been in the Big 12 for the past three years. Texas is ahead of Texas Tech, Iowa State and Kansas.
Don’t show me recruiting rankings. For the signing period after Texas won the 2009 Big 12 title, the recruiting class was ranked third nationally by Rivals. The next two came in third and second. These are players who would be in their second-to-fourth years in the program and they were just shredded by BYU.
There’s only one way to recover from Saturday’s disaster, and that’s to win the Big 12. It’s possible. Texas hasn’t played a league game. But surrendering 679 yards on 99 plays, as the Longhorns did at BYU, is not the stuff of champions. It’s more of the same we’ve seen the previous three seasons.