From the Stands
By Trey McLean
|END OF THE SEASON|
|As King Ad Rock likes to say, Let me clear my throat:
Rumors abound that Texas has their DC and that could come down at any moment. (If we miss it here you can catch the news on Twitter) I think Muschamp will not be taking anyone with him to Florida from the Texas staff. Mack Brown got him a big raise and helped him get this job, so I expect he repays the favor by leaving the Texas staff alone. Muschamp’s replacement will have some big shoes to fill as far as ability on the sideline, ability recruiting and ability to provide the mental edge that a team needs to be successful at this level. We will have more on that as it develops.
Did anyone remember that Texas still needs to hire an offensive coordinator, a special teams coordinator and some offensive position coaches? The search continues and I don’t think the loss of Muschamp will overly affect who Mack Brown wants to talk to. The list of names is still the same as it was last week; however, the timeline might have changed.
Last week Texas was stable with a head-coach-in-waiting and Mack Brown could take his time to make the right hire. Now he is coordinator-less and needs to act quickly to calm the nerves the 2011 recruiting class that, for a majority, has lost their contact person during their recruitment. You can bet these kids are coveted by other schools and they will play on the uncertainty Texas has in its coaching staff right now. Likewise, there are no doubt players on the team that are feeling uncertain with the loss of half of the position coaches and a new offensive and defensive philosophy coming in. Mack Brown needs to be swift, decisive and public with one of these hires and my guess is he will be. If he can lock down the defensive coordinator job and calm the rocky Will Muschamp waters, he can continue with his patient timeline in hiring the offensive staff. And that’s exactly what I think will happen. I expect the defensive coordinator role to be filled this week and I expect the offensive coordinator role to be filled early next week. (You know, when the first round of bowl games is over). And I expect Texas will have their pieces in place when school starts in January.
But what has to happen first is Mack Brown needs to make a decision about his long term plans at the University of Texas. He needs to decide if he’s in this for a short term good run or if he’s in this to erase this 2010 blip on the Texas football radar and return the Longhorns to being a perennial power that is always in the hunt for the title. Coaches being interviewed for these open spots at Texas will want to know: Am I coming to Austin to win rings and build something with you, or am I coming to Austin for 18 months because you plan to retire after the next great season? He doesn’t owe the fans, the media or me that explanation, but he owes it to the team and the guys that will be coming in.
I think Mack Brown is in this for the long haul. This is his baby. He built this program into what it is, and I don’t think he’s going to walk away from it because things got tough and a few assistants left. I expect to see a new Mack Brown who is less CEO and more coach and spends more time working the on-the-field stuff rather than the media stuff. Muschamp is gone and several others are as well, but Mack Brown is still here. Texas is going to be fine… As long as the hires are what is best for the logo on the helmet and the future of the team. I think they will be.
Let’s talk about these Big 12 bowl games before something else happens.
I really like what Mizzou is doing this year. That loss at Tech has to be eating them up, because if they hold in Lubbock they win the Big 12 North. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert has a decision to make on his NFL future. I think he comes back and is one of the best in the nation in 2011. As for Iowa, this isn’t where they thought they would be and I can’t see how motivated they are and now word comes down that two of their running backs have been suspended for the game. Mizzou has a lot to build for next year and I think they want this more, evidenced by Iowa’s team indiscretions. The Tigers win a close one late.
While Illinois is happy to be bowling, Baylor is on cloud nine. Expect to see thousands of Baylor fans fill up Reliant and bouncing off the walls to see the Bears in the post-season. It’s an easy drive for them from Waco. On the other hand, a plane ticket to Houston for a mid-week bowl game doesn’t sound like the bee’s knees to Illini fans. Plus it’s really cold outside in Illinois, so who wants to go outside? Robert Griffin is hard to prepare for and it will show in this game, and Baylor wins their first bowl game since the Middle Ages.
Mike Stoops vs. Oklahoma State. This should be fun. This is usually a wild game and I expect that to be the case this time as well. Nick Foles gets to play close to home and his Wildcats will light up the Alamo Dome against a suspect secondary. In the end the balance of Oklahoma State will be too much and the Pokes win a shootout. And the Arizona fans will complain endlessly about how what we have here is not “real” Mexican food. They are wrong, of course.
I can’t wait to see this. I bet Syracuse has a million people at this game. It’s too bad Texas couldn’t find another win and get there because those ratings would have been through the roof. But no, they get Kansas State. There are New Yorkers who probably don’t even know where Kansas State is located. It sounds made up. No way Syracuse loses this game. Probably.
This is how much we dislike you: We want you to go BACK to San Diego and play a team you already destroyed in the regular season that had to win in thrilling fashion over one of (if not “the”) worst Division I programs in college football to even get bowl eligible. Why San Diego? It’s the farthest away we could send you from us and your future conference. If there was a Guam Bowl, you’d be there.
So this is the Cotton Bowl now? If the game is in the Cotton Bowl, which it is, and it is early in the morning New Year’s Day, which it is, why couldn’t they keep the name? It’s going to be cold. Well, it’s going to be cold to the Tech kids. It’s probably the 4th of July weather to the Northwestern guys. Here’s what you do: get a good power nap early New Year’s Eve day, Tech kids. You can make it straight through to dawn for body painting and tailgating and still have plenty of time to yell at the Northwestern fans. Best New Year’s Eve/bowl game ever!
By 1955 Liberace was making $50,000 per week at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and had over 200 official fan clubs with a quarter of a million members. He was making over $1,000,000 per year from public appearances, and millions from television. Liberace was frequently covered by the major magazines and he became a pop culture superstar.
So now the Cotton Bowl is in Cowboys Stadium? And it’s January 7th. Weird and a little confusing. Two of the most annoying fan bases in my head meet in what should be a good game. I guess. I could see Les Miles driving around the State Fair of Texas in his rental car the afternoon of the 7th wondering where all the people were and how he could get in as his team prepares for the game in Arlington. I KNOW this is the Cotton Bowl. THERE is the Ferris wheel and THERE is that big cowboy. Big Something. I can’t remember his name. Hello? HELLLLOOO! Where is everyone? Where is my team? Ted? Is that it? No… HELLLOOOOO!!!!!! Who are we playing? Texas? Big Texas! No, that isn’t it. HELLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I’ve locked myself out of the car again. I need a pay phone.