Monday, February 14, 2011
An inside look at Texas' free fall in 2010
By David Ubben
We all saw Texas' failures on the field in 2010. Few saw exactly what caused them behind closed doors.
Kirk Bohls and Randy Riggs at the Austin American-Statesman pored into it with an impressive, comprehensive account of the reasons behind the Longhorns' struggles in 2010.
The account was compiled from interviews with dozens of sources with direct knowledge of the program, but nearly all spoke on condition of anonymity.
A few of the choice cuts:
- Brown had become withdrawn from day-to-day coaching, taking on a role akin to a CEO. He was disconnected from his team and his coaches.
- As the year progressed, fractures within the coaching ranks widened to the point where defensive coordinator Will Muschamp got into a heated argument with offensive coordinator Greg Davis after the loss to Iowa State.
Before that loss, Brown passed along this message:
"Oklahoma just beat these guys 52-0," Brown told them, according to a source who heard the lines. "We have to match that. We have to make a statement."
Not exactly what he was looking for from his team. Though it could be argued that Texas certainly made a statement by losing to Iowa State for the first time in program history.
The report also mentions a summer 7-on-7 scrimmage between the Horns' and Texas State, won by Texas State and the State players taunted the Longhorns after the win, nearly resulting in a fight
Texas demanded a rematch, and won it.
There's a ton in this, and you absolutely need to read it. For me, it was the most engrossing read, by far, of the offseason. The list of factors that went into Texas' lackluster season is lengthy, and includes recruiting missteps and laziness, misjudged talent and problems in the administrative realm of the program.
Most of it had been suspected or talked about elsewhere, but to see it all put together like this was fascinating and illuminating.
Clearly, a lot went into the struggles, but my belief for the biggest reason is this: The sense of entitlement had always been there, but good leadership from older players who know better can minimize its effects and get results out of still-necessary hard work. Every indication is that no upperclassmen filled that role in 2010.
A lot of that starts with coaches, sure, but they're not everywhere. Players have to make it happen.
The big question, of course, can't begin to be answered with any certainty until next fall.
Was this a one-time hiccup, or is this the beginning of a decline?
Read the story, and hedge your own guess.