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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Is Mack Brown channeling Bear Bryant?

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Plenty has been written about Texas' offseason overhaul, and plenty more will be written.

But as the Longhorns prepare to kick off spring practice, Football Outsiders' KC Joyner asks: Is Mack Brown restructuring his program around what Alabama great Bear Bryant once did to begin the 1970s?

He says Brown's offseason moves mirror what Bryant talked about in his autobiography. His moves resulted in three national championships during that decade after winning three in the 60s, sandwiched around a mediocre 28-15-2 record from 1967-70.

It's a fascinating read, but Joyner's argument hinges on three big connections.

1) Install a cutting edge offense

"[Boise State] lined up in 26 formations against Wyoming and [Texas] lined up in six," co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite said.
Sets and formations don't win games by themselves. But this type of offense could help quarterback juior Garrett Gilbert take the small steps necessary to play at the level of former Longhorns QB Colt McCoy.
2) Alter their recruiting philosophy
3) Don't stray far from core principles

It's definitely an interesting thought to consider from Joyner. Oversimplified perhaps, considering the five coaching hires in the offseason that were a bit glossed over, but it still applies well. You need Insider to read it all, but you should. He digs a bit deeper into all three aspects of the change.

The moves worked well for Bryant, clearly.

Will it be the same for Texas?