It may not be fair or right, but Texas coach Mack Brown has to step down

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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engel Mack Brown was recruiting in Florida on Tuesday morning when he “received” word that he had resigned. Perhaps maybe he was trying to recruit Jameis Winston, two years too late.

Mack may have denied the report by Chip Brown from Orangebloods.com that says he will step down after the bowl game against Oregon, but no matter.

Mack may have been photographed standing on a sideline at a high school in Miami Central, arms folded, scouting next year’s class, but no matter.

Hate to say this for all the man did for Texas football, but all of the denials and pictures of recruiting won’t work. Mack Brown is done.

Chip Brown doesn’t whiff on these stories, and when news like this breaks after so many seasons of speculation, even if it’s denied, the damage has been done. For the sake of UT’s football success in the short term, which is all we have time for anymore, Mack has to go.

His impact on Texas and his legacy can be argued and celebrated at a later date. But whether he should stay is not debatable.

We are in the midst of the most exciting season there is in college football — recruiting. Who wants to watch a game when you can follow a message board detailing the whereabouts of your favorite high school senior? It may be nuts, but it’s the business of college football. And these reports are killing Texas recruiting.

Between those losses and all of these rumors and speculation, Mack’s credibility and the UT brand have sustained too much damage for this to be adequately repaired, much less ignored.

This used to be the time of year when Mack outcoached ’em all; swaying mommas and daddies with more charm than a Washington, D.C., lobbyist and landing the nation’s best athlete-students. There is a reason he was nicknamed Coach February.

With the maroon-and-white colored catfish swirling in Lake Travis for the past few months in Austin, both he and Texas continue to hurt only themselves in the race to sign the next Gatorade High School Player of the Year.

When it came to big-on-big in recruiting, Mack was without peer. Speculation that he is going to be fired or will resign only hurts an image in living rooms in front of a high schooler’s “team” of supporters. Throw in the fact that he can’t beat Baylor and he’s gone.

Throughout the season I was convinced Mack would remain at UT because he had too many rich, powerful UT friends on speed dial who wanted to see their buddy stay. But losing to Baylor on Saturday may have been enough for even his most passionate supporters to believe the status quo is not in the best interest of the University of Texas. There is a reason that this story was leaked: Someone up the food chain wants Mack out.

It is one thing to lose to T. Boone’s Oklahoma State Cowboys; it’s quite another to lose to the school that needed the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards’ influence to be in the Big 12.

The school that had defined the power structure in the Big 12 has been usurped, at least on the field, by Baylor.

Baylor is better than Texas, and it’s not that close. With all due respect to Art Briles and the good people at BU, this should never happen.

The rich people in Austin decided that they are not losing to Baylor and TCU in consecutive years. When the rich people in Austin agree, it will be done.

At least in the short term, Mack’s exit will be celebrated with both relief and joy; the new guy, whether it’s Nick Saban, Stanford’s David Shaw or Vanderbilt’s James Franklin will be advertised as the savior.

We forget that when Mack arrived in 1998, he was the savior; he had the luxury of following the likes of Fred Akers, David McWilliams and John Mackovic. Their lack of success, plus a slower culture of college football, gave him time.

Now we simply have no more time. Schools that print money like Texas will not stand for anything other than winning the national title every month.

Mack’s replacement better make college football’s new “Final Four” playoff in his first year or two, or the rich people in Austin will not be happy.

We know for sure these people are not happy, and that regardless of the statements of denial or pictures on a Florida high school sideline, Mack Brown’s time in Austin is over.

Perhaps had Garrett Gilbert hit, or Mack had actually signed Jameis Winston, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

But we are, and Mack has to go.

Mac Engel, 817-390-7697 Twitter: @macengelprof

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