The empire has fallen. The once indomitable force that was Texas Longhorns football is but a shell of its former self.
UT is stuck in the middle of the now-mediocre Big XII conference going nowhere fast, and to make matters worse, Colt McCoy is not jogging out of that tunnel on Saturday.
Neither is Vince Young. Neither is Major Applewhite.
Well, actually, Applewhite probably will because he is the Co-offensive coordinator, but that is beside the point.
The point is that the glory days of Texas football are gone.
This is shocking when considering that the Longhorns appeared in the BCS Championship game only three years ago.
A year previous they were one second away from the same feat until the whole Michael Crabtree incident unfolded.
In 2004 the Vince Young led ‘Horns knocked off the USC Trojans in the BCS title game. For more than a decade, Texas was a cornerstone in the Top 25.
Success breeds success, and in college football wins bring recruits.
The recruits bring in more wins, but somewhere Texas fell out of this cycle.
Since the 2009 season, inconsistency has infested the program.
Five-star quarterback Garrett Gilbert led the Longhorns to a measly five wins in 2010, and head coach Mac Brown fired his staff.
The next year, Brown benched Gilbert and named David Ash and Case McCoy co-starting quarterbacks (because that always works).
UT had a shot at landing Heisman trophy winners Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel, but Brown recruited them as defensive backs.
The program seemed on the rise after a rebuilding year, but really they were just sinking into mediocrity.
Since the Ash/McCoy era began, the ‘Horns have gone 8-5 and 9-4.
This sounds good until you remember this is Texas – where good is far from good enough. In the last three years they have beaten only two ranked opponents and are worse than .500 in conference games.
They have bounced in and out of the Top 25 like a pinball.
This brings us to the present where the Longhorns are only two games into the season and have seemingly already hit the panic button.
By Reese Gwin, Sports Reporter
They handled New Mexico State, but not before they took a seven-point lead into halftime.
On Saturday the BYU Cougars ran over the Longhorns, literally. They compiled 550 yards rushing in embarrassing fashion.
Meanwhile, the Longhorn offense looked like it has for the past three seasons.
Like a 13-year-old tween searching for an identity, they ran “Power I” one play and “Spread” the next.
This has become common. The offense poorly executes some “rinky-dink” scheme until either their talent takes over, or the other team does.
Brown quickly axed defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, as the temperature on his own “hot seat” rose. Ash left the game with a poor completion percentage, a hurt ego, and a bum shoulder.
The winds of controversy are swirling in Austin.
Texas finds itself once again building from the ground up. Brown looks like a coach out of answers, and the fans are beyond tired of asking questions.
A schedule looms that nearly guarantees another middle-of-the-road finish likely followed by some no-name bowl with a goofy sponsor.
This is who the Longhorns are now; just another college football team fighting for wins week in and week out. Their dynasty is over. The burnt orange is extinguished. It is time to sweep away the ashes and start over.