The effort put forth by the Longhorns on Saturday, a 36-20 win over hated rival Oklahoma, saved Mack Browns job for at least the rest of the season. However, once the season is over for the Longhorns, Brown needs to be fired. They need a new direction.
After losing the last three Red River Rivalry games by a combined 88 points and coming into the OU game as 14-point underdogs, it should have been the end for Mack Brown. Instead, it turned into his victorious last stand.
Coming into the season ranked No. 15, the Longhorn fans had high hopes for their team. But then the BYU Cougars put up 550 rushing yards on Texas in a 40-21 loss, followed by another loss at Ole Miss, 44-23, the next week. Brown has been on the hot seat ever since.
Brown fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, and might have been fired the next week had they not escaped Iowa State with a controversial win. Texas fans would have been calling for Brown’s head after a possible 1-3 start. Longhorn fans were ready for the Mack Brown era to end Saturday, had things gone according to the script.
For the first time all season, Brown was the best coach on the sideline. The Longhorns looked like the better team against an Oklahoma that had embarrassed them the past two meetings.
There was something different about this Texas team that had been missing the first 5 games. The Longhorns finally played the way Mack Brown wanted them to. They started the game strong and finished even stronger.
The Longhorns ran for 255 yards on 60 carries and controlled the ball for more than 35 minutes. When Oklahoma pulled within 10 early in the third quarter, Texas scored two straight touchdowns to put the Sooners down for good. Blake Bell struggled for Oklahoma, getting sacked four times and throwing two interceptions. The Texas defense finally held their own in the much-needed victory.
What is next for the Longhorns? After three straight seasons with about four losses and only a 25-18 record since the loss to Alabama in the 2009 National Championship, bigger things were expected of Texas this season until the devastating BYU game.
This new Longhorn team seems to have life, being 3-0 in the Big 12 after defeating the Sooners. The Longhorns should be favored the next three weeks against Texas Christian University, Kansas and West Virginia.
The daunting stretch against three ranked opponents, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor, will follow to finish the season.
The future looks brighter than it did prior to Saturday, but only time will tell. The Texas Longhorns still have a chance.