FanPost

2010 in Perspective - What does the future hold for Texas?

As PB noted on the front page, 2010 has been a rough year for the Longhorn faithful. With going 5-7 during the year came the staff changes most Longhorn fans had been waiting to see. GD is gone, McWhorter retired, Kennedy is going to leave for another program and Tolleson (bittersweet) is out as well. However, in everything that happened not many worried that Texas would lose Coach Boom, especially considering it now looked as he was getting a say in the new hires for the coaching staff and how the program should/could be run. Well, the day has passed and now Longhorn fans have gone from overflowing hope to utter despair. Make no mistake, Texas is in a difficult situation. Yes, Texas is still Texas and the appeal and draw to prospective coaches along with the necessary funds to pay the for the best coaches is still there. However, the events of late cut deeper than we may think. Follow after the jump to find out why.

1. Texas is now replacing almost half of its staff, including both coordinators. - When the Texas faithful had found out that GD would be replaced excitement was everywhere. A new offensive system would be put in place, preferably one that doesn't operate east to west and Texas could capitalize on its incredible bevy of talent at the skill positions. When McWhorter was reported to leave there was rejoicing as well as it was clear, especially to me, that the Texas OL was not only under performing but was operating under a scheme that did not allow them to be successful. Now that Muschamp has left for Florida, Texas is in the unique and unenviable position of having to replace a large part of its staff. The major problem here is that two new systems, really three if you include special teams, are going to be taught and installed to players who have been running the same system for the past couple years. Anytime you put in a new system there is new verbage and techniques you must learn. On top of that, you have to have everyone buy in to what you are selling.

 

2. Texas is not in a great position when it comes to hiring new assistants. - Piggybacking off of point #1, Texas is not as desirable to top tier assistants as we may think. One thing assistant coaches look for when changing jobs is security. You don't want to go in to a situation where either the head coach is looking to take another job or is looking to soon retire. If you are a quality assistant you will always get another job but then again you are uprooting you family and life in short spans of time. My point is that when Muschamp became HCIW the clock started ticking on Mack. Everyone pondered when he might step away. Assistants that are going to be interviewed for open position will likely ponder the same thing in their interviews with Mack. If Mack were to retire after the 2011 season would the OC or DC he hires be considered for the head job or would it be likely they are holdovers for the new coach that comes in? That is a question every assistant that is hired must consider.

 

3. Recruiting - While kids came to Texas before Muschamp and will still come now that he is gone, make no mistake that him leaving will greatly affect recruiting. Muschamp is firery, exciting and passionate. Kids feed off of that and they love it. They love him. He had already started forming relationships with 2011 and 2012 recruits and he is well known among the high school coaches in the state. Not to be sentimental, but life is all about relationships. You want to enjoy the people you work with and are going to be around for 4 years and 20+ hours a week. Players enjoyed Muschamp. This presents a major damage control problem for Texas as Muschamp was Texas' most avid recruiter, along with Major Applewhite. Speaking of Applewhite, if he is to take the Florida OC job as has been reported by some sources, the wheels may fall off altogether. Understand, as well, this doesn't just possibly affect the commitments of our 2010 class, it affects every future class as Muschamp will not just abandon the state of Texas when it comes to recruiting. He will do his best to pluck the top players for Florida every year.

 

4. Continuity - I touched on this in points #1 and 2 but I feel I should expand a bit more. No one likes feeling like they are on shaky ground. Human nature has us naturally seek for comfortable positions with little chance of upheaval or change. Well, Texas doesn't offer that right now. Between Mack's time line and our empty coaches offices our players and recruits are having less and less to believe in. Does this mean Mack can't turn it around? Absolutely not. But installing three new systems along with creating new relationships with recruits leaves much to be desired.

 

Conclusion: I am not one to be a pessimist but Texas fans need to be prepared that things might get worse before they get better. I don't mean that to say we will have a worse record next year. I mean that to say we may have some mediocre years (relatively) before Texas is a national championship contender again. We may start missing out on recruits who we thought would normally pick Texas. Texas is still Texas but Mushcamp helped make up a nice component of what made Texas what it is. The hope is that Mack makes the right hires and necessary changes to get the train back on the tracks.

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