Trying to figure out some path to catharsis after a beatdown that has no doubt some of my PTSD that I developed after our 0-5 streak. I found some solace in history. In particular, I'd dwell on 1958-1970 forever if I only could. Everything that has happened since Colt was hurt at the goal line in a game I believe to my toes we were going to win (how much weight did Ingram gain in those post Heisman days? How good were Colt and Jordan really? (very very good) And how anemic was our offense under the direction of GG and GD together?...) has only solidified my conviction that Mack's system requires special players (Ricky, Vince, Colt, Jordan) in order for our teams to achieve consistent excellence. I hope and believe that can change but I believe the institution we have set up in Longhorn Nation is a kind of good-guy-Switzer empire. It works perfectly when Vince Young, or as it turns out, even Colt McCoy, say get on my shoulders to his teammates and wills them across the goal line. Without special leadership the jalopy breaks down frequently and the flashes of brilliance that we do see are the result of incredible individual performances.
I so like Mack Brown and I want him to succeed. Having suffered through McWilliams and Mackovic I am still grateful for the hire and he seems like such a genuinely good person how can you not wish him the best. I do. I choose to believe that last year he felt burned by his good manners and loyalty, and that, as others have pointed out, his actions prove his mettle and desire to win. I hope it is not too little too late. He does not seem to be in great health. He looks tired--I've heard the Longhorn Network is partly to blame. (In the office at 6 am? Not home til 11 pm? If he's working those hours I would rather it be for the onfield product not the off field one.) Yet, as others have pointed out, you can see the desire that exists on the part of Diaz, Harsin, Applewhite and others and maybe that is enough to carry the day institutionally.
The facts are that since Barry Switzer arrived (or thereabouts) the series took a decided turn in OU's favor. We had some miracle streaks (i.e., Gardere) and some other dramatic wins (thank you Ricky), but by and large the days of Longhorn ownership are long since gone. Maybe we can never get that back but that is what I want. I'm not asking for guaranteed victories. But I want the expectation to be both locally and nationally that the game will be hard fought and close. Even that beautiful 45-35 year--we were supposed to get crushed. It was viewed almost as an anomaly that we won, and as the pollsters concluded at the end, they also viewed it that way. Personally, I think our team was extraordinary that year, again, largely due to Colt, Jordan, Quan and a generally reliable and stout D.
History is long and it ebbs and it flows. Maybe it will require Stoops to go before we own them again. Maybe this year is 1956--another year of suffering ahead, but progress and ultimately glory is in store. I do not know.
I went to the UCLA game and was pleased. I am so scarred by 2010 (and the early 2000s) that I loved every minute of the Iowa State game. It was a fait accompli from the beginning in a way I haven't seen since Colt's junior year (okay maybe I'm exaggerating a little--but didn't his senior year always seem like a struggle, not even counting the Nebraska or OU games?). I actually thought we were going to eke out a win over OU. And I'm quietly hopeful that we will beat OSU.
Truth is as long as it doesn't involve a squandered 2 touchdown lead I'll be all right with a gut wrenching battle that we lose by 4. 55-17 reminds me too much of the worst times in Texas football.
I know we'll recover. But I want the future to begin now.