In reflecting on our current quarterback conundrum I recall reading an old article from sometime during the 2004-2009 stretch that compared UT recruiting to OU's recruiting. The story described how Mack had spent his first few years at UT recruiting the highest rated talent, and loaded up on 4 and 5-start recruits, whereas OU had fewer of the highest rated kids. But it turned out the higher rated kids were soft in the face of adversity, leading to losing to OU five games in a row - two of which remain among the worst defeats in the history of the program when all the top talent on Texas quit on Mack.
The article continued to describe how Mack changed his recruiting philosophy to bring in more of the kids with less talent but more character, while Stoops flipped and began focusing on winning the war of most 4-5 star recruits. It noted how UT went on to win 4 of the next five matchups and become a stronger contender for national championships than OU. The message of the story was that chasing the top-rated talent can easily end up chasing fool's gold and that landing tough character that has been put through the fire, overcome adversity and naysayers to compete at the top levels and prevail leads to better results.
Sometime after that story, or perhaps even as it was being written it seems like Mack & Co. reverted to the form he first had upon his arrival at UT, while Stoops learned from his mistakes and reverted to his original recruiting preferences. To be sure, both coaches still got their share of top recruits when they were chasing character more than ratings, but the mix has been the variable.
Just how much is chasing the top rated recruiting classes, with a focus on chasing the top rated QB position a factor in the current predicament the Longhorns find themselves in? Why do you think MB so quickly forgot the lesson we thought he had permanently learned? Is this year's incoming class that's received top honors for most highly rated recruits another step in the wrong direction? How can coaches better evaluate HS talent for the character that has proven it can overcome adversity as preferable to talent that comes from a system (GG) where a kid's never had to overcome difficulties through his own grit and determination but puts up glorious numbers that seem too impressive to ignore? Why does a coach who's compensated above most every peer have to re-learn such obvious lessons in assembling the right mix of raw talent and character that refuses to lose?
Just to be clear, I don't believe this year's squad is as entitled or full of quitters as we had in those ugly OU loss seasons. But they certainly were last year. And not having a QB with wiles and moxie since Colt (but with FABULOUS arms to show off on the practice field!) may very well be the harbinger of the end of the Era of Mack Brown Love in Austin. If any of you remember the article I'm referring to feel free to link it here, I wouldn't know where to start to search for it. I place our difficult state of affairs on the failure of our coaches (MB, GD, etc) to learn from history and dooming themselves to failure.