It has been a few years since I last posted but I have never stopped being a part of this community and the fan base. A lot has changed since that January night in 2010. I can deal with that and even accept it as a fan to a certain extent but the rate at which it has happened and the series of effects is what concerns me the most. Follow me down this path if you will and see if I'm on to something here.
One of my very first Commanding Officers told me when looking at a problem..."look at it from 30,000 feet and tell me what you see. Look at it up close and tell me what you see too. When you're done, you'll realize that sometimes it just jumps right out at you and other times you really have to spend some time with it but you're not blind and you're not dumb, and you'll know what the right call is". When it comes to this year and this team and last week's game it doesn't take expert analysis to come up with a reasonable explanation of what happened and what needs to get fixed. The question is where does the program go from here.
If you study the Oklahoma tree that was directly in front of us last week, you will see that our defense tackled poorly and that we were out-coached on both sides of the ball. You will also see that there were many intangibles that OU displayed that we didn't. I'm not gonna get into the "they wanted it more than us" or any of that. We can debate what we saw but we weren't in that locker room or on the field so it won't solve anything. What concerned me wasn't even what transpired in the post game conference or at the Monday Mack presser.
If you look at the forest that is our 2012 season and not just "a" tree you will notice that, while there were indications and warnings concerning tackling, schemes against specific offenses, underutilization of certain skill players, and even play calling, we actually had a lot to be optimistic about. Even with that West Virginia tree over there looking very similar to the Wyoming and Ole Miss tree when it comes to defense we actually had a good thing going offensively. We were making progress and showing signs of coming together on multiple levels and nothing proves that more than that ole' Belton boy under center showing he had ice water running through his veins in Stillwater. Here is where someone could insert "we hadn't played anybody" but come on guys, there is a "45" notched into the West Virginia tree...that's gotta stand for something and shows strength in at least one aspect of the forest. After all, that is what was consistently seen on each tree throughout this forest. Special teams were performing well, sure we had areas to clean up like kicking but we weren't dying on the vine. So overall, I would rate the 4-2 forest as disappointing at the half way mark but I still have to examine the remaining 6 trees and beyond and what the current level of performance leads me to think I will see in the near term.
Now let's climb up to 30,000 feet and look at the land that the forest resides on. I see fertile land, talent in abundance, a strong fan base, top notch facilities, donors with deep pockets, rich tradition, but I also see a problem that really concerns me. We play a team that owns us in October and when the beat us they thump us...and this has happened on more than a few occasions. I can take that West Virginia loss, as much as I hated it. I could even understand if someone said that West Virginia beat us twice, but this is just too hard to take. Do you think beat downs like last Saturday have any influence on recruiting? Ok, too much of a debatable topic, I understand. Let me ask you another question, " do you want beat downs like last Saturday to have an influence on recruiting"? Well yes....but for the other guy right? What if we are the other guy?
I have noticed several posts on this site that have called for Coach Brown to be fired or forced to resign and I will be honest, I have been in support of many of these posts over the last few days. I also found myself saying, " we'll what if they do run the table and win out? Then what do you do? I guess we were all just overreacting in October huh?" I think there is too much evidence at 30,000 feet that shows we are a lot further from January 2010 than what the calendar indicates. Go ahead, throw Greg Davis under the bus one more time, add Coach Boom too if that makes you feel better but you know where you end up...right here with the rest of us; scratching our heads and saying what now. When you look at a problem at 30,000 feet you can only see the big picture and not the details which is crucial. Does it come across as coincidence or proof that our most recent former defensive coordinator is coaching a young team into huge games and has turned a program around? Gang, listen to the types of questions that I am asking. Look at the tone of posts on this website. Look at how much things have changed since Jan 2010. We didn't take a few steps back or lose once in a decade talent...we took major setbacks that have far reaching implications that cannot be seen yet.
Take the 30,000 foot view and look at this forest. Be honest; put the emotions aside and tell me what you see. Okay, let's be fair and objective and let's look at each tree....tell me what you see? Again, be honest, put the emotions and passion aside and tell me what you see. Oh, consider the last 15 years and all that has happened and how far we have come...ok, throw that in there too and ask yourself, am I more optimistic or less optimistic about the rest of this forest (season)? I'm a huge fan of Coach Brown and what he has done for the school and what he means to the program. I'm especially a huge fan of how he gives his time and energy into worthy causes especially going overseas to visit with our troops. I'm also a fan of the school which I have loved since I was born; no matter if it was Akers with a headset on, Gardere under center, Dusty Mangum kicking, or DKR with an astro turf field and a track around it.
If the boys win against Baylor then the talk for a change will cease somewhat. If we lose, the talk will continue to grow. Either way, I wish we weren't having these types of discussions or posts. We care too much about the school and the program to let this continue without being heard. I hope that I can eat my words when this season is over and that I was plain ole' silly for thinking such a thing. If I am, I will admit it. The view at the tree and the view at 30,000 feet tells me that I won't.