A sullen Mack Brown trotted out yet again to meet with the Bevo Beatmen and slab a coat of paint over the seemingly moldy backdrop of mackbrown-texasfootball.
I do not envy the task but he is getting way too experienced in these settings for my taste. One has to wonder how long he can continue eating the healthy doses of humble pie his competitors continue to bake up.
And no, the post game press conference is not the place to announce future plans but I don't blame the reporters for trying to pry the scoop of a lifetime from the sixty-three year old coach's lips.
The saga of Brown's future now turns to the bidness trip of he, president Powers, and new AD Patterson as they fly to the National College Football Hall of Fame awards banquet in New York. Decisions of the future of mackbrown-texasfootball may very well be decided over late dinners and apertifs in that great American Ain't Texas town of Manhattan.
If Mack is successful in convincing Patterson, by way of Powers as enabler-broker-agent, that he and he alone is the only person in the coaching profession that can get Texas back to those "double-digit win seasons" and in the "conversation mix", then we're only left with the fact that Mack alone controls his own coaching destiny. And if this is how it plays out the only insight available to us as to when a retirement announcement may come is that decision will come from the man himself.
David Ubben, at the time covering the Big 12 for ESPN digital, pried the following from Brown after former University of Texas women's basketball coach Gail Goestenkors resigned.
"I asked him (Royal), 'Why did you quit?'" Brown said. "And there were reasons. But he said that when the losses became devastating and the wins became relief and it wasn't fun to even win, because you were supposed to, then I needed to get out."
Brown pointed to 2013 as The Year. The Year he would get the team back in the mix. Mix as in national title contention in which we would win all the games. The mark he and he alone has set as the benchmark. The resources at his disposal are too numerous to count for anything less, so the meme goes.
Yes, the team pulled itself up by the bootstraps after their coddling coach failed to make the tough offseason decision to truly fix the statistically worst defensive squad in 120 years of coaching. The senior leaders woke up, realized they were not going to get coached out of their nightmare season start losing in stormy weather to BYU and then laying an egg at home the next week against a middling, but improving, Ole Miss squad who came from behind to trip up the Horns. And, yes, we all know about the make up wins over rebuilding OU and TCU squads. And, yes, we rejoiced. But we also scratched our heads at the late game heroics required to beat Big 12 cellar dwellers in Iowa State, Kansas, and West Virginia.
We all know of injuries and lack of depth at certain positions but football is the ultimate team sport. And good, not great, coaches understand that winning programs have foundations in place that provide iterative back up plans that overcome these obstacles.
But time and tide wait for no man in spite of the just-from-vacation vibe and feel good of a preseason media event. Former long time ESPN writer/analyst, and now on Yahoo's sports department payroll, Pat Forde caught an upbeat, confident Brown in his element, working a crowd and schlepping wares to sports writers looking for any angle on an overly discussed Texas Football topic: How long will Brown continue to coach. He pointed to his contract through 2020 and convinced all through that $5,000,000 smile that he, and his coaches, are having fun and continue to honor that contractual commitment.
"We could win nine again and be disappointed," Brown said. "Or we could win all of them."
In either of those scenarios, Mack Brown would have to answer questions about his future all over again at season's end. As of today, the answer is firm.
He intends to coach at Texas. For many years to come.
After another big game loss at the hands of another conference upstart, this time, this place Brown finds himself surely must qualify as the no fun pinnacle of an otherwise good coaching career.
Coach Brown, for the good of the program please step aside. No one is having fun anymore.