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It's 2007 All Over Again

Hey, that headline sounds familiar...

I had so much fun at, and was so proud of, our win in Lincoln that I allowed myself to believe this team -- this staff -- had turned a corner.  At the very least, I hoped for it.

And then Saturday happened.

How bad was the loss to Iowa State? Many are calling it the worst in the Mack Brown era. More than a few have essentially declared themselves through with this team.

And my good friend Adam Jones somberly declares, "This is the end."  As in, the superior run of the Mack Brown era.  As in, the best is behind us.

I know Adam well, and believe me: he's not prone to hyperbole or manufacturing drama. He is simply stating a very informed opinion, based on a very informed view of history. I would view declarations from most fans that "it's over" for Mack Brown as understandable manifestations of deep frustration. But it's not Adam's style to vent in that manner.

Is he right? I'd guess that more than a few Texas fans agree, and the uncomfortable truth of the matter is that the position is not without basis. Far from it. Adam Jones is no idiot, and he doesn't have an agenda. He has facts on his side, and good reasons for his judgment.

The best that can be said for the opposite view is that there are facts on the other side, as well. As the headline to this post once again reminds us, we have been here before. And this is not the first time that esteemable writers have written Mack Brown's obituary.

Here we are, in much the same situation, and I believe that for Mack Brown the question is today exactly as it was before: Can't change, or won't?

In 2007, Mack Brown made changes that were uncomfortable. He demoted a friend. Let loose dead weight. Reconsidered how playing time was earned (and kept). Hired as defensive coordinator a coach very different from himself, who he knew would shake up the usual level of comfort.

Mack Brown faces the same choice today. Forget whether he should have done it before. What is clear is that the choice presents itself anew, and one can fairly argue that Mack Brown needs to do to his offensive staff as he did to his defensive staff three years ago. If he still has the fire, the passion, and the competitive drive, it is still too soon to write any obituaries.

And if not? Well, this really might be the beginning of the end.