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A Step Too Far

I want to start by acknowledging that this brief commentary will be addressing a straw man. But I'm pretty convinced, based on the Internet machine, that the straw man exists out there somewhere in Texas. I'm talking about the fella who thinks this 5-7 season is an indication that it's time for Mack Brown to hang 'em up. He's wrong. So wrong, he's the wrongest.

I should also disclose that I'm in the middle of studying for law school finals, so this might not be totally coherent. If you're willing to take the risk, click on through.

Here's the thing: I get (and share) the muted relief at Greg Davis' departure. I think our own Elusive Shadow totally nailed the rational fan's response to the end of the Davis era: gratitude for the hours and hours of work he put in over the last decade-plus to play an enormous role in bringing Texas football back to national prominence, combined with an understanding that the program seems to need this move going forward. 

What's important to remember is that Mack Brown also knew this needed to happen, and unlike the rest of us he had to look his best friend in the face and ask him to resign. I know he makes an obscene amount of money, but that just isn't an easy task for anyone. But he did what he had to do because, as has been the case since he arrived, Mack Brown is absolutely the right guy to run the Longhorn football program.

I have had countless conversations over the years with fellow Texas fans that resulted in the same conclusion: I'd rather lose with Mack Brown than win with most guys. Obviously there are limits to that sentiment, but the consensus seems to have been that the man has built up enough good will to go 1-10 a couple times and retain a sizable level of support. And I get that that's an easy thing to say when a losing season seems preposterous. But the point remains true: Mack is our coach and we're damn lucky that he's the one representing the University.

He has won a tremendous number of ballgames for Texas. He is the second coach in school history to bring a national championship to Austin. He was arguably a freakish shoulder injury away from a second. He has a reputation for pure class (Okie sportswriters and their ulterior motives aside). The fact is, Mack Brown has earned the right to be the Texas football coach until Mack Brown decides he's done. If this bad season inspires him to stick around a little longer than he originally planned, all the better. I know that might mean Will Muschamp's patience eventually runs out--but does anyone actually believe that Texas couldn't land essentially any coach it wanted in that scenario?

And of course, there's one guy who is largely responsible for making the Longhorns' head coaching job as highly coveted as any in the country. He deserves the benefit of the doubt and continued support from fans while he works on solidifying his legacy on the 40 Acres.