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The Blame Game

With adversity already a meme on the 40 Acres in only Coach Charlie Strong's second outing, questions continue to mount for winning football answers.

Alberto Barbati

First this...

"It's an embarrassment. It's an embarrassment to this program. It's an embarrassment to this university, and I knew it, and I didn't do anything about it. And I take responsibility and all the blame for this loss. I knew during warmups we weren't ready to play. I called the team up and told them we're not ready to play. Our focus isn't there. We're getting ready to play a really good football team and we're going to get embarrassed if we don't watch out, and that's what happened tonight."

...then this.

"It's just all about focus, and it's all about going in and being a disciplined football team. That's what we were not tonight."

Those post game comments by Texas head football coach Charlie Strong tell me all I need to know:  There is a long way to go for putting the ‘T' back in "on track."

In an effort to make sense of the 41-7 butt whuppin', Jeff Howe laid the acrid, game losing droppings at the hands of the players.

"Strong's mission to put the 'T' back in Texas was halted by a group of players who appear now to completely lack mental toughness and the intangibles that were supposed to be acquired from a staff that now looks like they've wasted their breath and effort. Even if the BYU game had ended in a loss, and when the Cougars got up 13-0 in the third quarter it seemed like an insurmountable hill to climb, getting drubbed by 34 points at home is never acceptable."

On this line of thought, who exactly put the players on the field and who was responsible for player preparation and in-game adjustments? The players are not responsible for this. They are playing to their ability and their preparation.  But they certainly have a say in effort.  And where exactly does that come from?

The first drive of the 3rd quarter certainly showed a BYU coaching staff that was not going to let the results of the first thirty minutes of the game dictate what would happen in the second. Coach Mendenhall stated in his post game remarks, "There were just three adjustments once it became clear what Texas' plan was - they had a good plan. They are physical, they are talented and had planned similar to what some teams did a year ago. Once it became clear what that plan was going to be, we had been working all off season on some of those adjustments and we put those in place and they worked really well."

So the BYU coaching staff here gets credit for putting their players in position to win the game. In the off season.

And the Texas coaching staff was unable to counter with offsetting adjustments for their players. During the game.

That's football. own Geoff Ketchum summed it pretty well....

Agreed. We'll find out just how qualified this coaching staff is as they navigate adversity in the Austin pressure cooker over the next three to four games as the competition only intensifies.

So back to the question: Who really is to blame for the showing last night?

The coaches take responsibility for performances they can do little to effect personally and we expect instant championship caliber results. The players don't really point fingers at each other because, well, it's a team sport, keep it in the locker room, etc.

Some things never change.

At this point all fans really want is consistent performance for sixty minutes by everyone.  Even Vince Young (yes, that Vince Young) said on the Longhorn Network pregame show the Program needed trainers, water boys, the entire Program to beat BYU.

Is it too much to ask of everyone in the Program? Most would say no.

And does it really matter who's to blame?

The only way to say it is that BYU throttled Texas here - much worse than it did in 2013. It was brutal and lopsided and merciless. The Cougars dump-trucked the Longhorns. -Gordon Monson / The Salt Lake Tribune

Let's face it, BYU wanted to win more than Texas. And the result speaks for itself.

But at this point what difference does it make?  It's not like the team was playing for a championship this season.