Too many times Texas coach Mack Brown has been in full-blown apology mode after facing Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Cotton Bowl. It happened again last Saturday after Brown’s Longhorns were embarrassed by the Sooners and Bob Stoops, this time 63-21. It’s the kind of blowout defeat that’s eerily all too familiar to the Longhorn Nation.

Before we throw a whole lot of Bevo spending on Coach Brown, let’s stress that his record in Texas stands on its own. Brown is 145-41 at Texas with nine 10-win seasons (something Texas had accomplished just twice in the 14 years before his arrival). The Longhorns won the 2005 National Championship and an argument could be made that they were one Colt McCoy injury away from winning it again in 2009.

Since that loss to Alabama in the 2009 title game, Brown, and the Longhorns are very little Texas like 17 and 14. More discriminated against is that Brown has done nothing against Bob Stoops and Oklahoma, losing all three games since 2009 by an average score. from 48 to 19. Don’t think this is just an outdated trend because Brown has beaten Oklahoma just six times in 15 tries. Against Stoops, who came to Norman a year after Brown came to Austin, Brown is 5-9.

Mack Brown has been around long enough to know the importance of the Texas-Oklahoma rivalry. Although it is increasingly difficult to call it a rivalry because that assumes that both teams are winning. As an assistant to Barry Switzer in the mid-1980s, he asked Switzer, “What do you have to do to keep your job here and what do you have to do to keep everyone happy?” As recounted by Brown, Switzer’s response was brief: “You’ve got to beat Texas.” Switzer surely passed that little nugget of information on to Bob Stoops, who apparently took him at his word.

As stable as Mack Brown appears to be in Texas, he won’t last much longer if the Longhorns’ fortunes don’t turn against the Sooners. Texas fans can tolerate losing to Texas Tech or even Baylor from time to time, but the Orangebloods don’t appreciate the sour taste of State Fair Corny Dogs with Oklahoma mustard on top.

Maybe it would be different if OR simply had a huge talent advantage. Texas and Oklahoma have consistently produced the top 10 national recruiting classes. Take a look at how much talent both schools are transitioning to the NFL, and you’ll find that Oklahoma currently has a respectable 24 players on NFL rosters. Texas has a whopping 41. That means one of two things is happening to give OU the lead in this series. Either the Texas recruits have been overrated or the Oklahoma coaching staff has been “training” their talent better than Mack and the Texas staff. The NFL numbers lead me to wonder about training. Mack Brown has always been known as a great recruiter, as has Bob Stoops. Both men rely heavily on the “xyo” coordinators in the game.

The Texas team I saw on Saturday was not ready to play and that falls to the head coach. It’s his job to make sure that all the strategy and game planning makes sense and is understood by all players. The most imperative thing for a head coach is that he have his team mentally sharpened to a razor’s edge. He is an eminence that cannot be underestimated when it comes to gaining an edge on the competition. As has been the case in far too many previous meetings with Oklahoma, it was the Sooners who showed enthusiasm and awareness. Texas was prone to errors and slow to react, on the field, on the sidelines and up in the coaches’ booth.

That’s on Mack Brown and I’m sure he’s perfectly willing to take the heat for it all. He has always been an honest guy, not afraid to divulge his demerits. That’s a good thing because he deservedly should take a lot of flak for what happened Saturday.

Brown has a $3.5 million buyout in Texas and with his track record and the money he’s earned for college, it’s not likely he’s going anywhere anytime soon. He used to think that meant he was free to retire of his own choosing and join Darrell Royal as the greatest coach in Texas history. But if he’s not careful he’ll tarnish that future.

Brown is still on solid ground, but he’s not as concrete as he used to be and could fall on him if he doesn’t find a way to beat Oklahoma in 2013.

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