Posted April 5th, 2013 by Ross
Filed under: Basketball

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all? Well, the Men’s Basketball team was clearly not up to the task this year. Suspension, stamina, resilience, and any other critical words you can come up with would fit this team. The prism that people use to look at this program is based on 14 years of Tournament visits with a few Elite Eights and one trip to the Final Four. What the fans should be looking at is a broken mirror that has the Horns in a 7 year lock of bad basketball dating back to our highest point.

That high point for the Texas program was the 2007-2008 season where the team was led by DJ Augustin, A.J. Abrams and Damion James who put up the most wins during the Rick Barnes era (31 wins). A trip to the Elite Eight plus the last time this program could claim a share of the Big 12 title were just a few of the highlights for this program. Ironically, the Kevin Durant led team a year before put up only 25 wins and lost in the second round. The Horns just finished the 5th year of this broken mirror curse. Since that high mark, Texas has gone 47-37 in conference play and the low moment for the program was missing out on the NCAA Tournament this year for the first time in the Barnes tenure.

Many fans have a looking glass that tells them a Big 12 championship and a deep run in the Tournament is coming closer with this group of talented players. Unfortunately, this is a rear view mirror approach on what it used to be around here. The biggest reflection needs to be taken by Rick Barnes to see if he has the stomach to continue fighting like another coach on the 40 acres. Barnes has created some great moments and recruited some unbelievable talent that went on to the NBA.

Now players are looking to transfer or getting fed up with Barnes’ coaching style. But just like another 15 year veteran coach at UT, the head man needs to realize that his legacy is set, and he needs to ask if himself if he has any more left in the tank.

But the biggest problem with the Texas Basketball program is who is looking at the mirror right now. The fans and I include myself in this assessment are the ones that broke the mirror. We do not demand more from our basketball coaches and players like other fan bases. We are quick to move on to spring football which allows the team to feel complacent and second class. When you start hearing coaches pleading for noise and asking for students to come make the Erwin Center a festive atmosphere, you know you have a much deeper problem than just a need for some more wins. Do you think ESPN will ever have a College Game Day visit at a UT basketball game? I know that people say that the product needs to be better in order for fans to show up. That logic works on professional teams where the athletes get paid. (Insert joke here on college athletics) Attendance at men’s home games continue to slip. Four years ago the average home attendance at the Drum was 14,629…and now the Hum Drum posted a 10,945 average attendance for the 2012-2013 season. The Frank Erwin Center (seats 16,374) with all the bells and whistles still does not configure the student section to get the most excitement generated at the games and the alumni show up late as always. The seating arrangement needs to be changed or make late arrivals have to sit up in the balcony until halftime and somehow get students charged up to attend games. I have even seen an article or two saying that this Texas job is one of the top 5 jobs in college basketball. We as fans have a long way to go to even come close to that type of ranking for the fan base. We need to be the ones to generate the change or pressure in order for the players and coaches to reflect our passions and demands.

The eerily similar path that the two head coaches on the two most high profile teams at UT are working with a lame duck athletic director makes for interesting fonder but does not help fans see any hope for change. Maybe the curse of the broken mirror will be done in less than 2 years. By that time DeLoss Dodds should be riding off into the sunset and a coaching change might be in order for us to change the culture and attitude about our program.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter @40AcresSports or follow me @Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted November 9th, 2012 by Ross
Filed under: Feature, Football

WTH?! (What the Heck?) moments are attempts to find the memorable and the off-beat perspective on Longhorns sports. Here are some interesting moments from the Texas game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Mike Davis was big with the big plays again versus Texas Tech.

Mike Davis was big with the big plays again versus the Texas Tech Red Raiders. (AP photo)

1st Quarter (15:00) WTH Lonestar?! The largest crowd ever (60,879) came out to see the new Under Armor uniform which was a shout out to the Lonestar State. It might be a little early to claim the state title with that type of uniform while only beating Texas State and TCU. Maybe the Red Raiders want to replace the Aggies on the State Farm Lonestar Showdown.

2nd Quarter (15:00) WTH Zoro?! It looks like Zoro is going to have to find a new horse. The Masked Rider’s horse Midnight Matador was retired before the start of the 2nd quarter. Ten years as the mascot for the Red Raiders is a pretty good run. Enjoy your time as a stud!

2nd Quarter (13:46) WTH Six Shooter?! Magic Mike Davis may need some etiquette lessons on drawing your weapons. David Ash connected with Davis for a 75 yard bomb to take control of the game. Yosemite Sam may need to give Mike a gun safety course. Hey wait, if you cannot draw your guns, can opposing teams still do the Horns down?

2nd Quarter (5:03) WTH Dagnabbit?! Coach Tommy Tuberville and Coach Duane Akina had a fit with the officials when a phantom late hit call was not enforced. Akina and Tubbs both looked like they were going to have an aneurysm on the sidelines. Tubbs gets extra points for throwing down his plastic play card sheet twice.

2nd Quarter (1:14) WTH Ice Ice Baby?! The Horns did a great job of confusing the Red Raiders on defense. It spilled over on to their head coach. Dummerville decide to use a precious commodity by calling a timeout to ice Anthony Fera who ended up making the 42 yard kick.

4th Quarter (13:37) WTH Vortech?! The Vortech is a Texas Tech creation that simulates a tornado. The tornado that got away was Johnathan Gray whose Dad once wore the black and red. Gray started the fourth quarter with an impressive set of first down runs to finish with his second straight 100 yard game.

4th Quarter (5:14) WTH Hands?! Carrington Byndom had a tremendous day using his hands by swatting a crucial 2pt try by the Raiders and knocking down a field goal attempt that would have made it a one possession game. Great game turned in by the defense.

4th Quarter (:28) WTH Bear Hug?! Coach Brown saved his biggest hug for AD DeLoss Dodds who had just seen a tremendous effort and fight by the Longhorns to record its fourth straight win over the Raiders.

Next up for the Longhorns is a home date with the Cyclones in Austin on November 10th.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on twitter at @40AcresSports or follow me at @Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted October 26th, 2012 by Ross
Filed under: Football

Many fans want the head coach, Mack Brown, to step down at the end of the season. The 2011 turnaround was ushered in with a host of new coaches and a rejuvenated Mack Brown. This 2012 season is under scrutiny because of the horrible loss against OU, the lack of defensive presence and the perceived lack of fight with this team. Mack will eventually leave, but he plans to stay as long as he can while posting winning campaigns. (what is a winning campaign?) Mack Brown says that he has the support of the administration, the athletic department and most of all the big money boosters. Problem is that the people that need to work on this situation may not be on the 40 acres right now. Mack Brown will be the head coach at least until after 2014 season. Let me count the ways:

DeLoss Dodds – Will not end the Mack Brown era because he wants to end his legacy with hiring the second greatest coach in the program history. DeLoss has a $1 million buyout that goes into effect after August 2014. The next AD, which will not be Mack Brown, will have to make the call on the next coach.

Big Money Booster – Will not fire Mack Brown because of all the relationship building and the good will that he has established. They want Mack to retire when he is ready. The word around the program is that the 2013 season is supposed to be the year for a BCS trip for the Horns. A total collapse (another 5-7 season) is the only scenario for them to act.

President Powers & the Regents – Read the latest edition of Texas Monthly and you will see that these two entities have plenty to deal with that has nothing to do with football.

Longhorn Network – This entity does not have control over the coaching decision, but they can certainly influence it. The network would not be here unless Mack Brown was present. Even though, the coach is quick to criticize the amount of time he spends with LHN.

Mack Brown – He is too much of a competitor to leave the ship. He wants to fix this more than anyone, but unfortunately his desire to go out on top may further erode the program. The spirit is willing for Mack but the flesh is weak which means he does not have the energy to reach the high standards that he has set to turn this program around.

Side Note: If Gene Chizik is fired from Auburn, get ready for him to join the defensive staff to try and correct the ills that many people blame Manny Diaz.

I agree with every one that says if you are going to point out the problem you better have a solution. Everyone has names that they want to throw out. I have to give credit to my friend Country Ham that came up with this coach as we were brain storming for a possible candidate for next year or more likely in 2014 if the luster has not left this coach. My suggestion is Dan Mullen who is the head coach for Mississippi State Bulldogs. He has a .622 winning percentage in the SEC over the past four years. He currently has an undefeated team which he will eventually secure his third winning season at MSU. The 40 year old coach will bring the edge, youth and program selling approach like Mack. He has a no nonsense approach with the media, and I think he would gravitate to the big stage which includes LHN. Mack has set the tone by recruiting coaches from the SEC, and Dan Mullen fits right into that direction. Dan does have credibility with 2 National Championship rings and comes from the Urban Meyer coaching tree if that does anything for you.

Mack will eventually leave because he will not want to pass Darrell Royal’s all time record for wins which is at 167. (Mack has 142 wins to date). The biggest issue is where is the program headed more than what is Mack Brown want to do.

Thanks for following my WTH articles throughout the season. I appreciate the opportunity to rant about the greatest University sports program in the country. You can continue to follow comments on all of UT sports on Twitter at 40AcresSports or follow me at Horns1991. HOOK EM!!

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Posted September 6th, 2011 by Brian
Filed under: Baseball, Basketball, Football

The University of Texas has a contract with ESPN for the Longhorn Network that pays it at least $300 million over the next 20 years.

A contract.

For those who don’t know what that word means Wikipedia defines a contract as, “a legally enforceable agreement between two or more parties with mutual obligations.” You can’t just decide you don’t want to be in a contract anymore because you feel like it. There are penalties and repercussions.

What no one (both journalists and message board experts) seems to mention when they suggest Texas should head to the new Pac 16 and dump LHN is that it may be worse than sacrificing millions in possible revenue. Texas might owe ESPN some huge sum of money for breaching the contract if they want to kill it.

Not only do UT, DeLoss Dodds, Bill Powers, and the BOR need to decide to modify Longhorn Network but ESPN would as well. What’s in it for them to do so when one of the reasons Texas got such a good deal on LHN was ESPN didn’t want super conferences??

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Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a CoachThanks to the great people at Virgil Films and Entertainment, we’re happy to announce that all this week we’ll be giving away DVD copies of director Richard Linklater’s excellent documentary Inning by Inning: A Portrait of a Coach. It’s a great look at Texas head baseball coach [tag]Augie Garrido[/tag], the Texas Longhorns, coaching, and leadership in general.

We’ll be running various different contests through out the week, but we’re starting simple. If you want to win a copy of the DVD, simply submit your name and address by 11:59pm Central on June 1 using this entry form to win. Additional contest details on the entry form. Check back every day this week for another chance to win.

A brief description of the documentary is below:

INNING BY INNING: A PORTRAIT OF A COACH is a fascinating look inside the world of University of Texas baseball coach Augie Garrido. Through unprecedented access to team meetings, practices, in-game conversations and the occasional tirade, the film examines this remarkable coach’s career and reveals Garrido’s Zen-like approach to the game that both inspires and changes lives. With a philosophy that places both baseball and his players in the larger context of life as a whole, Garrido has won five National Championships (3 at Cal State Fullerton and 2 at UT) and is the only coach to win National Championships in four different decades, and at two different schools.

The film includes interviews with former players, coaches, Alumni, baseball luminaries and friends, revealing the remarkable man behind the achievements. For coaches, players, and fans of baseball, Inning By Inning is a must see film that will forever change the way you look at the game – and perhaps the way you live your life.

Directed by Academy Award® nominee Richard Linklater (School of Rock, Before Sunset).

Day 1 of contest has ended. Check back here to find more ways to win or buy the DVD at InningByInning.com.

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Texas baseball coach [tag]Augie Garrido[/tag] was arrested last weekend for driving while intoxicated, on Friday he was suspended from four games this season by Texas athletic director [tag]DeLoss Dodds[/tag]. The two men spoke in front of reporters yesterday, Dodds expressing his confidence in Garrido and Garrido his heartfelt remorse for his mistake. Watch below:

A four game suspension might not send a strong enough message to Texas athletes but Coach Garrido’s emotions and regret are real. He deserves a second chance and hopefully he takes advantage of it. The 2009 Texas baseball season will be one where both Garrido and the team need to bounce back.

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Some video has been posted on the Statesman’s site of the Will Muschamp announcement from yesterday featuring comments from AD [tag]DeLoss Dodds[/tag] talking about the continuity of the program and why they locked him up with this deal. Muschamp also has some really good comments about why he took the deal and how much his family loves Austin. [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] gives Coach Boom some very high praise and discusses the supposedly non-existent timetable for when he’ll step down.

Watch the video:

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Posted November 18th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Feature, Football

In exciting breaking news, the Texas Longhorns have announced that defensive coordinator [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] will stay at Texas and will eventually succeed [tag]Mack Brown[/tag] as head coach. Thoughts and predictions on the future of the Texas coaching staff will come later, but the university release is below:

The University of Texas has struck an agreement with Defensive Coordinator Will Muschamp that will keep him in Austin and eventually lead him to the head coaching position for the Longhorns, Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds said on Tuesday. Details of the contract are still being finalized but it will start with Muschamp’s salary being raised to $900,000 on January 1, 2009.

“This is a plan that has been enthusiastically agreed to by Mack Brown, President Powers and the Board of Regents,” Dodds said. “With the landscape in college football and all of the changes around the country, I’ve been looking at this for the last couple of years. When it’s not working, you have to go outside and make changes. Things are going well here, it’s working, so it’s best to be prepared to build from inside and that’s what we’re doing.

“Mack has provided outstanding leadership and continues to elevate our football program to a level as high as anyone in the country. We hope he stays a long time and he will be our coach as long as he wants, but this assures us that when the time comes, we have the right guy to step up into that position and continue to build on the great things we’re accomplishing.”

Muschamp joined the Longhorns this season after highly successful stints at Auburn, LSU and in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. As defensive coordinator, he helped LSU claim a National Championship in 2004. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award (nation’s top assistant coach) in 2007.

“This is first and foremost about keeping Will at Texas,” Brown said. “He’s had several opportunities to interview for head coaching jobs, but we wanted him to stay here. I’m going to continue coaching as I’m enjoying it. I have eight years left on my contract, I am not thinking at all about moving on, it’s simply that I think Will is a great young coach, a perfect fit for this place and he wants to stay. Nothing will change in our structure. He will continue in his role as defensive coordinator and when the time comes, will be ready to step in and take over the program.

“Everything we’ve talked about since we’ve been here, the premise of our program, has been about family. This is about family. When at some point I do step away, the fans can be assured the program can continue like it is. It will not miss a beat because the family will continue. Will believes in all the same principles we believe in. This assures recruits, our coaches and our players that Texas football will just keep on rolling.”

Muschamp’s Longhorn defense is leading the Big 12 in rushing defense (82.5 ypg/25th NCAA) and scoring defense (19.5 ppg/25th NCAA). UT ranks second nationally with four sacks per game. The Horns have held all of their Big 12 opponents below their season scoring average and limited six foes to 14 points or less.

“I was really excited when they presented the opportunity to me,” Muschamp said. “I’m not in any hurry to be a head coach and hope Coach Brown’s around for many more years. I’m just glad I’m going to be able to stay at Texas. This is the top program in the country, my family loves it here and there’s no better person to watch and learn from about running a football program than Coach Brown.

“President Powers, DeLoss Dodds, the administration and the leadership at Texas are outstanding. Coach Brown and a great support staff are in place. I’ve really enjoyed the kids in our program and everyone I’ve been around here. Texas has all the resources, facilities and a great recruiting base. It is the elite program in the country. No disrespect to any of the other places I’ve worked, but this is a really special place.”

A native of Rome, Ga., and 1994 graduate of Georgia, he was four-year lettermen at safety for the Bulldogs (1991-94). He was selected as defensive co-captain as a senior and was a part of two bowl teams. He also earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 1993.

“When I first came here in January and my wife, Carol, and boys, Jackson and Whit, stayed back in Auburn, I got such a great feel for the community and people. When Carol and the kids moved here in May, they fell in love with Austin. If I would have left, I would have left on my own because she was staying here. She really loves the community and the people, and our kids love their schools. It’s just a special place and somewhere I want to be for a long time.

“I really appreciate the confidence that President Powers, DeLoss Dodds, the Board of Regents and Coach Brown have in me. I hope Coach Brown is here for a long time and look forward to continuing to coach our defense, learning from him and eventually carrying on the outstanding Texas tradition.”

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Posted October 8th, 2008 by Brian
Filed under: Football

Who do I send my check to to make sure [tag]Will Muschamp[/tag] stays in Austin for at least one more season? ESPN’s Pat Forde has an outstanding article on the Texas defensive coordinator that will make you want this guy around for a long time. Check out some of these choice quotes from Muschamp:

  • “Stats are for losers. I like winning games.”
  • “Jog off the field! Jog your ass off the field, goddammit!”
  • “I like what I do. It’s my job to get these guys to play well and play physical. I play through them. When they make plays, I make plays. When they make a mistake, I make a mistake.”
  • “Boom mother****er! Knock these mother****ers out!” (Okay that’s an old one.)

I just hope we’re as enamored about Coach Muschamp after this weekend and after this season as we are now. I was excited about the scheme and the energy he would bring before the season, so the fact that the defense has performed better than expected hasn’t changed anything. What do we (I’m looking at you DeLoss) have to do to keep him around and make sure he gets the chance to finish turning this team into a consistently dominant defense?

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