The Rise and Fall of Texas Football

Discussion in 'On The Field' started by Billy Dale, Jan 8, 2022.

  1. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    Media savvy journalism Professor Larry Carlson (photos below of him interviewing Randy McEachern and Coach Akers) has written one of the most succinct in-depth articles about Longhorn football from 1957-2021. While I do not agree with many of his comments, I share his passion and frustration with the demise of good fundamental football that led to four national championships and at least 10 near misses for national titles in (1961, 1964, 1968, 1977, 1981, 1983, 2001 2004, 2008, and 2009. )

    Larry's article is long, so it is broken into 5 Chapters:

    1) Longhorn football from 2010-2021
    2) Theories of the demise of Texas football
    3) The changes in demographics, politics, economics, and the advent of social media influence on Texas football.
    4) The status of Texas football 1982- 2021.
    5) 1957-1984 - While many/most Hornfan contemporaries will consider this era ancient history, it still remains the standard-bearer for Longhorn football greatness. Mack Brown's teams were the closest to statistically comparing to the DKR and Akers era, and Professor Carlson shares his thoughts on the great years produced by the Mack Brown teams. Billy Dale

    The History of Longhorn Sports.



    Larry Carlson and Randy McEachern.jpg Larry Carlson with Akers.jpg Knocked out Horns+(9).jpg
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  2. yelladawgdem

    yelladawgdem 2,500+ Posts

    While I too disagree with many of the author's opinions, his facts, many of them ugly and unsavory, are incredibly accurate. I cannot speak to events prior to the mid 1960's, I think my knowledge and memories after that time remain both vivid and intact.

    His accolades to what MB accomplished here cannot be understated. Despite the disappointments of his final 5 years, and specifically the events of the week of December 6, 2013, the program would have continued to wander in the McWillaims/Mackovic wilderness for those 16 years. There would have been no Ricky Heisman, no Come Early, Stay Late, Be Loud, Wear Burnt Orange, no frenzy at the box office that got the BMD rolling in and DKR in the stadium arms race, no Vince, no Colt, no Rose Bowls, no 4th and 5, no 45-35, no wins over Ohio State at the Shoe or the Fiesta, no winningest P5 program of the decade. No, the highlights on the Jumbo-tron today would be taking out the Tech punter in 1990, Walter Cronkite saying, "Get Your Horns Up", Ricky at Hooterville in the 16-6 game and of course our last brush with relevancy......"Roll Left". A quarter of a century ago. Mack is an easy target, and I am a Brown apologist of the highest order, but the author gives the man his due, and also holds him accountable for many of his failings.

    Thank you, Billy, for the post. It is a great read. Hook Em.

    :texasflag::cowrose:
     
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  3. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    Thanks for your comments. I have passed them on to Professor Carlson
     
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  4. BevoJoe

    BevoJoe 10,000+ Posts

    Well, all I can say after reading the article is, “he called it plain.” He didn’t pull any punches either. Overall, he pointed out how mediocre the program has become and we generally seem to be satisfied. Most of us, while supportive of the program, expect more than what we’ve seen on the field. I’ve said before, Sark has or had a pass this season. I for one, and hopefully the rest of the fan base, expect significantly better results in 2022, and in each subsequent season. Sark inherited a wreck of a program where 6-8 wins a year were acceptable. It is not. So, he needs to get “his guys” in, and instill an attitude that losing is disgusting and is never acceptable . . . not on the field, nor in the classroom, and certainly not in life. That attitude starts now.
     
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  5. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    Bevojoe- Thanks for your response and comments. I have passed your insight to the author. Larry Carlson is a contributing author to the Texas Legacy Support Network 501 (c) (3) website. Respectfully, Billy Dale
     
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  6. FWHORN

    FWHORN 5,000+ Posts

    I would add 2001 as near miss as well, beat Colorado in the Big XII title game and Texas is in national championship game though admittedly against a truly stacked Miami team that would have been a tall task to beat.

    As a student in late 80's and early 90's (BA and JD) I was whipped with 4 .500 or lower seasons in my seven years on campus and just two bowl games. Ricky came the year after I graduated law school and while Mackovock doesnt get enough credit for cleaning up some issues in the program (in large part because he apparently was not the nicest personality to deal with), Mack Brown will always be a hero to me for what he accomplished. Yes his exit was a train wreck and I think it was time for him to move on but he will always be a Texas legend for what he did and for getting those of us who never experienced the Texas of the 60's and 70's a magical decade and of course a magical NC.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  7. Chinstrap

    Chinstrap 1,000+ Posts

    He makes a lot of good points. I do strongly believe that the mismanagement of the firing and hiring at the end of the Brown era is the biggest reason for the demise of the program. Mack was too bullheaded and should not have been allowed to fight the admin on his removal. Then it became a publicity mess and a terrible performance of selling the job to potential candidates. A real cluster f _ _ k! The program went from the penthouse to the s - - t house overnight because of poor succession planning. And a series of mistakes followed. Once you fall to your knees and all of your competition and the media empty their quiver of arrows into you, it is hard to regain your feet. Texas is high on the list of most hated programs.

    All of the things said about the changes in Austin are true and nobody has witnessed this cultural change more than me. As to the players, perhaps the most important aspect of today's recruiting is the consideration of what is between the ears. Some of the best teams did not have the best talent on the field, but they had those players with the biggest hearts. Fierce competitors who loved the violent part of the game and nothing mattered but winning. Finding those players will be even more important going forward with the advent of the NIL. Five-star heads and the associated self-importance will expand geometrically with newfound wealth. Many of these kids could not handle the fame before the big bucks. The first questions to a high school coach about a recruit needs to be about something other than his time in the 40. What is the work ethic, the character, leadership, etc.

    Why do they want to play for your team? Money? The coaching job was a lot harder than in the Royal era and it just got even harder.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
  8. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    Great comments and insight. From a personal perspective and a former DKR player your comments are excellent. I have passed on to Larry.
     
  9. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    Good Point! I will add to the core list , but it is impossible for me to revise past post . Thanks Billy Dale

    2001 11-2 COACH MACK BROWN THIS WAS A NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER THAT MADE SOME BAD DECISIONS DURING THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
    Aggies had won 15 of 18 games against Texas at Kyle field. Chris Simms is instrumental in changing that trend.

    All the Horns had to do was beat Colorado, a team they beat earlier in the year 40-7 in the Big 12 championship game. Coach Brown told the group that since #2, Florida had lost a spot was open for the national championship game. Texas lost 39-37. Cedric Benson and Mike Williams suffered a season-ending injury after a freak play where they hit each other trying to tackle a Colorado player. Texas played Washington in the Holiday Bowl, and Major Applewhite is the starter. Major engineered the biggest come back ever in Texas football history as of the 2001 season. Major Applewhite sets Holiday Bowl record against Washington, and Derrick Johnson is the defensive MVP.



    Final ranking 5th nationally


    The 2001 and 2002 teams hold the Texas record for fewest fumbles in a season (5).
    [​IMG]
    Dusty Mangum
    [​IMG]
    Nathan Vasher HOH
    Dusty Mangum Starts Toward His Record Of 121 Consecutive Extra Points That Ends In 2003.

    Dusty Manum Holds The Longhorn Career Record By A Place Kicker For Points Scored (358)
    All-American




    Semi-finalist for the Thorpe award, Nathan Vasher Holds The Longhorn Record For Most Punts Returned (8), Most Return Yards In A Game (173) , Most Return Yards In A Season (554), Most Return Yards In A Career (1,314), and Tied the record for Most Interception in a career (17). A record as of 2002 -Nathan sets a school season record for pass break-ups (26) and career of 64.


    Nathan says “defensive backs need to have a short memory” and able to bounce back quickly after a mistake.

    Applewhite sets 40 school passing records. One is for 473 passing yards in a game.

    [​IMG]
    Applewhite and Simms
    There is a quarterback controversy, and the conflict dominates the headlines and splits the Longhorn fan base.

    Coach Brown says, "Having two great quarterbacks is not a problem, ... It's a good situation, and I've been there. Everybody talks about, 'Which one is going to play?' But the truth is, both of them are really good and can win."

    Kyle Shanahan, the son of Denver Bronco's head coach Mike Shanahan, transfers from Duke to Texas.

    The band exiting thru the tunnel at the OU game in the Cotton Bowl is finally eliminated because the noise level for interviews was intolerable.

    Texas dedicates the North Carolina game to Cole Pittman, who had recently died in a car accident. Cole's jersey number is 44, and Texas wins 44-14

    [​IMG]
    SHAUN ROGERS HOH






    Shaun Rogers 2 time all all Big 12 and a second round draft pick playing 13 years in the NFL.




    [​IMG]
    For the first time in 20 years the Longhorns are in the top 10 @ #5.
     
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  10. El Sapo

    El Sapo Bevo's BFF

    Soft & coddling culture that fails to develop players combined with some bad coaching hires. Pretty much what we’ve been saying for years.
     
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  11. TaylorTRoom

    TaylorTRoom 1,000+ Posts

    …about Mack’s departure and the mishandling of it…

    We have to remember that was a time when the governor was trying to fire the university president and replace him with a guy that would run UT like Sharp runs TAMU. The regents and boosters were more focused on holding together against that onslaught than anything else. This made Brown’s marshaling of booster allies, in an attempt to hold on, more effective than it should have been. Powers needed those guys to back him, too.
     
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  12. LonghornDave

    LonghornDave 1,000+ Posts

    Great post. Many good points, but frankly, I don't think any words could describe the depth of my football "pain". Losing to Kansas has to be up there. Regularly losing to ISU, KSU and Baylor? Jeez.

    I suspect Texas is a tough place to coach, particularly if you take your eye off the ball. Football is played by angry men and our teams have not seamed angry. Some players, but by and large, our teams do not seem angry.
     
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  13. BevoJoe

    BevoJoe 10,000+ Posts

    The last days of Mack's HC tenure were pretty chaotic as I recall. Rumors were floating about that Mack would be canned and Sabin would be the new HC. Then came the story, that Mack said he would resign and take a smaller severance provided Sabin was not hired. If Sabin were hired, Mack wanted the full amount of the funds due him for the life of the contract and that buyout was rather large, something over $20Mil. Suddenly, Charlie Strong was named HC and Mack left.

    The Charlie years were a disaster, resulting in 3 straight losing seasons. Charlie was canned and Tom became HC. In four seasons Tom had four winning seasons and four wins in bowls. His second season produced a 10-4 season, including a loss in the conference Championship and a win in the Sugar Bowl over Georgia. Then came the post game shout by Ellinger, "We're BAAAAAAAACK," which at the time he said it, many of us didn't agree with. Tom produced a 7-6, 10-4, 8-5 and a 7-3 season during his tenure including the 4 bowl wins. But for various reasons, primarily the fans did not like him and the perception (or truth) that he was not capable of winning more than 8 or 9 games a season, he was shown the door.

    Over the last decade, we have become an annual 7-8 win program discounting the Charlie years, and appearing in a minor bowl. So, is Sark capable of getting us to a program with 10+ wins each season? I don't know. The results of the 2021 season were dismal to be kind about it. Sark only had one guy on the team that he recruited as I recall, the rest were recruited by Tom & Co., or are left overs from the Tom years. There are a some that are very good, many not so good, but a number decided to hit the portal after their one-on-one meeting with Sark. We have some good players coming in, but they are going to be fairly green their first season. So, while my person opinion is that we won't be in the 2022 NCG, nor even the playoffs, I expect to see improvement on the field and better results, at least that's what we as fans are paying for.
     
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  14. TaylorTRoom

    TaylorTRoom 1,000+ Posts

    WRT Mack’s departure, that’s not how I heard it. Yes, Mack did not want to be replaced by Saban, but he was never negotiating on his buyout. He got the full amount.
    In his last years, Mack was floating a lot of rumors that, if he got Texas back to the top, or just rebuilt, he would leave voluntarily while on top. After a few years, I stopped buying that. He was one of the highest paid coaches, and I didn’t see him just walking away (life has a way of making you reluctant to give up 75% of your income). I don’t blame him for wanting to stay; I blame him for the BS about being willing to leave if the stars would just align.
     
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  15. Phil Elliott

    Phil Elliott 2,500+ Posts

    Mack Brown put himself ahead of The University, that's all there is to it. Remember "mackbrowntexasfootball.com"?
     
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  16. MajorRules00

    MajorRules00 500+ Posts

    "But for various reasons, primarily the fans did not like him and the perception (or truth) that he was not capable of winning more than 8 or 9 games a season, he was shown the door."

    You left out the reason why they didn't like him. His accusations against the fanbase destroyed the relationship between alums and the team. It was the first time I'd ever seen a coach actively antagonize the fans. In addition to being an inaccurate assessment on his part, it was a very foolish decision.
     
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  17. MajorRules00

    MajorRules00 500+ Posts

    I think he would have retired had we beat Bama.
     
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  18. El Sapo

    El Sapo Bevo's BFF

    He would have….but history shows us that win or lose he still should have.
     
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  19. FWHORN

    FWHORN 5,000+ Posts

    Herman was fired because he lost the fan base over the Eyes of Texas and it didnt help that he was also a jerk. The picture of Sam alone at the Cotton Bowl after the OU game with his Horns Up singing that song was killer for Herman's future at Texas. Herman won enough games in four years to keep his job, he lost it for the off the field crap.
     
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  20. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers 1,000+ Posts

    Didn't Powers end up having to quit anyway, to avoid being fired when details of improper loans to law school deans, and non-competitive admittance of C student sons and daughters of members of the Board of Regent and elected officials all came out? Seems like it was right to try to get him fired.

    It was time for Brown to go - he'd had 4 mediocre and aimless seasons since the NC game to build the program back up, didn't, wasn't going to, and needed to be let go. Him trying to claw on like my cat when he doesn't want to be tossed outside tarnished Brown's time with Texas far worse than the above 4 poor seasons.

    This isn't unique to Texas. Lots of schools have had long serving coaches who have brought success to the program, but have stayed too long, lost their ability, and now the school is in the position of having to try to get rid of them. It's a nasty process, as the coach often has lots of rich allies he's slapped the backs of for years and held their grandbabies, plus half or so of the fan base still supports him. Bowden at FSU, Fulmer at Tenn, Miles at LSU, Switzer at OU, Osbone at Neb, etc.

    The most impressive thing about Stoops at OU wasn't, I feel, his NC, the many B12 titles, or the BCS games (most of which they lost). It's that he coached at a high level, felt it was time to retire and did, leaving the program in great shape and ready for another coach to step in and keep the high level of achievement going. And was so well liked and respected that when Riley split for USC, Stoops was asked to come back for the bowl game. You don't often see that in college football.
     
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  21. Pomspoms

    Pomspoms 2,500+ Posts

    Well in my reasoning TH had to go because many of the best recruits were going elsewhere in tx and out of state. Our recruiting, though at first was going well, was sinking like a big rock thrown into a pond towards the end, sinking fast. He had lost a lot of respect from the recruits and the fan base. It was a no brainer. I actually wanted him gone sooner than he did.
     
  22. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers 1,000+ Posts

    Herman had a pitiful record against the big 3 of OU OSU TCU. I think he was 1-4 against OU, 1-3 against TCU and 2-2 against OSU. Can't be a successful coach at a top tier school with that kind of record against your biggest conference rivals, regardless of how many wins you pile up against KU, KSU, etc.
     
  23. BevoJoe

    BevoJoe 10,000+ Posts

    Yep! I was completely for getting rid of Herman when he told the team they didn't have to sing the Eyes of Texas if they didn't want to. But after the OU game at the Cotton Bowl, seeing Sam, standing alone, horns up, singing The Eyes while he teammates were laughing and clowning around in the tunnel after losing the game to our #1 rival, I was livid! Every Texas alum and fan I talked to wanted him fired right then on the spot. I'm glad he's gone.
     
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  24. Horns11

    Horns11 5,000+ Posts

    I remember arguing with people about it on this very board. Looks like the archives don't go back to the LonghornBob days any longer.

    I think there's something to be said for the "City of Austin" effect. Not in terms of political leanings or anything, but the likes of the greatest college football programs don't have to contend with what Austin has to offer on an almost-daily basis. If one commits to Tuscaloosa, the job is to "be" the Crimson Tide, and the city (while definitely no longer podunk) is on board with very limited opportunities for 18-to-23-year-olds in order to keep that balance. Same for Athens, Georgia.
     
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  25. MajorRules00

    MajorRules00 500+ Posts

    This is an interesting point. Because, IMO, it's a double-edged sword. The overall cultural change throughout the country has been net negative. People are generally more unhappy now than they were 20 years ago. And cities are hubs of that negativity.

    Having said that, I can't think of a college town (with the exception of LA) that competes with Austin for things to do/fun to be had. And that's still a strong positive for recruiting purposes.
     
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  26. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers 1,000+ Posts

    Miami has Miami, FSU Tallahassee, UF Gainesville, USC LA, LSU Baton Route. Let's not remember the glories of 6th street from back in the day and think someone "Well, Austin has so many great bars and things to do that football players are too busy doing those things to actually play well". Doubtful UT football players are spending time going to the Austin Symphony or sailing on Lake Travis.

    College students are highly interested in booze and having sex, both of which are widely available on any college campus.
     
  27. TaylorTRoom

    TaylorTRoom 1,000+ Posts

    I do appreciate the original post. Billy Dale’s newsletter is a gem.

    This is not the first period of huge underachievement for Texas. The ‘20s, ‘30s, ‘50s, and ‘85-‘95 were similar. Yet, somehow, Texas’ inherent advantages are such that it has won more games than all but a handful of programs.

    when you enter the stadium from the west side, you go into Bellmont Hall, named after our first AD. Theo Bellmont, one of the founders of the SWC, was only the second most influential person on the program from 1910-1935. First was regent and booster Lutcher Stark, who first associated with the team as a wealthy student around 1900’s. He became team manager and immediately assumed responsibility for scheduling and team management (using his wealth as a backstop for funding team activities). He was the driver in selecting Theo Bellmont as the first AD, and he was the driver in hiring and firing coaches over the next few decades. (Stark, famously, sat on the sidelines with the coach during games).
    He became a regent at a very young age, became chairman and was the driving force for the construction of Memorial Stadium. He appears to have honestly been trying to make the program better (note how he didn’t use his money to have his name put all over the place), but at some point in the ‘30s it was clear that his individual management of the program was a handicap compared to rivals that had more professional coaching and management.
    When Bible was hired, it was very much an attempt to push Stark out and bring new management in. Bible’s hire was driven by a group of boosters (Stark’s wealth was dwarfed by many of the new boosters) and Stark was banished to the stands by Bible (from his time at TAMC, Bible certainly knew who Stark was and what his role should be).
    Bible had a formula for building the program- “The Bible Plan”. It involves using all the boosters to help recruit the whole state (legal at the time), with boosters assigned to regions. He dominated recruiting and built the roster talent to a level not seen before, a formula that has continued to work for Texas over the years (but too often neglected).
     
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  28. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    Great objective reconstruction of Longhorn football since 2013. Thanks for commenting.
     
  29. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    Herman was no idiot. He lost the fan base as you say, but he gambled his stance on the Eyes of Texas would help him recruit 5 star athletes. Unfortunately, that strategy did not work because once the rumor mill started that Herman would be fired, there was no way 5 stars would sign with the Longhorns. Quite frankly Herman has a better record at winning as a Head coach in his career than Sark. That's a fact not an opinion.
     
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  30. Billy Dale

    Billy Dale The History of Longhorn Sports through 2014

    GREAT COMMENTS!!!!!!
     

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