Texas football needs a victory in the worst of ways, with a two-game losing streak and the fans revolting and regents talking to Nick Saban's agent.
Too bad Kansas State is the team that comes to Austin on Saturday night. The Wildcats have developed a stunning mastery of the Longhorns, winning five straight in the series. And it's not just that KSU is taking advantage of depleted UT teams or its coaching advantage with Bill Snyder.
The Kansas State winning streak includes two wins when Ron Prince coached the 'Cats and three years when K-State was mediocre at best — 7-6 in 2006, 5-7 in 2007 and 7-6 in 2010.
Now KSU has a chance to extend its winning streak and Mack Brown's misery. And while Texas seems in free fall, the Wildcats have some problems themselves, with a loss to North Dakota State already on the ledger.
So Texas' funky mix of great tradition and recent woeful play meets K-State's funky mix of a mediocre team with recent dominance of the Longhorns.
“The only thing that's important is to beat Kansas State,” said Brown, who suffered the ignominy of a booing last Saturday at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
A victory over K-State would relieve a little of the doom in Austin. The Longhorns are 23-19 in their last 42 games.
Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat says Brown has maintained a steady ship: “He's the head coach; he knows best. He makes sure we keep our minds right, stay positive, don't get down on ourselves.”
Brown can say some goofy things, but his take on the coaching rumors was rock solid. “There have been rumors here for 16 years. By the hour,” Brown said. “You stop the rumors by winning.”
That won't be easy, with Texas' defense ravaged by running quarterbacks, Texas' offense ravaged by injuries and Texas' opponent obviously having the Longhorns' number.