Mack Brown sat down at the table Saturday night, and courtesy of The Longhorn Network, the whole world could watch.
So I did. And I saw a Dead Coach Walking.
Ole Miss had just popped Texas 44-23, not with the authority that Brigham Young had a week before, 40-21 with 550 rushing yards. Less authority, but no less discouraging in Bevo Land.
Three straight disappointing seasons has become four. The Longhorns are 23-18 since the start of the 2010 season.
Over that span, OU is 35-8. OSU is 34-8. Kansas State is 30-12. Texas A&M is 29-13. Baylor is 27-14. Texas Tech is 24-17.
The ‘Horns have fallen, and they can't get up.
And the Brown era seems near an end. The fans have turned; Mack was booed Saturday night at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
His sacrificial firing of defensive coordinator Manny Diaz a day after the BYU bashing didn't change much. Ole Miss rushed for 272 yards, an acceptable sum only when compared to Brigham Young.
Worse yet, Brown's champion, athletic director DeLoss Dodds, might be on his way out, too. Orangebloods.com reported that Dodds will retire in January, ostensibly so new administration can make coaching hires.
Mack looks and sounds defeated, but he isn't talking that way. Not yet.
“Get all this righted by winning the Big 12 championship,” he said. “That's what we've got to do.”
Even in a watered-down Big 12, that's not happening. Beating the Sooners would grant a temporary reprieve, but how's that happening, too? The Sooners have beaten the ‘Horns by 38 and 42 points the last two years, plus now OU seems to be playing a little defense. Which Texas most certainly is not doing.
The ‘Horns remain in denial. Early last week, Mack said Texas has talent. After the Ole Miss game, new d-coordinator Greg Robinson said the same.
“There's good talent here,” Robinson said. “The more we keep playing, the better we're going to get.”
Sorry. The evidence is overwhelming. The talent is gone from Austin. The results don't lie. The NFL Draft shows it. Only six Longhorns total have been picked the last three drafts. Only three Texas defenders have been picked in the first five rounds: safety Kenny Vaccaro (first), end Alex Okafor (fourth) and linebacker Keenan Robinson (fourth).
In that same span, 13 Sooners, 10 Baylor Bears and 10 Aggies have been picked.
And it's not just a talent problem. It's coaching, too. OSU has zipped past the ‘Horns, but only five Cowboys have been drafted in that span. And while Tech has a better record than does UT since 2009, only one Red Raider has been picked in the draft.
Any way you slice it, Texas football is a mess. The next step will be bailing fans, which Mack urged against.
“Keep coming,” he said Saturday night. “Let's beat Kansas State. Forget the coaches. Come for the kids. Come and try to help us beat Kansas State, which we haven't done very often.”
Nope. The Wildcats have beaten Texas five straight times; not since 2003 have the ‘Horns beat K-State.
Leave it to Mack to remind the masses of one more Texas frustration.
Here's another reason to be at Royal-Memorial on Saturday night. Texas fans won't have many more opportunities to watch Mack Brown coach a Longhorn game.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.