DALLAS – Mack Brown didn't get all giddy as he wandered the Cotton Bowl turf.
His Longhorns had just hung a stunning 36-20 defeat on the Sooners, a verdict nobody saw coming except maybe some beleaguered burnt-orange ballplayers, whose coach got them to believe.
Mack estimated there were 97 cameras in his face as he strolled the grass that was such a curse early in his career and was again, until Saturday.
“I couldn't even see the band,” Mack said. He knows you have to sing “The Eyes of Texas” after games, but in Dallas victories, you also have to get the Golden Hat Trophy.
“Which I hadn't done in awhile,” Mack said, “so I really wasn't sure what to do and needed them to show me.”
Soon enough, Mack held the Golden Hat and Sooner fans were faced with their worst nightmare.
A stinging defeat, and maybe not even the consolation prize of Texas keeping Mack as coach.
Some say the momentum to change coaches is too strong in Longhorn Land. Of course, Texas now leads the Big 12; win the conference, and it'll be hard to run off Mack.
OU fans swarmed Dallas this weekend wearing crimson shirts proclaiming “KEEP MACK,” but if Brown and staff are going to outsnooker Bob Stoops and Co. the way they did Saturday, maybe it's in the Sooners' best interest to take their chances with someone else.
The Sooners were double-digit favorites and had routed Texas two straight years. Most predicted another OU romp.
Strange things happen in rivalry games, but Mack wasn't sold on this upset being rivalry-related.
“I think it says more about the state of college,” he said, “and that anybody can beat anybody on Saturday if you play better than the other team.”
Texas certainly did that. Mack won this game back on Sept. 8, when he fired Manny Diaz as defensive coordinator and brought in ringer Greg Robinson from the analyst's booth.
Robinson curtailed Texas' crazy blitzes, put his defenders in proper position and, after some hairy moments against the likes of Ole Miss, Kansas State and Iowa State, shut down the Sooners.
In two OU-Texas games, this one and 2004, Robinson's defenses have allowed two touchdowns total.
Saturday, it was Mike Stoops who brazenly blitzed, often late and always ineffective. Case McCoy — Case, not Colt — answered the Sooner pressure with a solid performance. No sacks, one bad interception, but two huge plays.
The real difference in this game was that McCoy threw touchdown passes of 59 yards to Marcus Johnson and 38 yards to Mike Davis, both on deep throws that fell perfectly into ‘Horn hands. And McCoy is not even Texas' quarterback of choice; injured David Ash is.