There are plenty things about the city of Austin to like. Outside of it being the capital of Texas there is a lot the city has to offer. Great BBQ, fantastic scenery and perhaps my own personal favorite, sixth street. But with the good comes the bad such as the never-ending construction on I-35, the city being overcrowded and the Texas Longhorns struggling on the football field over the last decade.
The roadway projects seem to be never ending and they seem to have little to no time frames on when the task at hand will be completed. However, when it comes to football at Texas, it is just the opposite. You are expected to get the job done in a short period of time. And to be fair, that should be expected in most cases.
Texas has all the resources that most college programs would drool over. The tradition, the prestige and all the in-state talent that keeps out-of-state schools coming back for more. Of course, have a near endless supply of money is practically the icing on the cake. But even with a cake, somebody must take all those ingredients and turn them into something good.
You see, Texas has all the ingredients but not one of the three coaches over the last decade have made much out of them. The late Mack Brown years were a headache as Texas was fresh of a National Championship appearance to start the 2010’s and when he was let go, in came Charlie Strong. Now whether he got a fair shake from the get-go in Austin is a fair question, but it would have been hard to explain keeping a coach who was 16-21 over three seasons.
Then came Tom Herman. The man who was supposed to right the ship. While 2017 was a work in progress, that team did manage to win a bowl game which was their first bowl win since 2012. And in 2018, the Longhorns played in their first Big 12 Championship game since 2009 and it truly was the first time in years where they had a good chance a winning a conference title. Unfortunately, that team fell short but soon after, they ended up beating a good Georgia team in the Sugar Bowl.
And with that win in the Sugar Bowl and of course the famous Sam Ehlinger line of “We’re Back!”. The expectations rose to heights that were not seen in nearly a decade. Instead of another great year, Texas posted a record of 7-5 in the regular season and never even got close to playing for a Big 12 championship. The result? Nearly the entire staff was fired, and Tom Herman cleaned house hiring a new offensive and defensive coordinator for the 2020 season.
Of course, nobody saw this year coming and with everything cut short, players had to be ready to play in a short amount of time and had just one non-conference game before entering Big 12 play. Even still, Texas had expectations of winning a Big 12 title this season. And to be honest, I mostly understood it. With a senior quarterback like Sam Ehlinger coming back, it was Big 12 title or bust.
However, those dreams may have been already shattered just four games into the season. This team could very easily be 1-3 right now if not for their miracle comeback win in Lubbock against Texas Tech. Sure, Sam Ehlinger is the leader of this team, but who is leading him? Over the past couple weeks, the Longhorns look undisciplined and unprepared and that is a reflection of head coach Tom Herman. In the TCU game, Texas had countless penalties and mental mistakes and despite the comeback in the Red River Showdown, Texas was on the brink of getting blown out in that game. And when Texas had all the momentum going into overtime, Tom Herman played to tie the game when he had multiple chances to go for the win and put the football in the hands of his senior quarterback.
With Texas not playing last weekend, it gave more time for the fan base and the boosters to become more frustrated with where this program is heading. And to be quite honest, I can not blame them.
Maybe if Texas had played and won this past weekend, it is possible some of the negative chatter could have quieted down but on the flipside, a loss would have very likely been the final straw for Athletic Director Chris Del Conte when it comes to Tom Herman.
But here we are in late October. Texas is scheduled to play Baylor this weekend at home. And even though there is a game this weekend, it seems like every headline you read has little to do with playing football. Between the whole “Eyes of Texas” drama and media sound bites, it seems like the focus should be more on the football game going on this weekend.
I understand that Tom Herman’s seat is getting uncomfortably warm in Austin. But tell me something. Does this seem like a man who knows that he is on any type of hot seat?
Some people need to understand. When you are winning, you can be as fun and cute as you want to. But when you lose, this kind of stuff just makes you look like a clueless idiot. I do not get paid millions of dollars to coach football, but I would like to think that a head coach on the hot seat should focused more on his own team that spewing out total BS like this.
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