Exactly how bad are the 2010 Texas Longhorns? Bad enough for me to mention them in a polical blog. So bad I would rather watch Dancing with the Stars than another UT game this year. That's right. I would rather subject myself to the spectacle of Bristol Palin foxtrotting than watch Garrett Gilbert run this inept offense for one more scoreless trip down the field. And Mack Brown - you deserve to be booed. I've never seen a Texas team play with less enthusiasm or urgency. Even John Macovich's final season saw a bad UT team at least compete in close games.
A year after being badly outcoached in the National Championship against Alabama (you don't run an empty backfield set on a crucial third down against a blitzing defense with a freshman quarterback), the Longhorns are being badly outcoached by everybody - well, except Nebraska. Was that or was that not the fluke of the year?
After being crushed 39-14 by unranked Kansas State, Texas can admit they're not just struggling to find themselves - they are a downright awful football team. A team ranked fifth in the country at one point (which was admittedly a joke) now occupies sole last place in the Big 12 South. Not Baylor. Not Texas Tech. Not even Texas A&M. The mighty Texas Longhorns are 4-5 (2-4 in conference) and their record actually might be better than they look on the field. If the Longhorns don't manage two more wins, and they won't, they will miss appearing in a bowl game for the first time since Mack Brown arrived on the scene.
Actually, pray they miss a bowl game unless you want to witness a crushing defeat to Navy in the Pinstripe Bowl. Given Saturday night's embarrasing blowout loss, do you really think they stand a chance against Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, or any team with a winning record? In my best Jersey accent, fuhgetaboutit.
This team is done. Garrett Gilbert has been set up for failure. Let this be a lesson to any future aspiring homegrown quarterbacks - get as far away from Austin as you can where the expectations aren't out of this world. The weight of replacing Vince Young and Colt McCoy has been thrust on the sophomore quarterback's shoulders without the tools necessary to succeed. He has no running game. His offensive line can't pass protect. And the schemes he is being asked to direct by Greg Davis are as predictable as an over-the-top liberal commentary by Keith Olbermann.
Meanwhile, the team has shown no passion to compete. In the second half of the Kansas State game, I actually saw the punter trying to fire up the team. The friggin' punter!!! That's a team as devoid of leadership as the DNC. It's like they expect to lose or at least it appears they don't mind losing. Vince Young refused to accept such a prospect. Colt McCoy, even when he struggled, never stopped competing. Gilbert already has more losses in his first season than the two star quartebacks combined in their entire college careers. Not that you can put it all on Gilbert.
As I turn back the clock tonight, one thought comes to mind. I wish I could turn back the clock on the Texas season, not because I expect the Longhorns to always win or play for a championship, but because I expect them to play every snap with pride. There's no excuse for this type of shellacking. These kids aren't less talented than Kansas State. They are playing like they are entitled to something just because they suit up at UT. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
With the Dallas Cowboys season on the ropes as well, basketball season can't get here fast enough. I guess in that regard we have more in common with Kansas that we'd like to admit. How do you feel about your team, Rick Barnes? Let's hope they give us more on the court than these Longhorns have given us on the field. Hookem.