Mack Brown Focused on Rebuild

Texas coach Mack Brown said that the Longhorns have been so close to turning the corner this year, that it has presented a teachable moment.

After all, a few plays are really all that separated last week's opponent, Kansas State (9-2) from a six-win season. And those plays have typically gone against the Longhorns (6-4), meaning that they haven't been able to capitalize on close games.

"We were winning those games," Brown said. "So we have to go back and win them. That was part of the message yesterday. Go look. That one's down to three or four plays. Missouri, we didn't play well enough on offense. In this game, we had our chances. We had 200 yards of offense in the second half. We just didn't score points. We have to score more points."

Scoring points is chief on the mind of the Texas staff this week, as a Longhorn team that has seen a rough schedule — three of its four losses are to teams in the top 11 of the BCS — derail what once appeared to be a shot at a 10-win season.

But even if the Texas A&M game were just about scoring points on the field, the off-field tenor of the Aggies leaving for the SEC hangs over this week's contest.

These decisions aren't being made about football," Brown said. "The realignment decisions are being made by administrators and trustees and not football coaches or football players. We really haven't been asked because it's bigger than us. And I do think that everyone should have a right to do what they think is best for the university. That's not our place, any of us, to say somebody shouldn't do what they think is best.

At the same time, I've enjoyed this rivalry," Brown said. "This will be my 14th year. This will be our seventh game in College Station. Some of the TV people said 'can you just imagine that atmosphere', and I said 'yeah, I've seen it the other six games'. They can't yell more than as loud as they can yell. That's been the way it's been over there every time. They've got tremendous support, it's a great place to play. I don't think it's good for high school Texas football not to be able to showcase that game across the country. It's been a fun game for me to coach in and watch before I got here."

Brown said his favorite memory of the rivalry was when Ricky Williams burst into the record books. And his worst memory came when the Texas A&M students died in the bonfire.

But as much as he enjoyed the rivalry, Brown said it wasn't a slam dunk that they should play when the Texas schedule frees up.

"I think you have to wait and see what the circumstances are at the time," Brown said.

That's an issue that Brown sees as being above his pay-grade. Instead, Brown's duties involve taking those close games — at this point, close losses — and finding ways to turn them into wins.

My life has to be about my faith, my family and getting this thing back in the right direction," Brown said. "We're headed back in the right direction, but we haven't won as many games as I want to. But I'm fully convinced we're getting close. I can see it. I can feel it. It's so much better than last year, just the fact that the players are getting along and they are fighting together instead of fighting each other.


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