Brown Holds Final Alamo Bowl Presser

Texas coach Mack Brown spoke with the media Sunday for the last time prior to the Valero Alamo Bowl.

Brown said that the team was fully focused on the Oregon game, and not on anything on the periphery.

"What we did on Christmas Day when we got here is we told our players that this was not about farewells; this was not about where I am in life, it's not about where the coaches are in life," Brown said. "What this is is a reward for them for winning the games they won this year in fighting back and coming from behind and playing a great opponent on Monday night. So we have actually asked them not to mention the coaching situation because that would be very, very unfair to the Alamo Bowl, to Mark [Helfrich] or to them.

"This is about them," Brown said of the players. "It's about the seniors' last game. It's about the younger players moving forward. So we have not talked about that all week."

And that included on Sunday — Brown declined to answer questions about his future or his buyout during the press conference.

"I said at the first of the week we would focus on these kids and this game, and that's absolutely what I'm going to do," Brown said. "Every ounce of my energy will be doing the best I can do to coach this game on Monday night.

"And by the way, we've even said we're not coaching it like it's the last one," Brown said. "We're going to coach it to do everything that we would do if it was 16 years ago to win the game.  So we're going to do our best, and that's our job and our responsibility. It would be disrespectful to Mark and his great team and staff.  It would be disrespectful to the Alamo Bowl for me to sit up here and talk about me today because this isn't about me."

Brown said that watching Oregon's video "takes your mindset away."

"The expectation for both of these programs is to be playing in the last game at the end of the year, and neither one of us are doing that, but a lot of people would love to be in Oregon's situation as a Top 10 team that lost to a great team and then had a tough one on the road, and that's it, and have a lot of people back for next year," Brown said. "So those guys have been on a great run.  Their run, and I told their staff this the other night, their run as of late here has been like the run we had from '04 to '09 and it's been fun to watch them."

The Longhorns enter the game walking wounded, even if one doesn't buy Brown's statement that eight of Texas's top 10 players won't dress Monday night.*

"One of the things a new coach is going to have to look at is why we've had so many injuries over the last three years, and I think nationally we've all gotta look at it," Brown said. "It seems like there are more injuries out there this year than maybe in the past, or maybe we're just hearing about them more."

* It makes you wonder, who are the two that are dressing? Jackson Jeffcoat? Cedric Reed? Malcolm Brown? Malcom Brown? Mike Davis? Trey Hopkins? Donald Hawkins? Carrington Byndom? Adrian Phillips? Quandre Diggs? Or even kicker Anthony Fera? All of those players would have an argument to be in the Longhorns' top 10 players. But I digress.

"But I think the biggest impact is at quarterback when the quarterback that you're playing isn't … he doesn't run the same plays as the one that you were playing, so obviously you have to make a major change, because Case [McCoy] is not a guy that's going to run the option and quarterback draws and do the things that David did," Brown continued. "So that's been a pretty big burden for transition for our offensive staff to change as much as we've had to.  But I think they've done a good job and Case has done a good job stepping up."

While this season has been a frustrating one for Brown, he hasn't ever hid the fact that he has a soft spot for this team, specifically the way they've been able to fight through those injuries and the adversity that they've seen.

"This has been one of the more fun groups that I've ever coached, being around the assistant coaches and the players," Brown said. "From our poor start and a lot of speculation and negative things being said early, these guys have focused on winning. And they had that great run for six weeks, and they had a chance to beat Baylor in the last half for the conference championship and came up short, but at no time have they not given us their best and been focused each week. And the assistant coaches the same way.

"After Ole Miss, these guys committed to us that they would continue to do everything they could do to help Texas, because that's really important to us that Texas play well and do well," Brown said. "And I asked the assistant coaches even this week, let's focus on this game; let's don't talk about other jobs.  If you need me, I will help you, but I'd rather do it after Monday night. I'd rather do it Tuesday. So let's do nothing but give Texas our best this last week and let's give these young people our best. And it would have been impossible for us to ask them to focus and give us respect and discipline and effort for the last week unless we gave them the same. So we think that's all worked out for both.  Very proud of everybody in the Longhorn organization."

Brown was asked if he would be overly emotional for the game.

"I'm overly emotional for 16 … 30 years I've been a head coach," Brown said. "So that'll probably be the same."

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