"Sometimes they have fun and play great but you just never know," Brown said. "All but two games, they seemed to have relaxed and had fun and played great. But in those two they got behind, didnt respond well, and I dont know why. We got behind against Kansas State, but we responded really well, came back, had fun and won. I dont really know. Were not tackling poorly (Note: that is neither a misprint nor a mis-quote), were trying hard, so I dont know."
Just a theory weve offered on more than one occasion, but here we go again: a teams performance is predicated upon its coachs personality. Even Brown has said as much. He has said that he does not micro-manage his assistants because he wants the personality of the position coach to influence the play of that particular unit.
Part of that Jeckyl-Hyde personality has resulted in a surprising mastery of Nebraska. Texas is 4-1 against the Children of the Corn in Big 12 play and Brown's teams own three of those wins. In fact, the Big Red Machine had steamrolled 73 of 75 victims in Lincoln from 1992-2002 but those two setbacks came courtesy of Brown.
"Our kids relax against them and like playing them," Brown surmised. "Theyve been excited about it, but in that one (Big 12 Championship Game) they just beat the mess out of us. They lined up and whipped us in every possible way you could possibly whip us. So, I dont know."
Later, during Mondays press luncheon, Brown qualified his remarks by adding, "I said that because I liked (the teams personality) six times and I didnt like it twice. So, Ive known it six times. The other two times I didnt like it. So, I guess thats a high percentage unless you coach at this place."
Parity, injuries and pressure to win contribute to the unpredictability of college football, he added.
"There is so much pressure on college football coaches and, therefore, teams to win every game," Brown said. "If you lose a game, everybody turns on you and you have to be tough to hang in there and not give in to it. Its not just (at Texas); its everybody. Ive watched it across the country. Its everywhere in America. What weve done is made an environment in college football where there are no days off. There are no easy wins. There are no easy seasons. And the expectations will never be met unless you win all the games. Weve made it where one loss is a killer. And if its not a killer, everybody thinks it is so they give up. Thats what weve done: weve made it where the best team that stays healthy and gets the best bounces has the best chance to win."
He also referenced UABs closer-than-expected 16-13 loss Saturday to Georgia to underscore the unpredictability of college football. Browns brother, Watson, is the UAB head coach who, with a backup quarterback, was on the Bulldog 32-yard line and a chance to tie or win with just under two minutes to play. As such, the Texas coach said, "I dont think anybody really knows the personality of their team."
"I think what you do now is just try to survive the week and then regroup and start over," he added.
Buying into the theory that a teams personality generally reflects that of its head coach, heres a proposition: the collective persona of Browns teams is that they regroup and start over. Its just too bad they have to survive a heart-rending loss for their true selves to emerge.
GAME NOTE: The Nov. 8 Oklahoma State game in Stillwater has been set for a 6 p.m. (CST) kickoff on a Fox Sports telecast.