Brown: 'I Still Don't Know Personality Of Team'

With five blowout wins over bad teams, an historic defeat to Oklahoma, a gutsy win over Kansas State plus an excruciating loss to an Arkansas team that has since fallen out of the national rankings, it&#146;s no wonder that head coach <B>Mack Brown </B>said Monday, &quot;I still don&#146;t know the personality of this team.&quot;

Consider November a personality test for the 6-2 Longhorns, starting with No. 9/12 Nebraska’s visit to DKR, 11 a.m. (CST) Saturday on ABC. Thing is, Brown said he usually knows a team’s psyche by the eighth game of the season.

"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, didn’t respond well, and I don’t know why. We got behind against Kansas State, but we responded really well, came back, had fun and won. I don’t really know. We’re not tackling poorly (Note: that is neither a misprint nor a mis-quote), we’re trying hard, so I don’t know."

Just a theory we’ve offered on more than one occasion, but here we go again: a team’s performance is predicated upon its coach’s 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. "They’ve 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 don’t know."

Later, during Monday’s press luncheon, Brown qualified his remarks by adding, "I said that because I liked (the team’s personality) six times and I didn’t like it twice. So, I’ve known it six times. The other two times I didn’t like it. So, I guess that’s 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. It’s not just (at Texas); it’s everybody. I’ve watched it across the country. It’s everywhere in America. What we’ve 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. We’ve made it where one loss is a killer. And if it’s not a killer, everybody thinks it is so they give up. That’s what we’ve done: we’ve made it where the best team that stays healthy and gets the best bounces has the best chance to win."

He also referenced UAB’s closer-than-expected 16-13 loss Saturday to Georgia to underscore the unpredictability of college football. Brown’s 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 don’t 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 team’s personality generally reflects that of its head coach, here’s a proposition: the collective persona of Brown’s teams is that they regroup and start over. It’s 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.

Horns Digest Top Stories